Jeff’s Tower gets demoed at PC Gamer Weekender sponsored by SEGA

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Some of our fantastic third year Games Enterprise and Game Art student’s showcased their (still in progress) final year project Jeff’s Tower VR at last weekend’s PC Gamer Weekender in London.

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They spent the weekend showing off their game and getting great feedback in the SEGA sponsored student area.


Tranzfuser 2017

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The University of South Wales (USW) is to be the South Wales regional hub again in 2017 for the innovative talent development programme. Organised by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, and funded by the UK Government.

Designed to provide a platform for creative leaders of the future, Tranzfuser is aimed at graduates looking to break into the games development industry, with a strong focus on getting their game to market.

Last year Tranzfuser 2016, the first iteration of the annual competition, saw 18 teams from across the UK work with a £5,000 prize to develop their game.

The competition ended with the teams showcasing their projects at the EGX video games festival in Birmingham, attended by more than 75,000 gamers. During the show, a team of industry judges shortlisted the best games to compete for grants from £10,000 to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund to develop commercial prototypes.

Lead applicants to Tranzfuser 2017 have an opportunity to project manage the teams that they form for the Tranzfuser journey and win funds from the UK Games Fund.

Successful applicants will be invited to develop their ideas into working prototypes over the summer in a competition that culminates in a nationally recognized showcase event.

Participants will have access to Local Hubs and leading industry support where possible, providing the best knowledge-base and resources available across the UK.

Graduates are invited to apply as individuals looking to build their own team or individuals on behalf of their team.

Successful applicants will be awarded a £5,000 budget to allocate as they choose throughout the competition. At the showcase event in September, selected teams will be invited to pitch for follow-on funding of up to £25k from the UK Games Fund to commercialise their game and launch a company.

Richard Hurford, Course Leader for Computer Games Enterprise at USW, said: “We are delighted that USW has again been chosen as the regional hub for Tranzfuser, and we’re excited to be mentoring and supporting the teams through the process.

“USW is all about giving students the skills to go out into the world and make a success of their ideas, and this is a great competition to gain further experience and potentially have access to vital funding.

“Those involved will be exposed to a range of industry specialists who can provide priceless advice and guidance. It is a fantastic opportunity for recent graduates from a range of disciplines to get involved in the games industry. We are looking forward to welcoming the 2017 teams and seeing a new set of great idea being turning into a reality.”

Deborah Farley, Head of Talent and Outreach at UK Games Talent and Finance CIC says, “Tranzfuser 2016 exceeded everyone’s expectations; from the calibre of the teams participating, contribution and involvement from the Local Hubs to the showcase event at EGX.

“We were delighted to go on a see six of the teams receive UK Games Fund grant funding and to continue our support of them.  This year we will be building on this success with more opportunities for teams to get involved, continued support during the competition and a showcase event to remember. This is a fabulous opportunity for any graduates looking to break into the UK Games Industry, don’t miss out!”

Applications for 2017 close on Monday 27th February at noon. http://tranzfuser.com/apply-now/


Tranzfuser 2016 Roundup

We’ve had a great summer being a hub for Tranzfuser. USW Games hosted two teams of graduates Topkek & Duel Fuel, providing working space, equipment, software and access to a fantastic set of mentors.

Over the 10 weeks of the summer programme the teams worked intensively on their game ideas and prototypes.

Topkek – Boden Project
Ringworld management simulator.
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Click to view Video

Duel Fuel – Infinite Void
An infinite running with a twist.

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Click to view Trailer

We invited many mentors in over the duration of the project to talk with the teams about their games and advise on best practice for development, with

A huge thank you to all of the mentors for taking part, Ian Thomas (Frictional Games & Talespinners), Ted Everett (Kerbal Space Programme), Russ Morris (Freelance Unity Specialist),  Anton Faulconbridge (Rant Media), Ella Romanos (Strike Game Labs & Rocket Lolly Games), Ben Cawthorne (Thud Media), Shame Skuse (Thud Media) and Karl Jones (Unity).

We also gave the teams chance to showcase their early work at the Wales Games Development Show in June.

