About SIP 24 – 2/20/24

2024 Summer Innovation Program

The 2024 MassDigi Summer Innovation Program (SIP) is an eleven-week program that includes the mentoring, guidance, awards (aka stipends) and support** to help student teams finalize an original game and prepare it for launch.

  • A chance to work on a game prototype from the ground up
  • Work with a team of peers to help create the next big hit
  • Industry mentors to help guide you
  • Two locations; one in Boston at Northeastern University, one in Worcester.
  • An award (aka a stipend) but no housing**

This is not just another program but a chance to hold the fate of a game in your hands.  There are industry mentors and faculty to help you – but in the end it is up to your team to build a successful game.**

  • SIP 24 is now accepting expressions of interest. Expressions of interest are due by March 22, 2024 at 11:59 ET. Notifications regarding expressions of interest will be sent prior to March 31, 2024.**
  • SIP 24 is tentatively scheduled to run from May 21 to August 9, though final dates are subject to change.**
  • Please read the FAQ’s before applying. 

EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST HERE

** Pending funding and approvals, all is subject to change including stipend, locations, dates etc.

FAQs

Who can participate?

The Summer Innovation Program is open to students who will be entering their sophomore, junior or senior year (and graduate students, too) at a regionally-accredited college or university.* Students must be able to commit to a typical work week for the entire duration of program – from virtual onboarding (May 21-24) to the core program (May 28-August 9)**. Certain eligibility requirements, as noted below and in the application, must be met. This year, pending funding and approvals, there may be two sites – one in Boston at Northeastern and one in Worcester. Housing is not available this year. **

The SIP process is very competitive. For example, last year 326 students attending 94 different colleges and universities from around the world applied for the 25 available slots. For more information on SIP23, please visit our blog.

What disciplines can apply?

Students studying game design, development, programming, animation, art, production and computer science will make up most of the teams, but there is room for marketers, writers and musicians, as well as others, too.

What will you build?

In addition to team-generated projects, on occasion, MassDigi also works with a number of sponsors that are building everything from mobile entertainment games to educational titles.  You will work on a team that is focused on one title – though you will have a chance to help out on some of the other titles.

Is housing included?

No. Housing is not included.

Wait, does this include food?

No, MassDigi does not have the ability to provide meals. There are a number of local restaurants and grocery stores.

What does this cost?

Nothing. In fact, you will receive a very modest award for your participation.

What is an award (aka a stipend)?

Money. You will receive an award of of $1000. You must be properly authorized in the US to receive an award.**

Where have SIP alumni gone on to work?

SIP alumni have gone on to work or intern at a range of companies and organizations including Sony, Google, 2K, Nickelodeon, Harmonix, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, MIT Lincoln Lab, EA, Amazon, Turbine/Warner Bros., Wooga, Blizzard, Uber, Pilot Studio, SAP, Wizards of the Coast, Wayfair, Mightier, Filament Games, Epic, Rockstar New England, Magic Leap, Disney, Adult Swim, OtherSide Entertainment, Riot, Teach for America, Roosterteeth, Unity, Zapdot, HakJak, Maxis, Insomniac Games, Epic Games, Hi-Rez Studios, Kongregate, Philips, Fanbyte, Niantic Labs, Zynga, Goldman Sachs, Wellington, Bungie, Disbelief, Velan, Other Ocean, Toys for Bob, Legends of Learning, Zenimax, Proletariat, Larian and Hasbro or startup their own studios such as Shattered Journal, Zephyr Workshop, Snoozy Kazoo and Petricore.

What games have come out of SIP in past years?

Last summer, SIP 23 teams built Aliens Want Our Mascot!, Rodent Rampage, Milo’s Magical Adventure and Rock On, Raccoon! while the Summer Studio 23 team built Merge Monastery. In SIP22, the teams built Cafe Cat, Hellfire Hair, Demigod Daycare and Get Low, Grandpa. Prior to that, SIP21 teams created Clock Out!, House Haunters, Bewitching Boba and Trials of Midnight. Most prior year games that are still updated can be found by searching for MassDigi in the Apple App and Google Play Stores while a few can also be found on Steam.

