Welcome to DevConnect (or what we’re doing in lieu of GDC) – 3/18/20
Welcome to DevConnect (or what we’re doing in lieu of GDC)
For many game industry professionals GDC is a critically important and irreplaceable annual event. For many students and recent graduates looking to break into the industry it is no less so. Since we work with many students we wanted to create something that could offer them some value and help take a little of the sting out of GDC’s cancellation. And, after putting a call out to our awesome friends in the game industry for help, we have been able to do just that with what we are calling DevConnect.
“This is a hard time for everyone,” said Monty Sharma, managing director of MassDiGI and lead organizer of DevConnect. “And, it is inspiring to see so many busy professionals taking the time to help young people just getting started.”
DevConnect, beginning today and running through Friday, will give dozens of students and recent graduates from 13 different colleges and universities the chance to take part in online mini talks, one-on-ones and portfolio reviews with game industry professionals from 16 companies, studios and organizations.
“When GDC was canceled, everyone was standing around and wondering how we would make up for the lost opportunity,” said Sofia Syjuco, a Carnegie Mellon University ‘19 alumna as well as an IGDA Velocity ’20 and IGDA GDC Scholar ’19 awardee. “Luckily, MassDiGI took action and it’s making a big difference for us!”
For students, this is an opportunity to interact with professionals and learn, gather feedback on their body of work and get a sense of where the industry is headed.
“As I get ready for graduation next year, connecting with professionals is an important part of my plan to begin establishing relationships in the game industry,” said Jennifer Kindl, a current student at Becker College and an IGDA Scholar ‘19 and Microsoft Game Changer ‘19 awardee. “DevConnect is the kind of event that will help me do that even amidst so much uncertainty.”
For professionals, this is an opportunity to connect with students and give back, offer guidance and scout the next generation of talent.
“Building a network is crucial to making it in any industry,” said Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir of Bonfire Studios. “This is a problem for students everywhere, but once a year we used to see them at GDC. It is great that everyone was able to work together and make this happen.”
Special thanks to all the participants from Bungie, Riot Games, Day for Night Games, BeamNG, Adventure Labs, FIX Health, Bonfire Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, Happy People Games, Filament Games, Vision Online Games, Standing Stone Games, MassDiGI, Twisted Pixel Games, Mythos CEX and GDC/Gamasutra.
And, of course, many thanks to the students and recent graduates from WPI, Wellesley, USC, SVA, RIT, Northeastern, MECA, Lesley, FAST NUCES, CMU, BU, Brown and Becker.
– By Timothy Loew, executive director, MassDiGI
*A version of this post can also be found on Gamasutra here.