Pupil’s BAFTA bid pride

James Hurley with his BAFTA nominated design
James Hurley with his BAFTA nominated design
Share this article

Move over Candy Crush and Flappy Birds - one St Annes schoolboy is set to blow you away with his new creation!

Fourteen-year-old James Hurley has been nominated for a BAFTA award after designing a new educational game which can be played on your mobile phone.

The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition aims to inspire the game designers of the future by giving them the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals.

James’s ‘Soot and Smog’ game sees the player roam around Victorian London aiming to raise funds to help their sick sister by completing various challenges, while different facts about that era of history flash up on the screen.

Speaking about his nomination James, from St Patrick’s Road South, St Annes, said: “Some of my friends are kind of jealous and my family are very proud.

“I’ve always had a fascination with Victorian London so decided to scrap another idea I had and come up with this game.

“You have to do a bunch of missions in order to get money to save your sister who is dying of illness.

“As you’re going along facts come up on screen.”

James’s concept was picked up after he entered the competition through his school, St Annes College Grammar School, on Clifton Drive South.

If he wins the award he will get to work with developers at the University of Abertay, in Dundee, to see his game become a reality.

Caroline O’Donnell, business and ICT teacher at the school, said: “I don’t think I could be any prouder of him, he’s done such a great job.

“I couldn’t believe it when he told me, I was so shocked and so proud.

“When he was doing it I just thought it was a really original idea.

“His classmates have all been very supportive.”

The ceremony will be held at BAFTA’s headquarters in London on Saturday, July 12, where James will find out if he has been successful.

Harvey Elliott, chair of the BAFTA games committee and the BAFTA children’s committee, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be bringing all the finalists of this year’s BAFTA Young Game Designers competition together to celebrate their achievements and announce the winners.”