Sunday 18 March 2018

DkIT game designers 'dare' to dream

DkIT Dare to be Digital team ‘Stone Hammer Games’ (from left): Dmitrijs Starcenko, Ryan McCabe, Simon McDonnell and Sean Gilleece.
DkIT Dare to be Digital team ‘Stone Hammer Games’ (from left): Dmitrijs Starcenko, Ryan McCabe, Simon McDonnell and Sean Gilleece.

FIVE students from DkIT's School of Informatics and Creative Arts will this summer work alongside some of the best computer game developers in the world, after winning the Irish team place on 'Dare to be Digital', an international computer game design competition.

Organised and hosted by the University of Abertay in Scotland, Dare to be Digital receives hundreds of entries from students all over the world. Around 75 finalists are chosen, gaining the chance to spend nine weeks in Dundee building new computer games and receiving mentoring from some of the industry's top names.

Companies providing mentors this year include Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sega Europe, Lift London (Mircrosoft), Ruffian Games and Outplay Entertainment.

Three of the five students from the team are fourth year students on the BSc in Computing in Games Development. They are Simon McDonnell from Bellurgan; Ryan McCabe, originally from Ontario in Canada; and Dmitrij Starcenko, originally from Latvia. One of the students, Nicola Disley from Swords, is a second year student on the course while the fifth member of the team, Seán Gilleece from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, is a fourth year student in the BA in Applied Music.

Their team - 'Stone Hammer Games' - impressed the Irish judging panel with the concept for their proposed game, 'Two Remaining Souls'. The game will be a co-op action defence game, played by two players using iPhones. One player will play a third-person action game as a powerful golem, while the other will play a tower defence game as the strategic tower commander. The goal will be to defend a 'druid stone' against waves of increasingly difficult enemies. Both players will view the same world from different angles, while seeing each other's actions in real time.

The DkIT students will travel to Abertay University in early June, and will spend until the beginning of August developing and fine-tuning their prototype game.

The games developed by all Dare to be Digital finalists will then be put on show at the Dare ProtoPlay festival in Dundee, Scotland, where the general public and industry experts will get to play and vote for the games. The three highest-scoring games will receive prizes of £2,500 and the chance to attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted BAFTA Ones to Watch award.

The Argus