Guildford.Games Sponsor Spotlight: Two Point Studios

It's time for another Sponsor Spotlight, folks! This time we're chatting to Two Point Studios' Ben Huskins - we talk G.G Festival, first games, and MMMeows (yup, you read that right!)

Why did you choose to sponsor the Guildford.Games Festival? What aspects of the festival resonate with your company's values and goals? 

Two Point Studios is just down the road in Farnham, but our roots are very much intertwined in the Guildford game dev community and its rich history. Several of us started life in Guildford-based companies such as Bullfrog, Mucky Foot and Lionhead, and the games we make today still share a lot of that DNA. We’ve seen the Guildford games industry go through a lot, it’s had its ups and downs, but it’s really blossomed into this incredible melting pot of varied talent. The Guildford.Games Festival is a great place to bring these people together to share their ideas and experiences, not only with each other, but with the next generation of game developers, so we’re really keen to support that. Oh, also, I reckon a games festival would make a great simulation-management game. Two Point G.G Fest, anyone?

From your perspective, what unique opportunities does the festival provide for fostering connections between gaming enthusiasts, developers, and industry leaders? 

It’s a great combination of talks, panels, portfolio reviews, and other opportunities for people to get together for a good old chinwag about games and how we make them. Guildford in particular is the perfect place to have an event like this as it’s so densely populated with companies of all shapes and sizes making completely different types of games - the festival is a real showcase of that breadth.

In what ways do you think events like the Guildford.Games Festival contribute to the innovation, longevity, and evolution of the gaming industry? 

The games coming out of Guildford studios are so varied and unique, and they push all sorts of creative boundaries. Events like the G.G Festival really encourage this wonderful sharing and synthesis of ideas. And by opening this up to anyone interested in getting into the industry, it’s real creative fuel for the people who could be shaping the games of tomorrow.

What was the first video game you remember playing, and how did it influence your love for gaming? 

There was a game called Repton on the BBC Micro, about a weird lizard chap who wanders around a maze collecting diamonds and being chased by monsters that hatched from eggs. The way the fungus spread through the levels still haunts me to this day, and probably explains why my overgrown garden upsets me so much. But the most intriguing bit for me was that it included a map editor and even a sprite editor - you could design your own levels and completely change the look of the game. My first taste of games development really! In one of the later games, Repton Infinity, you could completely rewrite the logic of the game. That blew my tiny 7 year old mind.

If you could be any video game character for a day, who would you choose and why? 

I think I would have to go with Amanda Ripley from Alien: Isolation. I never knew how thrilling it could be to hide in a locker for hours on end. I could curl up under my desk and feel justified in doing so. Oh also I think the motion tracker would be handy at work - studio director Mark (Webley) is always hiding in the meeting room at the start of our design meetings, then pounces out like a hissing cat. Game over, man!

What's your favourite gaming memory from your childhood?

My sister and I used to make maps to help us keep track of our progress in a game called Citadel on the BBC Micro. It was an epic platform adventure game set in a massive castle. And like everything else back then, it had no save games, so we had to start the game from scratch every time we played it. How we didn’t rage quit I’ll never know. We drew these intricate maps on printer paper to help us remember the layout of the castle and where all the key items were. I’m nostalgic about it now, but if I had to do that for a game these days I would be utterly livid.

Are there any video game soundtracks that hold a special place in your heart? Which ones and why? 

Oh yes, a few. One of my favourite games, Braid, the puzzle-platformer where you manipulate time. The soundtrack is beautiful, haunting and awe-inspiring in equal measure. The way the soundtrack goes backwards when you reverse time is a great touch too. Next up I’m gonna have to go with the soundtrack for Hollow Knight. The world of Hallownest has this real aching sense of history, and the music reflects that perfectly. Third choice I think has to be the C418 soundtrack for Minecraft, it’s gloriously ambient and peaceful and just makes me want to hangout in that world. I could go on, there are a bunch more - ask me at the Guildford.Games Festival and I’ll tell you the rest!

If you could visit any gaming world or environment in real life, where would you go and what would you do?

The island from The Witness. It’s so colourful and lush, and serene too. I would go for a stroll in one of the forests, then sit by the beach and listen to the ocean.

What's your go-to video game for winding down after a long day? 

Most recently, I’m gonna have to say A Castle Full of Cats. It’s a castle. It’s full of cats. What’s not to like? Special shout out also to Peggle, the ultimate game to play on the bog… TMI?

If you could create a brand new video game genre, what would it be like and what would you name it? 

Okay so bear with me. You have to rub your face on everything, literally everything, in the game world. Leave your scent all over the place, and sniff everything to work out who else has been there and what’s happening in their life. It would be a bit like hide and seek but with smells. That’s the game. Oh and did I forget to mention, you’re a cat. Yes, that bit is quite important. I don’t know what the genre would be called. Moglike? MMMeow?