From education to employment

Student-led group helps Falmouth’s Games Academy secure its third win at the Tranzfuser Enterprise Pathway Competition

Falmouth University's Games Academy ©NEAL_MEGAW-73

Indie game maker Meteorite Media’s UK Games Fund win a ‘triple crown’ for Falmouth’s Games Academy @FalmouthUni 

  • A student-led group have helped Falmouth’s Games Academy secure its third win at the Tranzfuser Enterprise Pathway Competition  
  • The team fought off competition in a pitching process to showcase their games design and commercial nous 
  • Games Academy is going from strength to strength and will be part of multi-million-pound Pydar Street Development in Truro 
  • News comes as it emerges that the UK is in the midst of a ‘tech boom’, with 1 in 8 jobs now I the digital sector 
  • Games industry now worth more than the film and music industry combined 

A team of up-and-coming games developers have scooped a prestigious UK Games award, which will provide them with development funding to grow their game idea and launch their very own games studio.  

In a UK-wide call out, the Tranzfuser Enterprise Pathway offers a UK Games Fund grant in order to attract fresh new ideas from aspiring games creators. Applicants are typically skilled developers, but receive business development support to help them set up their studios; take a game to market,   build a community, network with industry professionals and develop their pitching skills.  

In a team made up of Falmouth Games Academy students and industry professionals, Meteorite Media beat off stiff competition at an intensive Bootcamp and pitching session for more than seventeen teams this summer to successfully pitch for the funding and develop their concept for a new game: “Kaya’s Vale”. Along with Episod Studios and Solar Flare London, Meteorite Media now join the ranks of the prestigious UK Games portfolio of funded companies.  

The team’s games concept, Kaya’s Vale was created following team leader Matthew Stevens’ passion for all things dinosaur since his early childhood.  

Matthew says: 

“We are incredibly happy to announce we’ve been selected for further funding by the the UK Games Fund to continue working on Kaya’s Vale! The game has come a long way since its origins as our third-year project and this year’s Tranzfuser competition was filled with amazing games, everyone had a good shot for funding. We’ll be using the funding to continue to iterate on Kaya’s Vale further, and create a strong, polished vertical slice of our prehistoric passion project to show publishers!” 

Team member Kim Pitcher created the game’s art style, she adds: 

“I wanted to make something that set us apart from other dinosaur games on the market. Many of the dinosaur games on the market are currently oversaturated by realism and I wanted to create something fresh and charming with a vibrant and immersive environment.” 

Meteorite Media has now been granted funding to continue Kaya’s Vale and is now being supported by UK Games and Falmouth University’s Launchpad venture studio/incubator to enhance the game’s commercial potential and core team ahead of their pitch to publishers and investors.  

Meteorite’s win is the third win for a Falmouth-grown games studio, which is fast becoming a magnet for the UK’s hottest gaming talent.  

Dr Douglas Brown, Director of Falmouth University’s Games Academy says:  

“This latest Tranzfuser win by Meteorite Media is a boon for the creative, entrepreneurial talent thriving at the Games Academy. The success of Kayas Vale marks three years in a row of successful bids by our student teams to the highly competitive UK Games Fund. Their win comes hot on the heels of previous winners Studio Mutiny and Knights of Boria, taking student projects towards that crucial next step into the real games industry, and we are delighted to see our focus on teamwork and multidisciplinary development paying off in such a clear and consistent way. All of the staff and students in the Games Academy are inspired by this success, and many contributed to it directly or behind the scenes.  

“It is testament to the drive and ambition displayed by our indie games start ups, who are part of a wider trend in our county which has seen our creative economy balloon to £2.73bn. With the games industry now outstripping the film industry in terms of economic value, we can expect to see more demand for designers, developers and creatives in order to meet the global demand for exciting, innovative games. The newly launched Games Academy Incubator, which aims to secure additional investment in our successful graduate teams, shows our increasing commitment to doing it for real in one of the most competitive of markets.” 

The UK’s ‘Tech boom’  

Meteorite’s win comes as it emerges that the UK is in the midst of a ‘tech boom’, with 1 in 8 jobs opportunities in the digital sector, according to a report from Adzuna for the UK Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation.  

As a whole, UK start-ups and scale-ups raised £13.5bn in the first half of 2021 and the number of tech roles are 42% higher than they were pre-pandemic.  

The rise in demand for tech jobs is thought to be helping to fuel the ‘levelling up’ of England’s regions, with overall hiring up 12% in the South West, month-on-month. CIOS LEP forecasts that the number of creative businesses in Cornwall will grow to over 5,000 by 2030.  

The core team members for Tranzfuser were: Matthew Stevens Max Oates Kim Pitcher Callum Whiteley Joseph James-Rikona, along with freelancers Luke Stannard Georgia Waller Annie Butler Andrei Pantilie. 

Cornwall’s tech sector has seen an eight-year employment growth of 63% between 2011-2019.  

Falmouth’s Games Academy is set to be a major presence in Truro’s multi-million pound ‘Pydar Street’ development and will re-locate the Academy from Penryn Campus to these premises. 

Other successful Launchpad gaming start-ups include Waving Bear and Moonshine Studios, who have recently ported their successful title Get Packed from Stadia to Steam. 

The Games Academy is one of Falmouth University’s flagship departments, with more courses planned for launch in 2022, including BA E-sports, MSc Game Programming and MSc AI. Courses launched this year at the Games Academy include BSc Robotics and BA Game Development: Production.  

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