Fun, Frantic and Free, Camelina Caper Releases Today on iOS and Android Tablets

Camelina Caper Screenshot

Take control of Gerald, a fish living in dangerous, jellyfish infested waters, desperately collecting chains of algae to keep the timer running and the score counter ticking, and grab the Camelina flowers for a quick boost. You’ll need speed and precision to achieve high scores, so challenge your friends to see if they’ve got what it takes to beat you!

Camelina Caper, the latest project from, is a light hearted glimpse into the work of Rothamsted Research, produced for the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival exhibit Alpha & Omega; making fish oils in GM plants. The exhibit will be first showcased at Cheltenham Science Festival Explore Zone on the 7th-8th of June 2014.

Omega-3 fish oils are beneficial for our health and can help reduce our risk of heart attacks. However, they are a finite and limited resource. Looking into solutions for sustainable sources of omega-3 fish oils, Rothamsted Research scientists have modified Camelina plants to accumulate omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.

Camelina Caper is now available for free on Apple and Android tablets.

Coverage so far...

Camelina Caper Screenshot

Winning Wellcome Trust ExPlay Game Jam Entries now Online to Enjoy!

A busy audience assembled at the ExPlay event in Bath on the 2nd of November to hear the winning games announced from the eight short-listed titles. After much anticipation Professor Bruce Hood awarded the winning teams their prizes: First Prize: HIVe (Java download, video)

In HIVe the deception moves to a molecular level, where one player is a HIV infected cell disguised as a normal cell, seeking to infect other cells. The second player is an antiretroviral seeking to find and destroy the infection. The developers write, “The objective of the HIV player is to infect as many cells as possible before being caught by the antiretroviral drug player. We felt that the lifecycle of a virus is a constant battle of deception with the body and our game tries to capture this whilst at heart still being a game and being fun. We felt using HIV as the virus was important for its relation to scientific research and global social issues.”

Second Prize: Qualit-eye Control (iPad, video)

Based around the structure of the human eye and using the inspiration of the Thatcher Illusion, where it becomes hard to detect changes in an upside-down face. In this puzzle game, the player must select if a given object is really the same as its mirrored counterpart. The developers wrote of their game; “Given the theme of deception in science, we began thinking about how the human eye is an astoundingly amazing tool – yet deceptive. The human brain has to process a lot of data continually, so will occasionally make assumptions and take shortcuts, meaning we occasionally interpret false images in line with our expectations… So we developed Qualiteye Control, a game that puts the player in the position of a miniature scientist acting as a controller between the eyeball and the brain of Prototype X1.”

Wildcard Prize: InCogNeto (Android download)

A two-player game in which each player must connect cogs to a top wheel and at each turn select it to mask their actions or advance their plans. The developer wrote of their game, “…inspired by the idea of subterfuge, how we deceive ourselves and create false realities when we don’t have all the information… Strategy and tactics play an important role as you read your opponent’s body language, listen for audible clues (i.e. the rack moving) and use spatial memory to spot changes in the playspace. While your body is performing quality control of a widgetoid factory – you must decide what widgetoids are correct, and which ones are being falsely interpreted and need to be rejected quickly.”

The judging was based around the balance of the gameplay and the science so the judges looked for great games that integrated the science into the gameplay.

The judging was based around the balance of the gameplay and the science so the judges, Professor Hood, Dr John Williams, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust and Dan Efergan, Creative Director at Aardman Digital, looked for great games that integrated the science into the gameplay. The games needed to be fun to play; they were not looking to develop a ‘worthy’ game, it needed to be fun in its own right. The aim was to make the combination of the science and the gameplay engage the player; those that did scored well.

The games were created on the 5th and 6th of October during the Wellcome Trust ExPlay Game Jam. The event, held over two locations, the Science Museum in London and the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, saw over 100 developers create 22 entries around the theme of Deception. Where possible, the games from the event are available online at: and are free to play.