Do I have to be a student at WPI to participate?

No. The program is open to all college and university students who will be entering at least their sophomore, junior or senior year (and graduate students, too) at a regionally-accredited college or university.* In past years students from institutions such as MIT, USC, Carnegie Mellon, Smith, Champlain, Tufts, Clark, Mt. Holyoke, RIT, RPI, NYU, Wellesley, Swarthmore, Emerson, BU, UMass Lowell, UMass Boston, UMass Amherst, UMass Dartmouth, MassArt, Brandeis, Acadia (Canada), Vassar, Amherst, Parsons, Fitchburg St., Union, Colby, Hampshire, Union, Temple, Brown, Vassar, Cornell, Bryn Mawr, Pratt, LYIT (Ireland), IUPUI, WIT, Quinnipiac, Northeastern, Swarthmore, Lesley, SVA, RISD, Southern Maine, MECA, Penn, Framingham St., Becker and Berklee have been accepted.

How many students are accepted into the program?

We hope to accept 6-25 students into SIP.

* The regional-accreditation requirement may not apply for applicants enrolled in non-US institutions. International students must handle their own visas and documents as required.

** Pending funding, all is subject to change including stipend, location, dates etc.

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Onward! – 12/7/23

MassDigi was founded with the goal of nurturing and growing the Massachusetts digital games ecosystem. Since our establishment in 2011, we’ve worked with hundreds of students from colleges and universities across the US, Canada, Ireland and elsewhere, published over 60 games, met with dozens of of studios and startups, and supported many conferences and events.

Sticker on poleMassDigi is now making WPI its permanent home. At WPI, we’ve found an institutional home that aligns well with our mission through its focus on project-based learning and its thriving games and interactive media program. We’ve always been driven by our focus on workforce development, creating professional opportunities for students and young professionals, and showcasing the amazing work with games and interactive media happening all across the Commonwealth. Though Tim and Monty are now stepping back from their full time role with MassDigi, they will stay on in an advisory capacity, and our mission remains the same. And they will both stay involved in the Summer Innovation Program – we hope to open applications for SIP toward the end of January.

Stay tuned for new things in the new year, as well as some old things, reimagined.

Onward to the next decade of MassDigi!

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Welcoming FDG2024 to Worcester – 11/30/23

FDG 2024Join us in Worcester in May 2024 for the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) invites any-and-all research contributions that advance the study, understanding, and knowledge of digital games. From traditional academic submissions to interactive playable experiences, to panel proposals, doctoral consortium applications, and beyond, FDG strives to provide a welcoming home for all types of games scholarship. For more information about FDG, please click here.

 

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Party, party, party! – 11/28/23

If you’re in the area next Thursday, December 7th, please join us at WPI Seaport for the Boston Game Dev Holiday Party. Mostly a social event, the party will also have a couple of spots open for casual demos. In addition to the people, we’ll have snacks and a cash bar. RSVP on meetup.com here.

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Beginning our 14th year – 10/19/23

On October 19, 2010 an impressive group of people from across the game industry, higher education and the public sector gathered in Worcester for an event called “MASS Impact: Video Games, Economic Development & Job Creation” to kick around an idea – and that idea became Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. After that event, a steering committee was formed, another meeting was held and MassDigi was formally launched at an event on April 26, 2011. The rest is history.

Original logo, 2011

Over the years, we’ve tried many things, some more successfully than others, made changes and adjustments, started up efforts and wound down some but we’ve always kept a primary focus on students, jobs and the games community. And, as we begin our 14th year, with change as a constant, that approach and that focus remains.

No photo description available.

MASS Impact event flyer, October 19, 2010

Becker College student Ilir Mborja, 26, right, of Worcester displays his video game to Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray yesterday at Becker College.

Video game institute unveiled in Worcester, April 26, 2011

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GAME LAUNCH: Zen out in Merge Monastery! – 8/29/23

Merge Monastery, a free, fun merge game, is available for download now at Google Play.

