BAFTA Young Game Designers awards ceremony programme, 2024

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01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Welcome messages

Game Concept Award 10-14 years

Game Concept Award 15-18 years

Game Making Award 10-14 years

Game Making Award 15-18 years Alumni Stories Meet the partners Thanks

01 Welcome messages


YGD 2024 Ceremony Host

This is exciting. I’m excited. And I hope you are, too, because my favourite Awards show of the year is finally here. I’m thrilled to be your host, not least because, as someone who loves playing games, BAFTA Young Game Designers is a wonderful opportunity to witness the genesis of potentially the great game-makers of the future.

The ingenuity, the diversity of storytelling, the passion (and compassion), the painstaking attention to detail, the sheer talent, it’s all here in the nominated games these incredible young people have conjured into existence.

Games are more than just a fun and entertaining past-time. Games are a great way to learn about problem-solving, in a safe environment; to share experiences with like-minded others and make new friends; to understand and emotionally engage with often complicated and life-impacting issues, from personal mental health care to global environmental themes; among many other benefits.

Whether its diving for fish for the local sushi restaurant, stopping a giant turtle from conquering a kingdom of flowers or swinging through the skyscrapers of Manhattan, games are a unique creative art form and I love being a part of it, both as a player and through my profession as an actor. My work allows me to explore my imagination, experience new technologies and game mechanics and collaborate with the most brilliant and innovative people in the creative arts.

Back when I was sat playing games with my fam on my old NES – some of my happiest childhood memories by the way – I never thought a games career was a possibility. Which is why I think YGD is so crucial, and not just these Awards but its year round activity, too, showcasing the different industry crafts and career paths available. YGD is an opportunity to take that first huge step into experiencing what a games career might be like. It can be challenging, as I’m sure this year’s entrants will attest, but the rewards from turning that little spark of inspiration into a reality is so exhilarating and fulfilling.

Many congratulations to this year’s nominees. You truly are an inspiration. It’s fantastic that the winning games will once again become a playable part of the YGD centrepiece of the brilliant Power Up experience at the Science Museums in London and Manchester. I hope its hundreds of thousands of annual visitors will share in my excitement and be inspired by you to have a go at making a game themselves.

I’m also really looking forward to playing your games myself and I hope that you go on to develop even greater games in the future. BAFTA, the industry and I can’t wait to see what you do next. See – exciting!

Welcome to this year’s BAFTA Young Game Designers Awards, an annual highlight of our Young BAFTA learning programme for children and young people.

Every year, I’m impressed at the level of accomplishment and pure creative talent on display at these very special Awards – they never fail to wow me. What I love so much about YGD is it’s not just about innovative designs or technical execution, it also provides a real window into the minds of young people, what they’re interested in, what concerns them, what drives them. You can literally see their passion and imagination expressed through their brilliant, creative game ideas. And I know that sentiment is shared with this year’s jurors, all experts in their field who represent a diverse spectrum of the creative industry.

I’d also like to offer some comfort to those whose amazing work was not selected this year. Facing challenges is a natural part of a career in the games industry, and the reality of life in general. And that applies to all of us – I have certainly had to overcome my fair share of setbacks, both on a personal and professional level. What you do next is important. So, I urge you to give YGD another go – there are many examples of entrants who fell at their first attempt but tried again and not only went on to win the competition but have carved out the beginnings of a successful career for themselves in the games industry. If they can do it, you can too.

YGD works with UK educators year-round to support young people who are interested in games, providing them with hands-on experience in the field and creating accessible career pathways into the industry. This is the first step on that journey and I want to assure you that BAFTA and its thousands-strong, collaborative community of talented games members are willing you on.

