Author Archives: Timea Tabori

2017 Board of Directors Election – Voting Opens for Members

We’re very happy to announce that the nominations for this year’s Board of Directors election are in, with a total of 5 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 Zoe Sams, Steven Taarland and Timea Tabori.

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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 Marioke, where we will announce the election results and celebrate the past year.

To cast your vote, please fill out this form. You can vote for as many or as few as you choose.
Please return your votes ASAP, the deadline is 23:59 GMT on Sunday the 12th of November. Votes received after that time will not be counted. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on the 17th 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:

  • Andrew Graham
  • Matthew Barr
  • Malath Abbas
  • Jaime Cross
  • Andrew Macdonald

You can learn more about our election process by reading our 2017 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.

  • Sunday 12th November
    • Deadline for votes
  • Friday 17th November
    • New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting

Introducing your 2017 election candidates:

Andrew Graham

AndrewGrahamHello! My name is Andrew Graham, I am 22 years old and I have just graduated in the ‘Computer Games Design’ course from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Currently I have been working on creating a game called ‘Rebound’ with some friends and I am looking for future work within Scotland’s industry.

I am Glasgow based and try to represent myself at every IGDA event that I can, often offering to volunteer to help out any way I can. I have always felt a warm welcome within the IGDA community and wish to offer my services in the coming years and future of the community within Scotland.

Matthew Barr

Matt BarrHello! I’m a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, where I set up and currently run the Game Studies course. I also teach at Glasgow Caledonian University, where I’ve led modules including Game Narrative and Game Preproduction and helped out with other modules including Game Design.

Academics do occasionally do useful stuff. Outside of teaching I have lots of experience of organising events, which I think would be helpful in this role – I’d like to see some more Glasgow-based IGDA events! While I’ve also helped out at things like the Global Game Jam at GCU, I’m particularly proud of the Game Think events that I ran in 2015 and 2017 (with a third planned for 2018). These are a bit like academic conferences but with all (OK, most) of the formality stripped out. They feature short talks from everyone including game devs, students and established games researchers, followed by the obligatory trip to the pub. They’re opportunities, like the IGDA Scotland events, us to get together and talk about our work, and find ways to collaborate.

Back on the more academic side, I run a game studies journal that gives students from any background the chance to publish their work on an international platform. We also run an initiative that sees game dev students paired up with more confident writers to collaborate on articles that document exciting new game development work. I feel games development sometimes gets overlooked by academia, and I’d like to change that.

My research is about how video games can develop useful skills such as critical thinking, adaptability and communication skill. Games are good for you! It must be true, because it’s been on the news. I should also mention that I’m currently Vice Chair of British DiGRA (the Digital Games Research Association), and I’d hope to be able to strengthen ties between the games development and research communities.

Finally (too many words, I know – did I mention I was an academic?), I’d like to stress my emphasis on inclusivity. Whether it’s going out to schools as a STEM Ambassador to convince young girls that games are a viable career for them, or simply making sure my games dev students are included in the academic discussion, inclusion is important to me. As a Board member, I’d love to be able to contribute to IGDA Scotland’s already exemplary work in this area.

Thank you for your consideration!

Malath Abbas

Malath AbbasServing on the IGDA Scotland board for the past two years has been a great experience and I would like to build on this by serving for a second term. I would continue to contribute through my experience of running a commercial creative business and board membership, tap into my network of contacts and represent small scale and experimental games design and development.

I 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 as part of Biome Collective- a co-working space for independent game designers and digital artists that I co-founded in Dundee. In the past year I have also helped establish Arcadia, a festival of independent games in the form of conference, exhibition and workshops. With the support of a number of partners including We Throw Switches, BAFTA Scotland and IGDA Scotland we were able to attract world renowned game designers including Brie Code to Scotland.

I have built a network of local and international contacts through attending national and international conferences and festivals including, GDC, IndieCade, e3, 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.

Over the next two years I would like to continue to focus on diversity, collaboration and a work life balance. Our community needs to continue to embrace diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and creative content. Collaboration leads to innovation, new ideas and connects us to new art forms and disciplines. I am also a strong advocate of an equal work and life balance, which needs to be encouraged in our community in order to combat the crunch mentality.

Our community has great opportunities at hand. The combination of the scale of Scotland, the wealth of expertise and heritage and flow of new talent coming through world leading educational institutions means we have much to offer the medium and international community. The opportunity can help us grow, develop and more importantly be creative. I hope IGDA Scotland will continue to spearhead this collective endeavour.

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

Jaime Cross

Jaime CrossDuring my past 2 years on the board IGDA Scotland has gone from strength to strength: running and supporting dozens of events across several different fields, enhanced our links with the education sector, and built a working relationship with Creative Scotland to assess the needs of the games industry in Scotland to develop meaningful support going forward. It is a testament to the board, its past members, its partners and its volunteers in how IGDA Scotland has grown.

