Navigating the void: SA game designer’s creation set to ignite industry mid-2024

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An acclaimed game developer and local industry visionary is set to put South African gaming on the map later this year, with the release of his creation, ΔVØID.

With a track record of excellence and innovation, Henk Scheepers, Head of Game Design and Development at The Independent Institute of Education’s Vega, is taking the reins to steer SA gaming into uncharted territory.

Scheduled for release on global gaming platform Steam in mid-2024, this highly anticipated game promises to redefine interactive experiences. With its innovative mechanics, and stunning visuals, ΔVØID is set to captivate the attention of players worldwide.

In June 2023, Scheepers set out to make a simple game which would be “extremely polished and feel amazing to play”. Borrowing mechanics and ideas from previous projects, he stumbled onto the concept of ΔVØID – a fast-paced first-person endless runner game where you avoid obstacles by twisting the world around you.

After an enthusiastic reception for the game while exhibiting at the Rage Expo, Scheepers began to see the full potential for the game, and set about crafting a fully developed product that can ship globally.

Scheepers’ journey began with a Bachelor of Information Science (BIS) in Multimedia from the University of Pretoria. His passion for game development led him to collaborate with award-winning filmmaker Tyron Janse van Vuuren on Echoplex, a groundbreaking game released on Steam in 2018. The gaming community lauded Echoplex for its ingenuity, earning it accolades such as “Most Innovative Game” and “Best Art Direction” at the IndieDome 2017 Lisboa Games Week.

In addition to his passion for creating the future of entertainment, Scheepers has also been instrumental in shaping the next generation of game creators. His expertise spans both programming and creative aspects, making him a driving force behind the success of the Bachelor of Computer and Information Science (BCIS) in Game Design and Development.

Scheepers says it is important for the next generation of game developers to become involved beyond the classroom.

“It’s essential that we get students involved in real-world development projects and game jams, fostering creativity and collaboration, if we are going to ensure that SA’s gaming industry can start giving their global peers a run for their money,” he says.

Lizette Carstens, Deputy Dean Design at IIE Vega, says they are beyond impressed with the contribution Scheepers is making to growing the local industry.

“We have some of the most brilliant creatives and visionaries in this country, who have the potential to make their presence and impact felt across the world. And Henk is lighting fires in these young people that will leave an important mark on the SA entertainment industry as the next generation of industry leaders emerge.”