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Rookie Awards 2019 | Rookie of the Year

Game Design & Development Finalists

Projects entered can include any content specifically with the intention of contributing to a computer game. This includes models, environments, animations, fx elements, level design and more. The judges will be looking for the best creative and/or technical submissions for this massive category.

Keltic Vermeersch


Belgium | Digital Arts and Entertainment

The day I started highschool I knew that I wanted to study art, but coming from a big family my parents wanted me to first study two years of ASO (study in my country, more theory based) before they would consider letting me pick something that I would really like. After crunching those two years I still wanted to do the same, I wanted to create art. there was this school called KTA Brugge which had a learning curriculum called DAFE (Digital Arts Film and Entertainment) so my art journey began.

Jonathan Hemmens


United Kingdom | Falmouth University

When nothing else clicked, creating environment art did, and I've not stopped since.

William Chu


United States | Savannah College of Art and Design

I've always knew that my dream career was in art. I had always worked in 2D, doing graphic design, drawing, and photography. Around 6 years ago I took the plunge into 3D game art and I've been pursuing a career as an environment artist ever since.

Jonathon Ivall


Netherlands | University of Hertfordshire

I've always loved video games but never seriously considered making them my career until I enrolled in an illustration course in 2012. Luckily there were 3D taught classes alongside the traditional drawing lessons, and I quickly found myself enjoying the 3D side of things much more than I had expected. A few years later and I'm finally in the job of my dreams :)

Vinicius Mantovani Favero


Canada | Think Tank Training Centre

Since i discovered that i can actually work with what i love.

Thomas Ongo


Singapore | 3dsense Media School

Since I was kid, I grew up with tons of video games, but never thought that art can be a profession. I love art and science the most in my study, then I took Architecture degree. While at same time I watched a lot of CG videos and do self-taught about game development . Since 2015, that was on the 2nd year of my architecture degree study, I kept following my passion in this industry and this has already changed my mind.

Debora Coelho


Canada | Think Tank Training Centre

In my early teenage years when I found out that a course dedicated to games was about to open in my city. Considering that since my childhood I was always into games and couldn’t help but think how would be amazing if I could live in worlds such as those ones I saw. Well, in a certain way working with it allows me to do so. :)

Juras Rodionovas


Sweden | Futuregames

I enjoy immersing myself within my craft of character art and game development. I also like exploring and pushing character quality both visually and technically within restrictions of real-time rendering.

Marleen Vijgen


United Kingdom | University of Hertfordshire

I was always interested in character design, drawing day in day out.I had a very technological upbringing where arts were just a "hobby". I just did not realize I could make a career out of this, until I started looking for universities. I visited an open day at an art academy and saw that making those characters actually is a job! The film and games industry is a perfect combination between technology and arts.

Junliang Zhang


United States | New York Film Academy

Honestly, I have been playing video games for over 15 years since I was a kid. Especially, I really like AAA games because the AAA games stand for high-quality graphics and gameplay, which gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas to create awesome environments on my own. Therefore, my true interest is game art.

Alec Tucker


United States | California State University, Chico

I am a 3D Environment Artist who aims to create game environments that are immersive, unique and tell a thoughtful story. I mainly focus on modeling and texturing hard surface props, set pieces, and organic models for game environments. With a strong background in Cinematography for live action films, I apply my knowledge in lighting, composition, and color theory to the models and scenes I create.

Haw Jia Jun


Singapore | Nanyang Polytechnic

Ever since I was young, I've always been drawing but I didn't see it as a profession worth pursuing until the age of 17 when I discovered the entertainment industry and I was immediately hooked. I started out as a concept artist but I quickly realized that it wasn't something I'd enjoy doing in the long run and thus the switch to 3D where I think that you could accomplish so much more.

Erik Hammarbäck


Sweden | Futuregames

When I was 10 and picking up a guitar for the first time. I drawed alot as a kid but when I picked up that guitar something happened. I knew what I wanted to do. At least at the time I thought I did. I went to music schools and educations and was a musician until about three years ago. That's when I had had enough of touring and being away from family and friends almost all the time. I had found a passion that had grown stronger than music - 3D.

Daniela-Florina Moldoveanu


Spain | Escuela Superior de Comunicación, Imagen y Sonido (CEV)

Well, since I was very little I loved playing videogames and I always admired the people behind it,because I didn't understand how they make such a realistic model or game.Then a few years ago I decided that I wanted to be in that world and after studying and seeing all the process of a videogame I finally decided to make 3D characters and art.



I made a lot of short film with friends during my ten. With time, I developp a truly interest for VFX industry and visual art in general. So I decided to enter in a school to learn with professional and experimented people, all aspects of that world.

Mihai Muscan



While in high school, In the 10th grade I decided to take a 180* turn from studying bio-chemistry, in my preparation to enter med school, to this adventure. Never has been a day the same, literally. It started as a hobby and an escape from all the non sense real world had to offer and it just grew and grew. I still don't know what I'm doing, but I know where I am going. I'm going big I can tell you that.

Joe Seabuhr


United Kingdom | Sheffield Hallam University

After highschool I didn't know what to do, I was lazy and just wanted to do an easy course, I liked games i assumed games design would be easy, It wasn't. However I've loved the 3d side of it ever since.


