MassDiGI Paving the Way for Game Development Students (VentureFizz)

As mentioned in a previous post, I was recently asked to help contribute to the growth of VentureFizz.com’s coverage of the New England game development scene. In my latest post, I’ve taken the opportunity to talk about MassDiGI and all of the great work from the students in MassDiGI’s 2013 Summer Innovation Program.  Check out “MassDiGI Paving the Way for Game Development Students”  to learn more about how the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute is laying the foundation for students to succeed in the world of games, while engaging local game executives and developers through a mentorship program.

Good luck to the ’13 Summer Innovation Program participants, both with their current games and in future endeavors!

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For industry insight, check out ‘Monty’s Minute’ on GameBreaker.TV

A colleague of mine for the past 6+ years, Mr. Monty Sharma (aka “the Sharminator”), has been working in the game industry for quite some time. He is currently the managing director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI).  In previous years, he was the co-founder and general manager of Vivox, a voice chat service provider for games.  He’s very well connected in the industry and is a pretty smart dude to boot!

Monty shares some Sharminator knowledge on a weekly basis as host of “Monty’s Minute” on GameBreaker.TV.  So, tune in at http://www.gamebreaker.tv/montys-minute-show-page/. And, send your questions to Monty via monty@gamebreaker.tv – he picks the best and answers them on the show.

PS – Thanks for the shout out in Episode 26, Monty.

Montys Minute

Another Successful Game Challenge in the Books

For the second year in a row, I’ve worked with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) to host their annual Game Challenge. If you are unfamiliar with it, the Game Challenge is a two-day competitive and educational framework in which participating teams (students and Indie developers) create a game concept or prototype, collaborate with industry mentors, and pitch their game to a panel of judges. The ultimate goal of the event is to launch more games in Massachusetts, while helping to make connections between up-and-coming developers and those established in the industry.

Game Challenge WInners

Winners at the high school, college, and indie game developer levels were chosen in the categories of Best Entertainment Game and Best Serious Game. In addition to the competition itself, we organized numerous educational sessions, meet-ups, sponsor talks, and an Indie Game Showcase. We were also lucky to have Roadhouse Interactive’s President and Studio Head, Tarrnie Williams, keynote  on Saturday afternoon, while our judges were hard at work selecting winners. In total 43 teams competed – doubling the amount of competing teams since 2012 – with around 300 attendees. In the end, a very talented group of developers took top honors.

My role with the event has been to manage logistics, nuts-to-bolts, and promotion – everything from organizing our speakers, mentors and judges, to assembling our packed (but amazing) schedule, to taking care of catering, organizing our VIP party, and publicity surrounding the event. And, it was a blast, which is why I’m looking forward to 2014!

Here are a couple of shots – of our winners, and the planning committee (that’s me with Monty and Tim!) 🙂

Tim. Elicia and Monty

MassDiGI Opens Registration for 2013 Game Challenge (3/1/13 – 3/2/13)

2012 MassDiGI Game Challenge Winners, Judges

I started working with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) earlier this year – what a great organization. Based at Becker College in Worcester, MassDiGI helps to bring together local game studios and industry executives with academia across the state, as well as government. One focus area is to help create a supportive environment for young talent and, ultimately, help launch new games in Massachusetts. The annual MassDiGI Game Challenge competition is just one way that MassDiGI has made an impact.

Our first Challenge was held in April 2012 with over 28 competing teams and some amazing game concepts and prototypes presented by students and Indies.  We’re in the process of planning for the 2013 Challenge, which will include expanded prize offerings and programming, another robust mentorship program and an Indie game showcase.

Registration for the 2013 Game Challenge, which will be held March 1, 2013 – March 2, 2013 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, just opened today! More details and links to registration can be found on www.MassDiGI.org.

Hope to see you there!