Fernhurst teen named as finalist for BAFTA Young Game Designer award

A Fernhurst teenager has been named as a finalist in the BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 11:09 am

Zach Thomas, 18, has been named as a finalist for his video game concept 'The Super Scaffolder'.

The game, designed for mobile and tablet use, was described by the competition's organisers as a 'match-3 puzzle game with a unique and refreshing twist using platforming as a second core concept for the game, all set in very unique environments full of fascinating characters'.

Zach said: "Knowing I am a Young Games Designer finalist is amazing, I never thought I would get here. I’m really excited about having the opportunity to speak to people within the games industry.”

Video game stock image

BAFTA YGD is a year-round initiative of public events, workshops and a competition for 10-18 year-olds, culminating in the annual YGD award ceremony to celebrate finalists and winners.

This year’s winners will be revealed at a special virtual BAFTA YGD ceremony, taking place on Thursday July 8. The ceremony will be hosted by presenter and journalist, Elle Osili-Wood, who also hosted the BAFTA Games Awards earlier on this year.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: “BAFTA YGD is an excellent initiative that encourages aspiring talent to express themselves and showcase their creativity through unique game ideas.

"In a year when young people’s education was severely disrupted, it is fantastic to see so many wonderful ideas entered.

"Games have played such an important role in connecting, supporting, and entertaining people over the last year and it has been fascinating to see how much the wider industry has positively influenced the entrants, with a number of them citing their contemporary titles.

"We were so impressed by the originality demonstrated across the board and extend our congratulations to this year’s finalists.”

Host Elle Osili-Wood, said: “BAFTA YGD is one of the most exciting events on the games calendar, showcasing the next generation of game design talent.

"Each year, I’m blown away by the creativity, innovation, and technical skill of YGD entrants, so I couldn’t be more honoured to host this year’s ceremony.

"Not only is it an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young people in an incredibly difficult year, it’s also your chance to spot the next Hideo Kojima, or Amy Hennig - and to say you saw them first.”

This impressive cohort of finalists will compete for the YGD Game Concept Award, split into two categories (10-14 years) and (15-18 years), celebrating the best original game idea, as well as the YGD Game Making Award, split into (10-14 years) and (15-18 years), rewarding the coding skills used to create a prototype game using freely available software.

Winning entries will be judged on gameplay design and their suitability for the chosen games platform, with the aim of developing new talent and supporting accessible career pathways into game design.