A VISITING Assembly Member was “blown away” after visiting Coleg Llandrillo’s computing facilities.

Llŷr Gruffydd AM, spoke to students and was shown the scale of the department’s commercial operations, learning about the continuing success of its 3D animation and games development sector.

Llyr Gruffydd said: “I am extremely impressed with the college’s computing facilities and the students I have met. I was blown away; it was a big eye-opener. Today’s visit has given me an insight into the wider set of skills needed to excel.

“It was extremely pleasing to see their animation, design, gaming and business skills all come together to produce the final product. They are developing skills for business which will be transferable.”

The department has had an unbelievable start to 2019, after securing partnerships with some of the world’s most successful electronics and gaming brands. It recently announced it has been registered as both Xbox and Nintendo developers, a possible first for any college or university in the UK.

Further to this, it is now part of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s global academic programme - PlayStation®First. Run by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), it provides access to professional development hardware and software tools for both staff and students.

This means that students can use the same hardware games studios around the world use, enabling them to create ground-breaking, innovative games on PlayStation, in their own classrooms.

One group of students have set up their own business already, with a studio name of ‘Get Triggered’. Their first product is a game relating to mental health, which is made all the more poignant as one of the talented trio has dyspraxia, and another, dyslexia.

The team, Jess Roughton, who is 19 years old and lives in Towyn, near Abergele, Oliver Rowlands, 21, from Glan Conwy and Joseph Lloyd-Williams, 19, from Denbigh, are all studying on the foundation degree 3D animation and games development course at the college’s Rhos-on-Sea campus. They had help with the marketing and entrepreneurial aspects from the college’s enterprise officer, Karen Aerts.