Essex team chosen for Virgin Media 100 Day Game Project
21 June 2012
A team of video game developers from the University of Essex have been picked by Virgin Media to develop the next big game for mobile and tablet devices in just 100 days.
If everything goes according to plan they will launch their creation at one of the UK’s biggest gaming events Eurogamer Expo 2012.
The Essex team called Surface Tension Studios (STS) includes BSc Computer Science students Joe Le Grice and David Pearson with BSc Computer Games students Dan Scott and Guy Cass. They have received £10,000 for winning the Virgin Media 100 Day Game Project competition and are now working to develop their game concept into a full working game at the Prototyping Studio at the University of Abertay Dundee.
A gruelling selection process saw STS present their ideas to a panel of leading developers including Douglas Hare (CEO Outplay Entertainment), David Hamilton (Managing Director Digital Goldfish), Tom Champion (Community Manager Eurogamer), and Andrew Eades (CEO Relentless).
The judges were particularly impressed by STS’s enthusiasm and energetic delivery. For the next 100 days STS will be supported to turn their idea into a reality by the judges plus games industry mentors including Craig Lawson from Ubisoft and Michael Nimmo from Codemasters.
STS team leader David Pearson said: “We’re all just completing our third year at university and we came together as a team because of our passion for video games. We’ve got a wide range of skills within the team and we can’t wait to put these into practice to develop this game.
“We’re thrilled to be taking part in this project and beyond this we’re all planning on working in the games industry in the future, so this is a fantastic opportunity for us all.”
The team’s winning game concept is called Superfluid, a puzzle-based platform game. In the game the player takes control of a character called Superfluid which is able to change between three states: solid, liquid and gas. Each state has its own abilities which can be used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies in order to progress.
Luke Southern, head of sponsorship at Virgin Media, said: “What we really liked about STS was their take on a puzzle game. They have designed an interesting use of controls and physics to create an innovative game with broad appeal. To top it off, their strong visual style, and solid team dynamic means that they are well placed to tackle the intense 100 day project.
“Britain is a leading light in games development, and we are proud and excited to be supporting emerging talent through this competition.”
Members of the public can follow the game’s progress whilst in development at the Virgin Media 100 Day Game Project website and even put forward their own thoughts and comments about the direction of the game through Facebook and Twitter.
For more information about the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex please call the Commmunications Office on 01206 874377.
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