Multi-award winning course in Wrexham sees three student teams reach finals of national competition
A multi-award winning course at Wrexham Glyndwr University has seen three teams reach the finals of a national competition aimed at developing UK games talent.
It is the fourth year in succession that teams from the Computer Game Development BSc at the university have been selected to participate in the Tranzfuser games design competition – and despite the complications students have faced this year, the university has been one of only four institutions across the country to successfully guide three full teams into the finals.
The three student-led teams will participate in this year’s Tranzfuser programme – launched by the UK Games Fund in 2016 and designed to help boost the UK’s future games development talent. Participating teams work together to develop new games – and get the opportunity to pitch for a £20,000 development prize fund.
In total, 28 teams from across the UK will participate in the competition this year – with the final decision being taken after teams pitch their products to the UK Games Fund team at a key national gaming event this autumn.
Rich Hebblewhite, senior lecturer and programme leader for the Computer Game Development BSc, said: “We are immensely proud of our teams for making into the Tranzfuser 2020 programme.
“As you can imagine, the Covid-19 crisis has been a tough challenge to overcome, and its testament to our students that they were able to keep focused and produce such outstanding work!”
The three teams from Glyndwr who will be participating in this year’s final are Roksalt Games, GRYM Titan Studios, and Bladestorm Studios.
GRYM Titan Studios’ Matt McDonald-Dick said: “ We’re really excited to be part of the Tranzfuser competition this year and know it wouldn’t be possible without the support of Glyndwr University.
“Arconaut is a project we are very passionate about and it wouldn’t be what it is without the input from our tutors like Rich and Jason.
“We are grabbing this opportunity tightly because we firmly believe that it could be the start of something special.
“Sometime in the future, when we are part of a successful game studio, we’ll look back and know this time was one of those key moments which defined our journey.”
His fellow finalist Connor Cranston, from Roksalt, hopes to use the Tranzfuser experience to establish his team as a successful independent studio.
“In addition, it allows us to create a more desirable portfolio to showcase some of the games that we have worked on,” he said.
“It means a lot to us that we are able to work on this game full time and have the opportunity to be part of the competition.
“Glyndwr University has continuously stood by us throughout our time there, and helped us gain a broad spectrum of abilities which enable us to successfully develop as a team, which in turn allows us to work efficiently and to a high standard.”
And Mike Ratcliffe, from Bladestorm Studios, added: “Being in Tranzfuser offers the team a great opportunity to develop a product with deadline goals and experience what it’s like to work within the industry itself.
“With Tranzfuser being a national competition, this gives us the opportunity to show off out capabilities of designing and creating a product from the ground up. The university has provided valuable tutorials and help on the different aspects of games development such as the workflow for 3D asset creation and how to use the Unreal Engine and other development software.
“The staff at university are always there to help anyone out and provide information or advice when requested which can be a big help at stressful times.
“My plans going forward are to complete the master’s year of the games development course to gain that extra knowledge from the University, before I leave to get a job within the games industry.
“The area that I will most likely want to join will be the 3D asset development as I’ve found it to be the most fun and enjoyable aspect of games dev.”
Rich added: “We have now helped our student teams acquire over £40,000 in direct funding over the last four years, and some of them have gone on to become award winning studios. We can’t wait to support this year’s new additions through the summer as the competition progresses.”
More information about Wrexham Glyndwr University’s BSc (Hons) in Computer Game Development, can be found here.
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