BAFTA has shortlisted a total of 54 finalists for its Young Game Designers award. Prize winners will be revealed on June 30 at a digital event hosted by Inel Tomlinson. There are two categories for this award – the YGD Game Concept Award and the YGD Game Making Award, both of which have brackets for 10-14 year olds and 15-18 year olds.
According to BAFTA, “compelling themes related to gender identity, mental health and climate change dominate this year’s entries” (thanks, Eurogamer). The full list of finalists and their games can be found on the BAFTA website.
“This year’s shortlisted entries encompass a wide range of contemporary topics, including mental health and anxiety, climate change, cyber security, time and space travel, and gender identity, with several gender-neutral lead characters in this year’s nominations,” the organization said. .
“Entries also feature a plethora of challenges for players to undertake, including problem-solving activities, escape tasks, and intergalactic quests.
This impressive cohort of finalists demonstrates in their games the creative thinking and artistic prowess that underpins the game-making process, and provides a glimpse into the bright and exciting future of the UK games industry.”
Game Concept Award finalists are chosen based on an “original game idea created by themselves or with a team of up to two other people”. The prize winner will meet experts from the video game industry who will work with them to bring the game to life. The Game Making Award is judged based on coding skills and a prototype made by the entrant.
There is also a Mentor’s Award which “celebrates a hardworking leader or teacher who has a passion and dedication to creating and designing games and inspires young people to create games”.
This year’s BAFTA Game Awards were dominated by Housemarque Returnal, with a total of nine nominations, while Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two and Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart were tied with eight nominations each. In the end, Returnal took home the highest accolade for Best Game, along with wins for Audio Direction, Music, Performer in a Leading Role, and Best Game.
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