Northern Ireland Screen and Microsoft Ireland were happy to announce this week that that five companies have been chosen to take part in the Greenshoots NI scheme.
Greenshoots NI is a programme jointly developed by Northern Ireland Screen and Microsoft to support early stage start up game studios. Game studios will receive financial support of £20,000 and technical help from Microsoft to develop new and exciting game titles for Microsoft and Xbox One, Windows PC and Mobile Platforms.
The five companies were chosen after pitching their ideas to panel of industry professionals. The five projects selected are:
Block ‘N Load – Billy Goat Entertainment
Block ‘n Load is a shared screen, local multiplayer party game where players assume the role of robot gunslingers in a sci-fi take on the American Old West. The aim of the game is to eliminate opposing players, the last robot cowboy standing wins.
Beat Bugz – Boom Clap Games
Beat Bugs is a music based game for mobile devices in which you have to protect your drums from pesky bugs that keep infecting your rhythms.
Safari Slides – Blackstaff Games
Safari Slides is a themed variation on the classic puzzle game ‘Pipes’ using a hexagon based system with the integration of new mechanics and level based progression. A modern re-imagining of a classic, Safari Slides is a fresh take on an old concept.
Slidecast – Coffeebox Games
Slidecast follows a wizard escaping from a disaster that he himself caused. The player will manipulate the environment around the wizard across a series of levels and tile sets using simple rhythmic touch controls.
SoMe – AppAttic
SoMe, is a mobile and desktop game that visualises a user's social media most frequently used words. It highlights frequency with size and sentiment (positive, neutral and negative) through colours. The aim is to give the player insight into their current mental wellbeing whilst encouraging them to engage with it by using their words to play the SoMe game.
The player must get their character from one side of their most frequently used word to the other. The problem is that their character cannot jump/climb the letters. Therefore the player must use their other words to build bridges across to the other side. Negative words will make it difficult and positive words will help. The user can share their word cloud and resulting level with friends online.
Donal Phillips, Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital executive said “We are delighted that Northern Ireland Screen’s partnership with Microsoft Ireland means that five local game studios have the opportunity to develop their own games. The five companies pitched their games to a panel of industry professionals and displayed a high level of ability and creativity. This is positive step to creating a sustainable games industry in Northern Ireland and we look forward to seeing the studios’ completed games.”
Michael Meagher, Partner Business Evangelist, Microsoft Ireland, said “Microsoft is delighted to support this great initiative through mentorship and access to our BizSpark program tailor made for startups. We’re looking forward to seeing these games both in the Windows Store and on the Xbox in 2016.”
All games will be released Spring this year