Abertay University and BAFTA launch new game-building tool for kids

For immediate release: Tuesday 13 September

Children can now build their own working game using a simple-to-use tool built by the University of Abertay Dundee for BAFTA Young Game Designers, in association with Electronic Arts and with support from NESTA.

The Games Unpacked tool lets enthusiastic young people with no knowledge of computer programming build working games by dragging and dropping level elements like platforms, power-ups and dangerous traps.

Using the industry-standard Unity engine, the Games Unpacked tool is a fun way for school children to play around with making their own games – and to learn more about what it takes to become a computer games developer.

Children can get started by visiting http://ygd.bafta.org/games-unpacked and downloading the free software. They can also upload their finished game for others to see.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “Every young person I know absolutely loves playing games, and Games Unpacked is a fun and easy way to take the next step into making their own games.

“By creating a simple ‘digital toolbox’ of all the elements of a game level, children of any age can build a brand new game and start learning about the fascinating process of games development.”

The Games Unpacked initiative is a complement to the successful BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, which involves teams of 11 to 16 year-olds submitting an idea for a new game for a chance to win a range of prizes. These include work experience with Bright Light, an EA games studio, and a working prototype of the game developed with Abertay University. The deadline for entry is Monday 24th October.

Niyi Akeju, BAFTA Producer for Audience Development Projects, said: “Games Unpacked is an additional offering on the BAFTA Young Game Designers website, and we look forward to seeing how visitors engage with the package.”

Games Unpacked was also tested at the recent Dare ProtoPlay games festival in Dundee, which attracted 9,000 visitors. Young gamers found the tool fun and easy to use, with a queue quickly building to try it out.

Through projects like this, Abertay University and BAFTA are committed to showing as many young people as possible that computer games development is an achievable and exciting career.

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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 BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts 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.

BAFTA Young Game Designers in association with Electronic Arts aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become the next generation of video game designers. It is part of the national games and visual effects skills initiative supported by NESTA. For further information visit www.bafta.org/ygd  


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