All aboard

Tracks is a game that has a strong sense of nostalgia and family, so when we began work on this latest DLC we really wanted to make it a community effort.

We reached out to students at Warwickshire College and asked them if they wanted to get involved in the creation process of the new DLC, a chance they jumped at.

The wheels begin to turn

Taking on suggestions from the Tracks community, Amber (game project manager) and Tom (game developer) decided which assets they wanted to bring into this new pack. Each student took on a range of assets to design.

Sarah May White (3D artist, student coordinator)

Favourite game: We Happy Few or Bioshock (anything dystopian!)
Level of study: Currently completing an FDA in Games Design as well as completing a BTEC before starting her degree

How have you found being the team leader?
I’ve loved every bit of it and have learnt so much about project management. Being in contact with Amber has really helped me as well. I’ve really appreciated having her there for guidance throughout.

Overall how did you find the project?
It definitely feels rewarding making an asset you know you’ll be able to show to friends and family in a published game. It pushed me to produce my best work.

Bwinji Shamutete (3D artist)

Favourite Game: Destiny 2
Level of Study: Level 4 FDA Games Art

What was the favourite asset you made?
The Primary School Children.

Did you have any challenges?
There were a lot of techniques I was not aware of, such as adding edge ware, and my models were not wrapped or optimized to industry standards. Fortunately I could turn to my classmates… who were a massive help.

Ben Wilson (3D artist)

Favourite Game: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Level of Study: Level 5. [I’ve] been studying for two years [and] always wanted to know how video games are made.

What pieces did you craft for the new pack?
I created the ‘Chef Passenger’ but I wish I had gone for something a little more challenging as well.

Did you struggle with anything in particular?
I struggled with getting realistic weighting to the hat but fortunately I had my peers to turn to for help with gauging where it needed altering.

Arlo Freeth (3D artist)

Favourite Game: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Level of Study: Level 4. I’ve been studying for four years. I’ve always had a coder’s mind but I love creating, so this course offers me the chance to do both.

How did you find it?
I found it nerve wracking at first as it felt like a lot of pressure to create the best models, however I quickly relaxed as it started to feel like what we’d been doing in class.

Amber Silcock (Project Manager at Excalibur Games)

Favourite Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

What has been your role in this DLC?
Together with Tom (the developer of Tracks) we took on community suggestions and designed what decorations would feature in this pack. I contacted the Games Art course at Warwickshire College where I studied for my degree, and presented their current students with the opportunity to develop assets for our game.

What have you enjoyed the most about this project?
Watching the students develop together with creativity and passion for the project. Allowing them to express their own unique visions and gain valuable experience to develop their own skills was what I enjoyed the most, as I remember how important it felt to me when I was studying. I wanted to give back to the course the opportunities that they had once given to me.

Overall this project has been a huge step in the right direction for us as a company in bringing people together for a collaborative, community-based project but more importantly giving the next generation of game designers vital experience in the industry.

Here is a link to the Warwickshire College twitter account:

The Tracks Suburban Pack DLC is out now for free on Steam and Xbox One.

Jump into the ultimate toy sandbo and build the trains set of your dreams! Create colourful railway systems, build amazing towns and cities, transport commuting passengers, and ride your train in first-person.

Article written by William Stallibrass

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *