The Rookies 2019 – University of Hertfordshire wins Game of the Year

By July 22, 2019 Industry News

The University of Hertfordshire (UH) have won Game of the Year & Visual Effects Film of the Year at The Rookie Awards 2019 as well as seven awards in total. The Rookies Awards is a competition open to all artists around the globe who are trying to break into the creative media and entertainment industry. This year there was almost 500 Universities and private training schools that entered and almost 40,000 uploads. For the BA 3D Games Art and Design course it is the third time winning Game of the Year (2016, 2018 & 2019) making it the only University in the world to hold this accolade. This is a great achievement not only for The UH but as an exemplar of the UK educational system. Epic games have been so impressed with the quality of the work that the students at the UH produce that they asked the Games Art lecturer (Neil Gallagher) to come and give a talk at Epic’ Unreal Education Summit at GDC in San Francisco earlier this year.


The BA (Hons) 3D Games Art & Design course won 1st place with project Spire and 2nd place went to project Star Bounty. The BA (Hons) Visual Effects for Film and Television course won Visual Effects Film of the Year with the project Downfall. To say that we are proud of this achievement is an understatement. To gain such a high recognition for all of our programmes is down to the hard work and dedication of the staff, the enthusiasm and quality of our students, and the support of our amazing Alumni.

Here are some details to help shine some light on one of the games projects called Spire which won Game of the Year: 2019

Here are the Core Team members- Jamie Callow – Environment Art, Thomas Siney – FX, Technical Art – Character Art, Gabriel Woolnough – Weapon Art, Laith Shewayish – Animation, Rigging, Vilte Bendziute – Creature Animation – Freelance – Callum Beadle – Materials, Storm Flemming – Prop Art, Foliage & Paul Christoforakos – Music, Sound Design

The students goal with the Spire project was to build a fully playable gameplay demo prefaced by an in-engine cinematic. This short experience focused on atmosphere and intuitive gunplay, aiming to intimidate the player while providing them enough agency to explore the world of their own volition. They we’re lucky enough that each member of their team is a concept artist on top of their specialised roles, so they all worked hard on visualising the look and feel for their game to find the tone and aesthetic they were after. Many of their ideas and concepts where still subject to change up to the end.

Here is the full list of winnings for the University of Hertfordshire at The Rookies 2019

Visual Effects Film of the Year:

Winner: Downfall

Motion Graphics:

People choice: Diana Verba:

Visual Effect Internship (Europe):

People choice: Maria Tsanti

Vancouver Film School Educational Scholarship Winner: William Jaravaza

3D Motion Graphics – Studio Internships Sarofsky United States People’s Choice: Diana Verba

Game of the Year:

Winner: Spire

Runner up: Project Star Bounty




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