Author Archives: Alice Rendell

IGDA Scotland July Meeting – Save the Date!

Thanks to all who came to our June meeting in Glasgow, we heard some great talks about exhibiting at events from Andrew Dyce and Craig Fairweather (We Throw Switches), Steven Taarland (Insert Imagination) and Tony Gowland (Ant Workshop), chaired by Jon McKellan (No Code). We really appreciate you coming along and sharing your advice with everyone and making it such an informative event.

If you weren’t able to come then you can listen to the talks here.

There is also an excellent write-up of the event by Stephen McCallum on Gamasutra here.

This month we will be heading back to Codebase in Edinburgh on 19th July for another one of our regular monthly meetups. And this month’s theme is Audio! We will be putting together a collection of audio-experts to share with you their experiences and advice. There will also be the usual open-floor for announcements before the talks if you have any news you’d like to share.

If you would like to give a talk or want get in touch with us about anything to do with the event you can do so on

We will also be giving you another chance to get your hands on some free tickets to RESONATE – Glasgow’s upcoming eSports and gaming festival –  which we will be raffling off on the night.

Tickets for July’s meeting are free and available now!

Eventbrite - IGDA Scotland Annual General Meeting 2014

Please join us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with any announcements.

Shahid Ahmad Talk – Recap

On the 24th May we were delighted to welcome Shahid Ahmad to Dundee, where he gave an inspirational talk about his phenomenal career in games and shared his advice for both established and aspiring game developers.

Shahid gave a heartfelt talk about his years in the industry, explaining how his fascination with early game consoles inspired him to learn programming at a young age in order to make his own games. Shahid talks about the love he had for programming at this time, and how it enabled him to maintain a degree of control in amidst childhood situations which were ultimately uncontrollable. After establishing himself as a talented game developer Shahid eventually moved to Playstation, where he worked as a Developer Relations Manager, spending many successful years meeting with developers and securing games for the platform. The talk was filled with anecdotal examples of Shahid’s own experience, which danced between both the comical and the heart-wrenching. Using standout moments from his career, Shahid shared his practical advice in regards to success, reputation and pitching, from the point of view of someone who has lived, learned and evolved during their career.

Shahid spoke candidly about his own ‘mistakes’ during his career and shared the wisdom that followed. For instance, the necessity to be nice and respectful when talking with peers and clients, to be able to deliver on the promises you make, and to allow yourself to evolve with the ever changing circumstances of life in order to be the best you can be.

We want to thank Shahid for sharing with us his invaluable experience and providing us with a wonderfully entertaining talk. We’d also like to thank our partners for this event; Abertay University and Henderson Loggie.




IGDA Scotland June Meeting – Save the Date!

We will be returning to Glasgow on the 22nd June for one of our regular monthly meetups. Join us at Megabytes for the usual talks and announcements, then stick around afterwards for a drink and natter with everyone.

Our theme this month is Exhibiting and we would like to get a good mix of people together to discuss their tips and experiences covering all manner of showcasing at events. This could be from small indie games, right the way through to big-budget AAA projects. And if you are one of the people reading this thinking “hey, I’m going to be doing a bunch of that at E3!” then we would love you to come along and share your experience. Just get in touch with us at

We also have a special giveaway this month. Our lovely friends at RESONATE – Glasgow’s upcoming eSports and gaming festival –  have given us some free tickets, which we will be raffling off on the night.

Tickets for the meetup to be released very soon! In the meantime you can follow any updates on Twitter or join us on Facebook.

Monthly Meetings – Call for Speakers!


Our monthly meetings will be starting up again in March and we are looking for speakers to join us. For those who have attended our meetings in the past they are a great opportunity for game devs to share their expertise with the rest of the community. If you have a subject you would like to talk about then please get in touch with us on, telling us a little bit about yourself, a summary of the talk you would like to give, and state the city you would like to speak out (Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dundee). The types of topics we would be looking for are:

  • Technical tips or tutorials
  • Discipline related insights (design, audio, etc.)
  • Game Postmortems
  • General development advice

Look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!
More information about the date and location of our next monthly meeting to follow shortly.

International Ambassador Scholarships for GDC 2016


The International Ambassador program is a Scholarship giving free passes to Game Developers Conference San Francisco to people who are a part of the game industry or want to be a part of the game industry. In addition to the free pass, you will make connections with other Scholarship members from all over the world! Enhance and expand your personal network in the global gaming industry! GDC San Francisco takes place March 14th-18th, 2016.

