Games Development Students Spend Day at CCP, Testing EVE Valkyrie

In Adults, Employers, In the Press, News, School Leavers, on the 10th, February 2016

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Darlington College Level 3 Games Development students, who were invited by CCP Games, Newcastle, to test out virtual reality game EVE Valkyrie, L-R, Emily Harrison, 16, of Newton Aycliffe, Joe Algie, 30, of Skelton, Jay Cummings, 18, of Darlington, Michael Edmond, 19, of Darlington, Jordan Perry, 17, of Trimdon, Jordan Slasor, 17, of Newton Aycliffe, Ryan Currie, 17, of Darlington, Shaun Gouldthorpe, 24, of Darlington, Jade O-Mahonie, 19, of Catterick Garrison and Stephen Jolly, 20, of Darlington

COLLEGE students found themselves ahead of the game after being invited to test the latest in virtual reality immersive technology.

Games development students from Darlington College spent the day with global gaming developers CCP, Newcastle, testing out their latest multiplayer dogfighting shooter game, EVE Valkyrie.

The Icelandic-based games company, which has offices in Reykjavik, Atlanta and Shanghai, has been creating the multi-million pound space combat simulator game at its Newcastle studio and is set to launch the product, alongside the Oculus Rift headset, on PC and Sony’s PlayStation 4 in spring 2016.

Darlington College tutor Brian Coyle said: “It was an absolutely amazing and rare opportunity for our students to be invited into a Triple A gaming development facility to test out a new game before its release to the general public.

“They are the first students ever to be asked into the studio to give feedback on a new game so this was a really big deal for all of them.

“We are really fortunate in that, outside London, the North-East is the biggest centre for games development in the UK and through our fantastic connections at Darlington College our students have access to some of the best gaming development companies in the business.”

Four years in the making, EVE Valkyrie is a multi-player space combat shooter game built as an add-on to EVE virtual reality online games. Players are in command of a heavily armed fighter ship tracking enemy targets and dogfighting in 360-degree space combat.

Student Shaun Gouldthorpe, 24, of Darlington, said: “I couldn’t believe it when we were told that we had been invited to test the game at the development company, it was absolutely incredible and really lived up to all its expectations.

“It’s hard to believe that I was working in a factory making metal doors a few years ago and now I’m at college doing something I love.”

Joe Algie, 30, who previously worked in sales before enrolling on Darlington College’s games development course, added: “It was amazing to be able to go inside a development studio, see all of the latest gaming technology and meet the designers who have worked on the game.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant and I’m now looking to go on to university to study the visual aspects of game design.”

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