Winner announced for Epic Games' Make Something Unreal Live 2013
Epigenesis, a computer game developed by Dead Shark Triplepunch from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, has won Make Something Unreal Live 2013, the European student game development competition. The Wellcome Trust supported this year's competition, setting a genetics and genomics theme for the student developers.
Epigenesis is a multiplayer ball game played over rooftops with the added twist that when a player scores a goal, they get to plant a seed – which will, over the course of the game, change the playing environment. Judges praised Epigenesis for its ingenious concept, engaging gameplay and clever use of a scientific concept inspired by the theme for this year's competition.
The team extensively play-tested the game, including over six days at the Gadget Show Live. Following advice from games industry experts and advisors from the Wellcome Trust, they spent time developing the scientific aspects of the gameplay over the course of the show.
"Dead Shark Triplepunch was always a strong contender in this year's competition, and I thought they demonstrated maturity and cohesion throughout Gadget Show Live, plus a much-needed ability to keep calm under pressure," says Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager at Epic Games.
The Wellcome Trust's involvement in the competition builds on its ambition to bring science into the culture of games and support the next generation of developers.
Iain Dodgeon, Broadcast and Games Manager at the Wellcome Trust and a member of the judging panel, said: "This has been an exciting initiative to be involved with, and we're delighted it has uncovered fresh talent in the games industry. Dead Shark Triplepunch has shown how it's possible to draw creative inspiration from science, while never losing sight of the fact that they are producing a game that sets out to entertain."
Each of the shortlisted teams taking part in the competition worked with scientific mentors from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who helped them draw inspiration from the scientific theme for their games.
Dr Josh Randall from the Sanger Institute, science mentor to Dead Shark Triplepunch, said, "Developing a game involves a lot of detailed work, research and expertise, not unlike science. It has been fascinating to see how Epigenesis - which draws on epigenetics, an area of science that looks at how expression of genes can be regulated - has evolved as the competition progressed. It's been a pleasure to mentor such a talented team; they have a bright future ahead of them."
Dead Shark Triplepunch was presented with a commercial Unreal Engine 3 and Unreal Engine 4 licence for PC digital distribution, the main prize in this year's competition. This will enable the team to publish Epigenesis commercially in its own name.
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