How Sheffield Hallam University helped Sumo Digital make a splash on the PlayStation Store.

Super Rub-a-Dev

Research done by scientists at Sheffield Hallam University has helped inform new PS3 game Super Rub-a-Dub by Sumo Digital.

The university’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute, lead by Professor Chris Care, developed a complex mathematical model designed to simulate the realistic behavior of materials which has since gone on to help the game’s rendering of a pool of water filled with virtual rubber ducks.

"Much of our work involves developing computer programmes which simulate the way different materials actually behave, enabling much greater understanding of their properties and providing detailed information to aid product development in a wide range of industry sectors," explained Care in a report by scientific journal Scetna.

"Our Thinking Water technology is one such programme which offers a highly efficient means of simulating fluid flow. It’s a technology which has already been used in work with major companies such as BNFL and Rolls Royce, but we started to think about other ways in which it could have an impact and that’s when we hit upon the idea that it could bring something quite new to the games industry.

"As our use of algorithms in research became more efficient and games consoles were becoming increasingly more powerful, it became clear that there could be a mutually beneficial link-up, and that’s why we approached Sumo."

Added Sumo’s chief operating officer Carl Cavers: "When the University first presented the technology to us we thought this is cool and we could see opportunities to use this in a video game. Our design team fleshed out a few ideas and a year later we have the result."

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