Swedish development studio Dead Shark Triplepunch has emerged as the winner of the Epic-backed Make Something Unreal Live 2013 game making contest.
Hosted at last week’s consumer expo Gadget Show Live 2013, the competition tasked entrants with crafting a game using the UDK development platform, around the theme of ‘Mendelian Inheritance: genetics and genomics’, as set by scientific charity and event partner The Wellcome Trust.
The teams spent six days coding live at the Gadget Show event, watched by the public and supported by industry veterans.
Dead Shark Triplepunch emerged victorious after impressing the judges with its title Epigenesis.
“Dead Shark Triplepunch was always a strong contender in this year’s competition, and I thought they demonstrated maturity and cohesion throughout Gadget Show Live, plus a much-needed ability to keep calm under pressure,” says Mike Gamble, European territory manager at Epic, who took to the stage to congratulate the Dead Shark Triplepunch team.
Gamble also used his time at the event to announce that it was decided Epic would award the prize of commercial Unreal Engine 3 licences to both Dead Shark Triplepunch and the second-placed game, Polymorph, from Kairos Games, in response to the ‘high standard’ of quality of the entrants. Dead Shark Triplepunch was also presented with a Unreal Engine 4 licence for PC digital distribution.
“From the first couple of days at the show, we’ve said that all four finalist games have the potential to be released commercially," confirmed Gamble. We believe that our top two placed teams should be able to realise that ambition and granting the Unreal Engine 3 licence gives them a clear route to market.”
“We’ve had the most fantastic support from people that helped us to win this competition," added Dead Shark Triplepunch project leader Michael Levall. "We couldn’t have done it without the help we’ve had from our college, the Blekinge Institute, and Netport, who gave us the use of an office. Then there’s Josh Randall, our scientific mentor from the Sanger Institute, and our studio mentors Splash Damage. Right from the start, Splash Damage told us how important it was to playtest the game externally as much as possible – and boy, were they right.”
Meanwhile, the Wellcome Trust’s Iain Dodgeon, broadcast and games manager and a member of the judging panel, expressed his conviction that projects like Make Something Unreal Live demonstrate the potential of a relationship between games design and science.
“This has been an exciting initiative to be involved with and we’re delighted it has uncovered fresh talent in the games industry," said Dodgeon. "Dead Shark Triplepunch has shown how it’s possible to draw creative inspiration from science, whilst never losing sight of the fact that they are producing a game that sets out to entertain. The collaboration builds on the Trust’s ambition to bring science into the culture of games and support the next generation of developers.”