Congratulations to all the students who completed our debut Signals Game Academy, submitting their games to the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition.

During February half term 2020, we held our debut Signals Game Academy course with the aim to help train and inspire the next generation of British game makers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16 – 18, to develop the knowledge and skills to make a career in the game industry a reality. Check out what they do up to in the video below.

The Signals Game Academy was an opportunity for the selected young creatives interested in careers in the games industry to work in teams and develop games in a ‘game jam’ environment, with the aim of submitting them for the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition. Developing skills with support from our tutors; Digital artist Shannon May, Teaboy Games programmer Aidan Randall and sound designer Frazer Merrick.

Throughout the week we welcomed a variety of industry professionals to speak about their experience and offer advice and expertise to the students; Mellissa Philips from BAFTA to speak about the YGD competition and the success of previous winners, Lucy Dove from indie studio Dangerous Kitchen spoke about their recent Nintendo Switch release, artist Michelle Brace spoke about life as a creative producer, and Mellissa Chaplin spoke about how she went from English Lit graduate to video game marketing and PR.

After a week of programming, sound effect recording, character design and a whole lot of bug fixing – we celebrated the completed games with a showcase event for friends and family. We were also excited to welcome Dave Howard, Managing Director of GAME Digital to our showcase event who had the chance to play the students finished games and congratulate them on the fruits of their labour.

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The Games

Aqualien

As a tadpole, you can swim and flop on the ground. There are enemies, who are walking around, in which the player must come in contact with. When this happens, the tadpole grows in size and its colour changes.

We also added a feature in our game with the music. When the tadpole gets bigger, we decided to add another instrument each time to change the dynamic of the sound. As well as this, we made the sound change when the tadpole comes in contact with the water so that our game is more realistic.

 

Bin Day

The platfomer that’s absolutely trash.

The gameplay is based on the Wario Land Series with his dashing and slamming and throwing the series hasn’t seen a new game in 10 years so I’ve created this game to try to capture the great fun of the Wario Land games. You play as Grudge a rubbish bin who really cares for the environment like REALLY CARES to the point where he starts to get agressive like bashing and slamming anything that stands in his way. Make your way through the levels by using all the moves that Grudge has to offer to save the environment from wasting away. You get bonus points at the end of the stage for the amount of cans that you keep for recycling so this pushes the player to only use cans when it’s absolute necessary like using it to hit a button.

Bushido Monkey: Way Of The Bantana

Fruit-Flavoured Fantasy Fighting Frenzy

A malignant infestation has corrupted all of the jungle creatures, morphing them into twisted, malevolent and monstrous aberrations of flesh. It’s up to Monkey to wipe them all out using his trusted Bantana (banana sword).

Want to make your own games

At the end of a busy week, it was incredible to see the young game designers revel in the enjoyment of seeing their friends and families playing their games. Student reflections included learning new skills out of their comfort zone, such music composition and sound editing, learning about different career opportunities in the wider games industry but also having the opportunity to work in a team for an extended time on their own game – developing the crucial soft skills of collaborative working.

A huge congratulations to all the students who took part in the course and submitted their games to the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition – we can’t wait to see what they make next.