BAFTA win for Dare to be Digital students
Student game developers Overly Kinetic won a BAFTA Ones to Watch Award at the British Academy Games Awards last night.
The only route to BAFTA’s annual new talent prize is through Dare to be Digital, the student game design contest run each summer by Abertay University.
The winning title, Chambara, is a frantic multiplayer samurai stealth game where competitors can blend against their background to choose the ideal moment to attack. It was created by Esteban Fajardo, Alec Faulkner, Catherine Fox, Thomas Hoffmann and Kevin Wong.
Kevin Wong from Overly Kinetic, the creators of Chambara, said at the ceremony last night:
“We’re still processing how we feel. For me, I’m totally baffled that this game got as far as it did. A little over a year ago that began as this silly little dream that we thought would be cool to pursue, but we did not think that it would take us to the BAFTAs this year.
“It’s absolutely incredible and we’re really grateful to everyone who helped us out on the way here by offering advice or support. It’s amazing. It feels really good.”
Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said:
“Chambara is a very worthy winner of the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award. The team behind it worked incredibly hard and can proudly stand alongside the other winners at this year’s BAFTA Awards.
“Dare to be Digital is a huge opportunity for any student looking to break into the games industry. Getting to build a new game and showcase it to thousands of members of the public at Dare ProtoPlay is a life-changing experience, making professional contacts that have launched many careers.
“Abertay University is absolutely committed to being a world leader in computer games education, from Dare right through to our degree courses and applied research. We’re delighted to welcome Overly Kinetic to the prestigious family of BAFTA Ones to Watch winners and look forward to watching their careers grow from strength to strength.”
More students than ever before are eligible to compete for the next BAFTA Ones to Watch Award in 2016.
Abertay University has opened the entry criteria far more widely – accepting games that have been developed during university degrees or from game jams, and from teams of up to eight members.
Students keen to take part – and compete for prizes from BAFTA, Channel 4 and others – will this year develop their game at home or their own university, before travelling to Dundee to showcase their game at the UK’s biggest independent game festival, Dare ProtoPlay.
All of the games go on show at the Dare ProtoPlay festival in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square on 13-16 August. Last year’s event attracted 13,000 visitors over four days.
Applications for Dare to be Digital 2015 are now open and close on Sunday 3 May.
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