That was completely exhausting. I don't know how teachers keep up with their kids. But, having worked with the kids for a day, I can see why they keep trying.
We had around sixty kids in our Fenner Computer Suite, wrestling with Python programming and writing games. And it was wonderful. I took a bunch of pictures of the teams and whatnot, you can find them on Flickr, search for here. After some frantic judging of everyone and presentations from the top six teams we managed to come up with some winners.
Many thanks to ebuyer for providing some top notch prizes. Each of the top teams got a mini-quadcopter and the special award winners got phone controlled desktop robots. The first prize team also got a set of coveted ebuyer mugs.
First Prize went to the Headlands Blue team whose "Bleeding Gums Teddy Invasion" game had the player as a monkey frantically grabbing bananas to fling at the approaching evil teddy who was bent on stealing the saxophone.
Great use of the mouse and keyboard controls, along with a continuously advancing teddy in a hat made for action packed gameplay.
Second Prize went to Team #Ultimate from Wawne Primary school. The judges were very impressed on the way that the two-player dynamic had been harnessed to make an exiting game.
Voldemort Chase pitted a little pony and grandad in a race to see who could capture the Voldemort and Harry characters. Get as many as you can before the time runs out, but don't get the wrong type, as this could send your scores negative.
Third Prize went to the Cottingham High School "Bremk" team with a compulsive maze based chasing game that had a great "Just one more go feel" to it.
Avoid the sticky tar walls and steer teddy around the maze to make it to the exit and avoid the assassin.
Cottingham Gold have a second reason to celebrate (and will be getting another prize) as they were also selected as winners of the "People's Choice" award. We set up a survey and teams were encouraged to spend some time looking at the other entries and marking them using exactly the same criteria as the judges. And the team from Cottingham can be very proud of their twin successes.
The judges also wanted to make some special presentations to the games that they saw that had that certain extra something. Here are the judges special award winners.
Headlands Red - Best Hand-drawn Artwork
This team had worked hard to create all the assets for the game that they made. And it showed.
A scary volcanic backdrop to a game that has you taking the role of Voldemort steering a path around attacking dragons and lava fireballs.
Team Reptile from Cottingham High school won a special award for best use of popular culture in a game.
In this strongly contemporary game you have to guide the kitten away from the attentions of a hungry and famous footballer. Scary stuff, and bad news for the kitten if it gets caught....
This is team CodeCrackers from Beverley High School, who created what the judges considered the "most complete" game. There is a sad story here though, in that they kept their game on a single memory stick which failed just before the final presentations. Fortunately, thanks to the foresight of their teacher, who had taken a video of the game in action, the judges were able to see how well the game worked, and give due credit.
In this game you are the hamster, and lunch is on the agenda.
You need to collect the ingredients and get yourself something to eat.
Next time the team has promised that they will take regular backups of their game code as they go along, one more professional lesson learned I reckon.
Physics based gaming with spoons and pinballs won the "Awesome Foursome" from Hull Trinity College a special award for great use of scientific principles in a game.
There is only one path to the pan, and you have to find it by carefully guiding your pinball from spoon to spoon. One mistake and the realistic physics model sends you right back to the start.
We need to give a special thanks to all the judges who are, from left to right, Lindsay West from Platform Expos, Warren Viant from Computer Science, Duncan Mulholland from Gateway Interactive, Keven Elner from Computer Science and Danny Young from ebuyer. Seated at the desk is Simon Grey, also from Computer Science. The judges had to work really hard and did a fantastic job.
We also need to mention the Seed Interns from seedSoftware, who took a day off from writing software for things like fire incident control systems to help with some much more tricky problems.. Thanks for your help folks, we could not have done it without you.
At the end everyone got to take a departmental mug home.