Hosted by comedian and lifelong gamer Dara Ó Briain in London last night, the internationally coveted ‘Ones to Watch’ BAFTA went to the game ‘Twang!’, a thrilling side-scrollling racing game where the players fire grappling hooks to navigate.
Held at the University of Abertay Dundee each summer, Dare to be Digital is the world’s leading competition for aspiring games industry professionals.
In recognition of the university’s core role in supplying talent to the UK games industry, and Dare to be Digital’s pioneering work on bringing students together as small business teams, only the three Dare winners each year are eligible for the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award.
That Game Studio, the team behind ‘Twang!’, said after their win in London last night: "We are extremely amazed that we won the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award. We can barely believe it.
“It's like a kick-start right into the industry, a confirmation that we're doing something right."
The team consisted of four students from Skovde University in Sweden (team leader Jocce Marklund, Annette Nielsen, Linus Nordgren and Marcus Heder) and one from Abertay University (Thomas Finlay). The Swedish students were supported by the Scottish Government.
Dr Louis Natanson, Academic Director of the Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: “That Game Studio produced an exceptional game, that’s both incredibly fun to play and shows that these are young professionals with a very bright future ahead of them.
“The standard we expect each year at Dare to be Digital is incredibly high – the student teams that come to Abertay University to build their games are among the most promising anywhere in the world. Previous Dare winners have gone on to jobs with the world’s leading computer games companies, including Rockstar, Sony and many, many others. We are absolutely sure that this year’s winners will follow in those trail-blazing footsteps.”
He added: “Dare to be Digital is a great showcase for everything we do at Abertay – bringing the biggest computer games companies in the world in to mentor students, and bringing teams of students from different subjects together to work exactly as if they were running their own small company.
"Abertay hosts the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education and everything we do is focused on giving students the very best chance of getting a great job or starting their own business. The computer games industry has huge growth potential worldwide, and students from Abertay and Dare to be Digital are the industry leaders of the future.”
The other two teams nominated for the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award were Team Tickle for their iPad game ‘Sculpty’ and Angry Mango for their Windows Mobile game ‘Mush’.
Team Tickle consists of five students from Abertay University: team leader Druhin Mukherjee, Fraser Littlejohn, James Long, Fabien Roussot and Ronan Suess.
Angry Mango consists of five students from the University of Wales, Newport: team leader Henry Hoffman, Matthew Dennis, Katharine Killick, Greg O'Brien and Ahmed Zaman.
Applications to this year’s Dare to be Digital competition are open until 3 April. Full details are available at http://www.daretobedigital.com/applications/how.php
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Dare to be Digital:
Dare to be Digital is a video game development competition for undergraduates at universities and colleges of art, organised and run by the University of Abertay Dundee.
Teams of student programmers and artists compete in an intensive 'hot-house' development environment over the summer vacation, building fully-functioning prototypes for assessment by industry judges and a public vote at Dare ProtoPlay in August.
The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ Award.
See http://www.daretobedigital.com for more information and to apply.