17 May 2017 - London, United Kingdom
-Annual student game jam sees more students than ever before compete
-Sponsored by Criteron Games, Unity and Gram Games
-Special Awards for Accessibility and Mentor of the Universe
Games trade body Ukie have kicked off their biggest ever Student Game Jam this morning, which will see 21 teams from across Ukie’s UK-wide student membership compete over 48 hours between 17-19 May.
This is the fourth year that Ukie have run the competition, which is designed to increase student’s learnings outside of the classroom and give them tangible game making experience, as well as building links between the educational institutions and industry.
Competing to beat last year’s winners, Brunel University, are teams from:
University of Chester
London South Bank University
National Film Television School
Norwich University of the Arts
University East London
West College Scotland
This year sees more teams than ever before taking part, as well as the event being extended to 48 hours to give the students the chance to make the best game possible under the theme of ‘EMPOWERMENT’.
Each team will be supported across the Jam by an industry mentor, who will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice to the students. Mentors have been recruited from top games companies including:
Cold Sun Studios
Fire Hazard Games
Gas Light Games
Mentors will be nominated by their teams for the ‘Mentor of the Universe’ trophy, and this year sees the return of the Jam’s Accessibility Award, judged by accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton.
The winners of the Accessibility Award will be taken to Creative Assembly for a tour of the studio followed by lunch with the members of the Creative Assembly team.
The Best Game trophy comes with free passes to EGX for the whole team, courtesy of Gamer Network, vouchers for Insert Coin Clothing and a swag bag of EA merchandise.
The 2017 Ukie Student Game Jam is sponsored by Criterion Games, Unity and Gram Games.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “We are very pleased to have the support of the industry to hold our biggest ever Student Game Jam. The Jam gives the emerging generation of talent the opportunity to test their skills, challenge their creativity, and build valuable relationships with the industry. Our Student Membership programme, which represents over 2,000 students across the UK, goes from strength to strength and the more experience they get in making games with expert guidance from industry professionals, the better. We look forward to playing the games.”
Matt Webster, General Manager of Criterion, said, “We’ve incorporated regular studio-wide game jams into the way that we work at Criterion as a fantastic way to experiment and develop rapid creative collaboration. We know that the more games we make, the better we get, so supporting a new generation of game makers to get together to hone their skills in order to find out what it takes to make a game is exciting and inspiring to all of us. We can’t wait to see what gets created, good luck!”
Liz Mecuri, Educational Evangelist at Unity, said, “Unity are proud to continue supporting Ukie in recognising, nurturing and empowering the creativity of the next wave of game development talent”
Erin O'Brien, Cultural Developer at Gram Games, said, "We strongly believe the importance of introducing subjects like games, science, and technology to young gamers at an educational level. Education is where gender biases can form, and we, as an industry, need to make sure that students have access to the right resources.
"Ukie's Student Game Jam is a brilliant example of providing an outlet for young gamers to flex their creativity and learn on the job. Personally, I'm excited to see how the students respond to the themed brief."
Follow the progress of the teams on Ukie’s twitter @uk_ie and @UkieStudents.
For all press enquiries, please contact Sophie Densham firstname.lastname@example.org or @ukiesophie
About UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie)
Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) is the only trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies, working across online, mobile apps, consoles, PC, eSports, VR and AR.
Ukie aims to support, grow and promote member businesses and the wider UK games and interactive entertainment industry by optimising the economic, cultural, political and social environment needed for businesses to thrive.
Ukie works closely with the sector to influence government and decision makers, lobbying successfully for the 2014 Video Games Tax Relief, the UK Games Fund, and the Next Gen Skills campaign which resulted in a new Computer Science Curriculum. Ukie makes connections for businesses and help them access the opportunities a digital economy offers, via a successful International Trade programme, running UK Games Industry stands at the biggest international industry events.
It promotes the industry by working with the media to raise awareness of the sector’s positive cultural and economic contribution, as well as the societal benefits of games. Ukie runs askaboutgames.com, where families can learn about safe and sensible online practices, parental controls and age ratings.
Ukie’s skills work serves to increase inclusion and diversity, advocating a STEAM approach to education. Initiatives include the Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), Video Games Ambassadors (VGAs), a Student Membership scheme, and a professional development programme.
Ukie commissioned the Blueprint for Growth report in 2015, an independent review of the UK games industry with recommendations for decision makers in Parliament for how the industry can grow.
In 2016 Ukie partnered with Film London to deliver Games London, a ground breaking new three-year programme to promote the UK as the games capital of the world, the focal point of which is the annual London Games Festival.