The Young Game Designers (YGD) Awards ceremony was taking place on Saturday (July 7th), with five awards up for grabs during the evening.
Hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Julia Hardy and Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson, this year’s YGD Awards had 40 games from 60 finalists shortlisted. The young designers were divided into two age groups (10-14 year-old and 15-18 year-old), with two awards up for grabs in each group.
In the 10-14 year-old category, the Game Concept Award (rewarding a written idea for a new game) was won by Dalvia & Tiya Dhillon for Trapped, “a retro 2D story about mental illness among teenagers with day and night segments which act very differently to each other.”
The Game Making Award for the same age category was awarded to Harry Thurston for Maggie, “a minimalist puzzle platformer in which you guide Maggie, a cute red cube, through a series of levels using only her ability to stretch.” It was made in Unity.
In the 15-18 year-old category, the Game Concept Award was won by Sophia Shepherd, Kat Shields and Erin Jones for Tea & Tartlets. It’s “a top-down story-based simulation game in which you run a cafe and progress through the game's levels – unlocking new recipes and perks for your cafe each level – with a romance-focused story intermittent throughout.”
Last but not least, the 15-18 year-old category’s Game Making Award went to Prithvi Kohli for Super Boson, “an energetic and mind-bending puzzle/action game about particle physics, which aims to inspire scientific curiosity and interest in physics and other STEM fields amongst younger audiences by portraying science in a fun and engaging way.” You can download and play Super Boson by clicking here.
The fifth award up for grabs was the YGD Mentor Award, won by Adam Syrop, for his “inspirational work mentoring young people in Bradford” via his company Impact Gamers which “inspire young people away from just game playing to game making.” He commented: "BAFTA to me represents the best in the arts, so to be considered is mind blowing. I hope people seeing this Game Mentor award will be inspired to invest their time and skills into young people." He added: “We work with young people in deprived areas of Bradford teaching them to be creative with computers, offering a safe space to come, make friends, play and learn together.”
Chair of the BAFTA games committee, Nick Button-Brown, said: “The Young Game Designers competition and initiative continually improves in the way it interacts and engages young people with careers in the games industry as well as just letting them have fun working with other kids and making games. I hope that the winners and finalists here today go on to create diverse games that are culturally important, break new boundaries and enjoy the games industry as much as I have.”