For graduates looking to make it in the games industry, standing out from the crowd and letting their creativity shine has never been more important. But what opportunities are out there to transform the great ideas of top games talent into actual games?
The Tranzfuser talent development programme is aimed at those who will become our creative leaders of the future. Funded by the UK Government, Tranzfuser is in its second year and is the only graduate games competition to feed directly into an industry grant fund. Ultimately, team will have the fantastic opportunity to win grants of up to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund, so that they can develop a commercial prototype.
Applicants are invited to apply in teams or as individuals and following a rigorous judging process, selected teams will spend the summer transforming their games concepts into prototypes, with local hubs across the UK providing Tranzfuser participants with the support and space they need to get their projects moving.
After four months of hard work, Tranzfuser culminates in the teams showcasing their prototype games at a high-profile national games exhibition event in September 2017. That’s when a number of the teams will get the exciting opportunity to pitch for follow-on funding of up to £25,000 so that they can commercialise their game and launch a company.
With the privileged opportunity to become one of the UK Games Fund portfolio companies on offer, it should be no surprise that the competition can be a tough. However, successful entrants from the 2016 Transfuzer programme tell us that experiencing the process made the challenges worthwhile.
“Tranzfuser had so much more to offer than just a £25,000 prize, with industry mentors coming in every week and the chance to attend and showcase at events. We felt taking part in Tranzfuser was one of the best starts to our careers that most of us could ask for. Although we didn’t get through to the last six and go on to win further funding, my team feel like winners with all we have learnt and experienced.
“After exhibiting at the EGX video game festival in Birmingham and completing the game, we felt the best way to end our Tranzfuser journey was to launch our game onto the Google Play store. Tranzfuser has now shaped the future for my team with us securing a six month project with a group of investors and we hope to keep moving forward from this.”
“Tranzfuser was challenging but the support we’ve had from the Eastern Enterprise Hub along with the University of Suffolk was overwhelming. Being on the Tranzfuser competition has meant everything to us. Our original prototype idea was good but it’s now turned into something so much more special… so much more beautiful, thanks to the competition and the drive it’s given us.
”The opportunity to showcase our work at EGX and have our audience come to our stand was fantastic for testing and encouragement for our game RUYA. The moment we were chosen as one of the 6 teams to pitch and then to be awarded the grant was breath taking. It’s allowed us to continue development on something we feel so passionate about. We could never have dreamt we’d be doing this straight out of University.”
Of the eighteen teams selected to enter the Tranzfuser programme in 2016, six secured UK Games Fund grants. Along with Miracle Tea, the successful teams were:
- Team Curvish – based at Glasgow Caledonian University with the game Curvish: a 2.5D skill-based platformer, in which the player pilots a small droid to collect items in specific combinations.
- Mountain Walrus – based at Abertay University with the game The Tower – a virtual reality experience that puts the player in the shoes of an
archer on a quest.
- Cold Sun Studios – based at Sheffield Hallam University with the game Tome Travellers – a 3rd person, fantasy brawler that sees up to 4 friends embarking on a mystical journey.
- Astro Manatee – also based at Sheffield Hallam University with the game Voltaic – a top-down multiplayer shooter set in a futuristic world; as it might be imagined by people living in 1800’s London.
- Shiny Happy Studios – based at Brunel University London with the game The Orchid Nebula – a game about time travel which takes its inspiration from modern narrative exploration games as well as old style point and click adventures.
If you’re up for a challenge which could give you the boost you need to break into the games business, follow @UKGamesTalent on Twitter and like the Tranzfuser Facebook page to be the first to know when Tranzfuser 2017 will launch.