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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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GDC Europe & Gamescom Reports Available

If you are planning on applying for one of our GDC 2015 IGDA Scholarships, check out our recently released, GDC Europe Scholar’s Reports! Written by our GDC Europe and Gamescom scholars, these reports catalogue their experiences in Germany this summer. Hear from the scholars themselves about who they were able to meet and what they saw while attending the conferences.

Click here to read them now!

And remember, GDC 2015 applications are due 2nd December. Visit this link to apply!

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GDC 2015 IGDA Scholarships Have Opened!

GDC2We are thrilled to announce that applications for GDC 2015 are now open! All students and recent graduates in fields related to game development are highly encouraged to apply. Applications can be found here and should be submitted by 2 December 2014.

GDC will take place 2-6 March 2015 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, USA. The world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event features over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on a comprehensive selection of game development topics taught by leading industry experts. For more information about GDC 2015, click here. Awarded 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.IGDAScholars_GDC_2014Closeup

This is only the first conference that we will be offering scholarships for in 2015, we’re in for an exciting year. Good luck, students! Become one of the next IGDA Scholars at GDC 2015 As always, follow us on twitter @IGDA_Scholars for updates throughout the year. If you’d like to contribute to our efforts to make our scholarship experience great year to year, please head on over to our partners – the IGDA Foundation!

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E3 Scholars Reports Now Available!

As we ramp up preparing for GDC applications to open this fall we wanted to continue to share the experiences our scholars have had this year. Are you a scholar looking to attend one of our opportunities in 2015? You can now read about the amazing experiences our IGDA scholars had at E3 2014! Check out our scholars reports by clicking here.

Stay up to date on future opportunities by following us on Twitter @igda_scholars. Applications for GDC 2015 will be available in early October! Get ready!

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Where Are They Now: Robert Zubek

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 Robert Zubek

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Robert Zubek is a game designer and developer, and co-founder of SomaSim, an independent studio in Chicago.

Before starting his own company, he was a principal software engineer at Zynga, where he was the founding engineer on Cityville and a software architect on Farmville 2, the company’s two large-scale social games. Prior to Zynga, he developed online game infrastructure at Three Rings Design and console games at Electronic Arts. Dr. Zubek holds a PhD in Computer Science from Northwestern University, where he did research on game AI and robotics.

Why did you apply for the IGDA Scholars program?

I was awarded the scholarship to GDC in 2001, the very first year of the scholars program. I was just starting grad school then, and got really interested in doing research on games, which at that point was just getting started.

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

Going to the GDC! I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, not on a grad student’s budget. :) And it was a great experience, a massive knowledge download compressed into just three days. I also met cool people in the scholars program. Unfortunately we’ve mostly lost touch over those 12 years, and I wish we hadn’t.

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

Since the scholarship, I continued grad school, and defended a CS PhD in 2005, with a thesis on AI for games and conversational agents. My first industry job was at EA, on the Sims and Lord of the Rings franchises, then I moved on to a startup called Three Rings Design, which was a pioneer of free-to-play casual MMOs. After that was another startup called Zynga, where I built several very-large-scale social games, such as Cityville.

Finally, last year I started my own company, SomaSim, dedicated to making simulation games. We’ve just released our first game earlier this year – it’s a city management sim called “1849″, set in the California Gold Rush.

How about that for 13 years on fast forward?

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

If you get accepted, immerse yourself in the conference, learn as much as you can about the industry. Take advantage of any mentoring you can get from experienced industry people – you can get much more out of simple conversations with seasoned developers, than from dozens of blog posts or opinion pieces.

Finally, stay in touch with your peers in the scholars program. When I look through the list of past scholars, I’m amazed by how many names on there I recognize. Many of you will go on to do great things.

Learn more about Robert by visiting his website and follow him on Twitter.

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The GDC Europe & Gamescom Experience

The IGDA scholars have wrapped up their experience at GDC Europe and Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. This year scholars met with Lewis Brown from EA about how to get into industry, spoke with Tim Symons from Nintendo Europe about publishing with Nintendo, sat down with industry legend Don Daglow, received special access to the Sony Press Conference, had a Q&A with Brenda and John Romero, met with Oculus Product Lead Joe Chen, and grabbed lunch with Microsoft Tech Evangelist Lee Stott! They finished their amazing conference experience having a Q&A and goodbye dinner with IGDA executive director Kate Edwards.

We wanted to give a special thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers, mentors, organizations, and companies that made this possible. You can check out the scholars’ Storify below. Look out for GDC 2015 applications opening in the Fall. If you would like to help continue to make this amazing program possible, please visit http://foundation.igda.org/ to donate!

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