#ScreenScot Saturday – July

July saw the introduction of IGDA Scotland’s take on screen shot saturday – #ScreenScot. We’ve set out to retweet all those tagged with #ScreenScot on twitter with the intention of demonstrating what the Scottish Games Industry has to offer.

https://twitter.com/IGDAScotland/status/878560858993045504

Below is some of the incredible work submitted to us this month. It’s great seeing developers use the hashtag multiple times to display the progress they’ve made on their work or the multiple projects they’re invested in.

Ant Workshop has been busy this month, releasing the hilariously accurate “Taps Aff!” and developing other titles for the Nintendo Switch.

Pocket Sized Hands have been showing us what it means to take an idea from concept through to implementation.

Rebound has been touring, displaying at both Insomnia X Resonate and 4TG GameCon.

Thanks to all that have been getting involved in #ScreenScot Saturday, we love seeing your work and encourage you to keep engaged! See all the #ScreenScot posts from the 24th June – 29th July here.

https://twitter.com/oil_weedoor/status/891212745093390339

DYW Looking for Games Professionals to Engage with Schools

DYW-Thumb

Developing the Young Workforce are looking for games industry professionals to engage with schools, teachers and pupils in order to build a better understanding of games industry career paths and opportunities.

Developing the Young Workforce is a Scottish Government strategy which aims to help young people get the right skills and experience to move from education into employment. There are 21 regional DYW groups who are helping implement this strategy, working locally to meet the needs of their region.

DYW brings education and business together to support local young people and the local economy, through better informing  young people about the world of work and helping create skills pipelines and address skills shortages.

DYW groups work to connect business and education, and can facilitate a variety of engagement opportunities. This could range from offering visits and talks at your work space, to supporting team challenges, offering CPD to teachers so that they can offer their students the best possible learning experience, to giving advice on interviews. DYW work closely with employers and education to make sure every approach is flexible and tailored to meet their needs.

If you are interested in working with young people, teachers or lecturers local to you, let them know or connect with your local DYW team. http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/developing-young-workforce/

Women’s 10k run in Glasgow for SpecialEffect

Looking for a fun way to spend a Summer Sunday afternoon AND help raise money for charity?

Our friends at SpecialEffect have just five places left on their running team for the hugely popular Great Women’s 10k in Glasgow on Sunday 4th June! Get in touch now to reserve your space and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of the largest women’s only running event in Scotland, while raising vital funds to help support our work with disabled gamers across the UK. Contact Tom Donegan via events@specialeffect.org.uk

More info about the event can be found here.

 

SE_Logo_Orange_Strap_WebRes

SpecialEffect enable severely disabled people to use computers in any way possible – using whichever part(s) of their body that work best – by adapting technology to their individual needs. It’s so important they can join in with family/friends, to be included and not left out. This can hugely benefit rehabilitation, mental wellbeing, self-esteem and quality of life – and much needed FUN!

We specialise in Eye Control Technology. Imagine: You wake up after an accident. You can’t move anything except your eyes. And you can’t speak. Through eye-movement alone, we help people operate a computer so they can communicate and regain a little independence – giving them a voice when they don’t have one of their own.

We feel very honoured to work with such extraordinary, inspiring people who in the most testing of circumstances, somehow display such fortitude, courage and resilience. Every day we’re moved by their exceptional character, which inspires us to keep doing everything we possibly can to enable them to get the most out of life in their own particular situation.

Tom, a young lad we helped wrote simply: “I just want to thank you for giving me my life back.

Llaura Ash McGee – Scholars @ GDC 2017

With GDC fast approaching, we’ve dedicated this week to all representation from Scotland attending the conference thanks to IGDA Foundation programs. To round up our celebration of scholars, we have an interview with Llaura Ash McGee. Llaura is one of the inaugural recipients of the Next Gen Leaders Program.

llaura

What do you do?

