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NI VIDEO GAME STUDIO WINS BIG AT GLOBAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Congratulations to Belfast-based game development studio Italic Pig, which has won a top-prize at this year’s inaugural Big Indie Awards in Shenzhen, China for its project Mona Lisa.

The awards ceremony provides an opportunity for indie developers to achieve global recognition as well as cash and promotional prizes of up to $25K.

Mona Lisa is a stealth and forgery adventure that sees Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous creation brought to life as Renaissance Italy’s greatest art thief.  The project received funding from Northern Ireland Screen with support from Invest NI.

Kevin Beimers, Writer and Director at Italic Pig, travelled to Shenzhen to accept the award last week. The history of Kevin’s win began earlier this year when he won the Very Big Indie Pitch in London at the PocketGamer Connects conference in January 2017.

From there, Kevin was invited to submit Mona Lisa to the Big Indie Awards in China. The selection process was worldwide with over 300 indie companies submitting entries. From the selection process, three companies were invited to China to present their games and provide a final pitch to the judges, with Mona Lisa coming out on top.

Kevin said of the process, “We are thrilled to have won at the Big Indie Pitch Awards for Mona Lisa and to be recognised for all our hard work over the past number of years. This project has been a real team effort from everyone at Italic Pig and I am so proud of the end result.

“It was also a fantastic experience to travel to China and represent the Northern Ireland gaming industry to a global audience. While the industry in Northern Ireland may be considered relatively young, there is no denying the abundance of talent that we have available here.

Commenting on the prospect of working within the Chinese gaming industry, Kevin said: “Chinese publishers are keen to consume Western content, while also seeking to export their own projects back to us. There are numerous opportunities for us to work together in the future and I am excited at the prospect of exploring these relationships.”

To find out more information on Mona Lisa, visit the Italic Pig website: 

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One of the Last released on Steam

Local company Deep Voodoo Gaming have released their VR zombie shooter experience One Of The Last on Vive. 

‘Surviving is more than just head-shots.. Inspired by “COD Zombies” & “L4D” – Explore extensive maps, move freely, join multi-player madness (team work req!), unlocking new areas, grab perks, drink soda-can power-ups, wall-buy weapons, solve ancient puzzles, build barriers, make crawlers and more!’

You can download the game on steam now.
Company twitter page.

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UK Budget 2017: games fund extended, R&D credits boosted and better maths education

The UK government has announced its budget for the next year, including some good news for the video games industry.

Perhaps the most obvious announcement to benefit games firs is a further £1 million to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020, aiding access to finance and business support for early stage video game developers.

Developers should also be able to benefit from the promise of £2.3bn in extra expenditure for R&D. Tax credits in this area will rise from 11% to 12% starting from January 1st, 2018.

Further details about support for the UK’s creative and digital industries will be announced in the forthcoming Industrial Strategy White Paper, which will hopefully include more games-specific allocations of public funds.

More information as well as links to the full reports can be found here

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Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Wins ‘Creativity and Heritage’ TIGA Award

Congratulations to BillyGoat Entertainment!

Yesterday their 2016 title, Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, picked up a TIGA Games Industry Award in the Creativity and Heritage category, against 9 other nominated games. 

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is currently available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4

 

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Queens University and Ulster University are Collaborating on the Creative Industries Cluster Programme

Ulster University and Queen’s University are collaborating on an exciting new funding opportunity which could lead to the setting up of a Research and Development Partnership for the Creative Industries in Northern Ireland.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme, the Programme is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and aims to drive economic growth in the Creative Industries through the development of exciting new products, services and experiences.

The Creative Industries in Northern Ireland will be at the heart of the proposal and as such, we would like to invite you to join us on Friday 10 November at 9.45am in the Great Hall at Queen’s University where you will have the opportunity to tell us what you feel are the key challenges to growth for the industry and what your sector needs in terms of long-term support.

Contribution on the day has the potential to help shape the bid and the proposed work plan.

