Kapooki Wants Testers

If interested in becoming a tester please send an e-mail to the following address mailto: info@kapookigames.cominfo@kapookigames.com and make sure to include the following information!! (very very important)

1) Full Name
2) Machine Spec (or specs) you can use to test with – they want high and low – so don’t worry if your machine is 3 years old.
3) Type of internet connection Dial-up OR Broadband.

In order to be accepted as an external tester they will require you to sign and fax back to them a standard NDA.

They expect to begin the external testing program by the second week of January 2005.

Any person accepted into the program is expected to keep all information relating to the game strictly confidential until after it is officially released.

Kapooki Wants Testers – 2

If interested in becoming a tester please send an e-mail to the following address mailto: info@kapookigames.cominfo@kapookigames.com and make sure to include the following information!! (very very important)

1) Full Name
2) Machine Spec (or specs) you can use to test with – they want high and low – so don’t worry if your machine is 3 years old.
3) Type of internet connection Dial-up OR Broadband.

In order to be accepted as an external tester they will require you to sign and fax back to them a standard NDA.

They expect to begin the external testing program by the second week of January 2005.

Any person accepted into the program is expected to keep all information relating to the game strictly confidential until after it is officially released.

Fun While It Lasted – 2

Pavel Barter talks to Matthew Lloyd, Funcom Dublin veteran

How did you get the job with Funcom Ireland?
“I knew about Funcom from reading a newspaper article about them. I was a student in Ballyfermot College of Further Education at the time, studying computer animation and thought ‘this place is right up my alley’ I started out as a graphic designer but moved on to in-game modelling.”

What are your memories of the rest of the team?
“ I worked with one of the most talented group of people I have known. I was sad to say goodbye to them all. I learned so much there.”

In terms of the working environment, were your offices impressive?
We started out in Clonskeagh in a medium sized office. A couple of years later we moved into a larger office in Sandyford. It did always seem a bit cramped but that’s because we all needed a lot of space to stand our Star Wars figures.”

What were the advantages and disadvantages for a developer based in Dublin?
“The main advantage was the fact that we were the only company developing games in Dublin at all. There was only a few of us in there and you had to know your stuff to get in. However if the only games company in Dublin goes under then you are in a bit of a state trying to find work. ‘Would you like fries with that?’”

In your opinion, why did Funcom Ireland eventually close?
“Because of ‘over spending’ on behalf of the Norway office and the great wisdom that the Xbox ‘would not produce the goods for online gaming’.”

When did you leave and what did you go on to do next?
“I didn’t leave willingly. We were all told on a Tuesday that the company would be going in liquidation with the loss of all jobs and we had to clear our desks by Thursday: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I was very fortunate to land on my feet, and soon after being made redundant landed my current job as a teacher in Computer Animation and 3d Modelling in Ballfermot College of Further Education.”

Fun While It Lasted

Pavel Barter talks to Matthew Lloyd, Funcom Dublin veteran

How did you get the job with Funcom Ireland?
“I knew about Funcom from reading a newspaper article about them. I was a student in Ballyfermot College of Further Education at the time, studying computer animation and thought ‘this place is right up my alley’ I started out as a graphic designer but moved on to in-game modelling.”

What are your memories of the rest of the team?
“ I worked with one of the most talented group of people I have known. I was sad to say goodbye to them all. I learned so much there.”

In terms of the working environment, were your offices impressive?
We started out in Clonskeagh in a medium sized office. A couple of years later we moved into a larger office in Sandyford. It did always seem a bit cramped but that’s because we all needed a lot of space to stand our Star Wars figures.”

What were the advantages and disadvantages for a developer based in Dublin?
“The main advantage was the fact that we were the only company developing games in Dublin at all. There was only a few of us in there and you had to know your stuff to get in. However if the only games company in Dublin goes under then you are in a bit of a state trying to find work. ‘Would you like fries with that?’”

In your opinion, why did Funcom Ireland eventually close?
“Because of ‘over spending’ on behalf of the Norway office and the great wisdom that the Xbox ‘would not produce the goods for online gaming’.”

When did you leave and what did you go on to do next?
“I didn’t leave willingly. We were all told on a Tuesday that the company would be going in liquidation with the loss of all jobs and we had to clear our desks by Thursday: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I was very fortunate to land on my feet, and soon after being made redundant landed my current job as a teacher in Computer Animation and 3d Modelling in Ballfermot College of Further Education.”

Fun Anyone?

Tabitha, Brains, Tempest: names which don’t exactly trip off the tongue like Gordon Freeman, Solid Snake or Jack Carver. Still, around the turn of the millennium, these pixilated scamps were familiar to thousands of young PlayStation fans. They were the Speed Freaks, stars of a wobbly kart racer awash with effervescent eye candy; and you can forget about their cod American accents because these cartoon critters were Dubs through and through. From a global perspective, Funcom Dublin (the birthplace of Speed Freaks) was a mere blip on the development radar, but in the history of Irish development its significance is far greater. For the first time, Irish developers began crafting entertainment for the PlayStation generation. What’s more, their games weren’t half bad.

Funcom’s genesis was in colder climates. In 1993, the company formed in Oslo and began work on two projects, A Dinosaur’s Tale and Daze Before Christmas. The following year, while production continued in Norway, Funcom Dublin Ltd. was set up with 20 employees and a contract for an early PlayStation title, Impact Racing. Jørgen Tharaldsen, Funcom Product Director recalls the reasons behind the creation of an Irish premises. “We decided to set up an office in Dublin because of several factors, one of the most important being the art resources in the city. We saw the need to have a department within Funcom which could specialise in console games. While looking for interesting places we naturally explored every detail from recruitment to rent, wages, taxes and more. We chose Ireland in the end… there were mostly advantages, as we saw it, compared to many other places. ”

image2

Having found a suitable office on Furze Road in Dublin’s Sandyford Industrial Estate, Funcom set about recruiting staff, many from design courses at the National College of Art and Design in Dun Laoghaire and Ballyfermot PLC. “We recruited locally, actually there were (almost) no Norwegians working at the Irish office,” says Jørgen. Senior Software Engineer Gareth Lewin, who joined the company a few years into its incarnation, hailed from further afield. “I started working on game development in Israel. The Israeli game development industry is very tough, and after moving from failed company to failed company I started looking for jobs abroad. I tried the USA, but due to Visa problems, that wasn’t a real option. I was very much into MMORPG’s, so I sent an email to Funcom (who were developing Anarchy Online at the time) and got a response that the Dublin studio wanted to interview me. I went for an interview, it went well, and I relocated to lovely Dublin.”

In 1998 a publishing deal was struck with Activision for a scrambler motor-racer called D.I.R.T. The deal fell through but the game steamed ahead and the following year the newly monikered Championship Motocross featuring Ricky Carmichael was released under THQ’s mantle. “We also released a 2001 version of this series. I am very proud of the realistic control we were able to get into this title, and still think this was the best motorcross game which was released for PS1,” says Jørgen. The next project to be released was Speed Freaks, in August 1999. The game had been picked up by Sony Corporation, under a deal wherby Funcom would receive royalties on each copy sold as well as a lump sum fee. It was launched in North America, under the title Speed Punks, in early 2000. “The game was geared towards a younger audience and got rave reviews. It was considered by journalists to be the best karting game on the PS1, competing against games like Crash Bandicoot Racing, Mario Kart on Nintendo’s platform and others.”

image3

In July 2000, buoyed by the success of these two PlayStation titles, Funcom announced that its Irish branch would now focus resources on the (then mysterious) Xbox platform. By this time the Dublin office employed 25. “After evaluating the Playstation 2 and the Xbox technology for several months we have taken the strategic decision to go for Microsoft’s new gaming console,” Funcom President, Andre Backen, said at the time. “We believe that Xbox has significant market potential due to both cutting edge technology and Microsoft’s marketing muscle. On top of that, exploiting the new technology reduces our development cycle by several months, which also cuts development costs by approximately 20%.”

