A student team from DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao took home this year’s award for Best Student Game at Gamelab Barcelona, one of Spain’s preeminent games festivals, with their first-person adventure puzzle game, Moodieval Times. This marks the second year in a row that a DigiPen Europe-Bilbao team has won the award. In Moodieval Times, players take on the role of a marooned extraterrestrial who has crash landed in the middle of a zany medieval metropolis.
Using stealth, cunning, and a suite of advanced alien superpowers, players must fend off the town guards and steal away with the local dairy cow that will — hopefully — refuel your spaceship.
The game was built using the Unreal Engine 4 and created by a team of seven artists and four software engineers.
As prestigious of an award as this is, the students behind the game say they’re most excited about inspiring other designers and developers to produce their own award-winning games as well.
“I’m thankful that [Gamelab Barcelona] recognized our team’s efforts,” says Daniel Arriaga, Moodieval Times’ game designer and lead level designer/builder. “We hope this kind of thing encourages the next generation of students to strive to make better games in the same way that we were inspired by the games that came before ours.”
Moodieval Times was joined by four other DigiPen Europe-Bilbao student games in the Best Student Game category: Back to Life, Gooh, Kogarashi, and Skywolf. All five DigiPen games competed against a field of 28 other student games from schools around the country.
“The win came as a surprise seeing how many great games were nominated,” says Karl-Hans Orav, Moodieval Times’ gameplay programmer and animation implementer. “However, I’m happy that our team’s hard work has been appreciated. It was a tough, yet fun, experience.”
With this win, Moodieval Times follows in the footsteps of Jera, the DigiPen Europe-Bilbao game that took home the same award at last year’s Gamelab Barcelona festival. Despite these impressive wins, Ignacio de Otalora, DigiPen Europe-Bilbao’s director general, says he’s equally thrilled for all of the student teams whose time and effort led to such a strong showing in 2019.
“We often stop at the importance of the prizes, but I would like to value those who make them possible, our students,” de Otalora says. “It’s remarkable to see that most of the video games made by our students during this academic year were among the finalists. It’s certainly gratifying to see how a good education, committed faculty, and hard teamwork all pay off.”
Of course, at the end of the day, Arriaga says his team’s impressive work on Moodieval Times wasn’t just about inspiring the next generation; they wanted to make a fun game, too. “If games make people smile, it’s all worth it!” he says.
Moodieval Times was created by the following students: Raúl Abascal, Daniel Arriaga, Guillermo Bilbao, Marina Bordona, Aitor Camacho, Ruben Delgado, Pablo de Elejoste, Uxue García, Karl-Hans Orav, Marina Rodríguez, and Charles Thorpe.