Ian Stewart, George Allan, Patrick Phelan and Alan Batson judging game development contest

Zool creators to reform at Games Britannia

The development team behind 90s classic platformer Zool are set to reform as a judging panel for the Games Britannia schools videogame festival game jam.

Six student teams will have just one day to develop a prototype of Zool using YoYo Games’ GameMaker development engine.

The games will then be judged by programmer George Allan, musician Patrick Phelan, concept artist Alan Batson and Gremlin founder Ian Stewart.

Development of the winning prototype will be completed by Sheffield Hallam University’s Steel Minions game studio and published on various platforms through GameMaker: Studio.

The successful title will be revealed at the end of the festival, with the finished game slated to be released in January 2014.

Winners will receive a GameMaker license, books related to the development platform, OnLive wireless controllers and a GameStick console.

“We’ve been really impressed with the standard of entries this year,” said YoYo Games education manager Kirsty Scott.

“Many of the schools are now using GameMaker to create their own prototypes even before they reach the competition. It’s great to be able to see the effect that the educational use of GameMaker can have in inspiring the next generation of computer scientists.”

Games Britannia director Jake Habgood added: “We have so many amazing prizes up for grabs as part of the competition. Naturally, the winners will get GameMaker books and licences, but we also have OnLive Wireless controllers and GameStick game consoles which have been very kindly donated by their respective companies. We’re truly grateful for all the amazing support we’ve had from the games industry again this year.”

Games Britannia, which takes place between June 10th to the 14th, is expected to offer more than 800 workshop places to students, and will also feature public lectures from Lionhead creative director Gary Carr and Steve Furber, principal designer of the BBC Micro.

Sheffield-based studio Sumo Digital is also set to bring a number of development master classes targeted at degree students to the event, offering pupils the chance to get to grips with technology and tools housed at Sheffield Hallam University’s PlayStation 3 teaching facilities.

For more information, visit the official website.

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