Save the dates: 2017 Game Challenge, SIP, Made in MA at GDC & Pre-PAX East Made in MA Party – 11/29/16

Above: L to R - Competitor Chaima Jemmali meets with mentor Wizdy’s Nikita Virani

Save the following dates!

  • 2017 Game Challenge, Feb. 24-25, 2017, team registration opens Dec. 6, 2016
  • 2017 Summer Innovation Program, May 16 – Aug. 11, 2017, application period opens on Jan. 2, 2017
  • 2017 Made in MA at GDC Party, Feb. 28, 2017, tickets available beginning Jan. 9, 2017
  • 2017 Pre-PAX East Made in MA Party, Mar. 9, 2017, tickets available beginning Jan. 23, 2017

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GAME LAUNCH Takeover Trail: The world is yours – 11/15/16

Takeover Trail: The world is yours

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

filett_000Takeover Trail, a free, fun, strategy game about world domination, is available for download now on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The mobile game was created during the 2016 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Sarah Spiers from Emerson College, Ian Clinkenbeard and Erica Lyons from Becker, Prisyafandiafif Charifa from NYU, Conor Canavan from LYIT (Ireland), Elizabeth Lanahan from RISD and Joe Marchuk from Berklee College of Music.

Working over the summer, the team produced a beta/near-release version of the game – watch the trailer here. From there, we brought the game into our LiveStudio program at Becker during the fall ’16 semester. Through LiveStudio, more students across a range of disciplines had roles in polishing the game and getting it ready to launch. For a roster of all the contributors to the game, check out the credit roll. You can download Takeover Trail today for iOS and Android.

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GAME LAUNCH Smash Crusaders breaks out – 11/11/16

Smash Crusaders breaks out

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

smashcrusadersSmash Crusaders, a free and fun mobile game, is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The title, a Breakout-meets-endless-runner game, was created during the 2016 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Sam Luangkhot from Smith College, J Tuason from RIT, Marc McCrevan from Becker College, Andrew Barrett from Northeastern University, Liam Doherty from Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Ireland) and Joe Marchuk from Berklee College of Music.

Working over the summer, the SIP team produced a beta/near-release version of the game – watch the trailer here. From there, we brought the game into our LiveStudio program at Becker during the fall ’16 semester. Through LiveStudio, more students across a range of disciplines had roles in polishing the game, originally known as Slime Break, and getting it ready to launch. For a roster of all the contributors to the game check out the credit roll. You can download Smash Crusaders today for iOS and Android.

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MassDiGI wins EforAll Summit Innovation Award – 11/7/16

MassDiGI wins EforAll Summit Innovation Award

By MassDiGI Communications Team

EforAll Summit

EforAll Summit – Robert E. Johnson, PhD, Monty Sharma and Tim Loew

MassDiGI was honored with the first-ever Innovation Award at the 2016 Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Summit in Lowell, Mass. on November 3. EforAll is an organization that works with mid-size cities to spur economic growth and create social impact within the community. This international conference brings together city leaders, investors, foundations, organizations, and schools committed to entrepreneurship and social impact in mid-sized cities. Summit speakers included entrepreneurs Ted Leonsis, owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and former senior executive at AOL, and Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s.

Speaking about the award, David Parker, executive director of EforAll said, “The Innovation Award seeks to recognize a program that’s doing something different to spur economic development in mid-sized cities. MassDiGI’s nomination stood out immediately and EforAll is proud to recognize their innovative efforts of utilizing the digital and video games ecosystem to foster economic growth.”

Since 2011 MassDiGI at Becker College has been a state-wide driver for entrepreneurship, academic collaboration, and economic improvement in the digital and video game industries across the Commonwealth. Remarking on the award, MassDiGI Advisory Board chair, Becker President Robert E. Johnson said he was “so proud of all MassDiGI and Becker have accomplished over the years. It is great to receive the recognition of such an important entrepreneurial group like EforAll. It really affirms the mission of MassDiGI and Becker to equip future innovators.”

MassDiGI Executive Director Tim Loew accepted the Innovation Award. “Our work with entrepreneurs and students over the years has been rewarding and humbling in its own right – and being recognized for that is very meaningful,” said Loew.

Loew participated in a panel at the Summit entitled “How to Keep/Attract Young People in Mid-Sized Cities.” Panel discussion focused on methods that cities, organizations, and colleges can deploy to retain an energized group of young people looking to make a difference. Fellow panelists included Andy Vargas from EforAll, Justin Kang from City Awake, the civic innovation lab of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Karina Leblanc from the University of New Brunswick’s Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Chris Miller of the St. Louis-based Mission Center L3C which is an incubator and accelerator for high-impact social enterprises.