YGD is just one of BAFTA’s initiatives to promote the art and craft of games. As the UK’s leading academy for the screen arts, BAFTA can be there to help, offering guidance and assistance as you navigate forging a sustainable industry career. At every step of the way, we offer initiatives that support talented people, whatever their background or life experiences, including career guidance, craft learning, financial help, mentoring, networking, social events and much more. So, while YGD may be your first connection to BAFTA, we hope to stay with you throughout your journey in the creative industries.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees – you are all hugely talented and I can’t wait to see where you go next – and thank you to our generous partners and supporters who make it all possible. YGD is such a powerful, vibrant and engaging initiative and one that provides us all with a little sneak peek into the future of our industry. BAFTA looks forward to seeing you there.



For the most creative and original concept for a new game

See the designs at

02 Game Concept Award 10 -14 years


Arthur Davies (13)

L I N G E R immerses players into a world where ghostly souls, dubbed as “lingerers,” have been causing chaos. Joining the Kindred Spirits Initiative, players capture these spirits and provide emotional support to help them move on. Set in a fictional city, the KSI offers a humane approach to managing lingerers, contrasting with aggressive methods of other groups. The art style draws inspiration from other pixel graphics indie games, with a 32-bit aesthetic and lo-fi palette. Split into observation, capture, negotiation, and downtime segments, the game combines strategic planning, action-packed capture sequences, and heartfelt interactions. Targeting older players, it offers a unique take on ghost hunting with a strong emphasis on social interaction.


Isaac Walters (13) and Alfie De Dombal (14)

In Ninja Drag, set in Feudal Japan, the main character is a ninja who can only move forward. Players can drag shapes to manipulate the level so the ninja will avoid obstacles. With time slowing down during manipulation, the game combines fast-paced action with puzzle-solving elements. As the ninja navigates enemy territory to deliver a peace letter, players strategically place ramps, shields, and barriers to overcome traps. The vibrant, cartoon-y art style features Japanese architectural themes, offering unique backgrounds and obstacles in each level. Progression unlocks new shapes and abilities like erasing parts of the level, adding depth to the puzzling gameplay. Suitable for all ages, it’s a fresh take on platformers with engaging puzzles and excitement.


Isaac Zelazowski (13)

Mad House challenges players, as the teenager, to outsmart parents by switching all the lights on in the house without getting caught. Parents, who can also be controlled if multiple players, are destined to switch them all off. Don’t let them. Players navigate through different levels of the house, and strategically place obstacles like laundry and toys to make parents fall over, making them livid with rage, but if the teenager loses, they have to do chores and homework. As the game progresses, the difficulty increases, with changing colours reflecting the characters’ moods. Boss levels intensify with the arrival of both parents. With its real-life scenarios and humorous gameplay, Mad House offers family fun for all.


Thiago van Vlerken Rene (12)

Space Hamsters sees Hammy, the first hamster astronaut from planet Hammon, shot out of a nuclear potato cannon into space. Your task is to explore space, while avoiding being shot down and captured by hungry foxes. Armed with upgradeable weapons and relaying on floating carrots for sustenance, Hammy uses a jetpack to navigate across asteroids with varying gravities. The game, with colourful pixel art, gets harder as you play, introducing tougher enemies and strategic upgrades every minute. With no levels, players strive for survival, facing scout foxes, snipers, and more. This is a game where you do not win but you get as far as you can before it’s game over!


Liana Ekanayake Ralalage (13) and Ayesha Aamir (13)

This place is called Sunnyside, A place where happiness is everything but there is one place in Sunnyside without happiness, Esctatica. Players, guided by Sol, a helpful duck, embark on a journey and regain the happiness in the town again. Completing tasks like helping a woodcutter earns “happiness points,” which fill a happiness meter. Poorly done tasks decrease the meter, but players can retry. The player discovers what deep secrets caused the town to become like this as they progress. Featuring simple pixel art with a yellow and brown palette, SunnySide is designed for ages 7-13, offering no violence for those curious to explore, focused on problem-solving with a calm and happy atmosphere.


