Out of Tune Games launch its first ever game: Crooks Like Us

Out of Tune Games first ever game, Crooks Like Us, will be available for early access on PC and Mac via Steam on Wednesday 17th March.

Crooks Like Us is a chaotic online multiplayer game, where players get to steal everything they see! Players must carry as many items as they can to their getaway van before time runs out – a higher stack results in more points. Players can fight their way to first1st place by using gadgets like anvils, ice, earthquakes to mess with other players!

There will be a stream-a-thon event of Crooks Like Us from 12noon on launch day for 24-hours, consisting of 24 different Twitch streamers from around the world playing the game on their channel. Details can be found HERE.

Streamers an also connect their Twitch account to enable an interactive chat feature. This gives viewers he ability to type commands into the chat while the streamer is playing to launch some of the crazy gadgets at them in real time.

Out of Tune Games’ Mal Duffin said: “We’ve been actively testing the game via Betas and demos all through development and we are so happy to unleash the game on the public via Early Access. The Twitch functions make it even more fun and we’ve watched plenty of streams where viewers seem to be having as much of a laugh as the streamers themselves.”

Matt McCrum of Out of Tune Games added: “We really wanted to create a game that gave you lots of options, so you can be the field of play and make lots of cash or jump into the van and mastermind your menace from there. Either way, you’ll have a lot of fun.”

Out of Tune Games was supported by The Pixel Mill’s accelerator programme, Platform, in the creation of the game. The programme provides gaming companies with access to the The Pixel Mill’s facilities, mentors, training, and funding as well as the opportunity to attend markets to build their business network and meet consumers.

To download a demo of Crooks Like Us click HERE.

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.

Global Game Jam goes virtual: Friday 29th January

NI Game Dev Network and Farcet Labs have teamed up to host the first ever virtual Global Game Jam (GGJ) on Friday 29th January from 7pm.

Supported by Northern Ireland Screen, GGJ is the world’s largest game creation event to take place around the globe. The event is usually held at ‘physical’ locations, however this year the GGJ goes virtual for the first time.

The aim of the event is for aspiring game developers to come together, be creative, share experiences and express themselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal.

The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration, or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48-hour development cycle. GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.

For more information on the event visit HERE.

Billy Goat Entertainment announce Supermarket Shriek’s PS4 release date

Billy Goat Entertainment and PQube have announced the release date for Supermarket Shriek. Developed with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, the game will be available to play on PS4 from Friday 23rd October 2020.

Supermarket Shriek is a unique and humorous co-operative experience in which players assume the role of a man and his screaming goat positioned in a shopping cart. Players ‘shriek’ to steer their cart around a series of stores, racing to the checkout while collecting groceries, solving riddles, and occasionally avoiding large swinging axes, spike traps and/or fire pits.

The title, which was first made available on Xbox One last year, has both solo and co-op modes, along with more than 50 customisation options for your character. There is a total of 38 obstacle courses, along with time challenge collectable hunts!


Jamfuser 2020 registration now open

Welcome to Jamfuser 2020!

Jamfuser is a game jam that feeds into Tranzfuser (a UK-wide talent development programme for graduates looking to break into the video games development industry).

Jamfuser will:

  • Support team self-selection opportunities, encouraging mixed institute/more diverse teams
  • Enable teams to work together in a freeform environment with a shared goal, that encourages skills development and fosters positive team relationships
  • Give teams the opportunity to test and explore their game idea in a short development cycle
  • Share information regarding the Tranzfuser 2020 application process and criteria for selection
  • Develop the Tranzfuser community
  • Engage Tranzfuser Alumni

Jamfuser is “just for fun”, so as such there are no physical or cash prizes for taking part and there won’t be any official ‘winners’. Your prize is your product.  There is, however, a rating system on itch.io and all Jamfuser teams who submit their project on the Jamfuser itch.io page will have their games reviewed and rated by an external team of Judges – so consider this your first industry reviewed piece of work!

If you’re thinking of applying to Tranzfuser 2020, Jamfuser is a fantastic opportunity to start exploring your team’s dynamics, start honing your technical skills and start getting creative.

Who can participate?

  • Team members should be currently studying on an undergraduate/masters or post-graduate degree course
  • Team size between 2-6 people
  • Teams with a residential address in the UK
  • Team who have submitted their Jamfuser Team Registration Form

The deadline for teams to submit their Team Registration Form is 12pm Thursday 27th February 2020.

