Train2Game & Epic Game Jam student interview: Andrew Small

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game student Andrew Small was one of those Train2Game students taking part. We had a quick chat with him during the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam to see how he was finding it.

Read it here, on Scribd,  or listen via Train2Game radio

Find out more the about Train2Game & Epic Game Jam over at Unreal Insider.

We’re here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam on the final day, in the final stretch now, hows it all been going for you?

Yeah, pretty good. It’s been a bit of an up and down ride, we’ve hit so many walls and broke our way through, but we’ve not lost the original concept that we’ve got, and it’s great that we’re slowly getting there together and it’s the first time we’ve got to deal with something like this.

The theme of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam is Guy Fawkes, what were your thoughts on that when it was announced? And how did you deal with coming up with the game?

Everyone just went silent. We thought ‘What do we do?’ It does give you a lot of creativity, but you’ve just got to think outside box and I think that was the hardest thing, getting past the explosives and getting something innovative out of there.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far? Has it been the lack of sleep or something else?

Oh it’s definitely not the lack of sleep! The biggest challenge is making sure everything stays on track, because you’ve got so many components, everything is working on something different, everybody keeps going and it’s all got to come together at the end. One little problem stops the whole process so it’s just being organised I think.

The winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam get to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show next year, if you won that, what would that mean to you.

It’d just be incredible. In this industry just getting yourself out there and noticed is the biggest bonus you can get, so that would be the dream come true.

Do you think being at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam has helped you improved your chances of getting into the industry anyway?

Yeah, definitely. For most of us working from home, this is the first chance we’ve got to have a real test of our skills. Getting into that sort of environment, none of us have got any experience of it, so it’s been an amazing thing. You just get the hang of everything, you get used to the flow and you kind of get used to it is just a massive learning curve.

How positive has it been to be part of a team with other Train2Game students?

It’s been the best. We might have been lucky, we’ve got an amazing team, no one is negative about constructive criticism. It’s the biggest bonus, having your own idea and running with it, but you’ve got so many people with ideas, you’ve got to compromise, it brings the whole experience together.

So you’d recommend taking part in a Train2Game game jam to anyone?

Definitely. It was something that I wanted to do but wasn’t sure whether it would be right more me…but yeah, definitely. It’s a perfect example of the stuff you can do. You learn your character flaws, your weaknesses, your strengths, it’s such a development process, it’s brilliant.  

Thanks for your time.

For more information, go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: Train2Game Game Developer James Valaitis

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Game Development student James Valaitis (Jams JV on the Train2Game forum)was one of those Train2Game students taking part. We had a quick chat with him during the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam to see what they thought about the event.

Read it here on the Train2Game blog, on the Train2Game Scribd site, or listen via Train2Game radio.

We’re about midway through the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how are you finding it?

Well I’m actually really happy, you’ve caught me at my happiest because I’ve just finished the level I was working on, I’ve now scripted the whole level. We’ve basically broken our whole team up into three micro-teams, and ours has now finished our level and we’re polishing it up now. So I’m really happy with it all.

Are things going well for the team then? Has it all ran smoothly so far?

Yeah, the team is actually brilliant this time. This idea to split us up and group us up according to skill level and where we are with the course has worked really well and I’m really happy with my team.

Of course the prize at the end for the teams that win the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam is the chance to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show. If you got to that stage what would to mean to you?  

I’ve always wanted to develop a game and be known as a really good games programmer. All I want to do is be one of the best and to then have a chance to show I am better than someone else, it’d make me feel amazing, it really would. I’d love it.

So have you been using the skills you already know from the Train2Game course, and have you learned anything new during the Game Jam?

UDK is fairly different to the C++ that I’m learning, but the course has actually helped me to learn the fundamentals of almost all programming languages, because now whenever I see a programming language, I’m thinking “Well, this is how this would work in C++” and I can always just relate it to something I do know, and it just gives me that fundamental knowledge that I can probably do it.

When the theme of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam was announced, the theme is Guy Fawkes, what did you think about that and how did you go about coming up with an idea for a game?

