STUDENTS at the University of Cumbria have battled it out in a contest against fellow computing wizards across northern England to create a new game.

The grand final of the Game Jam 2020 event was held at the Brampton Road campus in Carlisle.

The result was a culmination of several long days worth of work by nearly 200 students last month.

Some decided to go it alone, with others teamed up to create their gaming masterpieces.

And their impressive efforts were marvelled at by university staff and gaming experts.

Teenagers from nearby William Howard School in Brampton, Kendal College and Gateshead College - who also submitted an eclectic mix of entries – also travelled to the campus to find out their fate.

Katie Little, programme leader in Games Design at the University of Cumbria, said: “The theme of this year’s competition revolved round Distrust.

“Students were left to interpret what they wanted, and had free rein over what type of game they created.

“They created them over a 96-hour period in December, which left the judges plenty of time over the Christmas break to try them out and decide the winner.”

Initially, the first Game Jam was entered by just 80 students, and has significantly grown in size in the last two years.

The opportunity also provided a chance for those wishing to carve out a career in the high-tech gaming industry to have their work analysed by experts Meg Rouncefield and Matt Phillips.

Meg, who works for TT Games that is famous for its series of LEGO franchises, also discussed her career and passion for games development with students.

Matt runs Manchester-based Big Evil Corporation, a studio that specialises in designing new games for retro consoles.

The competition comes as figures released by the Entertainment Retailers’ Association revealed that consumers spent £3.7bn on digital and physical gaming in 2019.

Carlisle student Stevie Stuart-Rourke, 18, from Accrington, said: “I did more of the art-based elements for our game.

“I’ve really liked the whole team dynamic, and the creation of the game.

“I’d definitely want to take up a career in game design. My favourite game is Bio Shock, and I would have loved to have made that.”

The winners were:

n Most inventive: The Fabulous Adventure of Lemon and Steve by Lemon

n Best Board Game: RAID by Macfrost Games

n Honorary Mention: Feed the Beast by Feed the Shoop

n Best Graduate: Risky Ventures by Bunnyfly Games

n Best Video Game: Bojo’s Battle Bus by David Dillon, Gateshead College