I make games! I run an independent studio in Dublin, DREAMFEEL, and we’re known for games like ‘CURTAIN’, which follows the unhealthy relationship between two women in a Glasgow punk band, our upcoming game ‘If Found, Please Return’, in which you erase the universe, and art installations like ‘Fluc’ that let participants relax inside a rainy tent and warp the rain to create visual art. You can find my work at http://dreamfeel.org and I’m on twitter @dreamfeelx. I also run events in Ireland, help people make games and lecture in the Dublin Institute of Technology. My interests lie in experimental and expressive video games.

Where are you from/what is your connection to Scotland?

I’m from Donegal on the North West coast of Ireland, but I lived and worked in Scotland for a number of years. I studied at Abertay in Dundee on the MProf Masters programme in 2011 and 2012 while I worked on my own indie games, and then I worked in a startup games company Secret Lunch on the game PS4/PC game Shu for almost a year. After these experiences I returned and based myself in Ireland, but I have a lot of connections to indie folks and friends in Scotland and it holds a special place for me.

Why did you choose to apply to IGDA Scholarships specifically?

I got two student scholarships in 2012, which brought me to America and help me meet the wider game development community. I was very grateful for the experience and since 2014 I’ve helped by judging student entries for them. This year they started a new program called ‘Next Gen Leaders’ for folks from minority and marginalized backgrounds who have been working in the industry for a few years. I was really excited for this initiative, and the chance to meet and learn from a really diverse and interesting group of people.

What are you most looking forward to at GDC?

I’m looking forward to exploring the Alternate Controller section of the expo floor, and the narrative summit in the talks. However, most of all I’m exiting to meet and talk with new people and to see old friends again!

Is there a specific goal you’re hoping to achieve at GDC?

I’m taking my latest game ‘If Found, Please Return’ and showing it to publishers and planning for the future of DREAMFEEL. Most of all my goal is to learn and come back even more excited to make mind blowing games.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Create the art and the video games you want to see in the world. Make weird, personal and interesting work, then support those who do. And try to look after yourself in the present as well! <3

Kirsty Keatch – Scholars @ GDC 2017

With GDC fast approaching, we’ve dedicated this week to all representation from Scotland attending the conference thanks to IGDA Foundation programs. Kirsty Keatch is our next featured scholar! Kirsty has been selected as one of 2017s Women In Games Ambassadors.

Kirsty_Polka

What do you do?

My speciality is implementing mobile game audio but I have a few other tricks up my sleeve. People are used to associating sounds with places, events, actions, so my work explores interactions around all the different things sound and music can be, whether playing with intersections between art, sound and digital technologies or blurring boundaries between artist, player and performer.

I’m currently working with assistive music technology company Skoogmusic, a recipient of the UK Games Fund, to develop a music game using the Skoog as controller. I’m still researching a lot of ideas as I’ve just finished university. I have a sound installation which has been commissioned by Edinburgh International Science Festival, so I’m still excited to discover where my personal professional development might take me next.

Where are you from/what is your connection to Scotland?

I’m Scottish, all my family are from Dundee and I went to the University of Edinburgh to do Music Technology and then a Masters in Sound Design by research. I spent a lot of time out of Scotland as a child and as a result I feel very European. What I like about Scotland is that it has such a close knit creative community that nurtures and supports creative talent.

Why did you choose to apply to IGDA Scholarships specifically?

I chose to apply for an IGDA scholarship because I was inspired by the stories of other students who had gone over from Scotland in the past few years and how they benefitted from the experience, thanks to the support of the IGDA. Had it not been for these local success stories, I wouldn’t have believed I would be able to cut through on a global scale.

What are you most looking forward to at GDC?

I’m going to GDC like a tiny fish that wants to see what else is going on in the ocean.
I’m going armed with an enormous sense of curiosity because it is such a unique opportunity to find out about games and what else they can be. There aren’t many people researching game audio in Scotland and we rely a lot on online communities so I’m looking forward to actually meeting some of those people in real life. At the same time, I think I might be so inspired by other things I’m likely to come away with an entire change of career direction in mind.

