Gaming novices prepare


The year is 2276. The Earth Government has started populating colonies in deep space. Contact with Orion IV, where the population had just exceeded 50,000, was lost. A taskforce will be sent out to investigate and recruits are being sought.

You can be part of it.

This is the lowdown on a virtual game being created by four Stratford High School students: Shay Walmsley (17), Brody Heal (16), Jacob Foley (16) and Alex Preston (17).

Apart from digital computer class at school and thoroughly enjoying everything computer related - plus Shay having dabbled in programming - they consider themselves on new territory.

But, if everything goes according to plan, Deep Space will be released through a gaming website at the end of March, and will hopefully be, for at least two of them, the start of a promising career.

Shay, the mastermind behind Deep Space, had twice previously tried his hand at creating computer games.

The last, Zombie Dawn, he decided to ditch before the final development stage as the result was not what he envisioned.

"It was poorly put together, and I just wanted to get out of it."

He adds, however, that he had learned from it, which is why this time he turned to friends to add their touch.

He brainstormed via Skype with long-time friend Brody and Jacob and on following their conversation, Alex says she was piqued and asked to be counted in. They have, meanwhile, created a website to help them fundraise for the software they will need and are currently creating the storyboard, from where Shay and Brody will further develop the game.

Shay says when his mum, Jocelyn Davis, bought him his first computer at age 9, he thought it the "most amazing thing. I fell totally in love with it.

"Then, getting internet was like a 'wow' refresh."

He says he discovered gaming and the fire was fuelled when they went onto broadband and he could download and play any game he choose.

"Playing the games got me interested in what is behind it. There were games I wanted to play, but that were not available. I thought, 'I could be making it'."

The four say they have high hopes for the game, Shay and Brody wanting a career in virtual programming and Alex and Jacob relishing learning more about what is behind their favourite pastime.

You can view their website at www.indiegogo.com/deep-space

- Stratford Press

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