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!

Train2Game news: UK Charts – Forza 4 powers past FIFA 12 for pole position

After a record breaking debut week, as reported by the Train2Game blog, and a very successful second week on sale, FIFA 12 has narrowly lost its place at the top of the table and slips to No.2

It’s replaced by brand new racer Forza Motorsport 4, with the Xbox 360 exclusive pipping FIFA 12 to No.1 by just 700 sales. Forza claims the title of biggest launch week ever for an Xbox 360 racing game, and is one of seven new entries in this week’s top 20.

Just Dance 3 is the second highest new entry, with the Nintendo Wii version of the latest in the popular dance series making up over 90% of sales. Id Software’s Rage drops two places to No.4, with FIFA’s main rival PES 2012 reaching no.5 in its first week.

Former No.1 Gears of War 3 drops to No.6, while Namco Bandai’s Dark Souls slips from No.3 to No.7 in its second week on sale. Long time chart topper Zumba Fitness continues to feature in the top ten, despite slipping to No.8

F1 2011 drops four places to No.9, while new entry Jonah Lomu Challenge from Alternative Software completes the top ten in its debut week.

New entries outside the top ten are Ace Combat : Assault Horizon from Namco Bandai at No.12, Dead Rising 2: Off The Record from Capcom at No.14, and Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure published by Activision at No.16.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 15th October 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
2. FIFA 12 (EA)
3. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
4. Rage (Bethesda)
5. PES 2012 (Konami)
6. Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
7. Dark Souls (Namco Bandai)
8. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
9. F1 2011 (Codemasters)
10. Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge (Alternative Software)

The upcoming week is a big one for new releases, with Batman: Arkham City and Football Manager 2012 both hitting the shelves.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the new look top ten? Is it a well deserved No.1 and No.3 for Forza Motorsport 4 and Just Dance 3? And is it inevitable that Batman: Arkham City will soar to the top next week?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Train2Game students can go to BAFTA’s Game Writers Panel for free

Train2Game blog readers may have seen a post earlier this week about a special BAFTA game writers panel at the end of this month.

The event is £5 for members of the public, but Train2Game students can book their place on 26th October FOR FREE here.

The BAFTA event is free to attend for anyone studying or working in games and could provide Train2Game students with a great chance to meet people in the industry or at least hear their thoughts on game design during the Q&A.

The game writers panel will feature game designers, Jim Swallow Ed Stern, and Rhianna Pratchett as they discuss whether  “Putting protagonists in the hands of a player kills traditional narrative concepts,” and much more.

For more information, see the original Train2Game blog post, or the official BAFTA website.

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

UK Charts: Three in a row for Zumba Fitness

 

Train2Game students may be getting fed up with hearing the same news again and again, but Zumba Fitness is top of the UK Charts for the third week in a row.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, the fitness title was No.1 last week, and a release of very few new releases sees it hold onto the position once again. That makes it a total of six weeks at No.1 for Zumba Fitness.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean moves up to No.2, equalling its highest ever position, former long time no.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – L.A. Noire  drops one place to No.3, pushing F.E.AR.3 down one spot to No.4.

Wimbledon fever plays a part in Virtua Tennis 4 jumping 15 places to No.5, while the release of the new film sees Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon move from No.17 up to No.6.  DIRT 3 moves down to No.7, while another Tennis game in the form of Top Spin 4 sits at No.8, up two places since last week.

Former No.1 Brink – as reported by the Train2Game blog – remains at No. 9, while FIFA 11 is No.10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Duke Nukem Forever both drop out of the top ten.

Capcom’s ‘Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D’ and THQ’s ‘UFC Personal Trainer’ are the only new entries this week, entering at No.2 1 and No.2 2 respectively.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 2nd July 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
2. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney Interactive Studios)
3. L.A. Noire (Rockstar Games)
4. FEAR 3 (Warner Bros)
5. Virtua Tennis 4 (Sega)
6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Activision)
7. Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
8. Top Spin 4 (2K Games)
9. Brink (Bethesda)
10. FIFA 11 (Electronic Arts)

It’s a quiet week for releases, with arguably no huge releases.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the continued dominance of Zumba Fitness? Will a slow week for releases see it achieve a 7th No.1? What releases are you looking forward to this summer?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Train2Game Game Design student Chris Robinson speaks about his work placement at DR Studios

Train2Game Game Design student Chris Robinson spent 8 weeks on a work placement at DR Studios. Before he left, Train2Game Radio caught up with him to find how he found the placement and whichs kills learned through Train2Game he’s used at DR Studios. The interview is available to listen to at www.audioboo.fm/train2game while the full transcript is below.

