THE TEAM



MARTIN HASTINGS


CEO / ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER

Finally glad to realise a 21+ year dream of working in, and running a games development studio.

From the age of 8 I was fascinated with computers and more importantly video games, working out the coding required to make different things do what they were supposed to. I used to spend hours with sheets of graph paper drawing out little grids of 24×21 pixels, colouring in the squares and working out the hex values to make various animations in order to recreate my own versions of games I saw in magazines like Zzap64. In my mid to late teens I remember walking past a nearby office block, with one office in particular that stood out, thinking “I would love to have a games studio in there”. At the time I was working in the business applications software industry and although computers were in their infancy, exciting things were happening and the games industry was really starting to take off.

Sadly it wasn’t something I could get into at the time as revenue and suppliers weren’t that easy to source, but over time I moved on from number crunching and business software development to graphic design when it came to producing manuals for the software I’d worked on. Working in design gave me the opportunity to express my creativity, using new and exciting tools in text and photo manipulation, expanding to 3D graphics and page layout.

In 2009 I was approached by Train2Game, initially signing up to the Developer course before switched to the Arts course when it became available. Although I didn’t specifically learn anything new that I needed in order to end up where I am now, it did give me the renewed drive and passion to try to make my mark on the industry and if it wasn't for them then I wouldn't have met a great bunch of guys with whom I’ve teamed up with in order to create this company.


KEVIN TAPPING

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Having played many games over the years from my old Atari 2600 through my ZX Spectrum years and pretty much every other system in between up to my Xbox 360, I have a passion for great games and interactive entertainment.

I’m very creative with my story telling something I have always done but since joining Train2Game and studying for the TIGA Diploma in video games design, this has allowed me to bring some of my stories to life through games.

Some of my big achievements since joining the course are being lead designer for Soul Wars a MMORPG, which was a fantastic challenge on my story writing, team management but more importantly my game design skills. I was also student of the month in September 2009!

I have a theory on design and that is “Keep it simple!” some of the greatest games ever made are of the simplest design, and the way forwards with games is by looking back on what has been and what made it good and how it can be recreated with today’s technology.


MIKE CONNELL

LEAD DEVELOPER/PROGRAMMER

My first experience of programming was teaching myself basic on my old zx spectrum in the early 80′s. For some reason I never continued into a programming career. instead I’ve had many jobs mainly in the electronics/electrical field. which over the past few years has not been enough to keep me mentally challenged.

I have been playing video games from the days of the spectrum through to the xbox 360 now. I’ve always been interested in ‘how they work’ and for the past few years have been looking to do a distance learning course to try and open up my career possibilities. In a hope that I could find a job doing something that was interesting and challenging.

At the beginning or 2010 I found out about Train2Game and, although I was a bit unsure to start with, signed up for the developer course. I’m very pleased to say i have never looked back. I am thoroughly enjoying the course and have learnt so much in the past 5 months it frightens me.

I can now see that with a lot of hard work and a lot more learning that I can change my career into something much more inspiring and with Martin and Kevin asking me to join Horizon Games I am even more optimistic that it will be in the making of games.


JUSTIN FRENCH

LEAD AUDIO ENGINEER – MUSIC/EFFECTS

Since a young age I have been fascinated by games, with my first experiences playing games on the Atari VCS 2600 and then the original Nes. It was only in the last few years that my passion for games and creativity in general have come together. After studying at SAE (School of Audio Engineering) in London about 4 or 5 years ago I started my own recording studio.

At first working with bands and solo artists and in the last two years moving onto working on several short films, both as a composer and sound designer. Over the last year and a half I managed to grab a freelance position at one of the UK’s biggest Dialog Recording Facilities, SideUk; where, still working out of my studio, I have had the pleasure of working on several high profile games, as well as some less known ones such as:

  • Lucas Arts – Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable 3
  • Disney – Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
  • Realtime Worlds – All Points Bulletin
  • Piranha Bites – Risen
  • Rare – Natal Sports
  • Barnstorm – Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails
  • Sony – Buzz: Quiz World
  • Animation Arts – Lost Horizon

I am pleased to now say that I have been working with Horizon Studios on a couple of upcoming games, Galoop, a fun and colourful puzzle Game for the PC platform, and most recently Purgatory, a complete rethink of the classic breakout. I look forward to see what other great ideas Horizon Studios have up their sleeves, and I’m glad to be a part of it.


OUR CURRENT PROJECTS