Fareham College Students’ Success at University of Portsmouth ‘Game Jam’
Level 3 Gaming and Computing students attended the University of Portsmouth’s Game Jam competition and returned home with a certificate for “Best Game Play Experience”.
The aim of the competition was to create a working game which stemmed from three randomly selected topics or articles, sourced from Wikipedia. The three topics included 2009 Women’s Singles Final at Wimbledon, The Shire of Quilpie in Australia, and a species of water scavenging beetle. The participants were allowed to base their game on one or all three of the themes.
The Fareham College group named Firewire Studios, who consisted of five Level 3 students; Alex Greenwood, Connor O’Brien, Mantas Ruigys, Teodor Sava, and Jack Sibley, chose the scavenging beetle topic to generate their game. The main characters were the beetles and the scene was set on water surrounded by fish and sharks. The game involved scavenging and required two players so focused on teamwork.
Each student had a role to play throughout the week – Mantas and Teodor were in control of programming while Jack designed the levels and Billy worked on creating the artwork for the backgrounds and designed the look of the game and its characters. Alex was responsible for assisting the team in their different areas. Jack Sibley, Level 3 Gaming and Computing student, said: “The Game Jam was a great opportunity for us to learn from the other competitors. It’s a fun social event where other like-minded students and professionals can all come together and share experience and knowledge. We really enjoyed taking part and putting our game together and we’ll definitely be entering again next year!”
The five were the only group from a Further Education College and were up against university students and industry professionals. Despite their age, they won the prize for “Best Game Play Experience” which was an award developed on the day, after the judges felt the exceptionally fun game deserved special recognition.
The event encourages a mix of contestants to socialise, work hard and share their experience and expertise with one another. The judges were extremely pleased with the standard of the games especially as they were created in such a short amount of time. Game Jam allows students to build their time management skills, their ability to work effectively in a team and determine what is achievable in certain timeframes.
The first year students are now planning to enter the competition again next year, before heading off to university to continue their training to eventually work in the Game Development industry.
Congratulations to Alex, Connor, Mantas, Teodor, and Jack!