IGDA Women in Games Ambassador applications are open!

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The IGDA Foundation’s Women in Games Ambassador program for GDC 2017 is now taking in applications. The program is open to women-identified IGDA Members who are over 18 years old and in full time undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral studies (or similar), or those who have graduated in the past 12 months prior to their application.

As with other IGDA Scholarships recipients will be provided with an all access GDC pass, a travel stipend, a week of insider events and access to Q&A sessions and group mentorships with industry professionals. The cutoff date for applications is the 30th of December 2016.

Scotland regularly punches above its weight when it somes to successful applicants, with one of the highest number of Scholars per capita. This year Scotland was represented by Kirsty Keatch at GDC Europe and Andrew Reid, Divij Sood and Caitlin Goodale at GDC, supported by the IGDA Foundation. Previous WiG Ambassadors from Scotland include Jess Hider, Zoë Sams and Caitlin Goodale.

Click here to apply for the program or find out more information on the WiG Ambassadors.

Meet our new Board of Directors

We hope you had a great night yesterday at our AGM and Social if you came along. We certainly had a fantastic night, so thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. We recapped what we achieved in 2016 and we’re really proud that we have put on or assisted with a total of 15 events this year! We think that’s a great year and we hope you could make it along to some of these events and enjoyed them too.

We shared our annual report during the AGM and you can review the slides below.

 

We also had a great time doing our game themed pub quiz! You can view our written questions below (we also had a picture and music round). How many can you get right?

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We have also announced the results of our recent Board Elections! We had 6 candidates applying to fill 3 available seats. We were really excited to announce the winning candidates: Zoe Sams, Steven Taarland  who will be joining the Board and Timea Tabori who was reelected to remain on the Board for another 2 years.

Our Board for 2017

 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to our outgoing Board members who have worked with us over the past years – Alice Rendell, Jon McKellan, Bert McDowell and Mark Hastings.

 

Thank you again for everyone involved in the Elections and the AGM. Keep an eye out for news about upcoming IGDA Scotland events in the New Year!

October Analytics Meeting Recap

In October we were in the Dundee Makerspace in the Vision Building where we heard from our guest speaker, Luke Dicken, about the what, why and how of Analytics. Luke was visiting us all the way from San Francisco and it was great to hear him share his expertise and fascinating insight.

We hope you enjoyed the discussion, but in case you missed it, you can catch the recording right here!

We look forward to seeing you at our AGM next week!

Interface Looking for Input to Support Games Sector

Caroline Parkinson, Sector Engagement Executive at Interface spoke at the IGDA Chapter meeting on 25th October in Dundee to introduce the work of Interface and her new role working with groups within the Creative Industries. Interface was established in 2005 and is the Scotland wide service supported by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and H&I Enterprise to stimulate industry interest in innovation and provide a free and impartial service connecting businesses to the right academic expertise. Recently the Scottish Government provided additional resource for Interface to work with groups of creative industries companies to tackle sectoral challenges, opportunities and ideas.

This new aspect of their service will help groups to identify a project, define the scope, conduct a search for academic expertise and support the group right through the selection process to project completion.  If additional capacity or resource is needed such as a student placement, or innovation vouchers or identifying sources of other funding Interface can also provide that advice and assistance.

Caroline is interested to hear from the IGDA group or small groupings within IGDA’s membership who may have an idea for a project be it a sector-wide challenge, or a specific issue or opportunity for a small group working within a particular specialism, or a new idea or market opportunity that a group considers would benefit from working with academia to realise.

She is looking forward to hearing from you and is contactable at; caroline.parkinson@interface-online.org.uk and will attend our AGM on the 22nd November.

Introducing our 2016 Election Candidates and Opening of Voting

We’re very happy to announce that the nominations for this year’s Board of Directors election are in, with a total of 6 candidates running for 3 open seats and the opportunity to directly shape the chapter’s future. These new directors will serve for up to 2 years, and join existing board members Mal Abbas, Tony Gowland, Jaime Cross and Andrew Macdonald.

 

This also means that the voting phase of the election process has begun, where IGDA members (with voting rights) can have their say on how the chapter is led, and the chance to decide who best represents their interests.  You are welcome to join us for the Annual General Meeting and Social (more info and Eventbrite TBA), where we will announce the election results and celebrate the past year.

To cast your vote, simply email us at info@igdascotland.org with your IGDA membership number and the name(s) of the candidate(s) you would like to vote for. You can vote for as many or as few as you choose.
Please return your votes ASAP, the deadline is 23:59 GMT on 18th November. Votes received after that time will not be counted. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on the 22nd November (more details TBA).

Even if you can’t vote, we encourage you to read the candidate statements to get an idea of where things might be going in the future:

  • Paul Leishman
  • Sandy Louchart
  • Emma Purvey
  • Zoe Sams
  • Steven Taarland
  • Timea Tabori

You can learn more about our election process by reading our 2016 Election Procedures Policy. If you’re an IGDA member with voting rights (i.e. not a student member), you should have been emailed about how to cast your vote. If you think you’re eligible to vote, but haven’t been sent voting instructions, please contact info@igdascotland.org.

