Outside Games’ Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries launched on Steam

Outsider Games have announced that their supernatural, globe-trotting point-and-click adventure, Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries, is now available on Steam. The game was developed with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

After her father dies in suspicious circumstances, Jennifer attempts to use her childhood gift for talking to ghosts to call his spirit back. Unwittingly, the ghost recalled is that of Oscar Wilde, famous Irish playwright, whose secret affair with Jennifer’s father has bound his ghost to the locket.

Set at the start of the Jazz Age, Jennifer and Oscar investigate an international mystery; discovering a trail of murder and revolution, that leads them into conflict with secret government organisations, a British occult spy network, and the Irish Revolutionary Army.

In a thrilling, witty and melancholic adventure, Jennifer and Oscar uncover dark secrets, deal with the loss of a shared love and develop a deep friendship along the way.

Unlikely Revolutionaries is based on the comic book series from Atomic Diner, Jennifer Wilde, created by Robert Curley. The game’s beautiful, hand-drawn graphics stay true to its comic book roots.

“I started turning the graphic novel I worked on into a game over 5 years ago and it’s finally finished!” says Outsider Games founderStephen Downey. “Even while drawing the first panel, I knew the murder mystery plotline and meloncholy story would make a perfect Point & Click adventure, and started the long process of adapting the story, with the goal of aligning investigative gameplay with the design language of comics.

Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionariefeatures:

  • A comicbook twist on the traditional Point & Click inventory – collect illustrated notes in your sketchbook and use them to confront characters, prompt their memories and link clues together
  • Ability to play as both Jennifer and Oscar, and use their special skills to solve dialogue and classic inventory puzzle
  • Dazzling dialogue worthy of Oscar Wilde by award-winning Irish author, Maura McHugh
  • Fully illustrated in black and white ink tones by comic artists, with gorgeous hand-drawn animation 

Users can play Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries on Steam now.

NI Student Game Jam

The NI Student Game Jam will take place from Monday 24th October at 9am to Wednesday 26th October at 12 noon. The NI Student Game Jam is aimed at students attending a Regional College or University within Northern Ireland who have a passion for making video games.

Teams will be given a theme to base their game idea around, with teams uploading their game to The Pixel Mill Itch.io page. The game genre/platform is down to the teams to decide. Teams can use existing code/assets they already have or create something new from scratch, we just want to see new ideas. Throughout the two days teams will have an opportunity to speak to industry professionals for advice.

The NI Student Game Jam will be held remotely, but teams will be able to access facilities at their cooperating College or University. After games have been submitted teams will have an opportunity to present their game to the rest of the teams.

We encourage students who have an interest in video game but have never made a game before to take part. Students can form teams before the start of the Game Jam. However, if you do not have a team and would like to take please let us know and we will try to connect you with other individual participants or other teams at your Regional College or University.


Who can enter?
Students attending a Regional College or University in Northern Ireland. The participating Colleges and Universities are:

  • Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Northern Regional College
  • Southern Regional College
  • South-West Regional College
  • Ulster University, Belfast

How can I enter?
One person from each team should register their team using this form: https://bit.ly/3dJoKfP

Please note teams’ size is 5 maximum

Once you have been registered, participating teams will be informed of their main point of contact at the College/University that they attend and where, if possible, they can gain access to PC equipment.

Zoom links for the start and end of the Game Jam will be sent to each of the teams prior to the start.

If you have yet to find a team, please contact rory@northernirelandscreen.co.uk and we will try to match you with others also looking a team, or connect you in with existing teams at your college or university.

What is the schedule?

Monday 24th October

  • 9am – Kick-Off and theme reveal

Tuesday 25th October

  • 10am – Check-ins

Wednesday 26th October

  • 12noon – Games submitted to The Pixel Mill itch.io page
  • 1pm – 3pm – Team presentations

What is the theme?
Theme will be revealed at 9am on Monday 24th October

What can I make my game in?
Anything. Project can be 2D or 3D. Work with what you are most comfortable using.

What assets can I use?
The game should be developed during the jam, but you may use pre-existing code and can use whatever art and audio assets you have the legal right to use.

When should I submit my game?
While the jam concludes at 12:00 BST, there will be an additional hour on the clock (until 13:00 BST) that is just for submitting your game. We recommend uploading something early, and updating as you go! Once this concludes, all submissions will be shut – with no opportunities for late submissions!

