Author Archive

Matt McIntosh Unreal 4 Tutorial 1-5

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Matt McIntosh Unreal 4 Tutorial 1-5

In this video we will be looking at blocking out a game environment using zbrush, also what the retop looks like before going in to Unreal 4.




This is a short video looking at a blocked out game environment in Unreal 4 showing the scale of the level as it stands and testing things work.




In this video we will be showing the progress of level, adding in some basic building shapes as well as a sea level floor plane, again testing the scale of things and the distance to each object.




This is a short video showing the progress of a game environment in Unreal 4. This one includes a new pathway around the back of the island to a secret cave.




Progress of the level in unreal 4, starting to detail up the buildings and add in additional objects to give some visual interest to the environment



Canalside Studios – A Week In The Industry 2

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Are you ready for your latest fix of gaming industry news? … You are? … Let’s go!


Crash Bandicoot Claims No.1 In The UK Charts!


Crash Bandicoot - Hud Uni Games

Crash Bandicoot – Hud Uni Games :$Icon$


Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy has enjoyed a very strong opening week. The platformer follows in the footsteps of Wipeout and Tekken 7 in claiming the chart top spot, suggesting that the nostalgia flows strongly among UK gamers. Furthermore, in debuting at the top, the N.Sane Trilogy does what no other Crash Bandicoot game has ever managed.

In this game you will be able to re-join your favourite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, as he spins his way onto PlayStation 4 along with his three most memorable adventures, newly recreated for the current generation.

Including Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the N. Sane Trilogy has been lovingly built from the ground-up with brand new visuals and audio to deliver the series’ classic gameplay to a whole new generation.


Here’s the UK Top 10 in full for the week ending July 1st:

1. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (Activision)
2. Micro Machines: World Series (Codemasters)
3. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar)
4. Forza Horizon 3 (Microsoft)
5. FIFA 17 (EA)
6. Overwatch (Blizzard)
7. Elite Dangerous (Sold Out)
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo)
9. Dirt 4 (Codemasters)
10. Rocket League (505 Games)



Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Absolution DLC has a new launch trailer


This week sees the PS4 release of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s third map pack Absolution, and with it a launch trailer. Absolution features four new multiplayer maps and a new addition to the extremely popular Zombies saga. It features Elvira Mistress of the Dark. So, grab a tool and start banging.


In Attack of the Radioactive Thing! you go back in time to the 1950s. Join a cast of survivor’s lead by no less than Elvira herself, fighting to save a small beach town from a government science project that’s gone completely and utterly wrong, unleashing hordes of the undead into civilisation.


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Absolution DLC pack is out now on PS4, launching for Xbox One and PC in August.


Call Of Duty – Hud Uni Games :

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2!



The first trailer for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two has arrived, in which we see protagonist Jesse setting off on a new quest, joined, says Telltale, by ‘a motley band of familiar faces, fortune hunters, sometime enemies and one deeply disobedient llama.’ Aptly titled Hero in Residence, the first episode releases on July 11.


Like in every other Telltale game, the choices you made over the course of each episode determined the direction the story went in. Those decisions carry on over to the new game, but newcomers needn’t worry, it’s not necessary to have played the first season. This can be played as a standalone game.


Episode 1: Hero in Residence will be out on July 11, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.


Canalside Studios – A Week In The Industry

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Canalside Studios – A Week In The Industry

Are you ready for your latest fix of gaming industry news?… You are?… Let’s go!




After many months of rumours, Nintendo has confirmed that a SNES version of its Nintendo Classic Mini console will be arriving this autumn on September 29th.

Officially titled the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the miniature 16-bit system will come with 21 pre-installed games in total, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2.

As with its now sold-out Classic Min: NES predecessor, the Classic Mini: SNES can be plugged into any HDMI slot on your TV for instant retro gaming goodness. An HDMI cable is included in the box, along with a USB cable but NOT an AC power plug. It also comes with two SNES controllers – an improvement over the Classic Mini: NES’ single controller offering.



