BAFTA Announces Finalists for 2012 Young Game Designers Competition

By: Nov. 16, 2012

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the nominations for the 2012 BAFTA Young Game Designers competition for 11-16 year-olds which, for the first time this year, consists of two honours: the Game Concept Award and the Game-making Award presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE). The nominees for both strands will attend the British Academy Children’s Awards on 25 November, where the winners will be announced.

BAFTA Young Game Designers, which is in its third year, aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals. The winners will work on their game with experts from the University of Abertay Dundee, and will visit SCE London Studio, makers of the BAFTA Award-winning EyeToy® and SingStar® franchises.

The original Game Concept Award is for an idea for a new game, including a description of the characters, the world of the game, and how it will be played. The Game-making Award presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – which was introduced this year – is for games made using game-making software or programming languages.

The three finalists for both awards – selected from hundreds of entries by juries of games industry professionals, educationalists and celebrity gamers – demonstrate the breadth of engagement across the UK, with nominees hailing from England, Scotland and Wales, from as far north as Falkirk in Scotland, down to Taunton in Somerset. The nominees also highlight individual as well as team efforts.

The jury for the Game Concept Award was chaired by Harvey Elliott, Managing Director and COO at Marmalade, and Chair of BAFTA’s Children’s and Games Committees, who was joined by a host of industry experts as well as celebrity ambassador Anna Shaffer (Hollyoaks, Harry Potter). The Game-making Award jury was chaired by JoNathan Smith, Head of Production at TT Games, and included celebrity ambassador Tyger Drew-Honey (Outnumbered, Friday Download), and Will Sykes, Principal Programmer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE).

The three finalists in both categories will attend the annual, star-studded British Academy Children’s Awards, taking place on Sunday 25 November at the London Hilton on Park Lane, where Anna Shaffer and Tyger Drew-Honey will present the lucky winners with their awards.

Celebrity Ambassador Tyger Drew-Honey, on the Game-making Award jury, said:

“The quality of the entries was fantastic; I was very impressed with all of them. When I was going through the entries I had to remind myself to move on to the next one as I found myself playing them over and over again - they were so much fun!”

Celebrity Ambassador Anna Shaffer, on the Game Concept Award jury, said:

“The quality of entries this year was amazing! I was really impressed. I could see myself playing the games and could really visualise what they would be like.”

Game-making Award jury chair JoNathan Smith said:

“The Game-making jury had a fantastic time playing through the shortlisted games. It was a real privilege to see so many surprising, varied instances of game creation, and we’re very proud of the three that made it through to the nominations.”

Game Concept Award jury chair Harvey Elliot said:

“The quality of the entries this year is phenomenal. The 10 shortlisted game concepts were all really compelling in their own way – really easy to visualise and to imagine as a game experience. They were of a brilliant standard, and I would play any of the nominated games.”

The BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become the next generation of successful game designers. It aims to demystify the creative process of games development and highlight how key qualifications in areas such as maths, physics and computer science are essential for those wishing to enter the industry. BAFTA has partnered with Abertay University and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) on the initiative.

Further details about the competition, as well as teaching resources and details of workshops that took place around the country, can be found at

The nominees:

Game Concept Award:

Jury chair: Harvey Elliott, Managing Director & COO at Marmalade, and Chair of BAFTA’s Children’s and Games Committees

Celebrity on jury: Anna Shaffer

Twist and shout with this whole new take on the turn-based strategy genre.
Team: Pleasant Peasants

William Garman, 16
Red Freeman, 16
David Cuthbertson, 16
William, Red and David, from Morpeth in Northumberland, made the top 10 shortlist of BAFTA Young Game Designers in 2011 with their entry Scrap.

Watch out – the haggocalypse is coming! A Scottish themed game with haggis, bagpipes and rain.
Team: Floating Log Games

Lewis Winters, 14
Dylan Forrest, 14
Adam Robertson, 15
Lewis, Dylan and Adam, from Falkirk in Scotland, worked on their entry during special BAFTA Young Game Designers sessions at Larbert High School, run by their teacher Mrs MacAskill.

Vacuum up before mum gets home, but beware rogue pets, OAPs and siblings
Team: Chazman

Charlie Hutton-Pattemore, 15
Charlie, from Taunton in Somerset, is currently studying for his GCSEs, and has a passion for Art.

Game-making Award presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:

Jury chair: JoNathan Smith, Head of Production, TT Games

Celebrity on jury: Tyger Drew-Honey

No bouncing balls can ruin Ball Boy’s day, unless they've been sent by the villainous Mastermind.
Team: The One Legg

Sam Legg, 13
Sam Legg, from Headcorn in Kent, created Ball Boy vs The World having learned how to code in Adobe Flash by watching tutorial videos online.

Restore peace to an ancient kingdom by finding five mythical crystals before the evil king.
Team: Team Bridge

Jack Bridger, 15
Jack, from Porthcawl in Bridgend, Wales, used Game Maker to build the game, and also composed all his own music.

Keep your Smiley happy by surviving as long as possible against an onslaught of enemy shapes.
Team: Tanbridge Solo

Christopher Purdy, 13,
Christopher, from Horsham in West Sussex, has been making games since primary school.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit .

About Abertay University

Abertay University launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997, and runs both the UK Centre of Excellence for Computer Games Education and the international game design contest Dare to be Digital. Our unique partnership with BAFTA makes Dare the exclusive pathway to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, a major recognition of up-and-coming games talent.

Through the Abertay University Prototype Fund start-up and small developers across the UK have access to funding to create new prototypes and attract additional investment, another practical way Abertay supports the growth of a sustainable, successful games industry.

Abertay has the highest number of Skillset accreditations for computer games courses (five out of 12 across the UK) as well as holding full Skillset Media Academy status, recognition of the important industry skills that are developed on our courses. For more information please visit

About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, PlayStation®2, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 109 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories.

More information about PlayStation products can be found at

PlayStation, the PlayStation logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PS3 and PSP are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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