Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

Ref: 10003262


Game Art and Animation students enrolled on Game Production (GAME1003/2003/3004)  and Animation Critical Studies (ANIM1002/2002) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 25 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest professional game industry event. Participants will have the opportunity during the Expo to access vital information from programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games and immersive experiences.

There will be specific tracks for to follow such as “Visual Art”, where students will learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Students will also learn methods to create quality art for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between. “Vision”, where participants will be inspired by great speakers and forward-thinking companies discussing the future of the game industry and “Advocacy” with the opportunity to address topics ranging from diversity to censorship to qualityof life within the realm of social advocacy in the game industry.

There will also be the opportunity to see more than 550 companies showcasing the latest game development and tools and services. With leading technology companies like Amazon, Lumberyard, Google, Intel, Nvidia, Oculus, Sony, Unreal Engine, cutting-edge game and VR/AR tools providers, and much more. Each of these information packed days will be concluded with a dedicated DMU Game Art round table Discussion and evaluation with peers and tutors. These sessions with help analyse what has been gained from each day and look at how this can be applied to studies back at University.

GDC Expo 2020 will give you the opportunity to access vital information from artists, involved in the development of interactive games and immersive experiences. For undergraduate Game Art students, GDC Expo will offer you the opportunity to get your name out to the best new talent in the industry. Furthermore, participants will have the chance to meet face-to-face with the top talent worldwide committed to making better games.

Please note students will only be attending the GDC Expo (this trip does not include the GDC conference or summit).

Cultural activities

As GDC attendees, the students will have time to relax, play inventive and innovative games, and meet and network with new people throughout the week at interactive spaces, themed areas for indie games, retro games, alternative controllers, and more.

In addition, with spare time available for a wide range of cultural activities students will have the opportunity to  walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge: The world’s most photographed bridge, the Golden Gate is one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the World. In addition, students are encouraged to take a tour of Alcatraz Island and explore the fascinating history of the country’s most infamous prison.

Travel and accommodation

Accommodation and travel will be booked by the faculty for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the remaining balance (#DMUglobal bursary deducted) following confirmation of their place. Please note students will be required to pay the conference participation fee of £250.

Contact details

Visa information

In order to participate in this trip, you are responsible for ensuring that you meet the US immigration requirements.

All students will require an ESTA or some kind of visa to travel to the USA. Further information will be provided to all accepted students regarding the type of visa required and how to apply. If you have any specific questions about this please email for advice. Please note that you are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements in order to ensure that you receive your visa prior to departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Sunday 15 March 2020
  • Return date: Sunday 22 March 2020
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £900
  • Students will also be required to pay for conference fee (£250), UK and in-country transfers, cultural visits, food and drink, and visa/ESTA
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 21 October 2019 9am