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Double BAFTA success for NUA graduates

Two BAFTA awards have been won by graduates from Norwich University of the Arts at the British Academy Video Games Awards in London on Friday (16th March).

Kristian Francis, Sophia George (both from Great Yarmouth) and Rosie Ball (from Cambridge), who all graduated from NUA’s BA Games Art and Design degree course in 2010 and 2011, have been hailed as future stars of the digital games industry after winning the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award. They received their nomination for the BAFTA after developing a game app called ‘Tick Tock Toys’ which won a student digital game competition.

Andy Green (from Bury St Edmunds), who graduated from NUA in 2009 with an MA Animation and Sound Design degree, was part of the winning team at Bossa Studios who picked up the Best Online Game – Browser award for their game ‘Monstermind’.

NUA graduates accepting their BAFTA award

Team Swallowtail at the BAFTA Awards (L-R): Mark Bamford, Cam Goold and NUA graduates Sophia George, Kristian Francis and Rosie Ball.

Sophia, who led the development team on the Tick Tock Toys project, said: “It’s such an honour and privilege to win and we’re really grateful for everyone’s support. Winning the BAFTA has given me confidence in our iPad game Tick Tock Toys and hopefully we’ll get to release the game in the future. I really hope we’ve made our tutors on the BA Games Art and Design course at NUA very proud and that winning this competition will inspire other students at NUA to try out for the Dare To Be Digital competition.”

Tick Tock Toys uses the tilt and touchscreen functions of the iPad to control a toy robot as it traverses a toy box solving puzzles along the way. The idea for the game came out of a pitch the three delivered in the qualifying phase of the Dare To Be Digital competition run by Abertay University in 2011, which attracted entrants from 70 universities from across the UK as well as Canada and India.

Rosie, Sophia and Kristian were paired with two Abertay-based students to form Team Swallowtail and spent nine weeks in Abertay using the university’s facilities and technical mentoring from industry to build a prototype, which went on display to the public in digital gaming education and consumer event Dare ProtoPlay in Dundee.

NUA’s BA Games Art and Design course uses contacts with major games and platform developers, such as Apple, EA and Sony Computer Entertainment, to deliver a professionally relevant qualification covering core elements of digital game production. The university college annually encourages students to form teams to enter the Dare to be Digital competition, which offers winning teams a prize of £2,500 and the BAFTA nomination.

NUA’s Dean of Media Keith Bartlett adds: “Norwich University of the Arts is tremendously proud of the achievements of Sophia, Kristian, Rosie and Andy in winning two BAFTAs. These trophies stand testament to their talent, commitment and creativity, and also to the professional skills focus of their courses and the hard work of their lecturing staff. Their achievements will serve as inspiration to current and future students on the course with ambitions of pursuing careers in the UK’s burgeoning digital games industry.”

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