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Immersive Game Lab & Commission announces new September date with selected participants

  • StoryFutures Academy
  • August 3rd 2020
  • Rebecca Gregory-Clarke

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StoryFutures Academy, the UK's National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, and InGAME (Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise) which supports the Dundee Games Cluster, are announcing new September date with selected participants, for the postponed Game Lab and commission, aimed at supporting the development of the next generation of immersive, narrative-led games in the U.K.

12 writers and narrative designers have now been selected by StoryFutures Academy, alongside InGAME's Dundee based Biome Collective and Pocket Sized Hands.


About the Game Lab &
Commission

The Immersive Game Lab aims to upskill 12 writers and narrative designers from a variety of backgrounds to prepare them for working on narrative immersive videogames, and offers 3 game developers valuable narrative training, networking with a diverse set of talented writers, plus the chance to receive funding for the creation of a story-based immersive game slice to be showcased at a high profile UK games industry event. The writers and narrative designers responded to a UK-wide national call for those wanting to break into games or increase their skills in games writing. Developers from the Dundee Games Cluster applied wanting to be partnered with writers to explore ideas for narrative-led games. The Game Lab will be delivered by StoryFutures Academy and InGAME in Dundee in September 2020, based on the highly successful StoryFutures Academy Writers Rooms led by Adam Ganz and run in partnership with theatre company Punchdrunk's charity, led by Director of Enrichment & CEO Peter Higgin.

The writers and narrative designers will undertake a fully-funded 2-day narrative workshop where they will explore immersive experiences, meet developers and expand their interactive writing skills. A shortlist of 3 teams will then be selected to undertake a 4-week paid scoping phase where the writer will co-design an idea for a narrative-led immersive game in collaboration with a games development studio from the Dundee cluster (for which both the writer and developer will be paid a fixed stipend of £2,500). Teams will then pitch these ideas to an expert panel who will select one idea to receive £50,000 of funding for a 12-week development period. The winning writer/developer team will also receive a program of user testing, audience insight and commercialisation support from InGAME, with the completed project being shown at a high profile UK games industry event. Due to Covid-19 considerations, all Game Lab events will now be delivered virtually.

The two games development studios are:


Biome Collective

Biome Collective is a creative studio, community and co-working space for people to create, collaborate and explore new frontiers in games, digital art and technology. We create world class interactive and multi-sensory experiences for global audiences. Our unique and accessible games, interventions and installations span across digital, physical and cultural spaces.

Pocket Sized Hands

Pocket Sized Hands is a software and games company, specialising in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality games and experiences. Based in sunny Dundee, our diverse team comprises of a mix of award-winning designers, programmers and artists with 15 years’ combined experience developing immersive entertainment. Our clients range from universities to architectural companies and with them, we have created awesome applications for mobile, virtual reality and software platforms that have impressed both our clients and their customers.

The 12 selected writers and narrative designers are:

Connor Carroll Conor Patrick Carroll is an Irish-Scottish, London based writer with an MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He’s an alumni of the Soho Writers Lab and his play Haste Ye Back was shortlisted for the ETPEP Award in 2019.

Nick Mulgrew Nick Mulgrew is a South African-Scottish writer, born in 1990. He is the author of three books, most recently The First Law of Sadness, which won the 2018 Nadine Gordimer Award. Currently he is a PhD candidate in Writing Practice at the University of Dundee, and the director of uHlanga, a poetry press

Cecile Emeke Cecile Emeke is a filmmaker and artist who creates work that crosses lines of genre and form. Previous collaborations include work with Tate Modern, HBO, Sky, BBC, ICA and Dazed. Cecile is currently working on her debut feature film with BBC Films.

Sade Adeniran Sade Adeniran is an award winning writer who has written for radio, theatre and film. Her debut award winning novel Imagine This, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. As a filmmaker, Sade has written, produced and directed several short films, which have screened at various festivals around the world. Sade is currently developing her novel into an animated feature film.

Jon Davies Jon Davies is the Narrative Designer at Coatsink, an indie developer and publisher in the north-east, and responsible for penning the VR-RPG Augmented Empire, the 2019 VR Awards Game of the Year finalist Shadow Point, and the recently-announced Transformers: Battlegrounds.

Anna Southgate Anna is an award-winning Writer-Director who has worked with Oscar and BAFTA-winning talent as well as the National Youth Theatre. Anna is also a Script Editor who has supported internationally-acclaimed producers, Nicholl-Fellowship-winning screenwriters and bestselling authors. She is a consultant for Euroscript and an influencer for Birds Eye View’s ‘Reclaim the Frame.’

Simon Nagel Simon Nagel is an award-winning screenwriter. He has written and developed content for CNBC, Toei Animation Japan and Eli Roth’s Crypt TV, among others. He has additionally written artificial intelligence for Samsung’s digital assistant, Bixby. Simon is currently the in-house Creative Writer for Box Media in London.

Christian Graham Christian is a south-London writer, actor and video game enthusiast, interested in the role that story-telling plays in our lives. Theatre has been instrumental in his search to understand how stories work. With the help of StoryFutures he will be endeavouring to break these rules in new and exciting ways.

Adam Butcher Adam Butcher is a BAFTA-Rocliffe-winning writer/director and game creator. His short films have played festivals worldwide and won him 4 Vimeo Staff Picks – including “The Game That Time Forgot” which documented his 13-year journey to finish a game he started making as a kid.

Zoe Thorogood Zoe Thorogood is a comics creator based in Middlesbrough, she also works as a freelance concept artist for games and animation. Most recently she has finished her debut solo graphic novel ‘The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott’ to be published by Avery Hill. Besides work Zoe enjoys playing video games and annoying her dog.

Dan Smith "Dan is a BAFTA award winning developer and Writer’s Guild of Great Britain award nominated writer. At 18, he secured funding for his first game, The Spectrum Retreat, releasing it on all platforms. He is currently working on various projects in design, development and writing roles, including his next game."

Michelle Collier Michelle Collier is a creative writer and multidisciplinary maker with a focus on storytelling and hands-on creative production. She’s worked in the creative sector for over a decade, including a stint as a Senior Writer with the BBC’s digital team. She’s currently a freelance writer/maker, and a Creative Associate at FutureEverything.

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