Bucks student among winners in leading games awards


Date: 24th Apr 2017

Alex Gray holds his Grads in Games award

A Buckinghamshire New University student who swapped a job in the shopping aisles for computers in the classroom has won a top award for emerging talent in the games and animation industry.

Alex Gray, studying BA (Hons) Animation and Visual Effects, was the Animation category winner in the Sumo Digital Rising Star Animation and VFX section of the leading Grads in Games awards, held at the University of Hertfordshire.

The ambitious second-year student, who worked in a supermarket prior to starting his degree, was among four winners from 22 finalists in the industry-leading games development competition, which attracted entries from more than 800 students.

He said: "I didn't expect to do so well and went in to the competition just hoping to challenge. I had two weeks to complete the brief I was given and would normally take up to a month to carry out a similar piece of work.

"I used the equipment at Bucks New University to create the 36-second piece, a battle clip featuring a figure with weapons, and the skills acquired so far on my degree have helped in my achievement."

"Grads in Games is well-respected in the industry and I hope some of the contacts made will lead to internships this summer."

A total of 16 judges from nine leading UK studios and tech companies, including Sumo Digital, nDreams, Imaginarium Studios, Boss Alien, and representatives from Playground Games, Edge Case Games, Codemasters, Creative Assembly and Foster & Partners came together to celebrate young talent in the games industry and to meet the 22 gifted student finalists.

Each winner will receive an interview with a leading UK studio for a job or internship, alongside additional prizes donated by members of the industry, including a personal studio tour donated by Creative Assembly and creative licences of Allegorithmic software.

A total of 15 students studying BA (Hons) Animation and Visual Effects at Bucks New University entered categories in Grads in Games, with nine making it to the second round.

Two students received 100% feedback - Katie Bannock for a bird animation and Radoslav Hristov for a character design. The other students who entered were Jack Hubbard, Antoni Zakheos, Bradlay Munn, Lyuboslav Angelov, Michal Niewiadomski, and Joel Urner, with Lyuboslav Angelov and Michal Niewiadomski also making it through to finals.

Sydney Padua, Senior Lecturer in Animation and Visual Effects, said: "We're thrilled for Alex and all of the finalists. They've shown a real passion for excellence and it's paid off. They've helped put the Animation and Visual Effects degree at Bucks New University on the map."

See Alexander's work, here.