The following is a list of questions we get asked a lot. If you can't find what you're looking for here then you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key Dates for Dare 2014:
27 Jan Applications open
21 Apr 9am Application deadline
26 – 4 May Online judging
12 - 20 May Interviews
end of May Finalists comfirmed
16 Jun – 6 Aug Competition
7 - 10 Aug Dare ProtoPlay (Dundee)
Some basic information:
- Dare to be Digital is open to international teams of 5 University students (undergraduates or
post-graduates) and fresh graduates (graduated within 2 years). It's not for individuals.
- Dare is a competition looking for new computer game idea to be developed at Abertay University,
- Once selected, you will be provided with hardware, software and industry mentoring to finish your game
prototype. Every participant will also receive a weekly stipend of £75 and free accommodation.
Q1 - When will Dare 2014 take place?
16 June to 11 August 2014. (Competition development: 16 June - 6 August. Dare ProtoPlay: 7-10 August)
Q2 - Where will Dare be held this year?
At the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland.
Q3 - When is the closing date for applications?
To be confirmed.
Q4 - Who can apply to Dare?
Dare 2014 will be based in Dundee but any team from any university or art college, or a combination of both can apply as the competition is NOT limited to teams from specific regions. Teams can also be made up of students from different Universities. Teams must be a group of 5 (if you are applying from Japan, please refer to the page about Japan for specific information).
Q5 - Where can we find other team members / what if I cannot find enough people for my team?
We don't get involved in placing people in to teams. If you are struggling to find enough people for your team, we would recommend visiting the apply pages on the site, finding the "how to apply" page for your country then posting your requirements on the 'Disqus' comment area for that country. Additionally, you could ask friends on your course, email people on other courses, put notices around your University / other Universities or talk to your lecturer. Attending one of the information sessions listed on this site is also a good way to find members for your team.
Q6 - I have already agreed a summer job. Is this OK?
If you are selected to join Dare, you need to be able to commit to work on the project for 35 hours per week during office hours (and this will most likely increase as the weeks go on as everyone puts in as many hours as they can). We normally allow you to do some part-time work on top of this, as long as the rest of your team are happy with this and it does not impact on your team project. This would normally mean a local part time weekend or evening job would be OK, although you would have to ensure that any evening work was not causing you to come in late the following day. You must however inform the Dare Project Manager of any employment.
Q7 – Are we allowed any time off?
Due to the limited time you have during Dare, you are not permitted to take any time off (Monday to Friday) during Dare, unless it is under exceptional circumstances, of which the Competition Organiser will be sole judge. Any time off will be deducted from your weekly stipend. In our experience, time off affects your team's chances of finishing your game and put pressure on the rest of your team to take on additional duties. If you are applying to Dare knowing that you have a team member who already has commitments, please consider replacing this team member with someone who is available for the duration of the competition.
Q8 - I was a team member in Dare in previous years. Can I take part again, either as part of the same team or as part of a new team?
No. You can only take part once.
Q9 - I applied to the competition in previous years but my team did not get a place / I was also interviewed but was unsuccessful. Can I apply this year?
If you were previously unsuccessful you can apply as many times as you like. You can also apply again if you attended interview but were not successful in getting a place. Teams or individuals who were successful in getting a place on the competition but later withdrew cannot apply again - this includes individuals or teams who withdrew prior to the competition or during.
Q10 - One / two of my team members have already graduated. Can my team still apply to Dare 2014?
It is OK if a small proportion of your team (no more than 2) graduated within the last 2 years (ie they graduated in summer 2012) but they must not have worked in a development role in the games industry for any more than 6 months and the rest of the team must fit the normal entry criteria (the majority of the team must be students enrolled on a full degree programme at a University or College of Art).
Q11 - Can students at FE Colleges apply?
