Penrhos College girls win award for green video game

Winners:  Students Alice Wang, Archa Gamage and Megan Petty.
Winners: Students Alice Wang, Archa Gamage and Megan Petty.

THREE Penrhos College students took out a prestigious national title for their original video game Destroy the Nurdles, Save the Turtles.

As part of the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge, Year 10 students Archa Gamage, Megan Petty and Alice Wang won the PwC Achievement Award in the Female Category.

Destroy the Nurdles, Save the Turtles is a strategy-based game around the theme of conservation and protection of the environment from “nurdles”, small plastic pellets that accumulate in the ocean.

The player must navigate around the screen, splitting time between destroying nurdles and assisting the marine life.

Winning team member Megan said the girls did not have any programming experience before they took part in the challenge but they quickly learnt how important teamwork was. “I learnt about how programming works, how specific you need to be with your instructions and all the steps that go into a simple game,” she said.

“We had to learn it all in little steps and I started by doing a simple tutorial that gave me the basics of how to use Game Maker.

“It can do most things you want it to. It sort of builds up like a house of cards and you have to get all the elements to work together.”

To acknowledge their achievement, the girl will receive a six-month mentoring package, including a monthly one-hour session with members of PwC’s Digital Change team.

Penrhos College principal Meg Melville said she was proud of the girls and their win was an excellent example of collaboration.

“Megan, Alice and Archa worked brilliantly together to take on this challenge, pooling their collective expertise in programming, music, sound and graphics to build this game from the beginning,” she said.

“To win the Most Outstanding Female Category was just fantastic.”