Alongside MassDiGI, Kyla Pacheco of Action! Worcester won the Top Entrepreneur Award which gave Worcester a large presence at the Summit. Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. stated, “Entrepreneurship has played a pivotal role in Worcester’s past and continues to do so today. And, with the award-winning efforts of MassDiGI and Action! Worcester I look forward to what our future holds.”

Reposted from becker.edu with additions, minor edits.

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GAME LAUNCH Comet Cats purrs into action – 10/18/16

Comet Cats purrs into action

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

Comet Cats, a free and fun mobile game in which you stack cats to reach towering new heights is now available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The game was created during the 2016 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Tyler Haddad and Ben Page from Becker, Joe Marchuk from Berklee, Sienna Cornish from Hampshire, Fury Sheron from Tufts, Abby Jackson from Wheaton (MA) and Graham Held from WPI.

Working over that summer, the team produced a playable beta of the game – watch the trailer here. From there, we brought the game into our LiveStudio program at Becker during the fall ’16 semester. Through LiveStudio, more students across a range of disciplines had roles in polishing the game and getting it ready to launch. For a roster of all the contributors to the game check out the credit roll. You can download it today for iOS and Android.

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GAME LAUNCH Lotto Boxes opens for business – 10/9/16

Lotto Boxes opens for business

By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI

Lotto Boxes, a free, fun and fast-moving mobile game now available for iOS and Android devices, lets players tap to open boxes, sort them and collect Golden Tickets – while hidden amid all the action is a secret.

Lotto Boxes

The experimental game, underwritten by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, was created by a team led by MassDiGI in collaboration with MassDIGI SIP alumni, Becker College students and alumni as well as Petricore GamesThe Lotto Boxes effort, which began this past spring, is directed primarily at young people (7th through 10th grades) and focused on messages and feelings around the issues of income inequality, economic insecurity and the wealth gap.

Over the coming months, the Lotto Boxes team will be focused on distribution, the development of teaching materials and raising additional resources to update and expand the game.

Watch the Lotto Boxes trailer here and download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store today.

 

 

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MassDiGI awarded $583K in federal funding

Read more about it at Gamasutra, Engadget, McGovern.House.Gov, WBJ, Worcester Sun, Telegram.com and GoLocal.

Official press release:

MassDiGI at Becker College Awarded $583K in Federal Funding


The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded a five year, $583,000 University Center program grant to MassDiGI at Becker College to support its ongoing efforts to promote entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the state’s video and digital games ecosystem. This is the second such grant for MassDiGI from the competitive University Center program. The first was awarded in September 2011.

“The work MassDiGI does in leveraging our state’s strengths in higher education, technology, innovation and creativity continues to stand out,” said U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (MA-2). “This EDA grant will give MassDiGI the chance to level up their ability to have an even greater impact. I’ve seen their work firsthand and I’m excited for what the next five years will bring.”

Established in April 2011, MassDiGI is the result of creative collaboration among academia, industry, and government, aimed at nurturing the growth of the game industry cluster in the region.

“As chair of the MassDiGI Advisory Board, I am extremely pleased that we have been selected again by the EDA for funding,” said Becker College President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. “MassDiGI is one-of-a-kind and delivers tremendous value to the many students, faculty, startups and industry professionals it reaches each year, be they on campus, here in Worcester or throughout the Commonwealth – and increasingly, across the country and around the world.”

“Worcester is proud to be the home of MassDiGI at Becker College,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “Our city’s future is brighter because of the work they do in helping to foster the growth of our local game development community.”

MassDiGI offers a number of programs and activities which nurture collaboration among students, faculty and the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

File_00spiers0Best known among its offerings is the Summer Innovation Program (SIP).  During this Worcester-based internship program students take a game from concept to market in 12 weeks.

More than 700 students from dozens of institutions around the world have applied since SIP began in 2012. Of those applicants over 100 students have participated from schools such as MIT, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Southern California, Rhode Island School of Design, Northeastern University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland, Smith College, Berklee School of Music, New York University, and Becker College.

SIP alumni have gone on to work at a range of companies including Harmonix, Microsoft, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Amazon, Warner Bros., 2K, Disruptor Beam, Uber, Nickelodeon, Sony, Facebook, and Hasbro or startup their own studios such as Zephyr Workshop, Starcap Games, and Petricore Games.

Among MassDiGI’s other programs are its Game Challenge pitch competition for aspiring game developers held every year in Cambridge, Mass., Live Studio cross-registration courses at Becker and Mentoring on Demand advisory services for entrepreneurs and non-profits.

“The EDA University Center program has been a key to many of the successes of our first five years,” said MassDiGI Executive Director Timothy Loew.  “And, this grant will allow us, over the next five, to build on those successes, deepen our capacity, and scale up our efforts over all our programs and activities.”

