IGM Aus: The Talents Of The Queensland University Of Technology
Welcome to IGM Aus, a new article series that will focus exclusively on the Australian indie game scene, where there’s far more to be excited about than just Halfbrick and drop bears.
Over the course of this series you’ll discover and learn about my home and the people who make it such an exciting country. Filled to the brim with eager indie game designers intent on changing the world one game at a time.
We start this journey by taking a closer look at the talent that’s coming out of the Queensland University of Technology. Situated in Brisbane, along the south-east coast of Australia. The Uni has been running a Bachelor’s Degree in Games and Interactive Entertainment. Across three years, students learn the key elements of development within the major they wish to complete.
Within the third year of the course, students are paired into teams of five to complete their major project and are given the task of creating and publishing a small-scale game. They must then follow the same process that an indie studio or major label, from conception of a game idea to development and publication.
This year, 80 students are aiming to complete the course and so far the results have been encouraging and certainly creative. The chosen few below are just some of the examples that are headed our way:
We’ve mentioned Charnel by Team Charnel previously. It’s a horror FPS set in the early 1900′s where an experiment goes horribly wrong. Unleashing a horrific creation upon the inhabitants of Charnel University. The trick is in teamwork planning your attack as the creature comes for you by making use of light to keep the little critter at bay. Keep the lights on and it will weaken its attacks and speed, leaving it open to your counter-attacks. Fail and it’ll stalk you in the darkness before leaping out when you least expect it.
Time Slash is an amusing take on the 2.5D platformer by The B Team Studios. Two players control two very different characters using their unique abilities in tandem to escape the futuristic lab, Parasol Ltd. You’ll have to work together in order to solve puzzles and move on through the maze like environment. Otherwise the scientists will put you back into their rather small, uncomfortable observation room.
Finally there’s Atomic, another 2.5D platformer but with a rather unique twist. The hero, Atomus has been given the power of the elements Carbon Graphite, Carbon Dioxide and Magnesium. The aim is to complete the puzzles within each level by correctly using each specific element at the right time. Such as shooting electrons or manipulating water. There’s a one level demo out now as part of the project, created by Team-Atomic.
For all three teams and every student involved in the course, the chance to create your own game and get it out for the world to see can be enjoyable but highly nerve wracking. I mean I get nervous just publishing an article I can’t even imagine what these guys must have gone through!
Having said all that every team deserves a big hand and all the encouragement possible to continue on long after the course is complete. I’d also provide chocolate, but since I ate it all it’s probably best just to move on to the next paragraph.
You can play all three of these games right now via the links provided above! Yes, now! So go ahead and give as much feedback to the teams as you can. Meanwhile if you’re in Australia (and close to Queensland) you can find more info on QUT’s courses online here.
Stay tuned for more IGM Aus content soon!