For the second consecutive year, IT Sligo students were among the prize-winners at the annual Games Fleadh in County Tipperary, Ireland’s largest student computer and console games programming festival.
Now in its 11th year, the Games Fleadh continues to go from strength to strength. With the games industry estimated to have grown by as much as 400% since 2004, events like the Games Fleadh give students invaluable exposure to the industry’s movers and shakers. The 2014 festival attracted entries from third level students throughout Ireland.
IT Sligo’s winning entry was submitted by a team of four final year Games Development students. The ‘Programmers Don’t Wear Ties’ team – Ciaran Callaghan from Ballindine, Co Mayo, Jake Devers from, Ballina, Co Mayo, Mike Gilmartin, Sligo and Oisin Keighron, Coolaney, won the award for the Best Original Innovation in Gaming and filled runner up spot for the Games Studio Ireland Challenge with their game ‘Grinsen’, codenamed ‘Project Nervous Ostrich’. The same team won the Best Xbox 360 Game award at the 2013 Games Fleadh.
Computer lecturer and mentor to the winning team, Paul Powell said he was very proud of the students.
“They put a lot of hard work into their project so its good to see them being recognised for all their efforts.”
He continued: “Competitions like the Games Fleadh give participants great exposure to the games industry and an opportunity to present their work to potential employers in a very practical way.
“It’s no coincidence that past winners of the Games Fleadh and other similar competitions have gone on to make a career for themselves in the relatively new software industry.
“Creating a unique computer game requires a broad set of skills and team work. At IT Sligo we provide these skills and promote team work and the students provide the necessary dedication. So once again, well done to PDWT for all their hard work.”
Looking ahead to when they complete their degree, Ciaran has already secured a 12 month internship with Derry gaming company, Troll Inc., while the other members of the PDWT team plan to establish a gaming development company in the IT Sligo’s Business and Innovation Centre.
IT Sligo students have a proven track record at the Games Fleadh, winning their first awards in 2009 on their first year of entry. Since then, they have gone on to collect a number of the top awards, including Best in Animation and Best Xbox 360 Game (2013), Best in Original Audio Music (2012) and Best Original Games Play and overall runner up in 2010.
Congratulations to IT Sligo’s Computing Games Development Year 3 students whose game ‘Grinsen’, codenamed ‘Project Nervous Ostrich’, picked up one of the top awards at the Games Fleadh. Back row from right to left: Neil Gannon, lecturer in Games Development with team members Jake Devers and Ciaran Callaghan and Software Development lecturer, Paul Powell who also mentored the team. Front row, team members, Michael Gilmartin and Oisin Keighron.