NI Game Awards 2021: Winners

NI Game Awards 2021: Winners

Posted on: 09-03-2021

Last weekend saw the first ever virtual NI Game Awards take place live from Farset Labs in Belfast, celebrating two years of creativity and excellence in the growing games industry in Northern Ireland. Presented by the NI Game Dev Network with support from Northern Ireland Screen, the event featured awards across six categories, presented by special guests from the local industry.

The awards also featured a special collaboration with local games composer Richard Campbell and the Irish Video Game Orchestra to create a medley of soundtracks from video games developed by local studios. Many of these games have received nominations in the NI Games Awards. The video game industry is growing in NI, and this awards event is an opportunity to showcase the variety of talent that exists in the sector. Richard composed, arranged, and orchestrated the piece, and engaged with orchestra conductor Robert Martin to create the unique performance, now available to view on youtube.

Level 91 Entertainment walked away with Best Game for Inertial Drift, meanwhile Hortalius developer Brain & Nerd, who became one of the last Northern Ireland-based studios to gain funding from Creative Europe before Brexit, won Best Studio in an award accepted by studio head Tina Lauro Pollock.

Hypixel Studios won Most Anticipated Game with its upcoming project Hytale, while Outsider Games won Best Art Direction for Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries.

Twitch streamer and The Pixel Mill Restart program member Lisa Cooney took home the Rising Star award, with the judging panel additionally awarding special distinctions to Naoimh Murchan of Italic Pig and Amber Barnett of The Pixel Mill. The Community Choice Award was also awarded to Caolan McKendry, co-ordinator of the NI Game Dev Network.

You can find a full list of winners at this year’s NI Game Awards below and you can rewatch the ceremony here

Best Art Direction
: Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries (Outsider Games)
Before the Blood (Rewind Play Games)
Intertial Drift (Level 91 Entertainment)
The Imagined Leviathan (Far Few Giants)
Stargazing (Whitepot Studios)

Rising Star
: Lisa Cooney (The Pixel Mill)
Judge’s Choice: Amber Barnett (The Pixel Mill)
Judge’s Choice: Naoimh Murchan (Italic Pig)
Abigail Gelston (The Pixel Mill)
Aisling McElroy (Italic Pig)
Amy Seaman (Whitepot Studios)
Caoilfhionn Fox (The Pixel Mill)
James Brown (The Pixel Mill)
Jordan Bradley (Ambertail Games)
Stuart Winton (Far Few Giants)

Most Anticipated Game
Winner: Hytale (Hypixel Studios)
Ambertale (Ambertail Games)
Before the Blood (Rewind Play Games)
Buildings Have Feelings Too (Blackstaff Games)
Dynasty of the Sands (Rocketflair Games)
Paleo Pines (Italic Pig)
The Pale Beyond (Coffeebox Games)

Community Choice
: Caolan McKendry (NI Game Dev Network)
Amber Barnett (The Pixel Mill)
James Brown (The Pixel Mill)
Johnny Cullen (Play Diaries)
Lisa Cooney (The Pixel Mill)
Stuart Neil (How To Make A Game Podcast)

Best Studio
: Brain & Nerd
Italic Pig
Level 91 Entertainment
Soft Leaf Studios
Whitepot Studios

Best Game
: Inertial Drift (Level 91 Entertainment)
Ho-Ho-Home Invasion (Whitepot Studios)
Supermarket Shriek (BillyGoat Entertainment)
The Imagined Leviathan (Far Few Giants)