Double win for students at leading UK video games jam

Date 8.07.2019

Triumphant students from the University of Northampton came away from a gruelling video games-building marathon with two major awards.

A pair of teams comprising Games Art and Computer Games Development students won Best Mobile Game and the Judges’ Choice awards at Brains Eden 2019’s games jam – a 48-hour competition held in Cambridge to build a video game from scratch.

This year’s games jam saw 27 teams take part in the jam, including five from overseas, with Northampton scooping two of the top awards.

Winning the Judges’ Choice award was a group of Northampton second year Games Art and Computer Games Development undergraduates with their game Cou Coup.

A screenshot of Coo Coup, above, and a video of the game, below

Team member, Beth Harrison, who is a second year Games Art student, said: “My team and were really aiming for our game to just be stupid fun.

“The ‘story’ is about pigeons who are sick and tired of the way humans treat them, so they rally together to fight back.

“Players can fire pigeons at people which causes them to sprint off in whatever direction they were facing, and if they hit another then it causes the chain reaction, which is something the judges were looking for.”

Beth added: “Winning the Judges’ Choice award was a complete shock for our team. I remember hearing “University of Northampton” and getting ready to clap for the other team of ours – but watching people play our game afterwards made me understand why we won.

“Everyone playing our game did so with a huge smile on their face – and one of the judges told me he had played it more than any other just because it was so fun. This is ultimately what we wanted when designing our game.

“As silly as our little pigeon-firing game was, I am so proud of what my team and I were able to accomplish.”

Looking back on the whole Brains Eden experience, Beth said: “It was, of course, very stressful – If you can make a game in three days and not be stressed there’s something wrong. But it was also more fun than I could have hoped.”

Beth’s team-mates were Games Art students Reece Bowey and Cameron Torrie, plus Computer Games Development students Sam Scott and Bartosz Bielinski.

A team of Northampton third year Games Art and Computer Games Development students won Best Mobile Game with their Cardboard Attack title – watch a video of the game play, below.

Team member and Games Art student, Cleyon Johns, said: “The game is reminiscent of the classic Simon Says game, but with Cardboard Attack you get to build up a chain of combinations to increase your score.

“The whole experience of Brains Eden was amazing. All the external factors were taken care of by the organisers, so the only thing to worry about was the game and sleeping.

“Winning Best Mobile felt amazing, especially as we won some ‘swag’ from a company that I’ve loved for years, which gave me literal chills.”

Cleyon’s team-mates were fellow Games Art students Grace Elliott and Danny Lovick, and Computer Games Development students Chris Deans and Aaron Sait.