Semi-finalists announced for Epic Games’ $500,000 development contest

Epic development contest

Update February 22, 2017: The semi-finalists have been announced for Developing Beyond, a development competition hosted by Epic Games.

In the competition, developers had to pitch game ideas based around the concept ‘transformations’, to be built in the Unreal 4 engine. The six finalists have now all been given a $15,000 grant and access to a scientist to begin further developing their concepts. 

You could even end up with a title in our upcoming PC games list. 

The six finalists are below:

  • Cure Me! by Sluggerfly – Multiplayer game in which three scientists try to prevent an evolving entity’s breakout from quarantine.
  • Ecce Homo by Holy Warp – 3D action adventure game that explores the evolution of humans.
  • Seed by All Seeing Eye – Virtual reality game where players are able to discover, grow and engineer generative plant life.
  • Singularity by Random Logic Games – Interactive story game where an AI transforms constantly in order to adapt itself to new obstacles.
  • Terramars by Untold Games – A game in which the player adapts the environment of Mars by exploring the physiological changes required for humans to live on a different planet.
  • Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games – Narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death.

The judging panel will be headed up by comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman, and the judges will follow the development process over the course of a year, watching the games as they, well, transform.

Additionally, the panel includes Doom creator John Romero; historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes; Professor Ian Goodfellow, Head of Virology at the University of Cambridge; and Eurogamer video producer, reporter, and all-round lovely man Chris Bratt.

“As a gamer, these are all games that I’d love to get my hands on,” said Susan Calman. “It’s such a delight to be able to follow the developers’ journeys as they take this from initial idea to an early stage game. I can’t wait to see where their imaginations take these projects.”

Original Story January 25, 2017: Epic are hosting a year-long competition where the winners can walk away with over $200k. All they have to do is create a game based around the theme “transformations”, beating countless other entrants.

To be in with a chance, you first have to submit “compelling, immersive and highly entertaining game ideas based on the theme”, by February 10. I’d make a game about some robot aliens who have arrived on Earth after a war on their homeland, and each has the ability to turn into some kind of vehicle. Not sure what I would call it, though.

If selected, your game’s development will be followed through by a panel of judges, headed up by comedian Susan Calman, throughout the year.

The six semi-finalists will be announced on Feb 20, getting a $15,000 grant and the opportunity to work with a scientist to further develop their concept.

In July 2017 the progress of the six projects will be judged at Develop: Brighton where three teams will be selected to go through to the final round, each receiving $60,000. The winning team will be awarded $150,000 in January 2018. Second place will be awarded $50,000 and third place will be awarded $30,000.

“The submissions should draw inspiration from any aspect of this theme exploring the human condition – whether across moments or generations, microscopic or global, historical, geographic or indeed contemporary,” says the announcement.

“Human bodies and populations across the world are constantly changing, and with this comes new opportunities, unforeseen journeys and incredible challenges; from the consequences of a global shift towards urban living, to technological innovations revolutionising lives and even bacteria outwitting the best antibiotics.”

Head to the Developing Beyond site for details on how to enter.