We caught up with Dean Hall about Rocketwerkz, his new gaming studio on Wharf Street in Dunedin.
Dean is well known in the gaming industry for developing DayZ, a popular zombie apocalypse ‘mod’. After DayZ was released Dean decided to come back to New Zealand, which he feels a much better place to make games. He tells us, “New Zealand has a really good culture, it’s a simple place to live and do business with it’s lack of complexity.”
While at Rocketwerkz we got to try out their recently released first title, ‘Out Of Ammo’. It’s a real time strategy game played using a virtual reality headset, and was developed by two University of Otago students interning at the studio.
Dean teased that they’re working on a AAA game which could be worth millions. AAA, (pronounced ‘Triple A’) is a gaming classification to show the highest development budget with significant product promotion.
Rocketwerkz are bringing in very experienced staff from overseas to help - Rashid Redic is the recently appointed creative director for Rocketwerkz and has worked on titles like Skyrim and Fallout 3.
The Dunedin studio is also a great entry place for aspiring developers, they are hiring out of the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, and aim to be an employer of first choice for people starting out in the video game industry, with people applying for internships both nationally and internationally.
Dean obviously loves gaming, but he also loves the outdoors - he has climbed Mount Everest and mentioned how he aspires to skydive from the edge of space. Dean finds these interests very similar, explaining “... you’re exploring your imagination, and that’s why I don’t get why some people can be so anti-gaming, it’s just the same, it’s just another form of mountaineering or something else, expect your doing the climbing with your mind.”
Look out for this ambitious Dunedin company!
Post submitted by Josh Jenkin