University of Essex Games Hub celebrates win for Sketchbook Games’ ‘Lost Words’ at Gamescom show

Mark Backler of Sketchbook Games with the Gamescom UK Game of the Show judges from UKIE, the Associa

Mark Backler of Sketchbook Games with the Gamescom UK Game of the Show judges from UKIE, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment. Picture: UKIE Estoria Caption: Game screenshot - Estoria Credit: Sketchbook Games Diary 2 Caption: Game screenshot Izzys diary Credit: Sketchbook Games - Credit: Archant

Developers at the Games Hub run by the University of Essex in Colchester are celebrating after winning the UK Game of the Show award at a major international event.

A screenshot from Lost Words of the fantasy land of Estoria.
Picture: Sketchbook Games

A screenshot from Lost Words of the fantasy land of Estoria. Picture: Sketchbook Games - Credit: Archant

The title is awarded at the Gamescom trade fair, held annually in Cologne, to the best UK-developed, but as yet unreleased, game on show.

This year’s winner was Lost Words, developed by Sketchbook Games whose founder, Mark Backler, joined the hub – a free 40-week development programme for aspiring game and app developers – in 2015.

Lost Words involves the story of an aspiring young writer, Izzy, and is set between the pages of her diary and her imaginary fantasy land of Estoria. It is written by Rhianna Pratchett, who has previously worked on games including Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia.

Mark said: “The team and I are delighted to have received the award for UK Game of the Show. There were loads of great games there so we feel very lucky to have been chosen. We’re currently looking for a publisher so to be awarded this in front of so many different publishers was really great.

A screenshot from Lost Words showing Izzy�s diary.
Picture: Sketchbook Games

A screenshot from Lost Words showing Izzy�s diary. Picture: Sketchbook Games - Credit: Archant

“The Games Hub is an awesome space to work in and the talks from various industry experts and mentorship from Steve Huckle has been brilliant. It’s made a huge difference to the development of Lost Words.”

Steve Huckle, founder of the Games Hub Founder, said: “Another fantastic and incredibly deserved award for Mark and Lost Words. It shows how exciting the future is for not only the Games Hub but for all the people and teams taking part!”

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Applications for the next Games Hub programme are open until the end of September.

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