I’ve said before how I like to keep in touch with alumni. Often they are a pleasure to know when they are studying at University, but watching them as they go into the games industry and started making a name for themselves makes you really proud of what they are able to achieve, and perhaps even a little bit jealous!
Yacine Salmi did our masters course a while ago. It might even be more than 10 years ago now, which is scary. I’ve been vaguely aware of some of the projects that Yacine has worked on, but his latest offering – a mobile game called ellipsis, is doing really really well. Ellipsis has won Intel Level Up Game Developer Contest awards for “Game of the Year” and “Best Action Game”. and judging by social media Yacine is now busy flying all over the world promoting his game.
Here he is promoting his game at the Tokyo Game Show! He’s on from about an hour in.
Yacine explains to the host that Ellipsis is a minimalist action puzzle game. Ellipsis also has no text at all, which is clever because it means that the market is not restricted by language. You can watch the trailer for Ellipsis here, and you should definitely check it out.
It’s been five years since we did our first 24 hour game jam event. Since then we’ve iterated on the event several times, and I think we’re getting pretty good at them. The first one we did was proposed by xbox 360 magazine. You can see the article they published about it here:
That year I formed a team of some of our best students, and together (although I much accept the majority of the blame) we catastrophically imploded under the weight of our unrealistic ambitions. I think we learnt a lot though.
Anyway, that team of graduates got their degrees and all went off together to work for a company in Guildford called Criterion, who are responsible for the Burnout series as well as the Need for Speed franchise. Sadly, Criterion are no more, but rising from the ashes is a new studio called Three Fields. Their new IP is a game called Dangerous Golf, which seems to be taking an element fun-failure crash physics from Burnout and turning it into fun success – destroy as much stuff as you can with a flaming golf ball.
This looks like fantastic fun and personally I can’t wait until May when I can start causing havoc, and although it is most likely a coincidence it makes me wonder whether this new game is in some small way inspired by our first game jam in Hull.
I like staying in touch with alumni. When I hear about all the fun and fantastic things our students have gotten up to since they left us it reassures me that we must be doing something right.
Today I heard that Hull Computer Science graduate, Unity evangelist and all around nice guy Josh Naylor has been honoured by develop magazine as being one of their 30 under 30, which is fantastic news.
I remember Josh started using Unity during our regular game jams, and through the contacts he made with Unity and Microsoft he managed to secure his evangelist job almost immediately after he graduated (or perhaps even before).
Now he’s been travelling the world talking about unity and doing us, and himself proud.
If you want to read about Josh, and the other young talent featured in Develop magazine’s 30 under 30 you can find out more here!