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Build your own games at a free ‘Digimakers’ workshop

Members of the public at a previous Digimakers event

Press release issued: 29 January 2014

Members of the public have the opportunity to get on the first step to become the games designer of the future at a DigiMakers event, organised by the University's Faculty of Engineering, the BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) and At-Bristol, this Saturday, 1 February.

DigiMakers events focus on making in the digital world, with computers and electronics, by providing a series of hands-on workshops that teaches young people to build and make instead of consume.

Students from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering are collaborating with the BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) and At-Bristol to organise the event.  Over 1,000 people from around the region have attended previous events, which have taken place at the science centre At-Bristol.

The theme for this weekend’s event is “Gaming”.  People will have the chance to take part in hands-on workshops and see some of the cutting edge technology used by local games developers including the Bristol Games Hub.

Local games entrepreneur, Ben Trewhella of Opposable Games and founder of the Hub, said: “The Bristol Games Hub is at the forefront of a vibrant community of games designers and creative technologists. Run as a not for profit, to represent and support the industry and its 300 members in the south west, the Hub also houses 35 developers, runs regular training, talks and hack events.”

The DigiMakers workshops will use a range of technologies including Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino and Minecraft, alongside programming workshops.

Workshops on offer at the event include:

  • A drop-in centre for people who have a Raspberry Pi but don’t know what to do next;
  • Interfacing Minecraft and the real world;
  • Blitz Resurrection: Re-creating a classic 80s video game in Processing 2.0;
  • Invaders From Space: Make a game in an hour with Python;
  • Make a game with Scratch;
  • Cartoons to CCTV: getting the most of your Raspberry Pi camera module;
  • Make a game with Puzzlescript;
  • Local Indie game developers Opposable Games will show some of their newest games;
  • Industry experts from locally based SN Systems, a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) owned software company that produces the industry standard development tools used by console programmers worldwide, will be on-hand to demonstrate their latest technology.

Mike Bartley, Chair of BCS and LEP High Tech Sector Group, said: “For far too long computing has been equated with IT which turns a lot of children away. These events at At-Bristol encourage under-18s to get creative with computers.

“The region has a huge number of local companies crying out for these skills and they pay good salaries.  I hope this event can whet the appetite and encourage local children into the industry.”

Tom Charlesworth, CTO at SN Systems, added: “The UK has a rich history in games development and has produced some of the most famous and capable programmers to date. It’s essential that this solid foundation of experience and knowledge is continually developed and passed onto younger generations to ensure the UK remains a key region for games development in the world.

“Education and industry have a critical part to play in ensuring this happens by supporting and guiding the programmers of tomorrow in the right direction. It’s imperative we engage with our young students today and teach them how they can play a part in their future. As representatives of PlayStation®, SN Systems are proud to be a part of the DigiMakers event and helping to make a difference.”

DigiMakers will be held at At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Bristol BS1 5DB on Saturday 1 February 2014 from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.

The free event, which will NOT include access to the exhibits at At-Bristol, is aimed at anyone from beginner to intermediate level.   To register, go to Eventbrite (search for “Digimakers February 2014”).  Preferred workshops can be selected once registered.

Further information

Children from schools in South Bristol will be attending the event, thanks to transport sponsored by IBM.

The sponsors of the first event held in December 2011 were Sonardyne, RS Components and the Motorola Foundation, ARM are the sponsors of this event.

About BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is to enable the information society. We promote wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice. We bring together industry, academics, practitioners and government to share knowledge, promote new thinking, influence the development of computing education, shape public policy and inform the public.