TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry and aims to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. The awards, taking place next week, recognise outstanding students, excellent universities and best practice in education.
Staffordshire University has more nominations than any other institution including for ‘Excellence in University/Industry Collaboration’. Two games created by students during the University’s Collaborative Games Module are also up for the ‘Best Student Games’ gong.
Eight recent graduates are shortlisted across the Outstanding TIGA Graduate: Artist, Computer Games Technology, Designer and Programmer categories and have all received the accolade of ‘TIGA Graduate of the Year’ recognising their excellent work.
Tim Beedall, who completed a BSc Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University, is in the running for the ‘Outstanding TIGA Graduate: Designer’ award.
Tim produced three fully playable games during his studies, creating all the artwork, models, audio, design documents and gameplay mechanics himself. After being encouraged by lecturer Greg Pennick to take part in the Game Republic Student Showcase he was headhunted for the role of Technical Game Designer at PitStop Productions.
The 23-year-old from Chesterfield said: “I found the course to be one of the most important and worthwhile things I've done. The lecturers gave me the creative freedom I needed and challenges that interested me, and it allowed me to show my full potential.
“It's exhilarating to have all the hard work and sleepless nights amount to something appreciable and useful in the industry. I'm proud of myself and those others who worked hard to achieve the accolade.”
Three more Staffs games designers are shortlisted in the same category, including BSc (Hons) Computer Gameplay Design and Production graduate Sonny Matthews.
He said: “It feels amazing to be shortlisted, as well as a little out of the blue! I knew of TIGA before the nomination, so it comes as a massive honour and privilege to be listed as Graduate of the Year from such an influential organisation.
Sonny, 31, from Stoke-on-Trent, is now an Assistant Gameplay Designer at Playground Games working on the popular Fable video games series.
He added: “I think Staffordshire University does an amazing job of preparing you for the games industry. They spend a portion of the final year on getting a job, which helped me immensely with knowing how to apply and interview. The different talks they host at the University also provide real insight into what it's actually like to work in industry. This is all aside from their core teaching, which I've always found to be excellent.”
Winners of the 11 categories will be announced in a virtual ceremony on 22 October, together with the winners of two special awards that will be revealed during the programme.
Stuart Butler, Course Director for Games Technology, said: “Our students worked extremely hard to overcome the difficult challenges presented by the pandemic to produce some amazing work, the quality of which is being recognised by industry as part of the TIGA UK Games Education Awards. Everyone within the Games and Visual Effects Department are incredibly proud of the hard work and resilience shown by our graduates last year.”
See the full TIGA Games Education Awards shortlist