The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the call for entries for the 2015 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July. Entries are now open at www.bafta.org/ygd until Monday 1 June.
Originally launched in 2010 for 11-16 year-olds, this year the age range for the competition has been expanded to include 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants – who can be individuals or a team of up to three people – can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, to create a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, to make a game using freely available software. The winners will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.
Two new categories have also been added this year: The YGD Mentor Award, for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for a games industry professional who supports young game designers. The public can nominate their YGD Mentor, while the YGD Hero will be selected by BAFTA’s Games Committee.
The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a website (www.bafta.org/ygd) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTYA YGD competition to the national curriculum; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.
Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Bethesda Softworks, Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Google, Jagex, King, Pinewood Studios Group, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Unity, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Abertay University supports the development of the games of the winners of the BAFTA YGD competition.
Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at game design and get feedback from the creative people behind their favourite games. The games industry is one of the biggest and most dynamic entertainment industries in the world; we hope this competition inspires entrants to consider a career in games, as well as helping them better appreciate the artistry involved in making games. We can’t wait to share the winners with the industry and public at the YGD Awards ceremony in July.”
Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “If the UK is to retain its world-leading position in the creative industries, we need to develop a highly skilled workforce. The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition equips young people with the creative digital skills, understanding and connections that they need to become the games designers of the future. It’s exciting to see young people move from simply playing games to designing and making their own ones. Nominet Trust is proud to be supporting this vital initiative – I can’t wait to see what ideas and games entrants come up with!”
The winning games from 2014 – Tomatos Role from 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, from Taunton, and AlienX from 15 year-old Adam Oliver – will be on show at BAFTA’s Inside Games Arcade in advance of the British Academy Games Awards in March.
For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.