Image From:

Here’s a list of all the included games:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island




Activision is giving a standalone release to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

However, the game will initially be released only for PS4, however this will be followed by a release on Xbox and PC at some still unspecified point in the future.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is one of the most beloved games of all-time, reborn for a new generation,” Activision publishing chief Eric Hirshberg said at the time of the game’s unveiling. “We have lovingly remastered it with a whole new level of graphical fidelity and realism that wasn’t possible when the original was released. It’s going to be a great year for Call of Duty players.”

Call of Duty

Image From:



Virtual Reality


Virtual reality was a major theme of Bethesda‘s E3 announcements this year, with titles such as Skyrim, Doom and Fallout 4 all receiving the VR treatment by the end of the year. And its popular IPs like this that will drive VR awareness and adoption among consumers, according to research firm SuperData.


Fallout 4 VR was described as “a full-length open-world game with near limitless content playable entirely in VR.” The scenery and in-game elements looked pulled directly from the non-VR version of the game, complete with a Pip-Boy computer you can bring up on your virtual wrist and massive explosions from grenade launchers.


Here is the VR trailer for Fallout 4!


Canalside Studios: Devblog 9

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Canalside Studios: Devblog 9

We’ve had some great feedback from people playing the Flux8 demo!


We’re continuing to make improvements and implement new ideas! Here’s what we’ve been up to recently:




I’ve been continuing development on the levels within the game. The levels I’ve created focus mainly on more advanced mechanics, such as the polarity switch gate and lasers.

Devblog 9 Liam's Level - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Liam’s Level – HudUniGames



Over the last few weeks, I have been working on creating a background generator for the level editor to speed up the level building process and give players a background for their levels. The generator uses pre-built sections which are assembled in a grid to fit the level. I made this so it could also take in a seed to get the same background generated multiple times. I also made new magnet pads which can stretch in the middle, whilst keeping the ends the correct size, using a series of models which Sam made. Following this, I created a tool to swap out the old magnet pads with the new ones I had added in. In addition, I added a new method to draw out the rails which the moving platforms run on, using a similar method to the magnet pads.

Devblog 9 Jonathan's Generated Background - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Jonathan’s Generated Background – HudUniGames



This week I have been working on improving the jumping system. Before, it only checked directly under the player but now it checks in an area, making it easier to complete accurate jumps.

Devblog 9 Matt's Jump Box - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Matt’s Jump Box – HudUniGames

I also started work on the workshop UI for downloading player-made levels.

Devblog 9 Matt's Workshop UI - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Matt’s Workshop UI – HudUniGames



Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a number of different parts of the game. Firstly I worked on adding a few things to the level editor such as adding UI to make configuring the movable blocks more intuitive.

Another addition to the level editor was the new spinner obstacles which the player has to avoid being hit by. Finally, I worked some more on the main menu to add a “mail system”, to give background story information,  and also a screen to show the player’s progress finding collectibles.

Devblog 7 Reuben – Hud Uni Games



For the past few weeks I have been working on decorating the levels previously made by Liam. I have also tried to incorporate other mechanics into the levels which were made after the levels were built. My aim for the next few weeks is to continue decorating and testing the levels in preparation for the game release on July 31st.

Devblog 9 Harry's Level - Hud Uni Games

Devblog 9 Harry’s Level – Hud Uni Games



In the past week I worked on mainly creating even more background prefabs for our level editor and fixing/ adjusting some previous levels.

Devblog 9 Dimitar's Level - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Dimitar’s Level – HudUniGames



I’ve been composing music for the Co-Op levels. I decided these levels needed to have more upbeat, energetic music than in single player. I’m hoping to mix and master some of the other tracks I’ve been working on over the next couple of weeks and get them into the game.

Devblog 9 Luke's Music - HudUniGames

Devblog 9 Luke’s Music – HudUniGames

As usual, you can view our work in the video below!


Dan Jones – Ocean Spark Studios Interview

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Dan Jones – Ocean Spark Studios Interview

Name: Dan Jones


Job: 3D Artist & Animator at Ocean Spark Studios


Tell us a bit about yourself:


Hello, I’m 23 years old and have been studying game design for 5 years now, I absolutely love playing Nintendo games, anything from Pokémon to Super Mario, NES to Nintendo Switch, I’m there.

