Salford students create commercial computer game

6 th DECEMBER 2010 MANCHESTER, UK

Students on the University of Salford's  BSc Computer and Video Games  have notched up another credit with the release of a new 2D music game for the PC called Ongaku - thanks to a partnership with  Smashmouth Games .

For the past year Salford graduates and current students have worked with the Manchester-based independent games development studio SmashMouth Games on the new PC music game 'Ongaku.'

Ongaku is a game combining an original score and stylised artwork. Gamers enjoy 11 animated levels, each with their own new music themes. They can also generate playable levels from their favourite music tracks, pictures or videos.

Players take the role of the magic crystal Ongaku and progress through the fantasy kingdom of Melody by popping paint bubbles in time to the music. If successfully popped, the paint bubbles reveal an artistic masterpiece, bringing the canvas to life with its unique artwork.

Since its release Ongaku, which means 'music' in Japanese, has been downloaded over 500,000 times and has had many favourable reviews in the gaming media.

Toby Rushton, a current student on the BSc programme, said: "Working at SmashMouth Games over the summer was a fulfilling experience; the game's development provided an insight into just how intense and exciting the industry can be. The SmashMouth team gave a fantastic and extensive view on how to develop a game from the ground up."

SmashMouth Games Managing Director Zuby Ahmed, who is also a part-time lecturer on the BSc Computer and Video Games programme, said: "The team here at SmashMouth Games are very proud of Ongaku.

"We're delighted with the opportunity to work with the University and its students. We believe it's absolutely vital for the games industry to forge credible links with academic institutions. It's these very students who will become the game developers of tomorrow."

Umran Ali, programme leader, said: "This is yet another great example of the University's strong partnerships with creative industries. Our link with SmashMouth Games has enabled our graduates to gain employment in a very competitive industry and, more uniquely, for current students to experience commercial development at the cutting edge of media.

The BSc Computer and Video Games is one of 39 courses which will be taught at the University's MediaCityUK base from next year. Over 1,500 students will be taught at MediaCityUK; joining thousands of industry workers and numerous major BBC departments which are making the move north.

As part of this unique project, the University is developing numerous partnerships with industry including SmashMouth Games and the BBC.

For all PR enquiries, contact Zuby Ahmed, Managing Director at zuby@smashmouthgames.com

About SmashMouth Games:

SmashMouth Games is an award-winning independent development company focusing on creating casual and innovative videogames for the download market. Since SmashMouth Games was established in 2006, the company has released a Flash Version of its first game, Ongaku, which achieved over 100 000 downloads in its initial two week launch (now nearly 500 000 downloads). Ongaku went on to become a leader in its field, winning the prestigious, "Armor Games Rhythm Action Competition" hosted by the international website Newgrounds - the most visited Flash-Portal on the Internet today. In May 2008, Ongaku was nominated for Game of the Year by Newgrounds. Currently the company is working on three projects, the first of which is Ongaku, for multi-platform release. SmashMouth Games is also a registered Wii Ware developer, Apple iPhone developer, and is part of the Microsoft Empower Program. The company also has successful educational ties with The University of Salford and is also based at Futureworks Manchester School of Media ( www.futureworks.co.uk), both of which are situated in the heart of Manchester. For further information visit: www.smashmouthgames.com

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