The winner of the first ever Ukie Student game jam, sponsored by Square Enix’s project “Collective”, has been announced, with the title Wisp claiming 1st place. The jam, which ran from Monday 15th – Tuesday 16th April, saw 5 teams from Ukie’s new student membership competing against each other to create the best game possible in 39 hours, with industry mentors.
The winning game Wisp will be an exclusive pitch on Square Enix’s new project ‘Collective’ and will receive a specially made trophy for their university. Each of the teams will also receive prizes from PlayStation First, and a profile published piece.
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie said: “The standard of games that our students managed to make in such a short period of time was amazing. The jam was a great way to launch our new Student Membership scheme and it gave our students the chance to get some quality one-on-one time with industry veterans as well as showcasing their creative talents to some of the big players in the industry. They have really done themselves proud.”
Golsmiths Student and team leader of the winning game James Gamlin said: “I am ecstatic to be announced as the winners. The Ukie Student Game Jam has been an incredible experience. Myself and the team (Tolga Zeren Kaçar, Madina Berkaliyeva, Chilun Liu and Arthur Wong) are so glad we took part. We loved developing Wisp, though at times we did think it was slightly too ambitious for a 39 hour jam, we did manage to get a lot done in the end. We can’t wait to participate again next year”
Member of the judging panel, Chair of IGDA Foundation Luke Dicken said: “All the entrants in the jam showed an awful lot of promise. Choosing a winner was a really hard job, which reflects the quality of what was produced. I wish all the teams’ great success and hope to see them all involved in future Ukie Student Game Jams!”
Judge, Stuart Barnett, Senior Designer at SCEE said: “I was amazed at the quality of games created from the Ukie student game jam in just two days and it was a pleasure seeing how creative and talented the students taking part were. It’s a great indication of the health of the games industry in the UK if universities are producing such talented students and I look forward to seeing how they develop their ideas in the future given more time.”
Ukie also collected feedback from the teams about their mentors throughout the Jam and asked the students why their mentor should win the title of “Mentor of the Universe” along with a specially-made trophy. With outstanding feedback and support from the Norwich University of the arts team, Phil Elliott has seized the title.
Norwich team member Jessica Magnus, spoke of her mentor saying: “Phil put in a great deal of time and effort with the team, even staying up into the early hours of the morning of submission to give feedback from play testing. He gave positive advice and thoughts on our game and even lifted our spirits when things got tough with general chit chat, constructive thoughts and lots of coffee! I can’t give enough praise for Phil and it was fantastic to have him around for those two days as our mentor.”
Mentor of the Universe, and Community lead at Square Enix Phil Elliott said: “I’m really touched to have been nominated for this award; but the team did all the hard work, and it was awesome to see them overcome some of the challenges thrown in their way. As a microcosm for game development, jams are a fantastic experience. The problem-solving required – not to mention needing to take tough decisions and make hard judgement calls – under major time restrictions will stand them in great stead. The new layer of talent that are the graduates of today will become the backbone of the industry tomorrow; I can’t wait to see what they create, and I’m honoured to have been involved in this event. Well done to all the teams.”
All games entries from the Jam will be part of Ukie’s brand new website when it launches.