I started my own Games Studio with 3 other students from The University Of Huddersfield, we are currently working on our first title ‘Tetra – Elemental Awakening’ which is an RPG Tower Defence Wave Clearing Game where you control several characters, which all have their own individual abilities and skills to defeat waves of enemies at certain locations across the world map, for more information on our game visit and send us an email for a free 10 minute demo over at

I’m always trying to push myself to learn new and exciting things within game development to really get the best out of what projects I’m working on, especially in Unreal Engine 4 and Zbrush!

Ocean Spark - HudUniGames

Ocean Spark – HudUniGames

How did you first get into video game development?


I started at Leeds City College after finding out they started a Games Design course, thankfully I found this course because I had no idea anything like this existed, prior to this I was planning on studying Business, that would have been a completely different career path!

I’d always been interested in how games worked from a young age, ever since I picked up a NES and played Super Mario Bros I was hooked on figuring out how games functioned, and more importantly, how they were made. This course really gave me an idea of where I wanted to go with games, and set me up to be able to study further at university.


Why did you choose to study at the University of Huddersfield?


Before choosing where I wanted to go, I toured around various universities, and none of them really stood out for me. Until I came to Huddersfield, what really intrigued me was the way the modules for the courses were set out, Team Project was the one that drew the most attention for me, being able to work with programmers and fellow artists to create a game for the year really appealed to me, because it gives you a little insight into what working in the games industry is really about, and you can learn how to get your points across and work with others who can help you with this.

Also, the connections Huddersfield had with companies such as Rockstar/Red Kite/Team 17 made me think this could be somewhere that I may gain useful contacts from, and maybe even work for in the future.


What is your favourite thing to design/programme?


Massive, wide open environments is something I really enjoy designing, it almost feels like a jigsaw puzzle, making every 3D asset to fit into place to create an astatically pleasing scene, tweaking every last detail, adding countless number of lights and effects until you’re sick of looking at it. It’s great because sometimes you’ll just be out walking somewhere, and see something that makes you want to create a whole scene around it, for example something like a statue, or a fountain, all of a sudden ideas just keep popping into your head, it really gives you inspiration to create more and more worlds.


What is your favourite piece of software to use and why?


I use quite a few day to day while working at Ocean Spark, but for me it has to be Substance Painter, it is such a powerful piece of software (and its now free!) It really brings your assets, or characters to life, being able to paint your 3D models in real time along with normal and ambient occlusion maps (and tons more) is such a massive time saver, plus you can also create your own materials in Substance Designer, which you can then share with others on their community pages, or download other artists materials and tweak them to your liking, I really don’t know what I’d do without it now, and more and more companies in the gaming industry are turning towards it as standard, which is great!


Do you have any examples of previous work that you would like to show us?


Fallen Idol Games Interview

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Recently we had the opportunity to interview James and the team of Fallen Idol Games, another of our 16/17 EPY teams. Here is what happened!


HudUniGames - Fallen Idol Games - 2017

HudUniGames – Fallen Idol Games – 2017

Tell us a bit about Fallen Idol Games:


Fallen Idol Games are a small independent games company currently based in Huddersfield who comprise four designers, all taking BA Games Design at the University of Huddersfield. We decided to create our own company and give it a go in the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY). This is a year out in the university’s business incubator. Luckily the course provides business support in the form of training and mentoring plus we get games-development support from the Games staff. We are basically starting up our own company from scratch. This was a great opportunity for us as it supported us with location and business support which were the things we were lacking in our original plan.

We are currently working on in-house projects as well as improving our own individual goals for the year. These include greatly improving our asset production skills. We are planning our games around the idea of revitalising retro-game game philosophy, because of this it will suit a more average type of player who doesn’t seek demanding challenges.

However our overall goal is to experiment for the year to get experience of what it’s like running an independent business within a small team. We will be able to test workflows and increase our experience in using different software. This is great preparation for us for our final year of study, after which we can decide what we wish to continue with once we graduate.

