Tuesday, 22 April 2014

BIG Congratulations to WHITE PAPER GAMES


A small independent team that has just released Ether One: A first person adventure game for PC. 
Out now on Steam, GOG, Humble & Gamers Gate.

It’s now been a week since they released Ether One.

If you wanted to see what people have been saying about the game follow the link below from WPG website. 

Ether One Reviews / First Impressions

WPG attended the EGX Rezzed event in early April and had a great time! They also met some really great developers there! They created a list of some of our favourite games at the show so be sure to check the link below: 

Friends & Games from EGX Rezzed 2014

Rezzed is a really good event for anyone wanting to showcase their games. It has friendly atmosphere, the staff running the show are super helpful and it’s an overall good experience for developers & gamers alike!
WPG got some great feedback on Ether One


 Some awesome news!

Over the next few weeks WPG are going to be looking into getting Ether One onto one of the Playstation consoles. They still have a few details to work out but they’re really excited to have the opportunity to be working with Sony on Ether One.



The Gadget Show Live invited WPG to showcase Ether 1!
Well done to White Paer Games for the launch of Ether 1. We're SO proud of you all!
There's some great reviews of the game out there so far and we're sure it's that this is just the start!


9-Bit Idol pitch for Dare To Be Digital

9-Bit Idol is a games design team made up of UCLan students who 
have developed a game pitch for Dare To Be Digital
You can see their intro video in the link below. CHECK IT OUT!


The students involved are:
Jay Z. Ashcroft- Team Leader, Designer
Matt Hoey- Character Artist, Designer
Becky Michelak- Concept and Environment art
Andrew (Montee) Montana- Environment and technical art
Niall McConnell- Programmer

Good luck in the competition guys!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Uclan Games Design students in Global Game Jam

Games design students develop prototype at global event

Together with an international team, UCLan games design students Leigh Hadfield, Jarkko Kouva and Vytautas Januskevicius used the Unity Engine to create a very successful and engaging platformer game ‘Kevin’ for the PC. The trip was funded by the International Travel Student Bursary and organised by Rhoda Daly, Lecturer, Games Design, University of Central Lancashire.

Global Games Jam is a worldwide annual event supported by the games industry and educational institutions.
Within a 48 hour session university students and industry professionals work together to develop prototype video games. Students from UCLan were invited to participate in this year’s event at the University Of Applied Sciences Hogeschool Van Amsterdam.

Leigh combined his role as level designer with team captaincy, where he was responsible for ensuring all work flows were consistent and efficient.
He said: “Competing in the Global Game Jam was a fantastic experience, I feel what I have learnt will become invaluable to me as my career progresses. The highlight was being put in charge of a fantastic team who managed to produce the game that we envisaged.

 We started from a whole host of concepts and from this we were able to narrow this down to a singular idea and this lead to the game development stage. I myself was responsible for keeping the team’s communication fluent, no easy task with six of the team members hailing for different countries. We used my initial concept for the game although this was changed and adapted as certain situations arose that were not within our control. As team captain it was down to me to ensure that all work flows would be consistent and efficient whilst also working on my creative role as level designer. I was able to apply a technique to level design that is not commonly seen which involved creating a visual paper level that was played with a character on a spoon. This gave me a feel for the flow and also how the mechanics were going to fit into the system we were creating. It also gave the freedom to make rapid changes on the fly as and when required. My project management skills were put to full effect and I was able to balance my time between creative input and project lead to great effect, something I feel cannot be taught in a classroom, only through unique experiences such as this. I would highly recommend this process of learning to anybody, to create a game in 48 hours and experience the benefits and limitations of game design can only enhance both reputation and skill set.

Reflecting on the event, Jarkko said:
“To have people in the same team from different backgrounds, all working together to make a game in 48 hours was an eye opening experience.
“We had many ups and downs in our development process. This project taught me how important it is to have a solid plan before making a game.
Global Game Jam was a fantastic experience and an eye opener. To have people in the same team from different backgrounds. All working together towards a single goal: to make a game in 48 hours. In a environment like that you can not be self-centered. Brainstorming and starting out was definitely the hardest part, when people had a lot of opinions and not that much experience working as a team before. We had 3 artists with different skillsets and style, including myself.
Through art exploration we managed to come up with an simple style that was fast to make, and easy to follow.
This project taught me how important is it to have a solid plan before making a game. We had many ups and downs in our development process. How good is it to have a broad skillset, so you can help others and fill in all the missing parts when working in a small team. What is it like to work in a team, learn new workflow and share your knowledge for greater purpose.

For second year student Vytautas, the event provided him with his first experience of working on an actual game.
He commented: “Working in a team can be very hard without good leadership and organization therefore I am very thankful for my fellow teammates Leigh and Jarkko who led the whole team to finish line.

Participating in the GGJ2014 as a second year games design student was a great experience for me because this was my very first time working on an actual game. Squeezing into a strict time limit was a challenge for me as I tend to work for myself with out worrying about the time limit. The whole event wouldn't have been so successful if not the determination and the team work."