When I first heard of Tranzfuser I knew how big it would be for everyone who took part. I wasn’t wrong. Tranzfuser had so much more to offer than just a £25k prize to further develop our game, with industry mentors coming in every week, to attending/showcasing at events. I felt taking part in Tranzfuser was one of the best start to my career that I could ask for. Although we didn’t get through to the last 6 to go on and win further funding, my team feel like winners with all we have learnt and experienced. 
Jack Bevan Davies (Duel Fuel – Team Lead)

“Tranzfuser was a great experience to gain as a practitioner in the industry. It provides a powerful experience for any student looking to launch themselves into the Games Industry by bridging the gap between university driven production and the “real world”. Allowing for unfiltered interaction with the industry ranging from working with contractors to attending events and dealing with competing for funding in a very real way. Regardless of its outcome, its true worth  lies in the lessons it teaches and those lessons are worth learning. In short, do it.
Lloyd Jones (Topkek – Team Lead)

The teams were also given the opportunity to showcase their work at EGX, meeting loads of industry people and members of the public.

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We’ve had great fun hosting the teams and we are now looking forward to next year and excited to see what project ideas it brings!


Win for Comet’s Tale at Ffresh Student Media Awards

Great news for Games Design graduates Seb Filby, Faye Allen & Sam Beale for winning a Ffresh Student Media Festival Award for their game Comet’s Tale in the Games & Interactive category.

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Great Week at GameCity 9!

GameCity9 Highlights
Once again this year we made our annual pilgrimage to GameCity in Nottingham, to completely immerse ourselves in games!

With talks and workshops from State of Play the creators of Lumino City, Christos Reid from Failnaut, James Parker’s fantastic Wise Old Games’ Owl, Ian Livingstone and Richard Bartle, Ed Stern, Chris Avellone, Zoe Quinn and Eline Muijres to mention a few! As we’ll as getting to play loads of fantastic games in the ‘Open’ galleries.

There was also an exciting announcement from Mike Bithell (a 2007 graduate) and Gisbourne Industries  about the upcoming game Volume, but more on that in another post.

It was also great to hear that GameCity will now become a permanent feature in Nottingham with the National Videogame Arcade opening in March 2015.

Showcase
We spent the whole day on Wednesday showing off some of the games created but current and recently graduated students of the USW Games Design course.

These included, Nix (Jackson Rolls-Gray, Sebastian Filby and Faye Allen), Beneath the Crimson Moon (Zack Finley, Sam Beale, Gary Kings, Rob Pearce, Ashley Lake and Mitchell Letherdale), SimRaiders (Matt Stockham) and Fragments (Adam Curtis). Nix went on to win this year’s Off The Map competition, but there will be more on that on another post. Ollie Elliot (a 2011 graduate) also brought along his new game Congo War Child.

All of last year’s graduating games can be seen on our 2014 Showreel…

More videos are available on the USW Games YouTube Channel and on USW Games Twitter.


USW Games Design Students – Team Unorthobox competing at Dare to be Digital 2014

Team Unorthobox from the USW Computer Games Design course have got themselves a place on this year’s highly acclaimed Dare to be Digital competition.

Dare to be Digital describes itself as a video games development competition for extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art. For the competition, teams of five students – usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio – develop a prototype video game, receiving mentoring from industry.

Team Unorthobox created AIIY, a playable fast-paced, 2D platform video game that is entirely focused on cooperation and teamwork, where every personal goal achieved unifies the team.

Lead Designer and Computer Games Design student Joey Richards says: “We couldn’t be more excited to take part. The team has been working hard for months, so it’s so rewarding to see that work pay off. It actually feels unreal, seeing it all coming together.”

At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at talent showcase event Dare ProtoPlay, where the general public and industry experts will get to play the games and vote for the winner.

To find out more and keep up with progress check out the Team Unorthobox Blog.

Team Unorthobox

Joey Richards – Lead designer (USW)
Adam Curtis – Animator and designer (USW)
Aaron Moss – Level designer (USW)
Jim Havard – Sound designer (USW)
Danny Quarmby – Programmer (University of Hull)

Henry Hoffman talks about developing for emerging platforms at Casual Connect

Henry Hoffman from Mudvark Games recently gave a talk about developing for emerging platforms at Casual Connect Europe.

He talks about approaching emerging platforms as ‘open betas’, from which to refine design, expand scope and capitalise on platform owners eagerness for content.