BounceBack Released for PlayStation minis

Today is a momentous day for the Steel Minions game studio, with our first commercial title for PlayStation minis being released on the PlayStation Network Store. You can download the game for your PSP, PS Vita or PS3 console for just £2.50 in the UK and 3 Euros in Ireland. This is a huge achievement for the team who have created developed the game in C++ from scratch using the same development tools used by the large console development studios. Their achievement was recognized earlier in the year when they came away with the top prizes for Best Team, Best Technology and Best Game Design at the 2012 Game Republic Student Showcase.

To coincide with the release of the game we also have a brand new shiny studio website which can be found at www.steelminions.com. A specific press-oriented section of the site can be found here: www.press.steelminions.com with lots of information about or products including videos and screenshots.

On behalf of the Steel Minions management group, I would like to extend my congratulations to the dedicated team of student developers who poured many, many hours of their own time in order to get this game to a point where it could be published. I know this has already paid dividends for the team, who have taken up various opportunities with Sumo Digital, Rockstar Leeds, Red Kite Games, and Distinctive Developments.

Here’s a little promo video to catch your interest, and you’ll find more information on the website.

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Hallam’s Game Programming Courses Gain Industry Accreditation

We’ve been given an early Christmas present here at Sheffield Hallam in the form of Skillset accreditation for our BSc and MComp degrees in Games Software Development!

 

Skillset are the  Creative Industries’ Sector Skills Council, who provide a rigorous accreditation scheme which is endorsed by the games industry and is conducted by a panel made up of games industry professionals. Hallam is now one of only two universities in the UK to have received accreditation for both its undergraduate and postgraduate game programming degrees (we received Skillset accreditation for our MSc in Games Software Development in 2009).

Put simply, the accreditation means that the games industry agrees that these courses are teaching the right kind of content to prepare students for jobs as programmers in the games industry. That means plenty of C++, with generous helpings of mathematics, hardware architectures, games console programming and interdisciplinary teamwork as well! We work our students HARD to prepare them for a career in an exciting and challenging field.

More information can be found in the press release here:

Merry Christmas!

Signing up for Visual Paradigm


Visual Paradigm offers Sheffield Hallam University VP-UML for educational use through the VP Academic Partner Program.

The Group (and University) are just signing up to the VP Academic Partner Program

Appathon: SVC2UK

The weekend of October 8th and 9th saw students from both Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield competing in an app development event run by SVC2UK – details can be found at http://svc2uk.com/appathon.

Teams of undergraduates were asked to design and build exciting, innovative applications using UK Government data from Open Data at http://data.gov.uk.

The competition gave students the chance to win local prizes and to compete against the best software development talent from Universities across the UK.  The local competition was won by a team of three SHU undergraduates and one from UoS. National judging is in a  few weeks and we’ll post an update when we know the results.

Two More Games Students Head to Sumo

Another two lucky Sheffield Hallam students started internships at Sumo-Digital this week, bringing the total number of students at Sumo to FIFTEEN. That’s got to be a reason to celebrate – if only we had a cake…

Dare to be Crunchtime

For the second year running two teams of students from Sheffield Hallam qualified for the prestigious Dare to be Digital competition at Abertay. Teams get paid to spend around 10 weeks developing a prototype game to be shown at the Protoplay festival in Dundee. I briefly popped in to see them last week and was really impressed by what they had achieved so far, but they looked so very tired. It’s clearly crunch time up there and all 15 of the teams are giving it everything they’ve got to get ready for the festival. And as they might, because the winning team each year gets a BAFTA for their efforts which they recieve at the BAFTA game awards along with all of their industry heros.

Each of the teams has written a short blog article about their experiences which has been published over at Develop Online. You can read Team Fatdog’s here and Crispy Nugget Studio’s here. Both are 100% Sheffield Hallam students coming from both undergraduate and Masters courses. Here’s a picture af the teams taken a bit earlier on in the competition when they looked a bit more relaxed (Crispy Nugget Studios on the left and Fatdog on the right).

Good luck guys!!!

Minions Lend Weight to Sumo

The concept behind the Steel Minions studio has always been to help students to gain employment and internship opportunities within the games industry, but we had never dreamt that within 6 months of setting is up we would be sending 13 students over to Sumo Digital’s studio near Meadowhall. Sumo are South Yorkshire’s largest game developer and have a heritage that goes back to Gremlin Graphics in the 1980’s. We always stress to students applying to the games courses that getting placements and internships within the games industry is very hard – and it certainly is – but the Steel Minions studio has allowed us to capitalise on our relationship with Sumo to get an unheard of number of students into internships working on real console games. This is so unusual it even made the industry press. You can also find the official university press release here.