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Pupils create new game

18 August 2014


School pupils from Perth Grammar School and Navigate Specialist Provision have spent nine months working with Abertay University students to create a new game, Loch Ness Warriors.

The project saw nine pupils working with third year students from Abertay’s School of Arts, Media and Computer Games to jointly design the game, which the students developed into a playable prototype.

For the pupils, some of whom have additional support needs, the project let them benefit from an open, flexible and creative learning environment as they planned art, audio, characters and the game’s story.

Maureen Mitchell, Education Additional Support Officer at Perth & Kinross Council, said: “This has been a wonderful example of true collaborative working between two establishments – Abertay University and Perth & Kinross Council.

“It’s an authentic, creative project with interactive media providing a dynamic learning experience for the young people and the students, who worked together to develop and build an original game from concept to completion.

“The project is an ambassador for the importance of flexible learning environments, when digital media and the arts not only meet, they actively cultivate our young people’s potential.”

Abertay University’s School of Arts, Media and Computer Games delivers a third year Professional Practice module where teams of students from multiple courses – covering art, audio, design and programming – respond to an external client’s creative brief.

The team works with the client towards delivering a prototype game that will be delivered at the end of the academic year. Many projects involve professional companies acting as the client, but here the young people were the students’ clients.

Abertay student Michael Saiger, who was the game’s producer, said: “The project was very challenging but equally rewarding. No one else had a client like our team. We got to spend one-on-one time with them where we learned what they liked and disliked, and how they like to learn.

“Seeing them start shy and nervous about this project, to now where they feel some ownership with what they have produced is very rewarding.

“This project has not just helped our team but given the young people new aspirations. We have hopefully proved that video games can be used as a teaching method, and that developing a game can teach numerous disciplines that engage young people’s creativity.”

The game was recently put on show to an invited audience of staff from Abertay University and Perth & Kinross Council, as well as the pupils and students behind the project, where their work on the project was presented and celebrated.

This project was jointly developed and run by Maureen Mitchell of Perth & Kinross Council and Clare Brennan, Abertay University Teaching Fellow and Curator of the university’s Hannah Maclure Centre art gallery.

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