But in Norway changes were afoot and the writing was on the wall for Funcom Dublin. The Irish studio only developed console titles but Funcom had seen considerable success with online products like Backgammon and Paradigm Shift (1997), Funcom Hearts and Funcom Spades (1998). By the end of 1999, almost 20,000 games of Backgammon were played every week on Funcom’s site. The potential for massively multi-player online games was now coming to fruition and
Funcom Norway began work on the largest project it had ever undertaken. The result, Anarchy Online, was an ambitious sci-fi RPG – a huge success but also a huge investment, and for the Irish team there were disastrous repercussions. The office closed in August 2001 after six years and three unique successful projects.

“We had to close the studio in order to put all focus on Anarchy Online,” Jørgen Tharaldsen contends. “It was not an easy decision to make, but seeing that we are performing very well again today, while also being back in the console production area, I guess you can say it was the right decision. Like many other game developers we faced some rough times, and we had to focus on what we thought would benefit the entire company the most. Seeing we spent some €17m on the development of Anarchy Online before launch I guess you can say it was easy to put the focus on the MMOG side of our business.”

image4

Sadly, Funcom Dublin’s only Xbox project – Jet Sprint MX – was abandoned, despite being close to completion and looking a good deal slicker than most next gen speed boat competition. The various programmers, artists, and other staff members flittered off to other jobs in Ireland and throughout the world. As for Funcom, the company is set to launch Dreamfall – the sequel to Funcom Norway’s The Longest Journey (1999), considered by many to be the greatest graphic adventure of all time. The company now has branches in Switzerland and North America. Today there are no hard feelings about the company’s closure, either from former employees or Funcom. For Gareth Lewin, who recently worked on Microsoft’s Sudeki, the memories are “very fond. Funcom Dublin was the most friendly place I have ever worked at, probably partially because of the Irish influence. Sadly I’m in contact with very few people from there, but there were some amazingly smart people there.”

Tabitha, Brains and Tempest, may slip further into the ether of gaming history with each passing year but their very existence is resounding proof, if needed, that Ireland has the talent to create console games to compete on an international scale. Funcom Dublin was no freak of nature; perhaps instead a unique precursor to what still lies ahead.

*****************
Postscript:

Pavel Barter talks to Matthew Lloyd, Funcom Dublin veteran

How did you get the job with Funcom Ireland?
“I knew about Funcom from reading a newspaper article about them. I was a student in Ballyfermot College of Further Education at the time, studying computer animation and thought ‘this place is right up my alley’ I started out as a graphic designer but moved on to in-game modelling.”

What are your memories of the rest of the team?
“ I worked with one of the most talented group of people I have known. I was sad to say goodbye to them all. I learned so much there.”

In terms of the working environment, were your offices impressive?
We started out in Clonskeagh in a medium sized office. A couple of years later we moved into a larger office in Sandyford. It did always seem a bit cramped but that’s because we all needed a lot of space to stand our Star Wars figures.”

What were the advantages and disadvantages for a developer based in Dublin?
“The main advantage was the fact that we were the only company developing games in Dublin at all. There was only a few of us in there and you had to know your stuff to get in. However if the only games company in Dublin goes under then you are in a bit of a state trying to find work. ‘Would you like fries with that?’”

In your opinion, why did Funcom Ireland eventually close?
“Because of ‘over spending’ on behalf of the Norway office and the great wisdom that the Xbox ‘would not produce the goods for online gaming’.”

When did you leave and what did you go on to do next?
“I didn’t leave willingly. We were all told on a Tuesday that the company would be going in liquidation with the loss of all jobs and we had to clear our desks by Thursday: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I was very fortunate to land on my feet, and soon after being made redundant landed my current job as a teacher in Computer Animation and 3d Modelling in Ballfermot College of Further Education.”

More info on Funcom

Did you work in Funcom? Share your memories with us on the forums. See under general discussions.

Author’s Bio: Pavel Barter is a freelance journalist based in Dublin and a regular contributor to gd.ie.

Fun Anyone? – 2

Tabitha, Brains, Tempest: names which don’t exactly trip off the tongue like Gordon Freeman, Solid Snake or Jack Carver. Still, around the turn of the millennium, these pixilated scamps were familiar to thousands of young PlayStation fans. They were the Speed Freaks, stars of a wobbly kart racer awash with effervescent eye candy; and you can forget about their cod American accents because these cartoon critters were Dubs through and through. From a global perspective, Funcom Dublin (the birthplace of Speed Freaks) was a mere blip on the development radar, but in the history of Irish development its significance is far greater. For the first time, Irish developers began crafting entertainment for the PlayStation generation. What’s more, their games weren’t half bad.

Funcom’s genesis was in colder climates. In 1993, the company formed in Oslo and began work on two projects, A Dinosaur’s Tale and Daze Before Christmas. The following year, while production continued in Norway, Funcom Dublin Ltd. was set up with 20 employees and a contract for an early PlayStation title, Impact Racing. Jørgen Tharaldsen, Funcom Product Director recalls the reasons behind the creation of an Irish premises. “We decided to set up an office in Dublin because of several factors, one of the most important being the art resources in the city. We saw the need to have a department within Funcom which could specialise in console games. While looking for interesting places we naturally explored every detail from recruitment to rent, wages, taxes and more. We chose Ireland in the end… there were mostly advantages, as we saw it, compared to many other places. ”

image2

Having found a suitable office on Furze Road in Dublin’s Sandyford Industrial Estate, Funcom set about recruiting staff, many from design courses at the National College of Art and Design in Dun Laoghaire and Ballyfermot PLC. “We recruited locally, actually there were (almost) no Norwegians working at the Irish office,” says Jørgen. Senior Software Engineer Gareth Lewin, who joined the company a few years into its incarnation, hailed from further afield. “I started working on game development in Israel. The Israeli game development industry is very tough, and after moving from failed company to failed company I started looking for jobs abroad. I tried the USA, but due to Visa problems, that wasn’t a real option. I was very much into MMORPG’s, so I sent an email to Funcom (who were developing Anarchy Online at the time) and got a response that the Dublin studio wanted to interview me. I went for an interview, it went well, and I relocated to lovely Dublin.”

In 1998 a publishing deal was struck with Activision for a scrambler motor-racer called D.I.R.T. The deal fell through but the game steamed ahead and the following year the newly monikered Championship Motocross featuring Ricky Carmichael was released under THQ’s mantle. “We also released a 2001 version of this series. I am very proud of the realistic control we were able to get into this title, and still think this was the best motorcross game which was released for PS1,” says Jørgen. The next project to be released was Speed Freaks, in August 1999. The game had been picked up by Sony Corporation, under a deal wherby Funcom would receive royalties on each copy sold as well as a lump sum fee. It was launched in North America, under the title Speed Punks, in early 2000. “The game was geared towards a younger audience and got rave reviews. It was considered by journalists to be the best karting game on the PS1, competing against games like Crash Bandicoot Racing, Mario Kart on Nintendo’s platform and others.”

image3

In July 2000, buoyed by the success of these two PlayStation titles, Funcom announced that its Irish branch would now focus resources on the (then mysterious) Xbox platform. By this time the Dublin office employed 25. “After evaluating the Playstation 2 and the Xbox technology for several months we have taken the strategic decision to go for Microsoft’s new gaming console,” Funcom President, Andre Backen, said at the time. “We believe that Xbox has significant market potential due to both cutting edge technology and Microsoft’s marketing muscle. On top of that, exploiting the new technology reduces our development cycle by several months, which also cuts development costs by approximately 20%.”

