Black Death, life on Mars and plant breeding games in Developing Beyond final

Games exploring the legacy of the Black Death, life on Mars and plant breeding have made it to the final phase of Developing Beyond, a $500,000 year-long competition created by Epic Games and Wellcome.

Developing Beyond judges (left to right) Mike Gamble, Susan Calman, Iain Dodgeon, Ian Goodfellow and Chris Bratt.

Credit: Joe Brady Photography

Developing Beyond judges (left to right) Mike Gamble, Susan Calman, Iain Dodgeon, Ian Goodfellow and Chris Bratt.

Lost Forest Games, All Seeing Eye and Untold Games were chosen from six semi-finalists. The finalists' line-up was revealed at Develop:Brighton 2017. Each team will now receive $60,000 to continue developing their games.

The overall prize of $150,000 will be awarded in January 2018.

Iain Dodgeon, Wellcome's Broadcast, Games and Film Manager, says: "It’s always surprising to see what happens when scientists and developers work together. Science is inherently creative and so is games development. Developing Beyond creates games for new audiences and a new way for people to explore scientific ideas. Things we can imagine but aren’t yet possible or accessible we can see becoming real in these shortlisted games."

The three teams in the final were revealed at Develop:Brighton 2017

The finalists

  • Seed by All Seeing Eye – a virtual reality game where players are able to discover, grow and engineer plant life.
  • Terramars by Untold Games – a game in which the player adapts to the environment of Mars by exploring the physiological and psychological challenges humans face when living on a different planet.
  • Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games – a narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death.

The judging panel

  • Comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman
  • Professor Ian Goodfellow, Head of Virology at the University of Cambridge
  • Chris Bratt from Eurogamer
  • Mike Gamble from Epic Games
  • Iain Dodgeon from Wellcome.

Speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton, Susan Calman, Chair of the judging panel, said: "All six games are hugely creative and impressed the judges. Each had merit but the three we chose to go forward are those that integrated the transformations theme alongside playability. I’m looking forward to revisiting the games over the coming months to see how they develop."

Background to the Developing Beyond competition

In January 2017, Epic Games and Wellcome announced a $500,000 year-long competition. The aim was to create new games with real scientific merit that explore the theme of ’Transformations‘ using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4.

The project has been developed by our Public Engagement team, who support the best ways of bringing science and health research closer to society. 

This is the third collaboration between Epic Games and Wellcome. The previous two were Make Something Unreal Live and The Big Data VR Challenge.

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