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Game on!

22 June 2015

Abertay University graduate company Space Budgie has been selected to take part in Game On 2.0, the biggest collection of playable computer games in the world.

This major international exhibition is on show at the Centre for Life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne until 1 November 2015. It is curated by the Barbican and features over 100 playable games.

Space Budgie is one of six independent developers selected by the Barbican and games industry body TIGA to be part of Game On 2.0. We caught up with Ronan Quigley to learn more about this huge honour and the game Glitchspace which is on show.

How would you describe Glitchspace?

“Glitchspace is a game that's about reprogramming the world around you to solve puzzles. Set inside a Mondrian-inspired cyberspace world, you use visual programming to manipulate environmental geometry in order to progress, whilst discovering key programming concepts along the way.

“In making this game, we're trying to create an educational programming experience that subverts traditional expectations on how we can learn about and engage with coding, one that's based on interactivity and play.”

Why is gaming such a powerful way of helping people learn?

“When thinking about the medium as a whole, common preconceptions with games are that they are just throwaway pastimes with no other use other than just passive entertainment.

“However games can of course be so much more than that, and there's a wealth of research that has illustrated this. Benefits can include enhancing creative thought, aid multi-tasking, improving spatial awareness and even problem solving.

“I think we've also seen this reflected in how public understanding has changed over the past few years, with games based learning really coming into its own. We've seen it recognized not only in our industry, with great titles including MinecraftEdu and Metamorphabet, but we're starting to see it utilised further afield into our educational system as well.

“There's been a real drive in pushing up the standards and enrolment numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and I think games can help in this aim with helping students engage with these subjects that isn't just using a textbook approach.”

How exciting is it to be part of the Game On 2.0 show?

“It's been a terrific opportunity for us. Having Glitchspace exhibited alongside over 100 titles from the past 40 years of games development really does give a sense of perspective on how far the medium has evolved in such a relatively short space of time. We're glad to be a part of it.”

What are Space Budgie’s plans for the future?

“At present we're finalizing a complete rebuild of Glitchspace that we've been working on for the past six months with its alpha 2.0 update. We'll be announcing its release date soon.”

The Space Budgie team studied a range of Abertay University degrees before founding the company:

  • BA (Hons) Computer Arts
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Game Applications Development
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology
  • BA (Hons) Creative Sound Production
  • BA (Hons) Game Design & Production Management
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