Three teams have been selected as the winners of the Dare to be Digital game development contest, which reached a climax this weekend at the organiser's ProtoPlay event in Edinburgh.
The trio of young development studios – Angry Mango, Team Tickle and That Game Studio – now stand as the sole nominees of the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award at the forthcoming British Academy Video Game Awards in 2011. Each victorious team also recived a a £2,500 cash prize.
The Dare to be Digital ProtoPlay event brought together 15 youthful studios, who had each spent 10 weeks creating an original title. The two-day gathering, organised in conjunction with Abertay University, gave public the chance to get hands on time with the games, which were also scrutinised by a panel of judges including representatives from Rockstar, Ubisoft, Codemasters, the BBC and Develop.
Angry Mango's Zune platformer Mush, Team Tickle's iPad game Sculpty and That Game Studio's Xbox 360 multiplayer title Twang! all suitably impressed the judges, and demonstrated considerably ability on the part of the teams.
Meanwhile, Bears With Jetpacks' action-RTS Grrr! was recognised with the Adult Swim award for creativity and unique game play, which was presented by the sponsor. Another RTS, Epoch Defence, impressed enough for its creators to be granted the Intel Visual Adrenaline prize, and Twang! scooped its second gong in the form of the Audience Award, having been voted the most popular game by members of the public.
“The quality of this year’s entries is exceptionally high," said Revolution Software head and judge Charles Cecil. "It was our opinion that the winning projects, as well as some that came close, could have considerable commercial potential – an amazing achievement given that the students only had ten weeks in which to write the project.
"These teams enter into the industry at a time of unparalleled opportunity for individuals who have the talent and the vision to truly innovate. Beyond the constraints of mainstream publishing, digital distribution has created an indie scene in which smaller projects can creatively flourish through social communications rather than having to rely on traditional marketing.
“The University of Abertay should be congratulated on Dare to be Digital, which has deservedly built a global reputation, with teams from around the world aspiring to compete. Dare is very highly regarded by the video games industry and celebrated by BAFTA in its ‘Ones to Watch’ category."