Benn Powell, 28, from Maesglas, Newport has been accepted as one of the 100 Game Practitioners (i.e. makers) to take part in the BAFTA Crew Games programme. Benn studied computing at Coleg Gwent in Newport and he obtained a BSc (Hons) Degree in Computing from the University of Wales, Newport. Following graduation Mr Powell worked as a programmer at Team 17 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire before returning to Newport in 2013 to pursue his dream of becoming an independent game developer.
Each of the Game Practitioners must have at least two years professional experience in the games industry, actively working on or making a creative contribution to games produced and/or distributed in the UK.
Benn Powell said: “I am looking forward to seeing what the BAFTA Crew Games programme has to offer. I noticed that last years speakers were impressive and I am very interested in seeing who will be speaking to us this year. I am really passionate about being an independent game developer and I am pretty heavily into the game jam scene, having done a keynote for the Ludum Dare and being involved in several jams.”
Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword, Overlord) has been confirmed as the speaker for the first BAFTA Crew Games Livestream event (Photo from BAFTA).
Participants are networking on Facebook and Twitter. Member of the BAFTA Games Crew Alice Rendell tweeted: “Super excited to have a place on the BAFTA Games Crew. Looking forward to the first session with Rhianna Pratchett.”
Brandon Wu tweeted: “Very excited to be part of the BAFTA Crew. Can’t wait to meet fellow game developers and speakers.”
Kate O’Connor, Executive Director of Creative Skillset, said: “BAFTA Crew Games is a step change in the games industry and will help provide the crucial links for emerging talent to the top industry creatives. I’m delighted that Creative Skillset is supporting this important initiative in addition to our successful Trainee Finder scheme through which we have placed 120 new trainees in games companies across the UK.”
The masterclasses and online livestreams will cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games is an interactive programme – they will work with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs. BAFTA Crew Games will also shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.
The programme includes: Four Live masterclasses with BAFTA winning and nominated professionals from the Games Industry at venues held across the UK; Four interactive livestream Q&A sessions focusing on a range of subjects from BAFTA nominees or professionals with BAFTA-nominated credits; Eight downloadable podcasts of all live events in the programme; Networking opportunities for BAFTA Crew members and local industry after the live masterclasses.
The opportunity to engage with leading scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust – BAFTA Crew members will have the opportunity to discuss story, ideas and concepts aiming to explore how Biomedical Science can inform Game Design. Exclusive online social networking and the chance to meet with other BAFTA Crew Games 2014 members, speakers and programme partners.