‘Appy times for University students as they release games for iPad

Tubby Toucan preview

Three groups of students on Birmingham City University’s ‘Gamer Camp’ Master’s course are celebrating after iPad video games they produced have been released for free download on the iTunes App Store.

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Gamer Camp is Birmingham City University’s experience-building, Master’s course for aspiring games developers, supported by the likes of SCEE, (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe), UKIE, Codemasters and Blitz Games Studios, and taught by industry professionals.

Gamer Camp students at New Technology Institute (NTI) Birmingham, part of Birmingham City University, were set with the task of re-imagining a single screen platform game incorporating the use of touch or gesture controls to be suitable for touch screen devices and offering users new interaction opportunities.

Three teams of students adopted different approaches to the challenge, resulting in three unique and fun platform games being produced.

One group of students created a gestured controlled game called ‘Baggage Reclaim’, set in a 1970s airport with the game player taking on the role of an undercover cop retrieving missing luggage.

A second team produced a platform puzzle game aimed at a young audience called ‘Tubby Toucan’. Controlled by touch input, players in this game are tasked with solving puzzles to work out how to shut down machinery that is destroying Tubby Toucan’s habitat.

The final team developed ‘Totem Rush’, a precision platform game using touch input which challenges the player to complete 24 levels to escape from a hostile desert island.

The three games were designed in collaboration with students from the National Film and Television School and tested by Dudley College students while students at Birmingham Conservatoire scored the games’ soundtracks.

Owain Mason, a Gamer Camp student at NTI Birmingham, said: “Making the iPad games was a valuable learning experience as I hadn’t managed a team project before. I’m really proud of what the teams produced.”

On the Gamer Camp courses students work on a number of video games development projects and once completing the iPad games students move onto a console game.

“Our students have already started their next project, an eight month commission to build a PlayStation3 game for SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe),” said Gamer Camp Studio Director, Oliver Williams.

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