BAFTA has announced the four winners of BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) Awards.
A total of 51 finalists, aged between 10 and 18, competed this year in categories including a young designer game concept for the best original game idea, and young designer game making, which rewards the use of coding skills and readily available software to create a prototype.
The awards took place on July 8 as a special digital ceremony hosted by presenter and journalist Elle Osili-Wood.
This year’s winners are:
Game Concept Award (10-14 years): Habiballah Butt, Rewind
Game Concept Award (15-18 years): Harry Rimmer, Wish You Were Here
Game Making Award (10-14 years): Andrew Ah-Weng, Getting Out Of It
Game Making Award (15-18 years): Sara Szasz, Thoughtless
Harry Rimmer, 15, from London, who won the Game Concept Award (15-18) category for his game ‘Wish you were here’, said the news was a pleasant surprise after a tough year of exams and stiff competition.
“It was great coming out of a tough GCSE year to [win] this.
“The result came in right as I broke up for the summer, and I’m so excited that I managed to not just make it to the finals but to then win the contest, especially considering the other games I was up against.
“It was a wonderful surprise and I had a great time working on the game ahead of it.”
‘Wish you were here’, is a mystery/puzzle game, where players solve various cases using time travel.
However, this time travel is limited to one day in each of the four seasons, meaning you can’t simply travel to the day the crime happened to figure out what happened.
Instead, players will need to travel to various points before and after the crime in order to gather evidence, interview people, and hopefully piece together the clues to solve the case.
Another big winner on the night was 13-year-old Habiballah Butt from Slough, who won the Game Concept Award (10 -14) category for his game ‘Rewind’.
Rewind was pitched as an innovative game to help people better understand what grief feels like and the stages of how it works.
The teenager said; “I honestly didn’t think I would get this far, and I’m honoured to have been chosen as the winner by so many people.
“I hope that I’m able to have more great opportunities like this in the future.”
Along with their awards, the winners will be able to further develop their game ideas via workshops, masterclasses, networking opportunities and more.
“For over a decade, the BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) initiative has inspired, supported and promoted the future generation of games creators in the UK,” said chief executive of BAFTA Amanda Berry OBE.
“We are pleased to announce this year’s winning entries that encompass an array of ambitious young game innovators, demonstrating a breadth of multi-disciplinary skill.”
“After an incredibly challenging year for education, we are delighted to see the return of the Mentor Award category that recognises individuals responsible for harnessing young talent. My congratulations to all.”