War came to the Adobe Office building in Lehi on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. The battle that stormed the building was the first Grow Utah Ventures’ Utah Game Wars, a competition for local game studios to gain funding for their projects. The winners this year were Tripleslash Studios and Marv Entertainment.
Tripleslash Studios, based in Salt Lake City and founded entirely by students from the University of Utah (U of U), won the Best Developed Game and the Audience Choice award for Magnetic by Nature, earning the local studio a total of $10,500 in prize money.
“After this we’re going to take the game and do what we promised everyone,” said Brendan Wanlass, Lead Engineer on Magnetic by Nature and graduate from the U of U. “We’re going to bring it to Mac, PC and Linux, and we’re going develop a whole-scale version of the game with more features, more levels and more puzzles.”
Wanlass and the team behind Magnetic by Nature met while working on their senior capstone project for the U of U’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program. Four engineers and artists were selected to work together on their final project, which was Magnetic by Nature.
Marv Entertainment also took home the award for Best Undeveloped Game for their project “Club Dino.” The award earned the studio $15,000 to help with the development of the game.
The Utah Game Wars showcased the best of the best as only eight entrants were on display.
Magnetic by Nature
Games in the “Undeveloped” Category
Games were divided into two categories, “Developed” and “Undeveloped.” The original number of entries was over 40 different projects, but after a series of judging and evaluations, only a few made it to the final event.
The companies that made it to the final round were evaluated by judges in the field, including people from companies like Disney Interactive, Smart Bomb, Eat Sleep Play, EA Studios and even Utah Valley University (UVU). The game studios then had to present their projects to the judges in hopes of impressing them and winning the prize money.
The Utah Game Wars was organized and hosted by Grow Utah Ventures, UVU and Zion’s bank, and sponsored by other various Utah companies. The purpose of the event is to help encourage local game studios to build and grow in the state. Companies like Zion’s Bank recognize the growth and possibilities of the game industry as well as schools like UVU who want to help nurture the industry.