GameHack winner pledges to keep developing multi-screen iPhone/iPad app

in Games (E)

[] Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom - Lightwood Games have announced that the award-winning entry they created at the UK's first GameHack event will continue to be developed. The two-person team won prizes for "Most Innovative Idea" and "Best Use of Mobile" at the hackathon, held at Pinewood Studios on April 28th-29th. GameHack challenged participants to design and develop an original game in just 24 hours.

Lightwood's submission, "Plasma Party," extends a simple "lights out" game concept in a unique way, using multiple iOS devices connected via Bluetooth to spread the playing area onto several screens. Up to 16 iPhones, iPads and iPod touches can be laid out in any combination to form a sprawling multi-touch playing surface.

Two to four players then compete to be the first to touch all the lights in their own assigned color. Gameplay is a real-world social experience, which often involves intertwining limbs and digits with nearby opponents as you battle to reach lights in the far corners.

The app will be released as "Plasma Party" and a version has now been submitted to Apple for review. "We were absolutely stunned by the number of 'wow' comments our app provoked at GameHack", said Lightwood's Chris Newman. "I'm truly flattered to have our effort recognised not only by the judges but also by fellow developers, many of whom spoke to us to insist that we must release this game. It felt like we'd have an angry mob on the doorstep if we didn't carry on developing it!".

The first release of the app will be functionally identical to the version shown at GameHack, minus a few bugs that slipped through due to the competition's time constraint. The Lightwood Games team are already working on an update to the game, which will include new game modes as well as the ability to use connected devices as a large, customisable, scrolling message board.

They're also looking beyond this game. "We have quite a few ideas that can be implemented in a similar way to Plasma Party", said Newman. "We are also talking to other developers about the possibility of creating an SDK using this technique so that anyone can produce their own multi-screen games using our code."

GameHack was organised by TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, and BlueVia, the global developer platform from Telefonica. For winning "Best Use of Mobile", Lightwood received a 500 electronics voucher courtesy of BlueVia. The "Most Innovative Idea" award was sponsored by TechHub, with the prize being a year's membership to their community in London.

Lightwood Games is a software developer based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Formed in 1999, they have created web and mobile software solutions for clients around the world. Now concentrating primarily on iOS development, they have created and published a number of puzzle games, including the world's first multi-player word search game, Word Search Party, and multi-player jigsaw puzzle, Jigsaw Party. Copyright (C) 1999-2012 Lightwood Consultancy Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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