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Business Support - Prototype Fund

Projects

Abertay University has helped small and new businesses create prototypes of games and other interactive digital content with grants of up to £25,000. Development has been carried out at Abertay's prototyping studio, and elsewhere all around the UK.

Stormcloud Games

Stormcloud Games, based in Dundee, has an impressive track-record; the highly experienced team has worked across a range of exciting technologies from Xbox360, PS3, Wii, DS, through to browser, iOS and Android.

With the help of the Prototype Fund Stormcloud Games developed the first in a series of mobile games, Mr Shingu's Paper Zoo. Paper Zoo is a creative game for children aged 6-12 years old where players fold origami animals to create their very own origami zoo and are tasked to care for, feed and home the origami animals. Colourful, fun and open-ended, the game allows players to explore their creativity through interaction and customisation.

Mr Shingu's Paper Zoo has received numerous industry and critical plaudits; as well as winning a TIGA Game Award for Best Casual game, the title has also been nominated for a Bafta Scotland award, listed as one of the top 50 apps of 2013 by the Guardian newspaper, and selected by Apple as an "Innovative Kids App" in China for the recent Apps Store Best of 2013 promotion.

Blazing Griffin

Blazing Griffin is an independent game studio based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Founded in 2011, the company is a creative mix of established game developers, experts from other industries, and a wide variety of freelance talent.

With a strong focus in maintaining intellectual properties, the company has acquired the rights to games such as The Ship: Murder Party and Distant Star, with plans to expand and further develop them.

Along with buying and reviving IP, Blazing Griffin also develops new games across multiple platforms. The company helped expand the APB universe by developing APB Retribution in conjunction with Reloaded Productions. This top down action shooter was released in December 2013 on iOS.

Blazing Griffin is currently developing Dino Tribes, a match-3 game scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014 on Windows 8 mobiles, with other major platforms to follow.

Whispering Gibbon

Whispering Gibbon is developing a new generation of games and multimedia apps which embrace new audiences and broaden the definition of what it is to be a gamer. Combining the quality of AAA development with the innovation and usability of mobile, they are moving beyond traditional gaming, creating surprising, alternative and engaging experiences.

Tiny Trees

Tiny Trees is a uniquely relaxing experience in which player will grow, shape and nurture virtual Bonsai trees and build their very own Zen garden. The land of Tiny Trees has become overrun with invading species which have destroyed the once powerful garden; players will help banish this evil once and for as they mastering advanced bonsai techniques and grow more powerful trees. As weird and new wonderful new trees are discovered the secrets of the garden and the mystical Panda Sensei will be revealed.

FuturLab

FuturLab is an award winning game studio that develops and publishes original games on mobile and console, specialising in games with thrilling ideas, delightful gameplay and a refined user experience.

With the help of Abertay University, FuturLab were able to prototype a very ambitious design and take their successful Velocity franchise to a range of leading platforms.

Quartic Llama

Quartic Llama is an award-winning independent game development studio developing fun, innovative and beautiful games. The highly creative team are currently working on original intellectual property across multiple platforms, and in collaboration with exciting partners. Forming in 2012 the young studio has been named in the Develop top 100 studio list and selected as a finalists at IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games.

With the help of the Prototype Fund, Quartic Llama are developing Dama: a visually striking turn based strategy game for upcoming platforms. Dama fuses rich narrative with strategic gameplay, and features a distinctive character collection mechanic. Combine natural elements through alchemy to create new and unique creatures, explore a range of beautiful environments, and amass your collection to compete against your friends. The studio is targeting both core and casual gamers with Dama’s stylised graphics, engaging strategic gameplay and unique collection mechanic.

Get in touch to find out more: QuarticLlama.com

Find Quartic Llama on Facebook: QuarticLlama

Follow Quartic Llama on Twitter: @QuarticLlama

White Paper Games

White Paper Games was founded in September 2011 with the aim of creating original and meaningful game play experiences for a variety of gaming platforms.

Ether One is White Paper Games flagship title and is first-person adventure game that focuses on the fragility and depth of human memories. You play as a Restorer, an individual with a lost identity who is sent into the minds of mentally ill humans to restructure their broken memories. Tasked with the restoring the mind of a client named Jean you must explore the depths of her memories in order to rebuild the fragile structures within.

