The race to the BAFTAs begins for young teams in Abertay-organised development contest

15 teams take on Dare to be Digital 2013

15 student teams have started developing games with a view to winning the 2013 interation of the Dare to be Digital development competition.

Beginning today, the contest gives the teams just nine weeks to make an entirely new game. They are, however, supported by experienced industry mentors, and supported with facilities by organiser Abertay University.

Each of the games created goes on to be shown to thousands of members of the public at the free Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival, which this years runs from August 8th to 11th in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square. There the games will be judged by industry experts and the public, before a final selection are put forward for the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, presented at the main BAFTA Games ceremony.

“This year’s Dare to be Digital is shaping up to be the best ever, with teams taking on new platforms like Ouya and really embracing the games industry’s shift to mobile phones and tablets," said Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University.

“The 15 teams have a major challenge ahead of them – to build a game to put on show to thousands of members of the public at our free video games festival, Dare ProtoPlay, in August, he added. "We wish them all well because this is a very tough, but very rewarding, challenge as they look to start careers in the games industry.”

The 75 student finalists will receive mentoring from members of Dare’s Developer Accord, including Cobra Mobile, Codemasters, Denki, Jagex, Lift London , Ninja Kiwi, Outplay Entertainment, Reflections, Ruffian Games, Sega Europe, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Tag Games.

Teams from China, England, India, Ireland, Norway and Scotland have entered this year, and will be tackling making games for Android phones and tablets, iPad, iPhone, Ouya, PC and the Xbox 360.

Dare has seen team members go on to secure numerous industry careers. Indeed, Sophia George, recently appointed as the V&A’s games designer in residence, is a former Dare to be Digital winner.

For more information, please visit the competition’s official website.

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