Today Develop is starting a new series of exclusive features looking at the Dare to be Digital competition.
From team blogs to interviews with the mentors, we’ll offer a great behind-the-scenes glimpse of the best games design competition on the planet.
Every year, the contest – run by the University of Abertay – invites teams of graduates and students to quickly devise, prototype and produce a new game concept in a matter of weeks.
All the games are showcased to the consumers at the Dare ProtoPlay event, while the best are honoured by judges – the winners go on to compete for their own BAFTA.
And it works: as well as encouraging innovation and originality (plus speed!), entrants to the scheme have gone on to score great placemenets and employement with studios like Rockstar, Sony and many others.
To start our series of pieces, today we are publishing a guide to the 15 teams – and most importantly, details on the concepts they plan to develop over the coming weeks – written by the ambitious students themselves…
Inkwell Chronicles by Abnormal Creations
‘The pen really is mightier than The Sword!’
The Inkwell Chronicles is a 2.5D puzzle/adventure game designed primarily for the PC. The theme of the game is that the user is looking down on a 2D story book, which has an entire 3D world which you must manoeuvre the hero, Nybb, around, while primarily staying in a 2D setting.
While making your way around this amazing world, players will collect special powers along the way through the different territories. These powers will allow the user to interact with the world by drawing, erasing and colouring, thereby allowing the user to feel like they are physically using a pen.
Mush by Angry Mango
‘Let your emotions move you.’
Stretch and squash Mush through the eclectic world of Movera, contorting him to feel a range of emotions. Each emotion enables a new player ability which can help to explore terrain, solve puzzles and overcome hazards. Float with happiness through spiky caverns, angrily plough through dense forest or sink like a stone with sadness. This atmospheric 2D platform puzzler takes full advantage of the Windows Phone 7’s tactile inputs, including touch-screen and accelerometer technology. Literally stretch Mush’s facial features with your fingertips to alter his emotions, shake him into a blind destructive rage and tilt the phone to move him around the world.
Epoch Defence by Bazooka Duck
‘Astounding! Terrifying! A savage spectacle of time-travelling fury!’
What if you could rewind time to correct your mistakes? Combining elements of tower defence and real-time strategy, Epoch Defence gives you the chance to turn back the clock and use new units to save the lives of the old ones! The technology isn’t perfect though – you’ll need to be on the brink of defeat before you can jump back in time! Gather your units across timelines, and prepare to defend the Earth from Martian invasion! The real question is: how many times will you need to rewind time before you emerge victorious?
Grrr by Bears with Jetpack
‘Fuzzy, Huggable, Jet-propelled Fury’
Grrr! is an easy to pick up, two-player, action strategy game. Choose a squad from a cast of quirky fantasy characters to do battle with your opponent. Start the fight on one of the vibrant and dynamic maps, trying to destroy your opponent’s squad before you lose your own. Use the Wii Remote to send commands to each of your characters, telling them to move, attack and take cover as you try to outmanouver and outgun your enemy in a battle to the death. Matches are played in a best-of-three system, with each round taking around 60 seconds.
Silent Symphony by Creative Genius
‘When The World is Your Canvas, Make Music Your Brush’
Silent Symphony is a 2.5D puzzle game where you must take Tago across the artistic land of Symphony so that he can find his master and warn him of the impending threat of the Shikigami; dangerous paper creatures that absorb colour and sound from everything around them. Armed only with his masters’ magical flute and the ability to see sound as colour, Tago must refine his skills as a musician to unlock the mythical powers of the flute, manipulating you environment to traverse the dangerous landscapes of Symphony, while defending yourself against the mysterious Shikigami and slowly uncovering their secrets.
Weatherman by eleMENTAL
‘The Forecast is for Adventure!’
Weatherman is a 3D platformer for the PC in which the player must tackle a series of scenes, or puzzles, where they can use mini-games to either call the rain or wind, or change the temperature. Each scene has its own weather system, which determines what effect each power will have. When the player changes a scene’s temperature, the entire scene can change as ice melts, or as snow falls; using wind or rain also has interesting effects. The player can have fun playing with their weather powers in any way they like, often with unexpected and fun consequences.
Chayya by Gazhab
‘Chill in the shade’
Chayya (which means ‘shade’ in Sanskrit) is a third-person stealth/platformer and follows the tale of Chillmari, an intergalactic photosensitive naturalist, stranded on Earth with the Area 51 authorities hot on his heels. Carve a path through a black and white urban jungle and help Chillmari escape. Hide in the shadows, avoid the lights and beware the Area 51 Agents on the prowl.
