On Friday 25 March, we were lucky enough to have Sumo Digital visit Queen Elizabeth’s to judge the first annual Sumo Digital games design competition.  Two teams made the final, VALK STUDIO’s and MG.  Both teams presented their games demo through a presentation to Sumo Digital in the panel room.  They were extremely impressed with both teams, the level of programming, the marketing and the backstories were all excellent.  One person from Sumo Digital said: “These games demos are better than some that we see in professional games jams.”  The standard was so high there was only one point between the teams.

The winning team was JohnPaul L and Francisco Cabello L from VALK Studios with their game Foot Tockey.  Runners up from MG were Matthew B, Kieran C, Lealand E and Taron W with their game Snow Shredders.

The winning game, Foot Tockey

The professionals from Sumo Digital then ran workshops with some of our lucky year 10 students.  The workshops started with a career talk explaining how the knowledge gained in their GCSE’s can be applied to jobs in the computer games industry.  They discussed the different departments and jobs available and looked at the routes into the industry.  Students then completed workshops focusing on tasks included in a typical day in the profession.

The programming workshop used python script programs to calculate a judges score for a snowboarding competition and calculated if the contestant had qualified.  Also, for a bit of fun, students worked with lists in python to create a homework excuse generator.

The design workshop developed ideas for a game, developed a vision statement, and identified the main features of the game.  Students also developed art to help sell their game idea.

The narrative workshop focused on writing barks, which are short lines of dialogue spoken in the background of a game.  These barks were written while considering the environment and character stories.

The art workshop focused on generating ideas for an in-game pickup item, for example, a mystery box, potion or sword.  Students then created the artwork for this item and continued to refine the item based on feedback, just like professional games developers do in industry.

The professionals were really impressed with the enthusiasm and talent shown by our students and had a great day.  They can’t wait to join us again next year!