Something’s changed in the third-hand, convention-hall air at Gadget Show Live today. Yesterday, as the press wandered unhindered from stand to stand, Make Something Unreal’s four teams of student finalists were available for as many smiles and handshakes as needed. Today, it’s as if somebody left a people-tap on overnight. As Joe Public and all his mates fill up the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, a poor journalist has to fight for a spare minute with one of Epic’s chosen hopefuls. But fight I did, dear reader, for you. Here are my spoils.
When I caught up with the teams this morning they’d had the very foundations of their creations shaken and tested for integrity by Jon Hare, formerly of Sensible Software, now head of Tower Studios. With only five days to go before a panel of industry judges decides which of the four will be granted the Unreal Engine 4 license needed to bring their game to commercial release, the students must decide which advice to take on board and which to shove under the carpet as they apply several last licks of polish to their genetics-themed prototypes.
Tobias Johansson of Dead Shark Triplepunch talked about Hare’s suggested changes for FPS futuresport Epigenesis, and the team’s eternal struggle with accessibility:
Team Summit struggled to meet demand for PCs on which to play Beings, their puzzle-platformer designed for ages three-and-up:
Kairos Games were advised to work a little more visual clarity into their evolutionary 3D platformer, Polymorph:
And Brett Whitehead of Static Games took a break from dreaming up pig mutations for Mendel’s Farm to ponder the arcane art of HUD design:
Which of the four games would you wager has most potential?
Jeremy’s at Gadget Show Live to track the teams’ progress throughout the week. For more on all four games, roll your eyes over our Make Something Unreal Live 2013 coverage to date.