Epic Games and Wellcome have teamed up for a $500,000 year-long video competition. Three game development teams have made it into the last stage of the Developing Beyond competition, with each securing $60,000 in funding.
Six semi-finalist teams — selected from a stack of more than 100 applications — met at Develop:Brighton conference where they were judged by a panel led by comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman and joined by judges Professor Ian Goodfellow, Head of Virology at the University of Cambridge, Eurogamer’s Chris Bratt, Epic’s Mike Gamble and Iain Dodgeon from Wellcome on their responses to a brief to make a game around the theme of transformations taking inspiration “from scientific ideas” and using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4.
The three finalists were 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” and Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games “a narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death.”
“Since I got my first BBC computer when I was ten I’ve loved gaming, from my N64 to my PlayStation, games have played a really important part in my life,” Susan Calman told It’s Nice That. “When I get home from tour, one of the first things I do is sit on my sofa and play the latest release. To me it’s a social and interactive part of my life. Gaming like comedy is an easy way of exposing people to different ideas and concepts and so to me it’s a perfect fit to expand the ideas of Wellcome in partnership with Epic to create a new audience for ideas.”
In January next year, the $150,000 winners prize will be awarded, with second and third prizes winning $50,000 and $30,000 consecutively.
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