An increase in studio profile as well as an international awareness of Ether One has emerged from the work carried out during project and White Paper Games are now looking at releasing Ether One through a variety of different distribution avenues.

Secret Lunch

Secret Lunch is an independent games studio based in Scotland. It was founded in 2012 by a team of Master’s graduates from the University of Abertay Dundee.

Their first project, Shu, is a 2.5D platformer in which players must run, jump and glide up an ancient mountain, rescuing stranded villagers from a monstrous storm.

The team have experience developing and releasing commercial games for a variety of platforms such as Xbox Love Indie Games, mobile, browser and Windows 8 and in working with companies such as Sony London and Microsoft.

Auroch Digital

GameTheNews.net is a project by digital development and consultancy studio Auroch Digital, based at Bristol Games Hub, UK. The project is exploring how games can be developed from news stories. Auroch Digital have produced a number of games on a variety of topics from the US elections to the horse-meat scandal.

GameTheNews games can be found here on their site and on Wired and the Huffington Post.  The project gained international attention for its controversial newsgame, Endgame:Syria and most recently has been getting praise for NarcoGuerra.  The Guardian recently said of the project, “Game the News is one of the more interesting indie game developers working at the moment…”  

The focus on games that connect to reality continues to pay dividends for Auroch Digital who are doing projects with the BBC, are helping Ndemic Creations to bring Plague Inc. to Steam with Plague Inc: Evolved and will be keynote speakers at Europe's first ever newsgame hack later this year in Germany.

You can Auroch Digital on Twitter or Facebook.

Hutch

Hutch is a digital games studio, based in the heart of London and focusing on the highest quality 3D casual action games for iOS and Android. Their first title was the hugely popular Smash Cops on iOS and the Prototype Fund is allowing Hutch to experiment with a novel ‘two-screen’ game, set in the same universe.

Wish Studios

Based on the UK’s sunny south coast, in the vibrant, creative city of Brighton, Wish Studios creates innovative games and interactive experiences for home and mobile platforms. The Wish team loves games as both players and creators, and reflects that passion in its work. Wish believes strongly in the power of teamwork, bringing together the creative disciplines involved in game development to collaborate in the on-time delivery of sparkling titles. 

With the help of Abertay’s Prototype Fund, Wish Studios is prototyping its own game. The Fund has given the studio the creative breathing space to do this, enabling a cutting-edge new product to be brought to life, and offering a unique opportunity for the business to grow.

You can read more about Wish Studios by following it on Twitter @wishstudio or by visiting its website at wishstudios.co.uk. 

Extra Mile Studios

Extra Mile Studios, a Glasgow, UK based developer of digital content, was formed in 2004 by a team of game development professionals with many years’ experience in the children's and casual/family entertainment sectors.

The company normally works for third parties making games around existing brands, however the team are not short of ideas of their own - and with the aid of the Abertay Prototype Fund one of those has gone from the drawing board into the hands of players, and more importantly, potential publishing partners.

Phew! follows the adventures of a plucky balloon hero in his quest to stop the evil Toy Master and his minions the Moogs eradicating Phew's only friends, the Gonks.

Gameplay is all about classic side scrolling fun and action - dodge incoming attacks from both the air and ground; avoid traps and hazards; outwit the Moogs… and save the Gonks.

Moonshine Media

Moonshine Media are the west London digital marketing agency awarded an Prototype Fund grant to develop an app to promote the film ‘Spike Island’, set around the legendary Stone Roses gig of 1990.  The app titled ‘Dance Like A Manc’ teaches the player the moves to master, from the ‘Resurrection’, the ‘Bang the Drum’ and the ‘King Monkey’ in order to dance like a proper Stone Roses fan.   Once captured, the user-filmed footage is rendered on the phone with music from the film and newly originated filters, which mimic the look and feel of the feature.  The footage is then uploaded to the YouTube site as part of our competition to find those with all the best Manc moves. 

In order to ‘Dance Like A Manc’, and other examples of the brilliant, and stylishly creative work out of the Moonshine stable, click here: http://www.moonshinemedia.co.uk/ or follow this: @welovemoonshine

Nice one!

