Electronic Arts' Richard Leinfellner has announced an advisory role in this year's Dare to be Digital competition, a UK-specific computer game design competition for students that started on June 12 and is hosted by the University of Abertay Dundee.
Leinfellner, Executive Producer & Vice President of Electronic Arts, recently visited Abertay University to talk to students taking part in Dare to be Digital 2006. Richard has been developing video games since the early 1980s, and has been associated with a string of successful games development companies and many bestselling titles. He co-founded Palace Software in the 1980s, headed Mindscape’s European games production division in the 1990s, and has worked at Electronic Arts for the last nine years.
Team members from previous years' DARE competitions have gone on to work for major names such as Lionhead, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft while local talent is also retained in Dundee by Real Time Worlds, Denki and other companies.
Dare to be Digital organizer Jackie McKenzie said: “As one of the judges of Dare to be Digital for the last three years and with more than 20 years of experience in developing best-selling computer games, Richard is the ideal person to give our contestants the inside track on How to Win Dare. We’re delighted that, as well as giving a presentation to all the students, he also found time in his busy schedule for one-to-one sessions with each of them. It was invaluable personal tutoring that I am sure will make a big impact on how they develop their ideas over the coming weeks.”
In all, 42 students from all over the world qualified for this year’s Dare to be Digital competition. Divided into seven teams, they will be working from now until late August to develop a prototype video game, receiving daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists, with accommodation and a weekly allowance of £170 thrown in.
The teams for Dare 2006 comprise four from Scotland, one from Northern Ireland, one from Ireland, and one from Canada. In addition, the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent initiative has funded seven places for Chinese and Indian students, each of whom has joined one of the teams.
At the end of the competition, a panel of experts will judge the prototypes and award prizes at a special awards ceremony and talent showcase in August.