What do we need to present?
For teams that are comfortable presenting, they will have 5mins to talk through their idea. There is no need to create slides/presentation, teams can talk over gameplay or images of their game.

What type of games do you want made?
Any type of game but we enjoyment, creativity, and presentation.

Is there a Discord/Slack I can join?
Yes! Teams that are entering will be added to The Pixel Mill Slack where a channel will be set up so that teams can post questions as they are developing.

Belfast XR Festival Announces Line-Up

Belfast XR Festival, supported by Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen, has announced the complete line-up for its inaugural programme showcasing the best of local and international immersive technology content.

The festival takes place for one day on Wednesday 9th November at The Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast as part of the 22nd Belfast Film Festival running from 3rd – 12th November. Its goal is to create an unmissable annual XR gathering that inspires storytelling.

Programmed by Deepa Mann-Kler, Belfast XR Festival Director, this year’s programme showcases a rich selection of works from creators working at the forefront of emerging technologies, including interactive virtual reality and screen-based installations.

The festival brings together 10 projects from countries across the world (Ireland, Canada, Poland, UK, Germany, Switzerland). Three projects are from Northern Ireland, and eight have lead artists that identify as women or with mixed-gender production teams. This year’s programme also shines a light on some of the most urgent social and political issues of our time, with works exploring vital topics such as the climate emergency, loneliness, and estrangement during lockdown.

The festival is also proud to showcase work by the BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Antonin Niclass. In Midnight Story narrated by BAFTA award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes. Also included is Genesis, by German filmmakers Maria and Joerg Courtial, in which 4.7 billion years of evolution are condensed into an intense 24-hour journey.

Deepa Mann-Kler, Director, Belfast XR Festival says: “We are thrilled to present the inaugural Belfast XR Festival, featuring projects by creators from all over the world and a strong presence of excellent Northern Irish talent. Belfast XR Festival highlights the enormous diversity and vibrancy of the ever-growing international immersive and expanded realities scene, from high-profile international filmmakers who are experimenting with new technologies, to new works from some of the most exciting emerging talent in the field. This year’s programme considers pertinent issues of our time from a hugely diverse range of perspectives and art forms.”

Michele Devlin, Director, Belfast Film Festival says: “BXRF is such an exciting new development. This festival is packed with engaging, new, and innovative ways to experience storytelling. We’re blown away by the quality of work being made for immersive and expanded reality platforms in Northern Ireland right now. The BXRF programme highlights this work and will excite audiences of all ages.”

Hugh Odling-Smee, Project Manager, Film Hub NI says: “Film Hub NI are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Belfast XR Festival. Cinema has always been at the forefront of innovation in screen technology, and we’re delighted to share this opportunity for exhibitors to engage and understand what immersive art means for the cherished collective audience experience. The brilliant Belfast XR Festival programme that is emerging shows that the principles of high-quality storytelling, design, music, and production will apply to XR expansion, just as they have to cinema since the late 19th century.”

Professor Paul Moore, Director, Future Screens NI says: “Future Screens NI is delighted to be supporting the inaugural Belfast XR Festival. It is a critical component in supporting the immersive eco system. It is a platform for content creators to share their work publicly and a chance for young people and the public to access high quality immersive experiences. It is not often that one can stand in both the present and the future at the same moment.”

Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen says: “We are delighted to support the Belfast XR Festival as part of Belfast Film Festival. This is a fantastic platform for local talent to showcase immersive virtual and augmented projects to the public. This is an exciting time for the interactive sector in Northern Ireland and we welcome continued support in this growing economy.”


Barclays x Ukie Mobile Games Growth Programme

Ukie in partnership with Barclays Games and Esports has launched its Mobile Games Growth Programme. This is a brand new business support programme to give UK mobiel companies the skills and expertise they need to grow.

