The gaming industry is a complex space that requires an understanding of both game development and business or commercialization to achieve success. Many game development companies looking for talent, review the portfolio of the applicant along with their relevant experience. For most recent graduates, it puts them at a disadvantage, as they have the ability to execute in their field of interest but are unable to provide a substantive portfolio project in their job applications.

The ESIO recognized an opportunity to bolster the current Certificate in Computer Game Development program at the University of Alberta (UofA) to provide students with an opportunity to get hands-on industry experience, mentorship and get a project portfolio under their belt, to prepare them for jobs within the games industry.

Four projects will be selected to take part in the program. Project teams will be made up of students or recent graduates of a video game development program or related design program at the UofA and would receive the support to continue developing their capstone project into a fully commercialized game. Successful applicants in this program would receive:

  • $5,000 to complete the project
  • Educational opportunities for team members to learn more about commercialization, pitching, showcasing and more
  • Booth space at Game Con Canada (June 2024) to showcase the game

Application Information

  • At least half of the applicant team must be composed of students from the INT D 450 team that built the submitted prototype and all but one of the applicant team must be composed of individuals who completed INT D 450 in Winter 2022 or later.
  • If the applicant team does not include the entirety of the INT D 450 team that built the submitted prototype for credit, all non-participating teammates of the successful projects will be required to sign an agreement to allow for further derivative development and distribution. An agreement template will be provided to successful teams, if required.
  • All team members are expected to attend educational sessions provided to prepare to showcase at Game Con Canada.
  • At least two members of the team must commit to exhibiting at Game Con Canada 2024 (June 14-16, 2024).

Applications must contain the following:

  1. Cover Letter: Briefly describing why the team wishes to participate in the program.
  2. Team Composition Outline: include the name, email address, and INT D 450 term of each member. Please identify the main contact for the project, this will be the person that the ESIO communicates with on a day-to-day basis. Also include a team/game name (if applicable).
  3. Development Proposal: One-pager that includes an outlined development plan to prepare the game for showcase at Game Con Canada.
  4. Prototype: Access to the game in a form playable to the adjudication committee. Multiple builds (Windows, Mac, etc.) are appreciated for ease of play for all committee members.

An Adjudication Committee will be made up of members of UofA faculty and ESIO staff. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Implementation of good development practices in prototype creation [35%]: demonstration that the team can operate using good development practices, facilitating a healthy team environment.
  • Quality of the existing prototype [35%]: demonstration of the team’s ability to complete a project on time using their available expertise. Quality is the focus, not the prototype’s size or scope. Smaller, higher-quality prototypes will be preferred over larger, less-polished prototypes.
  • Clarity and feasibility of the team’s plans [20%]: the team’s development plan to expand and polish their prototype, which can be exhibited at GameCon, is realistic. The plans have the potential for future scalability and eventual commercial viability.
  • Impact on the Edmonton ecosystem [10%]: benefit such funding would provide to advance applicants’ career goals and/or leading to further game development in Edmonton, e.g., application to CMF, etc.

If you have any questions or concerns about the program, eligibility, or the application process, please contact [email protected]


Thank you to everyone who applied.
The next intake will take place in 2025.


Yes. While the development proposal might include and detail substantial changes, applications that propose developing a new game project or building off a prototype built outside of INT D 450 will not be considered.

Yes, although at least half the applicant team must be from the original INT D 450 team, and there must be a signed agreement from non-participating teammates to allow further development and distribution. See the eligibility requirements for these constraints on team composition.

Anyone. This could include INT D 450 students from a different team or a different year, or University of Alberta students from outside of INT D 450, or even those unaffiliated with the University of Alberta. This might even be a good idea if the original INT D 450 team lacked a core skill set on the team. However, all but one member of the applicant team must be INT D 450 graduates from the last three years. See the eligibility requirements for these constraints on team composition.