Squillamorph has now been launched on Steam’s Early Access platform, giving gamers the world over the opportunity to discover, play, and get involved with the game as it evolves. This is the latest computer game to come out of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Incubator Studio – an enterprise initiative based at UCA Farnham to support emerging games developers.
Steam is the ultimate online destination for playing, discussing, and creating games and this release marks a significant watershed moment in the game's development and in delivering their unique game to market.
Squillamorph is an action-packed 2D pixel art platform game, which follows a small parasitic creature able to possess the enemies it faces. There are several unique selling points to the game including, the precision and amount of artwork, the fluidity of movement, and the variety of gameplay scenarios. But the main selling point is the key player mechanic, which enables you to infest and then take control of enemies in the game.
James Barrow, Connor Wright and Sarah Buettner came up with the concept for Squillamorph back in 2017 as part of their BA (Hons) Games Arts final major project.
“We came up with the idea for Squillamorph because we all wanted to make a game with an interesting and unique design. There are so many games we’ve played where we wished we could play the game as the cool enemy character, so taking control of the enemies became the central feature of the game,” explained James.
The three of them were successfully accepted to the Incubator Studio the year after graduation, where they worked on the current iteration of the game. James confesses that he learnt a huge amount during this development process and wonders how far along the game would be without this help.
“It gave us support that would have been harder to gain on our own, in the form of industry contacts and business advice. It also gave us a dedicated studio space to work in. This enabled us to develop the game and bounce ideas off each other in the same place every day. Without the Incubator Studio, Squillamorph may not have been developed as far and would not have progressed as quickly as it has,” said James.
The team grew up playing games like Zelda and Pokémon “I loved the journey of playing a hero finding his way in an imaginative world,” said Connor.
“I was more influenced by the Transformers: War for and Fall of Cybertron games,” explained James. “I just loved exploring the world, which felt so alive and became invested in its story. These games inspired me, so now I endeavour to create worlds which others can enjoy and become invested in.”
With all this passion for gaming, which started at a young age, neither James, Sarah or Connor ever considered games design could be a genuine career choice.
“At school, to imagine a world where we could make our own games seemed unobtainable at the time,” said James.
But, meeting on the BA Games Arts degree at UCA Farnham, they realised that they finally had an outlet for their passion, and a career in the games industry was a real prospect.
Sarah and Connor are now pursuing their own careers in the gaming industry, with Connor hoping to use the experience he gained developing Squillamorph to have his own career as an artist working on other games, whilst James has begun setting up a business to bring Squillamorph to market.
For other UCA students looking to submit their game to the Incubator Studio, James has this piece of advice: “make sure you enter with a well thought out plan and stick to it. We’ve learnt a huge amount during development, but perhaps the most important thing we’ve learnt was the importance of a vision and plan.”
Visit the STEAM website to get instant access and start playing Squillamorph.
For more info visit www.squillamorph.com
To learn more about kickstarting your gaming career visit the UCA Animation, Computing and Games course pages.