Staffs games graduates scoop TIGA Games Education Awards

Two Staffordshire University games graduates have been recognised among the best in the country at the TIGA Games Education Awards 2023

A poster for the game 'Pilots' featuring two figures in black helmets and body armour

Davide Pelino won the Outstanding TIGA Graduate: Computer Games Technology award for his short game 'Pilots'

A few days have passed since the ceremony, but everything still feels 'unreal.' I honestly didn't see that coming.

Davide Pelino, MSc Computer Games Design

Hosted by TIGA, the trade association representing the UK’s video games industry, the annual event celebrates outstanding students, education providers and best practice. Winners were revealed at a virtual ceremony this month, with recent Staffordshire University graduates Felype Goncalves Fernandes and Davide Pelino both scooping prizes.

Fleype completed his degree in BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming with first class honours this summer and won the ‘Outstanding TIGA Graduate: Audio’ award.

His project was a horror themed game, exploring how certain sound frequencies can affect emotions, making the player happier, scared or more aware.

Felype, 22, from Brazil, said: “I feel really inspired, the award only pushed me to achieve even bigger things in life to keep working hard and stay motivated, because hard work always pays off.”

After graduating, Felype has started his career working at games studio Double Eleven.

“Staffs gave me all the support needed, helped me to always push myself and always pointed me toward the right direction.”

Fellow winner Davide recently began the MSc Computer Games Design after graduating with a first class degree in BSc (Hons) Computer Games Design. Davide won the Outstanding TIGA Graduate: Computer Games Technology award after impressing the industry judges with his cinematic short game ‘Pilots’.

The 22-year-old, who is originally from Rome, said: “A few days have passed since the ceremony, but everything still feels 'unreal.' I honestly didn't see that coming.

“I didn't even watch the ceremony because I was at work. When I checked my phone at the end of the day, I saw a lot of messages from my whole family congratulating me. That was the moment when my heart exploded, and my colleagues asked me why I was screaming. This was the first time in my life that I ever won something career related. It was an incredible feeling, and I will never forget it.”

Created for his final year project, Davide used the on-campus motion capture studio and recorded character voices himself for the game.

Davide said the support received from the University had been “amazing” adding: “Everyone has always been kind to me. My brilliant supervisor, Amir Mansaray, not only helped me learn more about animation in general but also gave plenty of good suggestions in those days of development when I was feeling low on energy. The way he, but also the rest of the lecturers, respect the importance of mental health is something that should be praised more.”

Staffordshire University is also shortlisted across six categories at the upcoming TIGA Games Industry Awards which takes place in November. This includes two student games developed through the award-winning 1UP placement scheme which are shortlisted in Best Puzzle Game and Best Arcade Game respectively.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, added: “Congratulations to all of our fantastic finalists and wondrous winners. My congratulations and thanks also go to the universities that entered so many excellent graduates and undergraduates. You are performing sterling work in preparing excellent graduates for a career in the games industry.

“I would also like to thank our judges for determining the winners of the Awards and to the TIGA team for organising the programme.

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