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 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!


Nix – Available to Download Now!

Nix is available for Download Now! – Nix is the winner of the 2014 Off the Map competition.

Nix has been created by Jackson Rolls-Gray, Sebastian Filby and Faye Allen. The team created an underwater journey through Fonthill Abbey, the once-stunning Gothic revival country house in Wiltshire, which was demolished in 1846 after the collapse of its spectacular 300-foot tower twenty years earlier. Nix challenges gamers to reconstruct theAbbey via a series of puzzles in a spooky underwater world. It uses Oculus Rift, to enable the user to virtually explore the Abbey in its original splendour. The team used original drawings, maps of the estate and sounds held in the British Library’s collections.

The Off The Map competition is a collaboration between the British Library, Crytek and GameCity. It challenges higher education students based in the UK to create games inspired by the British Library’s collections, using Crytek’s cutting edge real-time technology Ceyengine.

The 2014 Off The Map competition accompanies the British Library’s current exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. Curators handpicked a number of items, ranging from maps, sounds, text, images, illustrations and architectural plans, to provide three Gothic themes for entrants to base their videogames on. These were author William Beckford’s home Fonthill Abbey, Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death and the seaside town of Whitby, which features in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


Beneath the Crimson Moon – Available to Download Now!

Beneath the Crimson Moon is available for Download Now! Get it today a give it a go, it’s a great game.

Beneath The Crimson Moon is an exploration puzzle game in which the player must find objects that can be destroyed. When destroyed, the materials gathered, can then be used to navigate obstacles by re-building other objects such as bridges or ladders. The game is fully voiced with a narrative and story. Team Members: Sam Beale – Visual Concept Designer, Zack Finley – Mechanic Designer, Gary Kings – Narrative and Audio Designer, Ashely Lake – 3D Asset Designer, Rob Pearce – Level Designer, Mitch Leatherdale – Level Designer.

Beneath the Crimson Moon was a finalist at Off the Map 2014.

The Off The Map competition is a collaboration between the British Library, Crytek and GameCity. It challenges higher education students based in the UK to create games inspired by the British Library’s collections, using Crytek’s cutting edge real-time technology Ceyengine.

The 2014 Off The Map competition accompanies the British Library’s current exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. Curators handpicked a number of items, ranging from maps, sounds, text, images, illustrations and architectural plans, to provide three Gothic themes for entrants to base their videogames on. These were author William Beckford’s home Fonthill Abbey, Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death and the seaside town of Whitby, which features in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


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 win Off The Map 2014 with thier game Nix

We are very pleased to announce that a team of students from the USW Computer Games Design course has won Off the Map 2014, a competition run by The British Library, Crytek and GameCity.

Off The Map 2014 Winners
Nix by Jackson Rolls-Gray, Sebastian Filby and Faye Allen. The team created an underwater journey through Fonthill Abbey, the once-stunning Gothic revival country house in Wiltshire, which was demolished in 1846 after the collapse of its spectacular 300-foot tower twenty years earlier. Nix challenges gamers to reconstruct theAbbey via a series of puzzles in a spooky underwater world. It uses Oculus Rift, to enable the user to virtually explore the Abbey in its original splendour. The team used original drawings, maps of the estate and sounds held in the British Library’s collections.

Once again this year we had two teams short listed in the final, the other was Beneath the Crimson Moon by Zack Finley, Sam Beale, Gary Kings, Rob Pearce, Ashley Lake and Mitchell Letherdale.

The Off The Map competition is a collaboration between the British Library, Crytek and GameCity. It challenges higher education students based in the UK to create games inspired by the British Library’s collections, using Crytek’s cutting edge real-time technology Ceyengine.

The 2014 Off The Map competition accompanies the British Library’s current exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. Curators handpicked a number of items, ranging from maps, sounds, text, images, illustrations and architectural plans, to provide three Gothic themes for entrants to base their videogames on. These were author William Beckford’s home Fonthill Abbey, Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death and the seaside town of Whitby, which features in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


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)