Ukie reveals ‘Code Name Spy’ as the winner of the biggest ever Ukie Student game jam and names James Woodrow as ‘Mentor of the Universe’ 2015

Thursday 14th May 2015 - London, United Kingdom - Ukie announces ‘Code Name Spy’ developed by a team of students from University of Goldsmiths as the winners of the second annual Ukie Student game jam

‘Code Name Spy’ has been named as the winner of the biggest ever Ukie Student game jam, making it the second consecutive win from students at the University of Goldsmiths. This year’s Ukie Student game jam was sponsored by Square Enix’s project Collective and the NextGen Skills Academy. The jam, which ran from Monday 11th – Tuesday 12th May - saw 14 teams from Ukie’s student membership competing against each other to create the best game possible in 36 hours, with the theme’ identity crisis’.

The teams were paired with industry mentors and supplied with food and drink throughout courtesy of our sponsors, with the winning game being an exclusive pitch on Square Enix’s project Collective and receiving a specially made trophy for their university.

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie said, “The standard of games that the Ukie students managed to make in such a short period of time was amazing. The jam offers invaluable experience to games industry stars of tomorrow and gives them a chance to get quality one-to-one time with key industry people. All the entrants have really done themselves proud.”

Goldsmiths Student and team leader Aldo Curtis said “We had a great time and we are ecstatic to have been chosen as the winners with our game, Code Name Spy. We wanted to make something different which fitted the jam theme and this is why we came up with a conversation game where you play through a seven year old’s idea of a spy movie . Myself and the team (Sam Hayhurst, Richard Fox, Sokol Murturi, Andrea Castegnaro) spent a lot of time laughing about the art, sounds and the ridiculous script but we learned so much from the jam. We had a great venue at Goldsmiths, and being partnered with an industry mentor, like our own mentor Ed Fear, meant we could get valuable critique, tips, advice and comments on the game which really helped us create the best game possible in the given time.”

Creator and project lead for Square Enix’s Collective platform Phil Elliott said: “It's been fantastic to work with Ukie once again, and to have the privilege of spending time with one of the teams through the process. I believe strongly that game jams are invaluable in providing practical experience of the game creation process, and an environment that encourages creativity and risk - both elements which are vital to the long term health of the games industry.”

Managing director of NextGen Skills Academy and Judge, Gina Jackson said “Huge congratulations to the winning team of this year's Ukie Student Game Jam.  I was extremely impressed by the quality of the games that were created; it never fails to amaze me that so much can be achieved in such a short space of time, which is a testament to the wealth of creativity and talent that exists out there in the student community when it comes to game design and creation.  It was our pleasure to be a sponsor of this event. Developing the next generation of game makers is what NextGen is all about"

Ukie also collected feedback from the teams about their mentors throughout the Jam and asked the students why their mentor should win the title of ‘Mentor of the Universe’ along with a specially-made trophy. With outstanding feedback and support from the Norwich University of the Arts team, James Woodrow has seized the title.

Mentor of the Universe and CEO of Utopian World of Sandwiches, James Woodrow said “I am completely lost for words. It is such a privilege to have been awarded Mentor of the Universe! It's very moving to have been put forward by the team. They put in a lot of hard work and it was an absolute pleasure to have worked with such a terrific bunch over the course of the jam. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in the future as they really came together to produce something quite beautiful for their first ever game jam and I am sure they all have bright futures ahead of them in the industry. I hope that everyone involved enjoyed the experience as much as I did.”

The special award for ‘Inclusive Game Design’ was won by team BananaSoft from Staffordshire University for their game ‘Space Joust’. Ian Hamilton, Accessibility specialist commented on the game saying "The efforts were excellent by any standards, let alone for 48 hours' work. Considerations ranged from a dyslexia-friendly font to visual cues for sounds, from symbols in addition to colours to a platformer controlled by voice alone. Space Joust is a great example of how complexity and fun can be achieved through simple configurable controls; they also managed a good base level for many different types of impairment, so that fun is accessible to a very broad audience."

‘Code Name Spy’, ‘Space Joust’ and all other game entries from the game jam will be available on Ukie’s website in the coming weeks.