Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski, former Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux and Eidos president Ian Livingstone are among the games industry luminaries who have signed up to mentor emerging British talent at this year's Make Something Unreal competition.
They'll coach the four start-up teams that have made it into the final, which takes place at The Gadget Show Live at Birmingham NEC between 10th and 15th April.
The teams, who won their spots at the event by placing at last year's Epic Game Jam event, have been tasked with choosing a Fighting Fantasy book and turning it into an iOS game using Epic's Unreal tech.
Epic has confirmed the games' final titles: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters, The Citadel of Chaos: Dire Consequences, Deathtrap Dungeon and Armies of Death: Rise of Agglax.
The full panel of experts who'll cast their eyes over the contestants' efforts is as follows:
- Ian Baverstock, founding partner, Tenshi Ventures, and advisory board member, Game Developers Conference
- Cliff Bleszinski, design director, Epic Games
- Jon Hare, founder, Tower Studios
- Steve Jackson, co-creator, Fighting Fantasy series and professor of game design, Brunel University
- Ian Livingstone OBE, co-creator, Fighting Fantasy series and life president, Eidos
- Professor Carsten Maple, director of business education interaction, TIGA
- Peter Molyneux OBE, founder, 22 Cans
- Dr. Jo Twist, chief executive officer, The UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE)
- Jon Yates, director of product development, City & Guilds
Jackson and Livingstone will pick the winner on 15th April, who will take home a full source, commercial Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS.
"Fighting Fantasy has in the past been used by school teachers as inspiration for creative writing exercises but this is the first time the teaching exercise has been to create a fully-featured video game," commented Jackson.
"Ian and I are impressed with what we've seen of the students' work so far, and we are looking forward to seeing the final results."