They will all need one reference from someone who is not a family member. This person should, if possible, be someone in the game industry, a game development community leader, or a university professor.

The International Ambassadors Scholarship was created by a group of long time volunteers of the Game Developers Conference who wanted to increase the amount of International Attendance at the Game Developers Conference and create a new network of game developers worldwide. The International Ambassadors will also have an annual online conference before the Game Developers Conference.

Scholarship winners will still have to take care of their own travel and accommodation expenses. They also must have a valid passport. We will supply winners with a letter from the conference that will help them obtain a Business Visa to travel to the United States.

Please apply at the link below.

Deadline for Applications is December 1st!!
Please send any questions to

AGM and Pub Quiz!


As the year starts to wrap up for the holidays, and as our ongoing Board of Directors elections draw to a close, you’re invited to join us at our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 25th November from 19:30 at South Tay Superstore in Dundee. Here we will announce our new Board Members as well as reflect on what our community has accomplished over the course of the last year.

This year we will also be doing a special game-themed pub quiz, so dig deep on all that obscure video-game knowledge you’ve been keeping up your sleeves for just such an occasion. Tickets for the quiz are limited, however tickets to the event are not! So even if you don’t get to join in the quiz you can still come along to the Superstore and play on some of their old retro consoles or ping-pong table.

Eventbrite button

Just like any of our other events, the AGM is open to anybody interested in game development in Scotland. You’re a part of the wider community, whether you’re an IGDA member or not, so we heartily encourage you to come along, share your views and have an impact.

Tickets are available here.

Tickets for the quiz are free on Eventbrite with the understanding of £2 to participate on the night. Winners of the quiz gets the pot!


Introducing our 2015 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 8 candidates running for 4 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 Mark Hastings, Bert McDowell, Alice Rendell and Timea Tabori.

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 on Wednesday, 25th November from 19:30 at The South Tay Superstore in Dundee, where we will announce the election results and have a game-themed pub quiz to celebrate. We are still seeking a sponsor for the AGM! If you can help, please contact

To cast your vote, simply email us at 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 23rd November. Votes received after that time will not be counted. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on 25th November.

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:

  • Malath Abbas
  • Jaime Cross
  • Tony Gowland
  • Tom Knights
  • Paul Leishman
  • Andrew Macdonald
  • Jon McKellan
  • Oliver Smith

You can learn more about our election process by reading our 2015 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

  • Monday 23rd November
    • Deadline for votes
  • Wednesday 25th November
    • New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting

Introducing your 2015 election candidates:

Malath Abbas

MalI am a passionate game maker and believe wholeheartedly in the medium of games as well as the talented and skilled community of fellow developers. I am an independent game designer, artist and producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Since co-founding the award winning studio Quartic Llama, I have establishing Scotland’s first game collective and co-working space in Dundee in order to support a community of independent game developers. By working side by side and holding events we have encouraged the local community to exchange knowledge and support each other.

I have won a number of awards including Dare to be Digital 2011, Develop top 100 Studio 2013, Arts & Business Scotland Digital Innovation award. I have also been nominated for a BAFTA (Ones to Watch 2012) and for the IndieCade Festival 2013 for Other, created in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland.

I have built a strong network of local and international contacts whom I stay in touch with by attending conferences and festivals including, Develop, GDC Europe, Amaze and GameCity. This circle of contacts extends beyond the games sector and includes art & culture, public service (local and national government), press and private sector contacts. As part of the Cross Creative program I visited start-ups and large studios in Toronto and San Francisco which gave me an international perspective on the business of games.

I want to be involved in the IGDA in order to help promote the organisation to the community of game developers in Scotland. The three key areas I would like to help the IGDA to work on it diversity, collaboration and a work life balance of its members. I want to help our community to embrace diversity in terms of gender, representation of minorities and game content. Secondly I am keen to promote collaboration as it can lead to innovation, new ideas and connects us to new art forms and disciplines. Lastly I am a strong advocate of an equal work and life balance and I feel that the IGDA needs to nurture its community in order to combat the crunch mentality that often students and professionals feel they need to aspire to.

It would be an honour to serve to strengthen and grow the Scottish IGDA chapter to better meet the needs of the community.

