Technology

Technology Challenge

Your Challenge


Take Ctrl

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What to do

May is going digital therefore this months challenge is all about taking your problem solving and critical thinking skills from paper to screen. STEM Glasgow are asking you to complete an unplugged maze task and then recreate this using the computer programming software 'Scratch'.

Look at the image below. You will see a maze with one entry and exit point. Using the four arrows provided create an algorithm (sequence) that will allow someone to safely make it from one end to the other. 

Once you have completed this task can you recreate the maze on Scratch? 

What you need (resources)

Copy of the image above

Paper

Pen or pencil

Access to a computer

Scratch

Career Focus


A Career in Games Designer

Information

A web designer creates layouts for pages and templates for websites, develops graphics, audio and video content and produces the overall design using development tools and coding languages.

You could be:

  • discussing the content and format of the website with the clients, including the purpose of the site and its target audience
  • designing page layouts using wireframe concepts and including text sizes, colours and other formatting
  • presenting concepts and designs to clients
  • producing the website design, using development tools such as Visual Studio and Dreamweaver
  • coding the page templates using HTML and other languages such as Javascript and jQuery
  • producing graphics, video and audio content to incorporate into the website
  • ensuring the design is compatible with all browsers, works across mobile devices and meets accessibility standards
  • working with other professionals including web developers, UX specialists and graphic designers.

There is often some overlap between the duties of a web designer and front end developer.

A games designer produces new ideas for computer games of all types: puzzle, adventure, role-play, combat, shooters and sports. They design games for different platforms: PCs, laptops, consoles, the internet, interactive TV and mobile phones.

You could be:

  • planning and developing the different elements of a game: setting, plot, levels, characters, vehicles and objects and modes of play
  • presenting ideas, using written documents and computer graphics or sketches, to the rest of the team
  • working with artists and programmers to build a game prototype
  • adapting and improving the game structure, functionality and user experience (known as UX) throughout the development
  • changing the original ideas if they turn out to be technically difficult to put into practice
  • working on the whole game or on one aspect of design, such as environment, characters or objects
  • training testers to play the game to find any bugs (problems)
  • writing the game's instructions
  • working on more than one game at a time.

 

Qualifications
  • Entrants usually have a degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) in a subject such as web design and development, digital media or interactive media.
  • If you have a degree in a non-computing subject you could take a postgraduate course in a related subject.
  • For entry to an HND course you normally require 1-2 Highers plus some subjects at National 5. For entry to a degree course you need 4-5 Highers.
  • You might get in through a Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications at SCQF Level 6 or Creative and Digital Media at SCQF Level 7, then work your way up with experience and further specialist training, or a Technical Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 8.
  • You may need to do a technical test as part of a job interview.
  • Knowledge of web technologies is useful, for example: HTML and CSS; design and graphics software, such as Illustrator and Adobe Creative Suite; and content management systems.
  • You could enter through the Creative and Digital Media Foundation Apprenticeship (FA), which you can start in S5 and study at school and college. Entry requirements vary between colleges, but you usually need 3-5 subjects at National 5 including English. Maths, Art and Design, Computing Science or a science subject may be required. It is recommended that you work towards relevant Highers by the end of S6.

There are jobs in almost all industries, including retail, IT, education, the media, central and local government, finance, the communications industry and health care. Jobs are advertised in the press and on the internet.

  • Entry is highly competitive and most entrants are graduates with degrees in computing or IT, or specialist degrees in Computer Games. You should be able to demonstrate a real passion for gaming.
  • Abertay, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow Caledonian, Heriot-Watt and the West of Scotland universities offer degree courses in computer games subjects. Abertay and Glasgow Caledonian universities offer specialist degrees in computer games including design.
  • Entry requirements for most of these courses are 4-5 Highers usually including Maths plus National 5 English. Check with the individual institution.
  • If you have a degree in a relevant subject you could do a specialist postgraduate games development course at Abertay University.
  • The Creative Skillset website lists accredited degree courses for the computer games industry.
  • You might get in through a Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications or Digital Applications at SCQF Level 6, then work your way up with experience and further specialist training, or a Technical Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 8.
  • You might enter after gaining experience as a programmer, graphic designer or games tester.
  • You must have a portfolio of work including games projects and proposals.
  • You could enter through the Creative and Digital Media Foundation Apprenticeship (FA), which you can start in S5 and study at school and college. Entry requirements vary between colleges, but you usually need 3-5 subjects at National 5 including English. Maths, Art and Design, Computing Science or a science subject may be required. It is recommended that you work towards relevant Highers by the end of S6.

Job vacancies are often advertised on the internet, for example, the Talent Scotland website. There is a lot of competition for jobs.

 

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