Broadcaster continues drive with UK indie studios at the helm

Channel 4 Education details newest game projects

Channel 4 has today detailed the new titles that are part of its continued drive to use high quality games to deliver educational messages to teenagers. A number of UK indies are behind the new games, including Tuna Technologies, Preloaded, Fish in a Bottle and BAFTA winning team Littleloud.

As well as confirming the new games, Channel 4 Education has also revealed its plans for the following year, for which it is currently sourcing UK independent studios to pitch game concepts.

The broadcaster’s Education department is renowned for its commitment to commissioning high-quality, indie-developed games that meet with its public service remit. Previous titles published by Channel 4 have enjoyed substantial critical success, and in doing so have gone a long way to defy the assumption that games with educational credentials lack in terms of creativity, gameplay and originality.

The games set for release over summer 2010 are designed to compliment the following themes, each conceived for this year’s output: politics, philosophy, belief and emotional resilience. Some also meet with Channel 4 Education’s perennial themes of science, history and sex education.

The first game to see release this year will be June’s Trafalger Origins; an online Flash naval warfare game created by Preloaded that explores the cultural diversity present at the Battle of Trafalger and the vital role of multiculturalism to Britain victory on the high seas. Made public in the same month, and on a similar theme is Fish in a Bottle’s WWII air-force game 303 Squadron, which charts the importance of a band of Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain.

The following month Channel 4 Education is to release Bow Street Runner developer Littleloud’s political game The Curfew, which addresses issues around the civil liberties of youngsters in the form of a video lead adventure game. Also in July, Zombie Cow’s tongue-in-cheek look at sex education Privates offers a cheery parody of military shooters, as revealed in the September 2009 issue of Develop.

Additionally, in September Channel 4 is to release Cover Girl, developed by Tuna Technologies. The online title explores issues of beauty, media literacy and image manipulation, and parodies the role of Photoshop in the mass media and it’s effect on young adults.

Channel 4 Education is also set to launch and number of mutlimedia projects that combine web content, gameplay elements, user generated content and video output, included youth campaigning tool Battlefront 2, ‘teenage survival guide’ Super Me and web comic Alien Ink.

At the same time as preparing the launch of the above games, Channel 4 has also detailed its themes for the 2011 education games, and is for approximately one more month accepting submissions for game concepts from indies. Those interested in the themes of financial literacy, mental health, science, history and survival can view Channel 4 Education’s open brief, and make submissions at the 4Producers website. Commissioning will begin in July this year.

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