Epic's 'Make Something Unreal Live' contestants to create Fighting Fantasy iOS games

Having recently optioned rights to the Fighting Fantasy series of books from Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson, Epic Games is putting an interesting spin on its Make Something Unreal Live contest.

Here's how it works: four different start-up studios will each select one book from the fantasy series and make a game for Epic, to be released on the App Store sometime this spring. The winning team walks away with a free commercial Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS.

The books chosen are The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, The Citadel of Chaos, Deathtrap Dungeon and Armies of Death. Each title will premiere at Gadget Show Live 2012, which takes place from April 10 through April 15 in Birmingham, UK.
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Make Something Unreal Live Sharpens Its Sword with 'Fighting Fantasy' IP
New iOS games based on cherished adventure book lore are whetted by senior industry mentors and will debut at Gadget Show Live 2012

CARY, N.C. and LUTON, UK (February 8, 2012) – Epic Games, Inc. and Train2Game have secured the rights for the iOS games of Make Something Unreal Live to be based on the "Fighting Fantasy" series of role-playing gamebooks created by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. More than 70 books, along with magazines, novels, board games, playing cards and collectibles, are steeped in the magic of the thirty-year-old "Fighting Fantasy" franchise.

Make Something Unreal Live is an independent game development challenge that will enable four start-up studios to release their games on the App Store this spring. Under the "Fighting Fantasy" agreement, each team selects one book from the adventure series to serve as inspiration for its new App. The books chosen for Make Something Unreal Live are "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain," "The Citadel of Chaos," "Deathtrap Dungeon" and "Armies of Death."

Teams must adhere to intellectual property (IP) guidelines and submit regular milestone submissions under the leadership of senior industry veterans serving as guest mentors. Advisors include Tony Bickley, COO, Deep Red Studios; Mike Gamble, European Licensing Manager, Epic Games; Rik Alexander, Founder, AppCrowd; and Pete Hickman, Head of Production, Mediatonic.

The new "Fighting Fantasy" games will be revealed and refined in a spectacular real-time conclusion at Gadget Show Live 2012, the premier consumer show taking place April 10-15, 2012 at the Birmingham NEC in Birmingham, UK.

At the final showdown, more than 100,000 attendees will see teams unmask their creations and prepare them for final release, with regular project status updates on the Make Something Unreal Live stage along the way.

"Steve Jackson and I are delighted to see our 'Fighting Fantasy' gamebooks being developed as iOS games by new teams of talented and enthusiastic students. It will be really interesting to see how our IP will be captured and interpreted for the iOS platform," said Ian Livingstone, "Fighting Fantasy" co-creator. "This competition is a great way to showcase the creative talent of a new generation. The evolving games industry is constantly on the lookout for design innovation and new ways of playing. I am really looking forward to playing one of my books as a game.

These freshmen studios sourced from the Train2Game and Epic Game Jam are building their games using Epic's Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that has been installed and used on more than 1.2 million unique machines. The winning team will walk away with a full source, commercial Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS.

About Make Something Unreal Live
Make Something Unreal Live is an independent game development competition co-sponsored by Epic Games and Train2Game. The unprecedented event takes place over the course of six months and will culminate at Gadget Show Live 2012 to be held at April 10-15, 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. As part of Make Something Unreal Live, four new iOS games based on the "Fighting Fantasy" adventure series will be released on the App Store. The winner of Make Something Unreal Live will receive a commercial, full source Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS. "Like" Make Something Unreal Live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/makesomethingunreal, and follow @Train2Game and @UnrealEngine on Twitter.

About Train2Game
Created in 2008, Train2Game offers accredited courses in Games Design, Development, Art and Animation, certified by leading industry body TIGA. Train2Game is a blended-learning organisation designed to fast track the best, most ambitious and motivated students into the games industry through comprehensive, expert-supervised courses. A big part of this is coordinating with the best developers in the country and providing top tier talented graduates for placements in the workplace. This year will see its first graduates enter the workplace after years of training.

About Unreal Engine 3
Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics, best-of-breed tools and scalability across multiple platforms. Unreal Engine 3's highly mature toolset and content pipeline consistently evolve along with its advanced mobile features, multi-core processor support, optimizations for numerous platforms and massive world support. Unreal Engine 3 is designed to accelerate developers' productivity for computer and video games, mobile games and applications, training simulations, 3D visualizations, digital films and animated entertainment. Integrated with two dozen leading middleware technologies, Unreal Engine 3 holds more than 20 technology awards, including eight Game Developer Front Line Awards and four Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Additional information on Unreal Engine 3 can be obtained at www.unrealengine.com.

About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its "Unreal" series, including "Unreal Tournament 3" for PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. The first two games in Epic's "Gears of War" franchise have sold more than 13 million copies and won more than 50 game of the year awards. The third installment, "Gears of War 3," sold more than 3 million copies within its first week of release, catapulting the franchise beyond $1 billion in lifetime sales. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 holds more than 20 industry technology awards and powers many bestselling games. Additional information about Epic can be obtained at www.epicgames.com.

Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 3, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Engine, UE3, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.