Pupils create games with Dare Schools Challenge
Back row: Tommy Walton, Callum McLaren, Shaun Dulley. Front row: Nathan Bell, Dylan McLeish.
Secondary school pupils from across Dundee are showcasing their creativity this Friday (20 June) as the finale of a week-long computer game design competition.
This is the 11th year that Dundee pupils have taken the challenge, with local company Future Fossil Studios showing 15 pupils how to create a fun game in a week.
The winning team was Noir Design, with a game called Rain. The schools represented at the contest were Baldragon Academy, Craigie High School, Grove Academy, Harris Academy and St Paul’s Academy, with pupils who have studied Highers in Art & Design, Computing or Music.
The Dare School Challenge was inspired by the success of Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital competition for university students.
Nathan Bell, team leader of Noir Design, said: “With our game we wanted to raise awareness of acid rain. You play as a miner in a cave, with acid rain seeping down after it’s already destroyed the world outside. You have to get to a generator to turn the acid rain off.
“The Dare Schools Challenge has been a fantastic, amazing experience. Most of the team didn’t know each other before we got together this week. I really want to work in games so this has been a huge opportunity for me.”
Bill Campbell, depute convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said: "Computer games design has become an important and high profile part of the city's economy and for the young people involved in this year's Dare Schools Challenge is an accepted career ambition.
"Over the years the competition has proved to be a springboard to working in the industry and I am delighted to once again be backing the event."
This year the Dare Schools Challenge is being run by Abertay University’s Outreach Office, which connects the university’s teaching and research to local schools and community organisations.
Dr Nia White from Abertay University said: “It’s crucial that pupils understand how their school subjects link to future careers, and the Dare Schools Challenge is a great way to make those connections.
“Getting the chance to apply what they’ve learned in Highers in Art & Design, Computing or Music to the artistic and technical challenges of making a game can be very inspiring for them, not to mention working with a company founded by recent Abertay graduates.
“With Abertay University’s outreach work we’re taking university teaching and research out into schools and getting young people interested in what they can achieve by continuing to university.”
As well as being taught how to build a game in a week, the school pupils learnt about how computer game skills can be used in visualising environmental data such as climate change and pollution.
Each team was challenged to include an environmental message or address an environmental topic with their game design.
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