Dare Academy winners revealed at EGX 2017

Abertay student team Bit Loom wins trip to Los Angeles with double-ended dog puzzler Phogs

By James Batchelor.Published Sunday 24th September 2017, 1:30pm GMT

Abertay University has announced the winner's of this year's revamped Dare Academy competition.

The contest was previously known as Dare To Be Digital, and sees students creating a new game from scratch in just a few months. It culminated with industry judges playing the six finalists' games during this week's EGX 2017, the UK's largest games show.

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Bit Loom, comprised of Abertay students Douglas Flinders, Henry Pullan and James Wood, were declared the winners during the show today thanks to their work on prototype puzzle game Phogs. The title challenges two players to share a controller and guide a double-ended dog around a series of tricky courses.

Their prize is a fully paid trip to the upcoming IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles, as well as a business support package from legal specialist Lindsays.

Runners up were 8Bit10 with their multiplayer King of the Castle, who receive a paid trip to China to meet leading games firms, and Wee Door with strategy game Oil, who earned a paid trip to India.

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"Regardless of the outcome of the competition, all six of these teams have produced innovative, fun, technically brilliant and sometimes off-the- wall games," said Dayna Galloway, head of Abertay's games and art division.

"To show such outstanding creative talent and produce games of this technical quality over an intensive and compact period proves they can cope with the pressure demands of an industry environment."

The industry judges included PlayStation's Luke Savage, Xbox's Neil Holmes, Rare's Louise O'Connor and Peter Campbell, and All 4 Games' Colin Macdonald.

Dare Academy underwent a series of changes this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Abertay's games courses. Notably, it was only open to Abertay students this year and the prizes, as mentioned, included fully-paid industry experiences in key markets abroad.

All teams were also given their own stands to promote their games at EGX 2017, where they were showcased to consumers and members of the games industry. 16 teams entered back in March and were whittled down to six for this year's final.

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