Steven Taarland – Scholars @ GDC 2018


With GDC finally here, 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 Steven Taarland. Steven is one of this year’s recipients of the Next Gen Leaders Program.

Hey Steven – What do you do?

I am a associate producer at Abstraction Games in the Netherlands. Prior to 2018 I was a associate producer at Tag Games in Dundee, Scotland. I am also currently a board member of IGDA Scotland.

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

I moved to Dundee in 2010 to study Computer Game Application Development at Abertay University. After graduating I took part in Dare to be Digital. After Dare i continued to live in Dundee and took a job as a junior programmer at Tag Games. In 2016 I started the Scottish Rainbow Game Developers Group, a group for LGBTQ+ developers and students in Scotland to network and connect. This eventually led to running Rainbow Game Jam, an LGBT+ Game Jam.

Why did you choose to apply to IGDA Scholarships specifically?

During my time at University I attend lots of IGDA Scotland events, and saw the opportunities IGDA Scholarships opened up for individuals over the years. Since the IGDA Next Gen Leaders scholarship is essentially aimed at individuals like myself, I jumped at the opportunity.

What are you most looking forward to at GDC?

I’m looking forward to meeting new people and old friends, to see some of the great talks and panels that have been lined up, and to generally just enjoy the week.

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

Over the last few years i have switched from Programming to Production in my career, and I applied to the IGDA Next Gen Leaders scholarship as it will allow me the opportunity to further grow my skill set as a producer, to meet and learn from my fellow scholars, as well as be able to meet other incredible developers from all over the world.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If anyone out there is interested in getting involved with IGDA or IGDA Scotland please reach out to anyone on the board and consider volunteering. For me volunteering and being part of the board have been huge stepping stones, and I imagine incredibly helpful in my application. For anyone attending GDC this year, have fun! Its a great opportunity, try not to burn yourself out doing too much. Finally if anyone reading this would like to join the Unofficial GDC Scottish breakfast please message me on Twitter (@steventaarland) 😀

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