You can also find out a previous Train2Game placement student at DR Studios, Robin Channon, got on here on the Train2Game blog. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Charts: Zumba Fitness stays top

 

Last week, the Train2Game blog reported that Zumba Fitness had reclaimed No.1. So, in news that may not be so surprising to Train2Game students now, the multiplatform dance title is once again top of the UK Charts.

The fifth No.1 for Zumba Fitness comes following a 33% spike in sales for the week, the largest number of sales since release week in November.

Former No.1 L.A. Noire climbs two places to No.2, while F.E.A.R. 3 is this week’s highest new entry at No.3 DIRT 3 jumps to No.4, while LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean rises one place to No.5.

Outside of the top 5, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time3D drops from No.2 to No.6 on its second week on sale, while Duke Nukem Forever – No.1 two weeks ago as reported by the Train2Game blog – drops to No.7 in its third week.

FIFA 11 climbs two spots to No.8; former No.1 Brink falls to No.9, while Infamous 2 completes the top ten.

New entry Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon debuts at No.13 in its debut week, while Shadows of the Damned only manages No. 31 in its first week on sale.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 25th June 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
2. LA Noire (Rockstar)
3. FEAR 3 (Warner)
4. Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
5. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo)
7. FIFA 11 (EA)
8. Duke Nukem Forever (2K Games)
9. Brink (Bethesda)
10. Infamous 2 (Sony)

New releases this week that Train2Game students might be interested in include Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 and Air Conflicts – Secret Wars.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the continued success of Zumba Fitness? Will it once again take No.1 this week? And what does the low entry position of Shadows of the Damned say?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Former Rockstar Game Designer founds indie studio

In a move that’ll remind Train2Game students of the ever growing appeal of mobile games, a former Rockstar Game Designer has founded a new studio for producing them.

Anthony Gowland’s micro-studio Mainly About Games will concentrate on developing web an mobile games, with the first coming in the form of Tealy & Orangey, a web-based puzzle platformer

“With the varied distribution opportunities now available to developers, it felt like the perfect time to move away from AAA development,” explained Gowland”

And in similar comments made by games industry veteran Jon Hare during the Third Official Train2Game webinar in October last year, the former Rockstar Game Designer believes small teams can make very successful games.

“It’s totally viable for a small team, or even a single dedicated guy, to create and market a successful game independently. My passion is in creating small titles that have solid gameplay hooks and big budget polish.”

And in news that could theoretically benefit Train2Game student run game development teams, Mainly About Games will also offer consultation services.

“Each year there are a lot of games that are very good, when they could have been great. Playing through them you often get the impression that it’s the little details that are missing or have been overlooked.” said Gowland.

“I think there’s a real benefit to having an outsider with a proven track record play through your game with a fresh pair of eyes.”

Anthony Gowland previously worked as a Game Designer on titles including Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Red Dead Redemption. For an interesting look behind the scenes of Red Dead Redemption, see the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the move? What does a Game Designer with Triple A experience moving into mobile say about the industry right now?

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

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

UK Charts: L.A. Noire stays top

Last week, the Train2Game blog reported that L.A. Noire became the fastest selling new IP, taking top spot in the UK Charts. The Train2Game blog can confirm that the impressively animated title remains at No.1 for the second week in a row.

And as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Team Bondi believe their impressive Art & Animation tech not only can complete with film, but also has uses outside the game industry.

Dirt 3 takes No. 2 in its debut week, with almost two thirds of sales on the Xbox 360. The remainder of the top 5 is filled with familiar names, with LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean dropping one spot to No.3, while three time No.1 Zumba Fitness holds onto No.4.

Another former No.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – in the form of Brink is No.5 after falling two places.

Wii Sports Result re-enters the top ten at No.6 thanks to price promotions on the Nintendo Wii bundle hardware, while FIFA 11 moves up one to No.7 in its 35th week in the charts.

Call of Duty: Black Ops rises two to No.8 in the week the Train2Game blog revealed that Modern Warfare 3 was officially revealed by Activision.  Crysis 2 drops three places to no.9 while the top ten is completed by Mario Kart Wii thanks to the new Wii Bundle that included the game.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 28th May 2011 is therefore as follows:

1.    L.A. Noire (Rockstar)
2.    Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
3.    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
4.    Zumba Fitness (505 Games
5.    Brink (Bethesda)
6.    Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)
7.    FIFA 11 (EA)
8.    Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
9.    Crysis 2 (EA)
10.    Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo)

The coming week looks slow for releases, with Hunted: The Demon’s Forge arguably the only big title to hit the shelves.

So Train2Game, is it a well deserved second No.1 for L.A. Noire? Will it hold onto the title for a third week? Or could Dirt 3 pip it to the post? Or will something else take top spot?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]