Henry Hoffman’s wins first prize in the Leap Motion 3D Jam!

Henry Hoffman’s, Aboard the Lookinglass has won 1st prize in the Leap Motion 3D Jam competition.

It’s a science-fiction game about dimensional time, a rescue mission gone awry and a disconcerting future. The game uses the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion. Beautiful visuals, interesting mechanic and control, make for a great little game.

Available to download from http://thehen.itch.io/lookinglass.

You can find out more about the game in an interview with Henry… http://blog.leapmotion.com/aboard-the-lookinglass-your-left-hand-holds-the-past-your-right-hand-reveals-the-future/

Or if you’d prefer to hear him talking about it…


Computer Games Design graduate Alice Rendell makes Develop’s 2014 30 under 30 list

Congratulations to Alice Rendell who has made it onto Develop’s 2014 30 Under 30 list.

Here is Alice’s listing from the full list…

Alice Rendell Game designer, Kobojo (27)
Commended for her passion and hard work, Alice Rendell is a promising games designer currently working at Kobojo.

Having spent over three years at the firm’s Paris HQ, she returned to Dundee earlier this year to work on Zodiac, a JRPG co-developed with former Final Fantasy staff.  Prior to Kobojo, she worked at Facebook games specialist Ooblada and offered consulting advice on game design at studio We Move Beyond. To this day, she continues to write articles and give lectures offering game design tips to new developers.


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)

Two Newport Computer Games Design graduates make the Develop 30 Under 30 list

Congratulations to Dan Da Rocha and Luke Williams who have both made it onto Develop’s 2013 30 Under 30 list.

Here are Dan and Luke’s listing from the full list…

Daniel Da Rocha Managing Director, Mudvark (24)
Starting Toxic Games straight out of university in 2010 with investment from the US-based Indie Fund, Daniel Da Rocha project led the student game QUBE. Released in 2012 on Steam, he was able to pay back the initial funding in just four days. Following this, Da Rocha, 24, set up Mudvark that year to focus on HTML5 games for mobile and the web. Mudvark released its debut game, Mortar Melon, at the end of 2012 and has racked up over 800,000 downloads on the Windows Store alone.”

Luke Williams Game Designer, Bossa Studios (26)
Twenty-six-year-old Luke Williams started off as a QA tester at Bossa in July 2012. In less than a year, he has worked tirelessly to become the studio’s in-house game designer. Partly mentored by Mike Bithell, Williams has gone to create Surgeon Simulator 2013, which has sold almost half a million copies. Credited as being instrumental in the game’s creation, his colleagues say he displays great design ability. Williams is now working on the studio’s latest upcoming game, Time to Live.”

Henry Hoffman also got an honourable mention!

In 2010 another of our graduates Mike Bithell made it onto the list too!


Mudvark: The Importance of Christmas Updates

The Mudvark guys Dan Da Rocha and Henry Hoffman, have been chatting away with the Microsoft UK Developers Blog about why it’s important to release Christmas updates, for their game Mortar Melon which has over 800,000 downloads and hit the number one game in the US!

The original article can be found here … http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/mudvark-the-importance-of-christmas-updates/week03dec13?fb_action_ids=10151727652721266&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B605949239442796%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Article Image

Christmas is coming, and in the build up to the festivities we’re bringing you marketing tips and tales from developers to help you prepare your apps for some brand new users. Taking advantage of the larger audience around this time is incredibly important for your own success, so we caught up with Mudvark to see what their plans are for updating Mortar Melon in time for the holidays.

How has Mortar Melon performed on Windows 8?

Mortar Melon has far exceeded our wildest expectations, amassing over 800,000 downloads and hitting the number one game in the US. At the beginning of development we’d hoped to hit around 3,000 downloads, giving us time to refine and fix issues, but the rate of adoption took us massively by surprise. Our success then attracted publisher interest, which has in turn provided us with the financial support necessary to continue development well into the New Year.

Has Windows 8.1 brought anything new to the table that particularly excites you?

As HTML5 game developers, we’re always super excited about the capabilities of new Internet Explorer releases. Windows 8.1 has Internet Explorer 11, bringing WebGL support to Internet Explorer for the first time. This is massive for us, as it allows us to use GLSL ES shaders – which means a host of fancy effects for things like realistic fluid simulation, Photoshop-style blending modes and dynamic lighting effects. We’ve managed to fake a lot of effects with Mortar Melon, but we’re really looking forward to the options it presents for future games on Windows.

Mudvark: The Importance of Christmas Updates

What do you plan to add around Christmas?

We’ve got a whole new world with 24 additional levels and an icy theme. A new portal mechanic also makes an appearance which makes for some great puzzle designs. Hopefully we’ll also get a chance to add some more festive treats too!

Why is updating at Christmas so important?

Christmas Day is one of the most competitive times, and with other developers striving to cash in on new users, it’s important to be able to hold your ground in the charts. Being able to adapt to seasonal themes makes the app retain relevance and helps convey active support from the developers. One of our biggest spikes in downloads was Christmas morning last year, so ensuring you have an update for Christmas isn’t just about seasonal themes – it’s also about ensuring that you make the best possible impression to a potentially game-defining audience.

Where do you see Mudvark this time next year?

A year ago we hadn’t released a game, so it’s crazy to imagine where we could be a year from now. We’ve been working with melons for quite a while now, so it would be great to see us releasing a new, even more ambitious project!

Still need some convincing to make a Christmas update? Check out “Seasonal apps: are they worth the effort” by Gary Pretty.

The original article can be found here … http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/mudvark-the-importance-of-christmas-updates/week03dec13?fb_action_ids=10151727652721266&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B605949239442796%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D


Computer Games Design Degree Show 2013

Dates & times: Monday 17 – Friday 21 June
Private view: Wednesday 19 June, from 6pm
Tickets: Free private view tickets go to www.southwales.ac.uk/gradfest2013
Venue: Newport City CampusA29/20 and screening in exhibition space

From superheroes, temporal manipulation, difficult decisions and cute dragons, come and play exciting and innovative games, talk to the developers and see sophisticated and enthralling artwork from the award winning Computer Games Design programme at the University.

BA (Hons) Computer Games Design has produced BAFTA award winning and nominated alumni with significant commercial and independent success. Presented alongside the BA and MA animation programmes, it promises to be an impressive showcase.

Come and play.