Train2Game News: Train2Game in 2012 – January to March

Train2Game2012 has been a good year for Train2Game and the students and I am going to take you through some of the best bits.

At the end of January some Train2Game students entered a game jam in Scotland.

The Scottish Game Jam is part of Global Game Jam 2012 and at the event Train2Game Art & Animation students Fiona Stewart and Corinna Bruce were winners of the Best Art Award at the Scottish Game Jam.

It was at this jam where the game Shplem was created and nominated for a BAFTA award.

The first quarter of the year was also the run up to the Make Something Unreal Live competition.

Four student studios: Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage and Indigo Jam were working hard trying to get together their games which were based on the Fighting Fantasy books which would be displayed at The Gadget Show live in April.

It is a time I remember well as I was a proud member of Digital Mage and it was one of the greatest times of my life.

Possibly the most important part of early 2012 was the government announcing that they would implement the Games Tax Relief. Just the mere announcement of this has seen the games industry grow to new heights.

Train2Game students win accolades at Scottish Game Jam 2012

Train2Game students were among the winners at The Scottish Game Jam last weekend. The Scottish Game Jam is part of Global Game Jam 2012, the world’s largest game jam event which took place across the world last weekend.

And as revealed by Train2Game’s Dave Sharp on the Train2Game forum, Train2Game Art & Animation students Fiona Stewart and Corinna Bruce were winners of the Best Art Award at the Scottish Game Jam.

The Train2Game Blog spoke to Scottish Game Jam organiser Romana Khan last year, ahead of the first Train2Game Game Jam. The second Train2Game Game Jam, in association with Epic Games, took place in November.

Train2Game Blog readers may recall that Train2Game Art & Animation student Fiona Stewart is on a work placement at Radiation Burn, and recently spoke in depth to RTI FM about her experiences with Train2Game.

Train2Game Art & Animation student Robert Ramsey also took part in the Scottish Game Jam, he’s previously given a huge interview to The Train2Game Blog about his experiences of the course.

The Train2Game Blog would like to congratulate all Train2Game students who took part in the Scottish Game Jam on their efforts.  Keep an eye on The Train2Game Forum, for posts from Fiona, Corinna, and Robert about how they found the event.

Of course, you can leave your comments and congratulations here on the Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

 

Train2Game blog student interview special: Artist Fiona Stewart post-Scottish Game Jam

Last weekend, Train2Game Art & Animation student Fiona Stewart (AKA FeeTheGiraffe on the Train2Game Forum) joined a team of experienced game developers at the Scottish Game Jam. After the big event,  the Train2Game blog caught up with her to see how it went.

You can also see the pre-Scottish Game Jam interview here.

Train2Game blog: First of all, how do you feel Scottish Game Jam went overall?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Fantastically well! We all worked brilliantly as a team with excellent communication. Even through problems and lack of sleep no one got irate. We just all got on with what we were supposed to be doing. It was an amazing experience and to come 3rd out of 16 teams is just the icing on the cake. This is what one of the judges (Square Go) had to say about our game:

Shoal
Escaping an oil spill that is destroying your natural habitat, Shoal allowed you to take your fish to meet others, and hopefully a potential mate, in order to continue your species. With some differing moves to avoid obstacles your fishy friends should be saved.

A gorgeous looking game was slightly marred by being a little slow and having a control system that wasn’t as intuitive as it could have been. The glyphs to perform special actions were great and a final version with more levels would be wonderful.

Train2Game blog:  What did you contribute to your team?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Initially I was going to do all the backgrounds but unfortunately the lap top I was using wasn’t coping with large file sizes so had to hand that over to Mike. I then did the plants, front end menu, logo, end screen and hunted around for all the sounds and music for the game.

Train2Game blog: What did you enjoy the most?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: That is really difficult to say just one thing… really it was the whole experience, everything!

Train2Game blog: What did you find the most difficult?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Not being able to help the guys with flash and animation…. and living off junk food for three days.

Train2Game blog: Will it encourage you to take part in the Train2Game Jam next month?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Oh I’m hooked! No way am I going to be missing any jam I can get to now!

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Train2Game blog student interview special: Artist Fiona Stewart pre-Scottish Game Jam

This weekend, Train2Game Art & Animation student Fiona Stewart (AKA FeeTheGiraffe on the Train2Game Forum) will be joining a team of experienced game developers at the Scottish Game Jam. Before Fiona left for Scotland, the Train2Game blog caught up with her to see how she was feeling before the big event.

Train2Game blog: Hi Fiona, first of all can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I’ve been a Train2Game Art & Animation student since May 2010. I originally trained as a graphic artist and worked for a publishing company. I then went on to study Fine Art at a private studio which then lead to Bradford Art College to study Painting and Printing at B.A. level.

Since then I’ve been on the fringes of the games industry for the last four years as a texture artist having transferred my painting skills to digital. I also help other (non digital) Fine artists and catalogue their work for them. I joined the Train2Game Art & Animation course to learn 3D modelling, animation and how to make video games

Train2Game blog: How and why did you get involved with this weekends Scottish Game Jam?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I was asked by Dave Sharp if I would be interested in joining his team as their 2D artist was not available for the Scottish Game Jam.  Already knowing some of the other team members, I felt I could slot in fairly easily. I had followed the team during last years Bangkok Game Jam, so I’m semi aware of what it involves. After seeing what they produced within the 48 hour period, I felt I wanted to experience it and hopefully gain some knowledge as well.

Train2Game blog: Are you confident the skills you’ve learned so far with Train2Game will help you?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Having already learnt Photoshop as a digital artist prior to joining Train2Game, I believe half of my battle is already won. The Train2Game course has however provided me with the skills to know how a game gets put together rather then just knowing how to draw pretty pictures. So, I now feel confident enough in my abilities to be able to be of some use to the team while at the Scottish Game Jam.

I do feel confident enough to know how a game should look and how to produce the artwork to for use in one… the rest is up to the programmers.

Train2Game blog: How are you preparing for the event?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Well, at the Scottish Game Jam nothing is provided so we have to take everything we might possibly need. For me that is my drawing tablet, camera (for taking photo textures or ref material if I need to), a card reader to read the photos, a Media drive that contains Photoshop, a bulk of photos I have already taken, my stash of fonts and brushes for Photoshop, my Wow-Pen and trackball (for when my hand starts to hurt so I can swap over), a laptop, a pillow and plenty of money for coffee!

Train2Game blog: What do you think you’ll learn in a high pressure environment at the Scottish Game Jam?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Oh, tonnes. You’re being thrown in at the deep end. You have limited time to get it all right and with the promise of execution if we lose (thanks Dave) You have to work making sure you don’t make a mistake or you’ll hold the other team members up. Communication and teamwork has to work or it will all fall down.

Train2Game blog: How much are you looking forward to taking part in it?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I’m looking forward to it a lot. I’m excited and nervous but I’m sure my experienced team mates will guide me though.  I hope I do OK!

Train2Game blog: Thanks Fiona, and good luck!

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.