Billy Kane, 23, from Rugby, has been named Graduate of the Year by The Independent Game Developers’ Association (TIGA) after impressing lecturers with his innovative design and collaboration skills.
Billy, who has created multiple 3D role playing games inspired by the likes of Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series, was nominated for the accolade, which recognises the country’s top gaming students, after graduating with a First-Class degree in Game Design from Staffordshire University.
He has thanked his former college lecturer, Shoubna Naika-Taylor at Coventry College, for spotting his potential and helping him to achieve a triple distinction-star to ensure he received an unconditional offer from Staffordshire, his first-choice university.
Billy, who is now enrolled on a Master’s programme at Teesside University, said: “I am extremely proud to have been named TIGA Graduate of the Year after three years of hard work and am excited to be taking the next step in my career with this kind of recognition behind me.
“I messaged Shoubna straight after finding out because I knew it would mean a lot to her, as she was always encouraging us to push ourselves and apply to university to see how far we could go with gaming.
“There was always a focus on industry and collaboration at Coventry College, which put the whole class in a great position to make the most of the resources available to us as we entered the next stages of our lives, including finding funding for projects and how to use it effectively.
“I would encourage all school leavers to consider taking the college route if they are passionate about something as there are always opportunities for people who work hard and have the qualifications to back that passion up.”
Shoubna, who is Curriculum Lead for Digital and Esports Manager at Coventry College, said: “Billy is one of my best ever students and his achievements are purely down to the level of commitment he puts into following his passion.
“He was always willing to go above and beyond to support his classmates and would constantly spend time out of class bettering himself and his knowledge of game design.
“We place a lot of emphasis on our students accessing the next level from college and encouraging them to think about how they can get the most out the industry.
“It’s no surprise that Billy has gone on to have a very successful time at University and we wish him all the best in the future.”