The quality of degree shows often takes me aback. Sure, you can quibble about production values and final product on a commercial level, but it’s the ideas that underpin the projects that have the real potential to blow you away.

At the Abertay Digital Showcase, for me one project really stood out. Computer Art student, Ryan Locke took on the role of environmental artist and created something pretty magical. In his words: “the idea was to challenge games aesthetics, to experiment with methods by which the visuals of the games could be improved by embracing the lessons of more traditional arts.”

The outcome. Ryan decided to ‘paint’ a game. His environment is created using a pallet of hand painted textures, all pieced together in the Unreal Development Kit (which is now free btw –

The bit I love best, however, is the open-worldness and aparent pointlessness of the ‘game’ as it stands. The reason to navigate at the moment is purely to explore, discover and – well – relax. Chances are that Ryan was experimenting with textures and form and wouldn’t dream of this itself being a game, but his work reminded me a little bit of Dan Pinchbeck’s Dear Esther (a Half-Life mod, which again is free – so check it out!

For more on Ryan, check out his website…

However, do check out the Abertay Digital Showcase real ( because there’s a load more great stuff  to be seen!

Oh, and here’s a pic from Ryan’s work: