Mike Bithell is on the Game Industry Biz Top 100 list

A huge well done to Mike Bithell (BA Computer Games Design Graduate) for making the Games Industry Biz Top 100 Most Influential People in the British Games Industry List.

Taking up coding at a young age, Mike Bithell was destined for games. Although he worked at studios such as Blitz, it was his indie project Thomas Was Alone that made his name.

Taking inspiration from filmmakers such as Kevin Smith, Bithell focused on making impressive titles with a tight budget. Now he is an aspirational figure for many a hopeful one-man indie, but when asked for advice on how to make it in games, he reminds fellow developers that “they are not on the same journey.”

“The business changes weekly, so I try not to give too much advice,” he says.

Following huge commercial success came the chance to meet his heroes, such as Hideo Kojima, which Bithell describes as a “massive privilege.” But according to the Volume creator, it’s the audience that drives him.

“It sounds corny, but the best part of this job is meeting the people who play our stuff,” he says. “Fan art, cosplay, videos – everything that folks do with the games we make.”

Extract from http://www.gamesindustry.biz/top100/indie-leaders

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Graduate Spotlight: Tomos Hywel

Tomos Hywel graduated with a first class honors degree from BA (Hons) Game Art with a dream to become a character artist.

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We recently spoke with Tomos about his time on the BA (Hons) Game Art course here at the University of South Wales, here is what he had to say…

“I knew for a long time that I wanted to be a games artist but it wasn’t until my 2nd year that I discovered I had a great interest in anatomy and creature designs and developed a keen interest in sculpting through Zbrush. I therefore decided to focus on making character and creature artwork for games.

“The Game Art course not only helped me to discover the artistic field I wanted to pursue but gave me the tools I needed to develop my skills that would one day lead me to a job in the industry.

“I now work for Airship Images, a game art outsourcing studio as a junior character artist.

“I’ve had the pleasure of creating character artwork for AAA titles and short films. With the help of my lecturers, Simon Reed and Pierre Laffoux, I was able to graduate from the course with a first class honours degree and won the award for Best Game/ Game artist at the end of the year student showcase. I later won the award at the ‘Ffresh student festival’ for the same category. I started the course without any knowledge of 3d modelling and later graduated with the skills I needed to get noticed by the game industry.”

To see more of Tomos’ work please take a look at Artstation https://www.artstation.com/artist/tomos or his blog http://tomoshevans.blogspot.co.uk/

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For more information on how to apply or to book a place at one of our open days please visit http://www.southwales.ac.uk/games


USW Games supports Runwild Entertainment with funding from Tranzfuser & UK Games Fund

The University of South Wales (USW) has been named as one of three pioneering organisations that have been recognised for their contribution to the UK Games Talent’s Tranzfuser competition after grants from the UK Games Fund were awarded in their names.

USW, Digital Creativity Labs (DCL) in York, Eastern Enterprise Hub in the South East of England, each selected an industry start-up in their area to receive a share of £50,000 after each facility excelled in providing local hub support to competitors in the Tranzfuser 2016 competition process.

DCL chose Cooperative Innovations Ltd to receive a grant, while USW picked a start-up games develop company from Caerphilly called Runwild Entertainment Ltd to benefit from the money. Eastern Enterprise Hub decided to have the money in its name awarded to Miracle Tea, the company it has hosted during the Tranzfuser competition and beyond.

Head of Outreach and Talent at the UK Games Fund, Deborah Farley, explained the role of Local Hubs: ‘Tranzfuser offers entrepreneurial organisations across the UK the opportunity to support graduate teams who aspire to make their mark on the UK games industry.

‘With the help and support of Local Hubs we can provide competitors with an invaluable connection into a national competition. We know that our Local Hubs see great value in their role in Tranzfuser.

‘By providing support and physically hosting teams, it gives these organisations the chance to invest into the UK games industry at a grass root level.’

Production Director at Runwild Entertainment Ltd, Martin Onions, said: ‘Runwild Entertainment Ltd is made up of experienced games industry veterans with combined experience of 65 years. We’re currently developing our first game – a unique multiplayer experience that allows players to connect across different devices and interfaces.

‘This nomination shows how committed USW is to supporting its alumni and local games companies and as a graduate of USW and on a personal level I feel very grateful. The money means a lot to the company and will allows us to develop our first IP to the point where we can take it out to demonstrate to publishers and the public.’

Deborah added: ‘By awarding this money in recognition of the work of our Local Hubs we’ve had the opportunity not only to highlight the inauguration of Tranzfuser but also the hard work of hundreds of people across the country.

‘In actual fact, when it came to choosing the three winners the selection panel had an extremely difficult task to perform due to the high standard of professionalism and the level of support provided by our Local Hubs throughout the UK’

‘Tranzfuser is only a success because of every single one of our supporters and the commitment they give to helping our competitors. We cannot wait to work with an extended network of local hubs as part of Tranzfuser 2017.’

Find out more about Runwild Entertainment’s debut title Almighty… http://www.runwildent.com/almighty


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!


USW chosen as regional hub to develop new games talent

The University of South Wales (USW) will be helping to develop game designers this summer as part of an innovative new government funded games talent programme.

Tranzfuser, led by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, is designed to provide a platform for creative leaders of the future.

Tranzfuser Logo

It is aimed at graduates looking to break into the games development industry, with a strong focus on getting their game to market.

USW has been named as one of ten regional hubs across the UK, which will help to mentor graduates who apply to take part in the programme.

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

Applications are being invited from graduates to take part in the ten-week Tranzfuser programme throughout summer 2016.

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.

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 2016, 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 the University of South Wales, said: “We are delighted that the University of South Wales has been chosen as the regional hub for South Wales. We are looking forward to working with the regional teams as they develop their games, mentoring and supporting them through the process.

“This is a great competition for young games designers and developers to be involved with, particularly with the potential for the winners to receive funding for further development of their game. Young games designers and developers will be exposed to a range of industry experts and mentors to provide advice and guidance throughout their development journey. It is a fantastic opportunity for recent graduates from a range of disciplines to get involved in the games industry.”

Applications close on April 15 2016 with successful applicants starting their ten-week game development from June 1 2016.

For more information about the programme and details of how to apply, visit the Tranzfuser website.

(Original text from… http://www.southwales.ac.uk/news/2016/usw-chosen-regional-hub-develop-new-games-talent/ )


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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Games Gradshow 2015

A few weeks ago the Games Gradshow was in full swing, showing off final year undergraduate work from students on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design and BA (Hons) Game Art courses.

IMG_2628It was pretty busy from the get go, with lots of people coming to visit from local games, animation and media companies. If you missed the show, you will be able to see a selection of the work at the Wales Games Development Show on the 19th June… http://walesgamesdevshow.org/ or you can take a look at this year’s showreel.

If you are interested in joining one of our courses, we have a Postgraduate Open Day on 17th June an Undergraduate Open Day on the 4th July.