Last night, after a packed week of games events showcasing the very best that the country has to offer, Scottish Games Week reached its climax with the first-ever Scottish Games Awards, a celebration that finally delivered the level of prestige that the sector has long since deserved.
Standouts included ION LANDS’ Cloudpunk, a cyberpunk delivery game that claimed three different awards, for Art and Animation, Creativity, and the Best Large-Budget Game; Amicable Animal’s SOLAS 128, following up its BAFTA win with the Audio award; and Team Terrible’s The Baby in Yellow, a bizarre yet effective fusion of eldritch horror and comedy that won the Best Small-Budget Game award. Beyond the worthy games recognised here, industry legend Dave Jones was given with the Lifetime Achievement award; an honour which, when considering the rich history of Scottish games, it would be difficult to imagine granting to anyone else in the inaugural year of the awards.
The Scottish Games Awards winners in full are:
Art and Animation
Best Educational Programme
- Dr Lynn Love
Best Large-Budget Game
Best Small-Budget Game
- Tanya Laird
- David Jones
Stewart Gilray Award (Community Spirit)
- Colin MacDonald
Tools and Technology
Chaired by renowned journalist and author Chris Scullion, the award winners were selected by a jury of games industry experts with a deep knowledge of the sector, including:
- Brian Baird: Technical Director at Bethesda Games Studios Austin
- Joe Donnelly: Feature Writer at GamesRadar+
- Alisdair Gunn: Director at Glasgow City Innovation District
- Steven Hamill: COO at Scottish Edge
- Keza MacDonald: Video Games Editor at The Guardian
- Jim Trinca: Games journalist and video producer
- Jo Twist: CEO of UKIE
Chris Scullion, journalist and author of The NES Encyclopaedia, said: “It’s been a huge honour to chair the judging panel for the inaugural Scottish Games Awards. The quality of the nominees is a perfect indicator of the enormous degree of talent that can be found in the Scottish games industry, and I’m looking forward to the awards (and Scottish Games Week as a whole) acting as a catalyst to help the industry grow from strength to strength.”
His sentiments were echoed by Angus Robertson, Culture Secretary for Scotland, who said: “Scotland has a world class reputation for games development as the winners of the first Scottish Games Awards have clearly demonstrated.
“The focus this week on the dynamism of the games sector and its growth potential shows the important role the industry has in supporting our economy. The technology and creativity that drives the sector has also brought benefits to other key areas such as education, healthcare, energy and financial services.”
Brian Baglow, Director of Scottish Games Week and Founder of the Scottish Games Network ,said: “The level of creativity and technical expertise across Scotland is outstanding, as is the passion, enthusiasm and commitment that we see from so many people across the whole games ecosystem. Today we are celebrating those achievements and turning the spotlight on the individuals, organisations and games that make Scotland’s games community such a vibrant and fun place to be.
“As the culmination of Scottish Games Week, these awards are a stake in the ground which proclaim that games are important, that we have a significant role to play in Scotland’s future and that we are going to be a far larger, louder and prominent part of Scotland’s digital future.”
While the Scottish Games Awards mark the end of Scottish Games Week, they certainly shouldn’t mark the end of the conversation; the conversation about how we, as an industry, can push games in Scotland to even greater heights in the years to come. The connections and statements made this week will be the catalysts for that change, if we, collectively, commit to making it happen
Scottish Games Week was made possible by the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund, delivered as part of its Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER) programme, as well as the generous support of our sponsors: 4J Studios, Blackadders LLP, Johnston Carmichael, YAHAHA, Aream and Co, Escape Technology, 4Players, NLAE and The SQA. Scottish Games Week is supported by partners Barclays Eagle Labs, Barclays Games & Esports Team, CodeBase, Dimoso, GT Omega, Digital Xtra Fund and Citizen Ticket.