Three schoolboys from Earlston High School have set an industry first by having their idea for a driving game developed into a mobile game app (which launches today) after winning this year’s Arnold Clark Schools’ Challenge, writes Sandy Neil.
The national competition received more than 700 entries from 150 schools, where teams were tasked to write an annotated storyboard detailing the thought process and features of their suggested game. The concept had to be simple, fun, addictive and unique – like popular apps such as Angry Birds or Paper Toss.
After a lengthy judging process, where 10 entries were shortlisted and voted for by the public, Earlston High School’s Ross Angus, Stuart Elliot and Andrew McQuarrie, aka the Appie Chappies, were judged clear winners with Arnold’s Tyre Trial game.
The team won a much-needed minibus and 10 computers for their school, as well as an Apple MacBook each for themselves.
The game has taken four months to develop, with the boys working alongside Chunk Games in their Glasgow office to bring their vision to life. Minor adjustments were made, including its name, and Free Wheelin’ was born. Eddie Hawthorne, Arnold Clark managing director said: “Our first game app has created much excitement and we are absolutely delighted with Appie Chappies’ creation. The Arnold Clark Schools’ Challenge set out to encourage more students to work together as a team and develop not only original marketing concepts, but business flair.”
Brian McHarg, technical director of Chunk Games, added: “It was great to see the level of work and creativity displayed in so many of the entries. School pupils are the developers of the future, so the industry can expect a lot of great talent when they further their education. It was a pleasure working with the Appie Chappies team and we hope the game will be a huge success.”
Players of the adrenaline-pumping Free Wheelin‘ game need to steer a run-away tyre to victory while staying on the twisting, hurdling, tricky track for as long as they can, picking up boosters and pumping up their tyre for extra strength. Extra points are given for leaping gaps and cutting corners to roll their way into the big leagues.
Commenting on behalf of Appie Chappies, Ross Angus said: “It was surreal when it was announced that we were the winners of the Arnold Clark Schools’ Challenge. As well as winning MacBooks, we visited Chunk the following week and talked to the team who would be creating our game idea. The experience has been unforgettable.”
Michelle Strong, Earlston High School Head Teacher said: “We are extremely proud of our students Ross, Stuart and Andrew.
“The Arnold Clark Schools’ Challenge has been very well received throughout the school and has given students a real opportunity to be involved in one of Scotland’s most recognised businesses.
“In a tough economic climate, Arnold Clark should be applauded for their commitment to education and Scotland’s students.”
Free Wheelin’ will be available to download free from the Apple app store from today. The game is also available on Android with Google Play.