The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the winners of the 2016 BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, in association with Nominet Trust, at an awards ceremony held July 23 at BAFTA headquarters in London. The Awards were hosted by CBBC presenter Ben Shires and games journalist Jane Douglas. Presenters were BBC Radio 1’s Dev Griffin, actress Amy-Leigh Hickman, Ukie CEO Jo Twist and games scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword)
The winners included four aspiring game creators, aged between 10 and 18, and a stand-out inspirational teacher. As previously announced, Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) was awarded the YGD Hero Award.
Now in its sixth year, the Young Game Designers competition presents awards in two categories: The Game Concept Award, for a written idea for a new game; and the Game Making Award, for creations made using computer software. The winners chosen by a jury of industry experts for 2016 are:
Game Concept Award (10-14 year-old): Aysheq Husain (13, from Birmingham) for Imagibots – Save Eden Green
One day out of the blue, Professor Eden received a telephone call from the Mayor of Eden Green. It was terrible news, there was a massive asteroid on a collision course for the village and apparently there was nothing the government could do to save Eden Green from being obliterated.
Game Concept Award (15-18 year-old): Nic Gordon (18, Derby) for YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED
YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED is a story-driven game, containing puzzle and exploration elements. You control of Emma, a blind woman, driven by paranoia to leave the noise of her home in a bustling metropolis in pursuit of a place of complete silence.
Game Making Award (10-14 year-old): Charlie Thurston(14, Forest Row in East Sussex) for Apocalypse Alpha
The world has been ravaged by a deadly and mysterious infection known as The Judgement, the lucky ones are dead and the minds of survivors are destroyed. Society crumbles and those left with their humanity intact must fight to survive. Throughout the game you must scavenge for supplies and weapons, fight your way through the hordes of Infected and reach the Airbase in one piece. You’ll make friends and enemies, but in the end it’s every man for himself.
Game Making Award (15-18 year-old): Daniel Smith (18, Gateshead in Tyne and Wear) for Spectrum
SPECTRUM is a mind-bending first person puzzler that challenges you to switch colours and manipulate gravity in order to escape a digital labyrinth. You don’t know why you’re there or what the purpose of the place is. The only way to navigate the chambers is completing increasingly challenging puzzles, the more you overcome, and the more you learn the dark secrets this digital place hides.
The young winners will receive a slew of prizes, including help further developing their game with industry experts.
The YGD Mentor Award was bestowed on Michael Warburton, Head of Games Development at Cambridge Regional College and creator of Rizing Games — the first FE educational commercial games development studio in the country.
The YGD Hero Award was accepted by TD Alex Evans and Studio Director Siobhan Reddy for Media Molecule, which was recognized for its continuing support of young game designers.
In a message of support to all the young finalists, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, President of BAFTA, said: “When I met the winners of the 2015 competition, I saw for myself the remarkable game ideas and game-making skills of young people today and I am once again very impressed by the unique ideas of this year’s finalists.
“The games industry continues to be one of the most successful, creative and fastest growing in the country and I am pleased to see so many young people taking advantage of this exciting opportunity – one which could well launch their careers as the next big thing in British games.”