A maximum of 2 people in a team can be students at an FE college. The rest of the team must be students enrolled on a full degree programme at a University or College of Art. If you do this, remember you will be competing for a place against teams whose students are all at HE level, so you will have to convince us that you have the necessary technical skills to get your game to prototype stage. For the reason mentioned above, we will not accept entries from teams consisting entirely of students from a FE college. You can appreciate that for example, a Masters student has a far greater experience level than an HND student. Most of the successful teams who come into Dare are in their 3rd or 4th years of Honours programmes or at Masters level.
Q12 - My team are all graduating in 2014 - are we still eligible to apply?
Yes, you can still apply if you are all currently in your final year and will graduate in 2014.
still have questions? Email us.
Q13 - Someone in my team has worked in the Games Industry. Can he/she still join my team?
No applicant should have had any extensive (more than 6 months full time) work experience in a development role in the games industry as a graduate or study break. Part time relevant work and internships undertaken during consecutive years of study are permitted. Please refer to the Dare team if you are unsure.
Q14 - Who should be the Team Leader and is this the person's only role in the team?
It is up to the team to unanimously decide who their team leader is. This person should have very good interpersonal skills as they will be the main point of contact between the team and Dare staff, support staff and visitors. They must also be willing to take control of any team disputes and be a good decision maker. Any guest lectures we have must be attended by the team leader, however it is open to all the team to attend. As there are only 5 team members, the team leader must have an additional role in the team (eg programmer, artist, audio etc). Choose your team leader wisely - we have found that they can make or break a team!
Q15 - What do I need to include in the 5-minute video pitch in the application form?
What you put in the video pitch is entirely up to you - there are no set guidelines. The purpose of it is to explain and sell your game idea to the judging panel so that they better understand it and will want to interview the team. You can put whatever you want in it but be mindful of the limited time you have and only include content which helps get your game idea across. After watching your pitch the judges should have a far better understanding of your game idea. Try to think creatively and engage the judges. Think that if you were a judge, and you were going to have to watch LOTS of these videos, what would you want to see from a team?
Q16 - Where will the selection days be held this year?
They will be held from end of April to mid May. Exact dates and locations to be confirmed.
Q17 - What will happen at the selection day?
Your team will be required to prepare a presentation on your game idea and deliver it to a judging panel, normally 4 or 5 people from various backgrounds in the games industry. If you are invited to interview, you will be told what you have to prepare.
Q18 - Will all my team members have to attend the selection day?
As many of your team should attend as possible, but you do need to have a minimum of 3 team members there.
Q19 - My team won't be able to make the selection day in my region - can we arrange another date?
No, there is only 1 selection day in each of the specified selection regions and it cannot be changed. We have tried as much as possible to avoid clashing with examination dates and holidays but this is often unavoidable due to the often-differing dates set by each University / Art College. Due to the number of people involved in the selection day process, along with the fact they are using their working time to assess entries, only one day can be set aside to hold interviews. We also have to ensure the date does not clash with important dates in the Games Industry calendar as the judges will be at these events! However, if the date of the selection day is inconvenient, we will endeavor to arrange a specific time on the date of the selection day which best suits your team.
Q20 - Who will pay for travel costs to the interviews?
All teams chosen to come to interview will need to pay for their own travel, regardless of their geographic location.
Q21 - What support will the teams get during Dare?
Each contestant will receive a weekly stipend of £75 to support their living expenses, free accommodation, hardware & software (subject to sponsorship) and mentoring from industry professionals. You are responsible for buying and preparing your own food and there are kitchen facilities at the accommodation.
Q22 - Who are the mentors?
The mentors all come from the games industry across the UK who take part in our Developer Accord. Each mentor is required to have no less than 3 years development experience in the games industry.
Q23 - What software and hardware will be available for use?
We will endeavour to accommodate all software requests, within reason but we are not always able to fulfill all requests. Please do not provide a "wish list", only the software you deem to be absolutely necessary to complete your project. For information about the what hardware and software will be provided, please click here.
Q24 – Can I bring any of my own equipment to the competition?
Yes but note that any equipment or other items brought into the University by Team Members, which belongs to the Team Members, or any other party will be brought in at his/her own risk. For information about the what hardware and software will be provided, please see question above.