To register, please click here. Further information will be provided in advance of the consultation event.

If you would like to talk with a member of the team in advance of the event, please contact Frank Lyons at Ulster University or Kevin Fearon at Queen’s University.

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The Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Programme Awards 2017

The Royal Television Society, Northern Ireland (RTS NI) has announced the nominees for this year’s Programme Awards with new headline sponsor in Ka-Boom.

Among the nominees is Billy Goad Entertainment Ltd. in the Interactive content category or Her Majesty’s SPIFFING. 

The RTS NI Programme Awards 2017 are delivered in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Channel 4, and UTV. The Awards Ceremony will be held in The MAC, Belfast on Thursday 16th November, hosted by Irish presenter Angela Scanlon.

A full list of nominees as well as tickets for the event can be found here

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Jennifer Wilde Kickstarter Successful

Jennifer Wilde, from Outsider Games, has just passed its £11,000 funding goal on Kickstarter!

The goal was reached with 262 individual backers, with the most popular donation tier being in the £10 or more category at 102 backers.  

Last year the team at Outsider Games launched their first PC game, Wailing Heights, on Steam to positive reviews and several award nominations. Since then they’ve been working hard on developing Jennifer Wilde as their next big project. 

There’s 3 days left to go in the campaign. The team at Outsider have revealed stretch goals to aim for in that reminding time, including text localisation and console versions of the game. 

Jennifer Wilde is a Point & Click 2D adventure game with a unique comic book inventory design. As Jennifer discovers clues to her father’s death, she sketches illustrated notes in her book; which the player can study, rearrange and combine into a comic book-style story. Use this illustrated knowledge to confront characters, prompt their memories and link clues together as you discover more about Jennifer’s father’s hidden past, and the truth behind his death.
 

 

 

 

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Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Nominated for TIGA Award

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, from the Northern Ireland developer BillyGoat Entertainment, has been nominated for the TIGA Games Industry Awards 2017 in the Creativity and Heritage category.

The overall Game of the Year award is decided by a public online vote available here  with voting closing on the 29th October. 

In their latest Kickstarter Update, BillyGoat Entertainment described the nomination as “Ironic indeed, and obviously very flattering too.”

 TIGA award statues. 
TIGA award statues. 

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is currently available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4

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Outsider Games Launches Kickstarter for Jennifer Wilde

Outsider Games have launched a Kickstarter for their new project, Jennifer Wilde. 

At the start of the Jazz Age in Paris in 1921, young French artist Jennifer Chevalier becomes embroiled in death, espionage and revolution which takes her across the three nations of France, England and Ireland – ably assisted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde.   

Jennifer believes the recent death of her father was no ‘accident’. Finding a chained locket in her father’s hotel, Jennifer attempts to use her childhood gift for talking to ghosts to call his spirit back. Unwittingly, the ghost recalled is that of Oscar Wilde, famous Irish playwright, whose affair with Jennifer’s father has bound his ghost to the locket. 

Jennifer and Oscar find themselves involved in schemes of murder, ghosts and intrigue as they attempt to solve Jennifer’s father’s murder, and develop a deep friendship along the way… 

Based on the best-selling and award winning comic from Atomic Diner.

 

 

 

 

 

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Applications Open for NI Screen Games Development Scheme

Northern Ireland Screen intends to runs a skills development programme called Games Development 2017.  The programme will provide opportunities in a Game Development company for one person.

Games Development 2017 is a paid placement scheme (NMW/NLW), the placement will run from October 2017– 31st March 2017 and the participant will gain experience in a professional Game Development Company.

The scheme and placement will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and participants will be expected to base themselves in Northern Ireland for the duration of the scheme.

You are eligible to apply if you can answer YES to these two questions:

  • Are you a legal resident of Northern Ireland?
  • Are you available to participate in the scheme from October 2017 – 31st March 2017?

Further Information and Application Forms can be found here.