Well it always seems to be the most random of things, but I guess it wasn’t so random considering we’re around the time of 5th November. I tried more outside the box and like everyone I researched Guy Fawkes and reading about this anonymous man who sent a letter to Lord Monteagle, it really appealed to me so we should base around this anonymous guy. Maybe Guy Fawkes found out that he’d betrayed him and had locked him up in a room, that’s basically what our game is about, it’s about challenge rooms and trying to get out. Almost like Portal but medieval I suppose.

Would you recommend it to others to take part in a Train2Game Game Jam?

No doubt, definitely.

Great, thanks for your time.

Thank you very much.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: Train2Game Artist & Animator Amanda Blatch

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Art & Animation student Amanda Blatch (derelict-technica on the Train2Game forum) was one of those Train2Game students taking part. We had a quick chat with her during the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam to see how she was finding it.

Read it here, on the Train2Game Scribd, or listen via Train2Game radio

Find out more the about Train2Game & Epic Game Jam over at Unreal Insider.

We’re at about the half-way stage of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how is it going?

It’s going quite well except for a few system crashes, but we’ve luckily regularly been saving so we haven’t lost too much, so yes, it’s going quite well. We will hopefully get it done in time.

So you’ve learned the importance of constantly backing things up with the system crashes, and was there a bit of a panic when that happened for the first time?

No, because I was going around at the beginning always saying save this, save that and I was getting on everyone’s nerves! So now everyone does it so I don’t bother them anymore.

The big question is have you actually slept yet, and if not, how are you finding it?

I haven’t slept yet, how many hours are we into this actually? I’ve lost track of time.

There’s about 28 hours to go.

I’ve done 36 hours in the past, I reckon I can still keep going because I’ve still got caffeine in my system!

What did you think about the Guy Fawkes theme when it was announced here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

Should have seen it coming, really should have seen it coming. But luckily our team name fits the theme very well, which is Pryomation.

How did the first team meeting go after the theme was announced? What did you focus on, and was it a challenge to come up with something?

I think we’re all into similar sorts of games so it wasn’t much of an issue. We came up with a concept then about two hours in suddenly ideas changed, then we went back to our original concept seeing as how much we’d already developed it. We learned that keep to the idea we know best rather than doing something new and ruining everything.

There’s a big prize for the winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam as Mike Gamble announced in the opening ceremony, what would it mean to you if your team got to The Gadget Show Live next year?

A few people in my team weren’t aware of this prize and when they heard about it they were shocked for a long time afterwards, it drove them more into wanting to win this game jam. That’s why most of us have stayed up and haven’t slept yet and only two people crashed because they had to sleep.

How have you found the experience of game jamming, do you think it’s actually going to help you develop as an artist?

Yes it is. I’m learning quite a lot of new things from other people here because back at home you don’t have anyone else to talk to. Here you have help all the time and it’s really good and helpful.

It’s been a positive thing then, being able to meet up with 150 other Train2Game students?

I haven’t actually spoken to most of them yet because we’ve been so busy, only my team and a few others I knew from Eurogamer. I think we’re all set into winning this competition with such a huge prize that everyone wants their fame and fortune!

Judging by your experience so far, if you could do another Train2Game Game Jam in future, would you take the opportunity?

Hell yes! It’s really good fun.

Great, thanks for your time.

Thank you.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: Epic’s European Territory Manager Mike Gamble

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Epic’s European Territory Manager Mike Gamble was one of the game jam judges, and the Train2Game blog managed to grab him for a chat. In this extensive interview, Gamble talks about Epic’s involvement with the Train2Game Game Jam, UDK, the future of the industry and much more.

Read it here, on Train2Game’s Scribd site,  or listen to it via Train2Game Radio. (Part 1, Part 2)

You can also read Mike’s blog about the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam over at Unreal Insider. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

We’re here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, can you tell us a bit about Epics involvement with the event?

We’ve been talking with Train2Game about using UDK in their curriculum, as a quite separate item talking about a game jam at The Gadget Show Live and so a natural point of choosing the teams was to be involved in the game jam here.

Tell us about the prize that’s up for grabs at Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show.

There’s a commercial Unreal iOS license up for grabs for the winning team, which essentially means it’s a source code license rather than binary which will allow the winning team to create a game for commercial distribution.

So why do Epic want to get involved with Train2Game and get UDK in the course?

