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2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Abertay

23 October 2015

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Abertay University today (Friday 23 October) to meet young beneficiaries of BAFTA’s support for new talent in the games industry.

The showcase event included winners of a UK-wide game design competition, as well as current and former games students who are supported by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). HRH The Duke of Cambridge is President of BAFTA.

The highlight of their visit was a meeting with Camylle Tuliao (14), Jack Reynolds (16), Louis Jackson (12) and Jack Mills (17), who spent the day at Abertay as part of their prize for winning their respective categories in the BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition.

BAFTA YGD, in association with Nominet Trust, aims to encourage young people to consider a career in games creation, and helps them access the inspirational creative minds behind their favourite games.

The young designers are developing their games further with professional games studios in Dundee and with Abertay students.

Their Royal Highnesses also met other talented individuals who have benefited from BAFTA initiatives:

  • BAFTA-nominated game designer Dan Pearce was one of the first winners of a BAFTA YGD award in 2010, at the age of 16. Dan has since been honoured as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in partnership with Burberry in 2013, and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2014 with his debut commercial game Castles in the Sky.
  • Game designer Sophia George, a former student at Abertay University, won the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award in association with Dare to be Digital in 2012. Sophia helped to develop the game of a BAFTA YGD winner in the same year, and was honoured as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in partnership with Burberry in 2013. She has spent the past year as the V&A’s first-ever Games Designer in Residence.
  • BAFTA Scholarship recipients Kyle Horwood and Benjamin Luff are both studying for the Professional Masters in Games Development at Abertay University.

Professor Nigel Seaton – Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University – said:

“We’re delighted to have welcomed Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Abertay today. It’s been a great day for the BAFTA Young Game Designer winners and for our own BAFTA Scholarship students as well as for the Abertay community, and we’re all very pleased that the creativity and imagination of these young people has been celebrated in this visit.

“We have partnered with BAFTA for many years on a wide range of successful initiatives in the field of computer games, and today’s Royal Visit is fantastic recognition of the value of that partnership, and indeed of the success of Dundee as a centre for digital creativity.”

Amanda Berry OBE – Chief Executive of BAFTA, who accompanied The Duke and Duchess at the event – said:

“Today’s visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been a fantastic boost for these young people, who represent the future of the UK games industry. BAFTA has a long history of celebrating games, which stretches back over a decade. We’re proud to be supporting new talent, from across the UK, to enter this sector, and are grateful for the support of The Duke, our President, in this endeavour.”

Speaking about what it has been like working with the students and games designers at Abertay, 12 year old Louis Jackson – who won the Game Making Award (ages 10-14) for his game Block – said:

“It’s been amazing meeting so many people just like me, because back at home there aren’t many people who make games like I do. I mean, there are loads that play games, but not many who make them. But it’s great to talk to someone who does the same topic as you because there are so many things you can talk to them about and it’s just endless really. And it’s really fun meeting people and seeing their different personalities and their different views and I think that’s what I loved about it most. I can’t stop smiling.

“Being a games designer is definitely what I want to do. I’ve always had a passion for games and I enjoy them. When I was young I always thought about making a game, and now that I do it’s just amazing because I can let my imagination run free and it’s like endless creativity and I just love it.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Kevin Coe (Director of Communications) T: 01382 308452 M: 07850 904110 E: k.coe@abertay.ac.uk

For images, logos and more, visit www.bafta.org/press.

Notes to Editors:

About BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.

About BAFTA YGD

The BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition presents awards in two main categories: The Game Concept Award, for entrants who submit a written idea for a new game; the Game Making Award, for entrants who submit a game they have made using computer software. It is part 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 dedicated website (www.bafta.org/ygd); a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions to a games expert; and live workshops around the country. In 2014, Dan Pearce, a BAFTA YGD award winner in 2010, was nominated for a BAFTA at the British Academy Games Awards.

Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to deliver the BAFTA YGD initiative and to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA YGD 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. For further details about the initiative, visit www.bafta.org/ygd.

About Abertay University

Abertay University became in 1997 the first in the world to teach degrees in computer games and related technologies, and now offers a broad portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering games and application development, computer arts and sound production. In 2015, Abertay was ranked in the world’s 25 best universities to study game design, the only institution outside North America to feature in the annual Princeton Review list. Abertay also organises the annual Dare to be Digital contest, the world’s premier competition for student game designers.

BAFTA YGD Game Concept and Game Making Award winners in 2015:

Game Concept Award (ages 10-14) - Dreams

Camylle Tuliao (14)

Basildon, Essex

Dreams is a first person role playing adventure game set in four different locations, Imaginati, Reve, Nightmare and Limbo. Playing as Christelle/Christopher the way to win is different in every world and you have the choice of three fighting styles, Imagi (magic), Logio (science) and Void (dream-manipulating).

The jury described the game as “an evocative concept that intertwined unique themes to create a psychological thriller.”

Game Concept Award (ages 15-18) - Ouroboros

Jack Reynolds (16)

Highgate, London

Ouroboros is a puzzle-platformer in which you have to "die" and respawn to progress. Every time you die your previous actions still have an effect and every time you connect to a terminal you discover a little more about #0132's purpose, why he was created and about the world outside the factory's walls.

The jury said that this game was “cleverly designed to consistently reinforce its central theme, and simple yet addictive gameplay.”

Game Making Award (ages 10-14) - Block

Louis Jackson (12)

Hove, East Sussex (entered through Blatchington Mill School)

You are Block, and your world changes instantly. Colour fades away and land breaks apart to make platforms. In each level, you can only jump a certain amount of times, but there is no counter for it, because it's your duty to study the level and how many jumps you have.

The jury described the game as “a refreshingly original and surprisingly high quality concept; not only for this age category but for any up-and-coming game developer.”

Game Making Award (ages 15-18) - Utopia of Rhythm

Jack Mills (17)

Liverpool (entered through The Studio school)

Utopia of Rhythm is a platformer game that incorporates elements from the rhythm game genre. The obstacles within the game’s level change over time, to the beat and tempo of the background music. A colour-coded rhythm clock is used as part of the user interface to indicate the level’s transformations over time, as the obstacles are similarly colour-coded.

The jury felt that this game “meets the standards of professional prototypes. A wide variety of mechanics and puzzles were rolled out with a well-balanced difficulty curve of the levels.”

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