Category Archives: Features

TiX podcast special: State of the Industry 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the TiX Podcast, a special episode celebrating 2017.

Join Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrat as they discuss their highlights from the year in terms of games, explore the new hardware paradigm of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, gush over PSVR, and even take a quick stab at the loot box controversy. Welcome to State of the Industry 2017.

Podcast music by Bangmaid
Produced by James Gill
www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid

WIN: Star Trek Online Season 14 Starter Packs

The latest update for Star Trek Online Season 14 – Emergence is now live on Xbox One and PlayStation 4! To celebrate the launch of this new update, we’re teaming up with Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios to give out Star Trek Online Season 14 starter packs for each of the factions available in the game, including Federation, Romulan and Klingon.

To Win, all you need to do is follow TiX on Twitter and ask! We’ll DM you some codes over the next few days.

Each code we give you will unlock the following, instructions on how to redeem codes are below.

Federation Starter Pack Content:

  • Tier 1 Constitution Class Starship
  • 12 Inventory Slots
  • 12 Bank Slots
  • 1 Borg Bridge Officer
  • 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear
  • 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear
  • One Small XP Boost

Klingon Defence Force Starter Pack Content:

  • Tier 1 B’Rotlh Bird-of-Prey Starship
  • 12 Inventory Slots
  • 12 Bank Slots
  • 1 Borg Bridge Officer
  • 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear
  • 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear
  • One Small XP Boost

Romulan Legacy Starter Pack

  • Tier 1 T’Varo Light Warbird Starship
  • 12 Inventory Slots
  • 12 Bank Slots
  • 1 Borg Bridge Officer
  • 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear
  • 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear
  • One Small XP Boost

To Redeem Your Code on Xbox One:

  1. Install Star Trek Online from the Xbox One marketplace.
  2. Upon launching Star Trek Online, you’ll have the option to link your gamertag with an Arc account. This will open the Internet browser on your Xbox One and you can complete the account linking process there. If you skip it now, you’ll have another opportunity later.
  3. Once you’re in Star Trek Online, select the Arc option.
  4. Install Arc. (You can also search for Arc in the Xbox One Marketplace)
  5. Launch Arc and hit the X button.
  6. Enter your code in the field and select “Redeem.”
  7. Visit the C-Store in-game. Rewards can be found on the tab marked “Promotions.”

*These codes are only eligible for the Xbox One version of Star Trek Online and can only be redeemed by one character on a single account from each corresponding faction.

Codes expire December 31, 2020.

To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit http://www.startrekonline.com

Introducing… Rob’s Bangers!!

Here at TiX we are all music fans, some of us have questionable taste in music (I’m looking at Dave there!) but most all of us enjoy the pleasure of a good banger every now and then. Now that Spotify is up and running on your console whether it be Xbox or PS4, you can enjoy the thousands and thousands of tracks available to us all.

I have started things off with some gaming related (but not exclusive) tunes that are perfect to game to. I’ll put a post up each week explaining my choice and why. You can reply here or go over to our Instagram page and get involved with the #musictogameto topic, I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you may have. If you do suggest a tune there needs to be a reason for it and I won’t accept “Just because dis ting is sick ya get me” it would be better if there was a gaming-related story behind your choice, if it’s good enough I’ll add it to the list.

The first track on the playlist comes from The Future Sound of London, the double act have been around for years now and have graced us with some absolute awesome tunes over that time. The more notable one is called “We Have Explosive” released in 1997 it was the title track for none other than Wipeout 2097 on the very first Playstation. Many attempts have been made since to recreate such an iconic soundtrack but none have come close.

The second track is Out of Space by the Prodigy, apart from this tune being a staple rave track from back in the day, I chose this because of the amount of time you spend on loading screen on  the first Destiny. Thankfully you don’t spend that long there now but still the track deserves a play everytime!

The playlist is below so, click it, follow it, then load it on your console of choice and play away. See you next week!!

