It’s time. Your chance for fame, glory, a job in the games world, a game on the market, absolutely unique experience and possibly even a BAFTA. The world’s premiere game development competition is back for 2014.
Entries for Dare to be Digital competition are now open. The competition is open to teams of five students from universities worldwide. The competition challenges teams to create a new and original working game prototype in only eight weeks.
In the first stage of the competition, teams submit concepts. These are judged by a panel of industry experts and the 15 successful teams, are then shipped to the University of Abertay in Dundee, where they must build their prototype in time for the Dare ProtoPlay event in mid-August. This is a major event, which brings in thousands of members of the public to play the games.
This puts teams under pressure from the outset. the competition’s major prizes are awarded based on a team of expert industry judges – designers, developers and creators. However for four days, the teams must demonstrate and allow the public to play with their games. Every game has to be rock solid, stable and ready for non expert players.
Dare is not just an opportunity for an award, or an extended game jam. The competition is unique because it forces teams to behave like a development studio in the real world. Keeping things together over a period of weeks. Dealing with problems and stress and the unexpected twists and turns when you discover that as impressive as your game may be technically, that it’s well, just not that much fun…
This is one of the main reasons that so many Dare competitors end up working with studios, both indie and major AAA studios, all around the world. It’s a unique competition and it changes those who go through it.
One of the teams who took part in Dare to be Digital 2011 was Swallowtail. The game they created for the competition, Tick Tock Toys, was released for iOS in 2013. Sophia George, the team leader, has since gone on to become the V&A Museum’s first ever game designer in residence. She told us:
Dare to be Digital was a life-changing opportunity for me. Being able to work solidly on our game Tick Tock Toys and then show it to thousands of members of the public was an incredible learning experience, and one which really helped me when it came to applying to the V&A.
I don’t think it’s possible to learn more about entering the games industry in eight weeks than by taking part in Dare to be Digital – the challenge and the support you receive is incredible, as is the mentoring from industry professionals.
It’s intense, exciting and exhausting, but if you want to make games for a living you’d be crazy not to apply to take part in Dare to be Digital.
Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said:
Dare to be Digital really encapsulates Abertay University’s approach to teaching games artists, audio engineers, designers and programmers. Real-life experience and direct access to industry professionals is essential if you want to enter this exciting, competitive industry.
In eight weeks we see students absolutely transformed by Dare to be Digital. There’s no question that it’s a really tough challenge, but building a completely new game as part of a small team then showcasing it to thousands of people is a unique experience – and one that can massively help you prepare to be a professional game developer.
All of the games from Dare to be Digital are shown at the Dare ProtoPlay festival in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square on 7th-10th August.
Competitors from Dare to be Digital 2013 will compete in March for the next BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, with Project Heera: Diamond Heist, Size DOS Matter and The Unknown nominated for the prize.
Individuals wanting to apply – and teams needing extra members – can contact other applicants through the Dare to be Digital website.
Applications close at 9am on Monday 21 April.
To apply for Dare to be Digital, please visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/
Let’s keep it simple. If you’re a student who plans to work in the games industry, you need to be part of this.