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The Corporation

Posted: 24/01/18

Theme park brought to life with students’ design skills

A Nottingham-based gaming company has set students at West Nottinghamshire College a rollercoaster of a challenge.

  • (lr) Jordan Smith-Durham, Simon Smalley and Carrie-Anne Daines
  • Carrie-Anne Daines' runnaway mine car game idea

Fuzzy Frog, which was established eight years ago by chief executive Richard Flower, develops games for mobile devices.

The company’s art director Simon Smalley visited the college on Tuesday (23 January) to review the BA (Hons) Applied Studies (Creative Digital Media) students’ design work for a theme park ride project they have been set.

Simon said: “Years ago Fuzzy Frog produced a game called Theme Park where you managed your own park and built rides. We thought it would be a fun idea to ask the students to build an individual ride which could belong in this kind of world.”

Students came up with concepts for rides such as rollercoasters, fast cart rides and even fidget spinners. Simon was able to advise on their initial ideas as they now work through the four-week project using the design package LightWave.

Simon added: “I’ve seen some great ideas so far which will play out really well on a virtual reality platform at the end of the project in four weeks. Students will learn how to transfer their LightWave products onto Unity, which is a game developer’s tool that enables the user to interact within the set.”

First year HND Interactive Media students also had the opportunity to show off their completed projects to Simon. Before Christmas this group was challenged to create a games concept together with a storyboard to highlight the rules of the game.

The group presented their videos to Simon following their first attempt a project like this and using such techniques.

BA Applied Studies learner, Carrie-Anne Daines, 32, said: “I came up with the idea of a runaway mine car within a mountain setting, being chased by boulders, rather like an Indiana Jones game.

“We’re going to take our ideas which we’ve built in 3D, into virtual reality. This is going to be challenging because it will be interactive so the user can walk around the set and there will be sound built in. It’s stretching my skills but we’ve had great support from Simon.

“Eventually I’d like to be an environmental artist creating the high-level and realistic designs on games.”

Fuzzy Frog are currently working on the sequel to Doodlejump, which is a successful app. It is also working on a game based on the Amazon television show The Vikings which will be releases later this year. In February a football game is being launched by the company, which ten Champions League teams have already signed up for, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal.