Lochaber High School, Camaghael, Fort William, Inverness-shire. PH33 7ND Tel. 01397 702512
Scotland’s new generation of independent video games developers visited the school on 17 November to take part in XpoNorth: Games Playground and Hands-on Camera Workshop. The event was one of the highlights of Lochaber Ideas Week, a week of business development workshops, entrepreneurial competitions, open discussions, inspirational talks and networking opportunities that celebrating the Lochaber area.
All S2 pupils were taken for a hands-on session with other age groups having the opportunity to drop-in at lunchtime and after school. There was a rare opportunity to test the most innovative and creative prototype video games, network with the talented young guns of Scotland’s thriving gaming industry and try out some of the most cutting-edge film equipment used in the creative industries.
Some of the most exciting young games designers and developers from Scotland’s up and coming independent studios were on-hand including: Darroch McNaught (DeuXality – Inverness), a BAFTA-nominated developer; Corrie Green (Moray College UHI), an independent games developer and winner of Moray Game Jam 2015; Mal Abbath (Dundee Game Collective); Dan Allan (A Fox Wot I Drew - Dundee); Paul Leishman (TeamRock – Glasgow) and Tom Knights (freelance writer and game designer).
In the Hands On Camera Workshop, run by Eileen Byrne of Visual Impact Scotland, budding Spielbergs were introduced to cutting-edge camera and dolly equipment. They were able to try out a range from GoPros and BlackMagic to the latest Sony high-end film cameras.
Amanda Millen, originally from Roy Bridge, director of XpoNorth and ScreenHI, said: “ScreenHI exists to offer targeted guidance, practical hands-on advice and networking opportunities in the screen, broadcast and digital sector. We are delighted to be working with Lochaber Ideas Week, the Scottish Games Network and Visual Impact in bringing the Games Playground and Hands-on Camera Workshop to Fort William. As a native of Lochaber, I'm particularly keen to pursue and support creative opportunities for young people in the area. We definitely want to give them all the assistance we can in following a career in Scotland’s booming video gaming industry. These new independent studios have proved that anything is possible if it's backed up with determination, focus and practical support.