Sheffield Hallam University releases world’s first student PS4 game

Students created PieceFall at Sheffield Hallam University
Students created PieceFall at Sheffield Hallam University
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A group of Sheffield Hallam University students have released the first ever student-developed PlayStation 4 game.

PieceFall is a 3D puzzle game set in a world of abstract islands and has been developed by Steel Minions, the university’s in-house game studio.

The title is being published on PS4’s PlayStation Network.

Dr Jake Habgood, studio manager and games software development lecturer, said: “This is the first game in the world to be released for the PlayStation 4 made entirely by a team of undergraduate students, so it’s a real achievement for the team.

“A lot of talented students have contributed to the realisation of this project, and the entire team who worked on the final published version of the game have already got jobs in the games industry.

“Three of them are working at Sumo Digital in Sheffield and two of them are at Elite3D in Valencia.”

The department is part of PlayStation First, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s student game development programme. It means students have access to more than 50 special developer kit versions of PS3, PS Vita and PS4 consoles to create games.

Students who work in the Steel Minions studio are chosen on merit, and their projects are often integrated into their degrees.

The game is the second the student studio has released, but the first for PS4.

The university has the largest PlayStation teaching facilities in the world after adding PS4 development to its course last year.

Dr Maria Stukoff, head of PlayStation First, said: “We’ve worked very closely with the Steel Minions studio to help them bring this game to market.

“The benefits of studying on an industry-accredited course are made obvious by the skills and talents of these students.

“In recent years, as indie gaming has exploded, PlayStation First has worked hard to narrow the gap between student teams and indie studios.

“PieceFall is a true testament to our investment.”

PieceFall is out now on PS4’s PlayStation Store, priced just £1.