Global GameJam Hull

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These guys are the winners, Team "121 Gigabits". Their retro-style shoot-em-up had the players trying to find and eliminate their opponents in a world of coloured clones. It was great to play and looked ready for market as far as I could see. 

Global Gamejam is great. It stops your world for 48 hours while you create a game from nothing. It's astonishing what people end up with. Last year was the first time that we got Hull students involved in the competition. We said at the time it would not be the last. And so, in 2014 we settled down for another weekend packed with game development daring do. 

As before we had students from Hull College, Grimsby College and Hull Studio School as well as from our courses. As before everyone had an amazing time. The theme this year was:

"We see things as we are, not as they are."

Profound stuff. But not profound enough to stop the production of 22 games on a huge variety of platforms, with some amazing gameplay. From a Leap Motion controlled cat simulator to a procedurally generated slaughterhouse, with pretty much everything else in-between. Great fun. 

 

Red Nose Day 2013

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Every Red Nose Day we treat our students to a Lecture in Rhyme. The lecture is a proper technical one, on a subject relevant to the course. But it is in rhyme. This year Rob Miles talked about embedded development and managed not just to deliver some truly terrible poetry, but also to raise over £1,000 pounds for the charity. You can find out more, and even view the video of the lecture at www.robmiles.com/rednoseday

Boss Aliens at Hull

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Lindsay and David, standing against each other’s names.

Today a couple of ex-Hull bods came to see us. They now both work for Boss Alien down in Brighton and they came up to give a talk about working as a game developer.

The thing that came out most strongly for me was that if you want to get into the game you must have a good portfolio of your work to show off. This should include not just coursework assignments that you’ve completed, but also things you have done of your own. Make sure that this is easy to find on your website or blog and keep adding to it. It looks like there is plenty of work out there for good developers, make sure that you do a good job of showing off your skills. 

Global GameJam Hull

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This is the winning team, with students from all three institutions working together

Following on from the success of our Three Thing Game events we thought we’d branch out a bit. So we hooked up with Grimsby College, Hull College and Hull Studio School to take part in Global Game Jam. This is a 48 hour game development event where teams from all around the world make games at the same time.

Around fifty of our students signed up and spent 48 hours at Hull Studio School feverishly writing code. There was even a university staff team. The theme of the event was “heartbeats” and a whole range of games were produced. After the judging was finished a team made up of students from all around the local region, including a number of Hull University students, were named the winners. They had created a complete haunted mansion and a ghost who terrorised the players in 3D sound. When you heard the ghostly heartbeat coming up behind you the whole thing was proper scary. You can find out more about the competition, and view “shaky-cam” videos of the entries, here.

2012 Christmas Bash

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Mario Chase was a big hit (but so was the Wordsearch..)

We have a Christmas Bash every year, usually around Christmas. We set up games around the department and also indulge in some Team Fortress mayhem in the computer labs. And we also have pizza, mince pies, crackers and silly hats.

This year we had two Wii U’s running and they were both very popular. The batteries in the controller pads went flat within 2 minutes of each other which we thought was very spooky, but this was just as the evening ended, so no gameplay was lost.

Raspberry Pi Arcade Table

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Rob Miles of the department was wondering would happen if you put a Raspberry Pi device into a coffee table, along with a flat screen monitor and a set of arcade controls and then used it to play classic arcade games like Frogger. Turns out that it all works out rather well (with a few false starts). You can find out more about the project here.

Three Thing Game October 2013

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This is the traditional “before” shot, taken while the students are still awake….

The Three Thing Game student development competition has acquired a life of its own. Each time we run it we have more students taking part (over 120 this time) and we have had to find larger and larger premises to run it in. This time we also had Microsoft and the MonoGame team along to give our students help with their games, which are finished off during a scary 24 hour game development session in the department.

Lots of pizza was eaten, and lots of code was written. The standard of the entries was even higher than last time, which is saying something, and quite a few of the finished games will be heading towards various App stores and Marketplaces soon.

Undergraduate Welcome Party

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Today we had the welcome party for our new undergraduate students. We set up some video games to play and this year we also had a new toy. We had a full size, eight car, computer controlled Scalectrix racing car setup. This allowed up to six players to race on the twin tracks, changing lanes and fighting to get the fastest lap times. The set was actually purchased for use in a digital interfacing component to one of the embedded development modules that we teach, but it also made for great fun.

Hull at the Imagine Cup Finals

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Hull University has an enviable reputation in the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition. This year students from the department made it to the UK finals but did not make it to the final of the worldwide competition in Sydney, Australia. However, Rob Miles from the department did manage to make the trip, in his capacity of Competition Captain of the Software Development part of the competition. After four days of rigorous judging Rob and his judging team found the three winners form the 72 teams who had travelled to Australia from all around the world.

3D Printing

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Rob Miles, from the department, has recently got his hands on a 3D printer. The plan is to use this to produce mountings for hardware projects, as you can see above. These are Microsoft Gadgeteer boards which can be used to create embedded devices.

Inspirational Teaching at Hull

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The Hull University Students Union has this year launched a new series of awards for teaching. They were all given out at a swanky awards ceremony in the University. And Rob Miles of the department was selected for the “Inspiring Teaching” award, of which he is very proud. Helen Wright from Computer Science was nominated in the “Best Supervisor” category and last year Amanda Milson won “Best Departmental Administrator”.

New Kinect Book

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Microsoft Press have recently published a book all about programming with the Microsoft Kinect Sensor from Rob Miles, a lecturer in the department. Rob has had a few books published over the years, including ones about XNA game development and the .NET Micro Framework.

You can get copies of Rob’s other writings, including a free book all about C# development and another which teaches how to write Windows Phone programs from here www.csharpcourse.com

Hull CompSci Blogs

We encourage our students to put themselves out onto the internets and make themselves as visible as possible. Quite a few students have taken this to hear and are now blogging about what they have been up to.

If you want to find out what they have been up to you can visit hullcompsciblogs.comI

Three Thing Game Development

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Some of the students at the end of the 24 Hours

We had our March Three Thing Game development last weekend. We had over 100 students sign up to take part, with 33 teams competing to make the best game in a week. This culminates in a 24 hour development session in the department that this time corresponded with Platform Expo, a digital media event that took place on the university campus. This competition was even more interesting as we had Stuart Lovegrove from Sony Computer Entertainment who was here to help with the judging. We also had students using the PS Suite tool to make games that might one day run on the new PS Vita.

A great time was had by all. The winners were truly worthy and the standard of games was even higher than the last event. You can find out all about how it turned out, and find pictures and videos of all the teams that book part, at www.threethinggame.com

Open Day at Hull

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Open Days are here again. This is some of the audience who sat through my talk this afternoon. Hope you all had a good time and thanks for braving the elements to come and see what we do at Hull. We are holding more Open days in the next few weeks.

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This is Warren handing out a copy of a great book (Oh Yes) to the winner of the prize draw at the end. Those that came along also took home a printed copy of the C# Yellow Book. If you want to find out more about that, and perhaps download other coloured books, you can find them at www.csharpcourse.com

Rob Miles

Christmas Bash 2011

What CS labs are actually for...

We had our Christmas Bash today. A bit near the end of the semester so it was a fairly select gathering, but fun none the less.  We did the usual Team Fortress 2 and Pizza

Simon is a winner

After 3 hours of solid effort Simon found all of the 78 words in the “Three Thing Game” Christmas Wordsearch. We had to give him a prize, but only after we’d checked the age rating of it.

Notice beautifully sharp image of Simon's shirt.

Double barrelled cracker action. There are some more pictures on Flickr.You can find them here.