Scotland – Canada’s team from Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is getting ready for the final competition at Scotland’s Dare to be Digital event. Dare ProtoPlay, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be taking place August 14-16. You can preview the games and check out team blogs on the Dare to be Digital web site. Entry is free for the event which is open 10am – 6pm.
Dare ProtoPlay, presented by Abertay University and powered by Intel, has grown out of the world-leading Dare to be Digital competition and aims to celebrate young talent through a mini video-games festival. It is a unique cultural event for the games industry showcasing talent, IP, research, and much more, and serves as a battleground for creativity and culture in games development.
Fourteen brand new computer games, developed by teams during this year’s Dare to be Digital competition, will fight it out at Dare ProtoPlay to win the public vote and the endorsement of a panel of industry experts.
This year’s Dare ProtoPlay will also see digital toy factory Denki present the first opportunity to play a preview of Quarrel, their new Xbox Live Arcade game. Everyone is invited to play and give feedback that will directly affect how the game looks and works when it is released in 2010..
In addition, Dare ProtoPlay will also feature several other exciting new elements: a music workshop by Yann Seznec, who will use Wacom pen tablets to create music instruments; Abertay PhD research programmes based on video games technology; a Dare iPhone game preview in association with Digital Goldfish; a special Career Workshop in association with BAFTA targeted for teenagers and much more.
Almost 100 teams bid for the 14 places available in this year’s Dare to be Digital, and teams from Canada, China, England, India, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland and Wales made the cut.
The finalists have spent the past 10 weeks in the Dare to be Digital ‘game development hothouse’ at Abertay University with access to top of the range equipment and mentoring from from Developer Accord formed by major video game professionals.
Their task – to produce a fully-functioning prototype video game based on an original idea of their own or one submitted by members of the public at the start of this year’s Dare to be Digital, with the top three teams becoming the sole nominees for the highly coveted BAFTA Video Games Ones to Watch Award next year.
ProtoPlay celebrates the strengths of the international games business, but also highlights the prominent role of the Scottish computer games sector as a key part of the global industry. The event is taking place shortly before Abertay University launches its new Institute for Arts, Media and Computer Games next month, which will be the UK’s first national university centre of excellence for computer games education.
Among the visitors to Dare ProtoPlay will be Scotland’s Culture Minister Mike Russell MSP, who will meet teams and try out some of the games on Friday 14 August. Elaine Russell, Dare to be Digital Project Manager, said “Dare to be Digital is frequently hailed as the best new talent spotting competition in the UK and also the best model for video games education. Over 80% of Dare participants go onto employment within the industry. “3 years in a row, Dare ProtoPlay has grown stronger and better every year. It has gained many loyal followers. It will be a video games event to watch in the north.”
Earlier in June, Dare was showcased to HRH The Duke of York at an event in London. The event was co-hosted by Turner Broadcasting and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in London and designed to reflect Turner Broadcasting’s investment interests in the UK. Dare was one of only six projects that the US multimedia giant selected to showcase to HRH The Duke of York, in his capacity as UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
Turner Broadcasting invests in skills and talent development as part of a portfolio of UK partnerships in technology, content and research. Laurie Baird, Director of Technology Partnerships, Turner Broadcasting said “We recognise that in addition to investment in technology development and new content to sustain growth, we must also continue to invest heartily in the future talent that will exploit and develop these technologies. Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital is a great model of international talent development, bringing together the fresh minds of University students, industry professionals, academics and the latest technologies and we are delighted to be a part of that.”
HRH The Duke of York spent time with several of last year’s Dare participants and met with Abertay’s organising team members. Paul Durrant, Director of Dare to be Digital said “This was an encouraging sign for future cross-platform opportunities between the UK games and interactive content industry and a global media company. It is particularly notable that Turner’s UK investment also includes support for skills and talent development through Dare and this event provided a wonderful opportunity to be able to describe Abertay University’s strengths in this area to HRH The Duke of York in his role representing UK inward investment,” Mr Durrant said.