Links to this story:

Wellcome Trust ExPlay Games Jam a Huge Success!

The Wellcome Trust ExPlay game jam has happened and was, by all accounts, a huge success.  We're still collating the games produced but over the 24 hours of the 2 sites the event ran at over 20 games have been produced - and the quality is very high!  It was expertly opened by Professor Bruce Hood - who gave the theme - Deception. Here's a few images from the Bristol end of the event: Prof Bruce Hood @ Wellcome Explay Game Jam 2012 Wellcome Explay Game Jam 2012 Prof Bruce Hood @ Wellcome Explay Game Jam 2012

It also got a good preview on RockPaperShotgun:

My home represents the ideal. I am a gamer, my wife is a scientist. And combined, our interests make us THE GREATEST COUPLE ON EARTH. (Except she hates games.) Presumably modelled on our union is this weekend’s game jam from the Wellcome Trust – a science-themed event called ExPlay 2012. (The same Wellcome Trust who are supporting this year’s Make Something Unreal, as it happens.) Taking place tomorrow and Saturday in Bristol and London, it aims to combine the hardcore explorative processes of game making with the mysterious magicks of science.

PS. There is a video of one of the games online. More to follow!

All About the 'Gamify Your PhD' Project

Gamify Your PhD was a project conceived and produced by Auroch Digital for the Wellcome Trust.  In this project the scientists will became the game designers.  To show scientists how one might gamify science we assembled the team of MobilePie, Wired and the Wellcome Trust to create this guide to designing games (complete with mini-games):

Wired wrote a great article about the project:

The Wellcome Trust has launched an initiative -- called Gamify Your PhD -- to bring together researchers with developers in order to create games that explore the latest developments in biomedicine.

Researchers are invited to send their ideas about how their PhD research could be illustrated through a game. In order to inspire them, Mobile Pie (with the advice of editor Nate Lanxon) has created an interactive embeddable guide to basic gaming mechanics, featuring 16-bit minigames. These include a Darwin-inspired survival-of-the-fittest pigeon game, a Mendel genetics puzzle game, a game based on Asch's work on conformity and a Newton-targeting apple physics game.

Meanwhile, teams of three or four game developers are invited to apply to join a game-hack in London in September in order to bring the researchers' ideas to life. Each team must have all the necessary skills to create a prototype game in two days -- design, code, art and audio -- plus their own equipment. The best team will receive funding to develop their idea into a releasable game.

Where they quoted Auroch Digital's Tomas Rawlings:

The initiative is the brainchild of Wellcome Trust's gaming consultant Tomas Rawlings, who said: "Science and games are a natural fit, both are about the participant seeking to understand the rules that govern the world they find themselves within and achieving this by experiments such as trial-and-error. Gamify your PhD is an exciting twist and evolution of these areas."

Here is the official press release:

The Wellcome Trust invites researchers to gamify their PhDs
11 July 2012: An innovative new way of communicating science research launches today with Gamify your PhD, a project from the Wellcome Trust which brings together researchers and games developers to create new games exploring and explaining the latest developments in biomedicine.The Trust is inviting researchers to share ideas for games based on their PhD work in biomedical science or the medical humanities, and small teams of games developers to turn these ideas into addictive, challenging and educational games.  Those selected will partner at a two day hack in which the games will be created.

The best of these will receive funding to develop into a releasable game.To help inspire ideas and give researchers a flavour of what's possible a web-app, developed by Mobile Pie, has been commissioned, offering an interactive and fully embeddable guide to the nuts and bolts of mechanics and motivation that lie behind successful game design.  The web-app also features sample 16bit mini games to illustrate the different elements of gaming, including a Darwin inspired survival of the fittest pigeon game, a Mendel genetics puzzle game, a game based on Asch's work on conformity, and a Newton-targeting apple game.Gamify your PhD is part of a wider commitment by the Wellcome Trust to using games and gaming culture as a means of engaging people with science.  A range of awards schemes is open to developers interested in creating innovative, entertaining and accessible games based around biomedicine and medical history.Daniel Glaser, Head of Special Projects at the Wellcome Trust said: "The engaged researcher has lots to learn from gaming and game design can benefit hugely from the latest scientific advances. That's why the Wellcome Trust is throwing its weight behind this innovative interaction.

