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First ever Board Game School a winner

Published: January 29, 2018

Cornwall College Camborne

The first ever Board Game School in Cornwall, which saw the premiere of Vault of Champions, has proved a roaring success.

Following in the footsteps of the popular Film School project run by the county’s most successful digital media team, Board Game School was set up to develop and challenge creative thinking within the games industry.

Games Design students at Cornwall College were tasked with delivering a fully functioning board game in just 10 days before exhibiting it at a live premiere event to industry experts.

Matt Warner, course manager, said all the students “pitched an idea for a board game to their peers before a vote on the best idea to take forward into production”.

“Everyone is given a job role within specific key departments including, art and imagery, rules and mechanics, marketing and so on,” he continued.

“During the 10 days, they had to work as close knit groups in order to carry out all the necessary tasks and to meet the deadlines, so the pressure is really on.”

The project is part of the University of the Arts London curriculum schedule that Cornwall College teach. The task is to provide an introduction to job roles and progression routes within the games industry and to enhance key skills and knowledge.

Miles Waterhouse Games Design Student, said he was “lucky” to have his idea, The Vault of Champions, chosen by the group.

“It is set in a fantasy setting with a broad range of characters and it’s amazing to see my game being turned into a fully functioning product; I’m so proud,” he explained.

“The whole project has been great fun but also a huge challenge as we all learn about the intricacies of producing a real game and I’m looking forward to the next project with more confidence.”

Amanda Wood, Cultivator Learning Co, manager, said projects like Board Game School are “very important”.

“Not only are our students learning some valuable and specialist skills, but they have also been working towards stage 1 and stage 2 competencies for employability,” she explained.

Judging the board game were gaming experts who interviewed the students and played the game prior to asking questions. With their wealth of knowledge they advised the students how to take the game to the next stage in terms of commercial production.

Cornwall College has enjoyed great success within its digital media department, winning more awards over the past decade than any other college in Cornwall.  The College prioritises projects and additional student experiences based on employment needs and progression.

Katie Goode, creative director, Triangular Pixels said “what the students and college have achieved here is remarkable, this is true genius to get the students interacting, developing creatives and experiencing production techniques.”

“Vault of Champions takes you into a fantasy world with lots of twists and turns and a very dark side to it,” she continued.

“Having said that the game was very easy to understand, which is always a good thing. The company I helped establish although a digital VR business, is well aware that all gaming started with board games and these play a vital link in helping to attract new gamers who ultimately progress from hands-on to on-screen gaming.”

Matt said he was “so proud of the all the students”.

“They have really put in a tremendous amount of effort which has resulted in successful completion of a new game in a challenging ten days,” he continued.

“We have developed a new curriculum pathway that makes that whole course a lot more realistic and thought-provoking, enhancing the student experience by bringing real insight, engagement and practice that can be used to expand CV’s, employment applications and be used when applying for progression to universities.”

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