HudUniGames - Fallen Idol Games - 2017

HudUniGames – Fallen Idol Games – 2017


Who are the Fallen Idol Games team?


Our team currently comprises four designers, each having their own role in the team and their own inspirations and aspirations .


James Colley- 23 – Concept & Character Artist


“I originally started drawing as a hobby which soon I wanted to continue as a job as I enjoyed it and soon wanted to think about making a living out of it.  As being a keen gamer also I wanted to pursue a job in that sector to repay the hours of enjoyment I had when I was younger. Being at University studying Game Design, they offered an enterprise year during our third year to expand and experience first-hand how it is to be an independent studio.


Alexander Brown – 21 – Technical Artist and Lead Programmer


“I started playing games at a very young age, borrowing my sister’s Gameboy and PlayStation until I finally had my own system. Since then, games have been a constant hobby in my life. When it came to making my career choices, pursuing a job in the games industry felt natural to me. Considering my love for art, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in 3D Art, and after finding Unreal Engine and the power of Blueprints I discovered my love for technical art. I chose EPY as I was unsure whether I wanted to pursue a career as an indie developer or attempt to work for bigger studios. The EPY gives me the option of trying indie development out, with the added bonus of a safety net.


Jacob Beckley – 21 – Lead Artist


“Having played games with both my brother and father from a young age, I have always wanted to work in games. I have taught myself parts of game design as a hobby and decided to study this at university after being unsure what to do as a career. Having a love for indie companies and the games they produce, it became my dream job.  EPY allows me to do this whilst being safe to do so and learn so much all at once before launching in to it as a career after graduation.


Louie Hepworth – 22 – Design and QA


“Enjoying playing games ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to make games for my career. I had no experience in the field until I studied ‘Computer Games Development’ at Doncaster College, and advanced on to the University of Huddersfield’s BA Computer Games Design course. I quickly learned that to make the games that I want, I’d have to pursue a career as an Indie games designer and the EPY program was the perfect, most secure way to get started. It also puts me in good stead for pursuing my career after graduation.


What are you currently working on?


We are currently working on a small in house title named Typerdrive. This is a wave-clearing game where the player has to eliminate asteroids by typing in words corresponding to the asteroid.  By doing this they are increasing their speed to warp drive, hence the name “typerdrive”. Success takes players to the next level which will increase the word’s difficulty. If they collide with the asteroid they will lose their speed. If player speed reduces to zero, they lose.

We are basing this on an older game Typer Shark which uses a similar mechanic found in most typing games. But we figured making this small educational-based game would be good fun – the four of us as well as our friends in the office like the competitive feel of being able just to type better than each other. It’s also fun for those who are confident in their typing skills  and wish to have a challenge.

HudUniGames - Fallen Idol Games - 2017

HudUniGames – Fallen Idol Games – Typerdrive – 2017


Will Fallen Idol be at any events in the future?


We are going to the next Gamayo event in April, we awaiting confirmation from their organiser as we have applied to get a screen for a time slot so we can show our game TYPERDRIVE. It’s really important to get feedback from the games industry. We attended the previous Gamayo last September for the first time and found it a lovely atmosphere and were determined for the next one to be able to show something as a company.


Do you have any social media?


Yes we have a Twitter account a Facebook page , though neither have been used as much as we would have liked due to working on the game.



Torchbearer Interactive Interview

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Torchbearer Interactive Interview

Recently we interviewed Jonathan of Torchbearer Interactive, here is what happened!



Torchbearer Interactive Logo

Torchbearer Interactive Logo


Tell us a bit about Torchbearer Interactive:


Torchbearer Interactive; a software house at heart with a strong focus on the games sector is but one of the latest round of businesses in this year’s Enterprise Placement Year (EPY) cohort at Huddersfield. As a team comprising exclusively programmers, we came into our first year of business with a desire not only to pass the year but to build a strong business that we could take forward into the future. Since starting with this simple vision in mind, Torchbearer Interactive has gone from strength to strength.