Binary Pumpkin

Binary Pumpkin opened its Dundee doors in 2012 and it's first product, Pumpkin Bingo was launched at Christmas of that year. With the help of the Prototype Fund, the company was able to start employing staff and develop a prototype called TaxiTaxi.  Developed using the eeGeo 3D map platform, the game puts the player in the shoes of a taxi dispatcher who needs to source the best routes to guide fares across San Francisco whilst avoiding ongoing incidents, traffic jams and other city chaos.  

The prototype has received positive feedback from potential publishing partners and Binary Pumpkin are hopeful of securing the additional funding to bring the game to the market in due course.

Outplay Entertainment

Outplay Entertainment are a Dundee based, venture backed social and mobile game developer with several successful titles across iOS, Facebook and Android. The prototype fund has allowed Outplay to create Media Frenzy!, a media rich, online multiplayer trivia experience for tablet and mobile. Players engage in unique interactive rounds to answer questions on their favourite movies, music, TV and celebrities. Media Frenzy!’s close integration with media partners allows players to discover, engage and socialise around the media enjoyed in each round.

Peekabu

Specializing in motion control and optical recognition technologies, Peekabu Studios was founded in 2010 and has developed applications for the web as well as smart TVs. The Prototype Grant helped Peekabu develop a web game promoting the upcoming film "Smash and Grab," the real-life story of a gang of jewel thieves. To put players in the heart of the action, the game uses Peekabu's motion control technology to track players' hands as they listen at the safe door, turn the combination dial, and try to crack the safe and steal the loot without being caught. Players need a steady hand, steely nerve, and the will to be calm under pressure to match the thieves in the film. To hear about launch dates and other news, visit http://peekabu.net.

Lucky Frame

Lucky Frame is a small company specialising in quirky and fun games and interfaces, particularly with regards to music. Their work includes iPhone apps, desktop computer software, games, and performance systems, all of which aim to find new ways to encourage creativity through technology. Lucky Frame are working on Martin vs Monty, a two person deathmatch game for iPad with the help of the Prototype Fund. Featuring a Victorian era styling and fast paced gameplay reminiscent of 1990s arcade games the team hope to build upon the recent success of Bad Hotel, the BAFTA winning iPad game.

Euphonious

Euphonious is an audio production company founded in 2011 by multiple BAFTA winning Raymond Usher.  The award from the Prototype Fund has allowed Euphonious to kickstart development of the next generation of audio middleware which addresses the new challenges faced by today’s game developers.

Opposable Games

Clockwork Racers is a multi-screen remix of Micro Machines and Mario Kart: wind-up your favourite Clockwork Hero (Squeeks, Zapp, Chomp or Snooze) and race through 16 miniature environments with your family and friends.  Clockwork Racers connects any and all of your devices, with secret weapons available on your phone while everyone's attention is on a shared tablet, laptop or smart tv.

The Prototype Fund helped Opposable Games develop their multi-screen technology further and launch the first of the Clockwork games for the Antix and iOS games platforms.  Opposable is made up of seven of the South West's best games designers and developers, and collaborates with publishers, developers and IP holders to develop connected, multi-player games on mobile, tablet, set top box, and smart TV.

Guerilla Tea

Guerilla Tea is a Dundee based indie games and software developer. Founded in 2011 Guerilla Tea is primarily a service-based developer doing work for companies in a range of different industries.

The Prototype Fund has allowed Guerilla Tea to take a temporary step back from contract work to develop our own self-owned piece of IP a model helicopter dogfighting game currently named ‘Fangs Out!’. The game was originally developed for mobile and table devices but we have recently turned our attention to the possibility of turning it into a PC game. To keep up with Guerilla Tea’s latest news check out or website www.guerillatea.com. 

Legendary Games

After a cataclysmic global war Civilisation lies in ruins. Survivors are now just emerging from underground bunkers.  It is a new era.  It is the first year after the Apocalypse.  It is Year 0…

Year 0 is a browser-based, multiplayer, online, strategy game. Players battle for survival and to mould the new world in their image. The Prototype was developed by Legendary Games an R&D focused games company using HTML 5 technology that will allow the game to be accessed from any browser equipped device and embedded in any browser carrying platform be it PC, Mac, smart phone, console or Kindle. Visit the company website for more information: http://legendary-games.com/

 

Supersonic

Supersonic have a long history of console development and have recently refocused their development onto mobile projects.  Working with a high profile UK charity, Supersonic are prototyping a mass-market endless-runner game featuring the charity’s mascot characters with the help of the Prototype Fund.  The game is being developed for iOS and Android devices.  The game is intended to be compelling, fun and innovative in its own right, as well as (importantly), spreading the message about the work of the charity.

