The tenth annual Young Game Designers (YGD) awards, a competition run by BAFTA to “inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future”, is now open for applications.
The competition – which last year engaged more the 2,600 young people – is described as “one of the cornerstones of BAFTA’s charitable activity, providing young people and teachers unique access to the games industry and top professionals through competitions, online teaching tools, workshops and social networks”.
As last year, there are three award categories. With two age bands in each – 10-14 and 15-18-year-olds – two are open to young designers; the YGD Game Concept Award for those creating an original concept for a new game, and the YGD Game Making Award, for those making a game using freely available software.
The YGD Mentor Award is open to public votes to reward “an inspirational individual who is involved in the education of young game creators in the UK, particularly those that reach out to young people who might not typically try their hand at game design”.
Entrants are encouraged to either apply on their own, as part of a lesson in school, or within a team of up to three people. Finalists will be invited to BAFTA headquarters in London, where they’ll meet “leading games industry figures, get mentorship from professionals actively working in games and a host of other amazing prizes from the YGD partners”.
“It has provided me with so much confidence in myself and my abilities to be one of Britain’s up and coming female coders. This scheme has been life-changing,” said Chloe Rattle, a finalist in 2018.
“If you are hesitating about whether to get involved or not, just go for it! Even if you don’t win, you can still learn valuable skills about making games … If you dream of making games someday, entering YGD is definitely a step in the right direction!” added Rhianna Hawkins, YGD winner in 2014.
“BAFTA’s YGD competition is a fantastic way for young people to explore the craft of game design and the creativity in the entries makes for an exciting future for British games,” said chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, Dr. Jo Twist. “Games are one of the most interesting ways of telling modern stories, increasingly spanning a wide range of topics and often tackling difficult issues that young people encounter. By mentoring young talent from all backgrounds and championing the next generation of games makers, YGD is an investment in the future of this industry.”
Entries are now open at ygd.bafta.org until March 11th, 2020.