In a purely non philanthropic manner, the more people that use UDK, the more people who are familiar with our tools, the better they are to go into the industry where our engine is pretty ubiquitous.

Can you tell us a bit about the UDK engine which is available for free to anyone to use?

You can download it from www.UDK.com. It’s completely free, you only have to pay anything when you actually commercialise your output, at which point you’d pay us $99 and then a 25% royalty after you’ve collected $50,000. So basically, if you’ve built yourself a little app, a little game, or whatever really using the technology, on PC, or iOS or Mac, you can put it out there on Steam or the iTunes App Store and make a little bit of cash off it.

So it’s been quite successful for teams doing that then?

Yeah, it’s been very successful, we’ve had some cracking titles, quite surprisingly professional let’s say, and there’s some decent money to be made. But often what we find is a development team will start using UDK, and then by the time they’ve finished the project, they decide to swap over to a commercial UE3 license and we have a path for them to do that and some of them have been incredibly successful.

UDK Train2Game blog image

So what are the benefits for Train2Game students of taking parts in events like this, the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

Well I think it gives them a real crash course in UDK, it gives them a crash course in games development, it also gives them a crash course in teamwork among people they don’t know in teams selected for them, which was definitely useful for preparing them for going into the jobs market.  And ultimately the benefit for the winners is they go onto The Gadget Show Live and I think everyone who competes there, whether they win or not, stands a very good chance of getting into the industry in a professional manner.

At the time of recording we’re pre-judging, what will you be looking for in the winning games?

Obviously we’re not looking for finished, polished, Triple A sellable games, that would be ridiculous. We’re really looking at a number of criteria: adherence to the theme we’ve set, completeness of the game insofar as the limits to what they can do in this time. But something that’s small and polished and works is preferable to something that’s huge rambling and buggy. We’re looking for the professionalism of the teams, we’re looking for the quality of the games. There are about 6 or 7 parameters we’re scoring out of a hundred in total.

And for everyone involved it’s good that they have a finished product they can show potential employers?

Exactly! Perhaps the most important thing any student can do for themselves is build a portfolio of work. It’s all very well being qualified, but at the end of the day you have to differentiate yourself from every other qualified person, and if you’ve got a kick arse portfolio that’s really going to help.

A little bit about you now, tell us about your role at Epic.

I manage Europe, for Epic, on the technology and licensing front. That means I promote and sell Unreal Engine 3 licenses to developers big and small.

Earlier this year we saw Unreal’s ‘Samaritan’ tech demo, what was the thinking behind producing that? Does it show the future of the industry?

It shows a future. For us it was…well, we’ve called it our love letter to the hardware manufacturers. It shows what can be done with a level of hardware. It was built using PC Direct X 11 hardware that’s available off the shelf today, and it was us saying ‘Look, if you built this into the next generation of consoles, this is what we could do. Obviously we can’t say ‘You must do this,’, and the hardware manufacturers haven’t hold us what they’re doing, but it was for us to stimulate some thinking about what might be possible.

The Samaritan Train2Game blog image

And it goes against those that keep claiming that ‘PC gaming is dead’ when that tech is available on PC?

Yeah totally, PC gaming is not dead by an incredibly long chalk. You only have to look at the popularity of Steam, it’s different now, it isn’t not boxed products, but there’s a PC game for every single person, in a sense it’s  gone niche. You can get a PC game for a hardcore train guy, you can get a PC game for a hardcore RTS guy, there’s everything there, it’s just not available off the shelf, it’s available digitally.

So the PC is a good avenue for people, Train2Game students for example, to get a game out there.

Yes. On PC, Steam is a fantastic way of getting games out into the market and testing the waters. The iTunes App store is also fantastic. Anywhere where you don’t have to have a license from the hardware manufacturer and there’s a market base built is a great way to get your product out.

And how has iOS changed the industry in the last few years?

I think it has made everybody think twice about what a game is. From a development point of view, it’s meant that again there’s the opportunity for small developers to create some very interesting content and make some good money outside of the traditional publisher model, which is incredibly important for nurturing the growth of the industry.

How do you see that developing?

