BAFTA has opened entries for its 11th annual BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition! Celebrating new games talent and inspiring the UK’s future game makers, the competition, open to 10 – 18 year olds, gives young people the chance to design or make their own game.
For over 10 years, BAFTA YGD has highlighted the positive impact of games on young people, their parents and teachers, offering information on the careers available within the games industry, and allowing an opportunity for the next generation of game-makers to showcase their creativity.
Previous winners of the BAFTA YGD competition have gone on to be award-winning within the games industry. Dan Pearce (2010 winner) was named a BAFTA Breakthrough in 2013, with his game, Castles in the Sky, earning him a BAFTA-nomination for Debut Game in 2014. Previous winners have also showcased their creations at EGX Rezzed, London’s largest games event, including 2016 winner Daniel Smith whose game was picked up by Ripstone Games and has since been released commercially. Emily Mitchell (2017 winner) is currently working with a games publisher to release her game commercially and Spruce Campbell (2017 winner) has self-published his game on the App Store.
Entries are now open and will close on Monday 15 March 2021. Entries are shortlisted to 40 finalists from across the UK, who will be announced in June. The winners will be announced at a special virtual BAFTA ceremony in July 2021, following the success of the first digital YGD ceremony this year.
All finalists receive a bundle of games goodies from YGD partners, a series of exclusive masterclasses and the opportunity for digital mentorship and careers advice from Into Games. Alongside a BAFTA YGD Award, winners additionally receive bespoke advice and support in developing their game ideas.
There are five award categories in the competition: the YGD Game Concept Award, split into 10-14 years and 15-18 years categories, for those creating an original concept for a new game, and the YGD Game Making Award, also split into 10-14 years and 15-18 years, for those making a game using freely available software. Entrants can enter either as individuals or with a team of up to three people.
The YGD Mentor Award will return in 2021, to recognise an inspirational individual who is involved in the education of young game creators in the UK, particularly those that reach out to young people who might not have access to games design.
YGD also engages with teachers and provides free educational resources including a YGD app which features an Idea Generator, worksheets, lesson plans and videos, as well as assessing what resources the educational sector needs in order to support career pathways in game design.