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IGDA GDC 2011 Scholar Report

IGDA GDC 2011 Scholar Report

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Published by: igdaorg on Apr 07, 2011
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GDC'11 Student Scholarship Reports
Each scholarship recipient was asked to compile a report of their adventure to GDC. Here are thesubmitted reports, which describe their favorite sessions and advice to others heading to GDC for the firsttime. Enjoy!
Student Report Index
Bobby Anguelov - University of PretoriaStephen Ascher - Concordia UniversityAndrew Bertino - Florida Interactive Entertainment AcademySarah Chu - University of Wisconsin-MadisonPaul DiPastina - Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTeale Fristoe - UC Santa CruzSalvador Garcia-Martinez - Concordia UniversityAdam Green - University of TeessidePier Guillen - Purdue UniversityMary Holtschneider - Wake Technical Community CollegeAndrew Hsu - Stanford UniversitySho Iwamoto - Hokkaido UniversityArpita Kapoor - ABV Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management
Abhimanyu Kumar - Indian Institute of Management 
Arvind Kumar - Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology CenterZach Lindblad - UC Santa CruzBilly Matjiunis - George Brown CollegeHazel Mckendrick - University of EdinburghMargaret Moser - Parsons, New School for DesignSanghee Oh - University of Southern CaliforniaJacob Pennock - East Carolina UniversityMolly Proffitt - Savannah College of Art and DesignMichael Scott - Brunel UniversitySamantha Vick - University of Southern CaliforniaWenjie Wu - University of Tokyo
Bobby Anguelov
GDC was a real eye opener for me. I
m currently looking at getting into the game industry and it was anamazing experience from both a learning and a networking perspective. The IGDA scholarship made myyear. This was my first exposure to the real game industry, an industry previously to which my only accesswas through online articles and game development books.I spent the entire first two days at the AI summit, then the next three were spent in a mad dash runningbetween talks, meetings with peoples and networking. At the end of the week I was dead on my feet but itwas worth it. I didn
t walk away with a ton of cards but the ones I did walk away with were important.My mentor was Neil Kirby, he and his friend Dave Mark took me under their wing and helped me survivethe conference by giving me pep talks when I needed them and introducing me to a whole lot of importantpeople!My favorite sessions were the following:
The Entire AI summit: this relatedmostly to my interests and I
d be hard pressed to pick the besttalk from the entire lineup. Its sufficient to say they were all informative and interesting.
Living Crowds: AI & Animation in Assassin
s Creed Brotherhood – this session covered just howwell crowd behavior could be faked through simple animation. It made me realize that it ispossible to simulate entire living crowds with almost no actually AI.
Lighting you up in battlefield 3: It was really amazing to see how DICE implemented pseudo real-time radiosity in the frostbite game engine.My advice to future scholar recipients is as follows:
Bring lots of business cards, but be careful not to put student on them. Also make sure to leavethe backs blank.
Try and get a hotel as close to the conference as possible, trust me you
ll be grateful at the end ofthe day.
Do not miss any opportunity to network, no matter how shy you are and pick your eventscarefully. Don
t blow off a large publisher
s event for a college club dinner. You are there to meetindustry professionals not other students.
And most importantly of all relax and enjoy yourself. If are not sure about a future in the gameindustry after a week at GDC you
ll know for sure if game dev is for you or not.Thanks to everyone involved in giving me this amazing opportunity! I really appreciate it and it was one ofthe best weeks of my life!
Andrew Bertino
Two months ago, on my way out to dinner, I received a phone call. It was an unrecognized number fromCalifornia. I thought to myself for a moment and it hit me. It couldn
t be I said to myself. After answeringthe phone, my assumption had proven true.
On the other end of the phone was Gordon Bellamy, the Executive Director of the IGDA. He informed meof winning one of the twenty-five IGDA scholarships for GDC 2011. I honestly don
t remember much ofthat conversation as it all happened so fast. But I do recall my responses, which were pretty muchcomprised of awesome and thank you.When a professor of mine sent out an email about an article on Gamasutra talking about the IGDAscholarship, I never expected it would lead where it did. I honestly assumed it was a long shot. But I tookmy time and submitted the application.I
ve always wanted to make video games, even when I was a child. I graduated from Florida State with adegree in IT. After two years of Web Development, I knew that was not where I wanted to be. Thus whenmy job as a Web Developer was in jeopardy due to layoffs, I knew now was the time. I could no longer sitaround and miss my chance to be part of the industry. I think not taking that chance would have hauntedme forever.From that, I applied and got accepted into the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the Universityof Central Florida. FIEA is a graduate program in game development where we work on prototype games,and even make 8 month capstone games with team sizes in the 20s.These are the events that led me to FIEA, led me to that email, and led me to the phone call fromGordon. I had become one of the twenty-five GDC 2011 Scholars and I was going to San Francisco forGDC, an event, prior to a year ago, I assumed I would never get to attend.My experience as an IGDA scholar was both memorable and rewarding. The people I met and the skills Ilearned in the week at GDC were amazing. From the private tours of studios, to the networking we wereable to do with Zynga, Microsoft, Epic, and other companies, the experience was really like nothing I hadbeen a part of before.Aside from the meeting with companies, having lunch with Zynga, and all the completely awesome thingsJack Bogdan, Sheri Rubin, and Gordon planned for us, some of the best experiences came from meetingand talking to the other 24 scholars.GDC and this entire experience of being an IGDA Scholar, if nothing else, taught me one thing. I am agame developer. Sure I am still a student and should consider myself as such, but with talking with theother IGDA Scholars, and attending a lot of the talks and tutorials at GDC, I realized that amidst FIEA andthe scholar experience I had become a game developer.Being an IGDA Scholar and attending GDC was really the first time I felt like one and not just anotherstudent. I had conversations with 24 amazing people and we all talked about the projects we wereworking on, the assignments we were completing and the trials and tribulations we faced every day whileworking on our respective game related projects.We talked about managing people, development methodologies, programming topics, engines and more.It was great to meet and interact with such a dedicated and passionate group of people. We came fromcountries all across the world but were united under one thing, our passion and love for video games andthe industry.

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