Yaldi Games Scoops Converge Prize

Yaldi Games, a new game development studio has claimed the Converge Creative Challenge prize at the 2020 Converge awards.

Elena Höge, a Design and Digital Media Masters graduate from the University of Edinburgh, and the founder of Yaldi, won the award for its first title, Wholesome, an original new game which focuses on foraging real-world natural ingredients from a procedurally-generated environment, and then crafting and creating food, drinks and crafts.

The Converge competition is Scotland’s leading company creation programme for staff, students & recent graduates from all Scottish universities & research institutes. The competition offers three distinct categories: the Converge, Impact & Creative challenges.

Converge Creative Challenge

The Creative Challenge category is aimed at new or prospective businesses that rely on creative talent and/or design skills of the founding team to create an original product or service that can be turned into a sustainable business with growth potential.

Yaldi will receive £41,000 in prize money, along with in-kind business support to help the company grow.

Elena told the Scottish Games Network:

I’m so excited to have won the Converge Creative Challenge. Yaldi’s mission is to merge fun and learning and It’s already starting to generate a wonderful buzz! Our first game, Wholesome reimagines Animal Crossing combined with real recipes and craft projects. We’re already finding there’s growing interest from publishers and investors. So the funding and business support from Converge couldn’t have come at a better time, as we build a fully-featured prototype and look for a partner to bring it to market.

For the first time in its 10 year existence, all three of the main ‘Challenge’ categories were claimed by female entrepreneurs.

Claudia Cavalluzzo, Director of Converge, comments:

The standard of entries continues to reach new heights. Unquestionably, the growth of Converge is proof positive that the entrepreneurial mindset is alive and well across our university sector.

Of course, this year has unquestionably been a challenge for us all. Despite university campuses being in lockdown, the making of an entrepreneur lies in the unerring ability to overcome any obstacle and push on regardless.

At Converge, we’ve seen this time and time again.

You can find out about Yaldi – and Wholesome – on the company’s Twitter feed, Facebook page and proto-website.

Congratulations to Elena, we’re looking forward to seeing how the game, and the company, develop.

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