THREE teenage friends from Northumberland are in the running for a national award for their idea for a video game.
William Garman, Red Freeman, and David Cuthbertson, all 16 and pupils at Morpeth’s King Edward VI High School, have reached the finals of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Young Game Designers competition with their proposal, Cube Wars.
The trio are on a shortlist of three in their category in the 11-16-year-old contest, already bettering their achievement of last year when they reached the final 10.
They are travelling to London on Sunday for a star-studded awards ceremony.
If they are successful, they will get to work on their game with experts from the University of Abertay in Dundee, and visit SCE London Studio, makers of the Bafta award-winning EyeToy and SingStar franchises.
William, from Thropton, Red, from Harbottle and David, from Longframlington, have been friends since they were pupils at Rothbury’s Dr Thomlinson Middle School.
They are all fans of video games and last year decided to enter the game concept category of the competition, for which entrants must give an idea for a new game, including a description of the characters, the world in which the game is set, and how it will be played.
The boys, working under the team name Pleasant Peasants, were delighted when their idea, Scrap, made the final 10. However, the year 12 students have gone one better this year with Cube Wars, a turn-based strategy game based on a cube which they spent around a month working on.
Set in the year 2050, a leap in the area of space travel has allowed humans to venture into deep space where they have discovered square planets rich in resources.
The aim of the game is for players to help the leader take control of a sector of cubes in order to make a profitable business.
The trio, who are keen to study game design at university and to become professionals, are now looking forward to travelling to London on Sunday for the British Academy Children’s Awards.
Anna Shaffer, who appears in Hollyoaks and the Harry Potter films, and Tyger Drew-Honey, who stars in the BBC sitcom Outnumbered, will present winners with their awards, with the former having joined a host of industry experts on the jury. Red said: “Last year, we got into the top 10, we were hoping to get to at least the top 10. We were hoping we would do better than last year.
“We have got a good chance, we have put a lot of work in. Also, an all-expenses trip to London is always nice!”
Bafta Young Game Designers, which is in its third year, aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals.