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Interview with Aidan Bates from Indie Development House Ascended Studios

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1) I don’t suppose I have to welcome you to Invision since you’re a seasoned review artist with us, but for those newer readers who may not have come across your reviews before why don’t you give us a little bio on yourself?

My name is Aidan Bates, I have worked as a Video Game Journalist for over a year now and am currently studying Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University. My main skill is animation and is the field of work I hope to get into when I go into the industry.

2) I’ve heard on the grapevine that someone (YOU) is currently working on a new game as part of one of their modules at University. Why don’t you start off telling us a little more about the course that you’re actually doing?

The course I am on is called Computer Games Design and it is suited to teach someone how to make games from story boards, engine work, coding, modelling 3D assets, animating them and putting them all together like a real studio would.

3) And in regards to the game that you are working on which I believe is called “Final Push”, what can you tell us about it?

Final Push is a PvP Arena Based game with 2-4 players, you must kill or disable the other players to win. Currently we have a few of the mechanics and power ups working, included in them is enlarging your character and doing a radial push attack.

4) So how will “Final Push” differ from other PvP arena based games that are available, and why should people play your game instead of someone else’s?

The difference with Final Push is the interactivity with the levels and the details we put into each aspect. One wrong step and you can get pushed into a vat of acid, walk under a falling box or you can jump into a tube to get a power-up only to be trapped in there and sent off to a new country.

5) Now you aren’t alone in this endeavour; there are a team of you and your fellow students working on the “Final Push” project. We already know about yourself so why don’t you tell us a little more about the rest of the team?

The team is comprised of the normal positions you’d find in the industry from both 2nd and 3rd year. Modellers are working on building the world and the objects inside of it. Concept artists are bringing our visions to paper and detailing the world.Animators are moving the environment and giving the characters lifelike motion.Designers are working out gruelling and innovative levels to play in.Audio is being worked on to produce both immersive tracks and sounds.Coders are pulling it all together and making sure the world works and plays just how we picture it in our minds.

6) Your specific role/title in the team of students developing “Final Push” is Producer. What does this actually involve you doing in the game development process?

I manage the project, talking to each individual to make sure they know what they are doing whilst checking their work to make sure it is fitting to the game. Besides making sure the game is epic I also work on marketing for the game as well as bug testing nearer the end of the development process.

7) As a group of students who are creating a game, you obviously don’t have all the same resources as AAA developers, especially not money wise. So how does this affect the development process of your game? For example, do you have to spend more time on certain areas of development due to not being able to outsource certain jobs and how do you plan on marketing your game (beside this interview)?

We may not have the same equipment AAA studios do, but the Epic Games Centre houses on par facilities to most Independent studios. Since we are constrained by the University year, 24 weeks, we have less time to spend on Concept as well as the rest of the iterative pipeline. Talk about the process as a whole, talk from the floor perspective
To further market the game I am integrating as much as I can with the industry to spread the word, posting updates on the games page as well as the University doing their own advertisements and Highlights of the game.

8) For those people who are already following Final Push’s Facebook page they can see that recently members of your team have drafted up a couple of designs for one of the games characters and the 1st level. When can we expect to see more characters and levels being revealed?

The 2nd level of the game will be unveiled sometime after 13th November. More character designs and skins will be shown off shortly as well so that people can realise the potential in customising their avatar in the game.

9) Now having spoken to you recently you said that “Final Push” may have a chance at going to the TIGA Awards. How much of an achievement would it be if you got there and picked something up?

Having a finished game is in itself a great addition to a portfolio, getting nominated for the TIGA awards would be even better, allowing their skills and portfolio pieces to be shown to the world in a big way. Staffordshire University is involved with the industry and reaching the TIGA awards will be a big boost for when people need to go on placements or go on to get jobs.

10) And finally as a student looking to make his way in the gaming industry, what advice would you offer to aspiring young boys and girls who want to follow a similar path?

The one most important thing to do if you want to get into the industry is to show off your work as much as you can, either through an online portfolio or forums. There are so many people in the industry who look over the internet for potential employees, a job can be only one email away.

Checkout more about there upcoming game here

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