We are always very proud of the games that our students make and this year is no different. Below, you’ll find a short description of the final major Games projects currently being worked on by our second year students. Very eclectic, very diverse and very, very ambitious.
These are still very much ‘work in progress’ with development and testing still taking place. We will be at EGX from 22nd September and this will be the ‘official’ public demo of the projects, the first chance for many people outside of the school to see what the students have been working on (although we did bring teaser tasters to Develop this year!).
Make sure to come and see us!
Okay, here is a description of each project.
‘The Circle’ by Manos Agianniotakis
An interactive VR experience about a woman dealing with PTSD. The story blurs the line between reality and fiction, dreaming and living, forcing the player into the shoes of a flawed but relatable main character. It explores themes of gender, identity, obsession and trauma.
Taking inspirations from the real world phenomenon of the Toynbee Tiles, the story of the game focuses on a woman who cut herself off from the world after a traumatic event. Alone in her flat, she investigates the appearance of the tiles and tries to solve their mystery. Her only communication with the outside world is through her computer, her phone and letters that other investigators send her.
During the course of the game, the players learn more about the tiles and the tragic story of the main character and the reason she lives in isolation.
The game combines first and third person perspective and has a text adventure segment that is navigated within a 3D environment. The gameplay is a combination of decision making (Papers Please) contemporary (Wolf Among Us, Oxenfree) and classic adventure games (The Fourth Protocol, Bureaucracy) with a twist.
‘Night Bizarre’ by Laura Dodds
Play as Srey, a novice fortune teller learning her trade in a strange, bustling, Cambodian night market. Strive to thrive as you wield your tarot cards and predict the future of locals and tourists who visit your stall.
As 20-year-old Srey you must prove to your down-to-earth mother, Tola, and mystically-minded grandmother, Arunny, that you can make a success of your stall, or else you’ll be sent back home to care for your three wild brothers. This is your chance for freedom in the fascinating city. Over five days, face family disputes, dangerous criminals and torrential tropical storms.
Discover the stories of the night bazaar and influence the colourful characters who populate it. Will you use the tools of the trade to learn the art of deception and swindle as much money as you can? Or will you use Srey’s ‘gift’ to establish a reputation for yourself as a talented fortune teller and see your premonitions come true?
Polyphonia is a psychedelic hands on virtual reality experience utilising motion controllers.
It is a meditative exploration into the manipulation of environment and sound that gives the player the chance to experience the evolutionary story of a universe through several stages in which they can grab the surrounding objects and manipulate them which changes the sound within.
Drawing its inspiration from science and modern art, the experience follows the evolution of a universe from its birth with the big bang right through to its death.
It is intended for release on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PS VR and Xbox VR.
‘Aaliyah’ by Jameela Khan
Through point-and-click gameplay, the player assumes the role of protagonist, Aaliyah, who is haunted by the memories of her last conversation with her friend, Eliza.
Retracing Eliza’s steps in the supermarket she used to worked in, Aaliyah takes up work as a lowly paid stock controller.
The player joins Aaliyah on her first day at work as she tries to discover what happened to Eliza and learns more about the motives for her death.
‘Aaliyah’ explores female friendship, gender and identity and is the first British game to feature a lead character of South Asian origin.
‘Into the Black’ by Naomi Kotler
An immersive, third person, virtual reality adventure about teamwork, instinct and survival set in the Yellowstone National Park wildfires of 1988.
Divided into four acts, the player assumes the role of a spirit guide sent to help a red fox and grizzly bear, who have been thrown together during the chaos of the wildfire and will need your guidance to help them escape the inferno and find a safe new home.
Only by working together will they survive the long road ahead and stand any chance of being re united with their families. Along the way they will be tested to their limits as their world is consumed by flames, the fire has put Yellowstone out of balance and forced a mass migration into the hunting grounds of the Druid Wolf pack. As these fearsome predators descend upon their fleeing prey, another lurks in the darkness. Man has come, full of cruelty and bad intention, seeking to turn this disaster into opportunity.
If you and your companions are to survive you will need to rely on each other and leave everything behind as you journey into the black.
‘Uncanny Valerie’ by John Lau
A 15 / 20 minute interactive play on iPad. It is set in the near future, in the vein of Black Mirror, Ex Machina and Her.
The player takes control of Karis, a wry and acerbic drinker who has lost her job as a robotics scientist, and who has just been left by her long-term girlfriend Valerie.
She has a few days to pack up her belongings in the house that she has shared with Valerie for the past five years, and copes with the emotional and practical task of moving on in the only way she knows how – by programming Valerie’s consciousness into an android that she has lying around the house.
As she tries to recreate her erstwhile lover, Karis realises that the power she holds over the robot can be used to iron out the things that irritated her about Valerie, and finds herself confronted with the question of whether it is better to love the one you’re with, or to hold out hope for an ideal that may never come.
Told through a combination of spatial puzzles, cut scenes and point and click tasks, ‘Uncanny Valerie’ is a story about a woman trying to both let go of, and hold onto a failed relationship, through the macabre, the poignant and the absurd.
‘Melancholia’ by Claudio Pollina
The puzzles are created to trick your visual and audio perceptions with optical and audio illusions.
As Frances, the player must manipulate the ambiance and sounds of two worlds – the house he shared with the love of his life and his own fractured memories – to piece together the mystery of why he lost Fanny and his will to play violin.
We are also thrilled to be able to show two projects from previous NFTS Games graduates.
‘Electric Lullaby’ by Cupboard Games
Electric Lullaby is a first-person adventure game about sleep, alter egos and exploring a mysterious painterly desert.
As players navigate this dreamlike world, their character grows tired, but all is not as it seems. Turning the game off (“going to sleep”) awakens the player’s alter ego—a clumsy monster that roams the land while the player is away.
The player must learn to co-operate with their subconscious in order to make progress and uncover the secrets of the world they find themselves in.
For iOS and Android.
The game has been developed with the Wellcome Trust by NFTS Games graduates Paul Dillon and Jon Hatton.
P.E.T. by Xylophone Games
How fun would it be to design, raise and look after a virtual pet which exists as much in your world, as it does in a game world? How amazing would it be to start to care about something that wasn’t actually real?
Even though those were rhetorical questions, we’re going to guess your answers would have been “loads of fun” and “totally amazing”.
But what if you also knew that pet could die?
P.E.T. (Personalised Entitative Technology) is a new breed of virtual pet simulator which revels in bringing back the stakes to the digital pet arena.
In the game, it is your responsibility to steer your pet through its life cycle, without a road map and with ethical binds aplenty to navigate along the way.
During that journey, you will be guided by the voice of the game’s two creators, as they begin to realise the power of the simulation they have now created, which also happens to be the simulation you are now playing.
It’s a game set within a story about the nature of simulation, where all virtual pets eventually go to heaven.
P.E.T. has been developed with the support of Wellcome. It is the first game to be developed by Xylophone Games, a new indie studio headed up by Ellie Silkstone, in collaboration with Hates These Cans, a new creative studio founded by Jenna Jovi.
The game is set for a full release in Spring 2017 across tablet and mobile platforms.