AN award-winning computer game designer who honed her talent in Scotland has called for more women to get involved in the industry as she prepares to unveil her first creation for an industry-leading firm.

Sophia George, co-founder of Swallowtail Games, is the latest product of Scotland's renowned games industry, which has achieved global success with titles such as Lemmings, Crackdown and Grand Theft Auto.

The 22-year-old has already picked up a young Bafta One to Watch award alongside a team of programmers from Dundee's Abertay University.

Now the group is moving into the mainstream with Tick Tock Toys, a family-friendly puzzle game designed to run on Apple's iPhone and iPad devices.

She is hoping her success will inspire other girls and young women to study computer game technology and enter the traditionally male-dominated industry, which is worth £30 million to Scotland's economy each year.

Abertay University currently has 871 students studying games-related courses, 157 (18%) of whom are female.

Ms George said: "The popular stereotypes of gamers just being young men couldn't be more wrong, but they still persist, despite around half of all gamers being female – and women and girls of all ages playing and enjoying games every day. What's really worrying, though, is that this male-dominated idea is so pervasive – and it influences what families think about games, and what young women think as they grow up and make decisions about their careers.

"I just hope the release of Tick Tock Toys will help show young women they can get into the games industry – and they too can create the games they love to play."

The designer learned her trade on the university's postgraduate programme, and was nominated for the Bafta award last year after her team won Abertay's Dare to be Digital game design contest in 2011.

The competition challenged teams of five students, including artists, programmers and audio engineers, to produce a video game in nine weeks with support and mentoring from industry professionals.

They formed their company after being awarded £25,000 from the Abertay University Prototype Fund, with the money spent on developing a full version of Tick Tock Toys.

Ms George said the game will appeal to families with young children.

She said: "Computer games can be incredible shared experiences for people of all ages, and Tick Tock Toys is the first of hopefully many games we will release for children and parents to play together."

More than 50 games companies have been established in Scotland, mostly in Tayside and Edinburgh.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said it was important for strong female role leaders such as Ms George to emerge at a time when Scotland's games industry is going from strength to strength.

He said: "We're very encouraged by the increasing interest in our game art, design and programming degrees from female students, but a greater public awareness is needed that everyone can enter this industry.

"Through initiatives like our game design competition Dare to be Digital and the huge games festival we run in Dundee every year, we're introducing thousands of schoolchildren to the idea of creating their own games.

"Strong female role models like Sophia are an important part of that."