Tricky one that. You could argue there’s been a gold rush and now it’s very difficult to set yourself apart.  I think these things will evolve, they’re(smartphones and tablet computers) going to get more and more powerful and there will be a point where it’s possible for you to essentially have, for all sense and purposes, have the power of a console on your tablet, plug that into your TV, play it with a remote. It kind of changes what a gaming device is and I think that’ll only continue to accelerate.

How did you get started in the games industry?

Well, in real life I’m a mechanical and production engineer, I worked in the Ministry of Defence for ten years and then I worked in the toy industry. Then in the mid 90s I decided to swap over to the video games industry which was at that point becoming slightly professional, and so I joined as a Producer, basically.

And what advice would you give to those looking to get into the industry?

You have to get qualified. I think the days of being able to wing it are gone. But like I said before, portfolio: it doesn’t matter if you’re a designer, programmer, musician, whatever it is you want to do in games, you need to build a portfolio of the stuff you have done yourself.

And UDK can help that with modding?

Totally, yes! Creating mods is a really, really great way of getting a great portfolio. It’s really hard to build a product from the ground up, but as an individual you can mod, and that’s a really good way of doing it.

Great, thanks for your time. 

Thank you.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: Train2Game Course Director Tony Bickley

 Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game course leader Tony Bickley organised the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, and we spoke to him just after the event closed. He tells us how he feels it all went, the meaning of the prize for Train2Game students, and what it meant to have Epic on board.

Read the interview here, on the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site.

We’re here at the end of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how has it all gone?

Fantastic, a little tiring, but absolutely fantastic. We’ have about 160 people turn up for the Game Jam, the team sizes were 10 teams of 10 and it’s been a pretty good event, I’m very proud of what the students have managed to achieve and even more proud of their dedication and passion driving through.

Tell us what the winners here have won in going onto The Gadget Show Live

We’re putting forward four teams of finalists moving through to The Gadget Show Live. The final prize at The Gadget Show Live is going to be the iOS version of Unreal Engine, as well as personal development plans and tutoring going forward. We believe this’ll put them in very good stead to increase their employability, as well as setting them off to producing their own titles in future.

So it’s a massive opportunity for these Train2Game students?

Absolutely. The most important thing for people trying to get into the industry at the moment is not just proof of understanding but rather proof of ability. With this level of support they’ll be able to work as a solid team on a product, working on one of the best engines in the world. With the tutoring as they go forward, this will really, really enhance their skillsets.

As you say, UDK is one of the best engines in the world, what does it mean for Train2Game to have Epic on board with this?

Fantastic. With the support that Epic have given us in terms of tutorage and support staff, as well as co-sponsoring The Gadget Show with us, it’s absolutely brilliant and has been really, really, appreciated by the students.

How difficult was it to pick out winners from the fantastic games on offer by Train2Game students?

Very tough actually, very, very tough. I’ve been very proud of the students as they’ve come into this, we’re only just moving into using UDK within the teaching materials of Train2Game, so the students, up until a couple of months ago, were not very experienced on it. They’ve had to bring their skill sets up very, very quickly and then on Friday night we assigned the teams for them so there weren’t even pre-formed teams, they’ve had to understand the team dynamics and then work with the UDK engine and they’ve created some fantastic products. The standards were very, very high, we looked for creative input, we looked for graphics, we looked for variations, we looked for innovation, creativity, and it was of a very high standard. 48 hours is not a lot of time and it’s even less time if you want to try and work with an engine of that magnitude. The work that they produced was great.

What next now for the winning teams with the four different genres of games they have to produce?

Apart from going home and sleeping, I will be contacting them with the start of a six month productivity plan for them where they can be milestoned with what they should be looking to learn, and improved the skillsets that they’ve learned here [At the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam] in the last 48 hours, and then starting to prepare them for what they’ll need to do at The Gadget Show Live. It’s going to be 4 days of live development at The Gadget Show, where they finalise a new product using the UDK engine and help present that to the world.

Anything else you’d like to add about this Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

It’s been a fantastic experience, it’s been very tiring, we’ve all made new friends here, certainly learned a lot and it actually makes me very proud to help train the next generation of computer game developers.

And has it been so successful there will be more Train2Game Game Jams in future?

