I'f you're like me, Then the phrase 'code bar' might make you recollect those times you've had a mind blank at the cash machine and pressed the wrong PIN number three times. For students of the University of Abertay and the computer gaming industry however, it takes on a far more useful meaning.

On the 10th of April, games students at Abertay University were offered a fantastic chance to merge their games design and enterprise opportunities through the unveiling of the Code Bar. This new venture in conjunction with the Intellectual Property Office, and is the materialised vision of Brian McNicoll - games industry consultant and co-founder of BAFTA award winning Dynamo Games.

But what actually is the Code Bar?

The Code Bar offers commercial games studios the opportunity to have access to games projects created by both Abertay University students, as well as participants in the world-leading game development competition, ‘Dare to be Digital’. My code handling skills would therefore omit me from this venture...

Into The Sky was one of 7 games released with the launch of the Code Bar. Click image above to watch the promo video.


Commercial games studios will have one click access to the projects,allowing the companies to swoop in on any that have the potential to be developed into full titles. This offers the students the ability to pop the bubble of isolation that can form an often difficult to overcome barrier between their work and enterprise, and create games and code right at a global forefront in a virtual shop window for the computer games world to see. Of course, then there’s the financial incentive to the participants, which are great! Having a project purchased through the Code Bar will put 60% of the fee straight in the student programmers’ pockets, with the sales conducted through an online private auction, safe from the tanned hands of David Dickinson.

The project has been seen as an industry leading opportunity for developers and companies alike, with Rosa Wilkinson, Director of Innovation at the Intellectual Property Office, saying:
“The Intellectual Property Office is delighted to have been able to support this exciting initiative through its Fast Forward Competition.  

“The Code Bar is an excellent example of how the competition can support innovative approaches to knowledge exchange that benefit both businesses and students, leading to products and services that will help the UK economy to grow.”
This new venture works in favour of the commercial games studios too; with an array of new demos and projects out there for them to pick up and finish into completed games, it’s unlikely they’re complaining. The leading man, Brian McNicoll added this of the new venture:

“The Code Bar takes a very different approach to bringing promising new student games out to the market. There are so many games created by students at Abertay University, and on Dare to be Digital, that could be developed further by the right company.”

“We’re looking to unlock promising, hidden intellectual property – giving games companies new creative ideas to develop into full products, paying students for successful sales of their exceptional work, and hopefully bringing more innovative games to market.”
So all in all, this new venture is expected to draw computer game development and financial reward closer together for students of Abertay, and participants of Dare to be Digital, giving them their first taste of enterprise within the computer games industry. Not to mention the kudos of having their projects picked up by commercial games studios. With projects submitted to the Code Bar also available for educational purposes, for those with an eye for code and game programming, the Code Bar is something that will possibly take game design to the next level (apologies for the pun, I couldn’t resist)! Of course, the final positive is that this Code Bar doesn’t lead to an awkward trip to the bank...

Check out the Code Bar website here: http://thecodebar.abertay.ac.uk

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