In three host centers across Britain and Ireland, 12 teams of five students each kicked off Dare to be Digital 2007 – the UK computer games design competition which first piloted among computer games students at Abertay in 1999 – with many new game ideas.
The generation of ideas initiates a fast-paced 10-week process of designing and building a fully functioning video game prototype.
This is the first time in its eight-year history that Dare to be Digital has been hosted in more than one location. Four of the teams are from Scottish universities, four are from universities in London and South East England, and there is one team each from Ireland, Northern Ireland, India and China.
The climax of the competition is a chance for all 12 teams to showcase their prototypes alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Festival at a special event on August 12-14, 2007. The event, “Dare ProtoPlay”, will give the general public and industry experts a chance to play and assess the games before the final awards ceremony in Dundee on August 16.
In another first, this year’s three winning teams will form the entire shortlist for the new BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, to be presented at the British Academy Video Games Awards in October.
The University of Abertay Dundee is hosting the Scottish, Indian and Chinese teams, Queens University in Belfast is hosting a team from Ireland and another from Northern Ireland, and four teams from London and South East England are being hosted at the Guildford studio of leading games development company Electronic Arts.
The teams selected for Dare 2007 are: Voodoo Boogy (Abertay University), Emergence Games (Abertay University), Carebox (Edinburgh University), Threshold (Dundee University and Abertay University), PS5 (Beijing University), Phoenix (Chennai College of Arts, Animation & Technology), Lucid Dreams (London Metropolitan University and UCCA Farnham), Cold Sanity (Thames Valley University and City University), Super E.G.O (Bournemouth and Warwick University), Ergophobia (Bournemouth University), Artificial Entertainment (Ulster University) and zerO.One (Dublin City University and Carlow Institute of Technology).
“We are very excited by the caliber and creativity of the teams in this year’s competition,” said Paul Durrant, director of Dare to be Digital, which is organized by and based at Abertay University in Dundee.
“We are particularly interested to see how this year’s applicants are not afraid of taking on the challenge of designing with new consoles and distribution channels such as Steam and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade in mind, nor trying out new genres and combinations of genres such as musical RPG, games targeted for women and an MMOG based on the age-old playground game of ‘Tag’."
“I know that the judges in all three locations had a very challenging task, such was the high standard of all the dozens of applications we received. We are very grateful to Realtime Worlds, Proper Games, Denki, BBC, Cohort Studios and YooStar Ltd for their efforts and for the very exciting line up. It looks like being our best Dare ever.”
To keep tracking of the running, interested parties can keep a watch on the official Dare to be Digital website