Young developer success at ‘jam’

Games development students have taken part in Stoke on Trent College’s first ever Game Jam.

Sixty Level 2 and Level 3 games development students worked in teams to an industry brief and up against time constraints. They each created fast-paced demo games and then spent a fourth day pitching their ideas to industry experts.

The five day event was supported by industry experts who were involved in the planning and judging of the games demos by the students.

Now, one of the team entry’s impressed the panellists so much that it is now set to be taken up commercially.

A Game Jam is when teams of game developers work intensively from one to three days making a demo game. They have no idea in advance what game they will be making until the Game Jam starts, so they have to think creatively and work fast.

The event gave the student the chance to put their technical knowledge into action as they worked out how to turn a creative idea into a marketable product.

Andy Davenne, games development lecturer at Stoke on Trent College, said: “It’s fantastic work experience for the students, as well as being an excellent platform for the students to showcase their skills.

“Judges involved were from The Game Creators, a Cheshire game development company, and Developer of Games, based in Lichfield.

“Dr. Bobbie Fletcher who is Head of Games Development at Staffs University will also be paying the students a visit on the first day of the Game Jam, which they are very excited about.”

Speaking at the event, student and aspiring games designer Shannon McGuinness, said: “It’s been really good. I’ve been the artist for our game.

“We were given a brief for it. We’ve chosen an arctic beach scene and have a penguin that jumps up and down and catches fish.

“There are multiple enemies in the game, including a whale. There’s also a bar at the top of the screen showing your character’s ‘health’ score.”


This games development course aims to equip young people with the design and the production skills required for work in industry or progress to university. It is designed to develop an understanding of the design process applied to a range of computer game platforms and enables students to explore the creative possibilities of new media and produce a range of creative products.

The UK creative industries generate £84.1bn a year to the UK economy and comprises an estimated 2.8m jobs or 1 in 11 of all UK jobs.

Games development is a fast-moving, multi-billion pound industry. The making of a game from concept to finished product can take up to three years and involve teams of up to 200 professionals.

Next month, the Level 3 games students will also be at the EGX trade show in London and attending the game industry BAFTA awards at tobacco docks in London.


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