College Students' Co-op Mission To Complete Uni Gaming Challenge

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 College Students' Co-op Mission To Complete Uni Gaming Challenge

Date posted: 7 June 2013

People may battle it out over computer games every day, but at the University of Derby two teams of young gaming enthusiasts have taken part in a competition to design and make their own computer game in its first ever College Games Jam.

After being given a crash course in the latest gaming development software by staff and students on the University's Computer Games Modelling and Animation, and Computer Games Programming degrees, the teams of students from Derby College and Burton and South Derbyshire College were given the challenge to programme and design the animations for an original computer game on the theme 'penguins versus plants'.

After a week of hard work developing the concepts, game states, mechanics, controller support, animation, music and sound for their platform games on software including Maya, Photoshop and Microsoft XNA Game Studio, the students then presented the games to a panel of University School of Computing academics in a tense play-off.

Burton and South Derbyshire College's Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production (Games Development) students' platform game, Need for Seed, took on Derby College BTEC Computing and Computer Games Development students' Penguin Survival game. After a close fought play-off, with each judge attempting, and often failing, to complete the game, Derby's Penguin Survival was judged to be the winner.

Matthew Syrett, Associate Lecturer at the University of Derby, said: "Both games were absolutely fantastic and we have been so impressed with all of the students' ability and dedication to the task. We hope that by welcoming the students to the University it has inspired them to continue studying and pursue careers in the industry."

Lewis Marks, 20, from Burton and South Derbyshire College, said: "The whole week has been great. We've had to work as a team to get all of the tasks done on time, and create a fully working game which we can now use in our portfolios. As I'm hoping to go to university in September this week has been a really useful experience for me."

Anthony Maxwell, 17, from Derby College, said: "It's been fantastic to get the opportunity to learn how to use the latest software, and the support from staff and students has been great."

Derby College's Programme Leader for Games Development, Bob Fordi, said: "I could see that the students were enjoying themselves and looked very much at home in a University setting."

Edward Pickering-Symes, Programme Leader for Software Development at Derby College added: "They worked well in a team because some students are experienced in graphics and software like Maya and the programmers knew C# and XNA so it was great teamwork!"

Tracey Clarke, Course Leader at Burton and South Derbyshire College, added: "I am really proud of our students. They have taken on some new software and have done brilliantly to create a full game from scratch. Despite not winning they are all chuffed to bits."

The University's Matthew Syrett added: "We must thank our student teaching assistants, Kyle Moody, Will Howitt, Andrew Roper and Elliot Ward, who have been a great support to the college students and who we couldn't have held the week without."


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