Anything else you’d like to add?

A couple of years ago I don’t think I would have had enough experience and understanding of games to get the most out the conference. I’ve read the blogs of girls who have gone before me and I think that’s helped to prepare me. It’s a huge honour to be chosen as a Women in Games Ambassador and I won’t take a moment for granted!

Mona Bozdog – Scholars @ GDC 2017

With GDC fast approaching, we’ve dedicated this week to all representation from Scotland attending the conference thanks to IGDA Foundation programs. Next up in our run up to GDC we have Mona Bozdog. Mona is one of this years IGDA Foundation Women in Games Ambassadors.

mbozdog

What do you do?

I am so ridiculously lucky to do an applied PhD which allows me to combine two of my favourite things in the world: games and performance, and four of my ultimate favourite activities: reading, making, playing and writing. I am a theatre maker, a playwright and dramaturg who occasionally directs. My PhD, by its long title: Connecting Performance and Play. Establishing interdisciplinary design methods for the development of games and performance, is a partnership between Abertay University, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, The National Theatre of Scotland and The Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities. Which means that I am based at Abertay University in Dundee but benefit from resources and mentorship from all four institutions. What I am really trying to do is to draw on knowledge from both fields and develop interesting and meaningful (I hope) experiences for audience/players. I am a firm believer that the two fields can benefit so much from looking and learning from one another. Just think of the potential of combining all the sensory information that our bodies receive in a physical environment with the infallibility and the almost limitless potential of virtual environments. This is what gets me really excited.

Where are you from/what is your connection to Scotland?

I am from Romania, from the beautiful North-West, known to the world as Transylvania. No, no vampires please! I came to Scotland in 2012 to do an MLitt at Glasgow University in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. I fell in love with Scotland in general and one bearded Scot in particular and here I am four years later. I lived and worked in Glasgow for three years and moved to Anstruther when I started the PhD, in 2015. I know what you are thinking right now, fish and chips! But I love the East Neuk, the sea, the fog horns, the walks, the lot, really!

Why did you choose to apply to IGDA Scholarships specifically?

I never dreamt that I will actually get selected. I am a theatre maker who has just started to explore the potential of game design. But in theatre, as well as in the games industry (and everywhere else for that matter), nothing gets me more passionately vocal than diversity, equality, and justice. This feeds right into my other soft spot, which is this ridiculous and COMPLETELY unjustified belief, that some people seem to hold, that creativity resides in some sort of genius-bestowing creature that descends on some people while ignoring others. I think this is (if you’d excuse my Latin fiery-passion), absolute rubbish. All people are creative, and all people have a creative voice. It is just that some have been encouraged to express those voices more than others. Or had more time and resources to express them, than others. Or have been held down by disbelief, by not believing that they have anything worth saying. You are not creative enough, or talented enough, or good enough. Or why would anyone listen to what you have to say? Or who cares? IMG_0706
Well, I care! Because I can only see the world through my own eyes and that is
inaccurate, limited, and a tad boring, to be completely honest. I want to see how it looks like through your eyes. I want to see/hear/feel what others feel, and think, how they see and what they’ve been through. That’s how I understand to understand the world, to enlarge one’s field of vision. The world looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes different to every single one of us, and that is what creativity is, finding a way of sharing that with others. And the barrier to entry for women in finding and expressing that creative voice is high! The barrier to entry for women expressing any kind of voice is high. Which means that the image we now have of the world is one-sided, flawed, skewed and incomplete. This is why I feel so completely humbled to receive the Women in Games Ambassador scholarship. Because I do feel like women everywhere need to be supported and encouraged to speak, speak up and speak loudly. IGDA and IGDA Foundation are amazing for doing this, for providing this support and encouragement for new voices to rise and be heard.

What are you most looking forward to at GDC?

