Abertay students win Samsung game development challenge

For immediate release: Wednesday 25 January


A UK-wide competition to design new games for Samsung’s mobile phone app store has been won by a team from the University of Abertay Dundee.

Students from ten leading universities – including Oxford, Imperial College London and Trinity College Dublin – took part in the Samsung bada Student Developer Challenge, which began with tough 24-hour ‘codeathons’ around Britain.

Tom DeMajo, Erin Michno and Ian Reynolds built Moeba, an side-scrolling, colour-changing action game with a distinctive organic art style. By tapping the phone screen, players have to destroy cells to keep their character safe.

Abertay University also took the prize for the best university, because it produced the winning team. The contest was judged by Samsung and industry experts.

Erin Michno from the winning team Quartic Llama said: “All of the finalists created interesting and high-polished apps, so it was really an honour and a surprise to win the challenge. It was also fantastic to pick up the university prize as it has been great working with the staff and the other Abertay teams.”

Ian Reynolds said: "I’m delighted that our team and university won the competition, and I’ve really enjoyed working with the all the other teams from Abertay that entered. We’re all hugely grateful for the support we got from the University, particularly Iain Donald’s dedication to organising the events at Abertay."

The team won £5,000 and their game will now be promoted on the Samsung Apps store.

Dr Iain Donald, Computer Games Lecturer and team supervisor, said: “This is an incredible achievement from three very promising young professionals, who have already attracted a lot of attention for their technical skills and creativity.

“A key part of Abertay University’s education is developing industry skills and professionalism – competing against other prestigious universities like Oxford and Imperial College London to win the Samsung bada Student Developer Challenge shows just how well this is working.”

The UK finals featured 12 teams – three of those teams were from Abertay, highlighting its position as the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.

Erin and Ian are studying Computer Games Technology at Abertay University, and Tom is studying Computer Arts.


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