Channel 4 and Microsoft launch X48, an XNA GameCamp for emerging game design and development talent from the UK…

On Friday 20th March 2009, videogame design and development students from all over the UK will relocate to the University of Derby’s cutting edge Computer Games Lab for the first XNA GameCamp.

Produced by Pixel-Lab for Microsoft and Channel 4, X48 will see which games the next generation of industry talent can create in less than 48 hours. Using Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio 3.0 the teams will build game prototypes on a theme to be unveiled during Friday morning’s initiation.

Competitors will gain valuable experience in time-bound development, and X48 will provide them with the chance to show their creations to a Microsoft-led panel of judges at the closing ceremony. Channel 4, Microsoft and students alike will benefit from being in a hotbed of emerging talent and like-minded developers from around the country.

During the two days, University of Derby will be providing the hardware and software needed to develop the games at their Kedleston Road site, as well as providing teams with sleeping and refreshments facilities.

The event's theme this year will give students a challenge to make innovative new games that look beyond the traditional puzzle game or first person shooter. This could create conversations around games that don't normally happen, and maybe even lead to new audiences.

The event is free to attend, but registration is on a first come first served basis at

Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor for Education at Channel 4:“Channel 4 Education is excited to be sponsoring X48. We're fully behind encouraging collaboration and competition between young and emerging British indie gaming talent, and fully approve of the freewheelin' creative environment that X48 is going to produce. We'll be setting the theme of the challenge, and keeping an eye out for both talent and games that we can continue to support or develop post-event.”

Andrew Sithers, Academic Lead at Microsoft UK:“X48 is a great opportunity to bring like-minded students together and inspire them to create games using XNA. Partnering with Channel 4 and the University of Derby brings together technology, creativity and talent at an event that will pit the UK’s best student game developers against the clock.”

“The UK is seen as a hotbed of talent in game design, and X48 will be a testament to that, giving students not only the chance to talk to commissioners but also create a game that may make it to market” said Toby Barnes, Managing Director at Pixel-Lab.

John Sear, Programme Leader in Computer Games Programming at the University of Derby: "It's a huge honour for the University of Derby to be collaborating with Microsoft UK again. It shows the standing we have nationally in the area of computer games education.”

“Our labs are designed around working in a real world game studio and are the ideal environment for students to be productive and creative in. I'm sure the teams will produce some fantastic games over the weekend."


Notes For The Editor


Logos and images for press use:

Contact: Richard Birkin | 07973480098

Twitter: x48

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About XNA

Microsoft XNA Game Studio is a revolutionary toolset and technology that makes creating great video games for Windows-based computers and the Xbox 360 console (with an active XNA Creators Club membership) easier than ever.

About Channel 4

“Channel 4 Education broke new ground in 2008 by moving its television spend online: its budget of£6m was spent with British indie talent, in producing video, websites, services and games for 14-19 year olds, including the BAFTA-winning Bow Street Runner. 2009 has started with Routes ( and a number of web, PC and cross-platform games soon to follow. Channel 4 Education aims to grow and support UK-based indie gaming talent in producing highly entertaining games and other services that have, at their heart, something fascinating to learn from.”

About Pixel-Lab

X48 is produced by Pixel-Lab, a computer games and digital media development agency working across the UK’s computer game and digital media industries. Pixel-Lab advises, develops and delivers strategies to support growth in the games industry from skills development to support infrastructure. Pixel-Lab also works with organisations outside the industry, enabling them to harness the power of play. Pixel-Lab are developing a number of new programmes that put innovation and talent development at the heart of the game development process.

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