Our second successful bid as MakoDigital Arts CIC was awarded to us by Co-op Customer Donation Fund, to work with disadvantaged young people from Widnes, to help them discover new talents in coding game design. 

The Co-op Foundation is a charity, key to the heart of co-operatives ethical values. They work to support and reward disadvantaged communities through customer sales. We were able to work together with the money raised to help connect and empower young people. As a result, our partnership led to us delivering three gaming workshops.

Similar to our music making project with Alfred Shaw Trust. We delivered three 90 minute workshops. This took place at Upton Community Centre. The workshops allow young people in Widnes to learn how to create their own computer games. We always make sure that our Game Design workshops require no previous coding or design experience. We advertised this event with the recommendation for participants to attend all three sessions. This brought the opportunity for people to focus on developing their own gaming projects for all three sessions.

Our goals for this project was to spark an interest in not only playing, but designing computer games in a way that our participants could continue with their creativity beyond our sessions. Leading onto, not only putting their minds towards creating something positive, but potentially sparking an interest for a future career in game design and coding. 


Game Design Workshop Overview

  • Storyboard Creation

  • Character Creation

  • Basic Coding

  • Level Design

  • Beta Testing

With a brief walk through of some example games, to help explain the game development process, a quick storyboarding/planning session took place to figure out what type of games the participants would like to create.

Our expert staff then instructed the participants on how to create their own characters, levels, game rules and overall design. Continual supervision was provided throughout these sessions, as the participants used iPads to begin creating their own computer games.

Afterwards, each final game was tested through broadcasting onto a projector. With everybody able to watch another’s work, this allows for friendly and positive group feedback. We work to encourage group work and self- confidence building within all of our workshop projects.

Final Thoughts

We held three sessions in total. These were all sold out, showing the positive feedback from the local community. Within a 90 minute timeframe, we were to deliver fun and creative educational activities to these disadvantaged young people. Co-op, in particular, wants to combat youth loneliness. With these workshops being held in a community centre, it was ideal for young people to feel relaxed and able to communicate with each other. 

A major goal of this project was to encourage the development of communication and social skills between our participants. Young gamers can often spend a lot of time in isolation playing computer games, but this project offered an opportunity for likeminded gamers to come together and be creative in a team environment. 

We are thankful to provide opportunities to inspire young people in Widnes. We would also like to thank Co-op Lottery Fund for allowing us to hold these sessions.

Check out some examples of the work produced in the workshops below.