THEY trained, they gamed and they conquered the world!
More than 295 students stayed awake for 48 hours over the weekend in a bid to create video games from scratch with a pledge from one of the world’s biggest software company, Microsoft, to publish them.
Microsoft has teamed up with the UK’s leading distance-learning college in an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records with the biggest Games Jam held at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton.
Dr Jan Telensky, majority owner of Train2Game, said: “It’s a gruelling 48 hours for the students, most of them stay awake but if they need to sleep they catch a nap at their desks or even under them.
“But the dedication and determination they show at creating brand new and exciting games from nothing is impressive – they work as teams under tremendous pressure often with team-mates they’ve never met before. For a student it is an incredible experience they have and it stands them in good stead for getting jobs in the industry in the future.”
Microsoft came up with the theme for the Games – Pride of London after the success of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics in the UK.
The teams had a field-day creating games using cartoons of Boris Johnson, London buses and all sorts of iconic images from the capital.
As the gamers worked through the night local MPs Gavin Shuker and Kelvin Hopkins paid a visit.
Mr Hopkins said: “Going for a world record attempt in Luton, particularly when it is to do with the burgeoning games industry, it will really help to put the area on the map.”
Mr Shuker agreed with him saying that “Train2Game was making a major contribution in the battle to get Britain back to work.”
And work was the name of the game as the students huddled in classrooms and labs at the university to create their games which ultimately could be released as apps world-wide by Microsoft.
Craig Moore, aged 30, from Milton Keynes, a member of team 32, said: “This was a massive learning curve but we hit the floor running. It’s been a fantastic experience.”
Chris Ledger, in his mid-twenties, from Cheltenham, said: “I was getting texts from my family and girlfriend – and my mates – in the middle of the night, it was great to have their support. I’m a wreck now but it was all worth it.”
Microsoft representatives at the ‘jam’ were impressed by the dedication shown by the gamers. Scott Henson, Senior director of Microsoft studios said “These students are going to be the heart beat of the industry in a few years. Events like this are incredibly helpful for young developers to flex their creative muscles.”