Press release

York graduates win £25,000 national video game competition

A team of university graduates from York has won a national competition that could help take their video game into the homes of millions of gamers.


Mujo Games took part in Tranzfuser, the Government’s video game development competition where graduates pit their original video games against one another to win up to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund.

The team won with an abstract rhythm game they created called Yellow Rock Road. Players take on the role of a time travelling band, and tap two buttons to keep in time with the music. It impressed the judges with its vibrant art, superb soundtrack and use of players’ own music libraries.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said:

Over the past three years Tranzfuser has been identifying and nurturing the UK’s next top video game developers to turn their original and innovative ideas into reality. Mujo Games are worthy winners and I would like to congratulate all the teams who took part this year.

Through our modern Industrial strategy we are committed to ensuring the UK games industry continues to translate its energy, skills and talent into even greater economic success.

The Government’s £5 million UK Games Fund (UKGF) is delivered by UK Games Talent and Finance and has so far supported 250 graduates and more than 90 companies from across the UK to create their own video games.

Over the summer, Tranzfuser gave 17 teams from across the UK £5,000 and gave them just ten weeks to develop their idea for a great game from concept to playable demo.

In September their games were showcased at the UK’s most popular consumer video games show, EGX, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

They not only had to impress the 80,000 fans at EGX, but pitch their projects to a panel of industry experts in gruelling publisher-style sessions to be in with a chance of winning the funding. This process aims to help these early stage teams develop the crucial skills needed to pitch for funding in their future careers.

Joni Levinkind, lead programmer at Mujo Games, said:

Winning Tranzfuser has opened so many opportunities for our team, and we really hope to make the most of them. We are all incredibly excited to find out what the future holds.

All of our team members have gained a range of skills from game development to management, marketing, and financial planning. We have learnt so much and feel more confident in our ability to succeed as independent developers within the games industry.

Deborah Farley, Head of Talent and Outreach at UK Games Fund, said:

Tranzfuser has a life changing impact on our teams. Along with the support of our Local Hubs and UK Games Fund community, we provide our participants with invaluable tools they will carry with them for the rest of their careers. It’s a great test of their abilities to sell not just their projects, but their potential as a sustainable and growing business.

Each and every Tranzfuser 2018 team should be proud of what they’ve achieved, and particular kudos goes to our winning team Mujo Games for Yellow Rock Road.

The Tranzfuser teams developed a wide range of fun and innovative games, from single-player puzzles to multiplayer room-scale Virtual Reality experiences. Teams also received invaluable support and expertise throughout the competition from a nationwide network of Tranzfuser Local Hubs based at some of the best UK universities for video game design and development.


Notes to Editors

  • About Mujo Games, (@Mujo_Games):
    • Joni Levinkind is the lead programmer and project lead and began making games soon after arriving at the University of York to study Computer Science. There he met programmer Pedro Custodio who is also in a band and has provided his musical talents for Yellow Rock Road. Fynn Levy, who is studying English Literature at York brings a broader perspective to the team’s projects as the designer, having previously been nominated in two BAFTA Young Game Designer categories. After joining them as an artist for a game jam, Emma Levin became the 2D artist on the team, having previously worked in professional graphic design roles.

    • The team are now working towards improving and then releasing Yellow Rock Road as well as developing further projects in the future. Victory in Tranzfuser gives them the financial security to hire team members and contractors to work on the game full-time and cover vital expenses such as software licenses.

  • The UK Games Fund and Tranzfuser are both funded as part of the £5m UK Government programme of games development and talent funding announced in 2016, run by UK Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company (UKGTF).

  • Many startup studios lack the capital to help develop their ideas and attract private investment. 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 Tranzfuser 2017 are now successful studios. Shuttershade Studios and Mochi Mode 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.

  • The 17 participating teams and Local Hubs this year were:

    • Abertay University: Darkroom Interactive

    • Digital Creativity Labs: Mujo Games

    • Eastern Enterprise Hub: Studio Six

    • Falmouth University: Animal Puree

    • Glasgow Caledonian University: Deep Fried Games

    • Manchester Metropolitan University: WIPtail Games

    • Northern Ireland Screen: Coffee Box Games LTD

    • Sheffield Hallam University: Steel Rose Interactive

    • Staffordshire University: OatCake Games

    • Teesside University - Teesside Launchpad: Tiny Planet

    • The Games Hub: M!schief Games

    • University of Bradford: Glass Spy Games

    • University of Brunel London: Antler Studios

    • University of Chester: Nebula Games

    • University of Huddersfield, Enterprise Team: Gentlemen Worldwide

    • University of South Wales: Out The Window Games

    • Wrexham Glyndŵr University: Samurai Duck

Published 15 November 2018