The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the finalists in a nationwide competition to find the game designers of the future and the teachers and mentors who inspire them. The winners, chosen by a panel of games professionals, will be revealed at a special awards ceremony at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London, on Saturday 7th of July.
This year 40 games, from 60 finalists aged 10-18, will be vying for the Game Concept Award which recognizes a paper-based written game idea, and the Game Making Award for those who have developed their coding skills and have submitted a prototype game made using freely available software. The finalists worked on their entries in a variety of ways, including individually, within a team at school or their coding club, or even at home with their siblings.
The BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition gives young people the chance to design and create their own game. The annual initiative, which began in 2010, was designed to demonstrate the creativity that goes into game design and to give young people, and their teachers, a clearer understanding of the many rewarding careers to be had within the industry.
Previous entrants have gone on to attract commercial interest, as well as a nomination at the British Academy Games Awards, BAFTA’s flagship ceremony for the games industry.
The winners of both strands, in 10-14 and 15-18 age ranges, will receive a host of prizes, including games, hardware, software licenses, tours of games studios and a mentor from the games industry to help them develop their skills further. A prototype of their game will also be created by a team of developers.
The young finalists come from across England, Scotland and Wales and 40% of the finalists this year are female. The successful entrants include several who made it to previous finals and have entered new games hoping to triumph this time around.
Five educators are in the running for the YGD Mentor Award, which is presented to an individual, nominated by the public, involved in the education of young game designers. The winner in this category will be announced at the Awards ceremony in July. The Mentor Award finalists come from schools, colleges and code clubs across the UK.
To see the full list our young finalists and mentors head here to learn more
The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity that 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 website where BAFTA members, award winners, and nominees share their insights and advice and a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTA YGD competition to the national curriculum.
Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, King, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Ubisoft, Unity and WB Games.
BAFTA YGD Awards ceremony – event details:
Saturday 7 July at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London
13:00 Red carpet arrivals and reception, including display of finalists’ games
14:00 Ceremony commences
16:00 Ceremony ends
Follow the ceremony on the @BAFTAGames Twitter account #YGD.