The winners for this year’s Dare to be Digital contest showcasing the next generation of development stars have been named.
As voted for by judges from across the game industry, including Develop, the winning games were nominated based on their market potential, creativity, innovation and use of technology.
Teams had just nine weeks to craft their games and ensure they were playable for thousands of attendees at this year’s Dare Protoplay event in Dundee.
And after over two months of hard work, talented student teams iKnow, Mazhlele and Team DOS have booked their tickets to next year’s Baftas as the Ones to Watch nominees.
iKnow-developed iOS and Android puzzler The Unknown. Users had to obtain gold stars through a series of puzzles taking advantage of the touch screen and accelerometer of smartphones.
Console gaming was also on show with Mazhlele’s Xbox title Project Heera: Diamond Heist, a futuristic team-based multiplayer strategy game of cops and robbers, where police had to stop thieves from stealing diamonds across the level.
Team Dos’ rhythmic arcade title Size Dos Matter also received a nomination for the BAFTA Ones to Watch award. The title tasks players with quick-thinking to resize the user controller object to ensure it could fit through the oncoming obstacles.
The Channel 4 Award meanwhile, which grants the winning team £25,000 and mentoring support, was given to Team DOS.
The Audience Award, as voted for by a record breaking number of visitors throughout the four day show, was given to Kaleidoscope Games for multiplayer brawler Deep, in which players had to navigate the dangerous ocean depths while collecting the most plankton.
The Artistic Achievement and Team Choice Awards went to Lunavark Studio for the visually stunning Cosmic Couch. The game, based on the premise of reaching for the stars, is a vertical action scroller in which players collect coins as they slowly get further toward the sun.
Congratulations to all 15 talented teams at this year’s Dare to be Digital for putting on a strong show, which saw a record attendance for the event.
“My congratulations go to all of the teams that took part in Dare to be Digital and especially the three winning teams that will now go through to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award for new games talent. Once again Dare to be Digital has underlined Scotland’s place at the very heart of gaming excellence," said Cabinet Secretary for Culture Fiona Hyslop.
“I always enjoy the Dare ProtoPlay festival and this year was stronger than ever, showcasing incredible innovation including examples of how augmented reality can be used. I expect to see much of this talent and intellectual property being transformed into new businesses in Scotland to follow the successes of previous Dare to be Digital participants."
Abertay University professor Louis Natanson added: “The entrants to Abertay University’s 2013 Dare to be Digital game design competition are truly the best yet, in terms of their professionalism, their technical achievements and the incredible creativity we’ve seen this year.
“The BAFTA-nominated winners – iKnow, Mazhlele and Team DOS – stood out from the very tough competition for their exceptional game design and commercial appeal, but all 15 teams have the experience now to enter the games industry or start their own businesses.
“Building a professional, playable and exciting game in just nine weeks is a very, very hard thing to do, and these 75 students have all excelled during their time in Dundee. We look forward to hearing about their new companies, game releases and many successes in the future.”
The Bafta Ones to Watch nominees in full:
iKnow – The Unknown
Mazhlele – Project Heera
Team DOS – Size DOS Matter
Nick La Rooy