TiX @ EGX – Day 3 Review

Before we start on the final day of my adventures at EGX, I want to just cover off the final two hours of Day Two. The crowds seemed to dissipate at around 4pm, and all of a sudden the queues were becoming barren. I took this opportunity to jump onto Star Wars Battlefront 2. The booth had 40 screens with a 20 v 20 battle going on. Set on Naboo, it saw a rebel troop ship heading towards the palace which had to be stopped. Four different classes of Stormtroopers were available to pick and when enough points were earned, the option opened up to pick a special character or to take to the skies in a fighter.

It certainly felt like a huge improvement over it’s predecessor but was also very reminiscent of Battlefield 1 albeit with a Star Wars skin. Our match also saw Han Solo facing off against Darth Maul, which you won’t see happen in many places!

Then, as I was about to leave the show I noticed that the queue for Far Cry 5 was non-existent, so I quickly jumped into it! Now, I have never really been a huge Far Cry fan so it’s difficult to compare, but in the 15 minute demo I was shooting bad guys, giving orders to my attack dog and flying a seaplane in order to drop bombs on silos. If the rest of the game is as diverse and interesting as this snippet then it looks like it will be well received. Oh, and the dude implanted in the queue with the scary eyes was a genius move! That’s him in the picture below on the right.

So, onto the final day and I felt like I had already played what I wanted to play, but there were still a few surprises in-store. First up was a quick game of Destiny 2 crucible, just because I was having withdrawal symptoms! A nice free T-Shirt was earned before moving on to South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

In all my years at EGX I don’t think I have played a demo quite like this. I can’t go into too many details but it was set in a Gentleman’s Club and involved dancing and breaking wind in a minigame. It was highly inappropriate but also extremely funny! I hadn’t played a lot of the first game as I am not a huge fan of turn-based combat, but the humour in here may make it something I can overlook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOZf8MjbQu0

I then spent the afternoon watching three of the developer sessions in the EGX theatre, first up was Shadow Of War, with Bob Roberts from developer Monolith taking to the stage to talk through the improved Nemesis system and Ellie from Monolith showing us how good she is at playing it! As you can see from the video it was all quite “Tasty”

Then up was a panel from Rebellion studios of their upcoming game Strange Brigade. This was my surprise game of the show. I knew nothing about it before this weekend, and as you will see from the video it is a “boys-own” inspired co-op shooter, set in the 1950’s ish era. Unfortunately time ran out so I was unable to play it myself, but this does look and feel really special!

And then finally, the moment everyone was waiting for. Bungie. The queue for this 3pm panel started about 2 hours previous! The four guys from the Destiny 2 developer discussed how they designed the new locations within the game, and also took many questions from members of the audience. The theatre was packed full to get a chance to see the guys from Bungie and it was a great end to the show from me!

So, that was it for me, apart from purchasing the obligatory swag before heading home. It was, as usual, a fun but tiring 3 days, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am already looking forward to 2018!

TiX @ EGX – Day 2 Review

I had a decision to make when the doors opened on day two of EGX. I knew the queues would be longer on a Friday. The decision was what to go for first. The longest queues on Day One were for Shadow Of War and Battlefront 2, but the former was decided upon as I think everyone else went for Battlefront 2!
Even though I went straight there when the doors opened the queue was still 90 minutes long!
But I persevered, took ownership of another months free Game Pass and had a nice chat with Nas (who was manning the adjacent Super Lucky’s Tale booth) who is not a gamer, so working at the show raised a lot of questions about the industry.

And the 90 minute queue was worth it. Shadow of War was running on the Xbox One X and looked awesome. Let’s face it, every game on the new machine looks awesome! I was struck by how many characters were on screen at once as the demo had me attacking a fortress with my army. I died, as it’s always a struggle jumping into a demo as it doesn’t take into consideration your lack of familiarity with the controls. However, the depth of enemy personality is still present, like its predecessor and I witnessed such lines as “I’m gonna put your insides on the outside!”, with a nice cockney accent! The demo lasted 20 minutes, and I had some time just running around the open world, climbing towers and taking out orcs with my bow. Overall, this has just cemented my decision that this will be a purchase or (hopefully) a review copy!

