Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers 2019 Winners

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the winners of the 2019 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition at an awards ceremony last night at its headquarters, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly.

Four aspiring game designers aged between 10 and 18, as well as an inspirational teacher, have all been honoured with BAFTA YGD awards.

The BAFTA YGD competition, now in its ninth year, presents awards in two main categories: The Game Concept Award, for a written idea for a new game; and the Game Making Award, for a game made using computer software. The 2019 winners, chosen by a jury of industry experts, are:

  • Jesse Waymont for ‘I Seek Death’ – Game Concept Award (10-14 years)
  • Elizabeth Orji-Smith for ‘Creatively Bankrupt’ – Game Concept Award (15-18 years)
  • Maximillian Robinson for ‘LASERASE: Demolition in the future’ – Game Making Award (10-14 years)
  • Adam Pace for ‘Wip’ – Game Making Award (15-18 years)

Matthew Applegate, founder of the Creative Computing Club, was awarded the YGD Mentor Award.

This Award is presented to an individual nominated by the public for their involvement in the education of young game designers.

In a written message to attendees and the young finalists, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and President of BAFTA, said: “This year the entries have an overwhelming social purpose to them, focusing on issues including mental health, climate change, conservation, disability, bereavement, and transgender rights. Many of the game ideas strive to educate players of all ages on the social issues they address, hoping to prompt real change in people’s lives. I think it is fantastic to see young people using games to express themselves and purposes that they identify with.”

The ceremony was hosted by Alysia Judge (games journalist and presenter) and Aoife Wilson (writer, presenter and video producer for Eurogamer), with notable industry figures presenting the awards to the winners, including YouTuber Dean Dobbs, game developer and co-founder of Media Molecule Siobhan Reddy, and BAFTA Games Vice President David Gardner. BAFTA-winning game designer Mike Bithell delivered the closing speech for the ceremony, praising the young designers’ creativity and talent.

The annual YGD competition, which began in 2010, aims to demonstrate the creativity that goes in to game design and give young people, and their teachers, an understanding of the rewarding careers available within the industry. The four winners, chosen from 53 finalists, received a host of prizes, including tours of games studios, software licenses, games and a mentor from the games industry to help them develop their skills further.

Previous winners have gone on to have successful careers within the industry. Dan Pearce was part of BAFTA’s flagship new talent scheme ‘Breakthrough Brits’, before becoming BAFTA nominated for his work. Dan Smith released his game The Spectrum Retreat with Ripstone Games Publishers last year. The game went on to be nominated at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, Chair of Games Committee at BAFTA, said: “It is fantastic to see such a high calibre of games from upcoming creative talent being rewarded. It’s been another great year for the competition, and with previous winners having gone on to be BAFTA nominated, I can’t wait to see this year’s winners go out and make their own mark on the industry.”

Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, King, PlayStation, Ubisoft, and WB Games.

For more information visit http://ygd.bafta.org/

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers Game Jam

Multi award-winning games studio and creators of the Total War franchise, Creative Assembly, invited local students into their Horsham-based studio and turned their game concepts into reality in a first-of-its-kind game jam.

Students from the West Sussex all-girls school Millais, created their own game concepts as part of an exercise to help inspire them about the opportunities within the fields of science, technology, arts, engineering and math (STEAM), through the process of game design. The activity was hosted in partnership with BAFTA’s Young Game Designers initiative.

This is the first time a studio has developed student concepts into playable games. Nine teams of expert developers from Creative Assembly spent an hour sitting down with the 14-year-old students to understand their concepts as part of the discovery process. The teams then had 48hrs to create the games, ready for the students and their parents to play.

Creative Assembly has published a short video documenting game jam here: http://bit.ly/CAgamejam

Tim Heaton, Creative Assembly’s Studio Director and EVP of Sega Studios, said: “Working with BAFTA, we’ve been able to challenge students’ perceptions of games and give them a valuable first-hand insight into the development process. We know that diversity breeds innovation and we want to inspire more young people from all backgrounds to consider careers in the games industry and to recognise that it is an incredibly creative and professionally rewarding place to be.”

Melissa Phillips, Games Event Producer at BAFTA, said: “It has been fantastic to work alongside Creative Assembly to bring the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative to Millais School. It is so important to provide visible role models for young people and encourage them to express their creative ideas. We’ve enjoyed helping to connect the students with industry professionals to turn their game concepts into reality.”

Sammi McEwan, Concept Artist at Creative Assembly, said: “Meeting the students from the local girl’s school was a great experience. When I was their age, being in the games industry was my dream so I wanted to share some of my experiences with them and give them some advice. It was fun to meet them and I hope that they liked the game we made.”

Zongyi Chen, Lead Character Artist at Creative Assembly, said: “It was an absolute joy to meet the students at the end and see how pleased they were with what we made for them. This game jam has been such an incredibly positive experience for us and I really hope it has made a difference to how these young people see the industry.”

Creative Assembly’s game jam, FrancoJam, is now in its 4th year but 2018 is the first time it has included an educational aspect, as part of the studio’s commitment to UK STEAM education via its Legacy Project.

The UK continues to face a digital skills gap with Engineering UK estimating the shortfall of UK engineering graduates to be 20,000. Additionally, only 8% of the UK’s current engineering workforce are women – the lowest number across the whole of Europe. Creative Assembly’s Legacy Project aims to educate and inspire young people into the industry through a number of initiatives with local schools, leading UK partners like BAFTA and Digital Schoolhouse, and on University-level curriculums, like the East London Academy of Music and Arts.

Creative Assembly has written about the digital skills gap and their work to address this as part of the Legacy Project here: bit.ly/gameseducation.

Find out more about BAFTA’s Young Game Designers Competition and discover resources on how to come up with your own game concept at http://ygd.bafta.org/

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

BAFTAThe 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.