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Repton Al Barsha Students Design UAE Mobile Game App

by Eddie Rayner

Students from Repton Al Barsha have developed their own dedicated mobile application game, Detention Disaster, aimed at understanding the aspects of ‘right and wrong’ and promoting morality amongst the UAE youth.

As an Apple Distinguished School (ADS), Repton Al Barsha remains at the forefront of innovative student learning outcomes. In partnership with Bigfatphoenix Interactive, Reptonians from Years 4, 5 and 6 participated in a specially curated weeklong immersive game design and development on-campus workshop, where they were presented with challenging situations in which they needed to make tough choices to keep out of trouble while developing ethical decision-making skills in the process.

Led by the Bigfatphoenix Interactive, the gaming development studio responsible for the Fairside Stories mobile application, the team of highly experienced game designers supported the development of Reptonians’ technical skills across five workshop sessions. Students explored end-to-end processes of game design, including how databases and content management systems work in tandem to bring various game media components into a playable build.

Based on Bigfatphoenix Interactive’s proprietary social and emotional learning framework, students were able to map behaviours to character traits and navigate the effects of actions on characters and situations through gameplay. They used various creative design tools, including Miro, Garage Band and more, while working in groups to create their own unique game.As part of the workshop, key focus areas included the importance of planning to successfully execute creative projects, as well as the different roles and functions in a game development studio.

Reptonians from Years 4, 5 and 6 explored the intricacies of game designing, database and content management systems while learning about ‘right and wrong’

Zoe Woolley, Headmistress at Repton Al Barsha

Zoe Woolley, Headmistress at Repton Al Barsha, says: “At Repton Al Barsha, our approach to technology and innovation is guided by our vision of ‘Learning by Connecting.’ Over the course of the workshop, our students were able to better understand the processes and skills required to build a game, incorporating art, sound and other design considerations to create their very own game. As an Apple Distinguished School, we constantly seek to develop engaging learning opportunities that excite and encourage students to explore different learning avenues, which support their development as leaders of the future.”

Reptonians were invited to join The Fairside Squad, an exclusive global community of students who regularly interact with the game studio, to learn new skills, playtest and co-create new content on Bigfatphoenix Interactive’s mobile application, Fairside Stories, offering a collection of story-based role-playing games.

“Repton Al Barsha’s inclusive use of technology in the classroom promotes students to become digital leaders as they enhance their skills in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). This incredible workshop perfectly complemented our efforts to equip our students with crucial 21st-century skills for an increasingly digital world, and we are thrilled to work with Bigfatphoenix Interactive on this project,” Woolley continued.

Repton Al Barsha students develop ‘Detention Disaster’ mobile game to promote ethical decision-making skills

Miriam Elnaggar, Learning Designer at Bigfatphoenix Interactive says, “The workshops focused on how games are made and the build process, highlighting aspects of right and wrong. Within the game’s design and plans, the children were given the opportunity to discuss and come up with alternative actions, which were linked to specific scenarios, resulting in different scores within the game, which would play a part in the final outcome. This was great, as it helped the students to constantly think about morality and ethics, weighing up doing the right thing versus the more ‘fun’ option that could result in getting into trouble or not being the best choice in the long run.”

Reptonians relished the opportunity, as they took their first steps into the realm of game development, creating Detention Disaster. Testimonials from Reptonians on their experience building Detention Disaster included:

  • “I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say we are very excited to see it because we spent a whole week designing everything and doing the mirror board and so I think it will be very exciting to see the game when it comes out.”
  • “I enjoyed day four of the workshop because it had two of my favourite subjects – Art and Music. Basically, you have to plan everything before making a game because otherwise you will not have a goal and aim to target when you are making the game.”

The final game created by the students will be featured on the Fairside Stories mobile application with their names credited, available for download in the UAE on the Google Play Store and on iOS.

To learn more about Bigfatphoenix Interactive’s creative games, please visit: https://www.bigfatphoenix.com/

For further information on Repton Al Barsha’s innovative teaching methodologies, please visit: https://www.reptonalbarsha.org/