Death Inc. by Grimnir Games
‘Reaping since the dawn of time’
As a newly recruited Grim Reaper for Death Inc., it is your task to collect the souls of important historical figures. One of your newly acquired abilities allows you to phase between the real and the ethereal world. You are never truly safe, the other reapers will get wind of your achievements and steal the souls you worked so hard to collect. Hand them in and rise through the ranks of Death Incorporated. Death Inc. Is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer with a cartoony art style, for the Sony PSP aimed at young and casual gamers.
Dice Rolling by King of Dice
Dice Rolling is a turn-based online 3D puzzle game which runs on the PC. Due to the type of game and style the game is playable by all ages. The main characters are dices and the game maps are made of grids. In the game, players roll their dice to a certain grid to light it, this happens when the player rolls the correct dice face to match the pattern on the floor. If one player rolls his/her’s dice to the grid which has been light by the other player, the light grid will be snuff out.
WiiKick by Team Nevermind
‘WiiKick, WiiShoot, WiiScore! Can You?’
WiiKick is a multiplayer sports party game for the Nintendo Wii. Our unique selling point is our perfected interaction technique with the Wiimote on the player’s foot, which will for the first time allow the Wii to capture a player’s kick. The player will strap a Wiimote to their foot using our Wiistrap, they then navigate through our interactive 3D menu and select from various game modes. Initially the player(s) may choose to take turn based free kicks or penalties, in order to beat their friends. Also available are some mini-games we have made to take advantage of our Wiistrap.
Hella Umbrella By Ramblin Wreckage
‘Who says the world doesn’t revolve around you?’
Ramblin’ Wreckage proudly presents Hella Umbrella for the Android OS.
In the small town of Quadonia, plagued with chaos and devoid of precipitation, one Quadder valiantly rises to save her people… and her umbrella business. Manipulate gravity, overcome a hostile environment, and don sweet hats in this fast-paced puzzler! Push your brain and reflexes to the limit to help this creature survive an ever-changing world as she collects raindrops to bring back home. It’s about time you dust off the ol’ mobile and get ready for a mind-bending journey that will change the way you look at your phone.
Dyed World by Shark on a Bike
‘Bring colour to your world’
Dyed World is a side scrolling adventure game where you take on the role of Hue to help him bring colour back to the world. You will paint the environment to bring it back to life, from flat 2D into alive colourful 3D form creating a vibrant, dynamic world. Puzzles will challenge your journey, but newly painted objects gain properties helping you overcome these obstacles and solve the mystery of the missing colour. Beautiful visuals, accessible control system and physics based world makes for a compelling and exciting gaming experience.
Be the one to restore life and save the world!
Sculpty by Team Tickle
‘Shape your escape!’
Watch out! Ooja-Ooja’s out to get you! The clumsy giant just wants to play, but Sculpty’s absolutely terrified! Squeeze, squash, pull, stretch yourself to get away. Don’t worry though, the jungle’s on your side!
Sculpty is a unique physics based platform game for the iPad. It is the only game where you use your hands to mould Sculpty and the lush jungle environment to escape the mischievous Ooja-Ooja. Collect Jungle Mojo to change the environment to help you on your way. Fun and addictive, the only thing holding you back is your imagination. Can you escape from Ooja Ooja?
Twang by That Game Studio
‘Get into the swing of it.’
Twang! is a multiplayer platform racing game, developed for Xbox 360 supporting up to four local players. You race by shooting your grappling hook onto nearby objects, swinging to gain speed and then release, flying through the air. By being faster than the others, you eliminate them when they’re too far away from you. If you are the last player to survive, you win!
Twang! offers a cute and colourful visual style, and a mixture of fun and simple gameplay mechanics. It is easy to pick up and play for all ages, even your mum and dad can play it!
Legendary Crusaders by Various Artists
‘Join Forces For A Great Knight In’
2D platform puzzle game set in a medieval world. From one to four players will take control of the 4 knights, siblings with the elemental powers, one of Earth Fire, Water & Wind. Their task is to battle across the lands using their abilities to solve puzzles and reach the castle thus stopping their evil fifth sibling. How the knight’s battle across the land very much dictates their powers, help out those in need and receive a push towards heroism, but take a darker step and be pushed towards villainy, and darker powers.
Scalable elemental powers moving along the good and evil scale.
Pop up Sceneries. The level will pop up, and as the players moves along the scene, key objects will pop up into life to show their possible importance to a problem.