‘Fighting Fantasy’ creators Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson crown the winner of Make Something Unreal Live at Gadget Show Live 2012; all four ‘Fighting Fantasy’ iOS games to be supported by AppyNation publishing deal
BIRMINGHAM, UK (April 16, 2012) – Epic Games, Inc. and Train2Game announce that Commando Kiwi, developer of “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters,” is the winner of Make Something Unreal Live, an unprecedented game development competition that concluded today at the Gadget Show Live. Four teams presented their new iOS games based on individual books in the “Fighting Fantasy” series to the franchise’s esteemed creators, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone OBE, and the duo determined that Commando Kiwi’s fresh twist on the third-person adventure genre makes the best use of the property and exhibits the most outstanding commercial potential. The studio’s winnings include a full source Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS that may be applied to a future project as well as a holiday at the luxurious AquaCity water park and resort in Poprad, Slovakia.
All four iOS games were publicly debuted this week and are primed for release on the App Store in the coming weeks through a new publishing deal with AppyNation.
Teams competing in Make Something Unreal Live have been developing their games since advancing in the Train2Game and Epic Game Jam last November. Five months of development went into overdrive this week at the Gadget Show Live, where students presented projects twice daily to industry legends, implemented changes based on expert critiques at a rapid pace and submitted their near-final games for today’s judging.
By using the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Epic’s award-winning Unreal Engine 3 technology, all four teams, whose members are enrolled in Train2Game’s blended learning courses, are poised to publish their games on the App Store under standard UDK licensing terms. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.
“Commando Kiwi really captured the essence of ‘The Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ with great gameplay and visuals,” said “Fighting Fantasy” author and co-creator, Ian Livingstone. “It’s remarkable what these student teams were able to produce working remotely for such a short period of time using UDK. Although only one of the teams has won this amazing prize, the experience students have gained is invaluable and I fully expect to see many of them working in the video games industry. We look forward to playing these games, and Steve and I are sure that Fighting Fantasy fans everywhere will really enjoy these new interactive experiences based on the books."
“I’m just dead proud of my team. They’ve worked really hard and this competition has changed our lives forever,” said Jonny Robinson, producer of Commando Kiwi and team captain for Make Something Unreal Live.
“The quality of the games produced for the Make Something Unreal Live competition at Gadget Show Live is a testament to the teaching that the students have received on Train2Game courses,” said Myra Smallman, course director, Train2Game. “The competitive process that they have been through should give them a glimpse of what it’s like to work in a professional studio and the experience should go towards giving them the skills to gain employment in the games industry.”
Epic Games European Territory Manager and Make Something Unreal Live mentor Mike Gamble summed up today’s dramatic conclusion to the competition. "Priming the next generation of game developers benefits the industry as a whole. This competition may be over but the journey for four new studios has only begun."
Details of the studios and titles:
Commando Kiwi (@CommandoKiwi) – “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters”
Derp Studios (@DerpStudios) – “Citadel of Chaos: Dire Consequences”
Digital Mage (@TheDigitalMage) – “Armies of Death: Rise of Agglax”
Indigo Jam (@IndigoJamGames) – “Deathtrap Dungeon”
About Make Something Unreal Live
Co-sponsored by Epic Games and Train2Game, Make Something Unreal Live is an independent game development challenge that enables start-up studios to create brand new iOS games and release them on the App Store. In 2012, four teams sourced from the Train2Game and Epic Game Jam are building games based on the long-running “Fighting Fantasy” series of books using Epic’s Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3. This unprecedented competition will culminate at Gadget Show Live 2012 to be held at April 10-15, 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. The winner of Make Something Unreal Live will receive a commercial, full source Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS. A portion of the proceeds from the program’s games released on the App Store will be donated to The Prince’s Trust. “Like” Make Something Unreal Live on Facebook, and follow @Train2Game and @UnrealEngine on Twitter.
Created in 2008, Train2Game offers accredited courses in Games Design, Development, Art and Animation, certified by leading industry body TIGA. Train2Game is a blended-learning organisation designed to fast track the best, most ambitious and motivated students into the games industry through comprehensive, expert-supervised courses. A big part of this is coordinating with the best developers in the country and providing top tier talented graduates for placements in the workplace. This year will see its first graduates enter the workplace after years of training.
About Unreal Engine 3
Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics, best-of-breed tools and scalability across multiple platforms. Unreal Engine 3’s highly mature toolset and content pipeline consistently evolve along with its advanced mobile features, multi-core processor support, optimizations for numerous platforms and massive world support. Unreal Engine 3 is designed to accelerate developers' productivity for computer and video games, mobile games and applications, training simulations, 3D visualizations, digital films and animated entertainment. Integrated with two dozen leading middleware technologies, Unreal Engine 3 holds more than 20 technology awards, including eight Game Developer Front Line Awards and four Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Additional information on Unreal Engine 3 can be obtained at www.unrealengine.com.
About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its “Unreal” series, including “Unreal Tournament 3” for PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. The first two games in Epic’s "Gears of War" franchise have sold more than 13 million copies and won more than 50 game of the year awards. The third installment, “Gears of War 3,” sold more than 3 million copies within its first week of release, catapulting the franchise beyond $1 billion in lifetime sales. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 holds more than 20 industry technology awards and powers many bestselling games. Additional information about Epic can be obtained at www.epicgames.com.
Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 3, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Engine, UE3, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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Special press ftp straight from the show floor (video, photos, etc.):