Angry Mango a team of students from the University of Wales Newport, which includes Henry Hoffman, Kate Killick (from Computer Games Design), Ahmed Zaman, Matt Dennis, Greg O’Brian (from Games Development & AI), have won at the 2011 Dare to be Digital competition.
Their game Mush is a single player, side-scrolling platformer for Windows Phone 7. You take control of your characters emotions, unlocking new abilities with which to progress. Five emotional states are present, each enabling new abilities such as floating, sinking, smashing and gravity shifting.
Emotions are changed directly by the player through either drawing a smile, a sad face, a single line or rotating or shaking the phone. Simple movement is controlled with tilting and unlike other platform games you can neither jump nor die.
Mush has been also been announced at a nominee for the BAFTA Games Awards – Ones to Watch http://www.next-gen.biz/news/bafta-games-awards-nominees-announced
Once again this year Newport (with huge effort from Mike Reddy) hosted a regional Global Game Jam event. This yeartThe theme for this was “Extinction”, but there were also a series of optional achievements.
Students participants, in no particular order, included: Mac Simmons; Rhys Thomas; Ahmed Zaman; David Prior; Paul Seaman, David Treharne, Matthew Jackson, Craig Fox, Tim O’Connell, Tom Wood, Alister McInnes, Kate Killick, Jason Thomas, John Reed and
Helpers included: Dr. Mike Reddy, Corrado Morganna and Henry Hoffman (floating artist).
Here are some of the great games produced…
You play as a lost moose trapped between two conflicting worlds. The player must reach the Great Spirit moose in the sky whilst keeping track of both platforms and enemies in the different worlds. The game is loosely based on ‘Visual Extinction’ which is a neurological disorder characterised by severe impairment in identifying two or more visual stimuli displayed briefly at the same time.
The Last Quagga
You play as the last Quagga, a now extinct animal that looks like half zebra half horse. As you run forwards you need to stop half in the shadows to become invisible and no longer vulnerable to the predators. A simple single button game that requires timing based skill.
Happy Bunnies Extinction
The bunnies are multiplying and it is down to you Lava Penguin to stop then by any means necessary.
Vol is a four-player, team vs team game played on a single keyboard. Using a simple two key mechanism to move, attack and defend, players either repel or attract lifeforms into on-screen hazards. Wipeout the competition, protect your species.
You play as a broken Hero, who couldn’t beat the Final Boss of his game, which in turn ended up killing every human being on the planet, with the exception of you. You had managed to eventually kill the Final Boss, but everyone was already dead, so you; The “Hero”, are the last remaining human being on Earth, forced to live out the remainder of his existence in solitude in your retirement log cabin in the forest.
On the 31st January Dr Dan Pinchbeck, Reader in Computer Games at the University of Portsmouth, UK gave a lecturer for design students at the University of Wales, Newport. The lecture followed this academic’s journey from isolated fanboy battling the zombie hordes of traditionalism to an award-winning independent game developer. Dan is currently authoring a book called “ScaryDarkFastFirst: A Short and Very Bloody History of Doom”. He is Creative Director of thechineseroom, an award-winning independent game studio.
Thechineseroom’s work includes Dear Esther (2008/11), described by Gamasutra as “one of the most engaging game worlds in recent memory” and “a bold, invigorating take on interactive storytelling” by gamesTM. It won Best World/Story at IndieCade2009 and Best Upcoming Mod in 2010’s Mod of the Year competition. In 2009, they released the cult horror Korsakovia, which TotalPCGaming called “a work of stunning interactive art” and Rock, Paper, Shotgun found “absolutely terrific… brutally chilling”. PC Gamer have recently covered “The Story of Dear Esther” so far.