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Norwich academic receives European accolade

A prominent Norwich academic has been inducted into the European Women in Games Hall of Fame. Marie-Claire Isaaman, who is Course Leader of the BA Games Art and Design degree course at Norwich University of the Arts, received the accolade alongside King Studio Head Catharina Lavers Mallet at the European Women in Games Conference.

Marie-Claire Isaaman with WIGJ

(L – R) Marie-Claire Isaaman, Course Leader of BA Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts; Catalina Lou, awards presenter and Head of Publishing of EA’s Free2Play Games; and Catharina Lavers Mallet, Head of Studio at King.

Marie-Claire says: “I‘m delighted to receive this award. It’s wonderful to get recognition for the work we do at Norwich University of the Arts in nurturing and supporting talent into the games industry and I see this not only as an award for myself but for both my course team and my students.”

The European Women Hall of Fame awards were established to honour the women who have made an outstanding contribution to the European games industry. Existing Hall of Fame winners are Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director of Little Big Planet developer Media Molecule; Ouat Entertainment CEO Frederique Doumic; and Louise Murray, Production Director at Fable III producer Lionhead Studios.

The BA Games Art and Design course at NUA has also celebrated graduate successes over the summer. 2014 graduate Bradley Johnson has been named as one of 21 students to receive funding through the British Academy of Film and Television Arts scholarship programmes. Bradley will receive £3,000 towards studying MA Moving Image and Sound at NUA. Bradley’s work can be viewed at www.bradleymj.com.

Student at BAFTA

NUA student and BAFTA scholarship recipient Bradley Johnson

Bradley says: “It’s a massive boost to my confidence in achieving my goals of working in pre-production. After recently retraining, leaving an established career as an architectural draftsman, it’s given me confirmation that I made the right choice to follow my passion for being a creative artist and designer in film and games. On top of the financial aspect, the mentorship is invaluable and I am looking forward to the insights and knowledge that I will gain from being mentored by an established industry professional.”

Future Fossil Studios, co-founded by 2011 graduate Phil Barrowclough, won the Creative Scotland Ground-Breaking Innovative Game Award at the Dare Protoplay games festival in Dundee. The studio was awarded a prize worth £25,000 to develop its game The Climb, due for release in 2015.

Future Fossil Studios

NUA graduate Phil Barrowclough (left) at Future Fossil Studios

Phil says: “The support I received from the course tutors at NUA both as a student and a graduate has been invaluable. Studying at NUA, I was surrounded by other talented creative students who supported and learned from each other. In particular, the communication and teamwork skills I developed during my course I now apply in my everyday job.”

One of the three student teams from NUA to make the final 15 of international games development competition Dare to be Digital also won an award this summer. Team A Fox Wot I Drew, which includes graduates Dominic Littler, Kai Creedon and Cian McNabola, was awarded the Design in Action award for their game prototype Baum. The team will receive financial support and mentoring to bring their game to market by the end of the year.

screenshot

Prototype screenshot of Baum

Dominic says: “We have set ourselves up as a company and plan on continuing to work on Baum over the coming months with the hope that we can make a Christmas release. We are investing the grant in making Baum a polished and professional game that people will love playing.”

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