Q25 - How far can the game be developed before the competition starts, for example can you come in with a partly done game?
The principle is that all Dare participating teams will start developing the substance of their game when the competition starts. Whereas no pre-developed working game is allowed to enter the competition, the concept artwork or simple prototype that you used for the selection phase to demonstrate your idea for the video can be worked on to a limited extent, and your team will be advised as to how much prior development would be appropriate after selection. It is important to bear in mind that your game idea must have been conceived for the sole purpose of applying to Dare to be Digital and cannot be taken from either your University course work or from other competitions. The concept art or other materials produced for the purposes of applying to Dare or the selection interview will need to be declared after the team have successfully entered the competition along with any post-selection development.
Q26 - Can my team outsource anything before or during the competition?
Broadly, yes. However Any IP introduced into the game (software, hardware or content of any sort) which was not originated by the team during or before the competition will need to be declared. It is not advisable that any key elements of the game are outsourced, since the judges will be looking for what the team itself produced and developed. Clever and original use of properly declared third party inputs probably won't go against you if complemented by a significant body of your own work but anything else may compromise their marking of your game.
The team will also need to clear all intellectual property rights related to those items and show evidence to that effect. If you fail to make such a declaration and / or fail to secure clearance you risk being excluded from the judging process. Be aware that we may undertake source code audits and reviews at any time.
still have questions? Email us.
Q27 - My team will have to buy some books / accessories / software - does Dare pay for these items?
Dare provides each team with a £200 team production budget, which you can use to purchase any additional materials (eg software, hardware, stationery, books etc) essential to the development of your game. This budget must only be used for the development of your game and cannot be used to fund food / drink / socialising (often referred to as "teambuilding" by previous chancers - sorry but we've heard it all before!). You need to provide us with receipts and a budget requisition at the end of the competition anyway, so we will spot beer money from 10 paces!!
Q28 - Do we have to finish the game in 8 weeks?
The aim of the competition is to get your product to a prototype stage/demonstration stage. By the end of the 8 weeks you should have something to show at Dare ProtoPlay and to a judging panel that you are happy with.
Q29 - How will our game prototype be judged in the end?
They will be judged by a high level games industry panel who will judge each game against the 3 main Dare criteria of creativity, market potential and the best use of technology.
Q30 - Why do you own the rights to my game?
We are trying to protect you and your team, so that in the event of a team dispute/break-up, no one can walk out with an essential bit of design/code and you can carry on working on the product. Dare to be Digital will own the IPR on the product only until your team is able to exploit it. We will then give it back to you when we are satisfied that the majority of the team agrees with the exploitation.
Q31 - Can I bring my own software in to the competition?
You can only use software provided by Abertay University as the licenses are for Abertay machines. We will not be able to install your own licences on our machines.
Q32 - I am unable to participate in Dare to be Digital for the entire duration of the competition. Am I allowed to finish early?
No. Only those who are able to particpate in the competition for the entire duration can apply.
Q33 - A team member has been selected to take part in Dare 2014 but is no longer able to take part. Can we replace that team member with someone who is available?
Should a team member drop out of the competition after the team have been selected to take part in Dare, it is possible for you to replace that team member, provided the following occurs: the person leaving must email the Dare organisers as soon as possible to inform them that they are leaving the competition of their own accord. The team leader must then email the organisers with information about the new team member (application form information), ensuring that this new team member has the same role and skillset as the person leaving. Please note that you forfeit any future participation in Dare by withdrawing from the competition after your team have been selected, even if it is before the competition started.
Q34 - Can I apply to Dare as an individual?
No, the competition is only for teams. You will need to form a team or find a team to join.
Q35 - Can a team or individual within a team work remotely / from another country?
No, all team members must work from Dare to be Digital's designated labs at Abertay University.
Q36 - One of our programmers is working on an engine of his / her own. Can we use this as our game engine?
Q37 - I can’t find the answer to what I'm looking for! Help!
Drop a quick email to email@example.com and we'll help you. Please include your name, course and University on your email so that we can help to process your query as quickly as possible.