Computing students create award winning energy efficient software winning 5 awards
Games and Software Development using proprietary engines and libraries results in enjoyable games which are often suboptimal in terms of energy usage. One module taught at South East Technology University, Computer Architecture for Games Devices focuses on building energy-efficient enjoyable games. As games are real time and played by billions of people worldwide even small optimisations will results in power usage reduction worldwide. In 2022 over 50 students were tasked with producing games that focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*).
Stage 2 Computer Science and Games Development Students taking this module were encouraged to write skeletal design patterns used within software and digital games. They examine process cycles and investigate cycle reduction thereby increasing the energy efficiency of software and games on power tethered devices and lithium-powered mobile devices. Initially, project development takes place on Motorola and Microchip processors. Students' final project is to port this code to Intel and AMD processors.
A number of the projects were submitted to the annual games programming event Games Fleadh. Climate Chaos a game where the player can play the role of planet savior or corporate villain received three awards including Best in Game Play, Best in Game Narrative addressing Climate Change and as the game was written entirely in assembly it received Best Game built using a Programming Language.
Computer Architecture Lecturer at SETU Philip Bourke congratulated his student and will present a paper and analysis of 50 projects created at ECGBL, 16th European Conference on Games Based Learning.
SETU Department of Computing students also won AI Programming competition Robocode and Highly Commended Programming implementation award. Congratulating students Head of Department Nigel Whyte said 'technology has a huge role to play in addressing climate change I’m delighted that our students are fully aware of the role they play in creating a sustainable future for the entire planet’
The games will be available to view and play at the annual industry showcase which takes place at the beginning of May.