Sean Moir (13), Matthew Anderson (13) and Luke McVicar (14)

The game is about a character running around supermarkets with a shopping list, trying to find items within a certain amount of time. Once the list is complete, they head to the checkout, cash out, and earn money to buy new trolleys, cosmetics and maps. Set in various supermarkets all over the world, players can customise their character or buy ones that already exist like Jim. There is a hard mode for a timer but it is recommended to start slow! Jim’s story involves lifting his spirits by completing everchanging lists for cash. Featuring high-enhanced 3D graphics, the game allows progression through different supermarkets, each unique in design and difficulty. It’s a free, unique supermarket game that is suitable for all ages.

For the most creative and original concept for a new game

See the designs at

03 Game Concept Award 15 - 18 years


Charlotte Bigham (17)

Midieval is a fantasy-adventure-rhythm game set in the musical city of Panmusica. Deep in the bowels of a mountain range, a mineral which converts music into energy is the lifeblood of a nearby bustling city of musicians - that is, until it seemingly vanishes completely, leaving knight Lyra Harper and her new motley band hunting it down to restore the city’s power. The game features distinct medieval and musical-themed art across four regions: Worldly Ward, 20th Central, Subterranean Suburbs, and the crystal cave. Players explore these areas, recruiting musicians Tammaro, Jazzmyne, and Bassira, each with unique instruments. In rhythm-based battles, players use WASD or arrow keys to replicate patterns. The game is accessible to hearing/visually impaired players with rumble-feature controllers and is suitable for all ages, especially music and adventure fans.


Charlie Gray (17)

Seity is a game exploring self-acceptance through XII, an android in Teleos, a city of conformity. Cast in the dump they fall further, into the Undergrowth where XII embraces individuality, joining a rising revolution of misfit androids against Teleos’ leader, The Mother. Alongside drone Delta, unlock unique emotions, hobbies and traits. Explore the ancient cavern, filled with weathered stone and ancient runes hinting to a past civilisation. Navigate fighting, platforming, and puzzles while aiding the Undergrowth’s residents. Customise XII’s abilities with discovered parts. Suitable for ages 8-16, Seity encourages authenticity over conformity, with enemies drained of energy rather than killed. Features unique mechanics, moral storytelling, and a hidden storyline.


Lucas Bullen (15)

“The Rescue Dog” is a game about a dog who is trying to escape from an evil farmer. The dog (known as “Patch”) will be trying to escape from various sheds, buildings and barns that he has been locked in. As well as this, Patch will be trying to find and create a family that he can live with. There will be levels that involve Patch escaping from his imprisonment, and some that just involve him trying to go through and create his own family. After each member of the family is rescued, Patch gains an item that can be added to his collar that will grant a unique ability, such as an ultraviolet torch that allows for new puzzles involving invisible ink. To complete these levels, the player will have to solve a series of complex puzzles that are similar to the types found in escape rooms within a set time. To help with this, Patch will have two helping dogs named Star and Jacko who will offer helpful hints throughout the levels.


Sophie Hogg (17) and Finlay Ross (17)

The Getaway is a momentum-based parkour bank heist getaway. As the player, an overworked citizen turned bank robber, embarks on a chaotic escape, they jump and swing between objects through cities, suburbs, and seas. They build momentum throughout a series of increasingly unhinged levels. However, touch the ground or walls, and they lose momentum. Each level finale demands a certain level of momentum to break through the barrier to the next area. With low-poly visuals and themed environments, immerse yourself in the rush. Aimed at action enthusiasts and young gamers aged 12-18, it offers addictive, straightforward gameplay with a focus on speed.


Tallulah Martinez (17)

The Whispering Wilds invites players into a world of ancient magic. Assume the role of a witch disguised as an apothecary, travelling through an open world. While making medicines for villagers to learn about the world’s magical plants and their medicinal uses, they will discover the secrets of four hidden covens (dusk, dawn day and night) forced into hiding. Players travel to sky islands, deep forests, and ocean depths, mastering spells to transform into animals and uncovering puzzles. With a cel-shaded art style and multiple endings, the game offers a playable art piece that appeals to all ages, fostering appreciation for its rich world and history while blending peaceful farming sim elements with openworld RPG adventure.


