Abertay University helps BAFTA Young Game Designers to build games

The University of Abertay Dundee will host the two winners of the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition today (Monday 11 February) as they turn their ideas into playable games.

Working with BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ winners Swallowtail Games and GameMaker creator YoYo Games, they will help design and build prototypes of their titles, ready for them to be unveiled on Tuesday 5th March at the British Academy Games Awards ceremony in London.

The two winners, who were announced at the British Academy Children’s Awards in November, are:

- 15 year-old Charlie Hutton-Pattemore, who won the Game Concept Award for his game Vacuum Panic (aka Suck It Up).

- 13 year-old Christopher Purdy, who won the Game-making Award presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for his game Smiley Dodgems.

The BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative, which has been running since 2010, aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future, by giving young people aged 11-16 the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals. BAFTA has partnered with Abertay University since the inception of the initiative and with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) on the 2012 competition.

For the first time this year the competition had two strands: the original Game Concept Award is for an idea for a new game, including a description of the characters, the world of the game, and how it will be played.

The inaugural Game-making Award presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe was aimed at games made using game-making software or programming languages. Young people could enter both categories as individuals or as a team.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “BAFTA and Abertay University have worked closely together for many years, and we both share a passionate commitment to encouraging young people to see computer games as a real career opportunity – not just a form of entertainment.

“BAFTA Young Game Designers is a superb scheme to encourage young people to start creating games, to test their ideas on friends and family, and to think hard about how you design a fun and exciting game experience.

“We look forward to seeing both Charlie and Christopher develop their games with Swallowtail Games and YoYo Games, and will keep an eye out for them in the future. They’ve both shown great potential as game designers.”

Harvey Elliott, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee and Children’s Committee, said: “We are delighted that, through our partnership with Abertay University, our two worthy winners are able to work so closely with professional game developers. We look forward to showcasing Charlie’s and Christopher’s prototype games at the British Academy Games Awards in March. No doubt this is just the beginning of their success in the games industry.”

The BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative aims to demystify the creative process of games development and highlight how key qualifications in areas such as maths, physics and computer science are essential for those wishing to enter the industry.

Further details about the BAFTA Young Game Designers can be found at www.bafta.org/ygd.

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For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

About Abertay University

Abertay University launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997, and runs both the UK Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education and the international game design contest Dare to be Digital. Our unique partnership with BAFTA makes Dare the exclusive pathway to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, a major recognition of up-and-coming games talent.

Through the Abertay University Prototype Fund start-up and small developers across the UK have access to funding to create new prototypes and attract additional investment, another practical way Abertay supports the growth of a sustainable, successful games industry.

Abertay has the highest number of Skillset accreditations for computer games courses as well as holding full Skillset Media Academy status, recognition of the important industry skills that are developed on our courses. For more information please visit www.abertay.ac.uk/studying/schools/amg/

About BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org.

 


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