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Finalists announced for Epic Games’ Make Something Unreal Live 2013

7 December 2012

Four teams have been selected to compete in the grand final of Make Something Unreal Live 2013, the European student game development competition. This year’s theme, ‘Mendelian inheritance: genetics and genomics’, is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Earlier this week, the 12 teams shortlisted in the competition presented their work-in-progress live to a panel of judges at the Wellcome Trust. The teams were ranked on a range of criteria, including use of science, concept originality and presentation quality.

The four successful teams were:

  • Dead Shark Triplepunch (Blekinge Institute of Technology), for 'Loch Ness'
  • Kairos Games (Staffordshire University), for 'Polymorph'
  • Static Games (Bournemouth University), for 'Mendel's Farm'
  • Team Summit (Abertay), for 'Beings'.

The judging panel comprised Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE (the games industry trade association); Stephen Gaffney, CEO of Fireteam; Tim Edwards, editor of 'PC Games'; and senior personnel from Epic Games and the Wellcome Trust.

"We were hugely impressed by the quality of all twelve shortlisted entries to this year's competition," commented Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager at Epic Games and a member of the judging panel. "We have some real talent among the teams and it was a difficult decision to pick just four."

Dr Darren Logan, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and a member of the judging panel, said: "Interestingly, all four finalists tackled different characteristics of the theme, cleverly representing important, and often misunderstood, aspects of Mendelian inheritance. The constraints of the theme have challenged the teams to think more creatively and they have demonstrated the potential to really enhance the game through the science itself. "

The successful teams now have four months until the start of Gadget Show Live, April 2013, to work on their games using Epic's Unreal Development Kit, the free edition of its Unreal Engine 3 game development framework. In addition, middleware provider Allegorithmic is providing all finalists with full licences of its Substance Designer texturing solution.

The teams will be mentored by selected games development studios throughout the process and will also be able to call on scientific support from the Wellcome Trust.

At the Gadget Show Live, finalists will rapidly iterate upon on their games live on the show floor in front of the Make Something Unreal Live judges and visitors to the show. On the final day of the exhibition, the overall winning team will be announced and awarded with a commercial Unreal Engine 4 licence for PC digital distribution.

Make Something Unreal Live 2013 is also supported by Staffordshire University, Epic's educational partner for the programme, and UKIE.

Jo Twist of UKIE said: "I was so impressed by the quality and diversity of the teams and their presentations. This is a perfect example of how our industry can work more closely with the education community to help nurture the very best talent. The support from industry mentors and real-world pitching experience is so vital for the next generation of developers which will feed and sustain our fantastic industry."

Follow the progress of this year’s MSUL on Facebook.

Image: ‘Polymorph’. Credit: Kairos Games.

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