Elementary, my dear gamer!

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A COMPUTER gamer from Horsham has won a national competition to build a game from scratch in under 48 hours.

Peter Gaal, 31, who works for Horsham-based Aralia Systems as a senior software developer, was in the winning team tasked with producing a video game built around the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Peter says the two day marathon, Britain’s Biggest Games Jam, organised by games training specialists train2game, was a sleepless challenge from the moment the clock started ticking: “The theme was revealed at 6pm, and we had forty-eight hours to come up with a story and to devise and design a fully working game, which meant working through the night on caffeine and adrenalin,” said Peter.

Competing under the name ‘Lit Fuse’, it was a new experience for Peter and his fellow team members Martyn Whittel, Ben Stoneham, Fabiano Dias and Wantuhy Viana, and Chloe Martin, who had not met before the competition.

Peter, who grew up in Slovakia where he completed a Master’s degree in microelectronics before coming to the UK in 2009, brought his programming skills to the team.

“Although I am a software developer by profession, my day job is developing video surveillance software, which is completely different to designing computer games,” said Peter.

“But I am currently studying gaming and games design, so producing a game from scratch in forty-eight hours was a fantastic challenge and a brilliant buzz!

“The first thing we had to do was to manage our own aspirations. Of-course we would all have liked to design the next all singing and dancing game in glorious 3D, but in forty-eight hours that was not possible!

“The weekend was perfect, we all learnt a lot and didn’t expect to win, but it fulfilled a dream for me and I hope this experience is only the beginning.“

The winning game – the Capture of Sherlock Holmes - can be played and downloaded free from www.train2game.com.