IT Carlow Computer Games Development Students in Dare to be Digital Finals 2011


A team of IT Carlow students has beaten off extremely stiff competition to land a place in Dare to be Digital, where they will be paid to go to Dundee for the summer and develop their game concept.  This is the second year in a row that IT Carlow has sent the only Irish contingent to the competition.

This year’s team comprises 4th year games students Ed Campion (Project Lead and Game Writer), Stephen O’Neill (Programmer), Conor O’Neill (Programmer) along with Daniel Mc Mahon (Artist) from the Design course and Louise Mc Connell (Artist) from the University of Ulster.  The game - StratosFear - is a side scrolling 3D “Metroidvania” for the iPad and features a Victorian gentleman balloonist exploring a huge steam punk weather factory. 

This involves solving physics based puzzles, avoiding and trapping enemies, and finding new items that allow the player to access new areas. The twist is that not all of the rooms in the Weather Factory remain the same at all times of the day and in all weather conditions (actual real life weather conditions). The player will face different puzzles, enemies and other challenges in these rooms depending on what the weather is like and what time it is.

Dare to be Digital is the UK's premier video games competition for students who play games, and want to design their own video game.  Every year, teams from Universities and Colleges of Art design their own game for the competition, which is judged by both the general public and industry experts.  The winning team is then put forward for the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the ‘Ones to Watch’ award.

The IT Carlow team will display their game at a special talent showcasing event in Dundee, Dare ProtoPlay, with other competitors from all over the world.
IT Carlow’s BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Development is a young course but has already produced three Dare to be Digital finalists.  The course is developed and backed by Microsoft, makers of the X-Box.