JaIMe Cross

jaimeI currently sit as the Director of Public Relations and the audio lead at Team Junkfish. Having released our first title we are now working on our second project where I also have some responsibility for scenario and story design. In addition to this, I have been a guest lecturer on game audio for Masters Students at the Glasgow School of Art. I have been involved in various IDGA meetings and sponsored events both as an attendee and contributor including the Edinburgh Game Symposium, Games are for Everyone and GamesWest. As you can imagine, this has allowed me to develop a fresh understanding of our industry, from education to working professional, and grow my network; both of which would prove great assets to IGDA Scotland.
If elected to the IGDA Scotland board I would like to improve the support offered to members. Be it through networking with other developers or services, or setting up events and talks where developers can discuss techniques and issues and share their knowledge with the local development community. I believe this would help with some of the skills shortages and knowledge gaps, such as PR, marketing and audio, faced by smaller developers in Scotland and assist with their long term sustainability.
Similarly I would like to work with other regional game development associations, hubs and associated groups such as GaMaYo, Game Audio North and Game Kettle though information or skill sharing and collaberative events to bolster the the growth of developers and freelancers in Scotland. These groups have worked together in a number of ways, such as sharing booth space at large shows and presenting a collective front for their regions’ output, which is something I believe the IGDA should support through the likes of the Scottish Games Network.
Additionally, I would like to set up UK-centric benefits for chapter members to make use of. I feel that the IGDA has a very US focused approach which should be broadened to benefit its international members more.
While no individual task is simple or easy to achieve, it is my opinion that these goals will help with the growth of IGDA Scotland and, crucially, it’s members and the development scene on the whole. ‎

Tony Gowland

tony_gowland_headshot_colour I’ve been a game developer for over 15 years and living in Scotland since 2010. I’ve worked the whole range, pretty much – AAA, handheld, mobile, flash, publishers and independents of all sizes. I’m now a self-employed indie, so you’ve maybe met or seen me at Protoplay or Games Are For Everyone, speaking at Edinburgh Games Symposium, or loitering at some other social.

I haven’t been involved in the IGDA before, mainly because I’ve never seen a huge amount of value in it to me as a professional. I’ve been to some meetups over the years and they’ve been mixed experiences. I feel they should be the cornerstone of a healthy IGDA community, where professionals and students mix to chat and hear interesting stuff.

There have been some fantastic and interesting talks at IGDA events, and if I’m elected to the board my focus will be on making more happen. No sales pitches, just great content that’s entertaining and informative to students and developers alike, and that forms the basis of a solid evening of catching up, networking and discussion that provides value to attendees no matter where they are in their careers.

My goal would be to use connections and relationships built over my time in the industry to reach out and bring in speakers you’d like to hear from. I want you to look forward to next month’s meeting and not mind travelling to another city for it.

Tom Knights

IMG_6737I’m Tom – a game writer and designer. I was at One Thumb Mobile in Glasgow for over four years, but earlier this year I decided to embark on a period of freelance work, and since then I’ve written for various clients including Choice of Games and Pocket Gems, with others on the way.
While prosperous, the games industry is – in terms of the numbers of people involved – still quite a small sector that thrives on the ties between individuals to both transfer knowledge and create opportunities. We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the UK with a successful development scene, but while there are a number of excellent directories and other resources online that allow individuals to contact developers or companies, the equally important realm of face-to-face contact, in the form of conferences or other events, is comparatively neglected in our region.
Of course, many people in the industry know one another well already – especially so in Dundee, where many Abertay graduates go on to work in one of the studios the city is home to. This is no bad thing of course, but I often feel that other areas are much more fragmented. Over the past year I’ve met developers and students from Elgin, Paisley, Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and was always struck by the insular nature of their own development communities, often limited to a small group of friends or colleagues.
My first job in the industry came through the Game in Scotland event in Dundee – a great opportunity not only for students to make contact with potential employers, but also for professional developers to renew acquaintances or, in many cases, to meet for the first time.
I returned to Game in Scotland many times in subsequent years, but sadly the event did not run in 2015. I think that the Scottish games industry needs events of this kind to bring us together, to welcome in new talent and to reinforce existing connections. If I was elected to the board, I would hope to create opportunities for developers to meet face-to-face in a professional capacity, and ultimately to facilitate wider connections between the various development communities in Scotland and, potentially, beyond.

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.

