CBBC Game Workshop 2 Attendees
I'm Jon Howard, Development Manager for Games in Children's Future Media.
As part of my role I run the Children's Future Media Games Stream which is responsible for developing all of the games on CBBC and CBeebies websites - overseeing agency builds as well as making many hugely successful in-house games.
Making games for children demands a huge amount of specific knowledge about how kids use computers, appropriate cognitive load and how to maximise engagement. The most important factor of all is fun, and making sure that fun is at the core of all BBC Children's games.
We spend a lot of time working with children while testing our games to ensure we maximise their input into our development processes. When invited to get involved at Games Britannia we jumped at the chance to let the kids lead on the game development front while we facilitated.
Games Britannia is a schools video game festival featuring 5 days of hands-on interactive workshops and lectures from leading figures in the games industry.
2011's Next Gen report by gaming guru Ian Livingstone and visual effects veteran Alex Hope called for programming skills to replace business software training in ICT classes.
If the UK is to be a hub for the video games industry, more focus needs to be put on how to write software than how to use it. This is at the heart of what Games Britannia is trying to achieve. The great and the good of the UK games industry, from Namco and Sumo to Bafta Games and UKIE, were drawn to such a noble cause.
paper prototyping at the workshop
Most of the kids who signed up for the CBBC game workshop were Key Stage 1 (5 to 7 year olds) with some Key Stage 2 (7 to 10). Our aim was for each team of children to build a working game that they could access online from their home computers after the workshop.
It was felt that programming would be too advanced given the available time. However game design is a discipline that we could cover which would allow a great deal of creative freedom. We wanted the attendees to feel inspired that they could create as well as consume.
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