I attended The Independent Game Developers Association’s (TIGA) awards at London’s Haymarket Hotel this week. TIGA’s fourth annual awards ceremony sees the organisation’s members vote for their peers in the UK and European games development communities.
Master of cermonies for tonights awards is Kuju’s CEO and Chairman of TIGA, Ian Baverstock, who stepped up to the rostrum to say, “Let’s just begin by introducing the awards. Firsty, this is the fourth TIGA awards ceremony. The previous two were in the upstairs of some Italian restaurant Fred [Hasson] found once when he was pissed!”
Cue laughter from audience, Ian continues, “As for the first one, we can’t even remember where it was! So, we really are slowly moving up in the world”, he added, noting the plush surroundings of the Haymarket Hotel’s dining suite, “which is really very good".
“It has been a great year for the games industry in the UK, it’s been a great year for development in the UK. Particularly if you were a major shareholder in Bizarre (Creations) or one of the Stamper brothers (of developer, Rare)
"But not Eidos
!” one wag shouts out. Cue second roll of laughter from the audience.
“As we are the great UK development scene, we are also one of the most efficient awards ceremonies you will ever see", Baverstock continued.
“We’ll do it very quickly, it will be on time, no one will be quite sure what we’ve delivered and we will certainly be out of contract by the end of it!" More laughter as only games developers laughing at a game-development in-joke can produce.
"So we have several awards tonight, including two new awards – the technology award and the new media award – which just proves how much more all-encompassing TIGA is becoming. Seriously, it has been a great year for us. We are picking up more members all the time and, for those of us that have been active in interacting with government and with other trade bodies we have actually finally realised just how much clout we have as an organisation".
Baverstock likens the TIGA awards to the PFA awards (the Professional Footballer’s Association awards): “It is members of the industry giving each other awards, and they are therefore that much more appreciated because there are no dodgy and corrupt deals, bungs or funny envelopes full of notes being passed around!”
Codemaster's Clive Cheshire
Editor of Develop Magazine
, Michael French, steps up to hand out the first award for ‘Best PC/Console Game developed by a TIGA member 2007’.
The nominations can be found in our 21st January story
With over a million units already sold, Gavin Cheshire from Codemasters Studios picks up the first award of the night for the superb Colin McRae: DiRT.
“It’s a great honour, thank you all very much", said, continuing, “It is of course a bit bittersweet, because with Colin McRae passing away last year – he was a massive influence and Codemasters and he will be sorely missed… we were all very shocked by that. But we really think that we did him proud with Colin McRae: DiRT
. I think, and I hope everyone will agree, that we came out with a pretty good game, it sold well and we’ve won an award. More than one, actually! But it’s great to be voted for by our peers. Thanks!”
Keef Sloan from TIGA’s PR company, Peppermint P, is up next to hand out the award for Best Handheld Game, with the nominations being Geometry Wars: Galaxies
(Double Six/Kuju), Crush
(Zoe Mode/Kuju Entertainment) and Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
Doublesix and Kuju Entertainment pick up the award for Geometry Wars: Galaxies
– their wonderful handheld adaptation of Bizarre’s highly original arcade shooter and, by far, my current favourite squeeze on the DS.
Fergus McNeill, CEO of Mobile Phone Developers, FinBlade
Peppermint P’s Simon Jones is next up, to present the Best Mobile Game, with the three games nominated being Championship Manager 2008
(Dynamo Games), Sonic Jump
(Airplay) and Tomb Raider Anniversary
(FinBlade). Finblade picks up the award for Tomb Raider Anniversary
, with CEO Fergus McNeil stepping up to collect the award, thank the guys on his team and offer additional thanks to Eidos New Media, “who it’s been great to work with".
TIGA’s soon-to-be new CEO, Richard Wilson, steps up to present the award for Best Technology 2007, with the nominations including the EGO Engine from Codemasters, water effects from Super Rub A Dub
from Sumo Digital and the AliceServer from Nice Tech.
"It’s great to have joined on the night of the fourth annual awards” notes Wilson, taking the first opportunity to address TGA members in a public forum.
"It’s good to meet lots of other TIGA members. I’m very keen to build on all the great work Fred has done with TIGA. I’m very keen to raise the profile of the industry in the mainstream media and to make sure that MPs, policymakers and MEPs are all aware of the importance of games development in the UK and Europe.
I want to make sure people in policy circles know that this is a highly successful industry with a lot to offer in terms of job creation, knowledge creation, wealth creation and – it’s important to point out that – although there are problems facing the sector, we should not forget that this is a success story, when we lobby for government to initiate measures to help our industry.”
Clive Cheshire from Codemasters steps up for a second time to pick up the Best Tech award for the studio’s stunning EGO Engine, first seen in Colin McRae: DiRT
and soon to make a second outing in Racedriver
later in 2008. Fully deserved.
“Well, EGO… it’s been absolute hell, if I’m honest!” Chesire admits, to laughs from the audience, “But I’m very proud of it, of what we’ve achieved".
Mick Morris, Audiomotion
Next up is the award for Best Cross Media Application, picked up by Mick Morris from Audiomotion who notes, “On behalf of all the staff back in Oxford, we are delighted to receive this from our peers. Our success is down to a lot of people in this room. A lot of our customers. You know who you are! Thank you".