Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe

At the start of the year I decided to enter another game dev competition but this time with a more serious theme behind it. The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe is a competition based around the learning and training through gameplay and so I started to put together an entry based around one of my hobbies, amateur radio.

The idea for the game was a simple one, you have to complete the puzzles in order to bring an old radio back online before transmitting your final message. I was also going to use this as an education tool to give some of my pupils an insight into the game development process. It was all built in Scratch as this would allow my pupils who have had little exposure to coding to still be involved. This game really works Scratch hard as I got it to track the ISS and lunar cycles in real time as part of the game.

After months of developing and involving my various classes in the testing and refining process, I put together a little prop to showcase it but also put together a little promotional show reel (above). It made the final!

Set up for the final started at the beginning of the week at an event in Bristol. I took my son along to help set up and to test that everything was working. He found a bit of a bug in one of the areas of the game that had never appeared before, so there was a bit of frantically patching ahead of the final assessment.

The grand prize was a trip to Orlando to attend the huge Serious Games event later in the year. That prize went to a really deserving game that trained dental assistants. I met some lovely people from the dev community as well as the awesome finalists from the UK, US and Germany. What I found most interesting was how people could also see the huge potential a project like my game could have in promoting creative coding within schools and I'm really looking forward to discussing these ideas further to see where they lead. 

I had to also give a talk on the value of gamification and creative coding in schools, which allowed me to tell the story of how my game came to be and all my amazing pupils who were involved along the way. I did win one category through, the Student Choice award, something that I was extremely flattered to be awarded.


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