The winners will be revealed at a special ceremony on Saturday 25 July
Minecraft to receive first ever BAFTA YGD Hero Award
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the finalists in a nation-wide game design competition for 10-18 year-olds. The 40 young hopefuls, who were selected by a jury of industry experts, will attend a special awards ceremony at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London, on Saturday 25 July, where the winners will be revealed.
The BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition, in association with Nominet Trust, aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and create their own game and develop it with industry professionals.
The initiative, now in its fifth year, 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. The winners of both strands, in both the 10-14 and 15-18 age ranges, will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.
The finalists hail from across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. They include individuals who are shortlisted in both categories, and a second-time finalist from 2014. For a full list of the finalists, and to play the games in the Game Making category, go to http://ygd.bafta.org/competition.
For the first time this year, BAFTA is presenting a YGD Hero Award for support for young games designers by an industry professional or development team. The winner of this new award, selected by the BAFTA Games Committee, is announced today as Minecraft, the hugely popular, BAFTA-winning, block-building construction game developed by Mojang.
Another new award for 2015, the YGD Mentor Award, will be 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.
Harvey Elliott, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: “The quality of entrants to the BAFTA YGD competition increases every year, and this year’s finalists are amongst the best young game designers in the country. We look forward to celebrating their success at the awards ceremony in July. We’re also very proud to announce Minecraft as the first recipient of the YGD Hero Award. Minecraft’s achievements in the games industry, as well as its support for millions of creative people of all ages, are truly impressive. We hope the game and its development team serve as an inspiration to all young games enthusiasts as they progress their future careers in our industry.”
BAFTA YGD competition 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 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 develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers 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 .
BAFTA YGD Awards ceremony – event details:
Saturday 25 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
BAFTA YGD COMPETITION FINALISTS IN 2015
GAME CONCEPT AWARD – 10-14 YEAR-OLDS
- Team name: Faze
- Rafal Faraj (13),Daoud Salman (13)and Satyam Verma (13)
- Sheffield, South Yorkshire (entered through Birkdale School)
YOU are the hero and you make the choices in your own quest. Alone and confused on a desert island, you need to decide where to go, to the city to look for clues or to the desert to search for a way home (the main quest)?
- Magdalena Stenfors (12)
- Marylebone, London
Codeland is an educational game designed to help players learn how to code. After being sent by your guardian and mentor, Professor X, the player must explore the world of Codeland, seeking out masters of various expertise in order to hone their skills, although the masters will give the player basic information.
- Dive ‘n’ Dash
- Team name: The ICT – Inventive, Creative, Team
- Lucie Wilson (13), Ellen Farquhar (14) and Hannah Thompson (13)
Ballyclare, County Antrim (entered through Ballyclare High School) Dangerous, deadly, soaking wet fun!!! Jump off the diving board and into the pool, swim forward and dodge obstacles and different swimmers whilst diving over or ducking under pool dividers and collecting ‘Pool Junk’. Each level gets slightly harder with new and exclusive obstacles.
- 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).
- H, X, Y and Z
- Dominic Wright (14)
- Stoke-on-Trent, Cheshire (entered through Alsager School)
Part visual novel, part strategy, part RPG; in H,X,Y and Z you decide the actions of an unnamed protagonist awaiting questioning in a holding cell in an unknown location. The game is specifically designed for the 3DS and set in “The City”.
- Hannah Hayward (13)
- Lowestoft, Suffolk
An exciting, powerful action love story that shows no digital screen or ones and zeros can alter true love, even between robots! In a world where humans rule robots a scientist creates Project 01001100 01001111 01010110 01000101 or, in human language, LOVE. Guide ADAm and EVE back to each other across the globe using their special upgrades.
- Rescue Aid
- Emily Roberts (14)
- Paignton, Devon
Rescue Aid is about saving lives. It both educates and entertains. It is set by the sea and in a pool scenario. The aim of the game is to get everybody to safety using the aids around which may include a floating bottle, a rope or a rescue board.
- SPLAT and GRAB
- Kyle Randall (12)
Choose between a Seagull and a Pigeon and pick a place such as a beach or a park to fly around observing what is below. Zoom in on people and objects and get the option to SPLAT the person or to GRAB the object or food earning points as you go. (Kyle’s sister, Jade Randall, was a BAFTA YGD finalist in 2014)
- The Line
- Oliver Tate (12)
- Ipswich, Suffolk
The Line is a puzzler designed to put the player in constant panic. A big yellow line takes the quickest route from entrance to exit and all you have to do is stay close to the line. However the exit is of course locked and the components to open it are scattered around these huge test chambers…
- Oliver Wright-Jones (14)
- Bromley, Kent (entered through Saint Olave’s Grammar School)
Tiles! is an indie puzzle game in which you control Meep, a little alien far from home. The player guides Meep through the variety of colourful worlds, meeting others lost like him. Meep must jump to and from a variety of different tiles and on numbered tiles in sequential order. Each tile creates a new gameplay dimension
GAME CONCEPT AWARD – 15-18 YEAR-OLDS
- Jodie Burnside (18)
- Ballymena, County Antrim
A Spirit of Compassion takes pity on a girl’s unjust fate and, whilst splitting Anne’s soul into beautiful glittering shards, sacrifices herself by placing one of the shards of Anne’s soul within her own so Death can’t claim her. Anne must find the shards of her soul before the Spirit’s life force that sustains her runs out.