Samuel Nwabunor (17)

Welcome to the world’s dance floor. This game is set on Earth 5 years after a great calamity, where mystical energy gave birth to superheroes and villains. The player is an aspiring dancer in Urbs Refugium and their days are spent choreographing dances to uplift refugees. When the world’s top hero is captured, it’s up to you to harness rhythm, tour the globe, and transform it into a universal dance floor. The game features two modes: “Arcade” for battling the Anti-Flow virus through rhythm-based combat, and “Dance Floor” for free play. Customise your character and dance to diverse genres like Afrobeats, K-Pop, Samba, and more. Accompanied by allies Camila and Yuito, harness Earth’s energy to conquer enemies and save the world through dance.

For the best original game made using freely available software

See the designs at

04 Game Making Award 10 - 14 years


Sam Kingston (13) and Sebastian Heitz (13)

RoboRogue is a rogue-like adventure where players defeat enemies and upgrade weapons by obtaining random items from crates. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that humans have left, players, as a robot, fight off evil robots. Starting with an incredibly weak pistol, they progress through defeating enemies, gaining new weapons and equipment. Each run is unique, offering different weapons and upgrades, providing varied challenges. Who knows? Maybe you could defeat the final boss and obtain an item of a tier so powerful that you could break the game...


Fionnlagh Carter (13)

Your rocket is tens of thousands of kilometres above earth, hurtling through the atmosphere, with its fuel tanks half empty - as the ground rushes towards it, and mission control hold their breath, will you keep your cool, and land safely? The world is watching… ‘shetLANDER’ is set in Shetland – the site of the UK’s first spaceport. The player carefully controls a space rocket on a test flight, attempting to fly as high as possible into the atmosphere, whilst conserving enough fuel to land safely.


Alex Phillips (14)

Rooftoppers invites players to experience Bristol, England, from a new perspective via its core mechanic of climbing buildings. As 16-year-old Levi Alves, explore the city’s architecture in a unique and fun way. The games three levels (so far) feature recreated landmarks like Cabot Tower, The Chimney, and Castle Park View, each one made to-scale.


Thiago van Vlerken Rene (12)

Earn your place at Mount Olympus by battling your way through the realms of maddened gods, leading to a final showdown against Dionysius, the god of madness. You get to forge your own path through horizontal and vertical levels, bouncing off platforms and walls across different screens. There are seven bosses, each with their own unique minions and environment. They each drop a power up when defeated, and you can choose when you have gathered enough power to take on Dionysius, allowing for multiple story paths. This is an easy-to-learn-difficult-to-master game full of unique bosses, enemies, and great level design. To get to the end, you need to develop skill, strategy, and precision.


SPelling Squirrel is a simple, fun & addictive spelling game tailored for ages 6-13, blending education with entertainment. Players are presented with a squirrel carrying a basket, which can be moved horizontally to catch falling letters to make up a word. Accuracy is key as letters must be collected in the correct order to spell the given word. A back button allows for corrections, but mistakes affect the score. Each week contains 10 words to support the KS1 & KS2 school curriculum and it was created to help students enjoy weekly spelling tests.


This Isn’t Quite Right is a captivating 2D 8-bit puzzle platformer set in a simulation controlled by an evil computer. Players navigate challenging levels making use of a time control mechanic, whilst being made fun of by this computer-narrator. The computer manipulates the surroundings to obstruct progress and never takes a physical form though he is eventually defeated at the end of the game by a fault in his programming.

05 Game Making Award 15 - 18 years


Benjie Elston (17)

In Crack The Egg!, you are holding a frying pan while eggs rain from the sky. Your goal is to survive by cracking as many eggs as possible. Each cracked egg earns Yolks, used to purchase more powerful pans with better attributes to aid speed, healing or strength. Players can also buy lasers to help in egg-cracking and boss battles. With various egg types and a split-screen multiplayer mode, the game offers engaging, evolving gameplay for Xbox players.


