Gaming students guided by industry experts

University of Bolton Gaming students raced against the clock to create a computer game which was judged by industry experts as part of an ‘employability’ week. Games students from all three years of the University’s Art, Design and Programming courses took part in the ‘Game Jam’. Working with the theme of ‘collection’, they had just over 24 hours to create a fully playable game.

The games were then judged by four industry guests: Jamie Hubbold, designer at Lucid Games, Flubz, Programmer at Wushu, Stephen Ogbeiwi, Technical Designer at Wushu, and Edd Coates, Freelance UI/UX Designer. Eight games were submitted and the winning team was Hungry Pixels, with their game Invasion: Rescue Mission, a 2D side-scrolling game which saw the player take on the role of a spaceship tasked with saving civilians from impending doom. Angus Kennedy created a top-down dungeon puzzle game which won the winning solo game.

During the week, students also got the opportunity to playtest and quality assurance test a number of in-development games from local developers and those further afield. Manchester-based, The Game Production Company tested their game ‘Adventure in Aellion’ with our students, listening to their feedback and then improving the player experience of their game. There was also remote testing sessions for Nomad Games who are based in Lymm with their game ‘Talisman’, and Fox Tor Games, a two-person development team based in Plymouth with their game ‘Cultivate: Before Time’, for which students received a special thanks in the credits.

Talks from four industry guests – Edd Coates, Freelance UI/UX Designer, Shaun Mooney, Lead Concept Artist at TT Games, Chris Hunter, Environment Artist at TT Games, and Bolton alumna Shariqua Wahid, Game Designer at Rebellion were also given on the day. There were also workshops which allowed students to get involved in learning industry skills and techniques.

Carrie Warwick, Senior Lecturer in Games Art and Programme Leader for Games Design at the University’s School of Creative Technologies, said “The talks offered students an insight into day-to-day routines of different roles in the games industry. These were massively beneficial to the students and allowed them one-on-one feedback from industry guests on their work. All the students who took part thoroughly enjoyed the Game Jam experience and are looking forward to the next one in Semester Two!”