The blushing, the fidgeting, the fear of looking stupid, the nervous giggling. All these things that happen when you are constantly surrounded by the people that you greatly admire. I only started learning about games a year ago, so most of the speakers and attendees at GDC are the people who helped shape the way I think about games. Add the amazing sessions and tutorials in Design and Game Narrative, the Experimental Gameplay workshop and the Alt.Ctrl.GDC Showcase, a bit of sunshine and San Francisco and you get an idea of how terribly exciting this countdown really is.

Is there a specific goal you’re hoping to achieve at GDC?

Well advocating is part of who I am so I guess I take that with me everywhere I go.
In October I designed a live experience on Inchcolm Island that was based on Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2012) which was an amazing learning curve and offered me so much strength for pushing my research further. I am working towards the development of a game and a performance that are designed to accompany and complement each other, so I would really like to talk about that, and get as much feedback and input as I possibly can. The research never sleeps.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Play nice and be kind to each other.

James Wood – Scholars @ GDC 2017

With GDC fast approaching, we’ve dedicated the next few days to all representation from Scotland attending the conference thanks to IGDA Foundation programs. We’re kicking off our week of feature posts with an interview with James Wood. James is one of this years IGDA Scholars.

jwoodWhat do you do?

I am in my last semester of study as a Computer Games Technology student at Abertay University here in Dundee. In my free time I attend as many game dev related events as possible, volunteering and jamming when I’m able. I just returned from a weekend in Belgium helping out at the Screenshake festival there which was very fun and inspiring! Whenever I’m travelling or feeling exhausted I tend to work on tiny personal projects. Everything from twitter bots to custom controllers. I love finding the interesting intersections of maths and art and programming helps me to unwind. I also spend an evening every fortnight at the local Code Club assisting kids as they make little games and interactive experiences.

Where are you from/what is your connection to Scotland?

I was born and raised in West Linton, a small village near Edinburgh, often people are surprised when I tell them I’ve lived in Scotland my entire life because my accent does not reflect my heritage. When I was entering high school my family moved away to South Africa for a year and I gained a twinge of their wonderful accent leaving me in limbo. Often people swear I’m American or Australian but in my mind I’m Scottish and I have the kilt and decades of country dancing to prove it.

Why did you choose to apply to IGDA Scholarships specifically?

Upon moving to Dundee to study I was excited to begin networking with other developers and very quickly learned about the IGDA through the University. They asked for volunteers to help at a night of talks hosted by Abertay. I leapt on the opportunity and when the event came about it was everything I’d hoped and more. The organisers and speakers were so welcoming and willing to discuss all the questions we had. Even though we were first years and these were industry veterans they treated us like old friends. I’ve only ever had wonderful experiences volunteering at IGDA events and without them I would have missed out on so much. The scholarships are a brilliant programme and the IGDA give their scholars so much more than a trip to GDC with all the different opportunities out with the conference.

What are you most looking forward to at GDC?

I am very excited to meet some of the creators who have inspired me throughout my life and to see them discuss their passion at the various talks. Perhaps even more alluring is the prospect of discovering new developers who are thriving in small independent collectives around the world and learn about their process. As well as independent developers I am also fascinated by virtual/augmented/mixed reality and games for education. Hopefully at GDC I can get insight into the bleeding edge of these technologies and research fields. I am also looking forward to exploring the city, attending some parties and perhaps finding an arcade to sink some quarters into.

Is there a specific goal you’re hoping to achieve at GDC?

After graduation I plan to join a local collective along with two long time collaborators. We hope to sustain ourselves by creating and distributing small games finding funding and work for hire when necessary. Although we have spent time researching our options and approach I know GDC will give me the opportunity to meet creators already in collectives and learn about the challenges they have faced and overcome. By the end of the conference I hope to have a network of developers in similar set ups as well as a new understanding of how to make ends meet as an independent today.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I urge anyone who has begun making games or studying in the hopes of joining a studio to find the nearest place you can volunteer. Volunteering is a brilliant way to meet new people, learn new skills and most of all help out in any small way you can. Through volunteering I’ve met some of my closest friends, collaborators and mentors and been to more events than I can count