Thanks to Global Game Jam and everyone involved!"


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Games design first years using 'actual' Ether-One assets.

Pete Bottomley from WhitePaper Games recently introduced a level design project to Uclan games design first year students where they will create playable environments in UDK using 'actual' Ether-One assets.
Ether One is a first person adventure game that deals with the fragility of the human mind. 
Your role is to piece together fragments of your clients history in order to help them.


 So it’s finally here. We’re really happy to hear that White Paper Games have a brand new teaser trailer with the date of March 25th for release!
YouTube Link

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Peter Field from 'Media Molecule' visits Uclan Games design

It was great to see Peter Field in the games design studio yesterday. 
It meant a lot to all of us to have Peter re-visit the University of Central Lancashire and share his industry experience with us. Since graduating at UCLan, Peter has worked at Ninja Theory on 'Enslaved', Naughty Dog on 'Uncharted 3' and 'The Last of Us' and is now designing games at Media Molecule.
We're really proud of what Peter has achieved and it's great to know that he's happy to come back and see us and share some of his expertise.
I know the students enjoyed his presentation and found it really valuable.
We're looking forward to next time.

Arthur Parsons, Design Director at Travellers Tales, Warner Bros. visits Uclan

We have been SO spoiled this last few weeks with visits from industry!!
On Friday we were lucky enough to have a visit to University of Central Lancashire from Arthur Parsons, Design Director at Travellers Tales, Warner Bros. Arthur gave a presentation about the recent brilliant Lego games that TT-Games have made, one being the fantastic Lego Marvel Super Heroes: http://marvelsuperheroes.lego.com/en-us/default.aspx
All undergraduate games students were invited along to join this MA Session and listen to Arthur's talk and we all learned so much about designing for an IP.
Arthur is always really generous with his time and advice and spent time afterwards chatting
to students and looking at student portfolios.
A great day at Games Design Course Uclan - for all of us ...again.

Monday, 27 January 2014

BugBox- visual programming experiment.

Here's the latest interactive diversion that I've created.

It's called 'Bugbox' and it's an exploration of what can be achieved with visual programming.
This is just the beginning of my study and I intend to play with the possibilities and see where they lead.

Click on the image below to play.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Plinky Plonk Xmas App is live.

Plinky-Plonk Xmas 
This app is primarily aimed at kids but everyone can have fun with it!
Plinky Plonk teaches you how to play beginner carols on a piano and read music.
Choose a carol & the frog will jump when the correct notes are played.
Icebergs depict the music notes.

Two of our games design students, Hannah Spikings, Steph McStea
and I have been working with Jane Cull of FoCul Ltd. on this iPad app
for the past nine months or so, which has just gone live for Christmas 2013!

Click the image below for the free download from the Apple store


The original version of the game has been out for some time, 
but will soon get a brand new update.
Click image below for more


If you have an iPad,  

you can download the Christmas version for free here!


Friday, 22 November 2013

James Burton - MA Games Design - UCLan

So proud of our Alumni, James Burton, technical artist at White Paper Games
games tutor and MA graduate :)
Here James talk about his work on 'Ether' game, due out soon!
Click on image below.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

#UCLanCF - MA Show

UCLan CF - MA Show

Last night saw the preview opening of the fantastic MA Show
from the UCLan School of Art, Design and Performance.
If you'd like to share in this treat, it's open to the public during the following times.
FROM: 09:00 - 18:00

Below are a few images from the opening evening
We're so proud of our MA Games design students who featured prominently in the show.
Some striking concept art by Broady Blackwell
Exciting gameplay and stunning imagery in 'Ether' created by James Burton 
as part of the 'White Paper Games' team 
Superb Innovative design by Alexander Bellingham
currently working freelance on some cutting edge content with Sony SCEE
Jimmy Cave's awesome 'Grand Theft Inferno' artwork.

Monday, 14 October 2013

‘Drawing for Games’ session!

First years on (not so) covert manoeuvres in a ‘Drawing for Games’ session!
Uclan Games Design

Top Down Shooter Bugs

This Year 1 project not only covers the basics of creating a top down shooter using the visual programming tools of Construct 2 
but it also teaches the use of digital painting skills and alpha texturing for sprites. 
It helps students to understand optimisation and the use of low-resolution image 
and sound files for mobile games and covers the creation of seamless background tiles.

Quite a good all round exercise and with the reward of some fun game-play.
Students are encouraged to push the boundaries of the tutorials to add their own 

individual take on the design and challenge of the game play.

Here's a Spider Top Down Shooter battle by Games Design student, 
Gareth Hart. 
Click the images below to play the various games


These will run in Internet Explorer or Firefox if you have a browser that supports HTML5 

Year 1 student, Kamil Sroka also created an interesting solution to our first top down shooter brief.


And Year 1 student, Mikey, also created a solution to our first top down shooter brief


Plus Year 1 student, Robin Williams, has another solution :)

And a heavy metal top down bug shooter from Year 1 student, Sean Boardman

And here's my version :)