A computer game developed at Abertay University as part of the Beijing Olympics has won special recognition for digital excellen

The game, entitled‘Bear Go Olympics’, was developed by a team of Chinese and Scottish students and competed alongside thousands of other entries from around the world during the Olympics Fine Arts 2008 exhibition. It is one of only a handful of the entries to be singled out for a Digital Animation Excellence Award.

The success story began when the Chinese Olympic Fine Arts Organising Committee invited Abertay earlier this year to take part in the official Olympics arts exhibition in Beijing.

Members of two of the winning teams from last year’s Dare to be Digital competition, hosted by Abertay, joined forces to create the Abertay entry. The teams involved were Voodoo Boogy, comprising five Abertay students, and Phoenix Seed, comprising four students from Beijing University and one from Abertay.

Voodoo Boogy’s‘Ragnarawk’ game not only won the Commercial Potential Award in Dare 2007 but also went on to win the first-ever BAFTA‘Ones to Watch’ award. Phoenix Seed’s‘Bear Go Home’ game won the Innovation and Creativity Award at Dare and was nominated for the BAFTA. It was‘Bear Go Home’ that the combined team decided to develop for the Olympics exhibition.

In the new version of‘Bear Go Home’, the Olympic rings have been lost, and the player has to guide‘Bear’ on a quest to retrieve them, overcoming challenges and obstacles along the way.

Using the latest digital technology, the Olympics arts exhibition took place simultaneously in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou, and was also displayed online via the internet.

In addition to the official judging panel, members of the public all over the world were able to vote for their favourite exhibit online.

Abertay graduate Chris Isaacs was the sole Scottish member of the Phoenix Seed team and as well as working for Dundee based games developer Realtime Worlds he is also managing director of the Scottish-based company set up by the Phoenix Seed team after winning Dare to be Digital.

Commenting on the winning of the Beijing award, Chris said:

“Creating great games is my absolute passion and being involved in creating a game which was on show during this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing was really special.

“It has been a truly amazing experience to get to work on this project with Abertay University, and with my former team mates and friends from Dare to be Digital 2007. The entire team worked incredibly hard during the four weeks in which we had to make the new game and we are all really over the moon at our success in the Beijing exhibition.

“Taking part in the exhibition was a great experience, and to have won an Excellence Award in the face of strong international competition is fantastic. We look forward to the challenge of turning the recent success of our game into commercial success in the future.”

Ends

Issued byVicki White tel: 01382 308935 mob: 07837 250284 e-mail: v.white@abertay.ac.uk


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