FXP 2021

Bringing together the world of game design and development with the technology industry, and the computer science, art and design curricula, FXP Festival encourages students to connect what they learn in the classroom with what their dream future career could be. Working in teams of up to five, students are given an invaluable opportunity to develop their teamwork, communication and collaboration skills.

For FXP Festival 2021, we are excited to launch a new format which will draw in more expertise from the game design and development industry and provide students with a range of new challenges. The new format takes into consideration current and predicted COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and will, therefore, enable schools and teachers to flexibly manage the programme within their school schedules and to complete the activities either at school, or virtually via their preferred distance learning platform.

What does it involve?

For FXP Festival 2021 teams will be challenged to work together over a nine week period to design and develop a computer game, based on a surprise theme, which will be revealed at the start of week one. The Festival will comprise three core modules:

  • Game Narrative
  • Game Concept & Design
  • Game Production

Each module will be supported by a recorded session (up to one hour) provided by an expert in the game development industry, following which teams will have the remaining six weeks to put what they’ve learned into practice, feeding into their overall project. It is recommended that schools set aside a weekly one-hour after school session or ‘FXP Club’, and teams can also work on their projects in their own time if desired.

The recommended software to use for FXP Festival 2021 is GDevelop or Unity if you already have some experience and would like the extra freedom. The module videos will be tailored for these software options. 

Engaging a wide range of skills, the final project will include:

  • a detailed overview of the game’s concept and storytelling
  • illustrations of the game’s design elements – including characters, scenery, tools, props and anything you would find in the game – and explanations of their place in the game
  • a playable game or demo that showcases your chosen story and design

At the end of the nine weeks, projects will be submitted for judging and teams will then be invited to attend a prize-giving event, which will be held either physically or virtually, dependent on COVID-19 restrictions at the time, where they will have more opportunities to engage with experts from the games development and technology industry.

When is it?

FXP Festival 2021 will launch on Monday 26 April 2021 with the first module ‘Game Narrative’ going live for schools to access. The second module ‘Game Concept & Design’ will go live on Monday 3 May and ‘Game Production’ on Monday 10 May. Students then have six weeks to work on the project with the deadline for submitting final projects Friday 2 July 2021.

Teams can register to participate anytime from now until Monday 19 April.

The prize-giving event will take place on Friday 9 July.

Who can enter?

FXP Festival is open to entries from schools and colleges across Cambridgeshire. Teams can be a mix of ages (between 12 and 19); however, projects will be judged in two age categories: Year 8 –Year 11, and FE.

What does it cost?

Nothing – FXP Festival is completely free to all participants. FXP Festival is a registered charity and it is thanks to our supporters in the game development and technology sector – including: Arm, Microsoft, Jagex and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) – that FXP Festival remains free for all.

Why game development?

Engaging students with their education and motivating them to strive for high-flying careers can often be a challenge for teachers and parents. But what if you could spark a teenager’s interest in their school subjects like computer science and English through a hobby they already spend a lot of their free time doing? Playing computer games.

By applying a student’s coding, writing, art and design lessons to the creation of a game, FXP Festival aims to not only help students think differently about why and how they use these skills but to also open their eyes to the wealth of career paths available to them.

Cambridge is extremely fortunate to be home to a host of game development companies – both large and small – and FXP Festival aims to connect this industry with schools across the county, many of which are located in some of the most deprived areas of Cambridgeshire, sharing knowledge and expertise, as well as insight into possible career paths.
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