Game-Plan: Charlemont Farm


Client: Sandwell MBC Safer Stronger Communities Unit

Partners: LearnPlay Foundation

Brief: To utilise the Game-Plan approach to engage with young people on the Charlemont Farm Estate and help them input into the neighbourhood planning exercise being carried out at the time.

Solution: The original approach agreed was to produce an interactive 3D model of the estate and use this as a basis for consultation and participation. Subsequent developments shifted priorities to align with the proposed development of a new playground for the estate with funding made available through Big Lottery’s Play Pathfinder.

3D model data of the play equipment was obtained from the equipment suppliers and used to create an interactive 3D model of the play area and the surrounding buildings and open space. The resulting model was used as the basis for consultation activities with pupils at Pennyhill Primary School and with young people at sessions at Charlemont Farm Community Centre.

Outcome: The sessions at Pennyhill Primary proved to be highly successful with pupils enjoying the process of producing playground designs and seeing the results of their efforts displayed digitally.

The community centre, underutilised by the nearby community, proved to be an excellent venue for the games engagement sessions and was well attended by a group of young people who, following the sessions, made determined efforts to have these continued!

The client was delighted to enhance the relationship with the local community and reinforce the healthy relationship they had built up with Pennyhill Primary through their Education Liaison Officer.

Kliper 2.0


Client: Advantage West Midlands

Partners: The University of Birmingham

Brief: Working with the West Midlands region’s Interactive Digital Media project the company proposed the development of a serious game concept demonstrator to show how games-based technology could be applied for serious purposes in this case the teaching of Newton’s Laws of Motion to secondary school physics students.

Solution: Taking advantage of the real-world physics capability of computer games development tools, Kliper 2.0 was developed based on Russia’s Kliper space vehicle designed to be a replacement for the Soyuz spacecraft.

Working closely with Professor Robert J. Stone of the University of Birmingham and with Professor Valentin Shukshunov, president of The International Higher Education Academy of Sciences and Professor Peter Panfilov, from the Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics a model of the Kliper spacecraft was created within a three dimensional space environment.

Users of the physics simulation were then able to take control of the spacecraft and attempt to dock it with the International Space Station in a series of exercises which required them to understand Newton’s Laws of Motion to achieve a successful docking..

Throughout the development process links were made with both teachers and pupils at local schools in order to ensure the embedded learning aligned with the National Curriculum and to test the demonstrator.

Outcome: The demonstrator went a long way to achieving its primary objectives i.e. building a solution that illustrated real-world physics in action and to which pupils positively responded in their appreciation and better understanding of mathematical and physics concepts.

As a result of the demonstrator activity the development partnership is being progressed to explore future developments of Kliper 2.0 and other interactive learning solutions.

Links: Kliper 2.0: Momentum Video – Kliper 2.0: Thrust Video – Birmingham Post Article

TSB Collaboration


Client: Sandwell MBC Safer Stronger Communities Unit

Partners: LearnPlay Foundation

Brief: Following the award of £300,000 of funding from the Technology Strategy Board, Nottingham-based Monumental Games are undertaking a Collaborative Research and Development project to revolutionise the Monumental Technology Suite, the Massively-Multiplayer Engine that now has over 40 licensees worldwide. The £700,000 project is focusing on making the Suite’s tools accessible to all and providing a browser-compatible development route with the objective of commercialising the results within a 2-year time-frame.

Solution:Monumental Games are the Lead Participant of the consortium that will be taking part in the project. Academic partner Staffordshire University has joined Monumental in the requisite research and other partners include Digital Governance who will provide an integrated billing system and PlayGen and Digital Native Academy who will be providing consultation on various aspects of the project.

The company has been testing a range of software modules within the software development Technology Suite and utilising its expertise in games-technology to feed into and share expertise with other project participants.

Outcome: The project is nearing completion and remains on track and within budget.

The company has gained significant experience of working with massively-multiplayer games engine technology, experience which it has learnt from and which is being used to inform other internal technology developments.

Links: Staffordshire University – PlayGen – Digital Governancey

Play Barn


Client: Sandwell MBC Play Pathfinder

Brief: As part of the advance planning for a major new play facility to be installed in Sandwell Valley Park the client wanted to inform visitors of the proposed new attraction and promote the fantastic indoor and outdoor play equipment being installed.

Solution: Working closely with both the building architect, the landscape architect and play equipment suppliers an interactive 3D model of the new scheme was produced to realistically represent its features and facilities.

