Abertay University Presents Finalists for Dare Academy 2024

The wait is over as Abertay University has announced the finalists for its annual video games design competition, Dare Academy.

Six talented teams will spend the summer designing and perfecting their games as they compete for the Dare trophy and a grand prize of £5,000.

The competition sees undergraduate Abertay students create game prototypes with support from academics and expert industry mentors.

The teams will take their projects to Abertay’s state-of-the-art Centre for Excellence in Computer Games, where they spend an intense summer refining their games through industry-supported hot-housing.

A panel of expert judges, including Ninja Kiwi’s Paul Robertson and Build A Rocket Boy’s Julie Kennedy, selected the teams whose pitches impressed them the most.

The final Dare Academy 2024 teams are:

  • Misfit Moths: Their game CHEMPunch is an aggressive wave-defence action games which faces players off against hordes of ‘moth-corrupted’ humans.
  • Sloth Doctor Games: They are creating Heldritch Rush, an arcade-inspired railshooter where you play the role of an exterminator tasked with ridding earth with the monster-inhabitants of hell.
  • SplatterCow Studios: This team is developing Braise Satan, a frantic cooking simulator where the player is tasked with cooking food for Satan himself (while fighting off fiendish imps).
  • Pretty Interesting Experiences: They are working on Sight Unseen, a VR stealth action game which allows you to use each eye lens differently.
  • Triple 7 Studios: This team is making Left Upon Read, mixing modern internet humour with dark fantasy while you play as a knight tasked with saving a princess.
  • Holdup Games!: They are developing Partners in Slime, an accessibility-focused explorative puzzle game where the main character is a slime in a Scottish setting, trying to navigate the local transport system.

Previous Dare teams have become successful indie games studios, including Pocket Sized Hands, Bit Loom and many more. 

Computer Arts lecturer Dr Lynn Love said:

We have been blown away by the quality of the entries from this year’s Dare Academy finalists, and we can’t wait to see what the teams go on to do throughout the summer. We would like to extend a thank you to our judging panel for all the work they have put in. We are looking forward to working with our amazing industry mentors and sponsors, who will provide the students with invaluable insight and support over the coming weeks. This industry guidance will help them throughout Dare and beyond into their careers.

Harry Petch, team lead for Pretty Interesting Experiences, said:

The whole team is absolutely over the moon to have made the finals of Dare Academy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the teams involved. As Abertay students, we are all aware of Dare’s track record in setting up graduates for the gaming industry and opening doors to a wide network of games talent. The roster of Dare 2024 is filled with exceptionally fun, quirky, and innovative ways of showing off game design excellence. We all can’t wait to collaborate with industry mentors to create the best possible version of our games over the coming months, and continue Dare’s legacy of producing outstanding games.