Congratulations to Maximus Abela (Year 8) and Samuel Thompson (Year 12) who won the Fobisia Creative Coding key stage 3 and key stage 5 respectively recently.
Hosted by St. Andrew’s International School, Bangkok, the Fobisia Creative Coding challenge was open to all students Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 (ages 6 to 18).
According to one of the judges Andrew Bramwell, “The focus for the challenge centred on highlighting and promoting the benefits of teamwork in software development, as a means of improving and developing greater efficiency, creativity, innovation, and the sharing of knowledge and experience etc.”
“It also has to be said that the website and videos that support the project were also of a very high standard,” he wrote on the competition’s blog.
Maximus spent six months to prepare his entry. He wanted to design a spaceship and create a fun way to explore it.
“Originally I wanted to make a taxi spaceship game, but soon found that it was too hard for someone with no prior experience in unity (coding program). I grew very frustrated with not being able to do anything with it and was soon ready to give up and make another boring scratch game (easier coding program). But then I attended a Coding workshop in school. This inspired me to continue, because the people there knew so much about programming. After that, I started to watch youtube tutorials and slowly learnt until I was able to develop the game,” explained Max who has had won several coding competitions in the past.
Coding has taught Max about patience as he said “When you’re coding, you can’t make something happen instantly. Just try not to get frustrated, on the first day, I couldn’t even make a timer that could count to ten!”
For Samuel Thompson, his idea came from a book “House of Leaves” by Mark .Z. Danielewski. It revolves around a house that changes its interior shape and size irrespective of its outside appearance.
“When the idea initially came to me, I spent months doing nothing but thinking about it, barely writing anything down. All the ideas were in my head and it got to a point where nearly every single detail was planned in my head. That, plus a few programming tests and demos I made to make sure that my ideas were viable took place over about four months. After that, I scribbled it all down on paper and sat down over a weekend and build the whole thing in four days,” explained Sam.
Asked what were the things he learned from the competition, he said, “I think the most valuable things that I learned from this competition were to do with the technical aspects of game design, understanding the workflow of design, development, implementation and debugging. It really gave me perspective on what it actually takes to take something from idea to fully completed project, all those small things that you don’t really think about but in truth are really important to making the whole package look and feel complete.”
Computer Science teacher James Abela (Max’s father) is incredibly impressed by the amount of work that has been put into making these professional quality games.
“They exemplify what can be done in Computer Science when a student uses their imagination and combines it with creativity, coding and problem solving. Well Done indeed, to win against many other prestigious schools and to win so convincingly is an outstanding achievement,” he commented.