  • Friday 18th November
    • Deadline for votes
  • Tuesday 22nd November
    • New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting

Introducing your 2016 election candidates:

Paul Leishman

12069009_10153731923865982_6053880342020443367_oAs the Games Producer at the digital content and magazine company, TeamRock; I know games are inspired and inspire other creative industries. Music, film, writing and art have all inspired games, and our industries work has played a part in there’s as well. Currently in Scotland we’ve an amazing creative culture but in practice haven’t really tapped into these other industries as much as we should. As an IGDA board member it would be my goal to create and in some cases renew these links to make sure members are getting the full benefit of our shared culture.

My Goals Would Be:

  • Establish stronger links between music, film, writing and art with the games industry.
  • Help our members be more involved with other creative industries so they can learn new skills and get inspired.
  • Setup workshops for members to learn about licencing laws that other creative industries have in place.
  • Look at helping smaller games business find and attract projects that are inspired or involve members from other creative business and professionals.
  • Work with other event organisers to make sure that games industry is being represented and to bring us closer to other creative industries.

Working at TeamRock I’ve already worked with musicians and artists to create games and in past roles worked with CGI specialists for TV projects. This experience is what I want to bring to the IGDA board and make sure the Scottish games industry benefits from the culture and creative industries that make up our creative community.

Sandy Louchart

louchart-picture_sqI am a senior research fellow at the Glasgow School of Art’s school of Simulation and Visualisation, where I lecture and research both games and serious games design. From an academic perspective, my research has been focused on understanding interactive storytelling in the context of games and Artificial Intelligence and engineering bridges between creative practitioners and the practical use of game technologies in other disciplines. I co-instantiated the RIDERS network between 2011 and 2015 (Research in Interactive Drama Environments, Role-play and Storytelling). This was an EPSRC funded project which aimed to build a network community of interactive digital storytelling experts (drama, computer programming, game-making live action role-play, etc) in the UK and abroad.

The game industry is one of the fastest growing industries globally. The success stories are built on both established and emerging innovations and a flexible approach to a rapidly evolving environment. As such, it is essential to preserve and develop links with education and research in order to provide access to a stream of qualified and skilled graduates and innovation-driven research institutions. I would aim, if elected on the IGDA Scotland board of directors, to engage with education and research institutions across Scotland in order to:

  1. Gain a better understanding of the provision of graduate and post-graduate courses relevant to the games industry in Scotland.
  2. Engage and connect IGDA industry members with innovative research taking place locally.
  3. Advocate, across disciplines, a positive vision of the role, contributions and benefits of games and supporting industries in the Scottish innovation and creative landscape.

I would aim, as a member of the board, to initiate outreach activities exploring the benefits and opportunities associated with game development to equal and diverse audiences, from school-aged children and local communities to research groups in leading Scottish institutions. Furthermore, I would encourage members to act towards representing the needs and diversity of the Scottish game industry to decision-makers and local authorities in Scotland.

Emma Purvey

prof-picI have worked in Talent Management within the Scottish games industry for 13+ years, leading established and emerging games studios in people management and talent attraction.
Through my time in the games industry I have an innate appreciation of the importance of nurturing and engaging with creative talent in the games sector.

I feel this lends itself well to the goals of IGDA and its membership.

Working with Outplay over the last 5 years to grow the studio from 2 founders to a world class team of over 150, I am also acutely aware of the challenges but also the opportunities the Scottish Game Dev sector has in attracting and retaining talent.

Therefore my motivation in joining the IGDA board would be to progress these 2 areas within the chapter.  I would utilise my experience in training and development, recruitment, diversity, education, accessing support for growth, marketing, branding, managing communities and external outreach to help grow the chapter and its influence and reach with in and out with Scotland.

Zoe Sams

profile_scaled_sqI’m Zoe, a full-time tools programmer, and have been professionally involved with the games industry for just over a year now. I studied at both Abertay University and Bournemouth University, where I threw myself into volunteering with the university’s game development society and the Southern Independent Games Network. While studying for my masters, I was fortunate enough to be awarded a place as one of the inaugural IGDA Foundation Intel Scholars to attend GDC in San Francisco. I’d love to be able to give back to the community that gave me so much, and I’m confident I can do that on the board.

Having experienced other games initiatives and IGDA chapters around the UK, in my opinion the Scottish chapter has one of the most involved communities, creating a vast and diverse support network. This network connects all areas of the games industry, from those working professionally to students and hobbyists. One thing I’ve noticed from attending or volunteering at monthly events is that the community itself is evolving, and that neighbouring industries and interdisciplinary sectors are now more interested in the games community than ever. This is something that could be used heavily to our advantage – either by bringing in outside expertise to speak at events, or for us to host full networking events for funding and project collaboration.

As a STEM Ambassador, I’m also extremely keen to further the relationship of the IGDA not only with the academic community, but communities of young learners who may simply not know that they have the potential of having a career within the games industry. I have always been passionate about both art and mathematics, but the modular means of education meant I was almost oblivious to the idea that these subjects could be combined until the end of my time in high school.