Absolutely! One of the things one of the students asked me on the way out, even though his eyes were closing, was ‘When is the next game jam?’ Well, give me week to sleep and recover and then we’ll start planning it. We certainly intend to do another one, we certainly intend to make it bigger and better than this one.

Great, thanks for your time

Thanks very much.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam Interview: Craig Moore, leader of winning team ‘Team Gandalf’’

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Game Designer Craig Moore was part of ‘Team Gandalf’ one of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam teams that’ll be heading to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show. Train2Game caught up with him right after the winners were revealed to find out how it felt to win, how the game jam went, and if he’d recommend taking part in one.

Read the interview here,on the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site. Leave your comments here on the blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Congratulations Craig, Team Gandalf are one of the winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, as team leader, how do you feel?

A bit dumbstruck but absolutely over the moon! We had such a fantastic team, they did such an amazing job. It almost felt as if it was going too well, we’ve had a brilliant weekend, just brilliant.

And what does it mean to you to be one of the four teams going to The Gadget Show Live to Make Something Unreal Live next year?

It’s a fantastic opportunity, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s such a hard thing to get into, but this should really help us get into careers and with everything really.

Tell us a bit about your Guy Fawkes themed game

What we were aiming for was almost a Medieval Portal style game and we had a fantasy theme with puzzle rooms. Basically, you’re the guy who dobbed in the whole Gunpowder plot scheme and you’re being chased by the ghost of Guy Fawkes and it’s very psychological, we went for dark rooms and an almost horror like game.

So how did your team find the whole Train2Game & Epic Game Jam experience?

A lot of learning went on, we had such a range of skills in our team. You could tell as we were getting towards the end of the jam the levels were getting better, our knowledge was getting much, much better and it was just flowing really well and we felt like such a good team together.

And how did you deal with the tiredness that took place during the game jam, because 48 hours is obviously a long time to work. It was an experience, right?

Oh, complete experience! Thankfully because it was going so well people were just planning out their time and jobs we had between us and just sleeping when they needed to. It just went really, really well.

And how are you looking forward to making a game over the coming months for The Gadget Show Live?

This is the dream for all of us, it’s working towards the main goal, the main prize, that’s going to be the driving force for everyone. It’s going to be a hard six months but should be a fantastic time as well.

And what would it mean to you if you won the big prize, the fully licensed UDK iOS development kit.

I couldn’t even explain what that’d mean to me, it’d just be incredible. It’s obviously the dream and it’s because of Train2Game that we’ve managed to get there. We’re going to go for it and it should be a really good fight.

Overall then, would you recommend taking part in a Game Jam to anyone else?

Without a doubt, if you’ve got the opportunity, go for it, go to a game jam. It’s an amazing chance not only to get a feel for making games, but also being in a team, working with people you don’t necessarily know, it’s a brilliant personality building opportunity as well.

Going into a game jam you’ve just got to keep a level head, try not to be too enthusiastic, within the engine you’re using, work out what you can and can’t do, work out with your team what their skills are and just plan.

Thanks for your time

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam Interview: Nick Stones, leader of winning team ‘Nova Eye’

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Game Designer Nick Stones was part of ‘Nova Eye’ one of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam teams that’ll be heading to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show. Train2Game caught up with him right after the winners were revealed to find out how it felt to win, how the game jam went, and if he’d recommend taking part in one.

Read the interview her, the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site.

 Nova Eye are one of four winning teams at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam with the opportunity to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show Live next year, what does that mean to you?

It’s such a fantastic opportunity and we’re definitely going to make every effort to make 100% of that. I’m over the moon at the moment. I came here, this is my first game jam, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s gone all in our favour. I was delivered a great team and I’ve been able to manage that very well and it’s shown and that’s it at the end of the day. I’m really excited to know that we’ve done our job and it’s gone well. I’m very anxious to know what we can do now for the future.

Was it difficult to contain your excitement when the winners were announced?

Since we’ve been doing this for 48 hours I was quite fine, but overall I was still shocked because I’d only just done my presentation to the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam judges. That was a gruelling experience in itself because I was quite nervous so it’s all still going through my head really.

How big an opportunity for you do you think it is for you to go to The Gadget Show Live and potentially walk away with a fully licensed UDK development kit?

