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Rocketmakers wins Best Use of VR/AR at the SPARKies - again!

By Ned Vaught
15th Jul 2022
3 min read

Rocketmakers have been named winners of the Best Use of VR/AR award at the 2022 edition of the SPARKies.

Top tech leaders from across the South West gathered at Propyard in Bristol last night for the annual celebration. 

The Rocketmakers team arrived with four company finalist berths in hand (Best Place to Work, Most Innovative Use of Tech, Best Use of VR/AR, and Totally Killing It), and two individual Rockemakers team members, Richard Godfrey and Ben Long, were both finalists in the Best Mentor/Advisor and FutureSPARK categories respectively. 

With over 500 attendees, this was the largest-ever edition of the SPARKies. After seeing everyone face to face, it became clear just how intense the competition was going to be. With so many awesome businesses in attendance, conversation flowed and created some great opportunities to find ways to collaborate and make our tech community even stronger.

“There have always been a lot of strong contenders for the SPARKies since it first started,” Rocketmakers CMO Briony Phillips explained, “but it’s obvious that the region’s tech capabilities just keep growing every year. This competition is now very tough!”

One factor that has increased competition is the surging number of tech scaleups in the region. Rocketmakers was therefore very proud to sponsor the SPARKies Best Scaleup category, which was one by another Bath-based company - our friends Seccl.

The champagne corks started popping amongst the Rocketmakers crew mid-way through the winner announcements when the company snagged the Best Use of VR/AR award. Earlier, developer Ben Long was named “highly commended” in the FutureSPARK category.

Rocketmakers has long been at the forefront of 3D visual design, and this is the second time they have won the VR/AR category at the SPARKies. This year’s entry focused on the AR game Castle of Cans, which was built to demonstrate the Rocketmakers-designed content management system for immersive content known as Beam.

In the game, users spawn AR castles partly made from beer cans which they attempt to shoot down with crossbows. Points are awarded based on the amount of damage, and the distance from the castle for each shot. Players compete with other players for the highest score. 

The Castle of Cans app includes a map showing nearby participating pubs, each of which will have its own unique castle and leaderboard. Pub landlords can use Rocketmakers’ Beam system, which requires no technical knowledge to operate, to change the graphics on the beer cans that appear in their pub’s castle, allowing them to promote specific beer brands (or anything else).

And, although Ben Long did not win his category outright, he was still a winner on the night as he was the main designer of the Castle of Cans game mechanics (along with head designer John Grigg, who produced the game’s stunning visual look).

Castle of Cans is the first AR game built using Beam, which is in the process of being rolled out as a separate commercial product. Beam itself recently won a national accolade: it was named Most Innovative Use of Software at the Go:Tech awards in May.

Speaking of the SPARKies win, CEO Richard Godfrey is delighted to add another immersive-content-related trophy to the Rocketmakers case.

richard illustration

Our expertise in innovative XR technology is increasingly something that clients value, and we are really pleased to be recognised by our peers as leaders in this sector for a second time!

I was also thrilled to see the wide range of extremely impressive tech companies represented at the event. I really think the South West has become the UK’s most dynamic tech cluster in recent years, and I’m very proud that Rocketmakers has played a key role in making that happen.

Richard GodfreyCEO, Rocketmakers