The winners of this year’s Dare to be Digital competition were announced at an event in Dundee yesterday.
The ‘Innovation and Creativity’ prize was won by Phoenix Seed, a group of one Dundonian and four Chinese students, for their casual game Bear Go Home. Edinburgh University’s Carebox team won the ‘Use of Technology’ prize for ClimbActic, while the ‘Commercial Potential’ award was won by Voodoo Boogy, five students from Abertay University.
In addition to the prize money of £2500, the winners will also be put forward as the sole nominees for the BAFTA Ones to Watch award, the winner of which will be unveiled in October.
Twelve teams were in the running, which was narrowed down to six finalists at the Dare ProtoPlay event at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival. Voodoo Boogy also won the Audience Award at the ProtoPlay show for their game Ragnarawk, an award which was voted for by the public.
The six finalists then had to pitch their games to a panel of industry professionals, which included Sports Interactive’s Miles Jacobson and Geoff Heath of NCsoft.
“The judges were incredibly impressed by the quality of the work they saw. All the teams have demonstrated an extremely high level of achievement in the 10 weeks and have clearly benefited from testing their games at Dare ProtoPlay,” said Heath.
Professor Mike Swanston, vice-principal of academic development at event co-coordinators Abertay University, added: “Dare to be Digital was first run eight years ago and its growth has been phenomenal, but the ethos of the competition remains constant: students come in with ideas, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and come out confident and highly skilled with much-sought-after experience under their belts.
“Dare is a particularly high profile example of the approach that Abertay seeks to adopt across all its learning and teaching activities – developing real-world skills for the real-world knowledge economy. Modern universities like Abertay can have a significant economic impact on the basis of their special skills and links with industry, and we believe that Dare to be Digital demonstrates one very successful channel for delivering this impact.”