12 teams of five students each have taken their place at Abertay, EA UK and Queens University in Belfast. The University of Abertay Dundee is hosting the Scottish, Indian and Chinese teams, Queens University in Belfast is hosting a team from Ireland and another from Northern Ireland, and four teams from London and South East England are being hosted at the Guildford studio of leading games development company Electronic Arts, and this is the first time in its eight-year history that Dare to be Digital has been hosted in more than one location.
The competition asks all entrants to devise a prototype game, with the 12 teams given the chance to exhibit their prototypes at the Edinburg Interactive Festival from August 12th to 14th in an event called Dare ProtoPlay.
ProtoPlay also gives industry experts and the general public a chance to play and assess the games before the final awards ceremony in Dundee on August 16th, where a winner for the competition will be announced. Also, this year’s three winning teams will form the shortlist for the new BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, to be presented at the game BAFTAs in October.
“We are very excited by the caliber and creativity of the teams in this year’s competition,” said Paul Durrant, director of Dare to be Digital, which is organised by and based at Abertay University in Dundee.
“We are particularly interested to see how this year’s applicants are not afraid of taking on the challenge of designing with new consoles and distribution channels such as Steam and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade in mind, nor trying out new genres and combinations of genres such as musical RPG, games targeted for women and an MMOG based on the age-old playground game of ‘Tag’. I know that the judges in all three locations had a very challenging task, such was the high standard of all the dozens of applications we received. We are very grateful to Realtime Worlds, Proper Games, Denki, BBC, Cohort Studios and YooStar Ltd for their efforts and for the very exciting line up. It looks like being our best Dare ever.”