Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition for extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art.
Teams of 5 students, usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio, assemble at Abertay University for 9 weeks during June to August to develop a prototype video game, receiving mentoring from industry. The students also receive a weekly stipend of £150 per student, free accommodation at the University's halls of residence and a team budget of £200.
At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at talent showcasing event Dare ProtoPlay. The general public and industry experts get to play and vote for the games. At the Dare awards ceremony, three prizes of £2500 will be awarded to the three highest scoring teams based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, market potential and use of technology (none of the three will be specifically attributed to any particular criterion). Seven months later the winning teams attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted "Ones to Watch Award".
Sounds good, yes? here are the benefits to student who take part:
- Enhance your CV
- Get mentoring from the industry
- Produce a demo to take to interviews
- Hone your skills and get the experience that employers are looking for
- Expose your skills and work to games industry luminaries / potential employers
- Experience working as part of a team
- Weekly stipend of £150
- Team budget of £200
- Free accommodation at Abertay's halls of residence throughout Dare
- Build industry contacts
- Work with friends and make new ones from across the globe
- Opportunity to start your own games studio
- Work on your own ideas
- Exhibit your game at Dare ProtoPlay where thousands will play it
- Chance to win one of three £2500 prizes
- Chance to win the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award
Dare 2012 winners announced at Dare ProtoPlay
So on the 14th August 2012 The three BAFTA-nominated winners of Dare to be Digital were revealed at the climax of Dare ProtoPlay. Over the weekend a record-breaking audience of 10,000 people played the 15 games over three days at the free Dare ProtoPlay games festival in Dundee.
The three games who now compete for the exclusive BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award at the 2013 BAFTA Video Games Awards are:
- Starcrossed, for Windows Phone 7 by Kind of a Big Deal (team leader Kimi Sulopuisto, Petri Liuska, Andrew MacLean, Minttu Meriläinen, Vili Viitaniemi)
- Pixel Story, for PC by Loan Wolf Games (team leader Martin Cosens, Luke Harrison, Ashley Hayes, Thomas McParland, Benjamin Rushton)
- Project Thanatos, for PC and virtual reality headset by Raptor Games (team leader Hugh Laird, Andrew Coles, Tom Kemp, Tom Laird, Alexandra Shapland)
Kimi Sulopuisto from Kind of a Big Deal said: “This is the biggest thing I’ve achieved in my life. I’d absolutely encourage anyone looking to make their own games to enter Dare to be Digital – you’ve nothing to lose, and you could win so much.”
Martin Cosens from Loan Wolf Games said: “This is absolutely amazing. For anyone wanting to make games, I’d say don’t hesitate, just do it. Don’t let anyone curb your ideas or hopes, as things like this can happen – you can get into Dare to be Digital, and get nominated for a BAFTA.”
Hugh Laird from Raptor Games said: “We were hoping and praying we’d get nominated for a BAFTA – it really justifies nine weeks of hard, hard work. And we didn’t expect to win the audience award, which is just the icing on top.”
Johnny Minkley, BAFTA Games Committee member and Dare judge, said: “I’m hugely impressed with the standard of all the games on show and the professionalism and passion of all the Dare to be Digital teams. “It was a hard choice for the judges, but all three BAFTA nominees are strong games and very different games. It will be a really tough decision for the judges to pick the final BAFTA winner at the Video Games Awards next March.”
Loan Wolf Games were also the winners of the brand new £25,000 Channel 4 prize. They will now be funded and supported to complete their game for a full commercial release.
Raptor Games also won the public vote for the Intel Visual Computing Tools Audience Award, with each team member receiving an Intel Ultrabook.
Kind of a Big Deal were supported to take part in Dare to be Digital by the Scottish Government as this year’s Nordic competitor, as were the Chinese and Indian teams.
Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “The entrants to Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital get better and better every year, and all 15 teams have done something incredible – built a professional, playable and exciting game in just nine weeks. “The BAFTA-nominated winners – Kind of a Big Deal, Loan Wolf Games and Raptor Games – stood out from the tough competition for their exceptional game design, playability and commercial appeal, but all 15 teams have the experience now to enter the games industry or start their own businesses. “We look forward to seeing, and playing, many successes from them in the future.”
This year’s Dare ProtoPlay festival was also expanded to include Dare Indie Fest, a conference for budding entrepreneurs and a showcase of games from independent companies.
Dare Indie Fest was presented by the Abertay Prototype Fund, which provides grants of up to £25,000 to small and startup games companies. Over 40 games were available to play for free throughout the Dare ProtoPlay weekend, including the 15 student games and new titles from independent game developers from across the UK and as far afield as Romania. Continued Scottish Government support of £85,700 enabled teams from China, India and Finland to take part in Dare to be Digital this year. Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop officially opened the Dare ProtoPlay festival on Friday. Support from EventScotland enabled Dare to be Digital to expand into the City Square marquee. The event was also supported by Ukie, Dundee City Council and Interactive Tayside.
I am pleased to announce that the Winning Game - Starcrossed, for Windows Phone 7 by Kind of a Big Deal (team leader Kimi Sulopuisto, Petri Liuska, Andrew MacLean, Minttu Meriläinen, Vili Viitaniemi) is now live in the Windows MarketPlace achieving a NEW Record. Ensuring their app was published into the commercial marketplace – via the Windows Phone Marketplace in the shortest time after Dare.
Starcrossed is a whimsical 2D platformer game where you guide a crash-landed astronaut back to his home planet, using a rocket launcher to send him flying through space from one asteroid to another. Gravity plays a pivotal role as it will affect the astronaut’s movement. Temperature is also important: be careful not to expose the astronaut to the burning heat of the sun or the freezing conditions of outer space for too long!
Starcrossed was created during the Dare to be Digital 2012 games development competition. The game was one of the winning entries and is nominated for BAFTA "Ones to Watch" award 2013.Features:- Intuitive one-touch controls- 30 levels of fast and quirky gravity-based gameplay- Various different planets, each with their unique properties- Vivid colours and a painterly look- Original sound and music Watch the game trailer at: https://youtu.be/VSUO5dtWnx8 Follow the team at: www.facebook.com/starcrossedgame www.facebook.com/koabd2012 www.twitter.com/koabd2012 Find their publisher at: www.facebook.com/kajakgames and www.twitter.com/kajakgames
Watch out for our guest blog from Kimu Sulopuisto from Starcrossed tomorrow, where he will discuss Starcrossed and his experience of Dare and Windows Phone 7 and what a Kind of a Big Deal achieved from the event.
If your really interested in competitions and gaming then check out http://www.imaginecup.com