13 April 2016 - London, United Kingdom – Team from Brunel University beat two times reigning champions Goldsmiths to take home Ukie Student Game Jam Trophy with their game, Lost in Babel. Marmalade’s Mike Barwise chosen as ‘Mentor of the Universe’.
Ukie’s biggest ever student game jam has been won by Brunel University. Their game, Lost in Babel, was voted as best game created in a 36 hour competition last week as part of the London Games Festival. Lost in Babel will also be presented with a second award for being the most accessible game created in the Jam.
A panel of games industry experts voted Brunel the champion in a number of judging criteria including concept, playability, narrative, creativity, and accessibility. The theme revealed at the start of the game jam was ‘Utopia’.
Joseph Juson, team leader of Brunel, said, “We can't quite believe how well our game has gone down but we're so happy to have won these awards for 'Lost in Babel'. It's amazing to see our work and ideas appreciated at this level. The whole team - Oscar Barbosa, Ioana-Iulia Cazacu, Milly Gunn, Aimee White and Chee Yen Wang - pulled together brilliantly to develop this in such a short time - despite two of them being out of the country! We also have to thank our mentor Elisha Brown for her help, especially with regards to the accessibility of the game.”
Second place was awarded to Alpaca Punch Studios, from Chester University.
More teams than ever entered the biggest UK student game jam, with 20 teams entering from across Ukie’s UK-wide student membership, including:
University of Chester
University of Central Lancashire
University of East London
London South Bank University
National Film and Television School
Norwich University of the Arts
West College Scotland
The Game Jam was sponsored by Games London and Square Enix Collective, who provided refreshments for the students throughout the 36 hour jam.
Michael French, Programme Director of Games London, said, "Games London was proud to sponsor the Ukie Student Game Jam. We were impressed by the high quality of submissions for this year’s contest – an inspiring range of ideas that prove there is a ripe up-and-coming generation of new talented games developers to come. Our congratulations to Brunel, the well–deserved winners."
Phil Elliott, Creator and Project Lead for Square Enix Collective said, “Game jams are great – they’re a distillation of the whole cycle from concept to release, and a potent method of learning. But they’re also a huge challenge in building teams and demonstrating tenacity – so it’s fantastic to see so many teams take part this year. Congratulations to Brunel but well done to everybody who took part.”
The Game Jam also has a trophy awarded to Mentor of the Universe, which was won by Mike Barwise, who mentored a team from University of East London. Mike, Creative Director of Marmalade, was one of 20 games industry names who volunteered to mentor the student teams throughout the game jam, offering advice, guidance and adding specialist industry knowledge to the teams’ creative process.
Barwise said, "Mentor of the Universe! It was an honour to be involved with the jam and I'm so grateful to receive this award! I love the game jam form and how it brings the creative process under a shared microscope. Along with the camaraderie of pitching in to make that idea real and playable.
Full power to the talented team at UEL who were absolutely brilliant to make games with. They worked great as a team, and I look forward to seeing what they do next! Well done to all the other teams, mentors, and support that made it a fantastic event!"
This is the third annual Ukie Student Game Jam, which is open to members of Ukie’s Student Membership. Brunel have beaten two times champions Goldsmiths University to take the trophy, which will be awarded at Ukie HQ in the coming weeks.
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, added, "The judging panel and I have been blown away by the ideas and the range of games that each team produced in only 36 hours during the Ukie Student Game Jam. Every team should be really proud of the work they created and the valuable experience that they will have gained through the process. Huge congratulations to Brunel, and each team that took part and a big thank you to all our industry mentors.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.
Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
Some of the campaigns Ukie has been working on include the next gen skills campaign which pushed for computer science to be put back onto the national curriculum, Askaboutgames.com - a website where families can learn about playing games safely and sensibly and Ukie Student Membership which bridges the gap between education and industry for students leaving higher education.
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