The Mobile Games Growth programme is a dedicated and prestigious programme for a cohort of 10-15 CEOs and leaders of promising UK mobile games developers, with entrepreneurial outlooks, looking to improve their business skills and knowledge. Participating businesses will:

  • Learn the vital skills required to scale their businesses
  • Get expert advice on: Setting the foundations of growth: mission, vision and strategy; business models, in-game economies and platforms; funding and finance; game launches and user acquisition
  • Learn directly from and build their network with proven industry leaders

Applicants will need to show an entrepreneurial outlook and will be asked to show how their businesses have the ambition and potential for growth. Some of the areas that will be considered in applications are:

  • is your business incorporated;
  • have you already assembled a team;
  • have you already released a game or have a game in production;
  • has your business generated revenue or raised funding;

Participants will take part in:

  • 12  x 3 hour workshops – Each workshop will focus on a particular key topic. They will also include a keynote from an industry leader who will talk about their experiences of scaling a business, based around the theme for the workshop.
  • 1 x Inductions and 1x wrap up sessions and some additional networking opportunities
  • 2 hours of one to one coaching / mentoring dedicated to their businesses

The core areas that will be covered are:

  • Setting the foundations of growth: Mission, vision and strategy
  • Business models and platforms – deeper dives and insights into the main business models and how to get the best out of them
  • Funding and finance – what the best type of funding is for you business and where to look for it
  • User Acquisition – data, ASO and effective game launches

The initial induction and masterclasses will be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 15th November and all applicants should please make sure that they are available to attend this day.

CLICK HERE to apply.

The deadline for applications is Friday 28th October.

Games Talks Live

Games Talks Live is hosting a series of short talks interspersed with general networking to encourage collaboration and communication between local developers and visiting guests on Thursday 27th October at Ormeau Baths. Shahid Ahmad, former PlayStation Director Strategic Content, will be the keynote speaker.

Shahid has been named Games Industry International’s Top 10 Persons of the Year and 100 Top Influencers in the British Games Industry, Develop’s 25 People that Changed Games, MCV’s Brit List 100 and received Develop’s Publishing Hero award for his team’s role in opening PlayStation up to developers and for commissioning No Man’s Sky, Hellblade, The Persistence, Velocity 2X, Hotline Miami, Rogue Legacy and over a hundred others. The Strategic Content initiative helped to establish countless developer and publisher success stories.

The in-person speakers announced so far are:

The Business track talks will run from 3pm-6pm which everyone is welcome to attend, but is intended for those responsible for pitching projects, sourcing new business, growing existing business etc. General talks will run from 6pm-9pm.

The talks will be streamed live on YouTube if you’re unable to attend in person; link available by signing up for a (free) livestream ticket, but there aren’t any hybrid meeting opportunities for those watching virtually.

Each evening will have an array of further speakers from local developers, visiting publishers and others to be announced nearer the time. Speaking sessions will be interspersed with networking breaks to encourage everyone to get to know as many people as possible and foster potential future collaborations.

The golden rule of the event is there should be no recruitment activity – even from companies that are kindly sponsoring / speaking.

Book your place here.

The Pixel Mill Trainee Programmers 2022

The Pixel Mill Trainee Programmers 2022 is an industry-led new entrant paid training programme (RLW) that seeks to find and develop the best new and emerging talent within the video game and immersive industries, providing them with training and live project experience.

The Pixel Mill Trainee Programme is split into two parts:

  • Bootcamp: A 4-month development programme for 6 participants, where they will receive Unity training as a programmer, workshops on different aspects of game development, as well as working together to create, develop and publish 2 short video games over 8 weeks.
  • Trainee Positions: After completing the Bootcamp, participants will have the opportunity to interview for the 3 trainee positions. Those who receive a trainee position will be placed with video game and immersive studios within Northern Ireland. During the programme, participants will be moved between studios so that they can maximise the experience of working on live projects and different workflows. Companies may be based in The Pixel Mill itself or at their own premises. Those who do not receive a trainee position will receive further support.

The aim of the programme is to find motivated people from across all interactive content disciplines that have programming skills. Individuals applying should come from a software development background, but no specific academic qualifications are needed. However, you should be able to demonstrate your ability and knowledge through professional experience or personal projects. More importantly, we want people who can bring passion for making interactive content, be that video games or immersive, and have strong problem-solving skills.

Deadline for applications is 12 Noon on Friday 21st October.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE.

Business Development Workshop

The Pixel Mill is hosting a Biz Dev for Indies workshop on Thursday 20th October from 2pm-4pm with Chris Filip. The workshop will be held remotely, however participants are welcome to join at The Pixel Mill.