Today's brightest researchers understand that science does not take place in a vacuum and the best research can engage with the most popular culture. I'm very curious to find out what these teams will come up with."Tomas Rawlings, the Wellcome Trust's gaming consultant said: "Science and games are a natural fit, both are about the participant seeking to understand the rules that govern the world they find themselves within and achieving this by experiments such as trial-and-error. Gamify your PhD is an exciting twist and evolution of these areas."The deadline for applications from researchers and developers is 12 August, and the games hack will take place between the 3-4 September 2012. The resulting games will be made available online.  All details about the scheme and the web-app guide to gaming can be found at

The project's twitter hashtag is #gamifyyourphd

So the event got lots of interest via twitter (you can see a sample here). Plus we've been getting some great press coverage pre-the actual jam of it including:

Bristol Games Jam a Huge Success

We helped organise the recent Bristol Game Jam, part of the huge Global Game Jam, taking place in 44 countries with over 1500 games made (more about what a 'Game Jam' is here).  The event was a huge success with full attendance and lots of great games made.  For example this one (below) which is notable as it won a Bristol award for including accessibility functionality within its development (a sub-theme at this years event).

Tomas has written a longer blog post about it here.

Auroch's Tomas Rawlings' New Game Studio Launches

I'm really excited to say that our new game studio - 

Red Wasp Design

 - has officially launched today and we've announced our first project, which is in development as I write this.  Red Wasp Design is a new Bristol-based micro studio and our first title is a game based on the cult Call of Cthulhu RPG (role-playing game).  Why not follow us on 




?  This is from the initial press release.

An agreement between Call of Cthulhu impresarios, Chaosium and new development studio Red Wasp Design will see the award winning role-playing game (RPG), Call of Cthulhu, coming to a mobile platform near you. The first title, 'Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land' is set in the midst of World War One and pits a team of investigators and soldiers against an ancient enemy, older than humanity itself. This eldritch enemy is using the carnage of the great war to build an undead army amidst the battlefields of Europe. The game will be a 3D turn-based strategy/role playing game and will initially launch on iPhone and Android with more platforms to follow. As the game is still in development, release dates and price points are to be announced after the summer.

Call of Cthulhu was originally the title of a novella by cult horror writer H.P. Lovecraft which has, since it was published in 1928, captured the imagination of generation after generation of fans.

All About the Filth Fair

Filth Fair is a great little word puzzle game that we've been producing for the Wellcome Trust to tie in with their 

Dirt season

.  It's been developed by 


.  The game is for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and the Web (as a Flash game).  Here's a screenshot from the game:

The best way to see the game is to play it!

Filth Fair Web Version

There is also a Facebook fan-page here, The aim of the game is to find and uncover 331 hidden words from within a huge (and real, not digital) detailed and amazing painting by cult artist Mike Wilks.   Here is a preview trailer for the game:

And some fun blurb written for the game:

Roll Up! Roll Up! The Filth Fair is Coming to Town!

For many months now Wellcome and Toytek have been building an experience that explores the issue of 'Dirt'. Yes, Dirt!  As part of the upcoming season by the Wellcome Trust, a veritable cornucopia of delights especially prepared for your delectation and amusement (and disgust!) is currently under construction.  Once completed in March this year, the Filth Fair game will be unleashed to infect the delicate sensitivities of gentle-folk.  This game takes the form of an “eye Pad”, “eye Phone” or “eye Pod Touch” iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and alsotelegraphonic web game of hidden words and meanings. Central to this gaming experience is a huge painting by Mike Wilks, a noted and famous artist for his 1886 1986 bestselling book ‘The Ultimate Alphabet’.  This game has over 300 hidden words buried in objects.  The player's task is to find and identify all the words. It can be done via cryptic clues, descriptive clues or word-substitution.  Prizes and awards, not to mention acclaim, awaits those who can identify all of the objects within the Filth Fair.  Entrance to the Filth Fair will be free!  Visitors are advised to bring an active curiosity and a strong stomach.

