As most of you probably know, the finalists of the Irish heat of the Dare to be Digital competition gathered in Dublin last Friday to pitch their game concepts to a interview panel of Irish and UK based industry and educational personnel. The team members were given a tight time schedule in which to pitch their ideas and they were judged in terms of the creativity of their idea and the market potential of their game.
The winning game is a third-person puzzle/adventure set in 1950s America. The game is in the style of an old B-Movie with the game’s main character being a college student who has been turned into a monkey by an undercover Russian scientist posing as a college professor (always an issue in academia!). The student must go through a series of challenges on a college campus in order to return to his human state. Apparently the character is able to change its simian form to undergo these challenges i.e. turn into a spider monkey to go through air vents, transform into a silver-back gorilla to undertake physical challenges.
The Red Ruckus team members are Brian Murray, Angus Lynn, James Murphy, all DLIADT, and Andy Rohan, Shane Culliton, both DCU. The three students from DLIADT are all in their second year studying animation, while the two from DCU are both in their fourth year studying Computer Applications.
They beat off some strong competetion from Trinity College, Dublin; Ballyfermot College of Further Education; DIT; Bray Institute of Further Education; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; NCAD and Institute of Technology Carlow.
The winning team will spend their summer in Dundee developing their game concept and will compete against teams from Scotland, Korea and Malaysia at the end of the summer. They will compete for a prize fund of STG5,000, as well as follow-up support to develop their prototype to commercial reality.
Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to all the other teams. Hopefully all the hard work that teams put into the competition has helped them to get a taste for game development and forged new links and partnerships which can be built upon. Congratulations also the the Digital Hub and partners, Diageo Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA Ireland for organising the competition and giving Irish students and recent graduates a chance to compete in the competition.
The interview panel included the following: Charlie Rohan, Head of Design, NCR; Julia Bond, Games Producer, BBCi; Michel Buch-Anderson, Group Manager for Microsoft Games Studios; Paul Durrant, Director, University of Abertay’s Business Development Office; Michael Griffin, CEO, Kapooki Games; and Gerry Carthy, General Manager, Vivendi Universal Games.