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Jam Packed: Biggest ever Ukie Student Game Jam kicks off across the UK

17 May 2017

Jam Packed: Biggest ever Ukie Student Game Jam kicks off across the UK

 

  • Huge industry support for annual student game jam, which sees more students than ever before compete
  • Sponsored by Criteron Games, Unity and Gram Games 
  • Special Awards for Game Accessibility and Mentor of the Universe
Games trade body Ukie have kicked off their biggest ever Student Game Jam this morning, which will see 21 teams from across Ukie’s UK-wide student membership compete over 48 hours between 17-19 May.

This is the fourth year that Ukie have run the competition, which this year is sponsored by Criterion, Unity and Gram Games. The Jam is designed to increase student’s learnings outside of the classroom and give them tangible game making experience, as well as building links between the educational institutions and industry.

Competing to beat last year’s winners, Brunel University, are teams from:

Abertay University

Brunel University

University of Chester

London South Bank University

National Film Television School

Norwich University of the Arts

Staffordshire University

University East London

West College Scotland

Westminster University

This year sees more teams than ever before taking part, as well as the event being extended to 48 hours to give the students the chance to make the best game possible under the theme of ‘EMPOWERMENT’.

Each team will be supported across the Jam by an industry mentor, who will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice to the students. Mentors have been recruited from top games companies including:

Blazing Griffin

Cold Sun Studios

Creative Assembly

Cupboard Games

Fire Hazard Games

Gas Light Games

Ground Shatter

Jagex

Quantum Soup

Red Panda

Spilt Milk

Three Knots

Trash Games

Voice Art

Xiotech Studios

The best mentors will be nominated by their teams for the ‘Mentor of the Universe’ trophy, and this year also sees the return of the Jam’s Accessibility Award, judged by accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton.

The winners of the Accessibility Award will be taken to Creative Assembly for a tour of the studio followed by lunch with the members of the Creative Assembly team.

The Best Game trophy comes with free passes to EGX for the whole team, courtesy of Gamer Network, vouchers for Insert Coin Clothing and a swag bag of EA merchandise.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “We are very pleased to have the support of the industry to hold our biggest ever Student Game Jam. The Jam gives the emerging generation of talent the opportunity to test their skills, challenge their creativity, and build valuable relationships with the industry. Our Student Membership programme, which represents over 2,000 students across the UK, goes from strength to strength and the more experience they get in making games with expert guidance from industry professionals, the better. We look forward to playing the games.”

Matt Webster, General Manager of Criterion, said, “We’ve incorporated regular studio-wide game jams into the way that we work at Criterion as a fantastic way to experiment and develop rapid creative collaboration. We know that the more games we make, the better we get, so supporting a new generation of game makers to get together to hone their skills in order to find out what it takes to make a game is exciting and inspiring to all of us. We can’t wait to see what gets created, good luck!”

Liz Mecuri, Educational Evangelist at Unity, said, “Unity are proud to continue supporting Ukie in recognising, nurturing and empowering the creativity of the next wave of game development talent”

Erin O'Brien, Cultural Developer at Gram Games , said, "We strongly believe the importance of introducing subjects like games, science, and technology to young gamers at an educational level. Education is where gender biases can form, and we, as an industry, need to make sure that students have access to the right resources.

"Ukie's Student Game Jam is a brilliant example of providing an outlet for young gamers to flex their creativity and learn on the job. Personally, I'm excited to see how the students respond to the themed brief."

Watch the announcement of the 2017 theme here.

Follow the progress of the teams on Ukie’s twitter @uk_ie and @UkieStudents.

 

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