What began with us scrambling for web and app contracts quickly shifted up a gear when we took an opportunity to work alongside Ocean Spark Studios on their first game Tetra: Elemental Awakeninga game which we’re happy to say is making excellent progress. In addition to our work on games themselves, we’ve also created tools for developers to use in their game projects; more specifically Unity packages. So far we have released two tools: Magnet Roads and Terrain Heatmaps, both available through the Unity Asset Store.


Torchbearer interactive - HudUniGames - 2017

Torchbearer interactive – HudUniGames – 2017


Little did we know, this wasn’t the end of the story. As 2017 dawned, we’d submitted a proposal for our own in-house title Cloud Cover to Creative England’s Games Lab: Leeds in the hopes that we might be able to secure funding to pursue the development of a fully-fledged alpha build.

As February came, it seemed we couldn’t be busier. The business was going strong and the idea of winning any kind of funding had become a far-flung hope. Then it came though. We’d won a generous £15,000 Government grant to develop Cloud Cover.

Now, just a week away from demoing Tetra live at several events around the country, it seems like the work will never end; even university researchers are now looking to us to help them commercialise programmatical implementations of their own projects. Something tells me we may never have free time again, but it’s not exactly a bad problem to have. And to top it all off, we were recently honoured to receive the Huddersfield Town FC’s Shooting Star start-up business award back in December.


Who are Torchbearer Interactive?


The team here at Torchbearer comprise three individuals:


  • Jonathan Langley (Director, Programmer, Public Relations) – background primarily in games programming, design, modding and written content creation;
  • Peter Waugh (Director, Programmer, Project Management) – background in professional web development. An experienced, natural programmer; and
  • Edward Andrew (Director, Programmer, Accounts) – background in 3D modelling and animation, professional photographer with several years experience operating a business as a sole trader.


Myself and Edward first met back in high school in a very early attempt to make a game with friends. Fruitless as it was then, we never lost our shared passion for games development – working on several projects together in the intervening years. It wasn’t until our first year of university that we first met Peter. Through the course of our first two years, we discovered that our skills overlapped in many areas, frequently working together at Game Jams and for team projects as part of our course.

Torchbearer Interactive Team - Hud Uni Games 2017

Torchbearer Interactive Team – Hud Uni Games 2017


What are you currently working on?


Here at Torchbearer we’re current focusing our energies into two main projects; Cloud Cover and Tetra: Elemental Awakening. Cloud Cover is an apocalyptic strategy weather game, our first major in-house title as an independent studio. We’re not yet ready to talk about this game at great length, but, considering that we received the £15k grant from Games Lab: Leeds, we’re pressing ahead with development to make the best use out of the funds. Tetra is a nostalgically styled RPG game, lending elements from games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends and tower defence games. Wrapped in a story of four Guardians – one from each of the elementally aligned player races – they are pitted against the forces of evil. At this stage we’re currently developing this title for desktop release, with a view to looking into other platforms like the Nintendo Switch – funding dependant.



Will Torchbearer Interactive be at any events in the future?


If you want to come see and Tetra live then come see us at any of the following events:


  • EGX Rezzed – Tobacco Dock, London, 1st April 2017
  • Insomnia 60 – NEC, Birmingham, 17th April 2017
  • Norwich Gaming Festival – Site TBD, 29th to 31st May 2017
  • 4TG Games Con – AECC Arena, Aberdeen, 29th to 30th July


Do you have any social media?



Any work to show us?


Get our blockup physics-stacking game on the Google App Store

Get Torchbearer Interactive’s Magnet Roads from the Unity 3D Asset Store today and their real-time data visualisation Heat Maps assets, also at the Unity 3D Asset Store


Tetra: Elemental Awakening


Tetra is now Live on Kickstarter!

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Our friends over at OceanSpark Studios have just started a Kickstarter to help fund their game Tetra!


Tetra Logo - HudUniGames - 2017

Tetra Logo – HudUniGames – 2017

What is Tetra?


Tetra, Elemental Awakening is a mix of the popular RPG genre together with a wave clearing system. Each Guardian has its own type advantage which can be used to create destructive spells to bring down the enemy. Defend against all types of enemies and protect the land from being destroyed.


