Maya Hutchinson is a recipient of Edge Hill’s Excellence Scholarship

A Creative Writing student who was awarded Edge Hill’s Excellence Scholarship has turned her talents into a career after launching her own games development studio.

Masters student Maya Hutchinson and her partner Connor Spencer, who also studied at Edge Hill, have combined their skills to launch independent gaming brand Red House Games.

Maya, who is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill, was awarded the Excellence Scholarship in recognition of her writing talent and has used the funding from the award to kickstart their vision.

The creative duo’s first game release will be Silver Linings, a card game for all ages that follows the story of the changing seasons. Suitable for two to four players, opponents must compete to weather the challenges and opportunities that each new season brings.

Silver Linings is a new card game developed by Red House Games

She said: “The main help that the scholarship provided was a massive boost in confidence. I wouldn’t have been able to embark on this journey if it wasn’t for the scholarship but also for the support of my tutors who helped to instil the self-belief in myself to pursue this ambition.”

Maya and Connor are now planning to launch a fundraising campaign to help manufacture the game.

Maya added: “To help fund our manufacturing, we are planning on starting a Kickstarter campaign in 2021. As with all Kickstarter campaigns, there’s going to be different tiers and different rewards and depending on how much we raise, we have plans for additional features for the game itself.”

Connor, who studied both his undergraduate and Masters degrees at Edge Hill, used the skills he developed while studying his MA in Games Programming and Visual Computing to work on the game.

He said: “The skills and knowledge I developed during my time at Edge Hill have been really beneficial to the creation of Silver Linings. Maya’s writing talents and her imagination were key to creating the narrative and story, and so we’ve combined our expertise to create a really fun and unique game, which we believe offers something new and unlike anything else to the market.”

Offering her advice to other students who are considering applying for an Excellence Scholarship, Maya said: 

“If you’re thinking of applying for an Excellence Scholarship, it was one of the best days of my time at University receiving the award and it was genuinely amazing to feel accomplished.”

If you are in Years 1 or 2 of a full-time undergraduate programme in academic year 2020/21, or Year 1 only of a full-time foundation degree, you may be eligible to apply for an Excellence Scholarship worth up to £2,000.

Excellence Scholarships have nothing to do with your financial situation, degree subject or academic achievement. If you are proud of something you have done and can demonstrate determination, commitment and achievement outside of your studies, then we want to hear from you.