Game Dev Heroes Shortlist 2020

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for Game Dev Heroes 2020!

It's been a... weird year. In the midst of the world shutting down, for us to receive nearly 700 nominations was truly unexpected but also very reassuring. As ever, the nominations that you've sent in have surprised, impressed and delighted, and with 700 to manage it's been tougher than ever to objectively reduce that down to the shortlists for each category.

One result of this is that we're introducing 'honourable mentions' for each category this year. We don't want you to think of these mentions as simply those who "didn't make the cut" or "runners up". These are people that would certainly have made the shortlist under different circumstances. They've shown that they are just as much a hero to people as anyone can be.

The category shortlists have been compiled below, alongside many very notable honourable mentions. The shortlists themselves have been formed entirely based on the merit of the nominations that we've received.

The nominations this year have been, as ever, numerous and heartfelt. Every one of the people below has impressed and inspired, and is already seen as an unsung hero or role model to others, and we hope you'll join us in congratulating their achievement.

With no physical awards event this year, winners will be revealed here and on our social channels from the 12th October onwards. Follow our social channels or join our mailing list on the banner below for updates on the event.


Art + Animation

Amanda Jones Harris
3D Artist, Snap Finger Click

Beidi Guo
Art Director, Lantern Studio

Daniel Lim
Senior Animator, Sumo Digital

Georgia Adamson
Junior Character Artist, Jagex

Grégoire Gendron
Lead Animator, Tactical Adventures

John Hannon
3D Artist, Brain and Nerd

Laura Dilloway
Lead Environment Artist, Roll7

Loukia Kyriakidou
Freelance Artist

Art & Animation Honourable Mentions
Anastasia Wyatt, Inkle Studios; Daniel Hoang, Mediatonic; Rosie Jarvis, Netspeak Games; Shayleen Hulbert; Sophie Knowles, Playdeo.


Alice Bowman
Level Designer, Trailmix

Dave Cross
Principal Game Designer, Wooga

Fawzi Mesmar
Head of Design, EA DICE

Mihai Irimescu
Level Design Director, Fun Labs

Natalie Wicks
Product Design Manager, Double Eleven

Simon Hermitage
Design Director, PlayStation London Studio

Design Honourable Mentions
Andrew Hopkins, Jagex; Ben Gouldstone, Sumo Digital; Gary Oliver, nDreams; Joanna Haslam, Snap Finger Click; Matt Dunthorne, Double Eleven.

Writing + Narrative Design

Anna Megill
Lead Writer, Ubisoft Massive

Ed Fear
Lead Creative (Writing & Design), Mediatonic

Nina Roussakoff
Game Director, Italic Pig

Olivia Wood
Writer / Editor, Failbetter Games

Phil Harris
Lead Narrative Designer

Ruqiyah Patel
Writer, Independent

Samantha Webb
Producer / Writer, Freelance

Xalavier Nelson Jr
Director, Strange Scaffold

Writing + Narrative Design Honourable Mentions
Sarah Longthorne, Sumo Digital; Victor Ojuel, Crema.


Andy Green
Technical Artist, Bossa Studios

Dan Foster
Development Lead, No More Robots

Jamie Holding
Principal Programmer, nDreams

Jessica Falk
Software Engineer, Improbable

Laure de Mey
Programmer, ustwo

Séamus Ó Buadhacháin
Programmer, Failbetter Games

Tom Andrews
Lead Programmer & Co-Founder, Miracle Tea

Tomasz Schelenz
Lead Developer & Partner, Lykke Studios

Programming Honourable Mentions
Brendan Drain, Brain and Nerd; Connor Halford, Failbetter Games; Mattias Van Camp, Wargaming.


Almut Schwacke
Sound Designer & Composer

Barney Oram
Sound Designer, Sweet Justice Sound

Chris Dain
Audio Designer, Hammerhead VR

Jade Leamcharaskul
Composer/Audio Generalist, Freelance


Kenny Young
Composer / Sound Designer, Freelance

Kirsty Gillmore
Sound Designer & Director, Freelance

Lisa Devon
Sound Designer, Media Molecule

Matt Wieteska
Audio Director, Six To Start

Sound Honourable Mentions
Josie Brechner; Luci Holland; Nikita Danshin, Eggnut.


