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Are you ready for Train Jam?

train-jam-studentsIf you don’t know about it, Train Jam is one of the most exciting opportunities for indie developers traveling to GDC. Train Jam returns February 26 – 28, 2015. Students and developers traveling to GDC are participating in a 52 hour Game Jam, on a train as it travels from Chicago to San Francisco.

Train Jam was organized in 2014 by independent game developer, Adriel Wallick. In 2014, this event had more than 60 participants and two film crews filming its inaugural voyage. Over 18 games were created which can be viewed on the Train Jam website: .

For Train Jam’s second year, follow the twitter accounts for both Adriel – @msminotaur  and Train Jam – @indietrainjam for updates from this unique event. There is very limited space and sleeper cars are already sold out, however, you can still get on the waitlist if you act now. Make sure to revisit their Twitter during February as they update on their exciting jam. GDC attendees will be able to play the games made during Train Jam at their official GDC booth so be sure to check them out.

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Applications for GDC 2015 Have Closed

Thank you to everyone who applied for an IGDA Scholarship to GDC 2015 and to those of you who helped us spread the word.  Word of mouth, social media, universities, and industry partners help us not only keep this program going, but help make it more amazing with each year.  We anticipate notifying all applicants whether they have been awarded or declined a scholarship by early January.  We are excited to read your applications and eager to hear the amazing things you are doing!

To all of you who applied – We wish you the best of luck.  Please note that this is not your only chance for this truly amazing experience! Applications for E3 scholarships will open in Spring of 2015.

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Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship


Eric Dybsand was a pillar of the development community, warm and welcoming to all and in his honor each year, AI developers gather during GDC. One student with an interest in AI is chosen to be the recipient of the Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship, receiving the welcome and attention that Eric freely gave to others.

The Dybsand Scholar receives all of the benefits of the core IGDA Scholarship program, studio tours, VIP opportunities and so forth. In addition, they also receive:

  • Mentoring from a range of AI professionals
  • Honored guest at the AI Programmers Dinner
  • Invitation to join the AI Game Programmers Guild
  • Featured during the annual AI Summit at GDC
  • Travel stipend to attend GDC

How do I Apply for the Scholarship?

Applicants who apply to attend GDC 2015 as an IGDA Scholar qualify automatically if they show excellence in, significant interest in, and commitment to the field of artificial intelligence in their applications.

GDCSmImgAwarded to the best and brightest students in game development disciplines, the IGDA Scholars program gives recipients an unforgettable experience including an all-access pass, industry mentorship, and local studio tours. Applications for GDC 2015 are due 2nd Dec. 2014. 

Click here to Apply Now for a GDC Scholarship!

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2015 Judges Announced!

We are pleased to announce the judges for the IGDA Scholarship Program in 2015.  Judges for the program are industry veterans who represent a variety of companies and fields. Their collective backgrounds include AAA development, indie development, volunteer organizations, and educating the next generation of game developers. Judges’ knowledge ranges from console to mobile and PC development. We are thankful for their time and look forward to sending them the applications we receive for GDC 2015.

Jennifer Ash – User Researcher, Bungie
Kristen Bornemann – Development Director, ArenaNet
Andrew Fray – Engineer, Spry Fox
Ed Fries – Board Member, IGDA
Keith Fuller – Leadership Consultant, Fuller Game Production
Keith Judge – Senior Programmer, Epic Games UK
Llaura McGee - Founder, Dreamfeel
Andrea Schmoll – Game System Designer, Arkane Studios
Ian Schreiber – Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
Chris Tihor – Game Designer, Paper Machete Games
Steven Tovey – Principal Programmer, Advanced Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Jeff Ward – iOS Developer, WillowTree Apps
Kate Edwards – Executive Director, IGDA
Luke Dicken – Chair,  IGDA Foundation
Christine Farmer – Coordinator, PR and Marketing Americas, CD Projekt Red
Joe Robins – Community Evangelist, Unity
Tim Borrelli – Animator, 5th Cell

SmallScholarsPhotoAwarded to the best and brightest students in game development disciplines, the IGDA Scholars program gives recipients an unforgettable experience including an all-access pass, industry mentorship, and local studio tours. Applications for GDC 2015 are due 2nd December 2014. 