But in Norway changes were afoot and the writing was on the wall for Funcom Dublin. The Irish studio only developed console titles but Funcom had seen considerable success with online products like Backgammon and Paradigm Shift (1997), Funcom Hearts and Funcom Spades (1998). By the end of 1999, almost 20,000 games of Backgammon were played every week on Funcom’s site. The potential for massively multi-player online games was now coming to fruition and
Funcom Norway began work on the largest project it had ever undertaken. The result, Anarchy Online, was an ambitious sci-fi RPG – a huge success but also a huge investment, and for the Irish team there were disastrous repercussions. The office closed in August 2001 after six years and three unique successful projects.

“We had to close the studio in order to put all focus on Anarchy Online,” Jørgen Tharaldsen contends. “It was not an easy decision to make, but seeing that we are performing very well again today, while also being back in the console production area, I guess you can say it was the right decision. Like many other game developers we faced some rough times, and we had to focus on what we thought would benefit the entire company the most. Seeing we spent some €17m on the development of Anarchy Online before launch I guess you can say it was easy to put the focus on the MMOG side of our business.”

image4

Sadly, Funcom Dublin’s only Xbox project – Jet Sprint MX – was abandoned, despite being close to completion and looking a good deal slicker than most next gen speed boat competition. The various programmers, artists, and other staff members flittered off to other jobs in Ireland and throughout the world. As for Funcom, the company is set to launch Dreamfall – the sequel to Funcom Norway’s The Longest Journey (1999), considered by many to be the greatest graphic adventure of all time. The company now has branches in Switzerland and North America. Today there are no hard feelings about the company’s closure, either from former employees or Funcom. For Gareth Lewin, who recently worked on Microsoft’s Sudeki, the memories are “very fond. Funcom Dublin was the most friendly place I have ever worked at, probably partially because of the Irish influence. Sadly I’m in contact with very few people from there, but there were some amazingly smart people there.”

Tabitha, Brains and Tempest, may slip further into the ether of gaming history with each passing year but their very existence is resounding proof, if needed, that Ireland has the talent to create console games to compete on an international scale. Funcom Dublin was no freak of nature; perhaps instead a unique precursor to what still lies ahead.

*****************
Postscript:

Pavel Barter talks to Matthew Lloyd, Funcom Dublin veteran

How did you get the job with Funcom Ireland?
“I knew about Funcom from reading a newspaper article about them. I was a student in Ballyfermot College of Further Education at the time, studying computer animation and thought ‘this place is right up my alley’ I started out as a graphic designer but moved on to in-game modelling.”

What are your memories of the rest of the team?
“ I worked with one of the most talented group of people I have known. I was sad to say goodbye to them all. I learned so much there.”

In terms of the working environment, were your offices impressive?
We started out in Clonskeagh in a medium sized office. A couple of years later we moved into a larger office in Sandyford. It did always seem a bit cramped but that’s because we all needed a lot of space to stand our Star Wars figures.”

What were the advantages and disadvantages for a developer based in Dublin?
“The main advantage was the fact that we were the only company developing games in Dublin at all. There was only a few of us in there and you had to know your stuff to get in. However if the only games company in Dublin goes under then you are in a bit of a state trying to find work. ‘Would you like fries with that?’”

In your opinion, why did Funcom Ireland eventually close?
“Because of ‘over spending’ on behalf of the Norway office and the great wisdom that the Xbox ‘would not produce the goods for online gaming’.”

When did you leave and what did you go on to do next?
“I didn’t leave willingly. We were all told on a Tuesday that the company would be going in liquidation with the loss of all jobs and we had to clear our desks by Thursday: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I was very fortunate to land on my feet, and soon after being made redundant landed my current job as a teacher in Computer Animation and 3d Modelling in Ballfermot College of Further Education.”

More info on Funcom

Did you work in Funcom? Share your memories with us on the forums. See under general discussions.

Author’s Bio: Pavel Barter is a freelance journalist based in Dublin and a regular contributor to gd.ie.

Closing Date For Digital Media Awards – 2

This year the Digital Media awards are open to Irish and international companies.

In a change from last year there are now seven umbrella categories:

A) Education
B) Digital Media Innovation
C) Websites
D) Wireless
E) Content
F) Business
G) Creativity
H) Special Award
I) Grand Prix Award

Content includes a category for games which Eirplay won last year.

Entries can be made online and entry into some categories, including games. requires payment of a fee. You have been warned..

More info: entryform.htmlentryform.html

Closing Date For Digital Media Awards

This year the Digital Media awards are open to Irish and international companies.

In a change from last year there are now seven umbrella categories:

A) Education
B) Digital Media Innovation
C) Websites
D) Wireless
E) Content
F) Business
G) Creativity
H) Special Award
I) Grand Prix Award

Content includes a category for games which Eirplay won last year.

Entries can be made online and entry into some categories, including games. requires payment of a fee. You have been warned..

More info: entryform.htmlentryform.html

Review Of Galway Games Conference – 2

Star Cave Studios. Galway, hosted the event, which was specifically designed to promote game development in Galway and throughout Ireland in general. The event boasted a rich array of speakers. Keith Killilea of Starcave kicked things off when he presented a video of Starcave’s latest project “Camelot Galway – City of The Tribes”. This video can now be downloaded from the following location: video.zip video.zip (41 MB .zip file)

The team behind the project was then introduced. Ray Montey an artist at Starcave demonstrated the process used to create characters and other world objects from concept art to finished 3D. Programmer Pearse Fitzpatrick provided details of the team’s experience working with the Torque Engine, from Garage Games, and the methods used to integrate content into the engine.

Alan Duggan of Nephin Games then took to the podium and introduced his upcoming mobile game Kick Boxing Network – KBN. Alan also spoke about how the majority of phone owners have similar phone models and the necessity to build games for that market. Alan also pointed out that thirty something females are the biggest market demographic when it comes to downloadable mobile games. Claire Fitch, sitting in the audience looked suitably relieved. Alan went on to speak about his experience of the recent trade mission to Korea and offered encouragement to budding mobile game designers in the audience by stating that Ireland was not as far behind Korea, technologically, as one might think.

Next there was an energetic presentation from Hewlett Packard that looked at how different individual marketing trends merge to create new trends and patterns such as infotainment. Game developers were urged to focus on niche markets and praise was given to Starcave Studios for pursuing tourism and educational markets.

Then came the big surprise of the day when the deputy Mayor of Galway exposed himself to be an avid gamer with a lack of free-time…but the shocks didn’t stop there. The deputy mayor went on to reveal that he was once a former game developer, having successfully developed a Commodore 64 game that he later went on to sell, although the deputy mayor would not say for how much.

Michael Kenna from Enterprise Ireland gave a positive overview of the recent Trade Mission to Korea. He highlighted the differences between the Irish and Korean games industries including that fact that Ireland has 21 known game developers in Ireland while Korea has 2,500. Michael also talked about the popularity of online gaming in the region. In addition, Michael discussed the need to set up clusters of talent here and for game development studios to work together.

Jackey O’Dwyer, an investor from Galway, talked briefly about her role in the funding of the development of Camelot Galway and also on the importance of putting a games-centric investor forum together. NUIG presented a virtual space for the students including a study space, message boards and social / recreational areas.

Finally, Neil Leyden, Chairman of the Digital Media Forum rounded up proceedings nicely with a well-crafted and entertaining presentation on the crossovers between the film and the games industries in Ireland. He also discussed section 481 and suggested ways that the games industry might go about obtaining it. Also in attendance were representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland and Ireland West Tourism.

