48-hour Moray Game Jam marathon begins today

Prestigious prizes are up for grabs for the winning designers. Picture: Contributed.
Prestigious prizes are up for grabs for the winning designers. Picture: Contributed.
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College students are to take part in a 48-hour marathon session designing ­video games and board games which could result in a ­massive career boost.

A record number of 70 competitors are set to gather in Elgin to take part in the event, beginning today and organised by Moray College UHI, which could see the end result become a global hit.

The third Moray Game Jam (MGJ) will see teams of video and board gamers battle it out for a raft of prizes. Triumphant teams will win placements with leading games developers.

Amanda Millen, director of XpoNorth’s Screen and Broadcast network, ScreenHI, which is co-organising the event, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number of applicants this year.

“It’s the third year we have put on this event and it just gets bigger and better, showing that video and traditional gaming is a real growth industry in the Highlands and Islands.

“In the morning we introduce them to a theme from which they must create a game, which will include the concept, the narrative, the music and so on.”

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The first two themes were Change the World and Now You Seen It, Now You Don’t.

Ms Millen added: “This year, as well as reuniting with partners Moray College UHI and successful Elgin-based games studio Hunted Cow, we are delighted to have Creative Scotland and Moray Business Gateway on board as partners.

“We look forward to working with them all to develop the next generation of gamers from Moray. Being able to offer the winning teams funding and all-important advice from business professionals is career gold dust.”

The triumphant team on the computer games side will be offered a six-week placement with games developers, Hunted Cow Studios, based in Elgin to help the team develop their game to a point at which it is ready to take to market.

It will be published under the banner of the team’s own newly-formed company or with the assistance of MGJ partners.

They will be paid a wage and receive mentoring and support in developing and bringing their game to market.

For the winning board game team, there is the opportunity to take their game to UK Games Expo in Birmingham in June in an all-expenses paid trip – the biggest event for hobby games in the UK.

They will also have their game assessed by California-based Victory Point Games, and possibly have a prototype made.

Alan Emrich, from Victory Point Games in California will give a keynote speech to open the event. 
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