Author Archives: Stephen McGroarty

February 2014: Global Game Jam Play Parties

Game Jam Play Party
Once again on Wednesday the 12th and 19th of February, the Scottish game community and it’s denizens descended on Glasgow and, for the very first time, Dundee to play some of the great games created at this year’s Global Game Jam at our annual Play Parties. The Global Game Jam, for those who don’t know, is an event held across the world with teams of developers racing to create a game in 48 hours. This year Scotland played host to several venues, including Glasgow, Dundee, and Edinburgh.

This year’s jam was huge, with well over 200 jammers registered across all the venues, and all of the games which were produced turned out to be genuinely innovative and incredibly fun to play.

Global Game Jam
Attendees at the Play Parties were also given the chance to vote for their favourite game, and help it win the IGDA Scotland Community Choice Award. At the Glasgow site the stunning Prism Saga, from a pair of game jam virgins no less, swooped the award. Prism Saga is a shiny 3D platformer with two-dimensional freedom of movement, which is really fun to play. The developers of the game are hoping to expand it further, aiming for a commercial release to bring the title to a wider audience. You can play Prism Saga here:


The winning game at the Dundee Play Party was the beautifully innovative Light in the Night. Light of the Night is an experimental game in which there is a small town enveloped in a fog, and by walking around you clear the fog away. This effect works really well, and the visuals are very impressive for a game created in just 48 hours. You can check out Light of the Night here:


A massive congratulations is also due to the fantastic Timea Tabori, who received the inaugural IGDA Scotland Most Valuable Person Award for her outstanding commitment and service to the chapter over the past year. Truly well deserved, and a huge thanks to Timea for all she’s done.


Finally, although only two titles could be chosen, all of the games that I played at the Play Parties were great! There was some real talent showcased at this year’s jam, and we hope to see you at next years event! You can play the other games from the various venues at the links below:

A huge thank you to everyone who came and exhibited their game at either Glasgow or Dundee (or both!), and to everyone who came along and played them. We all had a fantastic time, and we hope you enjoyed the Play Parties as well. Thanks also to Dave Sharp for allowing us to use his photo from the Global Game Jam Glasgow venue in this post.

Don’t forget we have plenty of other IGDA events running throughout the year, with the next one being an evening of microtalks in Dundee on March 26th. More details and tickets can be found by clicking here.

November 2013: IGDA Scotland AGM and Social Meeting

On Wednesday November 13th we held our annual general meeting in the Admiral Bar in Glasgow, which looked over what the chapter had achieved in 2013 and also our plans for the future. The event was very kindly sponsored by the UK Interactive Entertainment Association, who bought a drink for everyone who attended the event.

Proceedings kicked off with the annual report, where we looked at the numerous success that the chapter has gone through over the past year and what we hope to do over the next year. Our successes included the tremendously successful Scottish Game Jam and associated Play Party, Richard Lemarchand’s masterclass in July, the Develop Conference breakfast, and our two recently-launched services; the RiftShare program and the IGDA Scotland Job Board.

The RiftShare program is designed to strengthen the relationship between the chapter and the greater Scottish development community, while at the same time making it easier for developers to create projects for the Oculus Rift. The job board provides a free forum for the community to advertise open positions, but it is also open to hobbyist or student teams looking for new members.

Looking to the future, the chapter is hoping to build upon its successes. We are planning to hold more events, such as new masterclasses and game jams, and increase our engagement with the community by helping to run other events. In 2013 we were delighted to present GamesWest alongside the University of West Scotland and West College Scotland, which saw a variety of speakers give advice on how to get into the games industry to FE and HE students. We also partnered with the University of Abertay in Dundee to host a screening of the Launch Conference, and most recently we were involved with the Scottish Game Jam.

You can view a recording of our annual report below.

We also ran both an open mic session at the start of the meeting, and there was a chance after the annual report for developers to show off some of the projects they are currently working on.

Highlights during the open mic session included the one man development team over at Pixel Sword, who has released his first game Square Match Go, a mobile-based fast paced puzzle game and is available now from the Pixel Sword website. A number of companies also used the open mic to advertise any vacancies they currently have, which of course you can check out on the IGDA Scotland Job Board.

Following the annual report, we got demonstrations of some games produced within the community. The Dungeoning is a procedurally generated, roguelike platformer with some really nice visuals and pretty fluid gameplay, which you can see in action here. Tricone Lab is a puzzle game centered around the interactions within a multicellular organism, which was really fun to play. You can find out more about the game by visiting the website.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along, and of course a massive thank you to UKIE for sponsoring the evening. Here’s to a successful 2014!

GamesWest – Get into GameDev

We are delighted to announce “GamesWest – Get into GameDev“. On the 4th of December University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland, in association with IGDA Scotland, are hosting a one-day event focusing on getting into the games industry, held at the UWS Paisley campus. There will also be a chance to hear from established developers how they made their name and various workshops will be running with information on the creative process, technical and business sides of the industry.

The event will feature high profile speakers from around the UK, talking about how they got their start, how they think students should get started now as well as some of the biggest challenges they see for the industry as a whole. Here are just a small sampling of the speakers who will be available on the day

Currently Gary Carr is the creative director at Lionhead studios having worked alongside Peter Molyneux on the studio’s flagship game series ‘Fable’ for a number of years. He also worked on legendary games such as Theme Hospital, Theme park and Populus at Bullfrog Productions.


Patrick Connor is a Senior Engineer at SCEE’s R&D, he graduated from Abertay University in 2003 he has since gone on to work at Lionhead Studios in the Engine team for Fable 2 and 3. He has experience of working with various gaming hardware including mobile platforms as well as console and PC. His expertise covers GPU and multi-threaded programming, stereoscopic 3D and performance analysis and optimisation.


Mitu Khandaker runs The Tiniest Shark, about to launch their first title “RedShirt”, a parody game whose concept is social simulator set on a spacestation. Mitu is one of Develop’s 30 Under 30, a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit and sits on the Advisory Board for the Advocacy Track at the Game Developers Conference among many other claims to fame.


UKIE PortraitureDr Jo Twist took the role of CEO of Ukie in January 2012. Dr Twist was Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Education where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, a stable of free to play browser and iOS games, including Sweatshop, Nomnation and International Racing Squirrels, as well as social media projects. Previous positions include Multiplatform Commissioner for BBC Entertainment & Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor and in a former life was a technology reporter for BBC News. With a background in digital media, education, creative technology and youth culture, and a PhD in online communities, identity and young people, Twist brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of interactive entertainment including media, technical innovation and creativity, commercial and political issues.


Alongside these talks, other sessions will be running that will focus on getting into various disciplines within the games industry. Each of these events will be run by industry veterans in those fields.  A wide variety of “Getting into” sessions will be covered including both traditional and, somewhat,  less traditional disciplines of the industry. These include ‘Getting into’: programming, academia, game art, games journalism and game design and more! There will also be sessions aimed at demystifying the recruitment process with CV workshop sessions running looking how to make your CV the best it possibly can be, portfolio workshops on how to polish up your portfolio and talks on internships in the games industry.

The event will be running from 9.30-17:00 at the UWS Paisley campus and wherever your interest in the industry lies, we hope to see you on the 4th of December! For a more information and up to date information on speakers, make sure to check out the GamesWest website.