However, IGDA Scotland is also in a period of transition and as a returning board member I would value the opportunity to progress this further and build a foundation for the future. Our current goal is to stablise our position by becoming an incorporated charity. This will allow us the opportunity to grow and develop both strategically and financially, and provide tangible and worthwhile benefits for you. I work to establish support opportunities for mid-career professionals, such as both field specific and general professional development workshops. This will in turn will help to create peer networks that can provide local support and the sharing of best practice principles. I will continue to support our themed monthly meetups that provide opportunities and insights for attendees at all levels, as the information shared has proven invaluable.

As part of a long term plan for growth, I would like to improve our links with education providers and other creative industries in Scotland. I believe that these collaborations will help raise the profile of the Scottish games industry as an integral part of the country’s arts, culture and scientific sectors, and allow for the cross pollination of ideas and working practices that will be a positive driving force for the future. Additionally, I would like to run IGDA Scotland events and meetups outside our current triangle of cities to support the whole of Scotland as much as possible, and build a network of volunteers to help deliver this.

Finally, through IGDA Scotland I would seek to recognise and address issues around diversity within our industry, and help to ensure everyone has a safe and inclusive experience with the Scottish games sector.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew Macdonald

Andrew MacdonaldLooking back at my tenure on the chapter’s board, I cannot be more proud of just how much our community has grown and changed over the last four years. More recently, in addition to running, supporting, and collaborating on more events than ever; we have also established a strong relationship with Creative Scotland to discuss the current state of the sector, and help create meaningful support influenced by the industry itself. This has been an incredibly empowering experience, which has opened many doors for us while staying true to our developer-driven roots. Behind the scenes, we are also undergoing one of the biggest and most important changes in our history: incorporating as a non-profit charitable organisation.

Formalising the chapter has always been one of my main personal goals, even before I first considered running for election. Although it has been on the board’s backburner as far back as 2012, it has only been in the last year that achieving this has felt truly within our grasp. We have come a long way as an organisation to reach this point, but signing the paperwork is only the beginning, and I am excited to help see things through as a board member returning for a 3rd term.

Since graduating from Abertay University in 2015, I have been working as an IT consultant for several charitable organisations providing employment support to the disabled, while continuing my passion for game development and industry advocacy in my spare time. If re-elected, I would seek to ensure the chapter’s long-term stability as a registered charity over the next two years with the following aims:

  • Establish a strong chapter membership, securing greater financial independence for us while providing tangible and meaningful benefits for developers.
  • Streamline our event processes to allow us to visit each city more regularly.
  • Utilise our reach and build on our work with Creative Scotland to monitor the Scottish games industry continuously, and advocate for the commission of a full sector review.
  • Continue to promote diversity and provide opportunities for new talent and under-represented groups within our industry; but also take a firmer and more pro-active stance on current issues and events.
  • Expand upon our work to showcase Scottish developers by better acknowledging our dedicated volunteers, speakers, and community supporters.

DYW Looking for Games Professionals to Engage with Schools

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Developing the Young Workforce are looking for games industry professionals to engage with schools, teachers and pupils in order to build a better understanding of games industry career paths and opportunities.

Developing the Young Workforce is a Scottish Government strategy which aims to help young people get the right skills and experience to move from education into employment. There are 21 regional DYW groups who are helping implement this strategy, working locally to meet the needs of their region.

DYW brings education and business together to support local young people and the local economy, through better informing  young people about the world of work and helping create skills pipelines and address skills shortages.

DYW groups work to connect business and education, and can facilitate a variety of engagement opportunities. This could range from offering visits and talks at your work space, to supporting team challenges, offering CPD to teachers so that they can offer their students the best possible learning experience, to giving advice on interviews. DYW work closely with employers and education to make sure every approach is flexible and tailored to meet their needs.

If you are interested in working with young people, teachers or lecturers local to you, let them know or connect with your local DYW team. http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/developing-young-workforce/

Women’s 10k run in Glasgow for SpecialEffect

Looking for a fun way to spend a Summer Sunday afternoon AND help raise money for charity?

Our friends at SpecialEffect have just five places left on their running team for the hugely popular Great Women’s 10k in Glasgow on Sunday 4th June! Get in touch now to reserve your space and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of the largest women’s only running event in Scotland, while raising vital funds to help support our work with disabled gamers across the UK. Contact Tom Donegan via events@specialeffect.org.uk

More info about the event can be found here.

 

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SpecialEffect enable severely disabled people to use computers in any way possible – using whichever part(s) of their body that work best – by adapting technology to their individual needs. It’s so important they can join in with family/friends, to be included and not left out. This can hugely benefit rehabilitation, mental wellbeing, self-esteem and quality of life – and much needed FUN!

We specialise in Eye Control Technology. Imagine: You wake up after an accident. You can’t move anything except your eyes. And you can’t speak. Through eye-movement alone, we help people operate a computer so they can communicate and regain a little independence – giving them a voice when they don’t have one of their own.

We feel very honoured to work with such extraordinary, inspiring people who in the most testing of circumstances, somehow display such fortitude, courage and resilience. Every day we’re moved by their exceptional character, which inspires us to keep doing everything we possibly can to enable them to get the most out of life in their own particular situation.

Tom, a young lad we helped wrote simply: “I just want to thank you for giving me my life back.

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.