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Amazeballz – games design assignment is right on cue

Young games developers have earned themselves a credit on the latest release from a local indie development house.

The students from Banbury and Bicester College have been working with Ragtag Developments to design Amazeballz Pool, a new 3D pool game featuring classic pool rules and trick shots.

Six students – James Mitchell, Ryan Hall, Henry Collet, Harry Little, Jack Harper and James Rickatson – are listed on the opening credits, having supported the design of the games’ display, content, fonts and menu icons.

The game has just been launched in BETA mode and is now playable online before being rolled out across iOS, Android, PC, OS X and tvOS platforms in May.

Rich Hancock, creative director of Ragtag, who also teaches on the games development diploma at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “This is the second game we have made for ourselves and the students really helped to drive it along. They are our target demographic so their insight is invaluable. As well as supporting the design, they were able to test as we go and give us feedback that leads to a more engaging user experience.

“Most pool games focus on shiny visuals, but the gameplay feels disconnected. Amazeballz focuses on the gameplay and by taking direct control of the cue it feels like playing real pool.

“This experience should stand the students in good stead when it comes to entering the industry. There aren’t many young people who can boast a credit on a live games product while still at college.”

Amazeballz Pool can be played online against other players from around the globe, or against Artificial Intelligence computer opponents. Players can progress to new challenges as their skills develop, and activate a ‘crazy’ mode with endless layouts and obstacles.

Banbury and Bicester College student James Mitchell, aged 19, said: “I’ve loved working on this project, from all the initial research into pool table dimensions to actually seeing the game live and playing it.

“I think what I’ve learnt most is what it means to work as part of a team. The first few versions of the pool table that I built had to be revised, because they weren’t optimised or labelled in a way that could be easily understood by the rest of the group.  I’m looking forward to the next project so I can put into practice what I’ve learnt.”

While the game is in testing mode, users can give feedback via social media. Find out more and play the game at www.amazeballzpool.com

Find out more about full-time games development and IT programmes at  Banbury and Bicester College at www.banbury-bicester.ac.uk