Today some of the platform studios guys and I helped out Simon at TeenTech Humber at the KC Stadium hosted by Maggie Philbin. The aim of TeenTech is to help the next generation understand their true potential and the real opportunities available in the contemporary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workplace. Each event 300 pupils from 30 different schools benefit from hands-on exhibits and challenges run by leading organisations.
It’s such a great initiative for young children to involved with and hopefully give them some insight and help them with their choices when going into year 10/11.
Our workshop was all about game development hoping to inspire future Artists, Designers and Programmers. Simon started with a summary of gaming history and where we are today. We then ran a session where each of the 10 groups of 10 kids created their own top trumps character. Firstly they drew a random card and from the suit of the card this determined what kind of character they had to create from Good/Bad and Heroic/Chaotic. Each group also had a diversifier to help with the character creation. These where sentences such as “the character can fly”. Some of the ideas the kids had where so creative and original it was really refreshing to see, I often try to put myself in the mind-set of my 14 year old self when thinking of ideas for games and characters but I could never think of some of the things they brought up.
Next the teams of 10 separated into 3 sub-groups and acted as different “departments” of a game company. These where Art, Game-play and Writing. Some of the characters created and displayed in a graphical format where excellent, some really talented youngsters. Game-play where in charge of the character attributes and determining which should have priority based on the characters appearance and story. The writing department wrote a description of the characters past, their powers and weaknesses. Again, there where so many cool, original ideas. There’s also so many dark sadistic kids, a fair few back stories involved parents being murdered when they were a child. I blame the Batman films.
Every group then presented what they had done and we judged on the various aspects as well as consistency across departments. We went through this process three times throughout the day and all the kids and teachers responded so well in the short timeframe that we had. We counted up all the judging forms and found an overall winner as well as the best “departments”.
The overall winners where Winterton. Well Done !!