Epic Games has announced more details surrounding the games being developed by the four final teams in the Make Something Unreal Live 2013 contest.
The four remaining teams, which are being mentored by Wellcome Trust scientists, are creating games based on the theme ‘Mendelian Inheritance: genetics and genomics’ using Epic’s Unreal Development Kit.
The finalists and their games are as follows per the press relase:
Dead Shark Triplepunch is a team of 10 students from the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. Its game, “Epigenesis”, is a fast-paced ball game played across on rooftops with gravity cannons and supportive plants that spread across the playfield. Dead Shark Triplepunch is being mentored by the games studio Splash Damage, while its science mentor is Josh Randall from the Sanger Institute. Josh leads the Human Genetics Informatics team, which performs analyses primarily for large-scale next-generation sequencing projects conducted by Sanger’s human genetics faculty.
Kairos Games comes from Staffordshire University and numbers nine students. Its title “Polymorph” is a third-person platform game in which a brave amorphous character and its ever-changing offspring evolve and adapt to take on the world around them, taking key evolutionary traits from other species. The studio Ninja Theory is guiding Kairos from a games development perspective, while James Floyd is providing a scientific perspective. James is a statistical geneticist analysing the exome sequences (i.e., the parts of the genome that are processed to produce proteins) of individuals with rare genetic diseases, in order to attempt to identify the specific mutations that are causing their disease.
Static Games, a seven-strong team from Bournemouth University, take the player on a tour of “Mendel’s Farm”. In its day, Mendel’s Farm was a thriving and popular business which bred the best livestock and grew the best plants. However, over time the farm has deteriorated and Mendel is struggling to manage the farm by himself, and the player’s task is to restore it to its former glory. Static Games is able to call on Climax Studios for development support and Carl Anderson from the Sanger Institute for scientific guidance. Carl applies statistical methodology to the analysis of large-scale genetic data sets in a bid to better understand the causes of several common human diseases. He has taken a lead role in the identification of almost 100 risk loci for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Team Summit, from University of Abertay, has four members and is developing “Beings”, a puzzle platform game aimed at younger players. The central character in “Beings” is a mythical creature facing a series of challenges such as fire, ice, or snow. These obstacles can be overcome through selective breeding with a creature with the right genes – fire-retardant skin, for example. Team Summit is being mentored by the studio Lucid Games and also by Darren Logan from the Sanger Institute. At Sanger, Darren studies pheromone and olfactory communication in mice with the aim of understanding the genes that instruct animals to detect and respond to social signals with highly stereotyped behavior.
Each team will continue working on the aforementioned titles live on the floor of Gadget Show Live in front of MSUL judges and attendees. On the final day, April 7, the overall winning team will be announced, and awarded with a commercial Unreal Engine 4 licence for PC digital distribution.
You can follow the teams’ progress through the Make Something Unreal Live Facebook page.
Screenshots are below.