PLA Studios

PLA Studios was founded in 2011 in East London and is a primarily service-based game developer. PLA develop games for publishers, educators, brands and entertainment and have grown rapidly over the course of 2012. 

The Prototype Fund grant has allowed PLA to develop a HTML5 game under own IP alongside client projects. “Squaddies”, PLA's social mercenary hire 'n' fire 'em up, is being developed for the Turbulenz web gaming platform and, even though it is still in fairly early stages, you can follow its development at http://squaddies.tumblr.com

Setgo

Founded in 2010, Setgo is led by three experienced industry professionals who previously worked closely together as the senior management team of Sony’s Studio Liverpool. With the help of the Prototype Fund Setgo developed Castaways; a Facebook game that sees the player stranded on a mysterious island where they must survive, prosper and maybe even escape. Although we are no longer actively developing new content for it, the game itself remains live on Facebook and on our website. One of the biggest lessons learned over the course of the prototype was the importance of metrics and analytics during the development of Free-to-Play games. From that Setgo developed Pingflux, one of the first truly platform agnostic game analytics solutions in the market. Through Pingflux, developers are provided with insights into the behaviour of their players, regardless of which platforms they’ve chosen to adopt for their game. Pingflux works for games on smartphones, tablets, browser, social or any other platform that’s connected to the internet. Check out the website at www.pingflux.com or follow Pingflux on Twitter @Pingflux.

OM

OM is a leading producer of dialogue for games. The Prototype Fund is supporting the commercialisation of a suite of creative dialogue tools developed in-house to enhance creativity. The toolset revolutionises recording, post-production, review and QA of voice content.  The core focus of the tools is in empowering directors and actors during recording to enable more subtle and connected performances. The bi-products are fast turnaround, greater accuracy, multi-level QA at source and significant cost savings. 

Two Monocle Games

Two Monocle Games creates social games for existing networks such as Facebook. First setting sail in 2011, their first title Cult Leader offers a satirical look at social games, politics and celebrity culture. The Prototype Fund proved vital in helping the company to create their first product in covering staffing costs. Two Monocle also took advantage of the Prototyping Studio space and equipment available at Abertay University. After the toil and adventure of Two Monocle’s maiden voyage the company is now preparing to set sail for their next expedition. Who knows what awaits them in the mysterious uncharted waters of games development? Whatever happens, it will certainly be a great adventure.

WildKnowledge

WildKnowledge is a spin out company from Oxford Brookes University who specialise in data gathering and exploration mobile apps.  WildKnowledge were seeking to incorporate a higher degree of gamification into their applications and used the prototype funding to create an app to raise awareness of National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative. National Geographic were keen to explore how users could access their content in an engaging way.  The Big Cat Challenge enables users to become Super Rangers by visiting Big Cats and Rangers around the world and discovering facts and threats to these creatures.  You can only become a Super Ranger if you seriously know your stuff!  It is anticipated that the Big Cat Challenge will be launched for the iPhone by the end of the year.

Bigyama

Bigyama is a registered developer for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Home.  The prototype grant was used to prototype a PlayStation Home space and develop the backend server technology needed to make more involved Home games. Bigyama develops virtual goods for PlayStation Home, has brought Fallen Tree's Quell Memento game to PlayStation Vita and has been undertaking contracting work to keep everything ticking along.

The Connected Set

Established in November 2010, The Connected Set design and produce content, TV formats, games and digital products. The Connected Set used their prototype grant to develop Tate Britain QuizTrail, a location-based iPhone game that guides players on themed trails around the famous London gallery. Each trail has three levels of play that cover simple observational questions to tougher multiple-choice questions requiring players to read display captions to find the answer. Players are rewarded with a discount at the Tate Online Shop. Visitors can share their new found knowledge of the works with friends as they progress on their trail and share their prizes too via a bespoke Facebook app. The Connected Set will be porting the game to Android later in 2012 and are already in talks to develop versions of QuizTrail for other museums and galleries in UK, Europe and the US.

Dry Ice Studios

Dry Ice Studios' first title will be a side-scrolling adventure distributed via digital download. Solid game play and high production quality are very important factors and we plan to keep our development team small and focused.

