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Dare 2012 winners announced at Dare ProtoPlay

14th August 2012

The three BAFTA-nominated winners of Dare to be Digital were revealed on Sunday at the climax of Dare ProtoPlay, Abertay University’s international student game design competition.

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.

Dare 2012 winners announced at Dare ProtoPlay

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