For the first time since Games students from the University of Bolton have been participating in the prestigious Dare To Be Digital competition, four teams have made it through to the semi-finals.

Dare To Be Digital is the premier video games development competition for university students and recent graduates, and has been taking place annually since 2000. Sponsored by Channel 4, it is the only route to a BAFTA Ones To Watch Award.

Said Judah Smith, School of Creative Technologies lecturer: ‘Previously, three teams from the University of Bolton Games programmes have made it to semi-final stage, so four in one year is an unprecedented achievement.’

This year’s success follows on from the University of Bolton’s win in 2015, when the Pathos Studios team picked up both the £25,000 Channel 4 Award and Design in Action Award for Commercial Potential for their game Pathos, a puzzle adventure about negotiating the foster care system. Earlier this month, members of the team also received a Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award for their video game development incubator business, FixedUpdate Ltd, which produces Pathos.

‘Pathos’ success was a massive achievement and we were able to learn from that triumph to guide this year’s cohort of students,’ said Judah Smith.

Fifteen teams of students will go forward to develop their games, with guidance and mentorship from industry experts, such as Sega and Sony, then they will have the chance to showcase their games at Dare ProtoPlay in Dundee in August.

‘For Dare to be Digital, universities typically tend to send third years and Masters students,’ said James Miller, second year Games student and Lead Programmer for one of this year’s competing teams, Pigdog, which is developing Looming for the contest. ‘But the University of Bolton is prepared to send everyone. It says a lot about the University of Bolton – it’s one of the best things about our course.’






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