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Event: Young Games Designer AwardsDate: Saturday 29 June 2019  Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, LondonHosts: TBC-Area: Game StillsBAFTA/Elsie Habgood

Succession (GameMaker Studio 2) - Elsie Habgood (11) Sheffield

“Succession teaches the player about the kings and queens who ruled England from 1066-1901 with colourful graphics, weird noises and crazy game modes.”

Succession’s aim is to teach the player about the kings and queens who ruled England from 1066-1901. The player begins by playing the ‘Five a Day’ game mode on day one. Five a Day is a game mode that tests the player on five different kings and queens every day. By only learning five each day it makes it an easier challenge. 

The first round is called ‘Line of Succession’. Press on two different monarchs, in turn, to swap them around. The aim is to have every monarch in chronological order. The player can work out how many they have correct by the score at the top.
I came up with the idea because I wanted to teach people history in a fun way. I think that some of the kings and queens have been forgotten and stories have made it increasingly difficult to sort fact from fiction because they have merged and made our past a mystery. I designed each of the game modes to help shift knowledge from the short term memory to the long term memory by separating the facts into manageable chunks.

I had used GameMaker a little before, but not very much. I learnt how to create variables and do tests on them to make things happen. I learnt to work out where I had gone wrong by playing the game and then changing the code based on what I could see happening. 

I learnt a lot about using GameMaker, but the main thing I learnt was patience. It took ages and ages and ages and AGES to program the game over the summer holidays, and it still wasn’t finished. 

When I created the Big Ben Challenge mode it broke the Five a Day mode because it had a lot more monarchs in it. This was extremely annoying as I had spent quite a long time creating Five a Day and I had to change a lot of things to make it work. All this extra work took many days of the summer holiday and made me tired and reluctant to carry on.

I am already planning to add a Royal Houses game mode between Five a Day and The Big Ben Challenge. This game mode will include all of the same mini-games as Five a Day. Unlike Five a Day it will include more than 5 rulers each time. This is because it will have all the rulers from certain royal houses (i.e. House of Tudor includes: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I).

Note: Succession is designed for Android tablets and phones, but the zip file contains a Windows version as well as the Android package file.