Click here to Apply Now for a GDC Scholarship!

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Top 3 Tips for Applying for Scholarships


Considering applying for one of our scholarships to GDC 2015? Then here are the top 3 tips you should know!

#1. Volunteering Matters

We take volunteering very seriously.  You are students, which means you are very busy learning new things, sometimes also working jobs to pay your way! We understand; however, while those in our judging team and many in our volunteer team are not students, we also are busy working, supporting families, and like you, pursuing our own development.  Working volunteering into your lifestyle is something we feel leads to a balanced and fulfilling life. Finding a cause to support in some way is important to what we do.

#2. Be Thorough

Many of the questions in our application leave lots of room for answers. We want to know anything and everything you want to share with us! We read every application so use this opportunity to shine and tell us why we should choose you. Additionally, remember to answer all parts of a question.

#3. Have a Web Presence

At the end of our application, we give you space to provide a link. While this is not required, having a web presence of some kind, be it Twitter, LinkedIn, a portfolio website, a Deviant Art account – you name it, lets us discover how you promote yourself as an individual.  There is no one size fits all solution here which is why we leave it open ended, but our program gives recipients a fantastic way to kickstart their career. Be ready for this by giving yourself the tools to promote your personal brand!

Click here to Apply Now for a GDC Scholarship!

SmallScholarsPhotoAwarded to the best and brightest students in game development disciplines, the IGDA Scholars program gives recipients an unforgettable experience including an all-access pass, industry mentorship, and local studio tours. Applications for GDC 2015 are due 2nd December 2014. 


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CEDEC & TGS Scholars’ Blogs Available

Cedec2 The IGDA Scholars had a great time at Tokyo Game Show and CEDEC in 2014. Read their blog entries about their time during the conference – available in both English and Japanese courtesy of Jessica Beasley, Internationalization Force, IGDA.

Apply Now for a GDC Scholarship!   Maybe you’ll be one of the next scholars in 2015!

Ayana Ikube
Yushi Sato
Atsushi Shokei
Sara Kato
Takeshi Takahashi
Kento Takamatsu
Sotaro Yamane
Xin Yang
Daniel Smith

Tokyo Game Shotgsw
Yuto Namiki
Kensho Ando
Yuka Ninohira
Clemens Berger
Aline Czarnobai
Allen Yu
Jacob Paris
Dante Medina
Forrest Pruitt

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Where Are They Now: Adam Green

Where Are They Now? showcases interviews from former IGDA scholars. IGDA scholarship recipients have accomplished impressive professional feats since their time in the program. These accomplishments range from working on award winning games to founding companies. Past IGDA scholars have pursued a variety of paths in the game industry and this series aims to catalog those paths for supporters & participants of the program. Our hope is to inspire current students to reach their goals and dreams.

Read more interviews by clicking here.

Meet Adam Green


Adam started his first company in 2009 while still studying at Teesside University in the UK. Since then Assyria Game Studio has produced over 20 iOS games, four achieving a top-25 ranking on the US iTunes Store, alongside working with clients including Sony Europe, Sumo Digital and Mudvark.

While running Assyria he also launched venture-capital backed iOS promotion business Daily App Dream in late 2010, before later selling the business to Entertainment Arts Research Inc in November 2012. Adam is currently in development of a number of new businesses, serves as advisory board member for Ker-Chunk Games based in Atlanta, and helps in a due diligence capacity for several of business angels and venture capitalists. He received an IGDA Scholarship for GDC in 2011.

Why did you apply for the IGDA Scholars program?