The resulting model was embedded within a project website which allowed users to remotely access the model and navigate both inside the Play Barn and outside around the new play equipment. In addition the model was installed on a dedicated touch screen console in the park’s reception area that allowed visitors to view the new facility and leave comments.

The ideas and play facilities were influenced by children at local schools who entered into a competition to capture and submit their ideas through drawings.

Outcome: The client was delighted with the interactive representation of the play scheme and how realistically the new play equipment is portrayed. Visitors are now much more aware of the plans for the park and are able to leave constructive comments both on the project website and when visiting..

Links: Online Virtual Play Barn

Game-Plan: Tibbington


Client: Sandwell MBC Safer Stronger Communities Unit

Partners: LearnPlay Foundation

Brief: Following the completion of the ‘My Space on the Tibby’ project Sandwell Council wanted to build on the successful pilot and undertake a more comprehensive consultation exercise such that young people on the Tibbington Estate can more effectively feed into the masterplanning exercise planned to take place in the Spring of 2009.

Solution: In response to this a project plan was drawn up based on a three-stage model encompassing activities relevant to the target group i.e. engagement, embedded learning and neighbourhood planning. The primary target of the project was those young people categorised as being NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) with an additional requirement to recruit residents from other parts of the local community.
A wide range of activities were undertaken with various groups including primary and secondary schools, community centres, youth clubs and at events organised by John Thompson and Partners, the company appointed to undertake the neighbourhood planning exercise and F Squared, the organisation appointed to carry out the community consultation exercise.Computer games sessions were used to engage with young people (via our sister company LearnPlay Foundation) and this led to them, along with their friends, neighbours and family, being much more aware of the neighbourhood planning exercise and therefore more likely to participate in it.

Outcome: Over 200 individuals were engaged on to the programme and fed into the neighbourhood planning exercise. This significantly exceeded the targets set for the project.

A group of NEET young people went on to complete and achieve an ASDAN Activity Award and a further group of residents went on the complete and achieve an ASDAN Active Citizenship Award. In many cases this was the first award they had ever received and this has led to vastly increased confidence and motivation to go on and do other things.

Partnerships were forged with many local organisations including Murray Hall Community Trust, Sandwell Homes, Summerhill Primary School, Alexandra High School and Sixth Form College, Tipton Christian Church, and Sandwell MBC Housing Partnerships.

Gaming the Tibby


Client: Sandwell MBC – Safer Stronger Communities Unit – Midlands Architecture and the Designed Environment (MADE)

Brief: Following the completion of the ‘My Space on the Tibby’ project Sandwell Council wanted to build on the successful pilot and undertake a more comprehensive consultation exercise such that young people on the Tibbington Estate can more effectively feed into the masterplanning exercise planned to take place in the Spring of 2009.

Solution: In response to this a project plan was drawn up based on a three-stage model encompassing activities relevant to the target group i.e. engagement, embedded learning and neighbourhood planning. The primary target of the project was those young people categorised as being NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) with an additional requirement to recruit residents from other parts of the local community.

A wide range of activities were undertaken with various groups including primary and secondary schools, community centres, youth clubs and at events organised by John Thompson and Partners, the company appointed to undertake the neighbourhood planning exercise and F Squared, the organisation appointed to carry out the community consultation exercise.

Computer games sessions were used to engage with young people (via our sister company LearnPlay Foundation) and this led to them, along with their friends, neighbours and family, being much more aware of the neighbourhood planning exercise and therefore more likely to participate in it.

Outcome: Over 200 individuals were engaged on to the programme and fed into the neighbourhood planning exercise. This significantly exceeded the targets set for the project.

Of these a group of NEET young people went on to complete and achieve an ASDAN Activity Award and a further group of residents went on the complete and achieve an ASDAN Active Citizenship Award. In many cases this was the first award they had ever received and this has led to vastly increased confidence and motivation to go on and do other things.

Partnerships were forged with many local organisations including Murray Hall Community Trust, Sandwell Homes, Summerhill Primary School, Alexandra High School and Sixth Form College, Tipton Christian Church, and Sandwell MBC Housing Partnerships.

Links:Gaming the Tibby: Case Study – MC-eGOV Case Study – Ordnance Survey: Innovation Award Winner – Gaming the Tibby: Video – Gaming the Tibby: epractice – Gaming the Tibby: Awards – Engaging Young People in Regenerations & Community Development – Ordnance Survey Flyer – Gaming the Tibby: First Site Profile