Loan Wolf Games, consisting of five fresh BSc graduates in Computer & Video Games from University of Salford – Luke Harrison (Animator/Artist), Toby Rushton (2D/3D Artist), Thomas McParland (Programmer), Martin Cosens (Programmer) and Ashley Hayes (Sound Engineer/Tech Artist), has been nominated for BAFTA‘s “Ones to Watch’ 2013 Award, and also won £25,000 Channel 4 Award to get their retro platformer-puzzler “Pixel Story” published.

They entered the repetitious Dare to be Digital 2012 competition 9 weeks ago together with the other 14 selected teams formed by extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art. 

Never before had Salford students entered this competition, which is highly regarded in the game industry. It was a very competitive selection process; applicants were interviewed by a Selection Panel, which involved figures from Industry. Teams of 5 students, usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio, assembled for 9 weeks during June to August to develop a prototype video game, receiving mentoring from industry. The students also received a weekly stipend of £150 per student, free accommodation at the University’s halls of residence and a team budget of £200. At the end of the competition, the prototypes were displayed at talent showcasing event Dare ProtoPlay. The general public and industry experts got to play and vote for the games.  At the Dare awards ceremony, three prizes of £2,500 were awarded to the three highest scoring teams based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, market potential and use of technology (none of the three will be specifically attributed to any particular criterion). Seven months later the winning teams will attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted “Ones to Watch Award”.

Being able to be part of this competition shows the talents of our students as well as the achievement of the programme BSc in Computer & Video Games. This brilliant news obviously is encouraging, but I am sure that even the team did not win, they would not have regretted giving up some job offers for taking up this once-in-a lifetime opportunity. 

Many congratulations, Lone Wolf Games! What a tremendous achievement. I know you can make it. I also know that you cherish your Salford root very much as you drove all the way from Scotland to Salford and back on the same day just for the graduate ceremony on 19 July. We are all very proud of you!

For more information about Lone Wolf Games (English 5 man games development team from Manchester) or their first game Pixel Story (Puzzle Platformer), visit their blog or follow them on twitter @LoanWolfGames


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