Triple B Games

Triple B Games is an indie developer based in Dundee. Founded in 2007 we have released five titles on the Xbox 360’s Indie Games channel: Fitba, a particularly Scottish football game; Inside Lacrosse’s CL2010, the first Lacrosse game on the Xbox 360; NLL 2010, the first officially licensed Lacrosse title; College Lacrosse 2011; Zombiez 8 My Cookiez; and Flowrider.  Flowrider uses a large scale realtime fluid dynamics simulation to provide a unique top down racing experience. Flowrider features online, split-screen and single player modes with futuristic visuals in full HD and a custom-composed soundtrack. Flowrider is coming soon to Xbox 360 Indie Games.

Bookmarked Games

Bookmarked Games is a partnership between educational gaming entrepreneur Jeremiah Alexander of Ideonic and author & public policy strategist Oliver Roberts.

Although their first game is currently in development, we can’t say too much yet. What we can say is that it will focus on stories which play a major role in early childhood development. We’re one of just six companies in the UK to receive a grant from the first round of the UK’s new game prototyping fund, run by the University of Abertay. That means the game concept’s already been through a rigorous vetting process in its development; and that we have the backing of the University’s expertise to help us make it a success.

Alongside supporting new businesses, the fund also aims to build skills in the UK’s digital sector, by paying for recent graduates to help us build the game. We’re fully committed to the aims of that fund, and so by taking people on we’re also committed to their development, bringing on their skills and ensuring this project helps launch their careers in this sector.

14 Principles

14 Principles provides tools, training, and consultancy to make teams more effective. For years, running game projects has been about the wrong thing: cliff-edge releases, go big or go home, large teams, and large budgets. Our lightweight, delivery-focussed approach draws upon lean and agile practices. It’s ideally suited to small game development teams looking to bring brave, creative ideas to market without betting the farm.

Future Fossil Studios

Future Fossil Studios is an independent games developer, currently producing their own intellectual property and engaging with the education sector to teach a younger generation about the skills behind of games development.

With the aid of IDEAScotland and the Prototype Fund, Future Fossil developed a proof of concept to address the issues surrounding technical education and are now seeking partners to further their interests in this field. The product presents an accessible, easy to use platform to teach the very basics of games development, and unleash an audiences creativity. Having undertaken work with organisations such as the Prince’s Trust, Future Fossil is positioning itself at the forefront of games education.

Future Fossil was founded on the belief that games should be fun and engaging experiences, with the power to educate and shape how an audience thinks.

To find out more about Future Fossil Studios, visit them at their website, facebook, and twitter.

Combo Games

Combo Games is a Dundee based company with origins in Denmark. The development team at Combo Games consists of award-winning developers, local talent from Dundee and amazing freelancers contributing work for our first own-IP development, Whitespace.

Whitespace is a competitive multiplayer game taking place in a futuristic sci-fi setting. Players battle for fame and fortune in the world of Whitespace at an abandoned vacation resort, called The Last Resort, which is controlled by a schizophrenic A.I. Players control one out of many different avatars in five versus five team matches to satisfy the ruthless needs of the A.I.

Whitespace is introducing multi-perspective combat for the first time ever in the MOBA-genre, allowing players to battle with and against each other from two different perspectives. When playing from first person perspective, players will focus on precision and agility to succeed in combat, while playing from top-down perspective allows players to gain a tactical advantage through superior spacial awareness and strategic options. This duality allows for a wide range of play styles and encourages players to find the play styles that suits them.

To learn more about Whitespace and the team feel free to visit Combo Games at www.whitespacegame.com or www.facebook.com/Whitespacegame

Swallowtail Games

Swallowtail Games is a company formed of Abertay University graduates and Dare to be Digital Alumni.

Abertay University’s Prototype Fund helped Swallowtail Games develop the BAFTA Ones to Watch winning game Tick Tock Toys, a colourful puzzle game aimed at children and families for iPhone and iPad. The game’s main character “Tic Toc” will wind his key four times, and make his way to the goal along the chalk line on the toy box. The toys in Tic Toc’s way have various touch based mechanics that the player must use to prevent him from bumping into them and falling down. The player must also find Tic Toc’s missing puzzle pieces by tapping on the toys. The Prototype Fund was key in helping Swallowtail Games start up, providing studio space and equipment.