The IGDA Foundation will run a virtual 2020 Grantee Online Program to replace the annual GDC mentorships and workshops canceled in response to COVID-19. Taking place from June 22 until July 31, the program aims to provide grantees from underrepresented communities around the world opportunities to build skills with industry veterans.
Partners such as Xbox, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, Iron Galaxy Studios, Zynga, Team People, and Audiokinetic have sponsored the initiative. The companies will also provide mentors for one-on-one guidance and run presentations, workshops, and Q&A sessions. These fall into program tracks modeled after video game skill trees, with grantees able to customize their builds based on career goals from getting a first industry job to running their own studios.
Leadership skill tree participants will hone their management skills, learn how to evaluate complex challenges, and develop strategies for navigating difficult conversations. The Entrepreneurship tree offers guidance on founding a studio, seeking a publisher for a project in progress, or looking for great talent to hire or collaborate with. Developers looking to better understand and interface with other disciplines will find the Multi-Class tree useful.
This scalable pilot program will enable IGDA Foundation to continue its mission by building virtual spaces serving global and diverse communities. Though the video game industry is faring well during this pandemic, diverse early to mid-career game developers lost in-person networking, job, and career development opportunities. Between expert coaching and the support of generous donors, the next generation of industry leaders will start their careers on the right foot.