Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 12:04 UK

Bafta prospect for student gamers

Dare winners from Abertay
A team from Abertay won for their game Origamee

A group of Scottish university students has been nominated for a Bafta after triumphing at a prestigious computer game design competition.

The team, from Dundee's Abertay University, also took home £2,500 for their creation at the Dare to be Digital competition.

The 10-week contest saw 17 teams from across the globe create their own unique games.

The Scottish leg of the annual competition was held in Dundee.

The Abertay team, Blue Skies, was one of three main winners with its environmentally-themed game, Origamee, a pop-up story book themed world involving puzzle solving.

Dare consistently manages to highlight what is achievable by the best new talent looking to enter the games business in just 10 weeks
Richard Leinfellner
CEO Babel Media

It earned its Bafta nomination for the ones to watch award, to be announced in March.

A team from Edinburgh, Contrived, picked up £1,500 and the audience award after winning the most public votes for their game, Grav.

It was described as a "retro-futuristic" game, which pitted the player against robots.

The other main winners were Ctrl_D from Peking University for VegeMe - which asks players to grow and style their own world in a race against their opponent.

Dark Matter Design, from Wolverhampton University, won for Boro-Toro - a puzzle game which made use of Nintendo's Wii technology.

A panel of 17 judges, from companies such Sony and Babel Media chose the winners based on creativity and innovation, use of technology and market potential.

This was the ninth year of Dare to be Digital.

'Spiralling costs'

Babel chief executive and judging panel chairman, Richard Leinfellner, said: "The panel of game industry experts felt the overall standard of this year's entries exceeded all their expectations, both in terms of breadth of subject matter and overall game quality.

"In a climate of spiralling costs and product slippages, Dare consistently manages to highlight what is achievable by the best new talent looking to enter the games business in just 10 weeks."

Ray Maguire, UK managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment, added: "Once again, Dare has revealed some true talent.

"The quality is the best we have ever seen and it is possible to see some of these prototypes becoming commercial."

Abertay principal, Prof Bernard King, said: "Dare to be Digital's success is demonstrated by the very high proportion of previous contestants who have been hired by a whole range of companies such as Electronic Arts, Rare, Denki, Realtime Worlds and Lionhead.

"Others have even set up their own games development companies."


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