Train2Game News: Icey Monty visits Yippee! Entertainment

Icey Monty and Yippee! EntertainmentThis week the guys at Icey Monty had the privilege of heading over to Yippee! Entertainment as part of a Train2Game scheme to connect students with established games makers.

Yippee! Entertainment are the creators of Chimpact, the monkey-swinging title which hit number one on the Windows Store. Veterans of the UK’s gaming industry, members of the Yippee! team have worked on games such as: FIFA, Mario Artist Paint Studio, The Simpsons and The Rugrats.

The Train2Game student studio, made up of Lee Sainsbury, Nick Walker and John Esslemont, were taken on the visit to get an insight into the Yippee! team’s experiences as a start-up studio, take a look behind the scenes at Chimpact, see the team’s latest project in development and be given advice on video game design and development.

The visit

Icey Monty sat down with Steve Ruddy, Technical Director at Yippee! Entertainment, to discuss the tech they use for their titles. The Icey Monty boys were blown away by some of the things they were shown, and it really gave them an insight into how professional studios develop tech to manage time scales and repetitive tasks, and how to use tech to really polish a game.

They then met with Kevin Green, Lead Artist at Yippee! Entertainment. Icey Monty then discussed the importance of documentation, how to decide on the best design to proceed with and how to go about creating an interesting and innovative GUI. They learnt a lot about how to make the correct design decisions and talked about making an overall enjoyable title.

Icey Monty, were asked to show a short demonstration of Tamarex, their first title for mobile which is yet to be released. It was well received by the Yippee! Team and they got some great feedback on how to improve the game.

It was a pleasure for Icey Monty to meet the Yippee! team and get to see how a professional studio operates, to see what top mobile developers are currently working on. The students are incredibly grateful and wanted to thank Yippee! for giving up their time.

Special thanks to Lorraine Starr, Commercial Director at Yippee! Entertainment, for additionally giving the team a tour of media city and making sure they were well looked after.

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Lee Sainsbury

Lee SainsburyEarlier this week I got the pleasure of talking to Lee Sainsbury, Game Designer of Icey Monty who are hoping to release there first title, Tamarex, this Sunday, Lee talks about how Train2Game has helped him and how the idea behind Tamarex was formed.

You can listen to the interview, here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1215262-train2game-student-lee-sainsbury-speak-to-mark-on-t2g-radio

Or read the transcript below:

Hi I’m Lee Sainsbury, I am 24 from Manchester and I am studying the Game Design course.

Hi Lee, how you doing?
I’m not to bad Mark, how are you?

I’m very well ta buddy! So tell me a bit about yourself, how did you get to where you are now?
Well I started the Train2Game Course in 2009, I really wanted to study Game Design all my life. I’ve always been a gamer and Train2Game just popped up and it was a perfect opportunity to study in my own time and yeah really give me the opportunity to grow.

What sort of things are you doing with it now?
Well since I’ve been on the Train2Game course for so long, I’ve made a lot of contacts, worked on a few personal projects and recently I’ve just joined Icey Monty, where we developed Tamarex.

How did the idea for Tamarex come about?
Well, before we worked on a project that ran into some circumstances and we had to stop. So really we wanted to come up with a really easy fun idea that we could just sit down and work on. The idea for a Tamagotchi game came around and of course, my generation, everyone had a Tamagotchi! I thought it would be fun to make a fresh take on the Tamagotchi genre. That’s where the idea for Tamarex came around.

So what’s the idea behind Tamarex?
Ah, the idea behind Tamarex. OK well, the idea behind Tamarex is that you take care of a pet Dinosaur. We didn’t really want to go for the usual Cats and Dogs. We found that the Dinosaur was a bit funny, a bit quirky. So yeah you have to take care of a pet Dinosaur, you can feed it, you have to wash it, you have to clean up after it, you can play with and yeah that’s it.

Were you a big fan of the Tamagotchi when you were younger then?
Oh definitely! I think every kid my age, at the time, had a Tamagotchi and we all used to palm it off on our parents when we went to school.

Yeah I remember doing the same thing! So how’s the course helping you get to making the game?
Well there’s no bounds, it’s helped me massively! Just understanding game design and game development was a help too. I think that if I hadn’t done the course, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It’s just helped me so much, it’s unbelievable!

Is that where you met the other members of Icey Monty?
Yes! John and Nick, both Train2Game students and they’re both programmers. We met through the forums, we did a couple of projects together and then decided we would go for a commercial release eventually, which was Tamarex!

Where can people find out more about the studio?
We’ve got a website which is www.iceymonty.com we also have a Facebook page at IceyMonty. Or you can come and chat to us on the forums at http://www.forum.train2game.com we are all on there.

Excellent, so it’s all going pretty well then?
Yeah, it’s going fabulous actually!

When is the game going to be out?
We have scheduled the release for this Sunday! If everything goes well with Apple, and they decide the game’s going to be released then it should be this Sunday, hopefully, fingers crossed! It will be on the Android store as well.

Excellent, brilliant news! Thank you very much Lee
Thank you very much Mark

And good luck with everything
Cheers

Train2Game students invited to take part in Tamarex Beta

TamarexStudents studying with Train2Game are invited to troubleshoot title created by student studio Icey Monty.

Remember the Tamagotchi? Well Train2Game student studio Icey Monty are inviting you to try there take on the classic virtual pet, only this time the pet isn’t so cute and cuddly. On this title which is soon to be available on iOS, you take care of a hungry T-Rex; feeding, playing and also cleaning up after it, as it grows! Train2Game students will be the first to play the game in an online version which will be available to all students who register an interest and are kind enough to give the team feedback on what they think.

The Beta

The Beta testing stage will be the final step towards releasing the game on to iOS and will be open to students for around two weeks. Those who sign up for the Beta will be asked to create their own pet dinosaur and reply to the Icey Monty team with their feedback over the period.

This is a great chance to see what students on the course are producing and also to take part in a closed preview where you can contribute to a game soon to hit the market.

To sign up to the Beta, contact: beta@iceymonty.com

Tamarex

  • Tamarex is a fresh new take on the Tamagotchi games, combining enticing 3D environments with an engaging and unique pet dinosaur.
  • Bring your Tamarex to life through feeding, various forms of play, and even cleaning up after it!
  • Customisation options! Choose the name, and unique colour of your Tamarex.
  • Your Tamarex lives persistently, even while you are offline.

Icey Monty

The team is made up of three Train2Game students: Lee Sainsbury, Nick Walker and John Esslemont.

To find out more about Tamarex go to:

Website: www.iceymonty.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/iceymonty

Tamarex will be released for iOS early in 2013