After a quick drink break it was onto Assassins Creed Origins, again on the Xbox One X. Yes, you guessed it, the game looks amazing in 4K! It had a Black Flag vibe to it, with the demo set in a small town on the coast. It required you to find two golden statues, one in a shipwreck and one being guarded on a ship. After sneaking onto the ship the game crashed, and the staff had to reboot and fix the dev kit, although I then was given the opportunity to take part in the next play session meaning I had about 35 minutes in the world. No crashes on the next session and I was able to infiltrate the ship and steal back the statue.

It’s an Assassins Creed game in name and nature. It does have the new eagle game mechanic which allows you to scout the location for enemies and loot before you head into battle. Fans of Assassins Creed will be delighted although I’m not convinced Origins will attract the doubters back over.

After lunch I had a prebooked PSVR appointment and once again I was failed to be impressed. Whether it’s just my eyes (as I am a glasses wearer), but games always feel blurred with a real lack of clarity. The game I played was a cutesy puzzle game called Moss. In Moss you take control of a mouse called Quill and have to guide him around the world using the PS4 controller. The VR element comes into play when you manually manipulate elements in the scenery to open new paths. Enemies can also be manipulated, for example, to stand on switches that open the path for Quill to proceed. Like with other VR demos I’ve played there didn’t seem to be any need to have this game in VR. It would have been just as good an experience as a standard PS4 game.

One game that’s the “In” thing at the moment is Player Unknowns Battlegrounds which was also being shown on the Xbox booth. I queued for an hour and was severely underwhelmed.
During the ten minute snippet of gameplay I encountered no enemies and saw no action. I collected a weapon, found a car and as I was on my way to a designated point on the map the time was called to move on. A very strange experience indeed. There really could have been a better way to demonstrate the game. But I am sure it will sell by the bucketload anyway! It was also running on PC, but apparently it is the Xbox build thats running on those PC’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0Tnp-3W3z4

Project Cars 2 had a PC Demo that ran on Samsung C49HG90 Curved monitors that were a bit special. Running in cockpit view allowed a width of vision unlike I’ve ever seen. The game looked and sounded phenomenal, but it’s doubtful I’ll ever have £1500 to spend on one of these monitors! It’ll be interesting to see how well Project Cars 2 does against Forza 7 on release.

Day 2 ended with Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Far Cry 5 demos, which I will cover off on the Day 3 review, as time is pushing on and I need to take down a full english before heading back to the NEC!

 

Tix @ EGX 2017 – Day 1 review

Thursday 21st September saw EGX open it’s doors to the masses, and with Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo all coming to the party with the biggest stands I have seen in my 5 years attending, it looks like being a great show. I was lucky enough to be able to let my teenage son come with me, but this year saw a strict focus on age related restrictions, so he was unable to play the majority of the AAA games on show that were rated 16. I suppose it was understandable as the VSC Rating Board and games trade body Ukie have today announced a renewed partnership in the form of their newly refreshed AskAboutGames site, which launched at EGX. Having this kicked off whilst allowing children to play (potentially) inappropriate games at the show was probably not the best policy!

So, my day one at EGX was not spent playing the newest AAA games, but I did unearth some gems within the Rezzed section.

We started off on the Xbox stand as the Xbox One X was powering most of their games. Both Forza Motorsport 7 and Super Lucky’s Tale looked amazing, and the latter really impressed me with its fun gameplay, and reminded me a lot of Banjo Kazooie. Cuphead also impressed but this is definitely looking like a controller throwing beast of a platform/shooter! The staff on the Xbox stand are also giving away 1 month Game Pass codes, so that’s well worth a look!

We then took a good look around the rest of the show floor, taking in the most wonderful merchandise available, mainly on the official Destiny 2 merchandise stand, which had the LOUDEST music playing EVER.! Thanks also to the chaps manning the Destiny 2/Virgin Fibre stand for letting my boy go home with posters, T-shirt and an inflatable Titan shield. That went a long way to improving his day!

Next was the Rezzed area, and the highlights of that section from day one is as follows.

