Six teams have made it through to the finals of Dare Academy, Abertay University’s annual video games design competition where teams of undergraduate students develop a game prototype over an intensive summer of industry-supported hot-housing.
The competition from Abertay's world-leading School of Design and Informatics offers a blend of industry mentoring and academic guidance, is supported by mentors working across the UK games industry and offers a top prize of £5,000.
In October, the six finalist teams will travel to London for the EGX Games Expo to demonstrate their finished games to industry insiders and attendees, before the winner of Dare 2023 is announced.
A panel of expert judges, including Ninja Kiwi’s Dr Paul Robertson, Frontier’s Erin Stevenson and Build a Rocket Boy’s Julie Kennedy, selected the teams whose pitches impressed them the most.
Paul is a senior games programmer at Ninja Kiwi and was a lecturer in games development at Abertay for almost two decades.
Erin is a former Computer Arts student at Abertay University and currently works as a rigger at Frontier as well as being a games mentor for BAFTA Scotland and a Women in Games ambassador.
Julie is the lead UI technical artist at Build a Rocket Boy and is excited to return to Dare Academy after competing in 2014.
The teams developing their games in Abertay’s Centre for Excellence in Computer Games this summer include:
Rock Flock Studios are developing Paper Trails, a 3D action-adventure game set within a fairytale where the player transforms from a wolf into a rabbit and sees the world from their perspective.
Ghost Shark Studios’ Damage Control is a roleplaying game set in a fantasy world, where you’ll play as the sidekick of a reckless hero.
Magination Games are producing Book of Abominations – a monster-collecting game centred around an impending apocalypse.
Keysmash Games are creating a trading game – Rags & Richie. This post-apocalyptic scrapyard simulator features collecting and selling items from the pre-apocalyptic world.
Nervous Knight’s entry is Behind – a multiplayer platform fighter game with a nostalgia-inducing design.
Raccoon Rocket Factory’s game DeliveRodent is a multiplayer arcade kart racing game inspired by all-time favourites such as The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Animal Crossing and Mario Kart.
Previous Dare teams have gone on to become successful indie games studios, including Pocket Sized Hands, Bit Loom, Puny Astronaut and many more.
Dr Dayna Galloway, Head of the Division of Games and Arts said: “We’re delighted by the high quality of entries from our finalists this year and are once again looking forward to working with our incredible industry mentors, who will provide the students with invaluable guidance and advice that will help them throughout their careers. Dare has an awesome track record of producing fantastic games, but also in setting up early-stage studios which often go on to become start-ups and achieve success in the industry well after their graduation from Abertay.”