Putting together the first ever Game Dev Heroes awards event was a daunting task. There are so many people doing great work behind the scenes of the games industry that there’s always so much more that can be done to recognise them & show our appreciation. Our little part in showing that appreciation took place last month in Brighton, packing out the room with over a hundred talented people from across all areas of game development.

Here’s some of our collated highlights from Game Dev Heroes 2018

Anna Hollinrake
Art & Animation Winner

Our first Game Dev Hero of evening is Anna Hollinrake of Dream Reality Interactive, picking up the award for the art category!

Anna Hollinrake - Art & Animation Winner - Game Dev Heroes 2018

Recognised both for her professional work & as an advocate for mental health awareness and industry inclusion, Anna is an excellent role model for artists in the games industry.
“Again and again, Anna has pushed the limits of visual story telling for her professional and personal work… Anna always adds her own personal flair and unique taste to everything she touches.”

Meg Jayanth
Design

We’re very proud to say that our next hero is Meg Jayanth, one of the most notable writers in games & the award-winning lead behind Inkle’s 80 Days. Meg’s writing is frequently cited as inspirational & influential to many, showcasing the high levels that can be achieved with story-based and narrative led games.

Lesleyann White
QA Winner

Being able to include an award category for QA was something we were passionate about from the start, and we’re delighted to see Lesleyann recognised as a Game Dev Hero in the field, with the award presented by Jamie Clarke from Games Jobs Direct.

Lesleyann White - QA Winner - Game Dev Heroes

Praised heavily across both professional and personal qualities, Lesleyann’s described as bringing “an amazing level of thoroughness and quality” and “a fantastic colleague and an incredibly caring and considerate individual”.

Sam Hughes
Sound Winner

Sam’s become a recognised name across game audio, largely in his extensive work to bring awareness & give platforms to the work and voices of other people. It seems only fitting that Sam himself is our Game Dev Hero for Sound, recognising the value that his contributions and advocacy have brought both to the game audio sector and the industry at large.

Sam’s currently interning with Remedy Entertainment in Finland, but happily we had Alyx Jones, Head Writer for The Sound Architect accepting the award on Sam’s behalf.

Jessica Gaskell
Production Winner

Jess is our Game Dev Hero Producer, with a hugely positive reception for her extensive work behind the scenes at Sumo Digital!

A pivotal member of the development team at Sumo that truly understands the value of individuals both as professionals and as people, Jess is cited both as “The best boss I have ever had” & “a catalyst for success, a production powerhouse, and long overdue for the recognition she deserves.”

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John Campbell
Programming Winner

With an excellent intro that almost created the first Game Dev Villain, Nick Dixon from Launchpad Falmouth presented the award to John of Triangular Pixels who, in perfect Game Dev Heroes style, is described as “always busy behind the scenes creating excellent gameplay that whole studios get the credit for”

John’s known for being a positive force across development, always actively working to help improve experiences both for the studio and the players, as well as helping out others by sharing his knowledge and experience.

Haley Uyrus
Marketing & Community Winner

Picking up a second award of the night for the Failbetter Games team was Haley, our Game Dev Hero for marketing!

Haley Uyrus - Marketing & Community Award Winner - Game Dev Heroes 2018

With excellent work as Failbetter’s marketing manager, Haley is also a strong advocate & promoter for more awareness of the value that marketing brings to games. Between talks, articles and great advice, Haley’s guidance can be invaluable both to fledgling studios and for those looking for role models in games marketing.

Thad Frogley
Management Winner

Congratulations to Boss Alien’s Thad, our Management Game Dev Hero, presented by Ian Goodall of Aardvark Swift!

Thad Frogley - Management Winner - Game Dev Heroes 2018

Thad’s an excellent role model for improving the inclusion, mentoring and empowerment of teams & individuals, with particular note to those just starting out on their careers in games. It’s no surprise that “Colleagues from previous studios across his career now have whole careers of their own founded on Thad’s belief in their potential”.

Bill Donegan
Unsung Hero

Bill’s R&D work for SpecialEffect over the past 11 years has resulted in genuinely life-changing experiences for so many people. With recent projects including both the EyeMine software and work on the XBox Adaptive Controller, he’s helped empower and enable disabled gamers across the world. A true Unsung Hero, “Bill’s imagination, creativity and drive have been at the heart of SpecialEffect’s technical achievements”.

Helen Andrzejowska
Diversity Champion

Presented by Ed Perkins from Square Enix, our Diversity Champion is Helen Andrzejowska, founder of Ocean Spark Studios, a studio with the aim of increasing the amount of women working within the industry.

Helen Andrzejowska - Diversity Champion - Game Dev Heroes 2018

Mike Simpson
Outstanding Contribution

With 17 years at the head of Creative Assembly, Mike’s been a driving force behind both the studio and the Total War franchise. You can read all about Mike’s work and the Outstanding Contribution award here.

Mike Simpson - Outstanding Contribution - Game Dev Heroes 2018


Visit our Facebook gallery for more images from the event (and tag yourself up if you were there!)

A huge thanks to our partners and supporters, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to do it – Aardvark Swift, Games Jobs Direct, Mimram Media, Square Enix, Launchpad Falmouth & Analog

Thank you to all of the Game Dev Heroes who came along to make it a memorable evening – we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Categories: 2018 Game Dev Heroes