The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the four winners of the 10th nationwide BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition. This year’s winners, selected by a jury of industry experts, were revealed at the first-ever digital ceremony today, hosted by presenter Aoife Wilson.
BAFTA YGD discovers, showcases and supports Britain’s young games talent by providing access to some of the most creative minds in the industry, through a year-round programme of mentorship, workshops and networking.
This year’s cohort of 53 talented finalists were competing across four categories: two for YGD Game Concept, celebrating the best original game idea from the 10-14 and 15-18 age groups, and two for YGD Game Making, rewarding the coding skills used to create a prototype game in the same two age groups. Entries were judged on gameplay design, creativity and suitability for the chosen games platform.
The 2020 BAFTA YGD winners include four aspiring game creators aged between 10 and 18:
Cameron Crosland, Strung Up - Game Concept Award (10-14 year old category)
Evie Sanger-Davies, Fruit Frenzy - Game Concept Award (15-18 year old category)
Alex Robinson, Complicated Co-operation - Game Making Award (10-14 year old category)
Michael Ballantyne, Contramotion - Game Making Award (15-18 year old category)
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “We are proud to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of BAFTA YGD, an initiative focused on recognising and championing young talent in games. We are so impressed with the amount of skill and creativity showcased by our 53 finalists, from all over the UK, and wish to extend a huge congratulations to our four brilliant winners! I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the educators across the country who continue to support this important initiative and inspire their students through the power of games.”
In light of government restrictions and advice in relation to COVID-19, tonight’s BAFTA YGD Awards took the format of a pre-produced digital show, streamed as-live on BAFTA’s YouTube and available to watch afterwards. The ceremony was hosted by Aoife Wilson (writer, presenter and producer for Eurogamer), with notable industry figures congratulating this year’s deserving winners, including Abubakar Salim, Alysia Judge, Julia Hardy, Elle-Osili Wood, Austin Wintory, Troy Baker and Siobhan Reddy.
The ceremony also featured a highlights reel looking back at the last 10 years of BAFTA YGD, including appearances from previous winners, Dan Pearce and Rhianna Hawkins. Rhianna Hawkins was winner of the Game Concept Award in 2014 and Dan Pearce was the winner of the first ever BAFTA YGD competition in 2010. Dan has subsequently gone on to receive a BAFTA Games Award nomination in 2014 for his game, Castles in the Sky.
In addition to the prestigious BAFTA YGD Award, winners will be given the chance to build on their games ideas through a robust mentorship scheme with leading figures in games, as well as an insight into a career in games, and the industry as a whole. As well as support for further development of their game, winners also receive a host of prizes, including workshops, games, software subscriptions, merchandise, and many more.
Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, PlayStation, Tencent, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.