Abertay Game Lab
Services for Business

Abertay launched its first Computer Games degree in 1997 and is a world leader in games education. Our academic expertise encompasses all core disciplines that support game development, including design, production, computer science, game technologies, computer art, and audio. 

Abertay Game Lab is a practice-based research group made up of staff from the School of Design and Informatics at Abertay University. Our aim is to develop experimental games, applied games, and games-related cultural and public engagement events.

In addition to working with standard game development software, equipment, and materials, we also have a dedicated lab within Abertay’s Emergent Technology Centre

If you are a business, public sector, or third sector organisation interested in exploring what games and play can do for you, please contact business@abertay.ac.uk.

Experimental Games

Game development comes with a high degree of creative and financial risk.

Although free or affordable game engines have helped to speed up game creation and democratise development, the costs of producing and releasing completed games can inhibit experimentation with new game ideas. Often, it makes more business sense to work with an existing IP, develop games within prevailing genres, and release games with proven audiences and markets. This is where we can help.

Operating within a research environment, our team can help you mitigate the risks of R&D for new and experimental forms of play. We specialise in creative experimentation, including:

  • Experimental gameplay mechanics and systems.
  • Experimental controllers and input devices.
  • Experimental play and interaction for XR platforms.
  • Experimentation with visual style, graphics, and dynamic audio.

Click on the arrows above to see our portfolio.

Abertay University Student in a PSVR helmet facing a projection, holding a PS4 Controller

Ola de la Vida

This game invites you and two friends to form the ‘wave of life.’ Using your bodies, together you must tilt, wiggle and wobble each part of the wave of life to help roll colourful digital piñata across to safety.

Three students in a three-person poncho playing an interactive game

Virtua Walker ‘87

A walking simulator parody and critique of VR that places the player in a sand-filled custom controller and VR headset. Players walk on the spot to traverse a 1:1 scale recreation of a real Scottish beach, represented in 2-bit colour. 

Virtua Walker Screenshot depicting a hut on a beach

Tales of Monstrous InTent

A collaborative, survival horror installation played in a tent, which aims to create links between players through narrative devices, intimacy, and interdependent play. 

Two students in what looks to be a tent surrounded by fairy lights

Applied Games

Games and interactive media are increasingly used in areas beyond art and entertainment. Game designers have shown the value of games for diverse purposes such as education, training, political or social commentary, health, and scientific discovery.

Various terms are used, such as 'serious games', 'games for good', 'games with purpose', 'edutainment', 'newsgames', or 'game-based learning'. We use 'applied games', as this inclusive approach allows for consideration of any design problem/application, while still creating entertaining and fulfilling play experiences.

If your organisation is interested in applied games, we can work with you in several ways:

  • Game jams: 2-5 days of rapid concept development involving multiple teams.
  • Vertical slice: creation of digital prototypes typically over 6-12 weeks.
  • Development projects: longer projects (6-36 months) for enhanced development and evaluation.

Click on the arrows above to see our portfolio.

A group of students attending a presentation

Their Memory

An AHRC-funded VR collaboration with Poppyscotland that explored how game design techniques and immersive technology could be used to bring history to hard-to-reach audiences. 

A big open room with tables, on which we see white boxes with pictures of poppies

Sugaropolis

An ongoing collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and University of St Andrews that is exploring the use of games and immersive media in engaging with narratives of Scotland’s role in the triangular trade. 

Videogame screenshot from a project titled Sugaropolis

Sanitarium

A serious game prototype that utilised game design techniques and technology to demystify and educate players about the diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis (TB). A collaboration with University of St Andrews. 

Sanitarium Project Screenshot

The Enemy Within

An educational strategy game designed to inform teenagers about the genesis, evolution and progression of cancer. A collaboration with the School of Medicine, University of Dundee. 

Portrait orientation photo od a game project titled Enemy Within

Games, Play, and Culture

We regard games to be a vital part of contemporary culture. Games impact on how we explore artistic expression, social interaction, collective memory and engage with the environment.  

We have experience and expertise in a diverse range of artistic and creative practices, including theatre, installation design, music performance, and curation. We can consult on or lead the development of: 

  • Creative and performance art works built around or informed by game design. 
  • Interactive and playful design for heritage sites, museums, and public spaces. 
  • Game curation or exhibitions.
  • Game jams and play parties. 
  • Public lectures and workshops. 

Click on the arrows above to see our portfolio.

Abertay University Student in a PSVR helmet facing the camera holding a PS4 Controller

Inchcolm Project

A hybrid, mixed-reality performance on Inchcolm Island, Firth of Forth, Scotland.

Inchcolm Project - Erika Stevenson

PLAYER: Videogame Interaction from Atari to Toys to Life

This 2016 exhibition aimed to explore the history of player interaction with digital games, and to examine this history within the wider context of culture, entertainment, and technology. A collaboration between Abertay Game Lab and Perth Museum and Art Gallery. 

A collection of retro console controllers.

Generation ZX(X)

A hybrid, mixed reality performance that engaged with the living memory and heritage of the TIMEX factory in Dundee. 

Three students at a game exhibition

Visit us on Twitter

Check the @AbertayGameLab Twitter feed for the latest updates. 

For more information about working with us, please contact business@abertay.ac.uk.