Gosh, I’d better make sure I know where my code-goggles are. In a week and a half’s time, four hardened student teams will set up shop at Gadget Show Live and start rendering cherries to top the sweet games they’ve spent the last few months conceiving and developing. They’ll do so watched by a panel of Make Something Unreal judges, UK games industry gurus, show visitors, and us, PCGamesN.
We’ll be there to track the progress of four very different games as they’re assembled before our eyes onstage at Birmingham’s NEC. The teams have been working for months with Epic’s Unreal Development Kit on projects themed around ‘Mendelian inheritance: human genomics and genetics’, and with the help of biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust have come up with a handful of killer concepts:
- Epigenesis, by Dead Shark Triplepunch of Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, is a multiplayer FPS sports game where the objective is to score goals by blasting a ball through the opposing team’s goal. It features evolving environments and a force weapon known as a PUFF which pushes other players around.
- Mendel’s Farm, by Static Games of Bournemouth University, is a game of agricultural management. Mendel’s Farm is all about making a successful business from breeding mutant chickens – a “Theme Hospital meets Farmville.”
- Polymorph, by Team Polymorph of Staffordshire University, is a third-person platformer about stealing evolutionary traits from other creatures and using these to solve problems and take control of your environment. Making use of a rhino’s horn is always useful for butting your way through obstacles.
- Beings, by Team Summit of the University of Abertay, Dundee, are working to finish their puzzle game. Beings is primarily pitched at an audience between six and 10 years of age. It challenges players to breed creatures that inherit the characteristics of their parents – characteristics that will help them to overcome obstacles and reach their destination.
The final will kick off with a lunchtime reception sponsored by 3D solutions supplier bluegfx on Tuesday April 2nd. Hardware kings NVIDIA are providing computers and monitors for the show, which the 30 students will use to polish up their ideas, while Logitech will supply peripherals, including the ever-useful keyboards and mice.
If you’re there, come and say hello. We’re nice.