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Dare to be Digital BAFTA Ones to Watch Award (Part 1)

Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition that runs each year at the University of Abertay, Dundee. It's open to teams of 5 students (usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio) from around the world. The teams live on site for 10 weeks and have that time to develop a prototype video game. They receive daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists from companies across the UK.

At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at a special event in Edinburgh, Dare ProtoPlay, alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Festival in August. The general public as well as industry experts get to play and vote for the games. Prizes are then awarded to the winning teams at a special awards ceremony in a whole range of categories from the "Turner Broadcasting Adult Swim Award" to the publicly voted "Dare ProtoPlay Audience Award".

The three top games from the show are put through to the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted "Ones to Watch Award" which will be presented early in 2011.

This year's three Bafta-nominated games were of an incredibly high quality and we were lucky enough to be at ProtoPlay and take part in the mentoring and judging of this year's competition. If it's ok with you guys we're going to take a look at each of them over the next few days like we did last week for the IndieCade winners; why not come with us?

First of the three "Ones To Watch" is SCULPTY, a game for the Apple iPad.

The game was developed from scratch during the 10 weeks of the competition by Team Tickle, a team of 5 students from Abertay University itself comprising:

Druhin Mukherjee - Team Leader
Fabien Roussot - Programmer
James Long - Programmer
Fraser Littlejohn - Art/Audio
Ronan Suess - Art

The game is a novel twist on traditional platform puzzlers and makes extensive use of the multi-touch capabilities of the iPad to create a unique gameplay experience.

As a player you must squeeze, squash, pull, and stretch your on-screen counterpart into five different shapes, each with their own unique properties, in order to escape from Ooja-Ooja.

Movement is achieved by pressing on the character's body and dragging or flicking in the direction you want him to travel. The controls make the absolute most of the multi-touch iPad screen and turn this into an incredibly tactile experience, with arm flailing a-plenty. Tap two fingers on the screen to turn the squishy hero into a slippery fast rectangle, four fingers placed on the screen turn him into a heavy cube, three fingers make him a floaty triangle and five fingers turn him back into his normal blobby bouncy circular self.

The game cleverly combines these different character states together with environmental challenges and a cool physics engine to create a fantastic little game.


It's hoped that the game will eventually make it out onto the iPad app store, but for now here's a video of the game in motion. Unfortunately the video doesn't really do the game justice, but it will at least give you an idea of what it is we're rattling on about:

And here's a taste of what the ProtoPlay event was like:

You can read more about the competition itself here:

Check out Team Tickle's blog and follow their development process here: Team Tickle's Blog


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