BAFTA has unveiled the 44 talented finalists, aged between 10 and 18, for this year’s BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition—including Rufus Perkins, aged 11, from Lostwithiel.

Rufus has been shortlisted in the Game Making category for his game ‘Red Bot’.

‘Red Bot’ is an addictive scrolling jumper game, in which players jump from platform to platform, making sure to avoid the missiles, whilst ‘serialbus’ follows a character trapped inside a computer who must solve puzzles to find their way out. Impressively, Alex was also a YGD finalist back in 2021.

Rufus said: “I really enjoyed programming my game Red Bot, and am very excited and proud to be a YGD finalist”.

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, which will be streamed digitally on BAFTA Kids & Teens YouTube, with highlights available on LinkedIn. This year’s ceremony is taking place on Thursday, June 22, and will be hosted by multi-award nominated actor and comedian Inel Tomlinson, for the second year running.

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. With shortlisted entries encompassing intergalactic adventures, obstacle courses, word puzzles and much more, this year’s finalists shine a light on the originality and artistry that goes into game design, and provide an exciting insight into the next generation of the UK Games industry.

This year’s finalists have entered for one of two awards up for grabs: the YGD Game Concept Award, which rewards the most original and best thought-out game idea, and the YGD Game Making Award, which goes to the most impressive use of coding skills on a freely available software, to create a prototype game. Each award is split into two age groups: 10-14 years and 15-18 years. Winning entries will be judged on gameplay design and their suitability for the chosen games platform, with the aim of supporting accessible career pathways into game design and thus nurturing the future generation of British gamemakers. Previous winners include Alfie Wilkinson and Jaime Williams, who co-presented at this year’s BAFTA Games Awards, with alumni Joe Straker and Jonathan Ashton both sitting on this year’s jury.