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BAFTA Announces Finalists for Young Game Designers Awards

14 June 2017
Event: BAFTA Young Game Designers AwardsDate: Sat 23 July 2016Venue: BAFTA, 195 PiccadillyHosts: Ben Shires, Jane Douglas-Area: WINNERS GROUP SHOTSBAFTA/Mollie Rose

The winners, including inspiring educators, will be revealed at a special ceremony on Saturday 8 July

Unity Technologies to receive BAFTA YGD Hero Award

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the finalists in a nation-wide competition to find the game designers of the future, and the educators 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 8 July.

The BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition, in association with Nominet Trust, gives young people the chance to design and create their own game. The initiative is now in its sixth year and has seen previous entrants go on to attract commercial interest, as well as a nomination at the British Academy Games Awards, BAFTA’s flagship ceremony for the games industry. 

Forty games, made by individuals or teams of young people aged 10-18, will be vying for the Game Concept Award and Game Making Award, which recognise a written game idea, or a game made using computer software respectively. The winners of both strands, in 10-14 and 15-18 age ranges, will receive a host of prizes, including: a mentor from the games industry to help them develop their skills further, tours of leading games studios, and a prototype of their game created by a team of developers. For a full list of prizes, go to: http://ygd.bafta.org/about-ygd/ygd-news/ygd-2017-winners-prizes.

The young finalists come from across England, Scotland and Wales – stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance – and one-third is female. The successful entrants include two who were also finalists in 2016. To see the full list of young finalists, and to play the games in the Game Making category, go to http://ygd.bafta.org/winners-nominees.

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 in Renfrewshire, West Sussex, Suffolk and Bristol. For profiles of the mentor award finalists, go to http://ygd.bafta.org/about-ygd/ygd-news/ygd-2017-mentor-nominees.

BAFTA is also presenting a YGD Hero Award for support for young games designers by an industry professional or development team. The winner of this award, selected by the BAFTA Games Committee, is announced today as Unity Technologies, creators of Unity, the largest global development platform for creating 2D, 3D, VR and AR games and experiences, including a free version for personal use.

Nick Button-Brown, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: “Each year I’m truly inspired by the amazing games that we see and the talent, creativity and enthusiasm that all our entrants show. I never fail to be humbled by how much better their work is than what I could do at their age.  The entrants to this competition will help to define the future of the games industry, and I for one look forward to seeing what they come up with and playing their games.

“BAFTA Young Game Designers also recognises those who inspire the next generation, and we’re delighted to honour the companies and teams within our industry that encourage people to get involved in making games, as well as the individuals who work tirelessly to inspire the next generation of games makers to achieve their dreams. The awards ceremony in July is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate with all the winners and finalists.”

Chris Ashworth, Programme Director at Nominet Trust, said: “Nominet Trust are delighted to support BAFTA Young Game Designers for the third consecutive year. It’s a great opportunity for young people up and down the country to take part in, and be inspired by the games industry and for the sector itself to ignite an interest in STEM careers. Once again, we’ve been overwhelmed by the creativity and thrilled to see a sustained increase in the number of entries from girls.”

Jessica Lindl, Global Head of Education at Unity, said: "We are very grateful to BAFTA for this recognition. At Unity, we believe every young person should have the opportunity to learn how to become a creator, and not just a consumer, of technology. That's why we invest so deeply in building a powerful and flexible engine that makes young people's dreams a reality."

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 (www.bafta.org/ygd) 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.

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: Criterion, Jagex, King, Ubisoft, SEGA, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unity and WB Games. Abertay University will support 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 8 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.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

Daniel Smith, 2016 winner of the Game Making Award (ages 15-18) with Spectrum, has had his game picked up by a games publisher. It is currently in development and will be released commercially in 2018.

Dan Pearce, a YGD winner in 2010, 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.

For an at-a-glance summary of the finalists, visit here.

Unity Technologies is the creator of a flexible and high-performance end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. Unity’s powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices, home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems. Unity also offers solutions and services for creating games, boosting productivity, and connecting with audiences including Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Asset Store, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Collaborate, Unity Connect and Unity Certification. Unity Technologies serves millions of registered developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists around the globe. For more information, visit www.unity3d.com and to see the latest games and experiences created in Unity, go to madewith.unity.com.

For further information, please contact:

Nina Otero / Jenny Anderson at Hopscotch
T: +44(0)20 3735 8440
E: [email protected] / [email protected]

Eleanor Pickering at BAFTA
T: +44 (0)207 7734 0022
E: [email protected]

For images, logos, accreditation, transcripts and more, visit www.bafta.org/press.

About BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.