Computer Games students triumph at major game design competition

Thu, 16 Jul 2020 16:19:00 BST
The game was awarded the “Graphite Pencil Award”  for their murder mystery themed game
The game was awarded the “Graphite Pencil Award” for their murder mystery themed game

A team of GCU students have won a computer game designing competition hosted by a major game production company.

Students Kyle McSwan, Ruari McGhee and Briony Mckelvie teamed up to enter the D&AD New Blood Awards 2020 competition. The annual event sets creatives the challenge of creating a game using a specific brief.

The team of students chose the brief “Create a game that helps players create stories together” which was provided by RARE and Xbox Game Studios. The students decided to make a game titled “Murder at the Manor”; a Cluedo style game which asks player to find the murderer at a dinner party.

The game was awarded the “Graphite Pencil Award” which is awarded to work that “goes further to nail the three judging criteria – a good idea, well executed, and relevant.”

4th year Computer Games (Software Development) student Ruari McGhee explained that their chosen brief was a challenge for the team. He said: “They wanted us to think about how this multiplayer setting could be used to have the players communicate with each other and through that have the players create unique experiences each time they played.”

4th year Computer Games (Design) student Kyle McSwan was very passionate about his team’s chosen brief. He said: “The project is something the team felt very passionate about.

Similar to Cluedo, the game sees players attend a dinner party where a murder has taken place but the murderer is one of you! Each player will have their own hidden agenda, with normal party guests trying to solve the murder, and the killer trying to sabotage the crime scene to put the blame on another guest.

The game encourages players to deceive, accuse and even co-operate to find the truth to murder. Although only a "concept" was required, the team were able to produce a basic working prototype so the judges were able to experience the game for themselves.”

Kyle and the team were delighted to have been selected as a winner for their category. He said: “ I think I speak for the full team when I say we are amazed that we were recognised at such a high level with D&AD.

Because of the competitions popularity and the amount of students that would enter, we never thought we would be short-listed, never mind Graphite Pencil winners!

This competition not only gave us the opportunity to showcase what we as individuals can do, but it also gave us a platform to create something we enjoy. Taking part also now puts eyes on GCU and their ability to grow students for positions that we are in right now.”

4th year Computer Games (Design) student Briony Mckelvie believes the competition was a beneficial opportunity. She said: “To anyone in a similar course, enter this competition.

It was a great opportunity to work with a client out with the university and have complete creative freedom.

Plus, this opportunity is going to give us a large head start when trying to break into the industry. I hope to enter next year as well.”

To find out more about the D&AD New Blood Awards competition, click here


By Rachael McAlonan

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