Stuck in an emotionally hard place, you stumble upon an old garden corrupted by bitter emotions that needs a bit of pruning, love, and care.

The world could use a little more positivity, and what better way to represent that idea than by growing happiness through the literal fruits of your labor?

The mobile game was created during the first-ever 2023 MassDigi Summer Studio program by a core development team of Clark University students including Maxwell Xavier, Jay Lam, Wednesday D’Angelo, Ismail Alatise, Alona Yeganova, David MacRae, Emily Clewes, Charles Marble, RJ Anthony, Tyler Gaughan, Ed Greig, Porter Orvetti and Chenxi Gao.

Watch the trailer here and download Merge Monastery today for Android!

 

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GAME LAUNCH: Roll up for Milo’s Magical Adventure! – 8/10/23

Milo’s Magical Adventure, a free, fun platformer game, is available for download now on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Tumble and flap through a magical world as a baby dragon trying to find its mom.

Milo, a plucky young dragon, has a problem: their mom has gone missing! Take off on a quest to find out what happened to her, as you navigate the terrain of an enchanted world. Scamper through forests and villages, using your wits to avoid the many hazards of the realm.

The mobile game was created during the 2023 MassDigi Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Selina Mailman from Acadia, Abi Rauch from WPI, Luke Colburn from Brown, Henry Cecchini from Vassar, Jess Stutman from MassArt, Alma Clark from Amherst and Brandon Zongora from Berklee.

Watch the trailer here and download Milo’s Magical Adventure today for iOS and Android!

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GAME LAUNCH: Get beamed up in Aliens Want Our Mascot?! – 8/9/23

Aliens Want Our Mascot?!, a free, fun strategy game, is available for download now on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Your beloved high school mascot, Bovis the Bovine, is under attack! Collect school spirit, rally students to your cause, and annihilate the alien threat in this grid-based tower defense game.

Bovine High may be your typical high school, but every student you recruit is more than just a cliche. Though their abilities and extracurriculars may be different, they all swear undying devotion to their school mascot, so it’s up to you to rally the troops and defend them. Choose your placements wisely, combine different cliques, and defeat the extraterrestrial threat before the next bell!

The mobile game was created during the 2023 MassDigi Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Nick Frangie from WPI, Adam Ying from RISD, Asher Uman from Smith, Tommy Hu from NYU, Jacob Czerepica from Clark, Jessica Liano and Brandon Zongora from Berklee.

Watch the trailer here and download Aliens Want Our Mascot?! today for iOS and Android!

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GAME LAUNCH: Get your groove on with Rock On, Raccoon! – 8/8/23

Rock On, Raccoon!, a free, fun rhythm game, is available for download now on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Battle other animal groups as a raccoon garage band in this mobile rhythm title!

The game was created during the 2023 MassDigi Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Noah Bunis from Brandeis, Jade McEvoy from WPI, Amanda Rowe from RIT, James Robinson from Acadia, Sage Rebello from Cornell, Kate Tsai from RISD and Brandon Zongora from Berklee.

Watch the trailer here and download Rock On, Raccoon! today for iOS and Android!

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GAME LAUNCH: Go nuts in Rodent Rampage! – 8/7/23

Rodent Rampage, a free, fun scrolling adventure game, is available for download now on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Watch out for this acorn aviator! When it comes to acorn selection, it’s do or starve, and S.Q. Tailblazer sure ain’t gonna starve! This year you have a plan… As seen on tv, everything’s better with a jetpack. Lucky for you, not everyone remembers to lock their shed – and there’s a leaf blower inside with your name on it. Good thing you stole that engineering degree!

The mobile game was created during the 2023 MassDigi Summer Innovation Program (SIP) by students Jericho Dibb from MassArt -> Gnomon, Alexandra Mintz from WPI, Elisha Kelley from Clark, Alice Han from BU, Kerri Thornton from WPI, Marlaine Hanna from Northeastern and Brandon Zongora from Berklee.

Watch the trailer here and download Rodent Rampage today for iOS and Android!

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