Game Dev Heroes Shortlist 2021

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for Game Dev Heroes 2021!

We've had over 550 nomination in this year, and are massively looking forward to finally returning to an awards event later this month.

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.

This years winners will be revealed on the 26th October. Follow our social channels or join our mailing list on the banner below for updates on the announcement event.


Art + Animation

Presented in partnership with Splash Damage

Cao-Hsin Lee
3D Artist, Make Real

Chris Sayers
VFX Artist, Mediatonic

Fen Beatty
Artist, Ustwo Games

Lu Nascimento
Art Director & Co-Founder, Bunnyhug Games

Karolina Twardosz
Artist & Animator, Azure Mountain

Laura Dilloway
Lead Environment Artist, Roll7

Art & Animation Honourable Mentions
Christina Antoinette Neofotistou, Shayleen Hulbert, Scarlett Fu, Uriel Cordas


Daryoush Nekooi
Senior Game Designer, Sumo Digital

Edd Coates
UI/UX Designer, Game UI Database

Jamie Breeze
Designer, Media Molecule

Jeeyon Shim
Designer, Independent

Meg Ralph
Senior Experience Ninja, Ninja Theory

Thomas Chase
Technical Design Lead, PlayStation London Studio

Design Honourable Mentions
Sean Oxspring, Albertine Watson, Caitlin Goodale, Tom Francis

Writing + Narrative Design

Freya Campbell
Writer & Designer, Independent / Supermassive Games

Khaya Ahmed
Writer, FRAG Games

Nicole Martinez
Narrative Director, Crystal Dynamics

Rhianne Murphy
Senior Narrative Designer, Sumo Digital

Victor Ojuel
Narrative Designer and Writer, Crema Games

Xalavier Nelson Jr
Director, Strange Scaffold

Zaire Lanier
Writer and Narrative Designer, Independent

Writing + Narrative Design Honourable Mentions
Samantha Wallschlaeger, Lauren Stevens, Alex Farnham, Douglas Austin


Presented in partnership with Aardvark Swift

Akshay Jain
Game Developer, Loveshark

Chris Marlow
Principal Gameplay Engineer, Rare Ltd

Connor Halford
Senior Gameplay Programmer, Failbetter Games

Daniel Breton
Programmer, Red Kite Games

Hannah Rose
Programmer, Bithell Games

Rosabelle Armstead
Junior Programmer, Media Molecule

Programming Honourable Mentions
Mark Storey, Manesh Mistry, Jeiel Aranal, Kirsty Keatch, Richard Ogden


Andreas Busk
Composer and Audio Designer, Triple Topping Games

Chel Wong
Composer and Sound Designer

Gareth Foy
Composer and Orchestrator


Lewis Thompson
Sound Designer, Soundcuts

Luci Holland
Game Composer / Arranger / Sound Artist


Helen Woolley
Producer, Sumo Digital

Katrina Garsten
Senior Live Producer, Turtle Rock Studios

Rachel Martin
Motion Capture Technician, Gearbox Software

Rob Middleton
Producer, Kwalee

Toby Adam-Smith
Producer, Futurlab

Production Honourable Mentions
Stuart Young, Vic Webb, Steven Taarland, Oliver Ward


Presented in partnership with Games Jobs Direct

Jessica Wyeth
Senior QA, Rocksteady Studios

Julia Brown
QA, Bithell Games

Lee Wood
Lead QA Tester, Cloud Imperium Games

Harrison Barton
QA Tester, Quantum Astrophysics Guild

Oliver Balaam
Quality Software Engineer, Improbable

Steph McStea

QA Honourable Mentions
Fiona Nichols, Rose Willard, Joshua Andrews

Marketing & Community

Amy Graves
Senior Global Social & Community, Tonic Games Group / Irregular Corporation

Antonela Pounder
Director of Global Community, 505 Games

Berni Williams
Co-Founder & Creative Director, Centrifuge Games

Claire Sharkey
Head of Communications and PR, Modern Wolf

Eltanin Casciani
Community Manager, Frontier Developments

Lisa Schaeffer
Community Manager, Netspeak Games

Pip Hoskins
Marketing Lead, No More Robots

Stephen Hey
Director, heystephenhey

Marketing + Community Honourable Mentions
Josh Brown, Lauren May, Lauren Moses, Max Downton, Victoria Tran


Presented in partnership with Creative England and the Creative UK Group

Anna Ljungberg
Lead SDET/Build Engineer, Rebellion

David Halse
Head of Brand, Creative Assembly

Des Gayle
Game Director, Altered Gene

Gwen Foster
Technical Director, Chikon Club

Heidi McDonald
Lead Narrative Designer

Paul Colls
Design Director, Sumo Digital

Leadership Honourable Mentions
Callum Underwood, Cj Stockton, Jason Howard, Katie Young, Melissa Philips, Ross Wilding, Tara Mustapha

Progression Advocate

Presented in partnership with Square Enix

Bee Oshomuvwe
Studio HR & Recruitment, PlayStation London Studio

Francesca Carletto-Leon
Head of Curriculum & Instructor, Code Coven

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

Minna Wilke
Animation Manager, TT Games

Stephanie Ijoma
Founder, NNESAGA

Progression Advocate Honourable Mentions
Michelle Tilley, Karla Reyes, Lauren Kaye, Trinidad Hermida

Unsung Hero

Presented in partnership with Creative Assembly

Chad Toprak
Artistic Director, Freeplay Independent Games Festival

Del Walker
Senior Character Artist, Rocksteady Studios

Nicole Stewart Rushworth
Immersive Technologist, Digital Catapult

Reema Ishaque
Personal Assistant, Splash Damage

Reese Wright
Senior Producer, Robot Teddy
Founder, Save Point Social

Ryan McKindle
Lead Art Technician, Ubisoft Reflections

Sarah Blackburn
Associate Production Coordinator, Rockstar North

Yves Le Yaouanq
Chief Content Officer, Focus Home Interactive

Unsung Hero Honourable Mentions
Anna Brandberg, Charlotte Pook, Jodie Donovan, Kirsty Fraser & Andrew Fray, Kitty Calis, Simran Whitham, Stuart Deville

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

Winners for Game Dev Heroes 2021 will be announced on the 26th October.
Please follow us or sign up to our mailing list for info.