Battle for the brainz: A senior phase success story

It takes a lot of Brainz to design a game. But that didn’t scare off Jack, Luke and Gavin, a group of Arbroath senior phase pupils learning game design at Dundee and Angus College.

The trio have taken the idea of a traditional zombie survival game and turned it on its head to create their new game concept: Battle for the Brainz. A mobile game where solving sums is the key to surviving the zombie apocalypse.

The students were responsible for designing the characters, gameplay and marketing concepts and even composed their own theme music for the game, all while learning the fundamentals of video game development.

Luke in particular was excited by the style of learning the college provided which gave the group the creative freedom they were looking for:

“It was a really fun project to work on as it gave us a lot of creative freedom, whilst still being contained in a brief that allowed for a challenge. We originally created a Gantt chart with what we would like to include in our pitch, and whatever a member of our team wanted to do, they could do it."

“We tried to include a wide variety of content such as: animations, storyboards, character designs, etc. After we finished everything on the Gantt chart we decided to just add anything we wanted and because it was such an open-ended task we could. It was great being able to do almost anything we wanted creatively with the brief and know that it would contribute to our overall success.”

Gill, their lecturer, was impressed by the trio’s determination to learn about all aspects of the development process:

“During the course they gained confidence and were able to practise and improve their skills with software such as Photoshop, a variety of sound and movie editors, and online freeware. They obeyed copyright law and they demonstrated a mature and responsible attitude. It was a pleasure to have students of this calibre in the Arbroath campus cohort.”

Whilst Jack and Gavin are gearing up to attend university, the college experience seems to have resonated especially well with Luke as he has just accepted a place on our HNC Digital Arts course and is excited to start after the summer.