You are here

BAFTA Announces Winners of Young Game Designers Competition at Special Awards Ceremony

7 July 2018
Event: BAFTA Young Games Designer AwardsDate: Saturday 7 July 2018Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, LondonHosts: Aoife Wilson & Julia Hardy-Area: Winners BAFTA/Jamie Simonds

Game designers of the future celebrated at event attended by stars of the games industry

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of BAFTA, praises young finalists and inspiring educators

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the winners of the 2018 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition at a prestigious awards ceremony at its headquarters, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in London. The winners include seven aspiring game creators aged between 10 and 18, as well as an inspirational teacher.

BAFTA YGD, which began in 2010, presents awards in two main categories: The Game Concept Award, for a written idea for a new game; and the Game Making Award, for a game made using computer software. The winners, chosen by a jury of industry experts, are:

  • Dalvia & Tiya Dhillon - Game Concept Award (10-14 year-old category)
  • Sophia Shepherd, Kat Shields & Rin Jones - Game Concept Award (15-18 year-old category)
  • Harry Thurston - Game Making Award (10-14 year-old category)
  • Prithvi Kohli - Game Making Award (15-18 year-old category)

The YGD Mentor Award, presented to an individual nominated by the public for their involvement in the education of young game designers, was awarded to Adam Syrop, programme leader at Impact Gamers in Bradford.

The event was hosted by Julia Hardy (BBC Radio 1’s video games presenter) and Aoife Wilson (writer, presenter and video producer with gaming website Eurogamer). The winners were announced by leading games industry figures including voice actor Abubakar Salim (Bayek, Assassins Creed: Origins), games journalist and presenter Alysia Judge, presenter Ellen Rose (Outside Xtra and Outside Xbox) and YouTube star Amazing Arabella.

As well as a coveted YGD trophy, BAFTA will facilitate a bespoke mentoring package to support the young winners in their future game making projects. This could include guidance on further development of their winning game, and meetings with industry professionals for advice on work experience and careers. All the winners also receive a host of prizes, including workshops, studio tours, games, software subscriptions, merchandise and more. Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers are: Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, King, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, Unity and WB Games. 

To close the ceremony, Tameem Antoniades, chief creative director at Ninja Theory Ltd, makers of the BAFTA-winning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, gave an inspiring speech praising the unlimited creativity on show and urging the finalists to never limit their imaginations and keep creating what makes them happy.

Prior to the ceremony, all 60 young finalists had the opportunity to showcase their game concepts and prototypes to their peers and special guests. 

In a written message to attendees, BAFTA’s President HRH The Duke of Cambridge said: “The variety of themes that have been tackled – and with such ingenuity and creativity - shows just how versatile games can be in representing who we are and what we believe in.”

Nick Button-Brown, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee said: “The Young Game Designers competition and initiative continually improves in the way it interacts and engages young people with careers in the games industry as well as just letting them have fun working with other kids and making games. I hope that the winners and finalists here today go on to create diverse games that are culturally important, break new boundaries and enjoy the games industry as much as I have.”

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. 

BAFTA YGD winners in 2018 – further information:

Game Concept Award (10-14) – Trapped

Dalvia & Tiya Dhillon (14 & 11 years)
Long Riston (Beverley), Yorkshire

Trapped is a retro 2D story focusing on mental health and a male teenager with day and night segments which act very differently to each other. Dalvia and Tiya specifically chose to set their story in a school to show the impact mental health problems can have on people of their own age. They feel that one of the main appeals of this story-driven game is that players can apply the knowledge obtained in the game and use it when talking about mental health issues.

Game Concept Award (15-18) – Tea & Tartlets

Sophia Shepherd, (16 years), Kat Shields (16 years) & Rin Jones (17 years) 
Wimbledon, Greater London

Tea & Tartlets is a top-down story-based simulation game in which the player runs a café and progresses through the game's levels - unlocking new recipes and perks - with a romance-focused story intermittent throughout. With a target audience of pre-teens, teens and young adults Sophia, Kat and Rin wanted Tea & Tartlets to be an inclusive game that will encourage an interest in cooking and running a food or restaurant business. At any level, a food critic could make a surprise visit and have the café closed down and this is when the romantic interest will help out the player character.

Game Making Award (10-14) – Maggie

Harry Thurston (10 years) 
Forest Row, East Sussex

Maggie is a minimalist puzzle platformer in which you guide Maggie, a cute red cube, through a series of levels using only her ability to stretch. The player explores Maggie's world by growing and shrinking. The ten levels in the demo are easy to start with but get more and more challenging as Maggie moves through them. Maggie is Harry’s first program using Unity.

Game Making Award (15-18) – Super Boson

Prithvi Kohli (17 years) 
East Molesey, Surrey

Super Boson is an energetic and mind-bending puzzle/action game about particle physics, which aims to inspire scientific curiosity and interest in physics and other STEM fields amongst younger audiences by portraying science in a fun and engaging way. The player must navigate and reach the end of levels by taking control of different subatomic particles. Each of these is unique and behaves differently, requiring the player to think carefully and plan ahead for which particle to be, and when, in order to overcome obstacles. Prithvi focused specifically on what he wanted the experience of the game to be like, and designed the game to focus on delivering that. 

YGD Mentor Award

Adam Syrop, Programme Leader at Impact Gamers in Bradford

Adam Syrop runs Impact Gamers C.I.C., a community interest company that exists to inspire young people away from just game playing to game making. Adam studied computer animation at Bradford University. On leaving University he began teaching multimedia to children who were at risk of being excluded from school at an alternative education centre. Impact Gamers began as an after-school club run by Adam and other volunteers and in 2016 it was launched as an independent company providing workshops and events in schools and community/youth organisations to teach practical computer programming skills and provide opportunities for young people to develop their own programs, games and apps in a supportive and safe environment.

Adam Syrop said: “We work with young people in deprived areas of Bradford teaching them to be creative with computers, offering a safe space to come, make friends, play and learn together.”

For details on all this year’s winners and finalists, and their games, go to

Notes to Editors: 

Recent BAFTA Young Game Designers winners showcased their games at consumer expo EGX Rezzed in April 2018 including: Daniel Smith (2016 winner), whose game Spectrum Retreat was picked up by Ripstone Games and is due to be released commercially on multiple platforms; Emily Mitchell (2017 winner), who is working with a games publisher to release her game commercially; Spruce Campbell (2017 winner), who has self-published his game on the App Store; and Anna Carter (2017 winner ), who showcased a prototype of her winning game concept that she has since developed with students at Abertay University.

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 further information, please contact:

Anna Pedroza at Pedroza Communications
T: +44 (0)7813 938020
E: [email protected]

Lisa Richards at BAFTA
T: +44 (0)207 7734 5863
E: [email protected]



The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit