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PGDA announce shortlist for Talent Award 2024

19 Jun 2024

PGDA proudly announces the shortlist nominees of this year’s Talent Award

What started last year with an idea floating around for some time actually, has already become an institution in 2024. With the help of LEVEL UP – The Gaming Festival, University of Applied Science Salzburg and Florian Jindra’s tireless support, the Austrian Talent Award turned into a well-established initiative within our local community. Not to forget the many helping voluntary hands behind the scenes within PGDA, who transform initiatives like these into a success.

It is with great pleasure to see the ever-increasing quality of projects across schools and universities all over Austria. The shortlist in 2024 broke the dominance of University of Applied Science Salzburg from last year and introduced a new home for exceptional students‘ projects, University of Klagenfurt. The 2024 shortlist reflects the outstanding educational work schools and universities provide to students with their well-balanced curriculums for up-and-coming game developers in almost every district. The close collaboration with schools throughout the country really paid off, as we saw a triplication of submissions this year. A very impressive number of 33 projects, covering games from all genres and a large variety of distribution platforms.

So allow me a big thank you to every single school in Austria providing a curriculum for games and to every lecturer conveying the essence of game development while inspiring the next generation of Austrian developers.

And as we can see from our judges in 2024, a good education in Austria offers you a chance to come a long way in our global industry. Even more so I’d like to particularly thank Bernadette Thalhammer (Principal Software Engineering Manager – Microsoft/Havok), Christian Steinbauer (Lead Programmer – Bethesda Game Studios), Julian Kenning (Art Director – Freelancing) and Markus Friedl (Senior Production Manager – IO Interactive) for offering some of their precious time to review and play so many interesting submitted projects.

Last but not least, a big thank you to all students preparing the submissions and putting their creative work on the line for professionals to evaluate. As last year the judges had a very hard time choosing three nominees for the shortlist out of these 33! overall impressive students projects:

An overview of all projects including links to trailers can be found here.

To offer a transparent process PGDA defined the following categories the judges used to evaluate all submitted projects. Each category has a maximum number of points assigned, representing the overall value as well as focus for the assessment:

  1. Build/playable version of the game (35 points)
  2. Pitch Deck (20 points)
  3. Trailer & Screenshots (15 points)
  4. PR Factsheet (5 points)
  5. Commercial potential (15 points)
  6. Comprehensive presentation as well as interaction of all assets (10 points)

As mentioned before, it was not an easy job to come to a conclusion. The judges had a very good time playing all games and were also impressed by the quality, as well as depth of the accompanying documents. So long story short, here are the shortlist nominees for the Talent Award 2024:

Bagels of War Roguebot Vignette: Memories of Baruu
Strategy Action, Roguelite, Third Person Simulation / Adventure
University of Klagenfurt University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Campus Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten

Congratulations! We are looking forward to welcoming you at the LevelUp Festival in Salzburg, where you will staff your booth and show your incredible work to the world! You should look forward to presenting your project to the most important audience, the players! LevelUp Festival is a B2C (business to consumer) event, with a very large number of visitors, that offers a first stress test for your game. Be ready for direct feedback from critical gamers, but also very positive emotional moments seeing players enjoying your game!

Award Ceremony

Those lucky three – Bagels of War, Roguebot, and Vignette: Memories of Baruu – are advancing one field on the game board, getting closer to gamescom in Cologne in August. Who will make the race and win the booth at the WKO “Gemeinschaftsstand”? We will find out on stage at the LevelUp Festival on Sunday June 30th , 15:30. If you are nearby, don’t miss the chance to experience the variety of the Austrian as well as international game developer scene with a packed and interesting program the entire weekend long. For instance, the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg is hosting the Indie Area providing space for an additional 27 games made in Austria, which gives you 30 games in total to enjoy. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?

More educational institutions

The Talent Award 2024 saw 33 submissions from ten different schools, located in Salzburg, Upper Austria, Klagenfurt, St. Pölten, Graz and Vienna. But Austria has more to offer! As follows you can find an overview (without guarantee for completeness, as these are evolving quickly) of educational institutions offering game development curriculums. If you are interested in starting a career in game development, a proper and formal education is a good starting point. Why not check out a school close to you at their next open house?

Educational Institution District
University of Klagenfurt Carinthia
University for Continuing Education Krems Lower Austria
St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences Lower Austria
University of Applied Sciences Salzburg Salzburg
Technical University Graz Styria
University of Applied Sciences Technikum Joanneum Styria
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Campus Hagenberg Upper Austria
University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna Vienna
HTL (higher technical education institute) Spengergasse Vienna
Technical University Vienna Vienna
Angewandte – University of Applied Arts Vienna Vienna
University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien Vienna
SAE Institute Vienna
tgm – Die Schule der Technik Vienna
Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg

Thanks for your attention and stay tuned for more information to come soon!

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PGDA at the University of Klagenfurt

PGDA at the University of Klagenfurt

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