London, 12 July: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the winners of the 2014 BAFTA Young Game Designers competition at a glittering awards ceremony at BAFTA’s Headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London. 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins from Heathfield School is the winner of the Game Concept Award - for the best written idea for a new game - for her game Tomatos Role. Rhianna is the first female winner of a BAFTA Young Game Designers award.
Now in its fourth year, the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future by giving 11-16 year-olds the chance to design and create their own game and develop it with industry professionals.
For the first time this year, the winners were named at a special ceremony attended by all the finalists, their families and leading figures in the games industry. Magician and star of ITV2’s Tricked Ben Hanlin presented Rhianna the Game Concept Award, and treated the audience to some of his signature tricks.
The event was hosted by Ross Hornby (djh3max), Chris Trott (Trottimus) and Alex Smith (Alsmiffy), gaming filmmakers from YouTube sensation Hat Films, part of the hugely popular Yogscast network.
Along with her BAFTA Young Game Designers award, Rhianna will also receive:
- Further development of their game with the University of Abertay Dundee;
- An exclusive, unique, studio visit, courtesy of Jagex;
- A selection of 2014 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment game releases;
- Exclusive signed artwork from previous Criterion Games releases, courtesy of EA;
- A special PlayStation®First Education starter kit for the winners’ schools, consisting of three PS3 consoles with Little Big Planet software and three PS Vita consoles with Tearaway software, presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
In Rhianna Hawkins’ game Tomatos Role the player directs the central tomato character through a fruit salad full of obstacles. By crossing bowls of increasing size the tomato boosts its popularity, aiming to be accepted as a member of the fruit family. As a member of the Game Concept Award jury, Ben Hanlin said of Rhianna’s game: “I can see this game becoming a brand. The game's joke has virility and the potential to stand out on indie platforms.” Fellow jury member Mark Ogilvie, Design Director at Jagex said: “It's a funny, exciting idea with a real spark. As a concept it is difficult to fault, the beauty is it is simple and tactile. I can feel the personality of this designer and would like to work with them.”
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.
The competition is supported by a year-round programme of activity, including: a dedicated website (www.bafta.org/ygd ) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, fronted by internet celebrities Yogscast, that gives a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.
Read full details of the press release here