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BAFTA reveals Finalists for 2024 Young Game Designers Competition, selected by Britain’s Top Game Experts

28 May 2024
BAFTA Young Game Designers LogoBAFTA Young Game Designers


  • For over a decade, BAFTA has connected young people with experts from the games industry, as part of the arts charity’s flagship Young Game Designers competition
  • Today, BAFTA has announced their talented finalists aged between 12 and 18 
  • The winners ceremony will be streamed live on BAFTA’s YouTube channel, Thursday 27 June at 17:00 BST, with actor and comedian Inel Tomlinson hosting
  • The winning games will be displayed at the Science Museum’s Power Up experience

Today, BAFTA unveils their talented finalists, aged between 12 and 18, who have been selected as part of this year’s BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition, which has been running since 2010.

BAFTA Young Game Designers is a year-round initiative of public events and workshops for 10-18 year-olds, culminating in an annual ceremony to celebrate the finalists and winners, which will be streamed digitally on BAFTA’s YouTube channel. This year’s ceremony is taking place on Thursday 27 June, and will be hosted by multi-award nominated actor and comedian Inel Tomlinson.

BAFTA Young Game Designers works with UK educators to support children who are interested in games, providing them with hands-on experience in the field and creating accessible pathways into games careers, raising awareness of the games industry as a viable career pathway as well as a creative hobby. Over three-quarters (83.45%) of YGD competition entrants this year heard about the scheme through their school.

Data published by the digital entertainment and retail association showed that revenue made from video games in the UK reached £4.74 billion in 2023 (second only behind video-based content at £4.9 billion). Ofcom's 2022 Online Nation Report stated that 39% per cent of Brits aged 16+ play games online, as do 56% of UK children aged 3-15. 

This year’s finalists have entered for one of two awards up for grabs: the YGD Game Concept Award, which rewards the most original and best thought-out game idea, and the  YGD Game Making Award, which goes to the most impressive use of coding skills on a freely available software, to create a prototype game. Each award is split into two age groups: 10-14 years and 15-18 years.

Orson Hayward (14) from Dundee is a finalist in the Game Concept 10-14 category, and was inspired by the cheerful, comic-book feel of  Dav Pilkey’s popular Captain Underpants book series. His concept, titled Collateral Damage, asks players to star as ‘George the Caretaker’ as he attempts to clean up in the midst of an epic battle raging overhead.  Rather than playing as the superhero or villain of this story, Orson describes George as just “a regular guy doing his job”, fighting to reach his elusive dream of “retiring on a beach in Hawaii”.

Elsewhere, Zoe Taylor (14) from Liverpool and her teammate Felix Myrie (14) from London entered the Game Making 10-14 category with their game titled Circuit Breaker. In this action-packed metroidvania, players take on the identity of ‘Pandora’, a robot tasked with destroying an evil corporation from the inside across seven 3D levels.  Her source code prevents her from damaging anyone other than robots, a nod to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. When asked which new skills they learned from creating the game, Zoe mentioned that she used BandLab to teach herself how to mix together music samples, and Felix noted that he’d gained a better understanding of physics concepts (through using 3D vectors to handle the velocity of objects in the game world).

Finalists were selected on the basis of the creativity of their vision and the technicality of their execution. Winning entries will be judged on their design and suitability for their chosen platform, with the aim of encouraging participants into games careers, and making the industry more accessible to young talent.

Tim Hunter, BAFTA executive director, Learning, Inclusion, Policy & Membership, said: “Congratulations to all of the BAFTA Young Game Designers finalists. Thanks to the generous support of our partners to enable us to deliver this annual initiative, it’s great to be back celebrating an amazingly talented group of young people who are creating extraordinary games with thoughtful narratives. It’s a real privilege to help provide a springboard for their talents to be recognised by the games industry, as the UK’s leading academy for the screen arts – you saw them here first.”

