The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has opened entries for the 10th BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition for 10 – 18 year olds. BAFTA YGD celebrates new games talent and inspires the UK’s future game makers by giving young people the chance to design or make their own game.
Entries are now open at http://ygd.bafta.org/ and will close on Wednesday 11 March 2020. Entries are shortlisted to 40 finalists from across the UK, which will be announced in May. The winners will be announced at a special BAFTA ceremony in June 2020.
BAFTA YGD, which launched in 2009, highlights the positive impacts of games to young people, their parents and teachers, offering information on the careers available within the games industry, and allowing an opportunity for the next generation of game-makers to showcase their creativity.
Alongside a BAFTA YGD Award, winners will receive further support in developing their game ideas, mentoring from industry professionals and visits to major games studios. The awards ceremony will also offer the opportunity for finalists to showcase their game concepts and prototypes to leading industry figures.
Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, Jo Twist, said:
“BAFTA’s YGD competition is a fantastic way for young people to explore the craft of game design and the creativity in the entries makes for an exciting future for British games. Games are one of the most interesting ways of telling modern stories, increasingly spanning a wide range of topics and often tackling difficult issues that young people encounter. By mentoring young talent from all backgrounds and championing the next generation of games makers, YGD is an investment in the future of this industry.”
The 10th BAFTA YGD competition launched today at an event hosted by Ubisoft in London. The event, attended by media and industry professionals, included panel discussions on the positive impact of games and the careers available within the industry, plus a YGD workshop, illustrating the technical craft of game-making skills. Ubisoft, the games developer and publisher behind long-established brands such as Just Dance, Raving Rabbids and Rayman, shares BAFTA’s commitment to promoting the positive influence that games can have on young people’s lives, through building confidence and teamwork skills and by being part of a unique, creative community.
There are five award categories in the competition: the YGD Game Concept Award (10-14 years) and (15-18 years), for those creating an original concept for a new game, and the YGD Game Making Award (10-14 years) and (15-18 years), for those making a game using freely available software. Both of these categories are open to 10-18 year olds and entrants can enter either as individuals or with a team of up to three people.
The YGD Mentor Award, nominated by the public, rewards an inspirational individual who is involved in the education of young game creators in the UK, particularly those that reach out to young people who might not typically try game design.
The competition engaged more the 2,600 young people in 2019 and now, in its 10th year, is one of the cornerstones of BAFTA’s charitable activity, providing young people and teachers unique access to the games industry and top professionals through competitions, online teaching tools, workshops and social networks.
Previous winners of the BAFTA YGD competition have gone on to receive accolades throughout the games industry. Dan Pearce (2010 winner) was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013, and his game, Castles in the Sky, earned him a BAFTA nomination for Debut Game in 2014. Winners have also showcased their creations at EGX Rezzed, London’s largest games event, including 2016 winner Daniel Smith whose game was picked up by Ripstone Games and has since been released commercially. Emily Mitchell (2017 winner) is currently working with a games publisher to release her game commercially and Spruce Campbell (2017 winner) has self-published his game on the App Store.
YGD also engages with teachers and provides free educational resources such as an Idea Generator card game, worksheets, lesson plans and videos, as well as assessing what resources the educational sector needs in order to support career pathways in game design. A new YGD app is launching today at the Ubisoft event, which features a digital version of the Idea Generator card game.
Advice on the application process can be found here.