Design your own Space Invaders

Published 4 March 2008

Space Invaders is 30 years old this March. To celebrate the legendary game’s birthday, the Tipperary Institute is hosting a special anniversary event on 13 March, with a competition to design your own game.

The XNA Ireland Challenge 2008, sponsored by Microsoft, allows students to design their own version of Space Invaders. There will be entries from individuals, schools and colleges. Second-level students and second-, third- or fourth-year full-time undergraduate third-level students can enter the challenge.

If your school or college wants to enter, it must register its intention in advance. For more information, contact Phil Bourke at (0504) 28258 or email phil[dot]bourke[at]tippsoc[dot]ie

The XNA Challenge

Games publishing companies from around the world will visit the college to judge the student-designed versions of Space Invaders. They will use the event as an opportunity to spot new games development talent in Ireland.

Prizes for the competition include:

  • An opportunity to interview for work placement with a games development studio
  • Xbox 360 for the winning team
  • Halo 3 for each competitor

History of the game

The Space Invaders video arcade game was designed in Japan in 1978. When it was released, it was one of the most revolutionary video games ever. It became extremely popular, and even caused a coin shortage in Japan.

Among other interesting Space Invaders facts:

  • The very first version in Japan was a cocktail table with black and white graphics
  • Within the first year of release, Space Invaders had generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue
  • Groundskeeper Willie in the “Who Shot Mr Burns” episode of The Simpsons says he couldn’t have fired a gun because he has crippling arthritis in his fingers from Space Invaders

Learn more

Download all the information and rules, plus a starter kit from

Visit the Tipperary Institute games page

Play Space Invaders on the Internet

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