As some of you may have noticed, my participation in the organisation of IGDA Scotland has diminished greatly over the past few months. Partly this is because I have an increasing number of duties elsewhere with the organisation, such as with the IGDA Foundation, our charitable sister organisation working to enhance the lives of game developers all around the world. Partly its because after a long time of being relatively ignored in favour of projects within the game development community, the time has come for me to complete my PhD, so a lot of my day-to-day attention has been on that. And partly, its because since around May I have been in talks to join Zynga in San Francisco as a Senior Data Scientist, and I’m moving over there at the end of October. Life has been quite a whirlwind as I’ve tried to juggle these three things with my other responsibilities, and as a result something unfortunately had to fall by the wayside.
The time has come to formalise that and for the torch to be passed.
Going forwards, I will be taking a back seat advising the remainder of the Board of IGDA Scotland, and I will remain on that Board until I actually leave the country. However, we felt as a group that is made sense to begin the leadership change now.
So without further ado, I would love to introduce you to my successor, and the person who has been my right hand for the past year, Andrew Macdonald.
Andrew should be familiar to many of you as our “man in Dundee”, he’s also taken point on a number of our recent events and was responsible for almost all the behind-the-scenes preparation for the recent visit by Ed Fries. Andrew is completing his degree at Abertay and was awarded an IGDA Scholarship to attend GDC – like both myself and our chapter’s founder Hazel McKendrick.
A significant amount of the past year of the chapter is due to Andrew. We’re better organised, and in a better position because of his actions and I have complete faith in his ability to lead the chapter into its next iteration. You can always reach him using email@example.com and I would encourage you to please say hi over the coming weeks.
Of course, supporting Andrew we have our current board members Brian McDonald and Alex Wozniak, and I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we will shortly be holding elections to build our board team out and add a range of voices who can work to guide the chapter to continue to ensure that it is both relevant and engaging for the developers across our region.
It’s been a privilege to be involved in IGDA Scotland over the past three years. It’s been a lot of work too, but I have enjoyed interacting with so many of our different companies and organisations, developing friendships that I know are going to be life-long and trying my best to use my spare time to benefit the whole community. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and as I begin to step back from the chapter I’m starting to see things we could have done differently, or things we might have tried to address. As an organisation we continue to try our best, but unfortunately there’s only so much we can do given we are all volunteers, and we don’t always get things perfect or even necessarily right. When I look back though, on our involvement with GamesWest, the BBC Academy Games Expo, the Ed Fries event – and those just from the past year! – I’m filled with pride and hope. We have an excellent team very capable at putting together events, but I know that there’s more needed and more good to be done!
IGDA Scotland is in great hands, but it can only ever be as good as the community that supports it. Please get involved, even just to tell us what we should be doing. IGDA chapters around the world are communities of developers, put together by developers, and we want this to be as relevant, important and fun as we can make it!
Former Chair, IGDA Scotland