College students put iPad games to the test

Students on Dudley College's Computer Games Design course were recently invited in by Birmingham City University graduates to help test a series of iPad games now proving popular downloads on Apple  iTunes. The students' feedback, which helped to finalise the games before they went live, was recognised by acknowledging the students' names in the games credits.

The testing involved visits to the university where briefing  sessions kicked off the work requiring the students to play the iPad games while considering how visual appearance of the games could be improved to make them more interesting and challenging. Once the games were assessed, feedback was given to the graduates, who then used the students' comments to refine the games. A further testing session was carried out before the games went live.

Patrick Latham, 18, from Oldbury, who secured a place at Stafford University to continue his studies, said: "Having seen what goes into developing a game it's given me a new perspective of the games industry and it has helped open my eyes. Next time I play a game I won't be so critical as I'll have more understanding of what goes into making a great game."

Patrick tested all the games on his first visit to Birmingham City University, then worked with one of the graduates on a game called 'Toucan' on his second visit. The game is now live and carries Patrick's name as part of the development team.

Spencer Holmes, tutor on the Computer Games course at Dudley College, explained: "The project was a 'win-win' for the local university and our college students as both parties benefited by working together.

"Our students were able to put into practice what they are learning on their course and got a real insight into how complex game design is. The university graduates had their games tested by some of the industry's future designers, who provided valuable and constructive criticism which ultimately made their games more playable and popular."

Future visits are planned in June when students have the opportunity to test PlayStation 3 games currently in development.

For information on the Computer Games Course starting in September visit or twitter @Games_DC, where you can view students work and get an idea of what the course is about.