Telefilm Canada has announced the four round 2 finalists of its Great Canadian Video Game Competition, with academia-led Mindhabits Trainer
and Hothead's Swarm!
leading the pack, and all receiving a cash award to develop their prototypes.
The four finalists of the contest also include Big Blue Bubble's Hobby Shop
and Cerebral Vortex's Ambush! Trivia
. Each of the finalists will receive up to $250,000 to produce a playable prototype of their game, and will develop commercialization and marketing plans to attract other financing and private investment.
The projects were chosen at this year's Game Developers Conference by an industry jury including Yannis Mallat of Ubisoft Montreal, Ron Moravek of Electronic Arts and Kelly Zmak of Radical Entertainment.
, one of the games being led by University of California in San Diego AI researcher and Hothead 'advanced technology expert' Dr. Mike Hayward, is described as an "environmentally-themed comedy adventure game" in which players lead a herd of 'swarmites' to tackle environmental problems across a polluted planet.
Similarly, Mindhabits' Mindhabits Trainer
is based on the research of psychology professor Dr. Mark Baldwin, in which players enter a series of challenges which the developers say helps reduce stress and think positively. The challenges include identifying smiling faces in a crowd of frowns, hoping to teach players to focus on the friendly rather than threatening.
Said Telefilm Canada executive director Wayne Clarkson, “The level of talent and entrepreneurship shown by Canadian independent game developers has been nothing short of amazing. We believe these four Round 2 winners best meet the criteria of the Competition, and we are excited to see how their prospects will progress over the next several months.”