Belgium | Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment

Back when I was 12 years old 16 ish years ago my passion was drawing and I dreamed of becoming a comic artist. But I then became involved with playing games and a friend of mine showed me the Digital Arts and Entertainment course at Howest, which was when I decided to pursue a career in games instead.

Tim Nijs


Netherlands | Breda University - IGAD - (NHTV)

When I was quite young (12) a friend of ours introduced me to Blender. I started to dabble into 3D, trying a bit of everything. I realized I liked 3d environment art the best. I was hugely inspired watching FZD on Youtube and knew I wanted to work in video games. At the moment I'm attending a Games visual art course at Breda University of applied sciences.


Netherlands | Breda University - IGAD - (NHTV)

As a child, I always had a wild fantasy, loved to draw and play games as much as I could without my parents knowing. Yet everyone always commented on how drawing won't pay my bills. Until one day I saw a video from FZD and he explained that he makes a living by drawing concept art for video and games. I was sold, making content for games seems like a dream come true. I started with concept art, moved to environment artist and now I'm sold on creating procedural content.

Jay Cummings


United Kingdom | Teesside University

Around 12 years ago, my brother picked up a copy of the PS2 Half-Life port, which inevitably led us both down the rabbit hole of Valve, Steam and PC gaming in general. Early on in secondary school, I played around with the different disciplines within games development, attempting programming, design and art - needless to say, art stuck with me the most. I started modelling boxes with XSI Softimage in 2010 and am now an aspiring environment artist, soon to be graduating from Teesside University.

Linus Scheffel



I was not really sure what I wanted to do until I decided to join a high school with one of my friends that had a focus on the creation of video games. After a while I started meeting some people at that school and my interest for the artistic side of games just started to grow.

Nicole Azzopardi


United States | Ringling College of Art and Design

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in art, specifically in the entertainment industry from a young age and made it my mission to study Game Art at Ringling College. I am passionate in staging and story telling through the layout and design of environments, focusing on even the smallest details that establish the believability of the world and the characters within it. I am captivated by the idea that art is more than design, but rather a whole experience and a means of communication

Mateo Linares


Canada | Red River College

I studied architecture and have worked professionally as an architectural designer. I am passionate about designing immersive, cinematic environments that still feel grounded in reality, crafting narratives through the use of environmental design. I currently work at Tangent Animation as a Surfacing Artist.

Tom Sandvik


Sweden | The Game Assembly

After struggling to figure out what to do in high school, I found a school that had a game art line which introduced to the world of making games . I quickly fell in love with making props and environments and has since then pursued a career in it.

Viktoriia Didenko


United States | Gnomon School of Visual Effects

The realization that I would like to work in creative media came to me three years ago, after I understood that being anybody else profession-wise, but an artist, is not my thing. I have been drawing since childhood and no way I am stopping to do it! :) So my desire to draw and express my ideas on paper(and then in 3D) brought me to this industry.

Peter Kostov


Belgium | Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment

While I always liked drawing and doodling in my school books, I never thought of working in the entertainment industry until I found a high school with a specialization on Multimedia / Game design. After graduating there, I knew for sure that I wanted to keep creating cool 3d stuff and make a living out of it. I also knew I had to step up my game and so I decided to leave Austria and join the Howest Digital Arts & Entertainment University in Belgium.

Brennan Howell


United States | Champlain College

For as long as I can remember I've always tried to spend my time either playing games or making art. I was probably about twelve when I realized that creating art FOR games was a possibility. From that point onward that became the only reasonable option for what I could spend the rest of my life doing.

Aaron Callander


United Kingdom | Southampton Solent University

I grew up loving art and videogames, and it wasn't until I was looking at University courses that I realised I could combine both. Since then I have always enjoyed working in and around the constraints of realtime, and love finding ways of improving my artwork.

Manuel Sitompul


Netherlands | Breda University - IGAD - (NHTV)

Games have always been a big interest for me. As a child I spent the majority of my time exploring the story and worlds of Zelda, Pokémon and Rayman. I got so immersed in these worlds that I decided to start making my own by playing with Game Maker and learning GML. My passion for games persisted over the years, so 2 years ago I decided to apply at a game development school to surro

Julie Beliveau


United States | Game Art Institute

I've always had an interest in video games. My realization came into focus when I started to dabble in making 3d models. I eventually started surrounding myself and talking to people who were novices and pros and found a passion for it. I'm pretty deep into it, and always interested in learning from people and talking about the future of art technology.

Nickolas Shepperd


United States | Think Tank Training Centre

I first realized that I wanted to work in the CG industry during my Sophomore year of college. I was struggling to find my way in the academic world. During the near endless studying of chemistry and biology I often found myself wanting to wonder the campus art buildings. Eventually, a grad student in sculpture reached out to me and showed me that there was more to art than just traditional "oil on canvas". My love for 3D simply grew from there.

Blackmagic Design
Chaos Group
Axis Studios
Epic Games
Weta Digital
Ninja Theory
NetherRealm Studios
Monolith Productions
Polygon Pictures
Rodeo FX
Electric Theatre Collective
Double Negative
Animal Logic
CG Cookie
3D Artist
3D World
Media temple
CG Record
Image Engine