Success story by Sheffield Hallam University

A Sheffield Hallam University team have developed a revolutionary virtual-reality (VR) game around the life of one of Britain’s greatest scientists, released on PlayStation® Store last week.

The team are leading the EUREVEAL project which has produced the game, titled The Chantry, which centres around the life of physician and scientist Edward Jenner who saved millions of lives from the threat of smallpox, through his pioneering work on the world’s first vaccine.

The University’s in-house game development studio, Steel Minions, developed the Jenner game for PlayStation®VR after the University received a €1m EU grant for the REVEAL project, to lead a consortium of six European partners developing technologies for new VR experiences based on cultural heritage.


Developers from Steel Minions visited Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden in Gloucestershire to capture 3D scanning data of Jenner’s former home in order to recreate it in VR, so that players can explore the scientist’s home as it would have been in Georgian times.

Dr Jake Habgood, reader in game development and director of the Steel Minions studio, said: “REVEAL has given the studio an incredible opportunity to develop a research project for PlayStation VR and share the results with a commercial audience.

“All the technology behind the project is freely available to other PlayStation developers, and we’d love to see our work help to inspire a new genre of virtual reality experiences based on cultural heritage.”

The Chantry is the first of two games being created for the project, with a second application based on The Imperial Forum in Rome planned for early next year.

This has been developed in collaboration with the five other ‘REVEAL’ project partners from Utrecht University (Netherlands), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), The Jenner Trust (UK), VRTRON (Malta) and University Technical College Sheffield (UK), with Sony Interactive Entertainment providing external support to the project.

The University’s partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe is in the running to be named ‘Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration’ at this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, held on 29 November.

Published: 26 September 2018