Huntdown from Easy Trigger games is a very retro inspired, co-op 2D shooter where you play as bounty hunters tasked with taking down the gangs who control the streets. We played a demo on the Nintendo Switch but this is also coming out on Xbox and PS4 later in 2017. The Official Huntdown Website is here!

Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 continues with the story of Vinnie the gangster from the original game. Its a hand drawn side scrolling shooter, which played extremely smoothly. I had never played the first one, but will definitely be checking this out! Check out the official website here.

Shift Quantum was a really fun puzzle game, where you switch the background from light to dark in order to escape a maze. My son is not a huge puzzle game fan but this was one he raved about afterwards! Developed by Fishing Cactus, Shift Quantum is currently only available on Steam, so check out the website here!

Dead Cells was one of my favorites from the Rezzed section. It is an upcoming roguelike-Metroidvania hybrid video game being developed by Motion Twin. Again, currently only on Steam but is being brought to consoles at a later date. Check out their website here! 

Check out the site for an update on Day 2, same time tomorrow!

 

Ode to Destiny: How one game captured the hearts of many

Three years ago, this very week, you came into our home,
With promises of friends and foes, of fantasies and woe.
With much deliberation, I took my time to choose,
The Titan would be my class, I felt, and with it I could not lose.
With its protective Ward of Dawn and mighty Fist of Havoc,
I knew that the fight ahead, would prove to be dramatic.

Laying dead for many years, don’t really know how many,
With a start we are brought to life, a voice one would call quite cheery.
Our Ghost had come across us, in the vast Cosmodrome,
“Eyes up Guardian” he said with haste, our fate is much our own.
As I head towards the safety of the massive city walls,
The Fallen follow close behind, the air full of their calls.

A few short hours later, after facing Fallen, Hive and more,
The great story had ended, but left me feeling sore.
For now one had to go online, to check out the full story,
Tales hidden out of site, unlocked throughout the glory.
The Exo Stranger leaves us, knowing less than we did before,
She has no time, you see, to explain Destiny’s true lore.

Now it’s time to face our fears, within a group of six,
We must head to the Vault of Glass, and learn a few new tricks.
Facing Templar, Atheon, Praetorians, Gorgons and more,
The Vault of Glass proved a mighty task, which would shake us to our core.
As Guardians around the world found out, Atheon was but a tease,
With Solar Grenades, and perfect placement, we killed him with great ease.

A few months passed and throughout the Tower, Guardians grew uneasy,
Without something new to do, the numbers were decreasing.
The Dark Below introduced a new challenger, someone quite unknown,
Crota was his name, and he had come to take the throne.
TDB, unfortunately, proved to be quite the disappointment,
And with great ease the story with it, was dispatched with much resentment.

Crota’s greatest moment came, and Guardians took the challenge on,
However it didn’t take long to get to Crota, and send him far beyond.
Solo runs, and silly modes started to appear, and made Crota quite the fool,
But for those who wanted loot, and gamerscore galore, he was quite the useful tool.
However until the Wolves appeared, we had nothing better to do,
So spent the next few months, raiding until we were covered in Glowhoo.

Skolas is now our greatest threat, looking for Fallen power,
The Kell of Kells is on the loose, and has eyes upon the Tower.
With the help of Petra Venj, we hunt down the mighty beast,
Not until Venus we catch up with him, but captured him with ease.
Off to the Prison with you, great Kell, where Variks is your keeper,
Dismantle mines, you say? I think I’d rather stay here.

Destiny hadn’t changed much, within the first year of its life,
Restricted storage everywhere, and poor quality of life.
It’s not until Oryx appears, and rings in a new age,
That we start to see, the true Destiny stage.
The Taken King comes bounding in, making changes aplenty,
From questlines, swords, and much more to keep us quite busy.

Oryx is the biggest foe that we have yet to see,
His army of the Taken, are quite the enemy.
A mix of our previous foes, no species is safe,
From Oryx’s murderous calls, and attacks upon the Reef.
It’s time to head into the Dreadnaught, and extinguish this vast foe,
Go left at the penis room, and you’ve not too far to go.

