The Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (InGAME) project has announced an innovative new project aimed at supporting the development of the next generation of immersive, narrative-led games in the UK.
InGAME - led by Abertay University in partnership with the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews - is teaming up with StoryFutures Academy, the UK's National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, to establish the programme.
The Immersive Game Lab & Commission will select 12 writers and narrative designers from the creative industries, to take part in a bespoke workshop that will train them to work on story-led immersive videogames. Game Lab will be delivered by StoryFutures Academy and InGAME in Dundee, 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 Game Lab will offer game developer studios from the Dundee games cluster the opportunity to work with the 12 selected writers and pitch to receive funding for the creation of a story-based immersive game prototype.
"This collaboration enables writers and developers to come together and push forward the potential of narrative-led games." - Sean Taylor, Director, InGAME
The Immersive Game Lab & Commission encourages innovation in narrative-led games, enabled by immersive technologies including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality and immersive sound technology. Interested applicants are invited to apply for one of two open calls – the first is a national call for writers wanting to break into games or increase their skills in games writing, and the second is for games studios from the Dundee games developer community, wanting to be partnered with writers to explore ideas for narrative-led games.
Longlisted writers will undertake a fully-funded 2-day narrative workshop (March 31st to April 1st 2020) held at InGAME, Dundee, where they will explore immersive experiences, meet games developers and expand their interactive writing skills.
"We know there’s a huge appetite from writers to form new collaborations with world-leading UK games makers, gain new skills, and contribute to the rapid evolution of immersive storytelling" - Rebecca Gregory-Clarke, Head of Immersive, StoryFutures Academy
Shortlisted writers will then be selected to undertake a 4-week paid scoping phase in which they will co-design an idea for a narrative-led immersive game in collaboration with a Dundee games developer studio. Writers and games developers will then pitch these ideas to an expert panel who will select one idea to receive £50,000 of funding for a further 12-week development period. The winning writer and games development studio will also receive a program of user testing, audience insight and commercialisation support from InGAME, and cumulate with the completed project being shown at a high-profile UK games industry event in the Autumn.
Sean Taylor, Director, InGAME says: “We are delighted to be partnering with StoryFutures Academy to bring this opportunity to Dundee. This collaboration enables writers and developers to come together and push forward the potential of narrative-led games. From Lemmings to Grand Theft Auto to Crackdown, Dundee has a rich history of game design innovation and we’re excited to support the development of the next generation of immersive games.”
Rebecca Gregory-Clarke, Head of Immersive, StoryFutures Academy says: “We're thrilled to be partnering with InGAME on this unique opportunity to bring together talented writers from across the UK, with the wealth of experience in the Dundee games developer community. We've seen a brilliant response for our Writers Rooms held over the last year, and we know there’s a huge appetite from writers to form new collaborations with world-leading UK games makers, gain new skills, and contribute to the rapid evolution of immersive storytelling. We can’t wait to bring together these creative talents from the heart of the UK screen industries, and see what they create.”
The Immersive Game Lab & Commission is now open for applications, and will close on 24th February 2020.
Game Developers based in the Dundee games cluster can apply here:
Writers based in the UK can apply here: https://www.storyfutures.com/academy/create/games-lab