Also of interest to the many visitors is the display of craftsmanship that has gone into the creation of the Filth Fair.  The central painting is not some digital-virtual hocus-pocus – oh no!  The central painting is a real painting, painted by a real painter!  Oh yes, this marvel has been rendered using non-digital paint on a non-virtual canvas in a real London studio.  Be ready to marvel at the “real made digital” before your very eyes!

Those curious to see the many sights and puzzles of the Filth Fair and those wishing to compose strong disapproving letters to their local newspaper about it's imminent arrival are advised to follow the Wellcome “Twitter” musings and/or to sign up to the “Face Book” page;

Previews We had previews in GamezeboPocket Gamer9cheats.comursegames.comTouchaholics and Metro:

Filth Fair in Metro

Making of Filth Fair Video We also produced a short film about the creative process going from a physical paintning by Mike Wilks to a digital game. This was featured by Pocket GamerDesign Week and on the Wellcome Collection site.  Here is the video:


Once the game came out, a few rejections by Apple over content while getting passed became news about the app (and also here too).  We also got reviews at Gamezebo and on 148apps.  We got a great 9/10 review on the blog NiveOverTen. There is also a big article about the game at the Wellcome blog, looking at how the idea came to be:

We wanted to create game that everyone could explore at their own level, and looked long and hard to find the right people with the right approach. What emerged from this process is a puzzle/trivia word game developed by Guildford-based developers Toytek. They had already received a degree of acclaim for their work on The Ultimate Alphabet app, so we took the core idea for this game and made it, well, dirtier.

The final result is an amazing central image, which comes from a real painting by cult artist Mike Wilks. The richness of the image meant that we could place objects in the image that were also in the exhibition, so linking the two experiences. Mike took ideas and objects from the Wellcome Library (including objects that are in the Dirt exhibition) and worked them into a collage of themes and colours. Being able to make these part of a game is especially nice because much of the content we consume nowadays is created and delivered in the digital realm.

Straight after launch the game went to No.1 in the US iTunes Store for Education and Trivia.  In the UK it was 24 and 13 for the same categories.  It got a great write up in Design Week:

It’s a captivating image that you could pore over for hours, even without the competitive element, and a great way to get people engaged with the exhibition’s theme and objects

Filth Fair Announced!

We're really pleased to be able to go public with the news that the Filth Fair is coming!

This is the game we've been producing for the Wellcome Trust:

Filth Fair gets ready to dirty up the App Store this March

Updated Feb 9, 2011, 10:15am

Nobody likes filth. It’s dirty, icky, and often downright disgusting. But the folks at Wellcome Trust? They’re celebrating it. Starting in March, the Wellcome Trust will spend more than five months showcasing the subject of filth in their upcoming “Dirt Season,” a series of special events and releases all revolving around our relationship with grime. One such release is the upcoming hidden object game Filth Fair for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Read more:

In addition to this, there is also a preview over on Pocket Gamer:

Filth Fair is a hidden words and meanings game set inside a huge painting by Mike Wilks, an artist famous for his best-selling 1986 book The Ultimate Alphabet.

Your task is to find and identify over 300 words buried inside numerous objects. Cryptic, descriptive, and word-substitution clues are on hand to aid you, with prizes, awards, and acclaim awaiting the best players.

According to Wellcome, Filth Fair has been created with the highest craftsmanship and without, "digital-virtual hocus-pocus."

Filth Fair will be available to play for free on iPhone, iPad, and online some time in March.