Sheffield’s SUMO Digital Provide Videogame Festival Finale

Issued: 5 July 2011

For Immediate Publication

Sheffield’s SUMO Digital, one of the UK’s largest independent videogame developers closed the Brinsworth Schools Videogame Festival in spectacular style with a trio of engaging and inspirational lectures to over 300 students from secondary schools from Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Steve Lycett, Executive Producer at SUMO delivered the lectures, the first based upon his own aspirational career path, and the second, a riveting inside story of Steve’s own time producing the fabulous SEGA&Sonic All Stars Racing game.

From dealing with publishers, differing IP, bug-fixing, programmers, feature-creep to getting the boxes out into markets; students came away with an understanding of the hard work and dedication it takes to produce such a benchmark title.

David Blewett, Lead Artist on the SEGA&Sonic All Stars Racing game gave the afternoon lecture, treating students to never-before seen concept art from the game and giving them a fascinating look at how game characters, environments and artwork are refined throughout the development lifecycle.

Afterwards, the question and answer sessions were informative, and students asked Steve and David several posing questions. Many pupils then took advantage of being able to chat directly and informally, and many even waited patiently through their own break-time to ensure they didn’t miss the opportunity to discuss what they had seen.

Aside from the speakers, the stars of the show were the two SEGA&Sonic All Star Racing Arcade machines, which had landed back in Sheffield from SEGA Japan’s 20th Anniversary Of Sonic The Hedgehog celebrations just days earlier.

On his experience at Games Britannia, Steve said“We’re really pleased to have had chance to take part in a local event that we hope will benefit local kids. Hopefully we’ve inspired the next generation of developers to consider the industry as a viable career choice!

“It’s rare to be approached to talk to kids at a secondary school level too, I know when I was at that age, working in this industry was something that never occurred to me as a possibility. With the range of choices now on the education side, there’s never been a better time to talk about it and show the options, and how it can lead to a rewarding career in an exciting industry! Full credit to Brinsworth Comprehensive for showing initiative in this area, and I hope it leads to us being able to repeat this in the not too distant future!”

About Games Britannia: Brinsworth Comprehensive Schools’ Videogame Festival is the first week-long festival of its kind in secondary schools, bringing a fantastic collaboration of British videogame talent into the classroom, giving Sheffield and Rotherham students a unique insight into the skills, techniques and qualifications required for a successful career in the gaming industry.

Games Britannia was awarded“Best use of ICT to support learning by a Secondary School” at the Education and Technology Conference 2011.

For press information, photographs, or video contact: David Orridge or Mark Hardisty on 01709 386056, email or visit 

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