Adoné Kitching
Producer, Devolver Digital

Chris Murphy
Producer, Square Enix Collective

Emma Bates
Producer, Team17

Estelle Tigani
Associate Producer - Narrative Animation and Cinematic Arts, Sony Santa Monica Studio

Hollie Emery
Producer & Co-Founder, Bonsai Collective

Lana Zgombić
Producer, Bossa Studios

Sally Morgan-Moore
Producer, No Brakes Games

Sarah Wilson
Junior Producer, Coatsink

Production Honourable Mentions
Alex Perry, Media Molecule; Ben Tarrant, Firefly Studios; Bridie Roman, Square Enix; Dave Cox, 505 Games;
Rachael Gregg-Smythe, Bithell Games; Sally Blake, No More Robots; Steven Taarland, Double Eleven.


Alysia Sellars-Bell
QA Tester, TT Games

Ben Simpson
QA Engineer III, Improbable

Charlotte Woolley
QA Technician, Media Molecule

Christina Harper
WWS QA Functionality Tester, Sony Liverpool

Holly Gordon
Senior QA Tester, Rocksteady Studios

Lee Wood
Senior QA Tester, Cloud Imperium Games

Nick Barrett
CEO, Proper QA

Tish Graham
Developer in Test, Bossa Studios

QA Honourable Mentions
Paul MacGillivray, PlayStation London Studio; Rachel Savage, Electric Square; Tom Miller, Frontier Developments.

Marketing & Community

Antonela Pounder
Senior Brand Community Manager, 505 Games

Bo Marit
Community Lead, Guerrilla

Gemma Cooper
PR Manager, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe

Korina Abbott
Marketing Manager & Founder, Neonhive

Nick Tannahill
Marketing Director, Firefly Studios

Oliver Hindle
Senior Community Manager, Mediatonic

Robbie Cooke
Head of Marketing, Rebellion

Victoria Tran
Communications Director, Kitfox Games

Marketing + Community Honourable Mentions
Ben Maltz-Jones, Rebellion; Christie Moulding, Team17; Christina McGrath, Rare;
Claire Sharkey, Modern Wolf; Lauran Carter, SuperCoolComms; Veronica Heath, Rare.


Denise Lohkemper
Localisation Manager, Jagex

Grant Bolton
Technical Director, nDreams

John Bishop
Managing Director, Brightrock Games

Kate Killick
Senior Game Designer, Mojiworks

Phil Warner
Studio Art Director, Mediatonic

Richard Semmens
Technical Director, Rare

Stewart Needham
Director of Engineering, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios

Tanya X Short
Captain, Kitfox Games

Leadership Honourable Mentions
Adrian Hon, Six To Start; Cheryl Razzle, Polystream; Claire Panter, Lockwood Publishing; Gareth Edmondson, Creative Assembly;
Helen Burnill; Jamie Brayshaw, Ripstone Games; John Merchant, 505 Games; Kevin Beimers, Italic Pig;
Matthew Wiggins, Mojiworks; Neil Ralley, 505 Games; Samuel Kahn, Darewise Entertainment; Tim Woodley, Hello Games.

Progression Advocate

Cinzia Musio
Operations Project Manager + Diversity Board Lead, Splash Damage

Karla Reyes
Product Manager, Square Enix

Khally Saarman-Jones + Sammi Luzon
Game On, Payload Studios

Leon Killin
Founder, Balance Patch

Marina Díez
Creative Director, Three of Cups

Max Downton
Brand Manager, Splash Damage

Susanne Bauer
Localisation Lead, Jagex

Progression Advocate Honourable Mentions
Alexis Trust, Chucklefish; Jean Legget, One More Story Games; Mel MacCoubrey, Cloud Chamber Studios;
Sally Blake, WOMGNE; Shay Thompson, Level Up Link Up; Tiffany Wild, Ubisoft Leamington.

Unsung Hero

Declan Setter
Ops Team Manager, PlayStation London Studio

Gene Chorba
Developer Relations Lead, Riot Games

Ian Hamilton
Accessibility Specialist

Kelly Vero
Head of Game Development, SO REAL

Len de Gracia
External Development Manager, Rocksteady Studios

Natalie Mikkelson
Director & Narrative Designer, Lo-Fi Games

Nida Ahmad
UX Researcher, Netspeak Games

Peter Kempton
Art Director, Future Games of London

Shaun Wall + Maggie Tan
Checkpoint Social

Sophia Whyte
Recruitment Coordinator, Splash Damage

Unsung Hero Honourable Mentions
Nick Hall, Lawyer, IESA; Poppy Byron, EPOS; Suzie Cook, nDreams;
Tom Katkus, Chucklefish; Vitor De Magalhaes, Improbable.

Congratulations again to all those who have been shortlisted, and thank you to everyone for your nominations.

Winners for Game Dev Heroes 2020 will be announced from the 12th October across our site & social channels.
Please follow us or sign up to our mailing list for info.