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Engineering research leads to unexpected results

Sheffield-based games design company Sumo Digital used technology created by Sheffield Hallam University's Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) to develop a new video game.

Developing computer programmes which simulate the way different materials actually behave enables much greater understanding of their properties. It provides detailed information to aid product development in a wide range of industry sectors. It's an important part of MERI's work. And sometimes that work leads to unexpected developments.

What we did

MERI's work has been funded by major companies such as BNFL and Rolls Royce, but the team started to think about other ways in which this technology could have an impact. They hit upon the idea that it could bring something quite new to the games industry. This led to the development of the ThinkingWater® programme, which offers a highly efficient means of simulating the flow of fluids.

The results

Sumo Digital used the technology to develop a game, Super Rub-A-Dub. It features a gaggle of ducks swimming on the most realistic flowing water ever seen, thanks to ThinkingWater®. The game is available to download on Sony's website.

They say

When the University first presented the technology to us we thought this is cool and we could see opportunities to use this in a video game. Our design team fleshed out a few ideas and a year later we had the result.

Carl Cavers, chief operating officer, Sumo Digital

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