 Why Kickstarter?


“We’ve currently been given a years free office space to work in from the Duke Of York Young Entrepreneur Center based in Huddersfield, UK. This is great for us as a company, but no income is gained from this.”


We wanted the feel of a community for this game, we wanted the feedback from you, the backers to help us in every aspect, anything from the spells the characters use, to how new levels and worlds will form, your input will be crucial every step of the way.

“We use part time jobs to secure the money we need to help us keep working on this game. We come to Kickstarter to help us achieve our goal of fully working on Tetra to make the game the players of Tower Defense, RPGS have been asking for.”


The best way to join in discussions is over at our forums on


Tetra - Kickstarter - HudUniGames - 2017

Tetra – Kickstarter – HudUniGames – 2017


What are your plans for the future?


“Our plan for the next few months is to get Tetra – Elemental Awakening out there and played by as many people as possible, doing so will ensure we have vital and substantial feedback (alongside our backers input through the community group) to tweak and produce better game play and content throughout the Tetra world.”


Are there any rewards for backers of the game?


For backers of the game we have a tier system in place, the rewards vary from your name in the credits, the ability to name a boss or location in game or even a conceot

Gems will be in an in game currency that will not affect game play but can change skins of weapons, mounts and heroes. Down the line will be an online market where you can view future items. Gems can be gained from quests, objectives and other types of game play.


Here is the video from OceanSpark for Kickstarter!



To find out more about this find Tetra on Kickstarter here!


Tetra Will be taking center stage in the powered by unreal engine zone at EGX Rezzed this week!


Find out more about this on the Unreal Engine blog here


While you are there you should check out our game Flux8 at EGX as a few of the team will be making an appearance.

Dale Green – Games Programming student has success with game and book!

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Dale Green – Games Programming student has success with game and book!

Student’s relationship breakdown inspires game, now available globally via the leading digital games distribution platform



The game is a 2D randomly-generated, survival RPG (role-playing game) and features elements such as skills, world-management and a story mode.


Gameplay begins where you are a lonesome character equipped with nothing but an axe and a shovel.  In free-play, you are free to roam the terrain and create your own world and live your own story.  In story-mode you will ‘travel through broken memories of a failing relationship to try and salvage what’s left’.


“As far as I know Samphi’s genre doesn’t have any games with a meaningful story,”


Throughout the Enterprise Placement Year, Greeny Games Studio has been based in The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre and has had the full support of the University’s Enterprise Team.  The team help business ideas come to fruition, by providing access to funding and offer advice and support to students and recent graduates, who are considering a business start-up, self-employment or freelancing.


Dale Green Samphi - HudUniGames 2017

Dale Green Samphi – HudUniGames 2017


Developing Samphi has also led Dale to other opportunities.  Throughout its lifetime, Dale has uploaded video tutorials to his channel on YouTube showing other budding game developers a step-by-step guide of how to create content for a video game.  The UK’s leading provider of technology and coding eBooks, Packt Publishing, were so impressed by Dale’s tutorials they approached him to write a book on the subject.  This book has since been published and is called Procedural content generation for C++ game development.



Samphi went through the Steam Greenlight system and after success there has now launched! You can visit the Samphi website at, buy it on steam at


Procedural Content Generation for C++ Game Development


Dale Green, one of our Computer Games Programming students currently on an Enterprise Placement Year running his own business has just released his book, “Procedural Content Generation for C++ Game Development” (available on Amazon) alongside the release of his game Samphi (now available on Steam).

Dale Green Game Development Book - HudUniGames

Dale Green Game Development Book – HudUniGames



Helen Andrzejowska – Ocean Spark Studios Interview

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Helen Andrzejowska – Ocean Spark Studios Interview

Name: Helen Andrzejowska

Job: Creative Director and 3D Artist at Ocean Spark Studios

Helen Andrzejowska - Ocean Spark Studios 2017

Helen Andrzejowska – Ocean Spark Studios 2017

Tell us a bit about yourself:


Hi, I’m Helen Andrzejowska.. a twenty something year old game designer from Sheffield, currently studying at the University of Huddersfield. I love cats, Star Wars and Volkswagen cars! I’m currently on my Enterprise Placement year which has seen me set up my own Video Game Development studio – Ocean Spark Studios. We are five months into the development of our first title; Tetra, Elemental Awakening.


