Students use city landmark in phone app

James Burton, William Davies and Georgina Cronshaw at the launch

James Burton, William Davies and Georgina Cronshaw at the launch

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Preston’s Guild has been given mobile phone app-eal.

The city’s historic celebration - and traditional textile industry - has inspired a games company and university students to create a mobile phone app game.

‘Cotton Pops’ is the brainchild of UCLan games design students Georgina Cronshaw, Will Davies and James Burton and features familiar Preston landmarks including Tulketh Mill in Ashton.

They worked alongside experts at RM Productions after its sister company, Black Bull Studios, challenged them to come up with a mobile games idea in celebration of the 2012 Guild.

And they were then introduced to two students from Lancaster University, Jamie Briers and Will Moorhouse, who had the programming skills needed to complete the project.

The game is a “warm–up” version of the Guild Key – a puzzle-based interactive treasure hunt which will be launched next year.

Peter Melling, a director at Black Bull Studios and founding co-director of RM Productions, said: “Black Bull Studios has been supporting the games design course at UCLan for five years now, mentoring the students and challenging them to enter our annual competition to design a game with an innovative concept.

“With the Preston Guild 2012 very much on everyone’s minds, this year we asked them to come up with a game that would relate to the Preston Guild and leave a legacy long after 2012 had passed.

“We were overwhelmed by the standard of the entries, but eventually Cotton Pops was chosen as the winning concept.”

Andrew Leeming, senior projects officer for Lancashire County Developments which part-funded the project, said: “This initiative gives talented and creative students the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the real world disciplines that employees and businesses are crying out for.

“In Lancashire, we excel in the digital and creative industries and, by working with the students and staff at UCLan and our private sector partners, we been able to give a boost to an exciting and growing industry.”

Cotton Pops was showcased at Preston’s newly refurbished visitor information centre during the official re-opening on Thursday.

It is expected to be launched worldwide on iTunes next month and will cost 69p.

The game is designed for Apple’s iPhone 4 or later handsets and iPad but releases for other manufacturer’s handsets are planned.

Preston’s Guild programme of events is expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks. Visit www.prestonguild2012.com.