Each year Melbourne International Games Week takes place over the October/November period, this week is comprised of many events, but structured around three main one, Unity Unite, GCAP (Game Connect Asia Pacific) and PAX Aus.
With a mix of major industry and consumer events, attending MIGW can prove to be a fantastic opportunity for learning and networking.
However, there is a bit of a barrier, attending any one of these events can be costly, attending all of them on an indie budget can prove to be extremely hard.
There are a number of options though.
The first of which is volunteering, most of the events put out a call for volunteers, this is a fantastic way of attending the events as you usually work in shifts and get time to attend talks and network with people, volunteering is usually looked well upon when applying for industry events as well.
The second option is applying for scholarships and grants.
There are a number of scholarships available for most events in the games industry, some through the individual events themselves, such as GCAP assist, and others through external foundations such as the IGDA Scholars program.
This year I opted to apply for the IGDA scholarship to attend the entirety of MIGW17, and to my great pleasure I was chosen along with 7 other people from around the world to receive the scholarship.
Along with tickets to the major events the scholarship also paired us with an industry mentor each for the week as well as organised Q&A lunches with various studio heads and industry members.
I was paired with Joshua Sanderson, formerly of Half Brick and co founder of Team Shifty, a pairing I was extremely happy with and learnt a great deal from.
Of the many experiences and connections made over the MIGW scholarship, the one that really stands out is that of spending time with and becoming friends with the other scholars, learning about their experience in pursuing game development in other parts of the world, their experiences and ideas with diversity within the industry and just getting to be around these amazing people was an incredible experience and I will cherish the friendships I made due to the scholarship forever.
I’ll leave this post here as somewhat of an intro and do a a post on each other major events themselves.
I would like to thank the IGDA foundation for providing such a great opportunity to those of us that are just entering the industry and I hope that the program continues on and helps many more budding devs int the future.