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The IGDA is Preparing for GDC 2015
Each year, the IGDA hosts several events during GDC week, all of which require sponsorship support to become a reality. Support opportunities are available at many different levels (PDF).

IGDA members can save US$75 on their GDC 2015 All Access Pass or Main Conference registration. Click here to log in and get your discount code.

The IGDA discount code cannot be combined with other discount promotions, including group discounts, alumni rates, exhibitor discounts, other special discount offers or previously purchased or registered passes. All discount codes are subject to review and are limited to one discount per registration.

Watch this mailer and for details!
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Attention Students: GDC 2015 Scholars Application Closes 2 December
The IGDA Scholarship Committee is accepting applications for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2015. The program is open to all students and recent graduates in fields related to game development. Applications should be submitted by 2 December 2014, please see here for further information. The application itself can be found here.

You can learn more about the program, its history and find out how to apply here. Please help us spread the word about this excellent opportunity for students from around the world by following and retweeting us on Twitter.

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2015 Games User Research Summit — Call for Participation
The Games User Research Summit, hosted by the IGDA Games User Research (GUR) Special Interest Group (SIG), is the best opportunity for members of our community to learn, share, and discuss high quality Games User Research work. The 2015 event will take place on Tuesday 3 March at Sony in San Mateo (US). Now in its 5th year, the Games User Research Summit is pleased to announce that we have once again grown to accommodate presenting an even wider array of interesting, valuable, and actionable content for our attendees.

In line with the GUR SIG's initiatives for this year, the theme of COMMUNITY for the 2015 GUR Summit is intended to promote the exchange of methods, theories, and lessons learned, in support of real-world GUR applications. Simultaneously, we acknowledge and embrace meaningful growth within the GUR community, from seasoned practitioners to ambitious students, and all members in between.

We are inviting proposals for presentations, panels, roundtables, and tutorial sessions focused on work in and around games user research.

For more information, please visit

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ALT.CTRL.GDC needs your one-of-a-kind alternative controller games!
Game Developers Conference 2015 has opened a call for submissions to ALT.CTRL.GDC — an on-site special exhibit focusing on unique control methods for playing games.

The much-lauded ALT.CTRL.GDC returns to GDC from 4-6 March. The exhibit is open for submissions until 23 December for indie-centric one-of-a-kind game peripherals, contraptions, and novelties which enhance game experiences and challenge traditional forms of input.

Teams for each chosen submission will be asked to showcase their games to GDC attendees at the ALT.CTRL.GDC exhibit area on the expo show floor. They'll also receive a pair of All-Access Passes and a pair of Expo Passes, for a total of four free passes to GDC 2015. In exchange for the passes and free exhibit space, teams will be responsible for their own travel and the delivery of their exhibit submission to GDC in San Francisco.

Those interested in participating in ALT.CTRL.GDC should fill out this online form in its entirety. Students and professionals are eligible to submit. Any questions about the form or the exhibit should be directed to ALT.CTRL.GDC's organizer, John Polson. Learn more at

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Webinar Wednesday Interviews Ubisoft's Lesley Phord-Toy
Lesley Phord-Toy, long time AAA veteran and producer at Ubisoft Toronto, will be delivering a one-on-one interview about her industry experience and her viewpoint on leadership issues at a large studio working on the globe-spanning team responsible for Assassin's Creed: Unity. Register now.

The IGDA hosts weekly webinars surrounding topics in the game industry. Topics rotate every week. To know about or register for future Webinar topics, a calendar is kept here and recordings of past Webinars can be found here.

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Miss an issue of IGDA Insider? Click here to visit the Insider archive page.

Art of Game Design - New Edition!

This new edition presents the fundamentals of game design from one of the world’s top game designers, Jesse Schell. It demonstrates how the principles of psychology used in board games and athletic games also work in video games. The author provides 100+ sets of questions to ask in order to improve your game design.

Event Highlight: Pocket Gamer Connects — Mid-Term Tickets Expire on Sunday
Created and curated by the team behind Pocket Gamer and Pocket Gamer Biz, over 100 speakers from the leading mobile gaming companies will be coming along to share their wisdom. Held on 13-14 January in London, attendees will be able to listen to industry leaders like Rami Ishmail (Vlambeer) and Barry Meade (Fireproof Studios).

For more information and for a 20% IGDA Member discount, click here.

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NXA Studios Presents... A Focus on Character(s)
Dwayne Mason, NXA Studios
Some things we do fairly well - Characters are not one of those things...

Everybody is good at something... Well, most everyone. Some are good at several different things, while others become truly great at one thing in particular.

Rarely does this happen by accident - typically it is the result of a determined effort combined with drive, practice, patience - and a desire to become the best.

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Promoted by Dwayne Mason, NXA Studios

Music is passion - Be passionate!

"Dynamedion is the perfect choice when it comes to game music.

Dynamedion stands for:
- Top-notch quality
- More than 1000 projects over recent years (i.a. Crysis 2, ANNO, The Settlers)
- Numerous prizes and award-winning composers/sound designers
- Straight-forward project management

We'll make your game sound great! We promise!"
Level Up in Game Design

Are you ready to jump in and learn to create games?
Get hands-on experience collaborating with other students to produce games under the guidance of leading industry professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area—the epicenter of game development. Apply now to Academy of Art University's School of Game Design!
FRIMA goes Procedural with Houdini

FRIMA recently brought procedural generation of game content into their production pipeline by using Houdini to generate geometry, animation, game assets and game levels. Houdini’s node-based workflow has given them the tools to work through a wide range of game production challenges.

