Wellcome Trust and Epic Games team up for $500,000 development competition

Year long contest on the theme of "transformation"
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Wellcome Trust and Epic Games have teamed up to invite games developers based in Europe to participate in a year long development competition offering a prize of $500,000 for developers.

The contest, Developing Beyond, is aiming to support studios as they aim to create a minimum viable product over the course of a year. Developers are encouraged to submit compelling, immersive and highly entertaining game ideas based on the theme Transformations by February 10 using Unreal Engine 4. You can apply for a place in the competition here

This theme is more than just putting a couple of knock offs from a Michael Bay number into a game, and submissions are also expected to "explore the human condition - explore the human condition - whether across moments or generations, microscopic or global, historical, geographic, or indeed contemporary."

After the initial submissions by February 10, six semi-finalists will be announced on February 20th, each of which receive $15,000 and a scientist to assist them in taking their concept to the next step. At games industry event Develop:Brighton in July, these projects will be judged and three finalists will be selected, with each of these finalists being given a further $60,000 to keep working.

Finally, the three will be judged in January 2018, with the winner receiving $150,000 and the second and third placed projects receiving $50,000 and $30,000 accordingly.

It's a big contest with a substantial prize-fund that could assist heavily with prototype development for those taking part. The games will be judged by a panel of experts that'll be revealed on February 20th but currently has Doom developer John Romero confirmed as a judge, with comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman chairing the jury.

The winner will be chosen in January 2018 and will receive $150,000. $50,000 will be given to the studio in second place, with $30,000 for third place.

The games will be judged by a full jury of experts, which will be revealed on February 20th, and will be chaired by comedian, broadcaster and games fan Susan Calman. Industry legend John Romero has also been confirmed as a judge.

Calman is an enthusiastic games fan, describing games as a strong passion of hers: "They entertain and consume you like nothing else. Getting to look inside developers' heads for year is an absolute dream; I can't wait to get started."


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Developing Beyond: The Finalists

Epic Games’ Developing Beyond competition has now entered its final phase and the final three games have been chosen. Jem Alexander speaks to the finalists to find out how the process has been, and discover what it’s like to collaborate with a scientific researcher on their projects