- Dame Eva’s Adventure to Prove her Self-worth!
- Fynn Levy (18)
- Radlett, Hertfordshire
Dame Eva’s Adventure to Prove her Self-worth! is a quirky game for those who enjoy challenges combining quick, reflex-based action and thought-provoking puzzle games. Set in a fantasy world, full of large snakes, bad day-time television and adventurers seeking glory, players control Eva through different levels, avoiding obstacles and defeating enemies to reach her goal.
(Fynn Levy is also a finalist for the Game Making Award, with his game Never Letting Go)
- Matthew Bond-Simmons (15)
- Isle of Man (entered through Queen Elizabeth II High School)
Inimical is a 3D online multiplayer game where players go head to head with a parkour/free-running and PVP melee combat mixed with hilarious ragdoll physics. It has a unique melee system involving momentum instead of set damage and a custom combo system that enhances creativity and lets your mind lose.
- Jonathan Ashton (18)
- Runcorn, Cheshire
Jellyfish is a unique game that finds user’s music, selects songs at random and generates a level when ‘Play’ is pressed. Available on mobile devices, the user controls a Jellyfish with their finger and tries to avoid obstacles as they ascend from a dark abyss.
- Life Stack
- Aryaan Awais (15)
- Birmingham (entered through King Edward VI Aston Grammar School)
In 2115, the Earth’s lands are barren, dusty and decapitated by greenery salvage. A time error caused by a multinational, malicious company called the AVIAN VALVE means seasons last three days instead of months. Can you restore the previous century on Earth back?
- Little Red
- Nic Gordon (17)
Little Red is a puzzle game where the player guides Little Red through the forest to visit her gran by drawing paths through the forest. Let Red stray from the path and she’s instant prey for the wolves, so the player must keep adding to the path as Red moves along it before it runs out.
- Magnets: A Tale of Fish ‘n’ Chips
- Stephen Borland (18)
- Ruislip, London (entered through Uxbridge College)
Two ‘Opposite’ robots (Bob and Bab) learn to settle their difference as they solve the problem of saving a mysterious ‘Orbie’ that has been dumped into the rubbish and is emitting light and sound. By combining forces into one magnet consisting of a positive end and negative end the two robots are its temporary parents.
- Jack Reynolds (15)
- 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.
- Plate Defenders
- Declan Metcalfe (18)
- Warrington, Cheshire
Plate Defenders is a birds-eye view strategy game based around two factions of the germ nation; The Attackers (your enemy) and The Cleanse Corps Organization (whom you play as). The objective of the game is to defend the clean germ free plate from the attacking germs.
- Wicked Zip
- Caleb O’Brien (17)
Wicked Zip is a fun, fast paced arcade style zip em’ up where the aim is to unzip as many zip patterns as possible in a set amount of time. The player is presented with individual zip patterns on their touch screen device; they must swipe in the correct direction to unlock the next zip pattern.
(Caleb is also a finalist for the Game Making Award, with his game Rose Kingdom)
GAME MAKING AWARD – 10-14 YEAR-OLDS
- Area 51
- Ben Tweedle (14)
- Emsworth, Hampshire (entered through Bourne Community College)
You are an alien who is trying to escape from Area 51. You must reach the lift to exit the room while avoiding guards, scientists and pool of acid. In addition, you can collect gems to increase your score.
- Black Parade
- Nicholas Chapman (14)
- Lambeth, London
Black Parade sees a red block (the son and main character) and a grey block (the father). Then the father dies and you (the son) have to move to get to the end of the levels. Throughout the whole game, the story is unravelled by text on the screen.
- Louis Jackson (11)
- 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.
- Castle Defence
- Stephen Hailstones (14)
- Whetstone, Leicestershire (entered through Thomas Estley Community College)
You must defend your castle from the evil invasion of the Cuboria faction. Use four different types of towers against a variety of enemies to overcome them!
- Colour Runner
- Scott Parker (14)
- Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
Colour Runner is a unique scrolling game where the player has to dodge an array of obstacles in order to reach and save the Colour Queen! Not only can the player jump to avoid the obstacles, he can also switch levels and defy gravity by pressing the down arrow key!
- Duo Block
- Brendan Cheung (14)
- East Ham, London
Duo Block is a puzzle platform game with a twist. There are two players who move at the same time, however they both have different attributes. The aim of the game is to pass each level by reaching the portal to proceed to the next challenge.
