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TU Dublin and RTU join forces for Game Jam event

Published on April 4, 2024 Updated on April 4, 2024

on the April 4, 2024

In the final week of February, students from TU Dublin and Riga TU joined forces during a week-long ‘Game Jam’ event. Their mission? To design an innovative language learning game. This diverse group of students, each with their unique backgrounds and specialisms, united around a common goal: the creation of educational games.

The event aimed to foster interaction and collaboration between game developers and language pedagogues, encourage the development of transferable soft skills through problem-based learning activities, and build a bridge between Irish third-level education and EUT+ partners. Ultimately, the goal was to enable students to apply course content to real-life problems, working on both the development of the games and the marketing campaign before, during, and after the event (one student from e-marketing).

This collaborative and co-constructive learning event, framed within a problem-based learning approach, also offered linguistic pedagogical value and opportunities for self-reflection on learning and language acquisition.
This year’s Game Jam was sponsored by Path 4 Universal Design, with special thanks to Sinead Dunne, Margaret Kinsella, and Richeal Fox. The principles of Universal Design guided us in our quest to alleviate student challenges by designing a learning environment that is inclusive and accessible to all. We believe in providing choices, options, and preferences because one size does not fit all. Flexibility and choice are key to our approach.

We were also fortunate to meet Christian Decloud & Maxime René from Redlock Studio (France), who shared their insights on the game creation process, from the initial idea to the final realization, including considerations of the target audience, business plan, and business model.They also very generously provided some of the prizes for the winning teams.

Students were encouraged to meet with their assigned groups online as frequently as they deemed necessary. Technical issues, an integral part of the #GameJam challenge, were addressed in a Forum & FAQ on TEAMS.

Our judging criteria were as follows:
  • The group demonstrated teamwork, independence, and autonomy.
  • The final game aligns with the needs of the chosen target student (clearly specified upon upload).
  • Universal Design principles are evident.
  • The game is playable and user-friendly, even for non-gamers.
  • The game has pedagogical value, specifically for language learning.
The full list of games can be found on itch.io under ‘Submissions to Game Jam 2024’.

It was a very successful event and many students sent us feedback to let us know how much they enjoyed it. As for the participating Riga TU students, we were very impressed by their professionalism and their dedication!

We would like to congratulate the following developers from Riga TU:
  • Binoj – Amy's journey
  • Zeynep – Supermarkt Jammers​
  • Rana – Ag Siopadoireacht
​And Team 2 – Emerald Flames ​who nearly made it!!​
  • Fakhri, Nicole and Molly

The three winners are:

Third place:

Team 13 TARAL​
Shazna, Arsh and Emre​
La fin du monde​
​Made with Unity, it looks professional and is challenging and fun. The story at the start will impress the players.

Second place:

Mo, Nuria and Tuna​
​Following a famous template, it looks professional and is challenging and fun. The blurb at the start really helped focusing on the educational value of the game.

First place:

Team 5 Learn4Fun​
Yvette & Josh​
​Made with a simple ppt, it looks professional and is challenging and fun. The blurb is very professional and ticks all the right boxes!​
Date of update 04 avril 2024