01 March 2017

BAFTA visit amid 20 Years of Games celebrations

BAFTA visit amid 20 Years of Games celebrations

Some of the UK’s best young computer games designers visited Abertay as the University celebrates 20 Years of Games.

Abertay student teams built prototype versions of the winning games created for the 2016 BAFTA Young Game Designers competition.

The competition is open to 10-18 year-olds and a call for entries for the 2017 initiative is now live at http://ygd.bafta.org/.

This year Abertay is celebrating 20 years since the University became the first in the world to offer degrees in computer games and a programme of celebrations including games jams, the Abertay Digital Graduate Show, exhibitions, interviews and social media events is under way.

The four BAFTA 2016 winners, Daniel Smith, 19, from Newcastle, Nick Gordon, 19, from Derby, Charlie Thurston, 15, from Forest Row in Sussex, and Aysheq Hussain, 13, from Birmingham, joined the party as they travelled to Dundee to see how their games turned out after being selected from more than 1,000 entrants.

The students who created the prototypes were on hand to explain the process and all of the winners had the chance to play each of the games.

As part of the visit, the young designers met staff at the city’s Ninja Kiwi studio, gaining a valuable insight into how the industry works.

Abertay lecturer Ken Fee said: "The experience is a great one for students because they have a client with no sense of expectation so it is up to the students to develop the game the best they can.

"The masters is about having the best professional ability, presenting work in it's best light and managing client expectation."

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great way for young people to explore their creativity and the craft of game design.

“Each year, our finalists demonstrate just how much young talent is out there which makes us feel very optimistic about the future of the games industry, and we can’t wait to see this year’s entries.”

The contest is run in association with Nominet Trust, which is working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce.

Other supporting partners of BAFTA YGD include Criterion, Jagex, King, Oracle Academy, SEGA, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unity and WB Games.

Winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July at BAFTA’s headquarters in London, attended by stars of the games industry.

Entry for the 2017 competition will close on Wednesday May 3.

For more information on the 20 Years of Games programme stay tuned to #abertaygames20.


Caption: BAFTA Young Games Designer Aysheq Hussain (centre) meets his Abertay protoype team (Credit: BAFTA/Alan Richardson).

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