Who Dared Won

If you’ve read Scottishgames.net for any length of time, you’ll know that we’re big fans of the Dare to be Digital competition.  Our editor has been involved in a variety of ways over the last 10 years and welcomes any opportunity to inform, educate and enthrall listeners with the benefits and vast potential of Dare as a platform for new talent.

This year’s competition came to a suitably climactic end over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the competition’s first ever ProtoPlay event to be held in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

The decision to move the event to Dundee generated several questions and debates over the likely visitor numbers, however all concerns vanished early on Friday morning, with queues outside the venue and crowds around each and every team.

ProtoPlay was officially opened by David Braben, CEO of Frontier Entertainment and the co-creator of the legendary Elite.  Alongside the games created for the competition, the 2011 ProtoPlay offered an enormous variety of acitivities for visitors… Talks and presentations from companies including Tag, Blitz and Crytek were supplemented by panels and discussions on how to get into the games industry (organised and hosted by BAFTA).  A three day games workshop for 12-16 year olds ran alongside the Dare 48 hour games Jam.  Plus there were junior judges, a comic strip competition and a videogames collective, which gathered the names and favourite games from thousands of visitors.

Nearly 9,000 people came through the doors over the course of the weekend.  Tripling the event’s previous visitor numbers from Edinburgh.

The levels of innovation, fun and creativity at Dare are always inspirational.  However, the 2011 competition took things to a whole new level.  The games on display used many of the new platforms, devices, gadgets and control systems including Kinect, Windows 7 mobile, iPad and Move.

The response from the crowd was incredible.  Until you’ve seen several hundred people Jousting or setting fire to things with their own dragon using Kinect, or guiding tiny robots or water squirting elephants and terrifyingly stupid giraffes on mobile devices, you simply can’t appreciate the enthusiasm and response to this year’s games.

So, who won? Digital Knights (Joust), Evolved Ape (Dream Weaver) and Swallowtail (Tick Tock Toys)picked up the three main awards.  They now go on to compete for the exclusive BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ award which was created specifically for the Dare to be Digital winners. The BAFTA winner will be unveiled in a glittering, star-studded ceremony in London early in 2012.

FunBox (Ants – The Lost Memories) won the Visual Adrenaline award, sponsored by Intel, for the most visually appealing and best performance prototype game making intelligent use of Intel® integrated Graphics. Ape-y Eyes (Paper Quest) won the Team’s Choice Award while Furnace Games (Scorcher)clearly won over the thousands of visitors to show, walking off with the Dare ProtoPlay Audience Award.

HUGE Congratulations to all of the winners, all of the teams, all of the competitors, the organisers, students and visitors who made Dare 2011 such a landmark year.

The 2011 event showed the full potential of the whole Dare competition and suggests a rosy future for the individual competitors, the teams and the actual games.

Now, if we could only get the rest of the industry to pay attention…

You can find a gallery of photos on Facebook or a video from the showfloor up on YouTube, courtesy of the team at Outplay Entertainment.

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