May 25, 2010
DALLAS (SMU — Indie Game Challenge (IGC) officials today named Derick Janssen as the winner of a $50,000 scholarship to The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, one of the foremost graduate level video game development education programs in the country.
"Derick has excelled in academia, is truly passionate about game development and is extremely talented; all three elements are absolutely necessary to be considered as a potential candidate to our program," said Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, an IGC co-founder with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and GameStop Corp.
Janssen credits video games for his interest in computer programming and a love for mathematics.
"I enjoyed playing countless video games as a child and created my first one when I was 12 years old. Thirteen years later I'm still a fan of games, programming, and math." Janssen said. "A career in the gaming industry is a no-brainer and now I have the opportunity to better prepare myself for it. You can't beat that, right?"
Janssen, a resident of Plant City, Florida, recently graduated from UCF with a major in computer science and a minor in math. He’s a member of UPE (Upsilon Pi Epsilon) and PME (Pi Mu Epsilon) – both are honors societies. He will begin the Guildhall at SMU program in August as part of Cohort 15. He was a member of one of the top 12 finalist teams at IGC 2010 for the game Galactic Arms Race.
The scholarship rounds out more than $350,000 in cash and prizes awarded by the IGC at its inaugural winners' ceremony held in February at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.
"The IGC was introduced to help launch the careers of independent game developers," Raad said. "It complements our goal to cultivate next-generation video game developers and leaders who will shape the landscape of the industry as it continues to evolve. As founders of the competition, it is exciting to follow the various paths of last year's winners, and we look forward to discovering untapped talent during the 2011 Challenge."
The IGC kicked off its second annual game competition in May and expanded it to include international professional and amateur video game developers competing in different categories for two grand prizes of $100,000 each plus additional prize monies and scholarships in excess of $350,000. Game submissions are due by Oct. 1, 2010. For more information about the IGC, visit www.indiegamechallenge.com.
About the Indie Game Challenge
The Indie Game Challenge (IGC) is an annual competition for video game developers offering more than $350,000 in prizes for professional and non-professional categories. Founded by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, GameStop Corp. and the Guildhall at SMU, the IGC was created to foster game development innovation by independent developers. Prizes include cash awards, scholarships, national consumer exposure for the top games and an opportunity for the finalists to obtain professional feedback and seek commercial avenues for their games through face-to-face meetings with representatives from the leading video game publishers. For more information on the IGC visit www.indiegamechallenge.com, www.interactive.org, www.gamestop.com or http://guildhall.smu.edu.
About The Guildhall at SMU
The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is the premier graduate video game education program in the U.S. Many of the school's founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. In seven years, the program has graduated over 350 students, and alums have worked at more than 100 video game studios around the world, with several graduates now serving in leadership positions. SMU offers both a Master's degree and a graduate Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in art creation, level design, and software development. For more information, please visit http://guildhall.smu.edu.
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