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 the 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 invaluable 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 all manner of fun and innovative games,
from single-player puzzle-based games to multiplayer room-scale Virtual Reality experiences.
Eleanor Cunningham, Team Leader at Final Forge in Sheffield, said:
Tranzfuser has been an amazing venture for my team - every day we’ve learnt new things and improved as developers. Being able to combine our skills to create a game prototype for EGX has been one of the most enriching experiences we’ve ever had.
We now understand some of the ranging aspects of indie development, from general development, working collaboratively, grasping the business aspect to learning how to take an idea and make it a reality. This opportunity has been an invaluable chance to hone our skills, and we are all excited about our future and careers from this moment onward.
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.
Laura Wells, Team Leader at Mochi Software in Cardiff said:
After graduating, it’s tough to know what steps will help you ‘breakthrough’ into the games industry. That was especially true for us with the aspiration to start up our own studio. Tranzfuser has given us guidance at a crucial point of our development. Most importantly, it has allowed us to make a little magic!
Notes to Editors
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. 85% of the UK Games Fund and Tranzfuser’s spend to date has been outside London.
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.
Outside of Tranzfuser, the UK Games Fund supports young start-ups who can apply for funding. Companies such as White Paper Games (based in Manchester) and Coatsink (based in Sunderland) are both excelling as established indie games developers.
Since first being selected for funding, Coatsink has grown significantly with nearly 50 employees in the business and further growth plans to take that number up in the next couple of quarters. Their latest VR title, the critically-acclaimed Augmented Empire, was released in July.
Eddie Beardsmore, Chief Operations Officer at Coatsink said:
“Coatsink expanded rapidly over the last year. Due to our current project roster of over a dozen titles – all in various stages of development – we’re looking to employ a further 15 to 20 developers by April next year.
“We continue to develop for multiple platforms and recently announced a partnership with Nintendo to bring our much-loved platformer Shu to the Nintendo Switch later this year. The UK Games Fund has provided a huge amount of support for the studio and we wouldn’t be in this amazing position without them.”
White Paper Games, a team of graduate colleagues who were supported by YEAR (the predecessor to the UK Games Fund) is doing incredibly well with the imminent release of a much-anticipated game The Occupation.
Pete Bottomley, Co-Founder of White Paper Games said:
“Working with the UKGF has been a great experience. The fund afforded us the additional time to push the quality and design of the game which ultimately allowed us to announce it in a strong position. This was instrumental to The Occupation’s early success and interest and without this, I don’t believe we would be in the position we are now. I can’t recommend and praise the fund enough.”
The participating teams and hubs are:
Teesside Launchpad, Teesside University (North East England)
Fox Byte Games
Broken Pixel Studios
University of Bradford* (West Yorkshire)
University of Huddersfield, Enterprise Team (West Yorkshire)
Sheffield Hallam University (South Yorkshire)
Inside Out Games
Brunel University (London)
A Loaded Teaspoon
Slime Time Studios
Eastern Enterprise Hub (South East England)
Wrexham Glyndwr University (North Wales)
Round Square Studios
Static Shell Studios
University of South Wales (South Wales)
Dark Planet Studios
Northern Ireland Screen (Northern Ireland)
Abertay University (East Scotland)
Pocket Sized Hands
Glasgow Caledonian University (West Scotland)