Developer News Industry News

Local developer Italic Pig successfully gain CE funding for 2nd time

Italic Pig have proudly announced that they have received a grant from Creative Europe for the second time to develop a brand new adventure. Not much is yet known about the new project other than it will be based in Virtual Reality.

This is a massive success for the company, that successfully secured Creative Europe funding in 2015 for their soon to be released title ‘Mona Lisa’. 

Production is set to start on their next title come 2018. Read more on the Creative Europe website.

Industry News

No Piknik selected for Tranzfuser 2017

Northern Ireland games developer No Piknik is among the Twenty-three teams of graduates from across the UK are today celebrating success after being selected to take part in Tranzfuser™ 2017.

Tranzfuser is funded by UK Government and organised by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC (UKGTF). Now in its second year, the games design competition runs for 3 months. Each team will be awarded £5,000 to support them as they turn concepts into prototypes ready for further professional development.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for the Creative Industries said: “The UK’s creative industries are one of our biggest success stories and a big part of that is our leadership in video game production. Now we need to nurture the next generation of talent, and the Government’s UK Games Fund and Tranzfuser have been set up to do exactly this. I wish all the entrants good luck in the competition and look forward to seeing the prototypes as they develop.”

All of the 2017 selected teams are meeting for the first time today in Manchester for the TALK Tranzfuser event; a jam-packed day of practice pitching sessions and expert advice.

The hard work will culminate in September when the teams journey to EGX 2017, the UK’s biggest consumer games event which will take place at Birmingham NEC where the teams will showcase their work. The contestants will pitch their prototypes to a panel of games industry experts for the opportunity to receive a grant of up to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund (also operated by UKGTF).

Today, UKGTF also announced the network of UK-wide local hubs which will support the individual teams throughout their Tranzfuser journey.

Deborah Farley, Head of Talent and Outreachsaid: “The quality of the applications to Tranzfuser 2017 was very high across the board. This made the judging process for our external reviewers no easy task. However, after much

For a full list of team selected please visit the Transfuser website.

Education News

Gaming Aim High Diaries #4

Contiuning our series of Gaming Aim High Diaries, Chloe Gowdy talks about working at company Outsider Games

For my first 4 month placement I was chosen to be with Outsider Games run by Stephen Downey. For my first month there, the crew were all busy completing their game Wailing Heights, a body hopping musical adventure 2D game, so I spent most of my time helping them out by play testing the game and writing down any bugs throughout the game that I later gave to the programmer so that he could fix them. It looked pretty stressful for everyone as the release date was getting closer and closer and everyone wanted the game to be as perfect as possible so we were all over the place trying to get any possible bug or issues that happened in the game fixed, and finishing up any last minute assets that still had to be put in the game. On the day of the release (27th of april), we all took the day to relax in the studio and played lots of board game as we constantly refreshed the Steam page to see how the game was doing on the first day. 

 Chloe with the Outsider Games team after release of Wailing Heights
Chloe with the Outsider Games team after release of Wailing Heights

Even though the game was released I wasn’t done with the game just yet as Stephen wanted to have Steam achievement icons for his game as well as Steam trading cards and badges. After discussing what the achievements will be, I went into Photoshop to make several icon versions and showed them to Stephen who then gave me some advice on how to make some icons look better and once we were all happy with the icons, Stephen put them on Steam to be approved. It was fun to see the achievements appear in the game as I was testing it to make sure they were all working properly and appearing when I completed an achievement. We didn’t have any issue with making the achievement icons, but when it came to the trading cards, I had a lot of trouble getting everything to be approved by steam, especially for the badges. Stephen and I did a lot of research on how the trading card system on steam worked and how the badges are not allowed to look too similar, but even so I had to make the badges several times before they got properly approved on steam because they said our badges still looked too similar. But we eventually got there and it was still fun to come up with all these different ideas for what the trading cards and badges should look like and see it come to life on steam.

 Chloe hard at work in the Outsider Games office
Chloe hard at work in the Outsider Games office

After I had completed these tasks, there wasn’t anything left to do on Wailing Heights, so I started to work on their other project Jennifer Wilde, a point and click adventure game. They already had their 2D artist working on all the main stuff for the game so I mainly took care of designing UI for the game, think about what the main menu should look like and any other smaller 2D tasks I could help with. I am mainly a 3D artist so I wasn’t very confident in my 2D skills but Stephen was very helpful and was always there to come over when I asked for help r advice on something and he would correct me in any perspective issues I was having with my drawing and gave me advice on making my art better, which was very helpful and taught me a lot.

I finished my placement with Outsider Games at the end of July, and started my next placement with The Design Zoo. Overall I had a great time learning 2D and it was a great experience to see a game in its late development about to get released, and I look forward to learning more in my next placement.

Industry News

Northern Ireland Screen’s Adding Value Report

Northern Ireland Screen has published the second edition of its Adding Value Report, a celebration of the spectacular range of opportunities, jobs and experiences pursued within and supported by the screen industry in Northern Ireland.

Covering the period from September 2013 to June 2016 the report offers an insight into what growing the screen industry in Northern Ireland really means for the broad range of individuals involved.

Whilst covering multiple screen industries, the report covers Gaming and mobile, which has stepped up in Northern Ireland since the previous report with a growing cluster of local companies now involved in digital and interactive content. Among the recent achievements, Northern Ireland Screen launched Greenshoots NI in partnership with Microsoft, a funding and technical support initiative for early stage start up game studios. We’ve seen Northern Ireland becoming home to the team Of Kings of Men, and the establishing of many new companies province wide.

The report also gives a glimpse into the future of the screen industries as it highlights some of the many talented trainees taking their first step, be it on the Aim High development programme or through the DEL Animation and Gaming Development Academies. These trainee development schemes aim to equip people with the skills and experience required to take up new opportunities, as well as address the needs of our local screen industries.



Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “We cannot believe it has been almost three years since our last Adding Value Report in 2013. So much has happened in that time which Northern Ireland can be proud of, it has been a great period for the screen industries here, with lots more exciting projects in the pipeline.

“We hope readers will enjoy learning about the companies and individuals that work in the screen industries here and feel the same pride that we do at what they have achieved not just locally but nationally and internationally.

“These are exciting times and we are very conscious that this is the result of tremendous support given to the screen sector here by Invest Northern Ireland, the Department for the Economy, the Department for Communities, the British Film Institute and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. ”

To view the Adding Value Report please click here.

If you would like a printed copy of the Adding Value Report please email