Review Of Galway Games Conference

Star Cave Studios. Galway, hosted the event, which was specifically designed to promote game development in Galway and throughout Ireland in general. The event boasted a rich array of speakers. Keith Killilea of Starcave kicked things off when he presented a video of Starcave’s latest project “Camelot Galway – City of The Tribes”. This video can now be downloaded from the following location: video.zip video.zip (41 MB .zip file)

The team behind the project was then introduced. Ray Montey an artist at Starcave demonstrated the process used to create characters and other world objects from concept art to finished 3D. Programmer Pearse Fitzpatrick provided details of the team’s experience working with the Torque Engine, from Garage Games, and the methods used to integrate content into the engine.

Alan Duggan of Nephin Games then took to the podium and introduced his upcoming mobile game Kick Boxing Network – KBN. Alan also spoke about how the majority of phone owners have similar phone models and the necessity to build games for that market. Alan also pointed out that thirty something females are the biggest market demographic when it comes to downloadable mobile games. Claire Fitch, sitting in the audience looked suitably relieved. Alan went on to speak about his experience of the recent trade mission to Korea and offered encouragement to budding mobile game designers in the audience by stating that Ireland was not as far behind Korea, technologically, as one might think.

Next there was an energetic presentation from Hewlett Packard that looked at how different individual marketing trends merge to create new trends and patterns such as infotainment. Game developers were urged to focus on niche markets and praise was given to Starcave Studios for pursuing tourism and educational markets.

Then came the big surprise of the day when the deputy Mayor of Galway exposed himself to be an avid gamer with a lack of free-time…but the shocks didn’t stop there. The deputy mayor went on to reveal that he was once a former game developer, having successfully developed a Commodore 64 game that he later went on to sell, although the deputy mayor would not say for how much.

Michael Kenna from Enterprise Ireland gave a positive overview of the recent Trade Mission to Korea. He highlighted the differences between the Irish and Korean games industries including that fact that Ireland has 21 known game developers in Ireland while Korea has 2,500. Michael also talked about the popularity of online gaming in the region. In addition, Michael discussed the need to set up clusters of talent here and for game development studios to work together.

Jackey O’Dwyer, an investor from Galway, talked briefly about her role in the funding of the development of Camelot Galway and also on the importance of putting a games-centric investor forum together. NUIG presented a virtual space for the students including a study space, message boards and social / recreational areas.

Finally, Neil Leyden, Chairman of the Digital Media Forum rounded up proceedings nicely with a well-crafted and entertaining presentation on the crossovers between the film and the games industries in Ireland. He also discussed section 481 and suggested ways that the games industry might go about obtaining it. Also in attendance were representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland and Ireland West Tourism.

Christmas Shindig (Weekend)

The December Dublin Shindig will be held on the 17th of Dec. in the usual venue of Toners on Baggott Street. There is a rumour around that it will be spread over the two nights so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

As usual all are welcome to attend – shindigs are just informal pub meets where developers, academics, students and others with a general interest in games meet. Please do also bring partners and/or friends if they are interested at all in the area – the more the merrier..

As the pub is likely to be fairly busy it is advised that you try to arrive early! Tables will be reserved for us as usual but there is nothing like physical presence to keep em!

Entertainment provided by everyone and maybe we can persuade Mal to bring his fiddle! I hear he puts on a fine show!? Or maybe if some of the Torc crew are down there might be some singers or guitar players amongst them..

Time: From 7.00pm onwards

Location: Downstairs in Toners pub on Baggott Street in Dublin. A couple of tables will have reserved signs on them.

Directions: From Stephen’s Green North walk past the Shelbourne Hotel and towards Merrion Row/Baggot Street. Keep walking straight with Upper Merrion Street on your left and Ely Place on your right. Toners is a wine & black pub and will be on your right on a corner. If you reach Pembroke Street. on your right you have passed it and gone too far.

The shindig will be downstairs. To get there you can walk through the pub to the back where there is a stairs or walk around the side outside where there is another door. I will put up signs so you know where you are going..

Still unsure? The address is 139 Baggot Street Lower.

check your route here
dublin/maps/p52s54.htmlwww.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.html

Christmas Shindig (Weekend) – 2

The December Dublin Shindig will be held on the 17th of Dec. in the usual venue of Toners on Baggott Street. There is a rumour around that it will be spread over the two nights so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

As usual all are welcome to attend – shindigs are just informal pub meets where developers, academics, students and others with a general interest in games meet. Please do also bring partners and/or friends if they are interested at all in the area – the more the merrier..

As the pub is likely to be fairly busy it is advised that you try to arrive early! Tables will be reserved for us as usual but there is nothing like physical presence to keep em!

Entertainment provided by everyone and maybe we can persuade Mal to bring his fiddle! I hear he puts on a fine show!? Or maybe if some of the Torc crew are down there might be some singers or guitar players amongst them..

Time: From 7.00pm onwards

Location: Downstairs in Toners pub on Baggott Street in Dublin. A couple of tables will have reserved signs on them.

Directions: From Stephen’s Green North walk past the Shelbourne Hotel and towards Merrion Row/Baggot Street. Keep walking straight with Upper Merrion Street on your left and Ely Place on your right. Toners is a wine & black pub and will be on your right on a corner. If you reach Pembroke Street. on your right you have passed it and gone too far.

The shindig will be downstairs. To get there you can walk through the pub to the back where there is a stairs or walk around the side outside where there is another door. I will put up signs so you know where you are going..

Still unsure? The address is 139 Baggot Street Lower.

check your route here
dublin/maps/p52s54.htmlwww.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.html

Ni Research Funding – 2

The DTI’s Technology Programme is aimed at encouraging innovation and research. The November call details a number of research themes including design, simulation and modelling for which £17M is available and pervasive computing for which £9M is available. In both of these streams creative industries and or game companies are encouraged to submit research proposals.

The Technology Programme is aimed at academic/business and business/business collaborations and both applied and experimental research projects.

Projects can run from 1-3 years and apply for up to £1M.

Deadline for intention to submit applications is the 31st of Jan.

Deadline for applications is the 7th of Feb. 2005

More info: http://www.dti.gov.uk/technologyprogramme/open_comps.htmlhere

Ni Research Funding

The DTI’s Technology Programme is aimed at encouraging innovation and research. The November call details a number of research themes including design, simulation and modelling for which £17M is available and pervasive computing for which £9M is available. In both of these streams creative industries and or game companies are encouraged to submit research proposals.

The Technology Programme is aimed at academic/business and business/business collaborations and both applied and experimental research projects.

Projects can run from 1-3 years and apply for up to £1M.

Deadline for intention to submit applications is the 31st of Jan.

Deadline for applications is the 7th of Feb. 2005

More info: http://www.dti.gov.uk/technologyprogramme/open_comps.htmlhere

Another Way To Do Business – 2

Outsourcing is a secretive affair, been going on for years but nobody wants to admit it. – Owain Bennallack.

It is the future of games. It has to be. – Mark Estdale of audio specialists Outsource Media.

Chaired eloquently by Elixir Studio’s Mark Hewitt (himself an outsourcing sceptic who opened the conference by challenging TIGA’s members to convince him of it’s merits by the end of the day), the gathering of UK development community provided an opportunity for outsourcers to sell themselves in the ‘outsourcer’s panel’, as well as developers telling tales of their own experiences when bringing in work out-house during the ‘developers panel discussion’. The beginnings of a framework of good outsourcing practice was discussed, with the hope that TIGA would issue standard guidelines the industry could benefit from.

