Four Nottingham Trent University students who have set up their own games development company during their placement year are to reveal their first smartphone application (app) at this year's GameCity festival.
Computer science students, John Bradshaw, Dan Footitt, Joe Hastings and Joe Sarsfield launched Angry Pirate Productions in September 2011, after beginning their placement at Nottingham Trent University's enterprise and entrepreneurship centre, The Hive. The company creates mobile apps for the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone markets.
After just a few months of hard work, they are now ready to launch their first app, iWrangle, a full 3d game for the iPhone and iPad combining adventure game and puzzle elements, in which players drive around in search of their sheep and return them to their pen.
Their placement has been made possible by the Enterprise Inc programme, which allows students to spend a year working on their own business idea, rather than taking a placement in industry. Participants are based at The Hive and have access to seminars, training, office space and mentoring. They are also eligible for a bursary dependent upon their involvement and participation on the programme.
Student entrepreneur, Joe Sarsfield, said: "We've joined The Hive instead of taking up individual placements because we would like experience in the games industry but we want to bring our game ideas and company name into the public eye.
"This experience so far has been fantastic, we've been able to see all stages of commercial game development first hand. We've had some challenges, such as optimising the game to run on a mobile phone and making it completely bug free, but we've learnt a lot about game design by going right from concept through to actually releasing a game to the market. We're also gaining valuable experience in running a small business and having to manage our own cash flow and time."
iWrangle will be launched at GameCity 6 on Friday 28 October and the app will be available to download free from the app store in early November. It will include the entire first environment and a premium version is currently in development, with more maps and environments. There are also further apps in the pipeline, with the next to be released on to the Windows Phone market by Christmas, and a role playing game planned for the iPhone next year.
Phil Clarke, student enterprise adviser at The Hive, said: "The team has shown tremendous dedication to the development of their business and have worked really hard to get their product ready for the GameCity festival. They now have the foundations of an excellent business which they can build upon throughout this year and beyond."
Source: Nottingham Trent University