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Universal GameDev Challenge Finalists: See the six winning submissions!

, mayo 31, 2018

The Universal GameDev Challenge tasked Unity developers to design a game for one of Universal’s beloved brands: Back to the Future, Jaws, Battlestar Galactica, Voltron Legendary Defender, or Turok.

The prize? A once in a lifetime opportunity for developers of any size to design a game with Universal brands, discover Intel, Microsoft, and Unity resources, and a have a shot at winning part of a massive $250,000 prize pool! To ensure our judges were as diverse and skilled as our amazing developer community, we brought together a team of experts on games, brands, and the industry!

  • Bob Gale, an Oscar®-nominated screenwriter-producer-director, best known as co-creator, co-writer and co-producer of the Back to the Future films
  • Kate Edwards, CEO and Principal Consultant at Geogrify, The Executive Director of Take This and former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
  • Lauren Montgomery, Co-executive Producer at DreamWorks TV and showrunner for DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer for GamesBeat

Over the course of six weeks, we received over 500 entries on Unity Connect from contestants in over 60 countries! Fantastic pitches, original game designs, and incredible passion shined through in each submission, making it a difficult task for our judges to pick a favorite.

Great Scott! Back to the Future inspired 26% of entries, followed closely by fan favorites Jaws, Turok, Voltron Legendary Defender and Battlestar Galactica

We started by screening all entries by both submission and eligibility criteria, to ensure our judges were only reviewing viable candidates. Then the hard part began, with a panel of staff judges diligently began applying our contest judging criteria to each and every entry. Finally, our guest judges rigorously applied the final scores, from which the average for each category was calculated.

“As I participated in the judging process for the Universal GameDev Challenge, I was assessing the entrants based on four primary factors: their creative use of the chosen brand, the core gameplay experience (narrative, art, audio, etc.), the capability of the team to actually deliver the proposed game, and their successful integration of available tools. Overall, I was incredibly impressed by the creative vision of all the finalists as expressed in their submitted pitch videos and game design documents. We have a really great group of talented game creators in this competition, and I’m anxious to see their ideas come to life.»

– Kate Edwards

“The Universal GameDev challenge is a fantastic approach to ‘get it right.’ Instead of just selling a license to a high bidder and hoping for the best, Universal went directly to passionate game designers and gave them the opportunity to choose a property that got them excited as a jumping off point to work their magic. And magic happened! The submissions were full of creativity, imagination, and originality, along with respect and love for the underlying IP. I only wish we could have had a dozen winners because there were so many intriguing proposals.»

– Bob Gale

«During the Universal GameDev Challenge finalists selection process, I was amazed at the creativity exhibited by the competitors. Each pitch had its own unique vision and seeing such incredible creators who were inspired by these properties was a very rewarding experience. I look forward to meeting with all of our finalists in July.”

– Lauren Montgomery

The six finalists will move on to Phase 2 of the challenge, where they will be invited to join the VIP Mentorship Summit: An exclusive, 3-Day event consisting of training and workshops at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California where they will meet with Universal leadership, Unity evangelists, and Intel and Microsoft developer mentors!

Check out the six finalists below!

«Backpack to the Future» – Mick Heijkens

«Back to the Future IV – Time Anomalies» – Tom Breuer

«Battlestar Galactica Deception» – From the Future LLC

«Turok: Legacy of Stone» – Alexander Ferguson

«Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion» – Gbanga, Millform Inc

“Turok: Escape from Lost Valley” – Max Snyder

Follow their journey!

These six developers have two and a half months to develop a working first playable build of their winning concepts! Along the way, they will be sharing their progress on Unity Connect, building relationships with the development teams at Microsoft, Intel, and Universal, and working towards the final reveal at Unite LA on October 23, 2018!

Stay tuned for more news, and follow along on Unity Connect by keeping an eye on #GamesAreUniversal!

Legal Information
Back to the Future is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios and U-Drive Joint Venture. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. Battlestar Galactica is a copyright of Universal Cable Productions LLC. Licensed by Universal Studios 2018. All Rights Reserved. Jaws is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender © 2018 DreamWorks Animation LLC. TM World Events Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Turok Son of Stone TM & © 2018 by Penguin Random House, Inc. Under license to Classic Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

20 replies on “Universal GameDev Challenge Finalists: See the six winning submissions!”

Race to the bottom. A very cheap way to get a lot of content to curate and abuse the efforts of 500 (!) indie teams. Risrespectful. Congrats to the ones who won, and I hope they’ll be successful. But what a horrible idea from Universal and dissapointing to see Unity endorsing it. I bet someone will follow up and say it’s “a great way to put indies in a spotlight”, but really what it is is a way to dominate the business deal.

Never received a single email, nothing confirming our entry received, nothing about that change of dates, nothing about the announcement of the winners.

A question, how restrained are the non-qualifying submission teams as far as the NDA goes? How much are they allowed to disclose for the sake of, say, resume building, or portfolio building? Are the submitted works sealed for the sake of intents and purposes? Or are they released now that they have not qualified?

This contest was scored on points and within 4 categories. Will you post judge scores to all contestants?
Posting winner’s submissions is probably out of the question as this might spoil some secrets and at least one of those games will be finished. But at least having the scores could be quite useful to over 500 of the people who have not qualified.

The Jaws submission is a screenshot of the video game «Depth». Does this person have the permission to use this?
What a joke!

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