- Gravity Square
- Ben Porter (14)
- Bristol (entered through Cotham School)
You control a square that can flip gravity up, down left or right. The square must reach the end of the level without being hit by enemies or flashing blocks. The square can move to its left and right but cannot jump so must flip gravity in order to complete all 10 levels.
- Light Farmer
- Isaac Moselle (14)
- Islington, London
A farming game on a strange world, gain as many points as possible by converting the red rectangles that compose the procedurally generated terrain into green ones. However there are bugs that attack the green rectangles, Blue squares act as a defence, but they cost resources.
(Isaac Moselle was also a BAFTA YGD finalist in 2014, with his game Robo-cat)
- Scaled Down
- Miranda Watkins (14)
- Sale, Greater Manchester
In Scaled Down, you play as a fish that has to escape enemy creatures to survive as long as possible. By moving the mouse around the screen, you can dodge enemies ranging from crabs to fishing hooks, collect bubbles to restore your health, and increase your score to dominate the leader board!
- Terrain Invasion
- Holly Packer (13)
- Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire (entered through Ashlyns School)
The game is survival-based, and provides small tasks that the player would have to complete in order to win the game. One of the main characters is Cindy, who acts differently to the other main character; Fraser.
GAME MAKING AWARD – 15-18 YEAR-OLDS
- Coffee Simulator
- Team Name: Galactic Cat
- William Giddings (16), Joshua Manders-Jones (16), James Kamminga (16)
- Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Welcome to Coffee Simulator! Ever wanted to try your hand as a Barista in your own coffee shop? Coffee Simulator is full of fun, challenging tasks preparing you for what you will face as an employee of a coffee-shop.
- Dodge A Block
- William Bristow (17)
- North Berwick, East Lothian
Dodge A Block was inspired by simple scrolling games such as Flappy Birds and ICopter. William wanted to add a different mechanic to the game where the map is changed by the player’s actions. In Dodge A Block as you move through landscapes you drop blocks which become part of the walls and landscape.
- Dungeon Corruption
- Danny Chan (17)
- Norwich, Norfolk (entered through Norwich Creative IT Training Centre)
A 2D platform side-scrolling action game with a slight aspect of thriller. You are a character with a side story of falling into the forbidden dungeon, which happens to be corrupt. The character (Zak) is unable to escape, so with his last breath he is willing to let you decide his fate for whether he obtains the Golden Skull Medallion or not.
- Hunter Gatherer
- Team Name: Hunter Gatherer Games
- Max Baraitser Smith (15) and Sam Baraitser Smith (17)
- Brixton, London
Hunter Gatherer is a top down adventure in which you are found, lost in the woods, by a forest spirit. He has a passion for cooking and will point you in the direction of your home town if you help him find some ingredients. You must travel long distances, find food, combat dangerous monsters, set traps, and gatherer materials to make a fire, before it gets dark.
- Jim Bruges (18)
- Trowbridge, Wiltshire
You play as a person manning a deep space telescope looking for radio waves from deep in the universe. You go about your daily chores but you have no contact with earth due to the communications system being damaged. Your only solace until the scheduled supply capsule arrives is the hope of extra-terrestrial contact…
- Never Letting Go
- Fynn Levy (18)
- Radlett, Hertfordshire
Never Letting Go is a 2D side-scrolling platformer about finding your way home. Players traverse through a hostile jungle, making their way to their final resting place in the ocean. Time spent in the jungle takes its toll on body and mind, respite is found in small pools of water. Players have to climb vines, traverse ruins and explore dark caves to reach their destination.
(Fynn Levy is also a finalist for the Game Concept Award, with his game Dame Eva’s Adventure to Prove her Self-worth!)
- Rose Kingdom C
- aleb O’Brien (17)
In Rose Kingdom, the player flies above the castle walls using their rocket pack, and shoots oncoming bugs that threaten to eat all the roses in the kingdom. There are three colours of enemy that can only be defeated if they are hit with the correct colour of bug spray.
(Caleb is also a finalist for the Game Concept Award, with his game Wicked Zip)
- Snowball Wars
- Moses Noxolo (17)
Up to eight players have a snowball fight in a rectangular map. This includes up to five humans or eight AI players in any combination. Every time you get hit you lose a point and every time you hit someone you gain a point. You must make a snowball to throw it so it is important to time this effectively.
- 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 colourcoded.
- Warp Out
- Clemens von Stengel (16)
- Finsbury Park, London
The goal in Warp Out is to rescue a crew of miners on an asteroid, by solving 2D, platform based levels. The main mechanic is “warping”, which allows you to teleport a short distance avoiding obstacles from Dangerous Crystals to Lasers to Fireballs. As you navigate your way through the levels, the story of the abandoned miners unravels itself