For months and months King’s Fall keeps us busy,
The introduction of challenges, and new loot makes us dizzy.
Destiny is starting to take it shape,
Giving hope to everyone, who has played it in all states.
Eververse caused much controversy, with real money spending,
But once we saw her wares, the silver was soon pending.

The final adventure came, with a story full of sadness,
The mighty Lords of Iron, and how they succumbed to madness.
This madness was unusual, in the way it would take over,
The Fallen were proof of this, with how they used the Siva.
Augmented Dregs and Vandals prowled a now snow-capped Earth,
While Lord Saladin and his mighty few, saw through a full rebirth.

Saladin and Efrideet proved to be too strong,
And were the ones left standing, as Jolder knew where she belong.
It’s time for us to avenge them all, each fallen Lord,
And as we finish our adventure, are given a flaming sword.
We know what we must do, to push back the Splicer threat,
Take down their augmented leaders, in a flurry of blood and sweat.

With Aksis vanquished, and the Lords avenged,
It’s time to take our sweet loot, and start it all again.
For it is time to follow the quest, for a gun that is most sexy,
The one and only Outbreak Prime, with nanites so deadly.
One Hunter, Warlock, and Titan, in a group of three,
Must work out the equation, to hold the gun of glee.

The final challenge we all would face, was not one of destruction,
But the endless grinding, which would end with satisfaction.
The time came to those who wanted, to wear their accomplishments with pride,
And so began the Age of Triumph, and everyone would try.
Fill the book to really show, that you were there from the beginning,
And a t-shirt of great quality, would be yours for the taking.

With little left to do for now, this time is for relaxing,
For Destiny 2 is nearly here, and a new challenge quite taxing.
For Ghaul has reared his ugly head, and wants the Traveller for his own,
The deadly, planet eating Space Rhinos have made their intentions known.
While everything we loved and cherished, lies broken and ablaze,
It’s time for us to take up arms, and destroy Ghaul and his ways…

Thank you for taking the time to read through this rather long piece I put together, to show my love and appreciation for Destiny. As a gamer, Destiny has changed the way I play games forever. Joining the Dames of Destiny has been a real life changer, and through them I have made many new friends, who I can’t wait to start the new adventure with.

How the Raid Virgins in Destiny changed me as a Gamer

When Destiny was first announced I wasn’t that intrigued. A new, space shooter from the creators of Halo? Surely that should be something I should have been immensely excited for? Well, here’s something to shock you dear TiX reader. I don’t like Halo. There you go, it’s out there in the open. I don’t like, and never have liked Halo. I played the first game, obviously, and tried the multiplayer madness of Halo 3. But it has just never resonated with me.

I suppose the problem is my age. And my rapidly failing reflexes. I am not old, but when the days of first-person shooters were all the rage, I was in my early thirties, and my attempts at competing in these twitch shooters left me angry, annoyed and feeling bereft of any skill whatsoever. I constantly finished bottom of the leaderboards, which led me to pick more single player, story based experiences as my gaming habits. The sometimes toxic behaviour of certain elements of the player base of any online shooter also further reinforced that decision.

There have been games that have tempted me back to shooters, but any attempt into multiplayer led back to these dark feelings, and I often finished a multiplayer session questioning why I gamed. Not just the multiplayer aspect, but all gaming in general. Like it was childish and a waste of time, as critics of the hobby still like to point out. It really had that much of a detrimental affect to my wellbeing. Some shooters, like Titanfall, were notably different and enjoyable, as they were so much fun I didn’t mind being at the bottom of the pile, and sometimes I actually found myself getting closer to the top as the controls and mechanisms started to gel with me. It also probably had something to do with the Grunts, as it meant I could get some kills in!

But that’s where Destiny came in. I fell for the hype and initially purchased the game for the single player campaign. Yes, the much maligned story mode was what dragged me in. But I was then confused. What were these “Strikes” I was reading about on social media. Then there was the light level, and strange coins, and glimmer, and grimoire. As quickly as I fell for the hype I was lost. It was too confusing and I didn’t understand it all. My son was hooked, and he talked constantly about Xur, about the upcoming raids, and what new exotic engram he’d got and, with his enthusiasm rubbing off on me, I realised that I had not given Destiny enough time and energy.