The workshop will cover approaching business development for new and existing game development studios. From attending trade shows and online events to etiquette when having publisher meetings, this workshop will blend information and interactivity. Bring your questions, and keep in mind we’re all looking to learn so your experiences and ideas will be very useful! Chris is one of the business mentors at The Pixel Mill, with previous experience working as a Game Designer and Producer, as well as helping run the Tentacle Zone and Game Anglia. He currently works with Creative UK, managing their games business support and funding programmes.

The workshop is free to attend but these will be limited space to attend in person at The Pixel Mill. If you are interested in attending the workshop please email rory@northernirelandscreen.co.uk.

The Belfast XR Festival is open for submissions

The Belfast XR Festival kicks off on Wednesday 9th November at The Black Box in Belfast to showcasing the best of local and international immersive technology content. The Belfast XR Festival is part of the Belfast Film Festival running from 3rd to 13th November. Its ambition is to create an unmissable annual gathering for XR that inspires storytelling.

The underlying ethos of the Belfast XR Festival is to bring virtual and augmented reality content to new audiences locally. The festival aims to have 8 virtual reality stories and 2 augmented reality experiences.

Deepa Mann-KlerFestival Director said: “We don’t want to limit ourselves to the range of amazing talent that is out there, so have no specific theme for the festival. If you have something that you are proud of, that you think audiences will enjoy then please share with us.”

“We are not explicitly seeking new work to premiere and are happy if content has already featured at previous festivals. We want to see a full range of standalone content from 360, AR and VR with a maximum runtime of 15 minutes of each piece to maximise audience journey and their ability to experience multiple pieces in one hour. We will be opting for static content with little interaction or the need for the audience members to move as this will provide a better user experience as well as simplifying the onboarding process.”

Entry fees are waived for small creators and those from underrepresented and/or underprivileged backgrounds.

To submit please click HERE.

The submission deadline is Saturday 30th July.

Interactive work placement opportunity

Northern Ireland Screen is partnering with a range of studios working in Northern Ireland’s interactive sector (video games and immersive) to offer Interactive Work Placements to applicants who have recently completed an interactive related course.

The Interactive Work Placements are for 12 months, full time and paid (Real Living Wage), with the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting projects in Northern Ireland.

The Interactive Work Placements are open to applicants who have completed their FE/HE course within the last two years. There are nine placement opportunities available with a number of local interactive and gaming companies. Applicants can apply for multiple placements if they meet the essential criteria.

Deadline: Friday 22nd July at 12noon

For further information and details on the placement scheme please visit the company placements section of our website.

Teams have been announced for Tranzfuser 2022

This year there was a huge surge in applications to Tranzfuser, with the quality bar yet again raised by innovative and creative graduate teams of developers. The Tranzfuser review panel selected 22 teams, based at Local Hubs right across the UK.

The competition sees a cohort of 22 graduate game development teams enrolling on the summer-long programme of entrepreneurship development, with budget allocation along side hard deadlines – all designed to replicate as close as possible the ‘real world’ experiences of running an independent studio.

Each year since Tranzfuser launched in 2016 we have seen entrepreneurial collaboration across our network flourish and adapt to the growing market. This year, applications ranged from VR projects exploring innovative gameplay, to retro metroidvania PC games.

Tranzfuser 2022 will see the teams invited to participate in various online and in-person events, taking the best learning from the past few years and applying it to the way of working of today. Throughout the summer-long programme, the teams will have access to mentors from the indie game dev sector as well as a structured roster of learning to participate in. Taking the approach of giving the teams the freedom to explore their projects as well as their team dynamic whilst retaining a framework to the programme has proven to be highly effective over the years.

Deborah FarleyHead of Talent and Outreach, said: “Whittling the applications down to the 22 teams selected was no easy task; the talent, passion and ingenuity displayed in all applications received is to be highly commended and should be celebrated as sign of things to come for the UK-wide sector. As ever, we’re delighted to be partnering with our network of Local Hubs as they each offer their base of teams unique tailored support.”

The teams selected to take part in Tranzfuser 2022 are:

As with every year of the competition, the teams will be invited to participate in a consumer-facing showcase towards the end of the programme with the further opportunity to pitch for further funding support from the UK Games Fund.

Last year’s winners Solar Flare LondonMeteorite Media and Episod Studios all recently exhibited at WASD.

For more information about this year’s teams, including details of their games, visit the Teams page.