“In my work with game industry communities across the globe, MassDiGI shines as a leader for its support of game companies,” said California-based M2 Advisory Group CEO Wanda Meloni. “This funding is a testament to MassDiGI’s outstanding work and the acknowledgement of what can happen when you have the right combination of leadership, collaboration from academia, and support from the local community and businesses.”

Meloni is also the editor in chief of Gaming Business Review and executive director of the Open Gaming Alliance.

With its experienced staff and a cadre of veteran game development mentors, MassDiGI works to help strengthen the area’s games sector, advising on everything from strategy and marketing, to financing and hiring.

“Starting up a game studio as a novice entrepreneur right out of college is a risky proposition. There’s no question we wouldn’t be where we are today without the continuing advice and guidance we get from MassDiGI,” said Petricore Games Co-founder and CEO Ryan Canuel.

Canuel is also the 2016 Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year and a Becker College ’15 and MassDiGI SIP ’14 alumnus.

More information about MassDiGI can be found at massdigi.org or by following @mass_digi on Twitter.

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MassDiGI awarded $583K in federal funding – 9/29/16

Read more about it at Gamasutra, Engadget, McGovern.House.Gov, WBJWorcester Sun, Telegram.com, and GoLocal.

Official press release:

MassDiGI at Becker College Awarded $583K in Federal Funding


The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded a five year, $583,000 University Center program grant to MassDiGI at Becker College to support its ongoing efforts to promote entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the state’s video and digital games ecosystem. This is the second such grant for MassDiGI from the competitive University Center program. The first was awarded in September 2011.

“The work MassDiGI does in leveraging our state’s strengths in higher education, technology, innovation and creativity continues to stand out,” said U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (MA-2). “This EDA grant will give MassDiGI the chance to level up their ability to have an even greater impact. I’ve seen their work firsthand and I’m excited for what the next five years will bring.”

Established in April 2011, MassDiGI is the result of creative collaboration among academia, industry, and government, aimed at nurturing the growth of the game industry cluster in the region.

“As chair of the MassDiGI Advisory Board, I am extremely pleased that we have been selected again by the EDA for funding,” said Becker College President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. “MassDiGI is one-of-a-kind and delivers tremendous value to the many students, faculty, startups and industry professionals it reaches each year, be they on campus, here in Worcester or throughout the Commonwealth – and increasingly, across the country and around the world.”

“Worcester is proud to be the home of MassDiGI at Becker College,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “Our city’s future is brighter because of the work they do in helping to foster the growth of our local game development community.”

MassDiGI offers a number of programs and activities which nurture collaboration among students, faculty and the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

File_00spiers0Best known among its offerings is the Summer Innovation Program (SIP).  During this Worcester-based internship program students take a game from concept to market in 12 weeks.

More than 700 students from dozens of institutions around the world have applied since SIP began in 2012. Of those applicants over 100 students have participated from schools such as MIT, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Southern California, Rhode Island School of Design, Northeastern University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland, Smith College, Berklee School of Music, New York University, and Becker College.

SIP alumni have gone on to work at a range of companies including Harmonix, Microsoft, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Amazon, Warner Bros., 2K, Disruptor Beam, Uber, Nickelodeon, Sony, Facebook, and Hasbro or startup their own studios such as Zephyr Workshop, Starcap Games, and Petricore Games.

Among MassDiGI’s other programs are its Game Challenge pitch competition for aspiring game developers held every year in Cambridge, Mass., Live Studio cross-registration courses at Becker and Mentoring on Demand advisory services for entrepreneurs and non-profits.

“The EDA University Center program has been a key to many of the successes of our first five years,” said MassDiGI Executive Director Timothy Loew.  “And, this grant will allow us, over the next five, to build on those successes, deepen our capacity, and scale up our efforts over all our programs and activities.”

“In my work with game industry communities across the globe, MassDiGI shines as a leader for its support of game companies,” said California-based M2 Advisory Group CEO Wanda Meloni. “This funding is a testament to MassDiGI’s outstanding work and the acknowledgement of what can happen when you have the right combination of leadership, collaboration from academia, and support from the local community and businesses.”

Meloni is also the editor in chief of Gaming Business Review and executive director of the Open Gaming Alliance.

With its experienced staff and a cadre of veteran game development mentors, MassDiGI works to help strengthen the area’s games sector, advising on everything from strategy and marketing, to financing and hiring.

“Starting up a game studio as a novice entrepreneur right out of college is a risky proposition. There’s no question we wouldn’t be where we are today without the continuing advice and guidance we get from MassDiGI,” said Petricore Games Co-founder and CEO Ryan Canuel.

Canuel is also the 2016 Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year and a Becker College ’15 and MassDiGI SIP ’14 alumnus.

More information about MassDiGI can be found at massdigi.org or by following @mass_digi on Twitter.

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