Three Larbert schoolboys are on the verge of winning a BAFTA after creating a video game that pokes fun at some of the sillier Scottish stereotypes.
Lewis Winters, Dylan Forrest and Adam Robertson have been shortlisted for best game concept at the 2012 BAFTA Children’s Awards.
The trio, all pupils at Larbert High School, will find out if they have won at a glittering reception to be held in London on Sunday.
They came up with the concept for a new video game during extracurricular classes, led by computing teacher Mary MacAskill, in which they were encouraged to think of something that would be original and fun to play.
The resulting game is called ‘Piping Thistles’. Players must run from hordes of crazed haggis creatures which inhabit a mythical Highlands setting. The aim of the game is to survive by running for as long as possible, aided by the only available weapon – a pair of bagpipes.
‘Piping Thistles’ was a genuine team effort; the storyline was thought up by Adam (15), with artwork created by Lewis (14) and technical specifics handled by Dylan (14).
The choice of a stereotypical Scottish theme was deliberate, explained Adam.
“There’s not many Scottish themed games out there,” he said. “I thought it would be funny to exploit some of the sillier Scottish stereotypes. Some people were dismissing it as stupid, but I thought it was quite original.”
That’s a view shared by the BAFTA judging panel, noting it was a “completely original concept with a decidedly Scottish theme.”
The BAFTA young game designers competition is now in its third year, and encourages pupils from across the UK to get involved in the industry.
The winners will work with professional designers from the University of Abertay to make their game a reality, as well as visiting top design studios in London.
“I’m excited,” said Dylan. “It’s great just to be nominated. Games design is what I want to do when I leave school.” Lewis added: “I can’t wait for Sunday. It’s a great opportunity.”