When I applied for the IGDA Scholarship program I was in the early stages of launching an iPhone Promotional service called ‘Daily App Dream’. I’d raised some money from a venture capitalist to market the platform to consumers, which had gotten the platform a decent amount of traction in terms of downloads. In terms of apps to promote, however, I had lined up most of the prior deals with developers through my UK network of contacts, and really if I wanted the business to grow, then I had to expand this contact base.

The IGDA Scholarship to GDC allowed me not only a great way of reducing the cost of the trip over to the US a little, but also provided a host of opportunities for prominent introductions and mentors to point me in the right direction.

What was the biggest benefit of the IGDA Scholars program for you?

I think the biggest benefit was the ability to expand my network in the US in a way I previously had been unable to.

I was fortunate enough to have Jason Della Rocca as my mentor for the duration of the scholarship. Jason was formerly the executive director of the IGDA and alongside being able to provide fantastic insight into my business, his network in the industry is enviable. The introductions he provided really helped me propel the Daily App Dream business in the direction I wanted it to go.

These introductions, alongside the sheer number of networking parties at GDC, helped me leave the conference with a mass of valuable new contacts. This led to Daily App Dream promoting titles from some of the heavyweights in mobile including Square Enix, Atari and ngMoco, and certainly factored into me going on to exit business through acquisition the following year.


What projects have you worked on since the IGDA Scholars program? Upcoming plans?

Currently, I’m still running Assyria producing Own-IP games and undertaking work-for-hire, though I mostly use freelance staff nowadays to allow me to jump in and out of that business around my other commitments.

The last original title out of Assyria was a game called ‘The Ories: Super Space Monsters!’ for iOS back in March of last year. I produced all the code on the project and worked alongside a freelance artist. Apple kindly featured it on the main iTunes banner in several European territories and in smaller feature slots in the US and around the world. To date the game has had over 2,500,000 registered sessions.

There was also a client project I worked on last year which I’m quite proud of: a non-games app ‘REALRIDER’. This is a mobile app I developed, tied directly into the UK’s emergency service network which detects when a Motorbike rider crashes. Upon crashing the UK’s emergency services are immediately alerted, and an ambulance is deployed to the rider’s location. The service on launch garnered national press coverage, was featured on the BBC, and BMW has recently bought licence’s in-bulk so as to provide the service alongside all their UK bike sales. It was just a pleasure working on something that has wider-reaching impacts than purely entertainment.

In terms of up-coming stuff, I recently started a non-games business with the director of the venture capital firm that formerly invested in Daily App Dream. We’re creating a platform to help people both find and rate sources of investment. Entrepreneurs will essentially be able to enter their location, the amount of money they’re after, their sector, the type of financing they’re after, and the system will show them the investors appropriate to them. Alongside this will be comments from other entrepreneurs about their experience of certain investment firms, allowing you to narrow down those you perhaps want to avoid.

I’m also in the early stages of another new business; however it’s currently still in stealth mode while I get the product ready for market, and get the necessary financing in place ahead of a launch.


What advice would you give those applying to the IGDA Scholars program?

I think my main piece of advice would simply be to talk to as many people as possible. The network and contacts I gained at GDC thanks to the scholarship have been invaluable.

Don’t just go to the scheduled networking events; book yourself into as many parties you can find and chat to as many people as possible. Don’t be afraid of simply going up to a group and introducing yourself. It can be a little nerve-wracking; but that’s what the (usually) free bar is for!

Depending on what your skillset is; figure out the best place to meet contacts appropriate to you. For business contacts at GDC, I found the Marriott Hotel, St Regis and Westin hotel lobbies were great places to hang out in order to garner useful contacts. The W Hotel bar is also fantastic when a little less busy Friday-Sunday.

Learn more about Adam by visiting his website and blog, and follow him on Twitter.

Want to become an IGDA Scholar?

IGDA Scholarships for GDC 2015 are open. GDC 2015 will take place March 2-6, 2015 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Follow the link to learn how you can get an all-access pass, industry mentorship, and local studio tours. Click Here to Apply for an IGDA Scholarship to GDC now!

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