Category: 2021 Game Dev Heroes

Game Dev Heroes 2021 Wrap Up

Develop Brighton 2021 saw the triumphant return of the Game Dev Heroes Award Ceremony IRL; a celebration of individual accolades and an amalgamation of talent, the event shone a light on the unsung heroes and often overlooked members of our industry.

The Winners of Game Dev Heroes 2021

Last night we crowned our 2021 Game Dev Heroes! It was an awesome night and we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a great night!

Thank you to everyone who has helped make it happen this year, from the huge support we’ve received from our event partners at Splash Damage, Creative Assembly, Creative England, Square Enix, Etch Play, Aardvark Swift, Games Jobs Direct, Analog the tireless work from our team of judges, and of course the several hundred of you that sent in nominations for your game dev heroes.

We received almost 600 nominations this year and creating the final shortlists was no easy task, let alone choosing the winners. There are a huge amount of talented and valued people working across the games industry, far more than appear in just our list, so it’s a privilege that we can bring more attention to many of those people behind the games we all love.

With so many nominations this year, the shortlists this year were packed with amazing people, genuinely causing a lot of tough decisions for our judges. For many of the categories it was close right up to the final votes.

And so… the winners of Game Dev Heroes 2021 are:


Art + Animation Hero 2021

Laura Dilloway

Lead Environment Artist, Roll7


Game Design Hero 2021

Edd Coates

UI/UX Designer, Game UI Database


Sound Hero 2021

Chel Wong

Composer & Sound Designer


Programming Hero 2021

Chris Marlow

Principal Gameplay Engineer, Rare


QA Hero 2021

Steph McStea


Production Hero 2021

Katrina Garsten

Senior Live Producer, Turtle Rock Studios


Writing + Narrative Design Hero 2021

Khaya Ahmed

Writer, FRAG Games


Marketing + Community Hero 2021

Lisa Schaeffer

Community Manager, Netspeak Games


Unsung Hero 2021

Reese Wright

Senior Producer, Robot Teddy
Founder, Save Point Social


Leadership Hero 2021

Des Gayle

Game Director, Altered Gene


Progression Advocate 2021

Leon Killin

D&I Consultant, Balance Patch
EDI Manager, Sumo Group


Thank you and congratulations to everyone, from all of us at Game Dev Heroes. We’ll be looking at our winners in more depth soon, showing you just why they mean so much to people, and why they have truly deserved their awards.

Our judging team for Game Dev Heroes 2021

It’s time to reveal our judging team for 2021! As with previous years, our panel is a mix of previous GDH winners and industry experts who will be helping us to find the Game Dev Heroes for 2021!

Alex Darby
Fawzi Mesmar
Hannah Flynn
Holly Gordon
Ian Hamilton
Jade Leamcharaskul
Laure De Mey
Loukia Kyriakidou

Marina Díez
Oliver Hindle
Olivia Wood
Sally Morgan-Moore
Chris Filip
Ed Perkins
Ian Goodall
+ Partner representatives


View the full list here & read all about our 2021 judges


Huge thanks also to our partners at Splash Damage, Square Enix, Creative Assembly, Etch.Play, Creative England and the Creative UK Group, plus founding partners Aardvark Swift, Analog & Games Jobs Direct. We massively appreciate their support!