We’ve been given this opportunity, we can put this on our CVs, this is a landmark for us. Everyone who has participated in the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, we can always say we have won a game jam and there’s nothing that can change that. Overall, it’s amazing and I’m really happy to know that this is possible.

 Tell us a bit about the game Nova Eye has produced here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, based on the theme of Guy Fawkes.

Our Guy Fawkes theme was quite wacky. We basically wanted to break the fourth wall. Our game was about Guy Fawkes and his production levels for Bonfire night. Fireworks weren’t selling, they were being outsold by Halloween and Christmas. So basically, Guy Fawkes is attempting to make sure that Christmas is knocked out of the sale so his markets would increase. What he ends up doing is going to the North Pole and using his custom rocket launcher that shoots fireworks to blow up anything that’s in Santa’s workshop.  That idea is completely crazy, I know that but it’s worked and I think it’s very refreshing.

How did you come up with that idea?

It was actually just a spur of the moment thing. We were talking about how Halloween and Bonfire night, and somebody just went ‘It’s crazy to see all this Christmas stuff before Halloween’ and it went from there. What if, thinking of it from a market side, Guy Fawkes is angry about that and he wants to change it. So there it was, it was a catalyst out of nothing really, just a spur of the moment thought that happened through socialising. So, don’t think you have to go out of the way to make these fantastic ideas, they can come from anything.

So you’d recommend taking part in a Train2Game Game Jam to others?

Yes, I would definitely recommend it. The experience that you get is unlike anything else. You get thrown in at the deep end but it’s not as bad as it sounds. You get to work with some fantastic people, don’t feel unconfident in your own skills, believe in yourself, make sure you’re happy with yourself to come down. Everyone didn’t know what they were doing so don’t worry about it, just come down and get in the moment really! That’s all I can say, get in the moment.

And the team will have to go through the process of designing a game with the genre you’ve picked out for The Gadget Show live. Tell us about the genre, and what your initial thoughts on it are.

We were given Action Adventure.  Our game that we won with was an Action Adventure so it’s something we can already work with depending on the construction of the brief. But since we’ve already done Action Adventure I feel that our confidence level is just that little bit higher than anyone elses’ because we’ve already got something that we’ve worked with already and have previous experience with. I’m over the moon with it. It’s got broad environments so I can work with it and I know my team will be able to do just as well.

 

For more information go to www.train2game.com

 

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: The A-Team’s Jonny Robinson on winning

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Game Designer Jonny Robinson is one of ‘The A-Team’ one of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam teams that’ll be heading to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show. Train2Game caught up with him to find out how it felt to win, how the game jam went, and if he’d recommend taking part in one.

Read the interview here, on the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site.

Congratulations Jonny, your team, the A-Team are one of the winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how does that make you feel?

I just love it when a plan comes together. [Laughs] As crazy as that seems I’m over the moon. I was saying to the team there’s a good chance we’re not going to win, but I said to every single one that we’re going to have as much fun as possible, we’re going to get along and we’re going to make friends. Don’t aim to win, aim to have as much fun as possible was my advice.

What does it mean to you to go onto The Gadget Show Live, to Make Something Unreal Live, and have the chance of walking away with a UDK development kit?

Nervous, maybe? I remember speaking to you earlier about this, saying I didn’t want to win because I was so petrified that there was a chance that I might win, there’s such pressure on you. Obviously as a team, the team felt the pressure in the 48 hours. But My God, you don’t realise that absolutely everyone who went to the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, the amount of pressure there was. Believe it or not our game actually broke an hour before it was going to be shown to the judges, and the team bundled together and managed to build it again which is amazing.

The pressure of going to The Gadget Show Live is amazing, it’s a real win and I’m glad not for me, but the team, they’ve really earned it. I’ve not really put any visual input into the actual UDK engine but more direction for them and they’ve gone with it and it’s worked so…win! And congratulations to The A-Team, not just me but everyone, they all deserved it.

Tell us a bit about your Guy Fawkes themed game

Believe it or not it took us 4 hours to decide on a theme for the game. The team wasn’t really getting along together because 10 people into one idea isn’t really a good idea in itself. The thing to be a good game designer is to take everybody’s opinion into account to make a game everybody wants to make and not just that one person. I’m not a power hungry person so I don’t really say ‘I want to make a game about me, or what I want’ I say ‘I want to make a game that’ll make you feel happy.’

