Scunthorpe teenager wins BAFTA accolade for top 10 achievement in UK
ASCUNTHORPE teenager has earned glowing praise from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for creating a computer game design.
James Watson's first-ever computer game design was ranked among the top 10 in the UK.
The 14-year-old student at Scunthorpe's Brumby Engineering College revealed he was inspired by his uncle Michael Watson to come up with Ballistic Birds.
He said: "My uncle is a keen bird-watcher so the hobby must have rubbed off on me and gave me the inspiration for Ballistic Birds.
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"Captain Hoots, a Scottish owl, and the Red Baroness, a cocky eagle, are two of the principal characters in the game. Other characters include Shadow, General Khaos and Project Phoenix."
With the help of his IT teacher Jim Kerr, he set about creating Fire Breathing Squirrel Studios at the Scunthorpe school for its first major production.
The design took six months to complete and the entry was submitted in October.
James told the panel of judges at BAFTA: "It blends melee combat with flight.
"It also teaches the player about different types of birds as they need to weigh up the abilities and disabilities of various species."
Niyi Akeju, the producer for audience development projects at BAFTA, said the young game designers contest was now its third year and had attracted hundreds of entries from 11 to 16 year-old hopefuls across the UK.
Mr Akeju said: "James should feel very proud to have made it into the top 10 at his first attempt.
"The judges felt that Ballistic Birds was a strong design that could translate well into a console experience.
"There was good thought around the bird hierarchy and how it would impact play.
"There were also a number of original concepts to make the play feel unique.
"We wish James all the best for his future games designs and hope to follow his career in the future."
The computer whiz-kid is already working on his next game production for Fire Breathing Squirrel Studios.
But it may be the last James offers to the judges at BAFTA.
He said: "My heart's really set on becoming a scientist – not a computer designer."