Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Cairns council unleashes canine games

A suite of online games for young dog owners has been unleashed by Cairns Regional Council and CQUniversity.

Designed for children aged 5 to 11, the Getting To Know Your Dog games help children learn how to interact safely with dogs and be responsible pet owners.

The five animated games have been developed pro-bono by CQUniversity Digital Media students Matthew Wallwork, Thomas Rynne, Chloe Bower, Coltan Shaw-Murphy, Heath Bold and Tristan Wilkinson, under the direction of Academic Supervisor Dr Ashley Holmes, as part of an ongoing partnership between the two organisations.

Mayor Terry James said the five games are a fun, interactive way for children (and their caregivers) to identify when their pooch is happy, scared or angry.

“Dogs are amazing family pets that bring years of love and companionship, but even good dogs have bad days, with the majority of dog attacks involving children happening in the family home or the home of a friend or family member,” the Mayor said.

“Knowing the signs of when a dog prefers to be left alone, and the right way to interact with a dog, can help keep both kids and pets happy and safe.

“The games also teach children the best ways to play with their furry family members and items that should be kept out of reach of their pet.

“I’d like to congratulate the CQU students for delivering such a high-quality project, which I am confident will be a valuable tool for young families.”

Dr Holmes said the game development was a key opportunity for students looking to launch a career in digital game design to get real-world experience in working with a client.

“Each of the team members designed one of the games, and being located throughout Central and North Queensland, they collaborated virtually,” Dr Holmes said.

“They are a talented crew; the technical design is accomplished, and the character animations sophisticated.

“The capstone experience is two term’s duration (24 weeks). In Term 1 the teams consult with the client to establish the project requirements, propose a solution, and present a project plan.

“Then in Term 2 they swing into production mode. We teach the students how to present work in progress professionally, seeking client feedback along the way.”

The games at a glance:

Doggo Cards: match dog body language and expressions with their human equivalent to recognise if your dog is calm, happy, scared, excited or angry, so you know when it’s safe to play.

Hazard House: track down items that could be dangerous for your pooch and clear them from your home.

Bug Buster: use the magnifying glass to find fleas, ticks and ringworms that can make you and your pet sick.

Canine Cues: decide if these everyday examples are a good way to connect with your furry family member.

Pet Aware: sum up everything you’ve learned in this challenge round.

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