Top graduates put their games to the test at UK’s biggest games gathering

Top graduates put their games to the test at UK’s biggest games gathering

The UK’s next generation of video game talent will compete for up to £25,000 of government funding today at the UK’s biggest consumer video games show, EGX.

Tranzfuser, a graduate talent competition funded by the government and UK Games Fund (UKGF), sees 23 teams from across the country battling it out for grants which could take their games into the homes of millions of gamers.

The teams have been working over the summer to produce playable demos of their games and showcase them to the expected 75,000 people who will attend the show in Birmingham.

The teams will not only have to impress the thousands of game fans, but will need to pitch their projects to a panel of industry experts to be in with a chance of winning the funding.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital, said: "The UK's video games industry is one of our biggest success stories and the Government's UK Games Fund exists to ensure it has access to a steady pipeline of talent.

“From concept through to publishing, Tranzfuser helps graduates hone the skills that are essential to the success of start-up companies and to growing the volume of original games made in Britain. I wish all of this year’s entrants the best of luck at EGX.”

Already awarded a grant of £5,000 from UKGF, the teams have been working on their own projects with support provided by a nationwide network of Tranzfuser Local Hubs based at some of the best universities for video game design and development, including Brunel, Glasgow Caledonian and Teesside.

Deborah Farley, head of talent and outreach at UK Games Fund, said: “This year’s teams have been phenomenally dedicated and passionate competitors.

“Each of the 23 teams has shown commitment, innovation and tenacity in what has been a challenging 10 week development window.

“Taking an idea from scribbles on paper to a playable demo at the UK’s largest consumer video games event is an outstanding achievement, especially when you consider the teams are new to the industry.

“Their success is in large part thanks to the support provided by our pioneering network of Local Hubs; the universities and innovation centres have gone above and beyond in their work with the teams. We’re thrilled to showcase the class of Tranzfuser 2017 to the 75,000+ attendees at this year’s EGX.”

The diverse bunch of teams have been working on a wide range of fun and innovative games, from single-player puzzle-based games to multiplayer room-scale virtual reality experiences.

Rory Thomson, programmer at Pocket Sized Hands in Dundee said: “Tranzfuser has been a bit of a wild ride.

“So many ups and downs over the course of the 10 weeks - from being invited to the Valve offices in Seattle to game breaking bugs that took a few days to fix.

“Game development comes with a wide range of emotions and as you can imagine at times it can be pretty stressful.

“But with the support from the UK Games Talent team, we have got Honeypot Espionage to a stage where we are excited to show it off at EGX and we can’t wait for the public to get their hands on it.”

The Tranzfuser competition is unique in being a UK-wide talent programme linked directly to a prototype fund allowing new teams to benefit from grants and peer to peer interaction with a host of other early stage games development companies.

Teams that secured support from UKGF in the first Tranzfuser in 2016 are now successful studios. Cold Sun Studios and Miracle Tea Studios are both working towards release of their funded projects.