How did you first get into video game development?


I’ve always been interested in both art and video games for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I would either be painting or playing Zelda on my N64. Originally I went to University to study Fine Art, but I quickly learned this wasn’t for me, so I started thinking how I could put my art skills to use in a different field… this is when I discovered game development! I’ve always been quite techy, which is why this course is so suited to me, as I can put my art skills to use whilst learning new technical abilities and software.


Helen 1 - Hud uni games

Helen’s Work – Hudunigames 2017


Why did you choose to study at the University of Huddersfield?


Like the majority of students do, I looked around at a lot of universities and Game Design courses but it was the Huddersfield campus that really won me over. I knew that I would be spending 4+ years of my life studying at the University that I would choose, and therefore I felt that a mixture of a great course and a beautiful campus would be the perfect combination.





What are you hoping to achieve while on your placement in EPY?


I already feel as though my time on EPY has taught me so much. My skills have developed immensely over the past few months and I now feel that some of the work I am producing is to industry standard, which feels great! We are hoping to attain funding or a publisher to be able to release our first title, Tetra.


“At present, we have a great alpha which we are taking to some popular gaming expos. Ultimately, I wanted to learn how to run a game development studio and understand better how the game industry works.”


What is your favourite thing to design/programme?


I love creating objects and environments, I feel I can be imaginative and creative, especially with the hand-painted style we have chosen for our game.

We have created a visually stunning fantasy world, and as an artist this is so exciting for me as I have full creative licence to create whatever I feel like… who wouldn’t love that!?

Helen Work - HudUniGames

Helen Work – HudUniGames 2017


What is your favourite piece of software to use and why?


I love 3D-Coat at the minute, it is such a simple piece of software with a nice user interface that doesn’t look too over complicated. At present, the 3D pieces I’m creating for my game are stylised, hand-painted objects, and 3D-Coat allows me to paint directly on to the object and add detail in the correct places, which is perfect for hand-painting.


What is your favourite video game and why?


This is one of the hardest questions you can ask! So I can’t possibly give you only one answer.. I have two favourite games, both completely different.

The first is Assassins Creed – Black Flag, because the environments are absolutely amazing, and I love the game mechanics of being able to switch between land and sea.. the main character is pretty awesome too!

The second is World of Warcraft. I can spend hours on this game and never get bored as it has so much to offer and is so appealing in so many ways. This game is what has inspired me to create the game I am currently developing now.


Do you have any examples of previous work that you would like to show us?


Sure, a lot of my most recent work is available on my portfolio It’s mostly hand-painted as I have been trying to improve my skills in this field to be able to produce hand-painted assets to industry standard!



Bethesda Game Studios Featured Student Mod

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Bethesda Game Studios Featured Student Mod

A Student has recently beat the competition and been featured on Bethesda’s own blog!


With over 175 million downloaded mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim it was hard to find the lesser known mods, or this was the case until a week ago. Now Bethesda have started a blog featuring showcasing some of these hidden gems. One of these gems has been produced by one of our own students! Here is a short interview where we asked Kial Oliver-Gibson a few questions about this.


Fallout 3 Mod – Kial Oliver-Gibson – HudUniGames 2017


Tell us a bit about yourself:


I’m 18 years old, currently in my first year at Huddersfield Uni, studying Games Design. I live at home and commute to Huddersfield. I spend most of my time outside of university playing video games, doing assignments, practicing my 3D art or making mods.


Tell us a little about your mod:


This Mod brings highly customizable Dragonborn-inspired Power Armor and weapons to the Wasteland. The TES-51 Power Armor Mod also features six new paint jobs including Nordic Warpaint and Skyforge Steel, plus a bonus new location with an untold secret. It does a superb job of bringing Skyrim aesthetics to Fallout 4, and is one of the better ways to turn heads aboard the Prydwen.