First – some truisms:

Why do developers outsource? Pretty obvious really – to save money. Why get twenty staff in on payroll when you can get some freelancers for half the cost? Makes sense, especially when you have publishers on your financially burdened back. With the spectre of next-generation development looming large on the horizon, costs spiralling into the upper stratosphere and production values going through the roof, it’s going to be difficult for a single studio’s in-house team to make an epic game in all its glory – and to deadline. Outsourcing looks like the rose-tinted answer.

Why don’t they? Again, fairly predictable. If you offshore work to a Russian company you know nothing about, not only do you have to keep flying over there to kick them up the backside every week, but you have language difficulties, project management issues and a whole host of other nightmares to contend with. The result: they need more money and more time to provide you with something so far from what you wanted it’s a different game.

What do developers outsource? Localisation, Q&A testing, music, audio and motion capture. Stuff you just can’t do in your busy offices.

According to Rick Gobson MBA, however, who revealed the results of a survey of TIGA members on outsourcing, these views, as well as many others concerned with outsourcing, are misconceived. He found, particularly over the last couple of years, a significant rise in outsourcing in areas around background and environmental artwork, character artwork, animation, design and script.

Most respondents were much happier with the successes than they were concerned with the failures of outsourcing. 95% of respondents intended to outsource work over the next two years. Expenditure on outsourcing will increase 53% over the next two years. That’s 17% of their annual development budget – up from just under ten this year.

As Rick said: ‘Informal feedback that I’ve received is that people see outsourcing as some kind of threat to what developers do. We found from our sample that that was overwhelmingly not the case. 62% see outsourcing as a major opportunity and another 40% see it is a wider opportunity.’

Indeed, the usefulness of outsourcers to developers was summed up best by George Neilans, from Alive Interactive Media, a 3D-art outsourcing studio, in the language that speaks loudest – money: ‘Outsourcers in many ways can come to developers and say, we’re gonna save you 30 to 50% in development costs. Whether it’s onshore or offshore there are a lot of different benefits and opportunities, including improved, efficient production. Outsourcing is an on and off switch. You can turn it on and turn it off. These guys can help developers tremendously.’

image2

The feature pictures which accompany this article are from Bad Boys II and Andrew Oliver, Chief Technical Officer Blitz explains that "Bad Boys II was a classic example of a project with a short development time. It had to be finished in time for the DVD release of the film so it would have been tough for us to create all the assets in-house with having an enormous team and therefore upping our overheads massively. Instead we sub-contracted out large chunks of art creation including ancillary characters, creation of destructible objects, fleshing out of pre-blocked levels, and so on. We also sub-contracted all of the cut scenes for the game, and being able to efficiently control a range of contractors as well as our own team whilst maintaining a consistent creative vision was vital in us getting the game out on time."

Technically, work provided by Irish companies to UK developers is considered offshoring, which brings with it a whole heap of prejudicial baggage within the industry. According to Rick: ‘We found that there were fears about the quality of work, communications and project management difficulties and a number of others, including financial mistrust, competency and quality mistrust, limited or no development control and a lack of information on providers. It’s quite hard it seems to find information on outsourcers and the kind of services they provide. At times the outsourcers themselves can be a little secretive about the kind of work that they do.’

There are many advantages Ireland has over their European counterparts when pitching work to the UK. The language barrier isn’t there for one, and there are little if any cultural differences, ensuring briefs will be understood. One factor you just can’t do anything about however, are currency problems. The volatile nature of the Euro compared with the Pound means that there will be times when it will be beneficial for developers to seek European work and times when it won’t. Don’t think labour will ever be cheaper in Ireland than it is in Russia either.

One concern with offshoring that emerged from the three o’clock developer panel discussion, held between Dave Nicholson of Climax, Jonathan Newth of Kuju, Andrew Oliver of Blitz, Nigel Little of Distinction, and Martin Alltimes of Eidos, was the tiresome, expensive and time-consuming travelling that was necessary to visit companies contracted to do work (and to check they actually exist). Although UK developers can’t drive a few miles to see how the work is progressing (ideally, many publishers want a UK office for their outsourcers), it’s often quicker and cheaper to fly over to Ireland than drive across Britain. Compare this to offshoring to Asia, and you can immediately see the advantage. As one developer told me over drinks after the main conference: ‘I don’t have a problem with it. That’s what EasyJet’s for!’

The outsourcers panel discussion, held at five, was as much a desperate attempt to convince developers that they weren’t going to get ripped off as deliberate attempts to sell themselves. Most took the opportunity to tell their employers how they could improve the process of project management between developers and outsourcers, and to demand and expect the best. Harpp Seble, of Dutch based 3D modelling and artwork outsourcers Streamline proclaimed: ´You’re as good as your last project. No one remembers three projects ago. If your last project you mess up, that’s what people remember.’

According to Rick, two-thirds of developers found their way to an outsourcer by word-of-mouth and referral only, suggesting that ‘this is still quite an informal industry that lacks representation, promotion and formal listings. But it also suggests that we’re still in the early days and people want to be sure they’ve chosen somebody who has given good results to someone else.’ One developer told me, with particular reference to the possibility of Irish companies providing work to his company, that he had no idea who was out there.

Most developers agreed with the need for a central database to find creditable outsourcers. TIGA was mooted by the floor as a potential architect of such a resource, which would include how well outsourcers had performed and details of quality of work. What was clear from the developers panel discussion though, was that most would be unwilling to divulge information on their tried and trusted outsourcers for their rivals to see, and potentially rob. Attendees were left with the impression that any database success would depend on TIGA and outsourcers only.

Which highlights the importance of being at TIGA conferences really. The day was interposed with networking opportunities before the 2pm start and during it, supplanted by tea and coffee. Most usefully though, over drinks at the end of the day at 7pm. Because TIGA pretty much encompasses the entire UK development industry, outsourcers were guaranteed a large pool with which to pitch work to.

As Rick says, most outsourcing work is given on the back of what someone in-house recommends, or a friend says. Events like this provide essential networking opportunities that allow business cards to be swapped, ideas pitched and for you to get the word out. Without a database of outsourcing companies available at present, this is pretty much the only way a prospective company can advertise their work.

What of the future? Many believe the film model will become the norm – where almost all work is outsourced except for design. Game Republic, headed up by Charles Cecil, (who attended the conference) is an example of a company that does just that. What this future implies, of course, is development companies consisting of agents co-ordinating and nothing else. The industry faces a massive recruitment crisis in the next-generation – double the workforce will be required for half the projects. As Martin Alltimes lamented: ‘We cannot sustain growth in business on internal resources.’

And so we come full circle – did TIGA’s conference in rainy Leeds change the mind of the man who has never used outsourcing before in his life? Perhaps not, but with PS3 and Xbox2 knocking on the door, he, as well as the entire UK videogame community, may have to.

With this in mind, delegates meandered to the foyer, where the clink of wineglasses could be heard over the enthusiastic chatter of an industry buoyed by the prospect of outsourcers helping it make more money. Or perhaps it was just simple discussion on what ten bars to frequent late into the cold Yorkshire night.

For information on TIGA, upcoming events and the evolving framework for outsourcing in the games development industry, check out http://www.tiga.orgwww.tiga.org

Author Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

Another Way To Do Business

Outsourcing is a secretive affair, been going on for years but nobody wants to admit it. – Owain Bennallack.

It is the future of games. It has to be. – Mark Estdale of audio specialists Outsource Media.