If you are interested in taking part in Jamfuser 2020, please email our Interactive Manager Rory Clifford, who will help you with the registration process.

There will be an information session at The Pixel Mill on Friday 14th February at 1.30pm for anyone interested in Jamfuser. You can come as teams already formed or individuals who are interested in joining a team.

For more information on Jamfuser 2020 click HERE.

Jamfuser will take place in The Pixel Mill from Friday 28th February – Monday 2nd March 2020.

Applications for Games Development Academy now open

The Northern Ireland Screen Games Development Academy is now open for applications! This Academy is a unique training and experience programme, which focuses on core technical skills around computer game development and production. For the first time this course will be running in Derry~Londonderry at Nerve Centre, Magazine Street. If you are aged 16-19 and interested in finding out more about the Games Industry in Northern Ireland then this is the Academy for you.


The Academy is a free course and will run each Saturday starting on Saturday 8th February 2020 and finishing with a weekend of activities joining with the Belfast Games Development Academy on the March 28-29th weekend at the Nerve Centre, Derry~Londonderry. You will be introduced to the core facets of the games development process, from idea generation and character design, understanding game play, problem solving and refinement through to technical skills, under the guidance of industry professionals.

Whether you have experience with Games Development or not this Academy is a great place to get started. It is a great opportunity to find out more about the careers from those already working within the Games Industry in Northern Ireland and develop the skills that are needed to get into this growing industry.


The deadline for applications is Wednesday 5th February 2020.

You can apply via the online form in the link below. Please keep an eye on your email, you will be contacted once the applications have closed.


Italic Pig Nominated for Best Indie Developer at Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2020

Northern Ireland video game company Italic Pig is thrilled to have been nominated as one of ten companies throughout the UK for the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards “Best Indie Developer 2020” award at this week’s PG Connects event in London.

The Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards are a prestigious awards established to celebrate the very best businesses and individuals who are driving the $60 billion mobile games industry forward.

The “Best Indie Developer” accolade recognises the achievements of a team of up to 10 developers that have released a game, or successfully grown an existing game, during the last year. Italic Pig’s recent successes in both mobile and VR gaming caught the attention of the panel amongst the 185 indie studios that were shortlisted, with the finalists being described as the “cream of the crop” from every facet of the mobile games industry.

The full list of nominated companies are:

  • Agens
  • Ant Workshop
  • Airraport
  • Crescent Moon Games
  • Hidden Layer
  • Italic Pig
  • Noodlecake Studios
  • Starberry Games
  • Stave Studios
  • ThroughLine Games
  • Thoughtfish
  • Triband

The awards are voted on during the final quarter of the year by a panel of industry judges and the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards presentation evening will take place on the second night of Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 on Tuesday 21st January 2020.

Italic Pig’s CEO Kevin Beimers is also honoured to be a judge for the Big Indie Pitch this year, having won the Big Indie Pitch twice previously in 2019 for VR project The Infinite Hotel and 2017 for Mona Lisa, a stealth-platformer and speed-painting game.

The Big Indie Pitch is arguably the highlight of the Pocket Gamer Connects conference. Each participant has no more than three minutes to showcase his or her game to a staggered panel of 15 judges, composed of industry veterans, journalists, enthusiasts and evangelists.

Ukie Hub Crawl coming to Belfast

The Hub Crawl is back! Come and join fellow games developers and publishers and identify new opportunities and strategies to support the growth of your business.

This year’s Hub Crawl will focus on educating local businesses on how to raise the profile of their games business and games. This will consist of a series of free events, located all around the UK, bringing games businesses together to learn about marketing, PR, community management, IP, along with products and services that can help enhance their own products.

The Hub Crawl will be in Belfast on Thursday 5th March from 17:45 – 21:00 at The Pixel Mill. 

The event will feature a series of short, informative sessions from industry experts and this will be followed by a games panel featuring companies from the local area.

After each session there’ll be a chance to network, share ideas and have a drink with your peers.

This is a free event open to anyone involved in the games industry. Please feel free to invite your colleagues, friends and associates.

Speakers announced: 

  • Jon Paterson, Creative Technologies Innovation Lead, Barclays – “Introduction to Eagle Labs”
  • Alex Tutty, Partner, Sheridans – “Building your brand: why IP is your studio’s most valuable asset in creating a unique identity”
  • Simon Callaghan, Director, Johnny Atom – “Standing Out: why PR is essential as a 21st century game developer”

More TBA soon.