Philip du Pré (16)

Soul Archer is a 2D metroidvania adventure within a forgotten world. Players control an archer infected with the spirit of the god Aer, and partner with a mysterious entity named “The Companion”. It knows more about your powers than you do yourself and you must adventure with it to unlock your true potential. Armed with a bow and powers to destroy any incoming dangers, players navigate this land, encountering enemies, overcoming traps, and discovering tons of unique secrets to learn more about this forgotten world.


Alfie Wilkinson (16)

Reelworld invites players into a cinematic run-and-gun platformer, starring Lenzo, a reanimated camera who can enter films to recover his memories. Set in an abandoned overgrown movie theatre, Lenzo embarks on a journey through various worlds of different films, unravelling his past by collecting and playing reels. Action-packed and constantly changing run-and-gun platformer with many memorable moments and gameplay that’ll keep you on your feet. The game mixes the classic enemy stomping with modern projectile gameplay and challenges players with hordes of enemies and a boss at the end of a film. Bonus collectibles and detailed cutscenes add depth to the experience, while the partially revealed narrative sparks imagination and interpretation but also potential expansion. It should feel like the player is piecing the story together in the same way Lenzo is.


Caden Cheong (17)

In Trickshot, players take on the role of a cat skater accompanied by their drone mentor, navigating through a sprawling city to reach the train station swiftly. Combining unique skateboarding physics with gun recoil, execute tricks for both movement and combat. Players must balance the skills of performing gravity defying stunts for ammo, and using the blaster to take down enemies, to achieve the best possible movement and flow. With a focus on replay-ability and fast-paced action, the game challenges players to master the tricks of ollies, rail grinds and aerials, to evade obstacles, and defeat enemies in pursuit of optimal speed. Harness the adrenaline of skateboarding whilst wielding a blaster, where every trick, flip and grind replenishes your ammo!


Dan Wragg (17)

Unplugged immerses players in a puzzle game where they play as a plug, powering electrical components, using your battery and wire to reach plug sockets. Connected to a battery via cable, players power conductors to activate components like fans, doors, and lifts to assist the plug’s movement. Logic gates such as and/ or gates change the interactions of the components, meaning the player must think logically about the puzzles. With limited cable length and a blend of logical and creative thinking, players must devise optimal paths through each level. The open-ended narrative invites players to create their own stories and lore behind the game.


Jack Rafferty (17)

Voidside is a high-octane Parkour FPS in which the player is a survivor that jumps around many different places, pulled from space and time by a mysterious event known as the shattering, battling the horde of strange enemies that call this place home. Survive, collect health crystals, and coins for upgrades amid quick gameplay bursts. Voidside combines the thrills of a shooter with the massive enemy quantity of a bullet heaven, offering unlockable area-of-effect attacks to flip the game from a struggle to a breeze in an instant. Wall-run, dash and outmanoeuvre your enemies to gain the advantage on the battlefield! All in all, this game is a slick, satisfying and exhilarating experience which is extremely easy to pick up and play.


The classes of 2010-2023 fuelling the industry today

After 14 years of BAFTA Young Game Designers, previous winners and finalists are striking out on their own and spreading into the industry. The journeys of our YGD alumni are testament to the power of championing early-career development. Mentoring, masterclasses and networking can all help shape young futures. We went back into the archives to see where it all began…



Aysheq Hussain

Hussain won Game Concept (10-14) in 2016 with a game that saw robots fly over Egyptian pyramids; later, he was a three-time finalist in Game Making in 2018, 2021 and 2022 across the different age categories. In 2023, Aysheq became a judge for the competition and also began an internship at Tencent Games in Liverpool. As he says, “I’d like to thank BAFTA for the support in putting me forward as a recommendation for the internship. I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”


Joe Straker

“The support BAFTA has given and continues to give me has been absolutely incredible in terms of my personal and career development,” says Straker, who was a game concept finalist in 2020 and 2021 and has stayed part of the BAFTA YGD community through events and judging for the competition. In 2023, Joe began with Criterion Games as Producer Intern. “I sat on the final round jury for this year’s BAFTA YGD competition and attended the finalists showcase this year – it was such a great experience!”