Chaired eloquently by Elixir Studio’s Mark Hewitt (himself an outsourcing sceptic who opened the conference by challenging TIGA’s members to convince him of it’s merits by the end of the day), the gathering of UK development community provided an opportunity for outsourcers to sell themselves in the ‘outsourcer’s panel’, as well as developers telling tales of their own experiences when bringing in work out-house during the ‘developers panel discussion’. The beginnings of a framework of good outsourcing practice was discussed, with the hope that TIGA would issue standard guidelines the industry could benefit from.

First – some truisms:

Why do developers outsource? Pretty obvious really – to save money. Why get twenty staff in on payroll when you can get some freelancers for half the cost? Makes sense, especially when you have publishers on your financially burdened back. With the spectre of next-generation development looming large on the horizon, costs spiralling into the upper stratosphere and production values going through the roof, it’s going to be difficult for a single studio’s in-house team to make an epic game in all its glory – and to deadline. Outsourcing looks like the rose-tinted answer.

Why don’t they? Again, fairly predictable. If you offshore work to a Russian company you know nothing about, not only do you have to keep flying over there to kick them up the backside every week, but you have language difficulties, project management issues and a whole host of other nightmares to contend with. The result: they need more money and more time to provide you with something so far from what you wanted it’s a different game.

What do developers outsource? Localisation, Q&A testing, music, audio and motion capture. Stuff you just can’t do in your busy offices.

According to Rick Gobson MBA, however, who revealed the results of a survey of TIGA members on outsourcing, these views, as well as many others concerned with outsourcing, are misconceived. He found, particularly over the last couple of years, a significant rise in outsourcing in areas around background and environmental artwork, character artwork, animation, design and script.

Most respondents were much happier with the successes than they were concerned with the failures of outsourcing. 95% of respondents intended to outsource work over the next two years. Expenditure on outsourcing will increase 53% over the next two years. That’s 17% of their annual development budget – up from just under ten this year.

As Rick said: ‘Informal feedback that I’ve received is that people see outsourcing as some kind of threat to what developers do. We found from our sample that that was overwhelmingly not the case. 62% see outsourcing as a major opportunity and another 40% see it is a wider opportunity.’

Indeed, the usefulness of outsourcers to developers was summed up best by George Neilans, from Alive Interactive Media, a 3D-art outsourcing studio, in the language that speaks loudest – money: ‘Outsourcers in many ways can come to developers and say, we’re gonna save you 30 to 50% in development costs. Whether it’s onshore or offshore there are a lot of different benefits and opportunities, including improved, efficient production. Outsourcing is an on and off switch. You can turn it on and turn it off. These guys can help developers tremendously.’

image2

The feature pictures which accompany this article are from Bad Boys II and Andrew Oliver, Chief Technical Officer Blitz explains that "Bad Boys II was a classic example of a project with a short development time. It had to be finished in time for the DVD release of the film so it would have been tough for us to create all the assets in-house with having an enormous team and therefore upping our overheads massively. Instead we sub-contracted out large chunks of art creation including ancillary characters, creation of destructible objects, fleshing out of pre-blocked levels, and so on. We also sub-contracted all of the cut scenes for the game, and being able to efficiently control a range of contractors as well as our own team whilst maintaining a consistent creative vision was vital in us getting the game out on time."

Technically, work provided by Irish companies to UK developers is considered offshoring, which brings with it a whole heap of prejudicial baggage within the industry. According to Rick: ‘We found that there were fears about the quality of work, communications and project management difficulties and a number of others, including financial mistrust, competency and quality mistrust, limited or no development control and a lack of information on providers. It’s quite hard it seems to find information on outsourcers and the kind of services they provide. At times the outsourcers themselves can be a little secretive about the kind of work that they do.’

There are many advantages Ireland has over their European counterparts when pitching work to the UK. The language barrier isn’t there for one, and there are little if any cultural differences, ensuring briefs will be understood. One factor you just can’t do anything about however, are currency problems. The volatile nature of the Euro compared with the Pound means that there will be times when it will be beneficial for developers to seek European work and times when it won’t. Don’t think labour will ever be cheaper in Ireland than it is in Russia either.

One concern with offshoring that emerged from the three o’clock developer panel discussion, held between Dave Nicholson of Climax, Jonathan Newth of Kuju, Andrew Oliver of Blitz, Nigel Little of Distinction, and Martin Alltimes of Eidos, was the tiresome, expensive and time-consuming travelling that was necessary to visit companies contracted to do work (and to check they actually exist). Although UK developers can’t drive a few miles to see how the work is progressing (ideally, many publishers want a UK office for their outsourcers), it’s often quicker and cheaper to fly over to Ireland than drive across Britain. Compare this to offshoring to Asia, and you can immediately see the advantage. As one developer told me over drinks after the main conference: ‘I don’t have a problem with it. That’s what EasyJet’s for!’

The outsourcers panel discussion, held at five, was as much a desperate attempt to convince developers that they weren’t going to get ripped off as deliberate attempts to sell themselves. Most took the opportunity to tell their employers how they could improve the process of project management between developers and outsourcers, and to demand and expect the best. Harpp Seble, of Dutch based 3D modelling and artwork outsourcers Streamline proclaimed: ´You’re as good as your last project. No one remembers three projects ago. If your last project you mess up, that’s what people remember.’

According to Rick, two-thirds of developers found their way to an outsourcer by word-of-mouth and referral only, suggesting that ‘this is still quite an informal industry that lacks representation, promotion and formal listings. But it also suggests that we’re still in the early days and people want to be sure they’ve chosen somebody who has given good results to someone else.’ One developer told me, with particular reference to the possibility of Irish companies providing work to his company, that he had no idea who was out there.

Most developers agreed with the need for a central database to find creditable outsourcers. TIGA was mooted by the floor as a potential architect of such a resource, which would include how well outsourcers had performed and details of quality of work. What was clear from the developers panel discussion though, was that most would be unwilling to divulge information on their tried and trusted outsourcers for their rivals to see, and potentially rob. Attendees were left with the impression that any database success would depend on TIGA and outsourcers only.

Which highlights the importance of being at TIGA conferences really. The day was interposed with networking opportunities before the 2pm start and during it, supplanted by tea and coffee. Most usefully though, over drinks at the end of the day at 7pm. Because TIGA pretty much encompasses the entire UK development industry, outsourcers were guaranteed a large pool with which to pitch work to.

As Rick says, most outsourcing work is given on the back of what someone in-house recommends, or a friend says. Events like this provide essential networking opportunities that allow business cards to be swapped, ideas pitched and for you to get the word out. Without a database of outsourcing companies available at present, this is pretty much the only way a prospective company can advertise their work.

What of the future? Many believe the film model will become the norm – where almost all work is outsourced except for design. Game Republic, headed up by Charles Cecil, (who attended the conference) is an example of a company that does just that. What this future implies, of course, is development companies consisting of agents co-ordinating and nothing else. The industry faces a massive recruitment crisis in the next-generation – double the workforce will be required for half the projects. As Martin Alltimes lamented: ‘We cannot sustain growth in business on internal resources.’

And so we come full circle – did TIGA’s conference in rainy Leeds change the mind of the man who has never used outsourcing before in his life? Perhaps not, but with PS3 and Xbox2 knocking on the door, he, as well as the entire UK videogame community, may have to.

With this in mind, delegates meandered to the foyer, where the clink of wineglasses could be heard over the enthusiastic chatter of an industry buoyed by the prospect of outsourcers helping it make more money. Or perhaps it was just simple discussion on what ten bars to frequent late into the cold Yorkshire night.

For information on TIGA, upcoming events and the evolving framework for outsourcing in the games development industry, check out http://www.tiga.orgwww.tiga.org

Author Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

The West’s Awake – 2

From 4 – 7.30 pm next Friday Star Cave Studios are hosting the first games industry event to be held in Galway.

