A TEENAGER from Basingstoke has been announced as a finalist in this year's BAFTA Young Game Designers Competition.

BAFTA unveiled the list of 44 talented finalists aged between 10 and 18 for this year’s competition. After submitting his game ‘Bird in the Woods’, Arlo Freer, 15, from Herriard, was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Game Making Award.

Set in a dilapidated ruin deep in the forest, ‘Bird in the Woods’ is an archery-themed game in which players must manoeuvre their way through a range of puzzles, using as few shots as possible from their magic bow. Impressively, Arlo was able to design and create his game in less than a month.

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Arlo said: “I am really looking forward to being able to hear about a professional’s approach to game design – I’m sure it will be invaluable to me going forward.”

BAFTA Young Game Designers is a year-round initiative of public events, workshops and a competition for 10-18 year-olds, culminating in the annual Young Game Designers award ceremony to celebrate finalists and winners, which will be streamed digitally on BAFTA Kids & Teens YouTube, with highlights available on LinkedIn.

Across the UK, young people have been hard at work conceptualising and creating brand-new video games for this year’s competition. From hundreds of entries, from both teams and individuals, a virtual jury of industry professionals has whittled the list down to just 40 games, which were selected for the creativity of their vision, and the technicality of their execution.

Basingstoke Gazette:

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This year’s ceremony is taking place on June 22 and will be hosted by actor and comedian Inel Tomlinson, for the second year running. 

Juror for Young Game Designers Alumnus and Producer Intern at Criterion Games, Joe Straker, said: “It was such a privilege to sit on this year’s jury. Having been a YGD finalist myself back in 2020, I know first-hand both how fierce the competition is, and how many doors are opened up by this opportunity.

The networking opportunities BAFTA is able to provide are second to none, and it’s amazing to play a role in selecting the next generation of talented individuals to receive this valuable support.”