Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Dan Rutter

Dan and Vicki RutterTrain2Game radio got the pleasure of speaking to Dan Rutter about his new studio him and his wife have started, Turret Studios. They have a great game idea and a lot of ambition to get it done.

You can listen to part one of the radio interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1181723-train2game-student-dan-rutter-talks-to-mark1

and part two here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1181705-train2game-student-dan-rutter-talks-to-mark2

Or read the transcript below:

Hello my name is Dan, I am on the Art and Animation course and I live in Teddington.

Hi Dan, how you doing?
I’m fine Mark, how are you?

I’m great thank you buddy! So, tell me a bit about yourself. What’s your story and the past experiences that have shaped your life?
OK, I went to university studying Model Making for TV and Film. I came out of that with a degree, I’ve ended up working in the model making field, I’ve done some stuff for film and TV. I then moved in to Architecture but through all of that games have been a massive passion of mine and my wife. So I looked at the Train2Game course, applied in May 2 years ago now I think it was. Entered the Game Jam competition in November where we came in the top three, ended up going to the Gadget Show Live in April where we had some pretty good success. I mean, we didn’t win but it was a fantastic experience and I met loads of great people! I’ve been plodding on with the course since then and new year, new resolutions and new goals, decided to branch out and do something different this year.

Yeah and what was that?
My Wife and I have started our own company, Turret Studios, aiming to make apps for iOS and Android platforms using the Unity 4 engine.

Is it just Unity that you’re going to be using?
At the moment yes as it is the only engine we can find that enables you to make apps for iOS and Android, giving us as large a spread of the market as possible. We obviously loved using the Unreal Engine during the Game Jam but at the moment it only supports iOS. Whether the Unreal 4 engine will be any different, and I really hope it is because I do really enjoy using that.

Yeah, so what are you working on at the minute? If you can say
Yeah, we can. Our first game is called Digital Dojo and it’s kind of cross between Pokémon and Top Trumps. It’s a collectible type of game, the idea is you go around and scan the bar-code of an object and those numbers, from a pool of robot pieces, will generate a robot which you can level up and customize and then you can challenge your friends through Facebook and if you win you get points so you can upgrade your robot further.

That sounds quite fun!
Good!

I would be interested in that one. So is it just you and your wife working on it or have you got other people as well?
At the moment it’s just myself and my wife. I have a coder friend who goes by the name of Wurley who is giving some of his spare time to help work it out which is good, but we will be looking at trying to get some other students involved if possible. We actually have two competitions that we are going to launch, one is to design a robot character for the game and the other is to design an environment for them to fight in. All the details will be up on our website and you can download templates to sketch over the top of or Photoshop files with layers if you want to work digitally and then we will put them up on our website and let people do a poll so they vote for their favourites and hopefully those designs will end up in the game.

Very nice and what’s the website?
It’s http://www.turret-studios.com

Are you a registered company yet or are you still looking in to that?
Nope, we are a registered company. That paper work has been done.

You are?
Yup, so what I have recently done now is I have switched from full time work and have gone back to Free lancing as a Model Maker. So at the minute I am doing a lot of work for other companies just doing some technical drawings and laser cutting drawings just to bring in some cash that way, which enables us in to putting as much time as possible in to this to get it up and running.

Very nice and have you seen the new forum section that has gone up as well?
I had a browse around last night, I haven’t had a good rummage but I have noticed there have been a few changes.

Yeah like there is a new student studio section that you can apply for it and its only student studios that can post on that to get advice and get people talking, so that’s where you can put things like your competition.
That sounds fantastic! I’ll be doing that straight after this.

Excellent! So did you and your wife meet through gaming or was that something before?
My wife and I met at University. I was doing Model Making and she was doing Furniture and Applied Products but we soon found we were sat in front of the Playstation 2 back then playing SSX and all kinds of games which was quite good fun. We even had Little Big Planet wedding toppers at our wedding and our wedding cupcakes had Marshmallow space invaders on the top, so that’s how heavy in to games we are.

That sounds beautiful! That sounds like the kind of wedding I would like.
It was pretty awesome. Our favour boxes had Marvel Superhero candy sticks and penny sweets in.

So is your wife more the arts type like you or does she do other things as well?
She is very good with her Admin and things. She works in a job where she isn’t doing what she wants to do but it brings in money. In terms of the company and how she fits in to things, at the moment she is looking at learning coding, so she’s got some books and signed up to some courses as a long term goal and in the short term she is running all of our social media, the website and keeping the books, making sure things balance.

Very nice, is she going to get in to Train2Game as well do you think?
It’s definitely an option. It’s just trying to get some things set up and sorted and then try and find time for her to do that. She works quite long hours and works every other Saturday and things like that. So we will be looking in to that

So finally, what is your greatest ambition?
At the moment my greatest ambition is just to get that first app out there, hopefully succesful and what I would really love is to be stood on the train, look over some ones shoulder and see them playing our game. I think that would be fantastic!

That’s a beautiful idea
It’s a great idea, it’s kind of the app equivalent of walking in to a shop and seeing it on a shelf.

Excellent. Well I wish you all the luck with everything Dan
Thank you very much

My pleasure and thank you very much for talking to us today!
No trouble at all, cheers!