Press Start Rhondda is a project designed to develop the programming skills of young people (and anyone else who wants to join in!) in the Rhondda through game development using the Unity Engine and the C# programming language. Throughout the Rhondda, clubs have been set up with the aim of encouraging young people to consider completing qualifications or even start a career in programming.
Press Start Rhondda is supported by a grant from the Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund. The Fund has been established by energy company Vattenfall for the benefit of the communities hosting Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm.
The project is also funded in part by Awards For All as part of the National Lottery Fund.
How does it work?
Clubs are established throughout the Rhondda and attendees are divided into small groups, who then plan a game that they wish to make. Once an initial plan has been drawn up and a list of assets (things added into the game like sounds, character models, background artwork etc.) has been written, the teams research how to make the game and implement their ideas. If a team decides to make a 2D platforming game for mobile phones, they must research how to make one. They must learn how to build the levels in Unity, program a playable character using C# and more. There are countless tutorials online as well as a very useful library that Unity themselves have created to help people learn what to do and how to do it. This model of working develops digital literacy, research and development skills, independent thinking, computational thinking, organisation, time management and many more valuable competencies for young people.
Press Start Rhondda evolved from the Appening Rhondda Game Jam weekends. Below is a video of the Game Jam that happened in August 2017.