So I forced myself back in, but to start with it was still very much a single player experience for me, despite being part of a large gaming community, as most friends had chosen the PS4 for their next-gen console. So, I soldiered on alone, and the more I played the more I learnt, and the more I started to understand.

Then, one Facebook message changed everything, and I didn’t realise at the time that it would also change my gaming habits for the forseeable future. I had heard about the raids, both from my son and from social media. But again, they were still a confusing part of Destiny for me. But that message was a call. A call from raid virgins. Who were two people short of a six man team. None of whom knew anything about what the raid entailed, but wanted that experience. And I answered that call.

So, a few days later I found myself in a party with 5 other, unskilled and curious Destiny Virgins. This was in September 2015, about the time that the third raid, The Kings Fall, was being released. But we weren’t interested in The Kings Fall, we were going for the Vault of Glass. Late to the party I know, but we were going in at the start. What followed was a great deal of late night sessions, swearing, laughing and messing around whilst we attempted to solve the many puzzles or worked out how to kill certain enemies.

At times messages would pop up, informing us that we had the Mark of Negation. Eh? But we figured it out. Then there were the oracles, and we figured those out. Then the wonderful part where you had to find your way through the maze with the Gorgons. If you’ve done it you’ll have been through what I was experiencing. It was fun, it was joyful, it was exhilarating. But the most important thing was that I was working together with others to solve problems. Not trying desperately to shoot them. The Vault of Glass was completed, along with Crota a few weeks later. Then the Kings Fall was attempted, until unfortunately work schedules and real life got in the way, as it does occasionally.

Destiny_20150921005028

But, thats where I changed as a gamer. I had my first positive experience with Co-Op multiplayer and it was for me. Now I play Rainbow Six, GTA Online & Rocket League on a weekly basis. But always when I am part of a team, whether battling AI, or against others. And my headset that was barely used has now been replaced many times over. It also seriously started my love affair with Destiny. I was still playing daily, up until the release of Fallout 4, and then, when others were sinking all their time into that masterpiece I was still sinking days into Destiny.

And, in the coming days Destiny 2 is being released. This time I will be there from the start, striking and raiding on a very regular basis. And I won’t be alone. My team will be there with me.

Daughter Channels Loss as an Inspiration for Life is Strange: Before the Storm’s Emotionally Charged Soundtrack

As someone who connects with music – game and film soundtracks in particular – the latest video from Daughter and Life is Strange: Before the Storm gives me positive vibrations for the upcoming game release. This video follows on from the news that Adrian reported yesterday, which provides another sample of the incredible work that Daughter, the British indie folk trio, are creating for Before the Storm. You can pre-order the soundtrack over here if you so wish!

You’ll be able to play Episode 1 of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, entitled ‘Awake’, on August 31st. In the mean time, why not listen to the first song from their Before the Storm album on Spotify – which has just launched on the Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Interview: Andrew Bennison from Prospect games

I got a chance to speak with Andrew Bennison from Prospect games, the lead designer behind unbox, about his experience as an indie developer he was a very interesting person to speak to with some insights into working in the world of indie games and what to expect from Unbox a newbies adventure

Hi Andrew, thanks for talking with This is Xbox so, Unbox. You have been working on it for some time and now has just released on Xbox?

So we launched just ‘Unbox’ last September on steam, it went well enough to keep us in business so we have brought a slightly optimised and enriched version called ‘Unbox Newbie’s Adventure’ to Xbox One, released July 26th. We also have a Switch version coming later this year.

You guys have been working on this since 2014, right?

We came up with the initial concept at a Game Jam, a Christmas Game Jam, hosted by Epic Games in December of 2014, the theme was what’s in the box so you can see and draw a line between there and where we are now and then we jumped into full development around the 4th-5th of January 2015. So, it’s taken about a year and a half to make the game and then about half a year more to get it working on all the various platforms.

