July 11, 2024

Levelling up: FXP Festival boosts local students’ aspirations

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Levelling up: FXP Festival boosts local students’ aspirations


Students from Long Road Sixth Form College and Ely College were crowned overall winners of FXP Festival 2024, an annual game development and design competition that invites students aged 12-19 to design and build their own games. The event took place on Monday 8 July at Cambridge Regional College and saw 15 teams from schools across Cambridgeshire tasked with creating their own game based around this year’s theme of Minecraft with a story, in celebration of it’s 15th anniversary.

A new award for 2024, ‘Jammer of the Day’, was awarded to students from Sawtry Village Academy and St Mary’s School, Cambridge for delivering exemplary pitches to the competition’s industry judges. 

Throughout the day students took part in sessions dedicated to conceptualisation, design including game narrative and character art, and production, before they were challenged with developing a prototype of their game. The one-day event, sponsored by Anglia Ruskin University, was supported by Mark Ogilvie, Creative Director at Jagex and Michael Farrow-Killick from Rizing Games alongside industry experts, Matthew Holland and Alex Chapman, who provided mentorship for the students.

FXP Festival is a registered UK charity which aims to improve social mobility and stimulate aspiration in students within the region, helping them to develop valuable life skills and encouraging them to identify potential career opportunities in the creative digital sector.

Alison Taylor, FXP Festival Co-founder, Trustee and CEO of Conscious Communications, said: “FXP Festival not only develops skills specific to the games industry but also helps students to improve and implement vital transferrable skills. During the event, students demonstrated teamwork, communication, time management, problem solving and responded brilliantly to the experts’ feedback. All of these skills will help students to succeed in their later lives and in the future workplace.” 

Michael Farrow-Killick, Games Development Lecturer at Cambridge Regional College, home of the Rizing Games Studio added: “FXP Festival is the perfect opportunity to enter the world of video game design as well as develop core skills that support young people beyond this industry. FXP embodies the sense of community and support that the game development industry upholds and brings together young people who wish to follow their goals to become the next generation of game designers. In previous years, we have been lucky to see young people enter the world of game design through FXP, progress to our game development course at Cambridge Regional College, and are now back supporting the next generation of designers at this year’s FXP Festival.”

Jagex Creative Director, FXP Festival Trustee and Judge, Mark Ogilvie, said: “I’m thrilled we have been able to host FXP Festival in-person for the first time since the pandemic. The energy, creativity and innovation shown by the students have inspired me and it is clear that the future of the games industry is in safe hands!  A personal highlight of FXP is hearing the students’ interesting and innovative concepts. Congratulations and thank you to all of the students who took part.”

All students who attended received goody bags filled with gaming swag and the winners of the four categories were awarded prizes generously donated by Maximum Entertainment, Insert Coin Clothing, GameMill, Payload Studios, Overwatch 2 and The Game Creators. 

Taylor continued: “We are so grateful for the support we have received from our judges, industry experts, sponsors and prize donors. Seeing how enthusiastically the students have engaged with the opportunity and witnessing the positive impact of our industry role models has been so inspiring.”