Big Chip winner’s appi day

Nigel Little from Distinctive Developments (centre), receives the company's Big Chip award from Vision and Media's Enda Carey (lef) and commedian John Thomson
Nigel Little from Distinctive Developments (centre), receives the company's Big Chip award from Vision and Media's Enda Carey (lef) and commedian John Thomson
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Games developers from Sheffield have won the coveted Game of the North Award at the prestigious Big Chip Digital Industries Awards in Manchester.

City centre-based Distinctive Developments had two games – Hockey Nations and Dead Runner – on the short list, at Big Chip, which is run by digital sector trade association Manchester Digital and was opened up to businesses across the whole of the North for the first time this year.

The prize winning Hockey Nations game was the first full six on six Ice Hockey game for the iPhone and iPod touch and is shortly to be released for Android phones.

The game incorporates real player movement animation using motion capture and was named one of the top 500 apps by the Sunday Times earlier this year.

The latest version of the game allows players to pick teams from 18 countries or create their own teams, play at one of seven levels, ranging from practice to world league and use a mobile phone’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to take on other human players who have the game among the apps on their phones.

Distinctive Developments’ other Big Chip shortlisted game, Dead Runner, is a first person game in which the player has to negotiate a haunted forest and was hailed by as “A somewhat creepy, yet exhilarating, almost Blair Witch like experience.”

Manchester Digital chairman and Big Chip organiser, Shaun Fensom, said: “It’s been a great year for the Big Chip Awards and, although times are tough, digital organisations, freelancers and agencies from across the North of England have stepped up to the challenge, providing us with the strongest Big Chip shortlist yet.

“One of the real pleasures of organising an event like this is watching it grow each year, reflecting the continuing development of the digital sector across the region.

“I believe we have established the North as a world showcase for how the digital sector can help drive economic growth whilst creating forward-thinking creative products and services and it’s vital that we celebrate its achievements.”

Distinctive Developments was founded in 1994 to develop games for the Playstation One and Nintendo 64 games consoles.

In 2001 it switched its emphasis after seeing growing opportunities in the market for games for mobile devices. The move paid off, and today the company lays claim to being the largest independent mobile games development studio in Europe.

The company develops games for all mobile platforms and social networks, includes leading games publishers like Sega and Electronic Arts among its clients and has developed mobile versions of FIFA football, Tomb Raider, Sonic the Hedgehog and Guitar Hero.