Student-made PlayStation 4 debuts at Pax

Student-made PlayStation 4 Games Debut At PAX, Coming To Online Stores

The young, new wave of game developers are getting steered towards developing for the PlayStation 4 as worldwide initiative PlayStation First, in partnership with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) and game studio Nnooo, puts to the front student creators and their game creations at the recently-concluded PAX Australia.

Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Australia, held last October 30, to November 1, is a huge gaming conference held yearly in different states in Australia. This year, held at Melbourne, Victoria, PAX Australia was able to see one stand by PlayStation First, AIE, and Nnooo that showcased demos of student-created games that are currently in development for the PlayStation 4, alongside blockbuster PlayStation 4 titles.

In a press release published at Capsule Computers, the PlayStation First partnership initiative is the first, and only program of its kind in Australia which seeks to equip PlayStation 4 enthusiasts and young, upcoming PlayStation 4 developers with bespoke training programs and tools like the PlayStation 4 Development Kits to be able to create PlayStation games. It preps developers and their games before they roll out their PlayStation creations on Sony’s online stores.

“The PlayStation First partnership with AIE and Nnooo provides students with the opportunity to be supported in an entrepreneurial setting while getting access to the required training and tools to begin developing products commercially. Students will gain the skills to create games for the PS4 system with the opportunity to publish their games under Nnooo, on the PlayStation Network.”

PlayStation First
PlayStation First partnership status is awarded by invitation-only to leading university courses and educational organisations. (via Playstation First)

Through the PlayStation First program, game development and technology students at the AIE were able to get their hands on PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita development tools that huge PS4 studios, such as Naughty Dog (studio behind The Last of Us and Uncharted) and Media Molecule (studio behind Little Big Planet and Tearaway Unfolded), use to create their own PlayStation games.

Showcased at the PlayStation First booth at the PAX Australia were eight student creators and four demos to their upcoming PlayStation games, Rumble Academy, Retrovision, Desperate Mile and Necroman.

Rumble Academy in action (via Big Paw Games)
Rumble Academy in action (via Big Paw Games)

Big Paw Games’ Robert Christian, the maker of Rumble Academy, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that it’s been surreal for him to be able to showcase his game next to world-renowned PlayStation titles like Unchared and the Street Fighter series. Actually, before getting invited to the PlayStation First program, their team was scrambling to finish Rumble Academy, in hopes of entering it to the PC gaming market. But it was just lucky that Nnooo discovered their game during one of their visits to the AIE.

“There’s kind of a lot less pressure on us now. We know there’ll actually be a place for our game on a marketplace where people will see us; it won’t just fall down this huge list of games on Steam.”

Retro Vision developer Kyle McKellar, a second year game development student in AIE, was also not eyeing the PlayStation 4 primarily when he developed his game. Actually, he shares that he was already ready to release it on iOS and Android when Nnooo got in touch with him.

“Retro Vision is a music based first person runner inspired by 80s pop culture and music. I was originally going to release the game on iOS and Android. I was actually going to release it the week that Nnooo got in contact with me. I then decided to postpone that and revamp the game with heaps on new content and features for PlayStation.”

Dr. Maria Stukoff, head of PlayStation First, says that the program is a great way to enable students and starting developers to create better games that will be able to tap a wider market, and will eventually help them establish their own studios and really pursue a career in the gaming industry.

“Today’s students are the next generation of game developers, and partnering them with an established and respected developer and publisher like Nnooo will help drive exciting new titles coming out of Australia. Through sharing knowledge, mentorship, equipment and the best opportunities for exposure, PlayStation First aims to give students the chance to cut their teeth on console game development early in their career.”

MCV Pacific reports that the PlayStation 4 development kits are, as of now, available to game development students at the AIE in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide, but PlayStation First is already making plans to make the PlayStation 4 development kits available in more cities across Australia.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]

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