Open Call | GDC Grant for Students

In March of every year, San Francisco is the place where tens of thousands of game professionals come together for GDC. Game developers, publishers, platform holders, service providers, media, you can all find them at Moscone Center or the surrounding hotels. They give or attend talks, showcase new games/hardware/tools, or are on the lookout for interesting projects to write about or to partner with. GDC is a great place when you want to learn things, get inspired, do business, get coverage and get to know new people. This makes it an especially interesting event for upcoming game developers and students. During only one week you cannot only gain a lot of knowledge, but you can also get to know a lot of people that can help you make a career out of making games.

Now a visit to GDC San Francisco is within reach for a few students. I have asked Dutch games professionals to make a donation and I will use that money to send one student or more students to GDC and provide each of them with an Independent Games Summit pass. If you want to be one of those students, please read below how you can apply.


  • This call is open to Dutch and foreign students attending a full-time game related course at one of the official Dutch educational institutes (University, HBO, MBO).
  • To enter, you have to be enrolled at the time you submit your entry.

And now for the assignment:
Please write an English essay of maximum 2 A4 size pages on why we should pick you to attend GDC. What would be your goals for the event and how would you go about achieving those goals?

At the bottom of your essay, please also include short answers to the following questions:

  • Have you ever been to GDC before?
  • What are the last 3 game related events you attended and why did you choose those events. If you haven’t attended any game related events before, please explain why.

Deadline for your submission is November 8, 2016. After that, the selection committee will read all the submitted essays and decide who are the winners. We hope to be able to announce the winners end of December or early January.

Each selected student will get:

  • Max. 1000 euro for the flight to San Francisco and a hotel/hostel. Please note that you have to make your own travel arrangements and that budget for food, transportation in San Francisco etc. is not included.
  • a GDC Indie Game Summit pass (the Independent Games Summit is on Monday and Tuesday)

What we expect in return:
A report in which you share your experience with fellow students, so they can also benefit from the things you’ve learned. This can be a written report or a vlog. Whatever works best for you, as long as the readers/viewers can learn something from your experience.

How to submit your entry:
You can submit your entry by filling out this online form.


  • Please spellcheck your essay. We know it’s not an English language test, but it shows that you made an effort to write the best essay possible.
  • If possible, ask others about their GDC experience. They might have useful information for you.

If you have any questions regarding this call, please check the information and FAQ page. If you’re question is still unanswered after that you can send an email to: Make sure that the subject of your email is “Question regarding Open Call GDC”

This GDC Grant for Students has been made possible by (in alphabetical order): Adriaan de Jongh, Alessandra van Otterlo, Buff PR, Codeglue, Control 500Game Drive, Gamico, Grendel Games, iQU, JP van Seventer, Make Me See, Olivier Oosterbaan, Paladin Studios, Sassybot, Creative Industries Fund NLStolen Couch Games, Tamalaki GamesWeirdBeard and Vlambeer. Thank you all!