news · 23/05/2024 0

‘Gaming for Good’: Indian Student’s Video Game Project Donates 100% Revenues to UK Charities

A new video games project co-founded by an Indian student from a university in northern England is donating 100 per cent of its revenues to UK charities as part of their mission to create gaming for the good of society.

Aamir Ali, a computer science student from University of Sheffield, is the co-founder of Project Pixel – which creates 2D games for mobile that will soon be available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The project started as an idea from two friends less than a year ago and has now grown into what is described as one of the biggest student-led video gaming initiatives at any UK university.

“As the project started to develop we quickly found that lots of students from all over the University of Sheffield, who are studying on all kinds of degree programmes, are passionate about gaming and want to work in the industry, but they are not sure how or where to start,” said Ali.

“Project Pixel has given us all the opportunity to learn about game development together and take our first steps in the industry, whilst also doing something good for society. We would love to inspire students at other universities and turn this into a global movement. Everyone at Project Pixel has shown that it doesn’t matter what degree you’re studying or whether you know anything about game development – you have a chance if you have the passion and willingness to learn,” he said.

More than 25 students, all on various degree programmes across the arts, humanities, engineering, science and social sciences, have joined the initiative. From programming, sound production and graphics design, to story writing, character creation and marketing – the students have built several teams working in every area of game development.

“We started Project Pixel as we wanted to make a positive impact on the world through gaming. We know that gaming is a part of so many people’s lives, whether that be people who play casually on their phone or people who play more competitively, so we wanted to try to tap into this to raise funds for charity,” said Najaaz Nabhan, a student from Sri Lanka who is one of the founders of Project Pixel.

“The gaming industry is huge – bigger than the music and film industries combined – but from what we’ve seen many charitable initiatives are based around sponsored gaming. We wanted to do something different, so we thought why not make our own games and donate all of our revenue to charity. There are lots of students who make video games, it’s a common field, but we haven’t seen a team of this size at any university who are making games for charity,” he said.

The University of Sheffield said all of the students involved have no previous experience in video game production, but they are using their passion for gaming, their desire to work in the industry and skills gained from their degree to learn how to develop games as they go.

“The team has already produced two games – ‘Color Dash’ and ‘Flight Frenzy’ – both endless runner-style games in which the player has to avoid obstacles while constantly moving and survive for as long as possible,” the university stated.

In ‘Color Dash’, an evil sorcerer has drained a colourful realm of all its colours, leaving the landscape dead and dreary. The player embarks on an adventure to gather colourful orbs and bring colour back to the world, serving as a reminder of the strength of hope and the victory of light over darkness.

‘Flight Frenzy’ takes the player on an action-packed adventure of a skilled pilot, creating a challenge to avoid obstacles like birds and skyscrapers, collect ammo to shoot down birds and fuel to ascend higher, all whilst battling changing weather conditions.

While ‘Color Dash’ is available for download now, ‘Flight Frenzy’ is due to be published later this year after the students were awarded funding from a co-curricular activities fund in Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, which has enabled them to buy a publishing licence for the Google app store.

Two more games called ‘Turtle Odyssey’ and ‘Chef’s Last Stand’ are currently in development, as the students lead the initiative alongside their studies. To help get Project Pixel off the ground, the students sought advice from Sumo Digital, an award-winning video game developer based in Sheffield. The students met with Jake Habgood, Director of Education Partnerships at Sumo, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield and gave advice on how to approach effective game development.

“It’s fantastic to see a diverse range of students engaging with game development at the University of Sheffield. The games industry will need diverse skill sets and ideas to successfully engage new audiences and create innovative new products. This is a great initiative, and we wish the students every success,” said Habgood.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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