Making a computer game

SMLG’ (Self Managed League Gaming) is a game creation project that has been supported by learning advisors Louis and Eleanor since March. Its goal is to create a small 2d platform game, made entirely by students on the team. There is a real range of skills between them, and it’s been brilliant to see them working together and filling in one another’s weaknesses.

It has been a slow process, but we now have a variety of gameplay experiments and prototypes, as well as a mass of excellent pixel art, sound effects (two things that none of the children had previously done) storyboarding/writing and music. It has been amazing to witness their enthusiasm over the game, and to collaborate effectively both inside college without any supervision or prompting and through an online program called ‘Discord’. The students each have one or more roles within the team, and have settled into their specialisations but have not been shy to try new things and help one another out.

Recently we had a rare opportunity to visit a professional games studio (Studio Gobo), which everyone found inspiring and fun. The students had a chance to hear from representatives from seven different departments, who gave great explanations of what their jobs were, the ins and outs of their roles and how they got into the industry. The group was extremely well-behaved and mature, and Studio Gobo said they would be happy for us to return.

The game is far from finished, we hope by the end of next term to have a fully functioning demo. One of the older students who is leaving SML College to go to FE College has stated that she would like to continue working on it over the summer, via Discord, which we all found very impressive and encouraging.