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Brains Eden Gaming Festival 2015
Last weekend, we brought over 100 students to Cambridge to build 22 innovative games. The first day of the event began with workshops led by ARM, Geomerics, and Unity.
The workshops provided insight on;
- a technical artist’s role within game production
- how to find the best work experiences in the game industry
- methods to improve optimization of mobile games
- how to enhance your games for mobile games.
Friday evening Matthew Holland, Design Team Leader at Jagex and games jam facilitator, announced the theme ‘Displacement’ for the games jam. Teams with up to five members tirelessly competed to develop the best computer game for PC and Tablet over a gruelling 48 hours.
On Saturday we were thrilled to see there was a clear increase in the number of industry experts and professionals in comparison to previous years. The team leader of each group then pitched their programme to the professionals in exchange for feedback and invaluable advice that allowed them to ensure that the game would be exciting and in full working order.
Bleary eyed and clearly exhausted the students continued to develop their games with great enthusiasm, taking into consideration the feedback, as the 48 hours drew to a close. All the hard work paid off when at 5pm the jam closed and everyone was shuttled across to the Jagex HQ. A well-deserved treat for all students that were dedicated, fervent and truly amazing throughout the weekend.
The showcase on Monday kicked off with speed surgeries, an excellent opportunity to have discussions with experts from studios such as; Guerrilla Cambridge/Amsterdam, Arm, Jagex, Frontier. During the judging the students had the chance to listen to;
Claire Blackshaw – Senior Online Consultant at Sony
Joseph Humfrey – Co-Founder of Inkle
Jon Torrens – Communications Coach
Claire provided hints and tips for designers, artists and coders on how to be trench ready. Claire’s in-depth knowledge encouraged the students to be interactive.
Joseph as Co-Founder of Inkle has developed with colleagues a game that has been nominated for many awards. Joseph is an excellent example to the students of how building a game from a standing start can be award winning.
Jon’s methods had everyone engaged from the moment he took the stage and gave advice on a variety of topics, such as; how to capitalise on gaming abilities, handling nerves when talking to industry professionals and articulating concepts succinctly.
The festival ended with an Awards Ceremony. Judges and mentors were astounded with the talent and calibre of skills this year, noticing a significant improvement on last year. Elite judges played 6 games from the shortlist. .
The shortlisted 6 were:
6. Anglia Ruskin University – Bloat Squid,
5. University of Hull – GDB,
4. London Metropolitan – The London Mets,
3. Norwich University of the Arts and NHTV – Silent Squid,
2. NHTV - The Gaming Mamas,
1. University of the West – Red Fox R
And the winners were:
Best Game: University of the West, Red Fox R
BE Mobile: University of the West, Red Fox R
Best Jammer: Timo Van Hugten – NHTV
BEbot Design: Norwich University of the Arts and NHTV – Silent Squid