Friday February 5, 2016
ACG Yoobee Game Art student Danny Haddow has become an overnight sensation in the international gaming world, following the release of his first-ever game prototype, Terminull.
The PC video racing game has just been picked up by C’t Magazin, the most subscribed-to computer magazine in Europe. It has also beaten out 22,000 other games from around the world to be one of just 28 games to be built into itch.io’s app.
Head of Game Art at ACG Yoobee Taylor Carrasco described Danny’s success as “phenomenal”.
“This is such an incredible achievement. Danny has managed to achieve what no student from any New Zealand school ever has – garner international buzz and excitement about his impending game release while still in school,” he said.
Danny released an alpha version of the game after designing and producing it as part of his two year Diploma in Game Art course. It had its debut at 2015 Armageddon, with throngs of gamers queuing up to play. Not long after, it was given the thumbs up by the submissions committee for inclusion in the 2016 International Games Festival - the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game showcase on the planet. Winners will be announced in San Francisco in March during the prestigious Game Developers Conference.
Twenty-two year old Danny is stunned by the attention his game has generated.
“As it was my first game, I never thought it would actually be very good, let alone gain all the attention it has! It’s really cool that it’s become so popular. When I first took it to Armageddon last year I was extremely surprised – and excited – about the incredible response I got from the people who played it. Now I’m working towards a full release of the game mid-late 2016, adding more features, fixing bugs and fine-tuning all the sound effects and music. I’ve even had some original music composed for it!”
Terminull is set inside the motherboard of a computer. As a hacker in a computer activist group Sudonym, the aim of the game is to steal information for monetary gain, blackmail and control. Danny took around seven months to design and build the game from scratch.
“The skills I’ve been learning in my Game Art Diploma have helped immensely. Before I took this course I had almost no 3D experience, I had never opened Unity (the game engine we are using) and I knew almost nothing about coding at all. Now I’m able to code and create almost independently.
“I’ve been a casual gamer since I was 8 when we were given a hand-me-down PlayStation 1 by my auntie’s boyfriend, but I never considered game design as a career until a couple of years ago.”
Danny graduates from ACG Yoobee in May and hopes to gain an entry level role as a Technical Artist/Gaming Programmer. Judging from Terminull’s success, he won’t be working at entry level for long!