Finally, while I feel the IGDA continues to focus on extremely important issues that exist within our industry, we need to ensure that there is also diversity in the range of events we offer. Talks and panels on a wide array of topics are interesting, but can stagnate, and we should begin looking into alternative presentation options to keep members and the general community active and engaged.

Thank you for your consideration.

Steven Taarland

code-steven-taarland_sqI currently work at Tag Games Ltd. Dundee where I have had the opportunity to work on several commercial mobile projects. I also develop games as part of Insert Imagination, where we are currently developing To-Tum, a mobile puzzle games, as well as being able to attend several events including GDC 2016 and Develop 2015, as well as participating in Dare to be Digital in 2014, and showcasing To-Tum at Dare to be Digital 2014 and 2015, Games are for Everyone, and XPO North 2015.

I recently founded the Scottish Rainbow Game Dev group, a group to collaborate, debate and discuss anything you want among Scottish LGBT+ Game Developers. This group was created to allow a free and open space to discuss games development, interests, and issue within the industry with like minded individuals. As part of this i organised #RainbowJam16, a two week game jam to promote LGBT+ diversity in the game industry. The jam was hugely successful, raising nearly £4000 in prizes for winners, as well as having participants from across the globe taking part!

As a LGBT member of the games industry in Dundee, Scotland, I feel that sharing my experience in the Scottish/UK industry is crucial for other potential members of the community. I had very few local role models in the industry that represented minorities, so I believe it is hugely important for more LGBT role models represented in games academia and from British game development studios. I believe the industry has the potential to be inclusive of minorities, and as the games industry is constantly changing I feel it is important that we explore issues within the industry, specifically at this time a lack of diversity within a lot of studios.

My goals as a potential board member of IGDA Scotland would be to promote and encourage more diverse voices from across the Scottish Industry, by actively promoting people with diverse backgrounds to get involved with IGDA events, whether that be just attending events, being parts of talks or panels, or playing a more active role within the organisation.

Thank you for your consideration for the IGDA Scotland Board!

Timea Tabori

timea_small_sqI am an Engine Programmer at Rockstar North and have been involved with IGDA Scotland for a few years now – starting as a volunteer in 2013, joining the Board of Directors in 2014 and having served as Chair this past year.
I would love to return to the Board to continue some of the great work IGDA Scotland have been doing. Given the opportunity to resume my work on the Board I aim to focus on continuing the streak of regular monthly events we put on this year and working to continuously improve the quality, and reach of those events. I see IGDA Scotland meetups as opportunities to connect creatives around Scotland, across disciplines and industries through which we can not only share knowledge but build a stronger and more supportive community. Being a previous IGDA Scholar myself, I can definitely say that the organisation has helped me in my professional career and the connections and experiences I gained through my time at IGDA Scotland have truly had a great influence on me. I will aim to help build a community where not only more people but a more diverse group of people can benefit from our work.

I will work towards ensuring the work of the chapter is sustainable by securing sponsorship and funding to cover venue costs for regular meet ups. I would also love to see the chapter organise more varied events to engage new audiences and cater for different interests and goals. I want IGDA Scotland to be a medium through which we can encourage more women to be an active and integral part of the game dev community. I want us to provide diverse opportunities for growth and celebrate achievement. I want us to foster closer relationships between developers and academia, and also independent developers, AAA developers and students.
If given the opportunity to return to my position on the Board I would make it my goal to foster a more interconnected game dev community.

Thank you for your consideration.

September Game Jams Meetup Recap

In September we came to MegaBytes in Glasgow to host a series of microtalks about Game Jams. We had three wonderful speakers sharing their insights and experience on the topic:
Steven Taarland talked about organising and running the Rainbow Game Jam, Team Curvish shared their journey from game jam project to getting ready to release a more polished product, and Brian McDonald discussed his work with the Global Game Jam and what is involved in organising a huge global event.

We hope you enjoyed the discussion, but in case you missed it, you can catch the recording right here!

Watch Steven’s talk here:

Watch Team Curvish’ talk here:

And watch Brian’s talk here:

We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

IGDA Scholarships Applications for GDC 2017 Open!

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Applications for IGDA Scholarships for GDC 2017 are open! We would like to encourage any students or those of you who graduated within the past 6 months to find out more and apply.

The IGDA Scholarships are a great opportunity for students involved in games development courses, and other related disciplines, to attend an industry event and receive mentorship from members of the videogame community in order to help kickstart their careers.

Receipients of this year’s scholarships to the 2017 Game Developers Conference will receive all-access passes to GDC 2017, industry mentors and tours of local studios to help them make the most of their experience as well as a travel stipend to help with travel and accommodation costs.

GDC is the world’s largest professionals-only videogame industry event, and features over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on a wide variety of topics led by industry experts and luminaries.

Scotland has a fantastic success rate and one of the highest number of Scholars per capita. This year Scotland was represented by Kirsty Keatch at GDC Europe and Andrew Reid, Divij Sood and Caitlin Goodale at GDC, supported by the IGDA Foundation.

Find out more and apply here!