You have been working on it for two years, in Manchester as an indie developer, Prospect Games, what do you see as being the next step for you now Unbox is out?

Really we gotta assess based on how well the console launch goes, we kind of have a price tag attached to each of the ‘plans’ of how we move forward, you know? If we do alright we can do one thing, if we do amazing we can do another. It’s really down to how well the launch goes and later on this year with the Switch. Are we going to make a sequel to Unbox? Are we going to make a completely different game or do both of those things at the same time? It’s really all down to performance at launch.

Would you say then that as an Indie developer that’s one of the biggest challenges between you and the big ‘AAA’ developers who can plan their pipeline, where as for you it is tied up with each game that you produce and the revenue it makes?

Yeah, I think that no matter what scale your company is at you have that same issue of how much is in reserves, how much is available in resources, do you have enough internally for other projects. Ideally you’d have projects running alongside each other so that you are able to do two, three product launches a year. That would be excellent. On the flip side of that there is a lot more pressure and responsibility attached to that and just because you are a bigger company able to do more but with the extra pressure added. However we are a small developer and if the launch doesn’t go well that could be us out of business, although if it goes exceptionally well then it opens up prospects for us that we aren’t currently even thinking about at this point.

Obviously it’s very different being an indie developer to someone who might develop for a bigger game company, you mentioned before about attending Game Jam, but what made you go indie instead of applying to be part of a bigger company?

Well, as a teenager I wanted to be a film director and on a media studies course we had a big project about making a film. Well I didn’t have any equipment and the equipment there was crap, oh and this was the time when Machinima wasn’t really a channel, it was a way to describe films made in games, so I said ‘can I make a film in Halo 2?’ And they said ‘ok, that’s weird but go for it if you want, give it a shot’ and in the process of making that piece of content I got more of an insight into games and I thought I’m playing a lot of games, but this made me really think about the design of them and how they pull all sorts of themes together.

So I went onto a university course, where I studied games design and met the two guys who helped me start Prospect, which effectively started as a modding group with Left 4 Dead mods, then we tried mobile development in the evenings and some ad hock work and after a while we had saved up the cash and we hadn’t had any success in getting into the ‘AAA’ market plus I’m awful at being told what to do so we thought, ‘Well we did this great at uni let’s see if we can make it into something sustainable, and here we are.

If I was sat at home and I wanted to get into developing as an indie developer, from your experience what do you think is the best route for someone coming out of uni wanting to do it for themselves?

That’s a tough one, the market is so much more brutal now than when we started up. I’d start by saying don’t go to uni first! The last thing you want to do is saddle yourself with debt and none of the courses are as good as actually getting down to doing some work and dedicating yourself entirely to it and as much as academia might try, being forced to do essays and course work and other things that just don’t exist in the real world. I mean, when I look at someone’s CV, I don’t care if they have a BSc or a PHD, I look to see if they have worked on products or stuff that’s been released etc.

I would advise if you are going to go down the indie route, do you want to make games for fun? Or do you want something more sustainable? Like make it your career. Because you can be an indie developer in your bedroom in the evenings after a 9-5 job and that way you can focus on being critically well received without the necessity of it being commercially well received to put food on the table.

It’s a really tough market with almost nobody making money on PC and then with the console halfway through their lifetime they already are very competitive markets, the Switch is still lacking in content but that will change after a few hundred titles have come out on it. I would say, it’s a really tough time to become an indie developer at the moment.

Very interesting to hear your point of view, direct from someone who has been working in it for the last two years, and what you have been working on is Unbox, out now, I’m going to sit down and have a play with it now, any tips? Any secrets you want to give me before I start?

Er, well don’t skip the tutorial it really sets you up with the mechanics to get through the game, make sure you use the D-pad in-game, which will point you towards critical characters and missions. If you get stuck, hit the back button and it will bring up your progress to give you an idea of where you are, something people seem to miss but it’s very useful in getting you through the game.

Thanks Andrew, great to speak with you and your experiences as an indie developer,

Unbox; Newbies Adventure is out now for Xbox One, check out our review of the game.