BAFTA Reveals Young Game Designers Award Finalists

BAFTA has shortlisted a total of 54 finalists for its Young Game Designers award. The winners of the awards will be revealed on June 30, during 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 years and 15-18 years.

According to BAFTA, "compelling themes relating to gender identity, mental health, and climate change dominate this year’s entries" (thanks, Eurogamer). The full list of finalists as well as their games can be found on the BAFTA website.

"This year’s shortlisted entries encompass a diverse range of contemporary topics, including mental health and anxiety, climate change, computer safety, time and space travel, and gender identity, with several gender-neutral leading characters across this year’s entries," said the organisation.

"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 demonstrate in their games the creative thinking and artistic prowess that underpins the game-making process, and provide an insight into the bright and exciting future of the British games industry."

The 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 winner of the award will get to meet experts in the video game industry who will work with them to bring the game to life. The Game Making Award is judged based on coding skill and a prototype made by the entrant.

There's also a Mentor's Award which "celebrates a hard-working leader or teacher who has a passion and dedication for game making and design and inspires young people to make 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. Ultimately, Returnal went on to win the highest honour of Best Game, along with wins for Audio Achievement, Music, Performer In A Leading Role, and Best Game.

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