For the last month, Epic have been whittling down entries to this year’s Make Something Unreal Live contest with the knife of game development experience and expertise. If you recall, entrants were tasked with pitching a game reflecting the theme of ‘Mendelian inheritance: genetics and genomics’.
170 European game dev students rose to the task, and 21 teams have now been chopped and diced to leave a shortlist of 12.
“We were extremely pleased with the high quality of all the submissions this year, with entries coming from teams across Europe,” said Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager at Epic Games and a member of the judging panel.
The theme is supported by biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust – whose Tomas Rawlings we shared a natter with recently – and required entrants to twist classical genetics to creative and potentially playable ends.
“We were looking for pitches which used the Mendelian Inheritance theme to develop clever and original ideas which would also be realisable in the time available,” continued Gamble. “Teams scored highly when they demonstrated that they were comfortable with the subject matter and could develop their idea into an engaging game.”
The panel brought together minds from Epic and the Trust, as well as the noggin of Stephen Gaffney, CEO of Fireteam.
Every team on the list below will now begin work on PC demos of their concepts using Epic’s UDK. The best four will finish off their demos live on stage at Gadget Show Live in April next year, where the winner will be decided and crowned with a brand new copy of Unreal Engine 4.
Dead Shark Triplepunch, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden – Loch Ness
DN-ARK, Université Montpellier 3 Paul Valéry, France – DN-ARK
Team Fat Totem, University of Abertay, Dundee – Fat Totem
Frobot Studios, Staffordshire University – UGENE
Legendary Muffin, Anglia Ruskin University – Regen
Ludorum Studios, Staffordshire University – Psych
Team Polymorph, Staffordshire University – Polymorph
Stafford Uni Freshers, Staffordshire University – (untitled)
Static Games, Bournemouth University – Mendel’s Farm
Team Catalyst, Northumbria & Newcastle University – Phenotype
Team Diploid, University of Abertay, Dundee – Team Diploid
Team Summit, University Of Abertay, Dundee – Beings
Dr Daniel Glaser, Head of Special Projects at the Wellcome Trust, said, “We’re delighted to see such a display of imagination inspired by the theme. We look forward to seeing how those longlisted evolve their concepts over the course of the competition. We want to inspire a new generation of games developers as part of our wider commitment to using games and gaming culture as a means of engaging people with science.”
If this list represents the new generation of European games, UK development is in safe hands.
Previous winners of Make Something Unreal include the mod team that became Red Orchestra developers Tripwire. Their Alan Wilson told us how to go about winning Make Something Unreal.