Rustbreaker brings more Games Academy success

16 February 2021
A game art still of a large tank in a rocky desert

Game Design MA students Max, Christopher and Jake – aka Game Developing team Knights of Borria – have been awarded development funding by Tranzfuser for their post-apocalyptic game Rustbreaker. It’s the second year in a row that a team from Falmouth has been successful.

Tranzfuser supports some of the most promising graduate game developers in the UK, helping teams take their games from concept and prototyping through to publishing. They’ve given Rustbreaker a vote of confidence, placing Max, Christopher and Jake in a position of strength, providing them with funding to launch as a fully-fledged games studio.

The game itself is a self-described ‘obscene blend of Mad Max and FTL’. Players must construct their own unique trawler from scavenged metal, directing a crew in battles of tactics and mass-destruction. Or, as the game’s Twitter page says: ‘We like guns, oigz and spikes.’

According to Max, the Game Design MA provided the creative encouragement needed to come up with such a game. “Studying the MA definitely gave me the space to experiment with new and unconventional ideas. It allowed me to hone my skills and broaden my interests significantly.” Christopher agrees, writing that the space the course provides for students to “make mistakes” was a crucial facet to his development. “I see it as being able to try experimental designs or new things without fearing that they won’t work out. I think that has been invaluable to my personal growth as a developer.”

The course also made the team aware of Tranzfuser and the potential to gain funding for their work. The team believes that the MA “opened up several avenues for making crucial contacts within the industry. As a result, we've been able to meet several experienced and extremely helpful people that have helped us get a foot in the door of the industry.”

Studying the MA definitely gave me the space to experiment with new and unconventional ideas.

Jake was quick to add that “allowing students the chance to work in an environment similar to a real game development job makes them incredibly prepared for applying for future game development jobs. The constant creation of games gave us plenty of work to put into a portfolio.”

The Games Academy’s success rolls on for another year – but what next for Rustbreaker and its development?

“Receiving the funding has tided us over during the crucial development period, where we polish up the game and pitch it to publishers” the team says. The Knights of Borria will be seeking further funding for the game’s development which could enable them “to take it straight to market” – an opportunity that the team is understandably excited by. 

Director of the Games Academy, Dr Douglas Brown, is incredibly proud of Falmouth’s continued success. “Winning Tranzfuser funding sets our students up for success in the industry they dream of joining and gets them taken seriously by potential investors and employers. The Knights of Borria is a real indie dev team now. It’s a nice bonus that winning also produces games like Rustbreaker, which are genuinely a blast to play!

“We’ve just heard future rounds of Tranzfuser will feature challenge briefs on topics like sustainability, which aligns nicely with the ways we’ve been developing the department. So, I’m confident we’ll see even more success in this arena in the future.”

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