The afternoon’s event will involve presentations on the Irish game development industry and what is happening in Galway, the recent Irish trade mission to South Korea, the relationship between games and film and social issues like games and children, games and health issues and games and violence. Educational games will also be discussed.

The organisers have advised gd.ie that many game development companies including PC / Console, Mobile & Middleware companies will be attending the event from across Ireland. Also in attendance will be Enterprise Ireland, the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland, Ireland West Tourism, VC’s & the National University in Galway. They are also expecting more special guests to attend and further details will be released early next week.

Star Cave Studios is hosting the event and aims to promote the game development industry in Galway and throughout Ireland to both local national press as well as to local business and students.

Camelot Galway – City of The Tribes will be shown live in motion at the event and the underlying technology and design details will be discusses. The company will also introduce the team behind the project and discuss practical issues such as budget and timescales.

Tea / coffee & snacks will be served during the event and wine will be served after 6pm when there will be time to interact and network. Star Cave Studios is holding an ‘afters’ for all who wish to attend in Camelot Restaurant & Bar to be followed by a GameDevelopers.ie shindig in Galway City.

Further information can be obtained at the following email address:mailto: info@starcave.cominfo@starcave.com

Attendance is free but people must mail the above e-mail address in advance and attendance is reserved for those with an interest in or already working in the games industry.

The West’s Awake

From 4 – 7.30 pm next Friday Star Cave Studios are hosting the first games industry event to be held in Galway.

The afternoon’s event will involve presentations on the Irish game development industry and what is happening in Galway, the recent Irish trade mission to South Korea, the relationship between games and film and social issues like games and children, games and health issues and games and violence. Educational games will also be discussed.

The organisers have advised gd.ie that many game development companies including PC / Console, Mobile & Middleware companies will be attending the event from across Ireland. Also in attendance will be Enterprise Ireland, the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland, Ireland West Tourism, VC’s & the National University in Galway. They are also expecting more special guests to attend and further details will be released early next week.

Star Cave Studios is hosting the event and aims to promote the game development industry in Galway and throughout Ireland to both local national press as well as to local business and students.

Camelot Galway – City of The Tribes will be shown live in motion at the event and the underlying technology and design details will be discusses. The company will also introduce the team behind the project and discuss practical issues such as budget and timescales.

Tea / coffee & snacks will be served during the event and wine will be served after 6pm when there will be time to interact and network. Star Cave Studios is holding an ‘afters’ for all who wish to attend in Camelot Restaurant & Bar to be followed by a GameDevelopers.ie shindig in Galway City.

Further information can be obtained at the following email address:mailto: info@starcave.cominfo@starcave.com

Attendance is free but people must mail the above e-mail address in advance and attendance is reserved for those with an interest in or already working in the games industry.

Dare Info Day

Dare to be Digital, the international gaming competition is coming to Ireland for the 2nd year. Following on the success of Dare to be Digital Ireland 2004, The Digital Hub are once again hosting the Irish heats for the competition. The competition is open to third level further education students as well as recent graduates. Competitors must form a team and develop an innovative product in the games sector.

The winners of the Irish heat will represent Ireland in the international competition in Abertay, Scotland for 10 weeks during the summer of 2005. The winning team will also have the opportunity to meet and learn from leading experts in the sector, including potential employers from the world’s leading games manafacturers. So, if you think you have the next great game idea, don’t miss the upcoming Information session on how to enter.

The information session will be held in The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, on Thursday, 2 December 2004, from
9.30am-1pm.

For more information, please visit: www.daretobedigital.ie or contact Bronwyn Bailey by email: daretobedigital@thedigitalhub.com or ring
00353.1.4806200

Top Talent Irish Entry

The team of final year DCU multimedia students, which includes one of students who helped to programme gd.ie, were selected in the cross-media section of the European Top Talent Festival. The judging takes place this week from 19-21st of Nov. in the Museum Quarter of Vienna in Austria.

Rumour has it that with a bit of help from Ray Darcy’s Fix it Friday, and a trucker who was listening to the show, the full project got transported to Austria for free. I look forward to having that story confirmed!

We wish the team the best of luck.

For a full list of Top Talent finalists and other events see http://www.toptalent.europrix.org/index1.htmhere.

Dare Info Day – 2

Dare to be Digital, the international gaming competition is coming to Ireland for the 2nd year. Following on the success of Dare to be Digital Ireland 2004, The Digital Hub are once again hosting the Irish heats for the competition. The competition is open to third level further education students as well as recent graduates. Competitors must form a team and develop an innovative product in the games sector.

The winners of the Irish heat will represent Ireland in the international competition in Abertay, Scotland for 10 weeks during the summer of 2005. The winning team will also have the opportunity to meet and learn from leading experts in the sector, including potential employers from the world’s leading games manafacturers. So, if you think you have the next great game idea, don’t miss the upcoming Information session on how to enter.

The information session will be held in The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, on Thursday, 2 December 2004, from
9.30am-1pm.

For more information, please visit: www.daretobedigital.ie or contact Bronwyn Bailey by email: daretobedigital@thedigitalhub.com or ring
00353.1.4806200

Top Talent Irish Entry – 2

The team of final year DCU multimedia students, which includes one of students who helped to programme gd.ie, were selected in the cross-media section of the European Top Talent Festival. The judging takes place this week from 19-21st of Nov. in the Museum Quarter of Vienna in Austria.

Rumour has it that with a bit of help from Ray Darcy’s Fix it Friday, and a trucker who was listening to the show, the full project got transported to Austria for free. I look forward to having that story confirmed!

We wish the team the best of luck.

For a full list of Top Talent finalists and other events see http://www.toptalent.europrix.org/index1.htmhere.

Digital Media Awards 05

The event will take place on the 2nd February 2005, in the Burlington Hotel.

This year DMI are partnering with the European Digital Media Association and the American Digital Media Association and so the event will be open to entrants from around the world

Contact : Helen Connolly, Project Manager
00353.1.669 1750

Also see www.digitalmedia.ie

Foyle Film Fest 2

EVENT 8
Presentation with Special Effects Designer and Senior Supervisor Paul Mann, Managing Director, Machine Shop

Saturday 27 November, 2.00pm – 3.30pm, Nerve Centre

Paul Mann has 21 years full-time experience in the special effects and exhibition industry. During this time he spent a period of over 9 years working in the BBC visual effects department. This employment contained extensive specialist training periods for pyrotechnic uses, underwater rigging and diving, budgeting, studio and safety practices. Primary project designer with overall responsibility for the work of the company and its future direction.

Qualified underwater diver with credits on programmes such as Walking with Dinosaurs and Planet of Beasts. Puppeteer with numerous credits on commercial and film. Experience on over 1000 projects as Designer/Supervisor. Has a great belief that ‘there is always more than one way to skin a cat’ and is skilled in pulling something out of the bag at short notice. He is the driving force behind the company ethos that “we should produce quality at any price”.

Machine Shop’s experience also comprises of work on models, miniatures, animatronics, stop-frame animation, sculpting, mechanical rigs, liquids, foods, large and small-scale engineering, underwater work, flying and rigging. This selection of pop videos, commercials Television programme and events which the company has worked on illustrates the variety and skill which is abundant within the company: Stone Roses,Tetley Beer, Smirnoff Smarienberg, AC/DC,Tina Turner, Pepsi Michael Jackson, U2, Heineken, Blur, Bjork, BT / ET series, Walking With Dinosauors, Beyonce party In The Park, Jennifer Lopez 2002, London Fashion Week 2004, Celebrity Big Brother 2002,

For more information please visit their website: www.machineshop.co.uk

EVENT 9:
Film Finance Seminar with Lucy Conran, Bank of Ireland

Saturday 27 November, 3.00pm – 3.30pm, Tower Hotel

Individual meetings can be scheduled to take place after the seminar until 6.00pm. Contact the festival office to arrange a meeting.

