Game programmers testing mega games console

Date published: 27 February 2020

Townsville’s brightest young computer game programmers are testing a mega games console that will be installed in Flinders Street next month as part of the city’s Smart Precinct strategy.

Townsville City Council has partnered with industry leaders to develop coding skills in the city.

Global programming organisation CoderDojo has been working with talented young programmers to design games for the big screen over the past few months with games set to go live within weeks.

A Council spokesperson said designers were in the process of finalising their games for the CBD.

“The kids designing the first three games are trying out the console ahead of its move to Flinders Square in March,” the spokesperson said.

“Council is working with these young programmers to finalise the games with expert help from CoderDojo.

“The console is part of Council’s plan for Townsville to become a smart, connected city and it will be exciting  for the young coders to see their games being played live on the big screen.”

The games each have themes inspired by Townsville.

“The console is another way to activate the CBD and connect people to their city,” the spokesperson said.

“I’m sure it will be especially popular with families heading to the stadium.”

Programming mentor Vaughan Schipplock said the young designers were thrilled to reach the stage where they could now play their games on the mega games console.

“It’s awesome to see the kids getting such a kick out of it and it’s given us a chance to see how advanced the children are by giving them such a good challenge,” Mr Schipplock said.

“Developing a game with high scores and leader boards requires a lot of effort but they’ve now seen how good the end product can be if they work hard.

“Everyone who has seen the console is excited, the reaction is the same - they just can’t wait to have a go.”

Townsville City Council said the coding program will have ongoing benefits for talented programmers.

“The youngest programmer in the first workshop is seven years old and Council is looking to extend the program with a school-based competition in coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

“This will give more youngsters the opportunity to develop games for the public to play on the mega games console.”