Sophia Shepherd

A two time finalist across Game Concept (2018) and Game Making (2020 for Fey the Potion Maker), Sophia says “YGD has changed my life in so many ways.” Sophia is currently on placement at Rare Ltd as a technical art intern, contributing to the development of their new IP, Everwild, all the while pursuing her studies in Computer Science at the University of Bath. “There are just so many awesome games and creative people. It’s amazing.”


Brendan Cheung

“Participating in BAFTA YGD has been an amazing experience,” says Brendan Cheung, finalist in Game Making in both 2015 and 2016 and now working for ed tech company The Night Zookeeper, where he has implemented his own storytelling mechanic. Cheung has also toured the UK with BAFTA to run games workshops


Criterion are proud to have been an official partner to BAFTA Young Game Designers since 2014.

Working with and inspiring the next generation of game makers is core to our mission to inspire the world to play.

Our involvement with BAFTA YGD brings us fresh perspective, enthusiasm and creativity that reaffirms our love of games and making games.


At Warner Bros. Discovery we’re delighted to once again be supporting the BAFTA Young Game Designer programme. Providing essential skills, education, and job opportunities to enable people of all backgrounds to build careers in the entertainment industry is a key pillar for us as an organisation. Every year the quality at BAFTA YGD gets higher and higher and we’re thrilled to see the creativity, passion and skill that exists among the next generation of talent who will one day be working in our industry.


Congratulations to all the participants in BAFTA YGD this year. We’re proud to be supporting this brilliant initiative. The sign of a successful industry is one that works hard to develop and nurture new talent. BAFTA leads the field in the endeavour, and we’re delighted to support its efforts.


SIE and PlayStation Studios are thrilled to announce the continuation of our partnership with the esteemed BAFTA Young Game Designer programme. The YGD Awards has consistently been a nurturing ground for exceptional talent, and we are honoured to be apart of this journey. The future of game design looks brighter than ever as we continue to witness the unique and inspiring creations of these gifted young individuals.


We’re delighted to be an official partner of Young Game Designers, an initative by BAFTA that inspires and supports young people to create, develop and present their new game idea to the world. At Wizards of the Coast we create entertainment that inspires creativity, sparks passion, forges friendships and fosters communities around the globe. In every pursuit, our mission is to inspire a lifetime love of games and, as such, we wholeheartedly believe in supporting the next generation of game developers, visionaries and industry leaders.

08 Thanks


Game Concept 10-14

Game Concept 15-18

Game Making 10-14

Game Making 15-18


Inel Tomlinson


WDM Entertainment


Criterion Games

Epic Games


Warner Bros. Games

Wizards of the Coast


Head of Children & Young People’s Programme

Lisa Prime

Children & Young People


Ellie Rudge

Young Game Designers


Joanna Green

Executive Director of Learning, Inclusion

Policy and Membership

Tim Hunter

Head of Games

Luke Hebblethwaite

Games Programme Manager

Grace Shin

Photography Assistant

Ellie Elliott

Executive Producer

Cassandra Hybel

Producer & Director

Ella Coveney

Script Supervisor

Harry Balmforth

Production Team

Kristen Helmick

Lauren Prince


The Science Museum Group


Jamie Rowland

Video Graphics

Johnny Luu

Executive Director of PR & Communications

Donna Mathews

PR & Communications

Augustin Wecxsten Caoimhe Foran

Catie Poust

David Dougherty

Luka Kenyon

Graphic Design

Abigail Bills

Lana Webb

Nayumi Suyama

Partner Manager

Emma Tarcy

British Academy of FIlm and Television Arts

195 Piccadilly

London W1 9LN T: 020 7734 0022

Chair, BAFTA Games


Tara Saunders


Sara Putt

Chief Executive

Jane Millichip

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