• Sheffield Hallam's PlayStation® VR research project ends with a celebratory week of events

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    January 21, 2019
    Sheffield Hallam University will host multiple gaming events this week as a two-year virtual reality (VR) project comes to an end. 

    The University has been leading the EU 'REVEAL' project since it began in 2017 and has led to two VR games being developed for Sony's Playstation®4 console.

    Steel Minions, Hallam's in-house games studio, released The Chantry - a game based inside the residence of pioneering scientist Edward Jenner last year and is now in the final stages of developing A Night at the Forum, based on the Augustus Forum in Rome. 

    This week, both games will be on show at Sheffield Hallam as part of a developer event organised by regional industry body Game Republic (GR). 

    The GRVR event will include special talks and discussions from the cutting edge of virtual and augmented reality development. This will include industry talks about the development of high-profile VR games, as well as presentations from games developer Hammerhead VR on the state of the market, and on immersive storytelling from Realised Realities.

    Jamie Sefton, Game Republic, said: “Our region is a great place for developers and researchers working in games. There is a long heritage of games in the north of England and a huge amount of talent, so it’s no surprise that it is becoming a hotbed for innovation in new gaming technologies.”

    At the event, researchers from the University will also present some findings from the project including how to reduce motion sickness in VR, and they will also announce the release of open-source materials from the project which can be freely used by other developers. 

    Later in the week, Sheffield Hallam will play host to the Global Game Jam, in which developers from across the world attempt to create brand new gaming experiences in just 48 hours. The REVEAL project is making the virtual assets for Edward Jenner’s 18th century Georgian home available to those taking part in the competition as part of the event. 

    Tom Battey, game designer in residence at the University and host of the Global Game Jam event, said: “The Global Game Jam is a huge online event in the gaming calendar and we’re welcoming students and professionals to come together at the University to take part in an inspiring, collaborative event. At Hallam we’re really proud of our games courses, and this week of events is a great showcase of all the hard work both our staff and our students have put in.”

    "We, as an institution, are proud to have one of the best computer games courses in the country and this week of events is the latest success story from our University."

    Earlier this year, it was revealed by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) that the UK's gaming industry is estimated to be worth £3.86bn - more than video and music combined.

    The University’s collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe was shortlisted for a major award in 2018. The partnership was in the running to be named the 'Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration' at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

    Meanwhile, under the PlayStation®First academic programme, Steel Minions continues to be the only university studio in the UK to publish its own PlayStation® games, helping to grow Sheffield's long-established reputation as a leading area for game development and attracting initiatives like the National Videogame Museum (NVM) and BGI (British Games Institute) to the region, further highlighting Hallam and the region's role as a leading area in one of the country's major industries.

    Sheffield Hallam University is a driver of economic growth, addressing long-term challenges, attracting investment and narrowing the skills gap within the region and beyond.

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