Virtual reality plants, AI, life on mars and the legacy of the black death are the subject matters of just a few of the semi-finalists that have been named semi-finalists in the year-long Developing Beyond game development contest.
Developing Beyond is a $500,000 development project set to run over the course of a year, awarding finalists ever increasing sums of money to help make their games a reality. This first milestone sees the six projects selected as semi-finalists awarded with $15,000 and matched with a scientist to develop their concept further.
Here are the six semi-finalists, all pitched around the contest's theme of "Transformations"
Cure Me! by Sluggerfly - Multiplayer game in which three scientists try to prevent an evolving entity's breakout from quarantine.
Ecce Homo by Holy Warp - 3D action adventure game that explores the evolution of humans.
Seed by All Seeing Eye - Virtual reality game where players are able to discover, grow and engineer generative plant life.
Singularity by Random Logic Games - Interactive story game where an AI transforms constantly in order to adapt itself to new obstacles.
Terramars by Untold Games - A game in which the player adapts the environment of Mars by exploring the physiological changes required for humans to live on a different planet.
Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games - Narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death.
The games were chosen by a panel chaired by comedian Susan Calman, who said: "As a gamer, these are all games that I'd love to get my hands on! It's such a delight to be able to follow the developers' journeys as they take this from initial idea to an early stage game. I can't wait to see where their imaginations take these projects."
Also on the panel are games developer John Romero, Historian Bettany Hughes, The university of Cambridge's head of virology Ian Goodfellow and Eurogamer's Chris Bratt.
In July 2017 these six projects will be judged at Develop: Brighton and three teams will be selected to go through to the final round, with each receiving a further $60,000. This is the third collaboration betwen Epic Games and the Wellcome Trust. who have teamed up beforehand to create Make Something Unreal Live and The Big Data VR Challenge (pictured.)
For more information, visit the Developing Beyond website: www.developingbeyond.com