30 Hour Game Development Marathon a Huge Success!

Last weekend the School of Computer Science was the venue for the UL Computing Society Game Jam. Around 60 students from Universities including Lincoln spent over 30 hours camped in Comp Lab B from Saturday lunchtime through to Sunday evening developing novel and entertaining games from scratch to meet the event’s three designated themes (Vikings, Sheep and 2012!). Local games companies Rockstar and Crytek participated from the outset and, along with the School of Computer Science, contributed goodie bags and prizes that were distributed at the conclusion.

All credit goes to students Peter Anderson, Jamie Hutton, Olivier Szymanezyk and School technician Tom Feltwell who organised and ran this superb event. Such was the success that participants were ready to book their places on Game Jam 2013 (although Vikings and Sheep would probably be less in evidence next time!)

Head speaks out on changes to secondary school curriculum

In a radio interview yesterday, SoCS Head of School Dr David Cobham discussed government proposals to introduce a new Computer Science curriculum in secondary schools. Talking to Rod Whiting at BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Dr Cobham discussed education secretary Michael Gove’s proposal  to re-introduce a focus on programming into the GCSE computing curriculum. The long term aspiration is to build the knowledge economy and exploit the advantage of having a better technology-trained workforce. The interview focused on the benefits that children could gain from such a curriculum and the issues that it posed on terms of staff training for teachers. The interview will be available on the BBC iPlayer  for one week from the date of transmission. The item begins 2H:38m into the programme and lasts for around seven minutes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00pm9f6

Microsoft is coming to Lincoln!

The Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre is hosting a Windows Phone 7 (WP7) workshop with Microsoft on Wednesday March 7th @1pm-5pm – by registering and coming along you could be in with a chance to win a brand new Nokia Lumia 800 on the day! The event will take place in the Lincoln School of Computer Science in room MC3204 (Comp Lab B), and will include presentations by Microsoft on WP7 followed by a coding session then finishing the day off with pizza.  If you are interested then it would be helpful to familiarise yourself with developing for WP7 using Visual Studio 2010 and the WP7 ‘Mango’ SDK, by doing so you will get more out of the workshop. All machines in room MC3204 are installed with the prerequisite tools if you want to get a head start!

WP7 is Microsoft’s brand new mobile operating system, built from the ground up to compete in today’s smartphone market. It features the innovative new ‘Metro’ interface which is also heavily present in the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Metro applications are built using Silverlight and XAML, an interface mark-up language, with C# or VB.NET behind code. By learning to build WP7 apps using XAML you will be able to use the same programming skills to build Windows 8 Metro applications.


If you have any questions regarding the event then do get in touch either through email @ defoster@lincoln.ac.uk or Twitter @ derekfoster. For more info and registration please follow this link: http://lincolnphonecamp.eventbrite.com , places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.


ASCII Challenge 2011/12

First year Games Computing and Computer Games Production students finished their 60 second ASCII game challenge yesterday. The submissions were very impressive with many drawing on a retro theme to complement the ASCII look. The games were all developed using GameMaker Lite and were completed after around 5 weeks of work.

We think that focussed, tightly defined challenges provide a great framework for students to showcase their developing talent and the relatively short timescale prevents games either getting too large or losing direction. The next challenge will be using the Unity game engine, which will provide a different type of challenge for the students!

A video showcasing some of the students and the games as they were presented is below:

60 Second ASCII Challenge 2011/12

University of Lincoln, UK