Space Budgie is a BAFTA nominated independent games development studio. With a focus on games that do more than solely entertain, their titles teach concepts and educate, tackling unexplored and difficult topics through the medium of games.
To get young people pro-actively engaged with programming, the studio is developing Glitchspace; a product that combines educational benefit with a games-based learning approach. The game is a first-person puzzle platform where players use visual programming to solve puzzles. Its unique selling point is in reprogramming the world around the user, allowing them to learn key programming concepts along the way. Space Budgie was looking to work directly with academia, to better understand how Glitchspace, as a learning tool, could be best tailored to fit the needs of the educational sector.
Interface connected the studio with Dr Iain Donald from the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University. The intention of this project was to create a process and pipeline for games education from school through to industry in an international context, simulating the global nature of the Games Industry. Abertay University, with its applied focus on research and worldwide reputation in computer games development, was the natural choice for the development of the project and to gain maximum return for the participation in the project. Space Budgie provided software builds of the Glitchspace product, granting permission for the educational partner to use these builds for the purposes of conducted focus/usability testing, a core aim of the project.
The project was funded with a Scottish Funding Council Follow on Voucher.
The company will see two benefits as a result of the support of Interface. Firstly, the project will ensure that the best available educational expertise and talent is applied to the development of Glitchspace’s educational version.
Secondly, the company will be able to gain access to wider Scottish universities and international institutions to which Abertay University has access. This will allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of the product across as broad of an audience as possible, in both national and international markets. The resulting educational contacts could then be capitalized upon in the future commercial exploitation of Glitchspace’s educational version at its launch in 2016.
"Our collaboration with Abertay has been instrumental in getting Glitchspace in front of the audiences that we were looking to target. Their support provided us access to local schools and educational bodies, providing us with tangible results that we were then able to feed back into the product's development", Ronan Quigley, Space Budgie
The project will allow the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University to build upon work it has already completed with a number of educational institutions into the way that we encourage young people to engage with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in non-traditional methods. It will also provide an introduction for the University to the other educational institutions already showing great interest in the visual programming concept.
“Working with SpaceBudgie has provided an excellent research opportunity for our staff and students to engage with the commercial process of getting a game to release. We’ve been excited to contribute to improving what is a very unique and special game that will contribute to improving STEM skills in education in Scotland but also in providing a fun experience for gamers everywhere”, Dr Iain Donald, Abertay University