To register for the Belfast Hub Crawl click HERE. 

Supermarket Shriek nominated for MCV/Develop Award

Billy Goat Entertainment’s Supermarket Shriek has been nominated for the Audio Innovation of the Year award at the 2020 MCV/Develop awards.

A culmination of the former individual MCV Awards and Develop Awards, the new awards will recognise talent, innovation, achievement, growth and cultural impact across development, publishing, retail, marketing, communications and media.

Supermarket Shriek is a unique and amusing co-operative experience in which players assume the role of a man and their screaming goat positioned in a shopping cart. Players ‘shriek’ to manoeuvre their cart around a series of stores, racing to the checkout while collecting groceries, solving riddles and occasionally avoiding large swinging axes, spike traps and/ or fire pits. Supermarket Shriek received development funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

Industry experts have built the shortlist in every category – using their knowledge to identify the teams that have had outstanding success in 2019.

To cast a vote for the MCV/Develop Awards 2020, you must be a subscriber to the MCV/Develop magazine and will need your subscription number which is at the top of each magazine.

The awards ceremony will take place at The Brewery, London on Thursday 5th March. 

UK Games Fund round 6 now open for applications

Applications are now being taken for round 6 of the UK Games Fund. Round 6 is open to all UK-based game developers with less than 50 employees who are developing early-stage projects.

Applicants can apply for an initial support package valued at £10,000 (including £5,000 of grant funding) to refine and improve pitching skills, whilst also developing a playable demo for showcasing at a major consumer games show in the Autumn.

A further opportunity to pitch in-person to the UK Games Fund will be provided at the Autumn show, where successful teams can secure an additional grant of up to £20,000.

Support and Opportunity

An initial support package will be provided to the value of £10,000 of cash and in-kind support comprising:

  • An award of £5,000 paid in two £2,500 installments (the first in June, the second in August)
  • Involvement in UK Games Fund community of funded companies, along with pitch guidance and informative webinar sessions
  • Face-to-face meetings in July to explore your pitch with the UK Games Fund team (plus invited publishers, platform holders, and investors)
  • An opportunity to showcase your project at a large-scale consumer games show in Autumn this year

Supported applicants who participate in the showcase at the consumer games show in the Autumn will also be required to pitch for further funding from the UK Games Fund.

  • Pitches will take place in a private meeting room at the show
  • Grants of up to £20,000 from the UK Games Fund will be available
  • These grants must be spent between November 2020 and March 2021

Some pre-approved accommodation costs will be covered for the key events mentioned above where attendance is required. This is at the discretion of the UK Games Fund, and will be limited to a fixed number of team members.

Who should apply?

The standard programme is designed to support early-stage projects that need further time for the development of ideas and pitching materials. Participation in the consumer games show later in the year provides a clear deadline, as well as the opportunity to gain all-important feedback from the public and industry, while also meeting publishers and funders who regularly attend the event.

In your application you will be expected to be able to clearly explain the benefit that this programme will bring to your project and company.

This may differ depending on your circumstances:

  • Smaller companies and newly formed teams frequently have a need for early stage funding, support, and visibility – but beyond simple development goals you should have an eye on what the next step is in terms of the business, and how UK Games Fund can help get you there, or
  • More established companies and teams will need to show a direct benefit or opportunity they might not otherwise be able to pursue – perhaps the help would support growth of a new project team or work in a new area, or perhaps mitigate specific risks around a new project or IP.

Games that are already in full-scale development (or where the majority of funding is already secure) may not be appropriate for this programme – if in doubt then send a short paragraph about the project and UK Games Fund will endeavour to help.

Applicant Information

The application process has three parts, and is expected to be complete by April 2020:

  • All applicants are asked to complete a full written application by Monday 3rd February
  • All applicants are asked to provide a short video pitch, with links to upload provided in February
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a live video meeting with the UK Games Fund team in the first week of March

Application support seminars will take place on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th January. These sessions give detailed advice on what to include in your pitch video, along with suggested timings. It is highly recommended that you attend one of these support sessions if you have not applied before. Register HERE.

If you feel you need special support in making your application, email help@ukgamesfund.com or indicate via the written application form. In addition, you can also elect to participate in information sharing regarding under-representation.

For more information and to apply for round 6 funding click HERE.