How did you first get into video game mod development/Design?


It all started in 2012, when I got my first gaming PC alongside a copy of Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Diving into the Nexus Mods sites browsing all the user-made content was enthralling, and added hundreds more hours to some of my favourite games.


fallout 31

Bethesda Game Studios Featured Student Mod 1
















It wasn’t long after that I decided to try my hand at making my own mods. I barely had any idea what I was doing, so the earliest weapons I made remained untextured in 3ds Max. After the announcement of Fallout 4 it got my creativity going a bit, and I had already done my first year at Bradford College doing games development, so I knew at least how to model and texture something. I released my first mod for Fallout: New Vegas, a vending machine inspired by Fallout 4’s redesign. It got a good reception, so I kept at it. Eventually, once Fallout 4 had released and I’d had the chance to play it, I wanted to make my own power armour for the game, then I made another, and another, and… basically I can’t stop…


My favourite aspect of games design is character art. No matter the type, be it a giant hulking mech, a diving suit, or a mercenary-type, I really like creating characters and armour. Creatures too, though I haven’t had much practice at non-humanoid things yet.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Huddersfield?


After finishing Games Development over at Bradford College, I wanted to keep at it, and move my focus towards the design/art aspect since programming isn’t really my thing. I looked around, went to open days and such, and decided that the University of Huddersfield offered the best course for me, and I remain confident that my decision was the right one.



What is your favourite piece of software to use and why?


Up until recently I’d have said Autodesk Maya, because I was comfortable with it and it let me make the models I wanted to. However, after starting at Huddersfield I’ve found my true home, ZBrush.

I still use Maya in conjunction with ZBrush, since I haven’t figured out how to do a fair few things in it yet, but I love the freedom it allows. Being able to get so much more detail into my models and textures is great. There are so many things I wouldn’t have dreamt of making in Maya that I can now do in ZBrush, and enjoy doing it too.


Here is the article if you wish to read more about this: Fallout 4 and Skyrim mods

London Tech Expo 2016 – 3 of 3 – Time To Get Panoramic

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London Tech Expo 2016 – 3 of 3 – Time To Get Panoramic

On Monday, we sent some of our students to London to attend The Tech Expo – a two day Conference and Exhibition in London.


The Tech Expo gave our students the opportunity to explore some of the latest emerging technological solutions, ranging from Virtual Reality to Robotics. They even had time to do a bit a sight seeing at the end of the day!


Upon their return, we asked some of our students to tell us about their day – what they got up to, which shiny new gadgets they had their eye on and what they have learned. Here’s what they had to say:



“The first stand I went and had a look at was a company called Orbirama. They specialise in making panoramic videos into orbiramic videos, this meaning they can view and manipulate live events from its orbit. At first I thought it was a really good idea, all they had to do was aim their camera at a woman on a business card/magazine and she became 3D.

Tech Expo 2016 London

Tech Expo 2016 London – HudUniGames

“This amazed me at first but there were certain parts of it that needed working on and touching up, for example when they demonstrated it, it worked fine but when they tried to do it using a magazine and then attempted to rotate it, it decided to crash and break which was a shame. But all in all it was a very interesting product but I don’t think it has a very good purpose at the moment. The second company I decided to go and see was called SUBPAC tactile bass system.


“I did really like the Orbirama Vision technology we looked at first, the 360 degree vision centred on a focal point, it’s definitely going to increase the popularity of something like wrestling, having a fixed stage you can rotate your head around to see a different angle of the fight to someone else.



“I’m intrigued to see the applications it has for rehabilitation for those suffering from mental health issues or PTSD


The EEG mixed VIVE setup was interesting too, it attempted to track and tell me my emotions in the form of a few colours .This was a company that provided jackets and headphones that the user can wear which replicates the effect of being in a club where there is a lot of bass. I thought this would be a really good idea for when you are playing music games or when you are in a very loud battle on a different type of game. These were both shown in 2 different variations, one where you can stand up and use it, the other where you can sit down and use it.



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