Caddington pupil in games design final

BAFTA YGD finalist Ellen O'Regan and family
BAFTA YGD finalist Ellen O'Regan and family

A 12-year-old Caddington schoolgirl was one of the finalists in a nation-wide game design competition for under 18-year-olds, judged by a panel of industry experts.

And although Ellen O’Regan wasn’t one of the winners at BAFTA Young Game Designers 2016, she’s delighted she got as far as she did - as well as attending Saturday’s glittering awards event in London’s Piccadilly with her family.

She said: “It was very exciting and I was really amazed by all the other entries.”

The Year 7 pupil at John F Kennedy Catholic School was shortlisted for her game Cross Keys – a journey into another solar system ‘where typelings and other electrical devices live merrily in their unique home planet Computiper until a virus tragically strikes their world destroying almost every byte and bit. Now it’s the typelings’ turn to help their heroic leader King Key.’

Ellen explained: “My inspiration was wanting to do something educational that was also fun. Learning to type is always boring so I wanted to introduce it in a game to help children.”

She so enjoyed the experience of creating Cross Keys that she may well consider a career in the game industry.

Ellen entered the competition through a lunch-time club at school and will definitely try again.

Finalists came from across the UK and a third were female.

> The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, in association with Nominet Trust, is part of a year-round programme of activities that gives young people and educators unique insights into the industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games.

Support includes a website – www.bafta.org/ygd – and a range of teaching resources that link the competition to the national curriculum.