Restart Game Jam projects available to play now

Participants on The Pixel Mill’s RESTART programme recently completed a two-week game jam producing eight games, all of which are available to play now for free. Some of these participants only started learning game development in January!

A few of the games from the jam include Calambity; you play as a collie herding its sheep, Aftermath; navigate your way out of an eerie hospital and AppaRatus; a rat collects cheese and solves the maze in an attempt to escape from a lab! The games were individually created in 2D and 3D for PC.

RESTART is a training programme for people aged 19-30 years old in Northern Ireland who want to start a career in the video games industry. Participants do not need to have any prior experience or training to take part in the programme.

To check out the games visit

Whitepot’s Stargazing available for free from 3rd March

Whitepot Studio’s new mobile game, Stargazing will be released on iOS and Android for free from Wednesday 3rd MarchStargazing is a game for puzzlers who enjoy endless challenges, chill seekers who enjoy zen experiences, and astro fanatics who have an interest in horoscopes. The game was made in Northern Ireland and has been developed with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

With a cozy dot-to-dot style, zen beats, and plenty of constellations to discover, chill and stargaze as you make your way through the StarBook. Players can:

  • Complete dot-to-dot constellations with the help of some hand-drawn hints
  • Connect stars in the right order to unlock full constellations
  • Better your times as you become more familiar with each constellation and progress up the leaderboard
  • Unlock cute collectables and achievements along the way
  • Listen to some lo-fi beats as you do

Whitepot Studios is a Belfast-based game development studio founded in 2016. The studio offers work-for-hire development services, as well as creating its own IP across PC, mobile, and console.

For more information about Stargazing visit Whitepot Studio’s website.

Blackstaff Games and Merge Games announce digital and physical release of Buildings Have Feelings Too!

Blackstaff Games and Merge Games have announced that their game, Buildings Have Feelings Too!, will be available for purchase on all digital stores (Steam, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Store and PlayStation Store) in March. Not only will the game be getting released digitally, players will also be able to pick up a physical version on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in May. Buildings Have Feelings Too! received funding support through Northern Ireland Screen’s Assembler Programme.

Imagine a city where buildings can walk and talk to one another. Each one has its own aspirations, hopes, and fears. Most of the time they are just trying to get along with each other and make it through the day. Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a city management game with character. Players must grow their city whilst making sure the individual buildings thrive or risk them being demolished forever.

As time progresses, new industries can be researched, and new architectural marvels built. In turn, world events might cause buildings to fail and businesses to go bankrupt! Players must discover new ways to attend to their city’s needs. This could involve refurbishing a building or simply grabbing it by the hand and moving it to a nicer part of the neighbourhood.

As players progress, they can grow their city, allowing for multiple neighbourhoods. Specialist areas, such as busy finance hubs or bustling theatre districts, become available.  Additional layered attributes such as electricity supply, noise pollution and transport add more complexity and challenges for players.

Collectors will be keen to learn that the game will also be available as a Signature Edition version, jam-packed with extra content and handsomely packaged in an oversized box. Pre-orders are now open HERE.

Fís Games Summit 2021 announce line-up with Warren Spector

Galway Film Centre has announced the line-up for the inaugural Fís Games Summit which will take place online as a series of talks on Thursday 25th February. Warren Spector is the first speaker who will be in conversation with Brenda Romero about his career in the games industry and will be taking questions from the attendees.

Galway Film Centre Manager Alan Duggan said: “The Irish game industry has long been approaching a tipping point of critical mass allowing skilled developers and creatives to stay in Ireland to work in this industry, and even found their own companies. Over the last decade we have seen significant encouraging growth, and at Galway Film Centre we want to foster that momentum and support that growth. For that reason we have created a programme for the Fís Games Summit with internationally renowned developers, as well as Irish success stories, that is sure to inspire and embolden all Irish developers.”

The theme of this year’s Fís Games Summit programme is Journeys. Whether it is the journey to publishing your first game, the journey to seeking funding, or the lifelong and storied journey of a career decades in the making, this summit will share with Irish developers some of the journeys one must take throughout their time in the industry.

Tickets are FREE and are open to all Irish game developers. Click HERE to register.

Shortlist announced for NI Game Awards

After a long nomination process with over 150 nominations, the shortlisted nominees in the six main categories of the NI Game Awards have been announced!

Voting is now open, and you can vote for your favourites right now over here!

The NI Game Awards is presented by the NI Game Dev Network with support from Northern Ireland Screen. Now in their fourth year, this will be the first time the awards have taken place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show will be broadcasting live on Saturday 6th March from Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, with tickets available now at

The shortlists are as follows:

Best Art Direction Before The Blood – Rewind Play Games
Best Art Direction Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries – Outsider Games
Best Art Direction Inertial Drift – Level 91 Entertainment
Best Art Direction The Imagined Leviathan – Far Few Giants
Best Art Direction Stargazing – Whitepot Studios
Most Anticipated Game Before The Blood – Rewind Play Games
Most Anticipated Game Paleo Pines – Italic Pig
Most Anticipated Game Buildings Have Feelings Too – Blackstaff Games
Most Anticipated Game The Pale Beyond – Coffeebox Games
Most Anticipated Game Hytale – Hypixel Studios
Most Anticipated Game Ambertale – Ambertail Games
Most Anticipated Game Dynasty of the Sands – Rocketflair Games
Rising Star Amber Barnett – NI Screen
Rising Star Abigail Gelston – Italic Pig
Rising Star Amy Seaman – Whitepot Studios
Rising Star James Brown – NI Screen
Rising Star Naoimh Murchan – Italic Pig
Rising Star Jordan Bradley – Ambertail Games
Rising Star Stuart Winton – Far Few Giants
Rising Star Caoilfhionn Fox – NI Screen
Rising Star LisaMGC – NI Screen
Rising Star Aisling McElroy – Italic Pig
Best Studio Brain & Nerd
Best Studio Italic Pig
Best Studio Whitepot Studios
Best Studio Soft Leaf Studios
Best Studio Level 91 Entertainment
Best Game Inertial Drift – Level 91 Entertainment
Best Game Ho-Ho-Home Invasion – Whitepot Studios
Best Game Supermarket Shriek – BillyGoat Entertainment
Best Game The Imagined Leviathan – Far Few Giants
Community Choice Amber Barnett
Community Choice Caolan McKendry
Community Choice James Brown
Community Choice Johnny Cullen
Community Choice LisaMGC
Community Choice Stuart Neill