All participants were asked to produce a detailed pitch and plan for a prototype version of their games. A panel of industry judges picked Duality VR from a shortlist of three teams who were asked to develop their immersive game concepts further, following the event.
The project has been awarded a £50,000 development grant following The Immersive Game Lab event, which was held in September 2020.
Duality VR is set in the world of a young British black woman who discovers her everyday actions begin to affect a timeline that spans time and space.
The Immersive Game Lab was based on the highly successful StoryFutures Academy Writers Rooms and introduced writers to the considerations required in the creation of immersive narrative games. Led by StoryFutures Academy’s Professor Adam Ganz and Director of Enrichment & CEO of Punchdrunk, Peter Higgin, the sessions included hands-on storytelling activities, plus talks from experts including: Mona Bozdog, Lecturer in Immersive Experience Design at Abertay University, and Dave Ranyard, CEO of Dream Reality Interactive.
Cecile Emeke who created the winning entry with Biome Collective, said:
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to further expand my practice of storytelling into VR/AR and explore the potentialities of these mediums.”
Malath Abbas from Biome Collective, told the Scottish Games Network:
“This collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for Biome Collective to push the medium of games by focusing on narrative and the voice of the unrepresented. Our audience is global and diverse and we need to reflect this through our games.”
Prof. Adam Ganz said of the workshop programme:
“It was a wonderfully intense three days with 12 outstanding writers who all brought fresh ideas and approaches. We were really excited about the three selected projects, and we hope all the writers who took part will be writing for immersive games before too long.”
Dr. Lynda Clark, InGAME Dundee said:
“Any of the finalists would have been a worthy winner – all the game ideas had innovation at their heart. It’s early days for Duality, but it’s already exciting to see Cecile and Biome pulling together as a team and building on each others’ strengths. They’re sure to make a fascinating and unusual game.”
Becky Gregory-Clarke, Head of Immersive, StoryFutures Academy
“As we hoped it would, the Immersive Game Lab & Commission has unearthed some brilliant talent and fantastic new collaborations, and Cecile and Biome’s project is a great example of this. With a unique take on what an immersive game might be – and on the audiences they are built for – we can’t wait to see this virtual project become reality”.
Kaya Could Fly
Zoe Thorogood teamed up with Dundee studio Pocket Sized Hands on her idea Kaya Could Fly, a VR exploration game about an adventurous disabled girl living in a world of magical animals and vengeful giants.
Regarding the partnership, Zoe said:
“I was super excited to be working with Pocket Sized Hands on this game pitch and exploring the potential of VR together, it’s been a dream of mine for a while to write for games and here we are!”
Artist Dan Wan and designer Connie Reid of Pocket Sized Hands were equally excited, saying:
“Working with writers coming from very different backgrounds was really fun. It was awesome to have read so many diverse and immersive ideas and we were excited to get to work with Zoe!”
“My concept for THE MAZE would have never creeped into my head if it wasn’t for the great workshops with the StoryFutures Game Lab,” said Adam. “I was really pleased to get the opportunity to develop my spooky idea further, and enjoyed working with Biome Collective on it – they’re a very inspiring team.”