Joel Beardshaw, lead game designer at UsTwo Games, 2023 BAFTA Breakthrough and Game Making 15-18 juror, said: “BAFTA Young Game Designers is a really special initiative that gets young people in front of games industry creatives, and gives us all a sneak peek into the imagination of the next generation of games developers. I had a wonderful time as one of the jurors and was amazed by the creativity of the game mechanics, stories and art styles I saw. From games filled with falling eggs from the sky, to exploring an abandoned house as a creepy doll, they were all a joy to play. The games industry can learn a lot from this group of young developers' creativity and skills.”

Young Game Designers (YGD) is one of BAFTA’s initiatives to promote the art and craft of games. It specifically targets the next generation of talent giving young people and educators insights into the industry and access to the brightest creative minds in games. Last year’s winners include Ava Rogerson (2023 Game Concept 15-18) with Bounce Bat and Alex Phillips (Game Making 10-14) with serialbus. Previous finalists include Brendan Cheung, who’s now working on his debut game for BAFTA nominated Ed Tech Company The NightZookeeper and has toured the UK with the Young BAFTA Roadshow with Place2Be and Joe Straker, Production Intern at Criterion Games and a 2023 YGD Juror.

Official Partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Epic Games, PlayStation, Warner Bros. Games and Wizards of the Coast. Further details of the official partners can be found here.

The voting jury who selected this year’s finalists out of hundreds of entries represent major British-based gaming companies, including Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkham Asylum) and TT Games (LEGO® Star Wars™: The Skywalker Saga). Jurors also work at major international corporations such as PlayStation and Meta.

2024 winners will be featured in the prestigious Power Up games experience, alongside some of the very best video games and consoles from the past five decades, including an array of previous YGD winners. Power Up will be showcasing this year’s winners at the Science Museum in London and at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester from 28 June 2024.

Further details on all finalists and their games will be made available here. Interviews are available on request. Further information about BAFTA YGD can be found here.

For further information, to be added to the press release distribution list or for interview requests, please contact WDM Entertainment.

Claudia Hockey / WDM Entertainment
E: [email protected] 

Samantha Chong / WDM Entertainment
E: [email protected] 

Sandhya Kimberley-Lachman / WDM Entertainment
E: [email protected] 

Social Channels

Twitter (@BAFTAGames)
LinkedIn (BAFTA)


Game summaries, images, finalist headshots and quotes HERE
Details on YGD partners HERE


BAFTA’s mission as a charity is to champion the creative and cultural importance of the screen arts across film, games and television. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of talent initiatives and learning events that include masterclasses, lectures, scholarships, bursaries and mentoring schemes in the UK and North America, BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new screen talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).

About The Science Museum Group and Power Up

The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. Power Up is a hands-on, fully interactive gaming experience featuring the very best video games and consoles from the past five decades. From Pong to Pacman and Minecraft to Mario, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a retro games fan, a serious gamer or just want to beat your family at Mario Kart. Power Up is open daily at the Science Museum in London and at weekends and during school holidays at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. More information can be found, and

About Inel Tomlinson

Multi award-nominated actor, gamer and comedian, Inel Tomlinson, exudes the type of magnetic charisma and talent that instantly demands your attention. Well known for his brand character content creation highlights include voicing the award-winning Bulldog Cosmetics campaign and hosting the Animal Crossing Olympics with Nintendo. Gaming partnerships include Back4Blood, Xbox, Playstation and Sega.

A hugely experienced actor and improviser, he is a main cast member in the smash hit show Horrible Histories, which collaborated with the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2023.

On wider credits, Inel has featured in numerous series including: The Joy of Missing Out (C4), Diddy TV (CBBC), All Over the Place (CBBC), Bull (UKTV/Gold) as well as in several video games. In 2022 he appeared in his first feature film Christmas on Mistletoe Farm for Netflix.

As a stand up comedian Inel regularly performs at live comedy shows all over the country where his mixture of comedic timing, nostalgia and an eye for the ridiculous keep the audience in stitches from start to finish. He is also founder of smash hit live format Kinetic Comedy; a lively multicultural event that showcases the best up and coming comedy acts interspersed with games, competitions and music. Inel also hosts for Comic Con, Netflix and is the voice of Comedy Central UK.

For 2024, Inel will return as principle cast for Pickle Storm (CBBC) and Horrible Histories (BBC).