Epic Games, Wellcome launch Developing Beyond programme

January 25, 2017 // 10:50 a.m.

Tags: #competition #developing-beyond #epic #epic-games #funding #game-studios #john-romero #mike-gamble #susan-calman #wellcome

Epic Games has announced another development challenge, in partnership once again with Wellcome, with approximately £400,000 in funding for European developers up for grabs.

Following on from Epic Games' and Wellcome's previous programmes, Make Something Unreal Live and The Big Data VR Challenge, Developing Beyond launches with a clear focus on European developers and with a key theme: 'transformations,' which should push developers into producing what Epic describes as 'compelling, immersive and highly entertaining game ideas' supporting Wellcome's charitable aims.

These ideas, the company has announced, will be whittled down to six semi-finalists by February 20th. With around £12,000 in funding and access to what Epic describes as 'a scientist' to aid with development, these six projects will be given around four months to progress their ideas to the prototype stage for judging at the Develop:Brighton show in July. Three will then go on to the final round, receiving around £48,000 each for further development into a minimum viable product (MVP), before being judged by a panel including comedian and broadcaster Susan Calman and gaming pioneer John Romero for a £119,000 first prize, £40,000 second prize, and £24,000 third prize.

'This is a significant commitment and a great opportunity for studios. Taking a leap into the unknown on new IP takes courage but can be both creatively and commercially highly rewarding,' claimed Epic's Mike Gamble of the programme. 'With Developing Beyond we want to share some of that risk, helping participants to create the best possible minimum viable project and giving them a chance to win the competition.'

According to Epic's criteria, the pitched ideas 'should draw inspiration from any aspect of this theme [of transformations] exploring the human condition – whether across moments or generations, microscopic or global, historical, geographic or indeed contemporary. Human bodies and populations across the world are constantly changing, and with this comes new opportunities, unforeseen journeys and incredible challenges; from the consequences of a global shift towards urban living, to technological innovations revolutionising lives and even bacteria outwitting the best antibiotics.'

The deadline for applications is February 10th, with more information available on the official website.
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