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Published: 13th July 2011.

A team of Anglia Ruskin University students claimed top prize in the 48-hour Games Jam competition, beating rival teams from across the UK and Europe.

The competition, to produce the best computer game over a single weekend, was part of the Brains Eden games festival, organised by Creative Front and hosted by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Six awards were issued and Team Vertigo, a group of students from Anglia Ruskin’s BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology and BA (Hons) in Computer Games and Visual Effects courses, took three of the top prizes with their game, ‘Trapped’ – including Best Overall Game, a category judged by James Shepherd from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Trapped is set in a dark environment and players have to collect tools to help navigate their way round. Dr Chris Doran, from Cambridge games company Geomerics who was one of the judges, said the use of atmospheric lighting was key to winning the award.

Jason Mitchell, who was part of Team Vertigo said: “The whole event was a wonderful experience that I would gladly do again. Everyone on the team brought something really cool to the table and we worked really well together.

“It was a real surprise when our names were called up at the awards ceremony; I'm happy that so many enjoyed playing our game. I got to play a whole bunch of other cool games too, which was a definite plus.”

Steve Harris, pathway leader for the course, said: “The Brains Eden festival was a fantastic experience for the students. The chance to develop a fully working game in 48 hours, with help from industry experts, was an intensive and rewarding experience.

“It provided a creative environment for students from a range of backgrounds, such as programming, design, art, and audio, to come together and apply their skills within an intensive, team-based project. It was great to see so many students from all over Europe hard at work on something they feel so passionate about.”

Fellow Anglia Ruskin Lecturer Julian Hughes-Watts added: “Creating an engaging interactive game within 48 hours is a Herculean task, but that is just what each of the teams taking part in Brains Eden 2011 managed to achieve.”

Brains Eden was supported by a group of companies including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Ninja Theory, Jagex, Geomerics, Bob & Barn and Skillset, with the Games Jam facilitated by Cambridge software developers Jumped Up Games.

In a parallel initiative, key industry figures and academics came together for a symposium and careers clinic which provided students with an opportunity to show their work to prospective employers and for companies to identify potential talent.

The awards:

Best Overall Game, Vertigo, ARU
Best Visual Excellence, Hot Seat, Southampton Solent
Best Technical, Vertigo, ARU
Best Game Play, Piece of Cheese, NHTV Netherlands
Best Overall Sound, Vertigo, ARU

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