Event Highlight: SMITE Championship this Weekend — Proceeds go to the IGDA Foundation!
The SMITE North American Regional Championships will be taking place at the Cobb Energy Center's Kessel D Stelling Ballroom in Atlanta, Georgia on 22-23 November. This event will feature four of the top 4 North American SMITE teams battling it out in front of a live audience to determine which 2 teams will advance to the SMITE World Championships. The SMITE World Championships will be taking place in January and will feature professional SMITE teams from around the world playing for a prize pool of over $1,000,000 dollars.

Hi-Rez Studios would like to invite the IGDA community to experience the SMITE North American Regional Championships live. Any ticket purchased with the IGDA Discount code gives 10% to the IGDA Foundation, which manages things like the IGDA Scholars program. Not only do you save 25%, but you’ll also be helping the IGDA! To hear about this and other member benefits, click here. To hear more about SMITE, click here.

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Developer Economic Survey from VisionMobile Closes in 2 Days
Developer Economics is VisionMobile's leading research program, tracking global trends on the app economy and mobile developers. The group just launched a new Developer Economics survey, aimed at mobile and IoT developers. We'd like to invite you to take part in this 10-minute survey and contribute to this freely available knowledge base. Respondents can also enter a draw for some cool prizes, including handsets and some cool gadgets.

The survey tracks the most important metrics for mobile developers, including platform mindshare, app categories and tools, revenues and revenue models — and many more. The key findings from each survey are published in the form of freely available research reports.

You can access the survey here. The key findings from the survey will become available as a free research report in February.

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Upcoming Events

Click here for discount information (requires log in).
To view all upcoming IGDA and IGDA Partner events, click here.

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18th D.I.C.E. Awards — Submissions Open
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), the video games industry’s professional trade organization representing 22,000+ development and creative membership of the video game industry, has opened submissions for the 18th D.I.C.E. Awards (#DICEAwards).

To be eligible for nomination, a game must have been released to the public between 1 January and 31 December 2014 (except for Online Game of the Year, which celebrates the online gameplay experiences past their initial release due to excellent developer support through the significant addition of new and exciting content). Deadline for submission is Monday 1 December. For the complete list of categories and to download a submission packet, visit

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IGDA Member Discount — D.I.C.E. Summit and Awards
The D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit is back for its 14th year, 3-5 February 2015 at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas. D.I.C.E. is a premier C-level conference, gathering the brightest and most creative minds from major publishers, developers and influential industry leaders, dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression. Accessibility to these executives, the relaxed environment and key networking events make the event memorable and easy for individuals to build key relationships and business partnerships. D.I.C.E. is also home to the industry's premier annual awards show, the 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, to promote and acknowledge exceptional accomplishments in the field.

The AIAS is offering a special discount to IGDA members. Please contact Niyosha Arthur at for more details. Additional information on the D.I.C.E. Summit can be found at

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Support IGDA Member Projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo
Many of our members, affiliates and partners rely on several popular crowdfunding platforms to build their communities and financially support their work. Please take a few moments to check out the projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that our members have been dedicating their hard work and energy towards.

If you would like to have a project you’d like showcased on one of our pages, fill out the application form here.

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IGDA Perspectives Says Farewell — Final Issue
"The IGDA Perspectives newsletter has been a highlighted feature for IGDA members and I’m honored to have been involved," writes Perspectives Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth LaPensée. "The newsletter is really thanks to the work of Wendy Despain, who saw the incredible talents of Cat Wendt and the potential in me. In the beginning, we were game writers who couldn’t stop talking about game writing. Ha ha! So we began the IGDA Game Writers Quarterly with the help of John Hendersen. It was such a hit that we expanded to print issues for the Game Developers Conference. And it’s been going ever since with a new theme every month. Along the way, we’ve kept the heart and warmth of that inspiration thanks to all of the contributors over the years."

This issue marks the final edition of IGDA Perspectives. There’s a lot of new things coming from the IGDA in terms of editorial content, but Perspectives was our highlight for the last five years. We still have great new content for this issue, but we also have a section highlighting some of the best content over the years. Thanks to Beth and Cat for working on the newsletter for the last five years. You’ve been incredible!

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Sweden mulls over gender equality labels for video games
The Swedish agency Vinnova has given a gaming industry trade organization a grant to pursue a new project looking into whether video games in the nation should be labelled according to gender equality themes. The news comes from The Local, which reports that the project is inspired by the Bechdel Test, and that under it the association — Dataspelsbranchen — will work alongside multiple game developers to evaluate the issue. The project specifically aims to evaluate how women are portrayed in games and other gender-related issues.
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Tips for motivating your indie team
From selecting your team members to tracking their work, this blog post by Katie Chironis offers useful advice for keeping an independently developed game project up and running.
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'Never Alone': Could a video game help to preserve Inuit culture?
The New Yorker
For more than 3,000 years, the Iñupiat people of Alaska have passed on stories to their children. Like all enduring fiction, the stories deliver truths that transcend cultural shifts. They act as seeds of moral instruction and help to define and preserve the community’s identity. The Iñupiat’s oral tradition, however, is at risk.
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This video game can help high school seniors get into college
Los Angeles Times
High school senior Alex Chinchilla sometimes missed deadlines for college recommendation letters and essays. The consequences were great — but not real. He was playing a video game meant to encourage students like him to apply to college and follow through on deadlines and application requirements. His delays in the game killed his avatar's chances to attend college, but the virtual failures focused Chinchilla on his own actual applications.
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Big Fish Games sold for up to $885 million
The Seattle Times
Big Fish Games — one of Seattle’s largest independent game companies — has finally been sold. The casual-gaming giant was acquired recently by Churchill Downs in an $885 million deal, including $485 million upfront plus up to $350 million more depending on 2016 earnings. Big Fish founder Paul Thelen is eligible for $50 million through a performance bonus based on 2016 sales. Louisville, Kentucky-based Churchill Downs has diversified beyond its famed horse-racing facility into other gambling operations and online games.
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