SIPBLOG: Let the games begin – 6/6/24

Team NeccoLet the games begin
By Lara Lewis, Northeastern University MS ’25
Onboarding is complete, and pre-production is a go! Our teams have officially begun in-person development of this year’s SIP projects.
This year’s group consists of three teams of developers, each containing a mix of artists, programmers and developers. I’m on Team Necco. The other teams are O-Pee-Chee and Leaf. The teams are working from both WPI and NEU to create three fun, engaging games over the next few weeks. This week was dedicated to concept development and project pitching, and next week begins the work of planning and kickstarting three new games.
On Thursday, the WPI group came to NEU to meet with their Boston peers and work face-to-face for the first time since kick-off. This week, the NEU branch is venturing to Worcester to see the other sides’ stomping grounds. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there!

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SIPBLOG: SIP24 takes off! – 5/24/24

SIP24 takes off!

By Liberty Henry, Emerson College ‘24

SIP24 onboardingThis week, the MassDigi team began the onboarding process for SIP24. This first week we’ve been on Zoom, focusing on becoming acquainted with one another and getting into the groove of working together as a team. Led by Monty Sharma, Tim Loew, and Walt Yarbough, our team has undergone several different meetings discussing existing games and the game industry as a whole. They’ve also completed numerous activities where they’ve dissected aspects of pre-existing games, as well as tried to come up with different game mechanics and prompts to get their own creative gears turning.  

By far one of the biggest takeaways our participants have had is that communication is key. This is especially important as, this year, we are operating with three different teams spread across our locations at WPI and Northeastern. We are happy to announce the sickly-sweet names of our three main teams: Leaf, Necco, and O-Pee-Chee. All three teams will work over the course of the next ten weeks to create three separate games. 

Our participants have already begun to grow quite close, and have been very excited to start working on their projects. As our teams enter pre-production, we are excited to see what this year’s batch of SIP participants will bring to the table. 

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SIP24 team selected – 4/12/24

Since 2012, the Summer Innovation Program’s first year, applications to SIP have evolved year over year in terms of quality, geography, major and diversity. This time around we received applications from 278 undergraduate and graduate students representing 66 colleges and universities.

Choosing only 16 as interns was very challenging. After many hours, we selected a really talented group. This summer’s SIP24 team will be made up of interns from 9 institutions including Berklee, Emerson, MassArt, Northeastern, RIC, RISD, Smith, Tufts and WPI.

SIP24 – which will have two locations this year, one at WPI in Worcester, the other at Northeastern in Boston, both in collaboration with the Venture Forum – begins on May 21 and concludes on August 2. Over those 11+ weeks, with guidance from staff and industry mentors, SIP24 teams will be responsible for all the work necessary to build and launch a game. Simply put, there is no internship program like it in the world. We can’t wait to get started!

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GAME LAUNCH: Wobbles! – 4/5/24

Our talented friend Nicky Mudry took Wobbles, originally created by him and his teammates during MassDigi SIP13, and shipped it on Steam! Get it here!

In the game, you play as a god-like figure, guiding a line of adorable creatures called Wobbles across a landscape that you manipulate using various gadgets. As you do this, you are progressing the Wobbles civilization through the eras and advancing their technology, ultimately unlocking new gadgets for you to use.

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GAME LAUNCH: Mix it up with Street Shuffle! – 3/18/24

Our talented friends at Slice of Pie Games took Street Shuffle, originally created during MassDigi XP, and shipped it on Steam! Get it here!

Street Shuffle is a strategic card game with a focus on a party member system and combinations of different classes of cards, all set in an urban neighborhood with elements of street performance and hip hop.

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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 at WPI.
  • 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 on or before March 31, 2024.**
  • SIP 24 is scheduled to run from May 21 to August 2.**
  • Please read the FAQ’s before applying. 


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


Who can participate?

The Summer Innovation Program is open to all but preference is given 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 2)**. 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 but preference is given to 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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International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games: May 21-24, 2024 – WPI, Worcester, MA

Join us in Worcester 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 here.

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