Students from Westminster Kingsway College (@Westking) proved they were on top of their game after becoming runners up in this year’s National Skills Challenge.

The group of Animation and Games Design students came second out of eight colleges across the country in the competition run by The Inspirational Learning Group.

Teams were asked to come up with an idea for a new video game that could be downloaded and played on a PC, mobile device or console.

WestKing’s students devised a game called Arcandy in which players have to steal sweets from another player’s base to win points with the risk increasing for bigger candy.

The teams also had to decide how the game would look, the target market and how they would promote the it including the creation of an e-sports event.

Each team was asked to give a presentation about their game ahead of a live online final.

WestKing’s team comprised Ally Wayland, Kamile Pranckunaite, Tberh Abebe, Saleh Mehmood, Leeward Dela Cruz and Alfie Griffin.

Ally, 17, from Croydon, said: “The whole team feels very happy. We came into it not expecting much and we would just try our best, so it feels great to come second.

“We liked the ideas that we came up with and felt that compared to some of the others in the competition ours was quite unique, which may be why it did so well.”

“We wanted to create a game that wasn’t violent, something innocent, and thought sweets would be fun and something we could take a lot of inspiration from.

“We spent a whole day on the project. I only knew three other students in the team well, but we all believed in each other and made new friends from doing it.”

Kamile, 16, from Barking, said: “As a team I felt we did a really great job and came up with something incredible. To become the runner-up was a major thing for us.

“At college we have learnt a lot about the gaming pipeline and the steps that need to be taken and the different jobs that are required, which helped us understand what might be expected in the competition and what we needed to do to make it work.”

Kamile, who hopes to work in concept design or animation, added: “I’ve enjoyed my course so much more than I could ever have expected. The teachers are very clear and helpful if you’re struggling to understand. I couldn’t be happier.”

Skills Challenge Web 2

The competition was judged by Matt Brindley-Sadler, Director Of Staffordshire University London, and Sammy Engele, Head of Recruitment and Outreach, at the university hub based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

They considered how realistic the games were, how well target markets had been defined, research undertaken by the teams and their ideas around branding and promotion.

Sammy said: “What we really loved about this project [from the WestKing team] was the strong concept and that it had mass appeal. We also liked that it had clear branding with all the different sweet tie-ins as well.”

Matt said: “It was incredible to judge the ideas that were submitted this year and see just how hard every college had worked. What particularly impressed me was the level of detail that each team had gone into about their ideas.”

The Inspirational Leaning Group provides opportunities for young people to develop their enterprise and employability skills to help them in their future careers.

Oran Tarjan, Lecturer in Media, said: “I am extremely proud the six students in the team who came up with the concept for Arcandy and went on to be runners up in the National Skills Challenge.

“They did an incredible job in the time available to them and showed what can be accomplished when you have a plan, communicate and work together, which are important life skills for their potential careers.”

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