Epic have announced the shortlist for their tonguetwisting Make Something Unreal Live 2013 competition, plucking 12 teams from the 21 that entered and moving them on to the second stage. If you're struggling to recall what it is exactly, Make Something Unreal Live is a contest for European game dev students that sees them pitching and developing games on a specific theme - this year's being 'Mendelian inheritance' (don't worry, we explain it below). The ultimate prize is a commercial Unreal Engine 4 license, which Epic have been bigging up for quite some time.
As themes go, 'Mendelian inheritance' sounds fairly challenging, but once you've done a quick Google search and found out that it means "passing genetic traits from one generation to the next", it begins to seem a bit more managable. 12 teams obviously managed to impress the judging panel with their pitch documents in the opening round, and they'll now move on to creating the actual games using the Unreal Development Kit (sadly, the current third edition). Of those teams, ten are from the UK, so we obviously know a thing or two about Mendelian inheritance (maybe they don't have Google abroad?) That theme, by the way, was suggested by biomedical research charity The Wellcome Trust, which is probably why it's so... biochemically.
If you're wondering why you should care about this, Make Something Unreal is how Red Orchestra and Killing Floor devs Tripwire started out, so there's every chance that one or more of the following teams (the ones moving on to the second round) will go on to similiarly great things. All twelve teams will present their works-in-progress to the judging panel (pictured above) in December, while four of those will go on to the Grand Final next April - only one of whom will will that coveted engine license. But in the meantime, here's the shortlist and what games they're working on.