Moray College UHI is set to host the third Moray Game Jam (MGJ) this weekend as teams of video and board gamers battle it out for a raft of career-enhancing prizes.
A record number of competitors are set to gather in Elgin to take part in the 48-hour-long gaming marathon, which begins this Friday (18th March) at 12.30pm and ends at 12.30pm on Sunday 20th March.
The event sees teams of video game and board gamers come together to create brand new games during the course of a single weekend.
Winning teams in both the computer games and the board games sections will be announced at 3pm on Sunday.
The triumphant team on the computer games side will be offered a six week summer placement with leading games developers, Hunted Cow Studios, who are based in Elgin.
The placement will help the team develop their game to a point at which it is ready to take to market. It will be published under the banner of the team's own newly-formed company or with the assistance of MGJ partners.
They will be paid a weekly stipend and receive mentoring and support in developing and bringing their game to market from MGJ partners, Hunted Cow Studios, Moray Business Gateway, ScreenHI, the XpoNorth network for Screen & Broadcast and Creative Scotland.
There will also be the opportunity for the team to publish their winning game – either with of Hunted Cow – or under their own label.
For the winning board game team, there is the opportunity to take their game to UK Games Expo in Birmingham in June in an all-expenses paid trip. This is the biggest UK for hobby games in the UK.
They will also receive the opportunity to have their game assessed by California-based Victory Point Games with the possibility that it might be made as a prototype.
The 2016 Moray Game Jam also includes a host of free gaming masterclasses and workshops.
Amanda Millen, director of XpoNorth's Screen and Broadcast network, ScreenHI, which is co-organising the event said: "We have been overwhelmed by the number of applicants this year.
"It's the third year we have put on this event and it just gets bigger and better, showing that video and traditional gaming is a real growth industry in the Highlands and Islands.
"This year, as well as reuniting with partners, Moray College UHI and successful Elgin-based games studio, Hunted Cow, we are delighted to have Creative Scotland and Moray Business Gateway on board as partners.
"We look forward to working with them all to develop the next generation of gamers from Moray. Both organisations have been incredibly supportive. Being able to offer the winning teams funding and all-important advice from business professionals is career gold-dust."
Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager at Creative Scotland said: “We’re delighted to be able to once again support Moray Game Jam to deliver this growing event.
"A full schedule of workshops and strong industry support offers scope to participate at all levels.
"The winning team have a fantastic development opportunity working with Hunted Cow. And for board game makers, there's the chance to attend the UK Board Game Expo in Birmingham.”
The public are being asked to join in the fun at Moray College UHI this weekend. As well as taking advantage of the free masterclasses, on Sunday, while judges deliberate, people can take part in a mini-gaming playground at which participants will showcase their games.
The window for teams looking to compete in the Moray Game Jam has now closed but there will be workshops led by industry professionals on offer on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March.
Alan Emrich, from Victory Point Games in California, also a lecturer at The Art Institute of California in Orange County will give a keynote speech to open the event on Friday 18th March.
The workshops are free and will be open to Moray Game Jam competitors and members of the public. Young people aged 12 or under should be accompanied to the workshops by an adult.
The workshops will include Digital Sculpting, Blender – 3D modelling, hands on Unity, art concepts and story-telling for games, and more.
Moray Game Jam 2016 reunites the partnership between Moray College UHI, ScreenHI [the organisation that delivers XpoNorth Screen & Broadcast – feeding into main XpoNorth festival in June in Inverness] and Elgin-based games publisher Hunted Cow Studios. This year, Business Gateway Moray, is also a partner. Funding is provided by Creative Scotland.
For updates follow Moray Game Jam on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on the workshops, see http://www.moraygamejam.com/workshops.html
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