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Top marks for games development student

A first year student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has made a perfect start to his course.

MComp Computer Games Development student, Glenn Kirk, surprised his module tutor when he came into a lab session two weeks before a deadline and asked if they could mark his Game Concepts assignment early.

Senior Lecturer Dr Nick Mitchell was impressed to discover that Glenn had gone so far beyond the core requirements of the assignment that he had managed to achieve 100%.

The assignment asked students to implement a 3D arcade style game, inspired by Atari’s 1982 classic “Centipede.” In order to pass they were provided with a list of features which they needed to execute in a set order to create a prototype.

Glenn has played computer games since he was a child, his first console being a Commodore 64. He’d always been intrigued about how computer games were made and began experimenting with C++ and different interfaces such as Direct X, SFML and SDL at the age of 21. It wasn’t until he reached the age of 26 that he decided to further his study at university.


“The assignments are exciting to work on as they are quite open after you have finished the main criteria. This means you get to be creative and try out new ideas,”


He said: “I think that if you are genuinely interested in the topic, you will be more likely to research beyond the lecture material. When I start to work on a program, I am always thinking of ways to improve it. Seeing my ideas come to life on screen motivates me to keep going until I have a finished product that I am happy with.”

The games development assignments are structured in a way that students can see how complex their work must be to fall within the different grade boundaries.

“The assignments are exciting to work on as they are quite open after you have finished the main criteria. This means you get to be creative and try out new ideas,” Glenn explained, “There is always the chance that a rare bug will show up on the day that you present your work, so that can make it a very intense process.”

Although Glenn knew that he had done enough to secure a high grade, he was still shocked at how positive his tutor’s feedback was. “Glenn’s game meets the specification perfectly,” said Nick.

“The computer code that makes it work is also beautifully written. It is an example of what a dedicated and talented student can achieve within five months of starting the course.”