Abertay’s Dare to be Digital games design competition will be rebooted as the university celebrates 20 years of games.
For the first time Dare winners will be flown out for fully-funded international placements at top gaming hubs in China, India and the US.
A total of three student teams will make the trips and can expect to jet out in October, November and December.
In another first, Dare teams will be given stands with individual team branding to promote their games at EGX, Europe’s second largest gaming trade show.
Held at the NEC in Birmingham the event attracts 75,000 visitors over three days and will provide an invaluable showcase for the students, allowing access to video games industry leaders, trendsetters and gamers.
The teams will also attend Resonate: Total Gaming festival in Glasgow with the same high level of support.
Under new branding, Dare to be Digital will become Dare Academy and competition entry is open only to Abertay students.
This year Abertay is celebrating 20 years of games, having been the first in the world to offer the courses in 1997.
A further opportunity to showcase this year’s Dare talent will be offered at a hugely expanded five-day Digital Graduate Show at the end of the year, taking place in the University’s Hannah Maclure Centre from 5-9 May.
The show will see Dare material included in an array of exhibitions, retro games, performance pieces and other events to celebrate achievements from Abertay’s games courses over the last two decades.
The events arm of the contest, Dare ProtoPlay, will cease to run so the funding can be spent where it really matters – the competition itself and the students.From 1 February, Abertay student teams can enter the Dare Academy contest with successful applicants selected by an independent industry panel.
Teams made up of the 30 best games creators will be given a four-week intensive hot-housing period in the summer accessing expertise from industry professionals.
With a working budget of £1,000 per team, the 2017 entrants will be able to let their creativity flourish.
Professor Gregor White, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games, said, ‘Dare to be Digital has been running for 16 years with ProtoPlay in place since 2007 and we felt it was the right time to re-evaluate what our Abertay students were getting from the experience.
‘The more focussed attention Dare Academy allows us to provide to our students will be invaluable to them, with Dare games counting towards their degree qualification.
‘Attendance at EGX and Resonate, coupled with the opportunity to win an international work placement, means there is more on offer to our contestants than ever before.
‘It is well documented that Scottish universities are facing severe funding pressures at present with no certainty as to when the situation might improve.
‘So while it is sad to see ProtoPlay end it is without doubt the correct decision in terms of safeguarding the future of Dare and acting in the best interests of our students.’