This is a game we’ve all had input on and I said ‘We’ve got this vision, lets drive it’ And everybody’s been fantastic, the team are dead proud of themselves and I’m happy for them more than me if anything.

And they’ll need to go through the process of thinking of a game again with the genre you’ve picked for The Gadget Show Live. Tell us about the genre and your initial thoughts on it.

I kind of messed up the announcement at the presentation! I said ‘3 R D’ kind of announcing how tired I am. I meant 3rd person and I wish I’d cottoned on sooner! With 3rd Person Action I feel more confident a lot more than any of the others actually. I know FPS is the general given with the UDK engine. UDK I know, I’ve watched tonnes of tutorials. I want to give a shout out to two guys from 3D Buzz and The New Boston. These guys have really helped me, I spent hours learning their tutorials. I’ve learned the UDK engine within the space of 4 months. That’s a lot of hard work, I’ve been doing 3 hours of work a day to learn the engine, so yeah, it showed!

Despite your tiredness, you’ve enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to others?

Oh definitely. We got to this point where we had the pessimistic and the optimistic. I was kind of the optimistic, trying to push people forward. There were a few team members who were negative but that just balanced it out. All together we’ve made a great game development team. I’d recommend anybody going to a Game Jam, especially a Train2Game Game Jam.

Thanks for your time Jonny, and best of luck.

Thanks very much.

 

 

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners “Over the moon”

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners will wake up today in the knowledge that they’ve secured a place at ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show Live and have the opportunity to walk away with an UDK iOS development kit

The winning teams were announced after a panel of judges including Epic Games Mike Gamble, and industry veteran Jon Hare saw every game developed by Train2Game students in the 48 hour period.

“This is a landmark for us.” said Train2Game student Nick Stones, Team B team leader. “Everyone who has participated in the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, we can always say we have won a game jam and there’s nothing that can change that.”

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity and we’re definitely going to make every effort to make 100% of that. I’m over the moon at the moment. I came here, this is my first game jam, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s gone all in our favour.” he said immediately after winning the 48 hour event.

Train2Game student Craig Moore, team leader of team G also said that winning the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam and going onto The Gadget Show Live is a great reward for his team.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s such a hard thing to get into, but this should really help us get into careers” Moore added that he felt “A bit dumbstruck but absolutely over the moon!”

“Going to The Gadget Show Live is amazing, it’s a real win and I’m glad not for me, but the team, they’ve really earned it.” said Team A’s Jonny Robinson, after staying awake for almost the entire Train2Game & Epic Game Jam.

“I just love it when a plan comes together.” he added. “As crazy as that seems I’m over the moon”

“The Train2Game & Epic Game Jam has been fantastic, a little tiring, but fantastic.” said Train2Game course leader Tony Bickley.

“It’s been a very good event and I’m proud at what the Train2Game students have been able to achieve, and even more proud of their dedication and passion.”

The Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners will take part in ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ in the Birmingham NEC at The Gadget Show Live in April next year.

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners announced!

UDK Train2Game blog imageThe Train2Game & Epic Game Jam is over and the winning teams are:

  • Team A (The A-Team)
  • Team B (Nova Eye)
  • Team G (Team Gandalf)

A fourth team has also been made up from individual students picked from the remaining seven participating in the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam

Each of them produced a game based around the theme of Guy Fawkes using Epic’s Unreal Engine.

These Train2Game student teams will ‘Make something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show Live 2012. The development teams will benefit from a six-month incubation period in which a range of senior industry veterans will nurture projects by reviewing key milestones, providing guidance and shaping scope.

During this time, talent will prepare for the final showdown at the Gadget Show Live, where more than 100,000 attendees will watch them bring to life Unreal Engine 3-powered creations in real time.

The winner of that will see their game get a full release.

Well done to the winning Train2Game & Epic Game Jam teams, and good luck preparing for ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at the Gadget Show next year. Good luck!

And thank you to every one of the ten Train2Game student teams that took part. Stay tuned to the Train2Game blog for more reaction.