Andrew Macdonald

I a482582_4034726804706_895187869_nm a Dundee-based game tools programmer and recent Abertay graduate who has had the honour of serving as an elected member of IGDA Scotland’s board for the past two years, one of which as chair. Since joining the chapter initially as a volunteer, I have worked to bring together hundreds of game developers and help share what our vibrant community can offer through our meetings, special events and the web. I also had the truly unforgettable experience of representing Scotland on the world’s stage at GDC in 2014 as an IGDA Scholarship winner, where I was able to meet and learn from other chapter leaders and industry figures from all corners of the globe. During my time on the board, we have undergone explosive growth, and I am proud to have helped drive radical changes behind the scenes to streamline our work, allowing the board to concentrate on the things that matter to you the most. If re-elected, I would aim to continue my current work with the following aims:

  • Renew our focus on regular and consistent monthly meetings in each city, with a broader range of engaging content.
  • Maintain our ongoing efforts to promote diversity within the Scottish games industry and support groups and game developers promoting STEAM skills in young people.
  • Continue to encourage Scotland’s outstanding IGDA Scholarship track record and support student-led game development groups.
  • Endeavour to follow through ongoing efforts establish the chapter legally as a non-profit organisation within the next 12 months.
  • Strengthen our relationships with industry bodies, government, and academia (colleges too, not just universities) to better advocate on the part of Scottish game developers. An example of this would be our submission to the Scottish Parliament EET enquiry late last year.


Jon McKellan

Untitled-2I’m a Glasgow-based game developer and artist, working professionally for the last 7 years at studios such as Rockstar North, and Creative Assembly. My most notable work so far has been as Lead 2D/UI Artist on the critically acclaimed “Alien: Isolation”, working on both the game UI art and design systems, but also working closely with the PR and Marketing team. This opportunity allowed me to deliver several talks at EGX and BAFTA London, present work in the official development diaries, take part in international press interviews, and earn a nomination at SXSW for my title sequence work.

In 2013, I also released my first indie game, ‘Lub vs Dub’, which earned our small team a New Talent BAFTA Award and was heavily featured by Apple. This year, I’ve finally left AAA development to form a new independent Glasgow-based studio ‘No Code’.

If granted the opportunity to join the IGDA Board, I would like to help graduates and veterans alike push their careers forward both creatively and commercially. Funding, developing, and releasing your own game independently is extremely challenging, and hopefully my successes and failures can help inform others. I believe my experience in both development and marketing on various scales can be used to help other developers raise awareness of their projects, and boost the profile of our national scene.

Some other areas I would like to address are:

  • Bridging the gaps between regional development scenes, in order to create a more attention-grabbing national scene, followed and respected worldwide.

  • Foster relationships with experienced developers and attract them to work or start up in Scotland, with the goal of not only providing their resources to development, but their mentorship to our graduates here – to ultimately reduce the ‘brain drain’ we currently suffer from.

  • Work closely with experienced developers to create a mentoring and feedback group, providing advice to independent studios and developers who are looking to release projects commercially, and help them push the quality bar as high as they can to ensure the best chances of success.

I hope that my experience and passion for improving the state of our industry will be of use to IGDA, it’s members, and the game development scene both nationwide and beyond.

Thanks for your consideration.


Oliver Smith

1004511_10202171627996275_763040129_nHaving volunteered for the chapter for eighteen months now, you may recognise me as the person with the camera in everyone’s faces at various IGDA events. I am in my 3rd Year of studying Game Design and Production Management at Abertay University in Dundee, currently hold the position of Secretary for the award winning Game Development Society and working on a yet to be announced project in a small team for Hexwar Games. I’ve achieved a lot over the last year and a half, but none of it would have happened without the support, inspiration and guidance of those I’ve met through this chapter.

I believe that one of the Chapters greatest strengths, is the influx of new talent arriving every year at one of the numerous fantastic Universities throughout Scotland. These Students should be encouraged to participate more with the organisations that can represent them within the industry, such as IGDA. As such if I am appointed, I intend to work with the board to encourage students from all levels of education to be more active within the community.

In addition to working to involve more students, I want to work to find ways to encourage and include more people with disabilities in the industry. Currently the games industry has a lower than average percentage of disabled workers. As someone who suffers from a disability, I know all too well some of the challenges people can face.

Whilst the IGDA does excellent work, most of it is focused in the centre of the country. This is by no means a criticism, however I think that the Chapter could do a great service by helping to expand the opportunities of the games industry to people further afield. This could take the form of partnerships with schools and creative organisations such as ScreenHi. As someone from a small community in the Highlands, I would be well suited to help with this.

I have proposed a number of new ideas here, but I also want to continue supporting all of the great initiatives the Chapter has. I have experience with many cultures and people from around the world, believe strongly in communication and collaboration and to finish off this cliched grouping of buzzwords, I am incredibly passionate about the industry and games as a whole. I think I am the right person to be joining the board, and I hope you think so too.