The UK game-development competition, Dare to be Digital, has held its 2006 Awards Ceremony at the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland

The contest saw student game designers from around the world compete against each other in order to produce the best game prototype over the course of the summer holidays. Teams of five students, a mix of artists and programmers, assembled in Dundee for ten weeks to develop a prototype video game, receiving daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists.

At the end of the competition, the prototypes were judged by a panel of experts in the field and prizes awarded to the teams.

The three main prizes for 2006, each worth £2,000, have been won by Artisan with ‘Metalheads’, for ‘Most Commercial Potential’; Log2n with Flux, for ‘Greatest Innovation and Creativity’, and Rule of Thumb with Gal-ex:Spatial Delivery, for ‘Best Use of Technology’. An additional £1,000 prize for ‘Best Use of Screenwriting’ went to Phaigo Interactive for their game Spaceport.

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Artisan’s Metalheads is a game aimed at the Nintendo DS platform in which the central character Meta uses magnetism to help the tiny Metalheads to fight their foes. The judges were impressed by the highly effective use of 2D characters in a 3D style environment. Artisan are all students at Abertay University.
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In Log2n’s highly innovative Flux game, the player builds a network of power nodes driven by music of their choice using click free gestures. This game really excited the judges as something radically different with potential in many different ways. Log2n are from Algoma University in Ontario, Canada.
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Rule of Thumb’s Gal-ex:Spatial Delivery features two central characters trying to collect packages from their crashed delivery spaceship. The team’s professional approach to using technology to deliver the working game within the timeframe impressed the judges. Rule of Thumb are all from Northern Ireland. 
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Phaigo Interactive’s Spaceport is a first-person drama in which the player operates a space station orbiting the Earth, servicing travellers’ ships but with a fractious and argumentative crew.
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In addition to the main awards, the Virtuoso Prize went to Nicholas Koumentakis of the Phaigo Interactive team; ‘Best Programmer’, went to Alan McNicholas of Rule of Thumb, ‘Best Artist’, to Yin Su (Jason) of Phaigo Interactive, and ‘Best Team Leader’ (£500), to Gavan Acton of Log2n/Flux. Best International Scholar (£500) was Pradeep Dewars from India who joined Artisan at the start of the contest; the Best Team Player prize (£500) was, for the first time, awarded to an entire team – Rule of Thumb. 
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“It has been great to work with Dare for the fourth year running” he says, “ I am continually impressed with the quality of talent this innovative & unique experience manages to attract. It is by far the best pre-employment proving ground for the interactive entertainment sector,” said Richard Leinfellner, Electronic Arts’ executive producer & vice president and chairman of the Dare judges.<BR>
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Next year

“We want to celebrate the young talent from all university courses that represent a pipeline for bringing top graduates to the video games industry. The 120 talented computer artists, programmers, designers and producers whom we anticipate taking part in next year’s competition will be the cream of the future talent of the industry," said Paul Durrant, Abertay’s director of Business Development.