Game Jam at Priestley College

DSC_3361YOUNG designers have taken part in the kind of challenge that has led to the creation of some of the world’s most successful computer games.

Priestley College staged a ‘game jam’ for students on the Computer Games Design course and four different ideas were developed to the point of playing in just four days.

Joni Ashton, a former student at The Heath, said he’d been surprised by what could be achieved in such a short timeframe.

“A lot of people were being very ambitious given the time we had, but it meant there were lots of great ideas,” said the 18-year-old, who is combining the course with an A-Level in Computing.

On day one of the jam students were given four themes from which to develop their idea.

After that, they were on their own. No assistance from teachers, they were just asked to put the skills and knowledge they had collected on their BTEC Level 3 course to good use.

The results even impressed BAFTA-nominated Niall Taylor who oversaw the challenge along with former Priestley student Josh Campher who recently graduated from Futureworks School of Media in Manchester.

DSC_3329“I was amazed by what they achieved,” said Niall. “To create a working game with visuals in that time is a real credit to them.”

Students created games called Spoonfeeding your Nan, Alien Escape, Eve of the Living Bread and Killer Kev’s Magical Christmas.

Each game was completely different both in terms of story and playing style with one group opting for a 3D visual that leant itself to use with the Oculus Rift, a piece of technology now available for students at Priestley.

“The jam was all about generating ideas and seeing how far the students could take them,” said Tutor Matthew Wilson. “A lot of major games on the market today started in this way and it was so successful in Priestley we definitely hope to do it again.”

The four games produced by Priestley students are now available at

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