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Dundee school pupils experience game-making challenge at Abertay University

24 June 2016

Dare Schools Challenge 2016

A creative career in computer games could be the catch for a group of young people from Dundee.

The next generation of pupils to tackle the Dare Schools Team Challenge has been taking on some of the tasks it might face in the workplace.

Aspiring graphics, software and creative producers have teamed up this week to go head to head with the winners crowned today (Friday).

Now in its 13th year, the challenge is backed by Dundee City Council and delivered by Abertay University with support from Future Fossil Studios.

The challenge encourages S5 pupils at five city schools to take part and get a valuable insight into teamwork and personal development.

They work in teams to design and build a 2D single-player game played in a web browser using software supplied by Dundee-based YoYo Games.

As well as learning sessions run by Future Fossil Studios, the pupils have also had talks from Abertay game design experts Grant Clarke (programming) and Kenny McAlpine (sound and music).

Will Dawson convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “The Dare Schools Challenge is a proven path to a career in computer games for young people from it creates a realistic learning environment for aspiring developers.

“It sharpens up the skills they will need to launch and sustain a career in the creative industries/digital media sector.

“The Dare Schools challenge helps create a pipeline of the right talent for local companies to succeed in a global market place.”

All of the participants are studying art and design, computing or information systems and aim to carry on the subjects in S6.

Various basic skills including software familiarisation and storyboarding were picked up by the teams earlier this week at the university.

This year pupils from Craigie, St Paul’s, Harris, Grove and Baldragon secondary schools made up the teams. The winning group were given £50 gift vouchers for Game, with the runners-up getting £25 vouchers.  

This year's winners were:

  • Winning Team – Tomb of the Necromancer (Steve Guthrie, Moran Kane, Yousaf Nasir and Thomas Van Aalten), all from Harris Academy;
  • Runner-up Team – Anthrophobia (Abbie Cassidy, Joshua Christie, Ciaran McLaren and Aaron Neil), Abbie and Joshua from St Paul’s RC Academy, Ciaran and Aaron from Baldragon Academy;
  • Best Programmer – Andrew Duncan, St Paul’s RC Academy;
  • Best Artist – Morgan Kane, Harris Academy;
  • Runner-up Programmer – Kristian Bolik, Grove Academy.
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