EVENT 10:
Seminar with Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor TV3

Saturday 27 November, 3.30pm – 4.15pm , Nerve Centre

Jane Gogan is the Commissioning Editor for TV3. As part of her role at TV3, Jane is responsible for the management of investments in and relationships with the independent production sector in Ireland. She also oversees all elements of TV3’s indigenous commissioning programme output. Jane has worked in the film and television industry since the early eighties and is an award winning independent producer of television drama and documentaries. Jane was a co-founder of Film Base training and information centre and Film Makers Ireland, an independent producers’ representative group.

TV3, Ireland’s first independent television network, launched an advertiser supported, national, free-to-air, entertainment and information service on 21st September 1998. TV3 is a full service broadcast network, providing news and information, sport, entertainment, comedy, movies, drama, documentaries and children’s programming. As Ireland’s second most watched channel TV3 has an audience of 14% nationally in its target market of 15 – 44 year olds.

For more information please visit their web site: www.tv3.ie

EVENT 11:
Seminar with Emma Davie, European Documentary Network (EDN)

Saturday 27 November, 4.15pm – 5.00pm, Nerve Centre

EDN is a meeting point for all professionals, who work with documentary film and television. It started September 1996 as a membership organisation for filmmakers, producers, production companies, distributors, associations, film institutions & boards, universities and festivals, broadcasters and film & television agencies.

EDN supports, stimulates and networks within the sector in Europe. One major focus has been to inform the members about possibilities for co-production and other kind of collaboration across the borders. This is done through individual service to members, including consultancy on film projects and through workshops and conferences. And through the indispensable EDN TV Guide and DOX Magazine.

Emma Davie is a Scottish based documentary maker. She is currently EDN (European Documentary Network) representative for the UK and in the past, programmed documentaries for the Edinburgh Film Festival, and served as jury member and tutor at various festivals/ workshops in Europe. Previous work includes" Seaview", "Buying Our Island"
(2003,BBC), "Mobile", "Flight" ( about Scots in Canada. BBC/ Vision). She has just finished a documentary for Channel4 about an incredible Art Room in the Highlands run by children whose cutting edge conceptual work is taking the art world by storm. She is one of the founders of Docspace, which is one of the key partners in the new European Docuzone – a digital network of 255 screens across 98 countries. Docspace will also lead the research into the audience and digital potential of European Docuzone.

For more information visit their website:www:edn.dk

EVENT 12
Seminar with Derry O’Brien Managing Director, Network Ireland Television

Saturday 27 November, 5.00pm – 5.45pm, Nerve Centre

Derry O’Brien is Managing Director of Network Ireland Television, Ireland’s foremost independent TV and film distribution Company. He has over 20 years experience in international services in both the music, TV and film sectors, with EMI Records, Irish Trade Board and Network Ireland Television respectively.

Derry was responsible for the inauguration of the Ireland on Screen joint marketing initiative between LEDU (Local Enterprise Development Unit – Belfast) and ABT (The Irish Trade Board) which represented the joint Irish TV production industry, at both the MIP and MIPCOM television markets for 5 years, from 1991 – 1995 inclusive. Furthermore, as a Board Member of the Brussels-based E.U. programme Euro Aim for a similar period, Derry was actively involved in Euro Aim sales and marketing activities at both the Berlin Film Festivals, the Donestia Screenings and their Rendezvous Co-Production and at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1995 Derry founded the first dedicated Irish-based international TV sales and marketing distribution Company. In the last 10 years their programme catalogue has grown to include a broad portfolio of 950 hours of TV and video material from Irish broadcasters and production companies which are available for sale to the international marketplace. They distribute the library of UTV, the ITV franchise company in Northern Ireland.

They also represent on the international market, the output of TG4, Ireland’s Irish language broadcaster, and selected titles from the BBC Northern Ireland library, along with programmes from over 100 Irish independent production companies. With over 330 short film titles in it’s catalogue, Network Ireland Television is also now regarded as one of the largest distributors of quality short programming in the U.K. and Ireland.

Sunday 28 November

EVENT 13:
Seminar with Micheál Ó Meallaigh, TG4, Documentary making as Gaeilge – the challenges Eagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe Sinsearach TG4 / Senior Commissioning Editor TG4.

Sunday 28 November, 2pm, Nerve Centre

After a varied career in New York and Donegal as a teacher and hotelier, Michael he trained as a television producer / director. He worked in the independent sector for a few years before moving to Údarás na Gaeltachta where his brief was to up the skills of new producers / directors for the promised Irish language broadcaster by commissioning pilot programmes.

Appointed as one of two Commissioning Editors for TnaG in Jan 1995. Has been responsible over the years for various programming strands that ranged from children’s / comedy / entertainment / travel / documentary / animation and drama. Currently concentrating on drama and documentary and promoting international coproductions.
Micheal will also touch on the new fund for Irish language productions which will be managed by the NIFTC.
For more information please visit their web site: www.tg4.ie

Foyle Film Festival Workshops

The following info was passed onto us as gd.ie..

****

Experts in the fields of film finance, broadcasting, games creation, casting, documentary filmmaking, funding and distribution will be on hand over two weekends to give you the benefit of their wealth of knowledge in seminars, or in one on one meeting situations.

All you have to do is fill in the accreditation form specifying who you want to meet, pay £5 and turn up. All of the market events will take place between the Nerve Centre and the Tower Hotel, Derry.

For more information on accreditation contact the festival office on 0044.28.71267432/ 7126052 or download an accreditation form from the festival website (registrations live from 2nd Nov) www.foylefilmfestival.comwww.foylefilmfestival.com

Please note that places are limited. One on one meetings must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

EVENT 1:
MONEY, TRAINING, MARKETS! MEDIA Plus Explained with Cian Smith

Saturday 20 November, 2pm, Nerve Centre

Cian Smyth began his position as MEDIA Coordinator for Northern Ireland in 2001. Based at the NIFTC, he is employed by the UK Film Council. MEDIA Service NI is supported by both organisations alongside the MEDIA Plus programme. Cian began his career in the film and television industry as a graduate of the UCD Film School where he completed a Masters in Film Studies and a Certificate in Film Production at Ardmore Studios.

The MEDIA Plus programme is a funding body within the Department of Education and Culture of the European Commission. It was established to strengthen the competitiveness of the European film, TV and new media industries while increasing the international circulation of European audiovisual content. It has a budget of ¤493 million to spend on project development, distribution, promotion (festivals and markets) and training.

MEDIA Service Northern Ireland is part of a network of around 40 offices throughout Europe established to promote national audiovisual industries’ access to the programme and performance in a European marketplace. Cian Smyth, MEDIA Coordinator for Northern Ireland, will present this overview of what the programme offers and how you can access it.

For more information please visit their web site: www.mediadesk.co.uk

EVENT 2
Shooting People The UK’s largest online film community with Simon Tzu editor-in-chief of Shooting People

Saturday 20th November, 3pm, Tower Hotel,

Simon studied Drama and Philosophy at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa – which he considers a great combination for a filmmaker, even though it was not planned that way. While waiting for his true calling to make itself know Simon spent most of the 90’s working in the Internet industry with South Africa’s premier ISP. In 2000 he moved to Europe and after a couple of years spent finding his feet over here he left employment to strike out on his own – launching a couple of companies and coming up with ideas for a half dozen more.

Simon wrote and produced the short Film, "The Art of Flirting". He is also editor-in-chief of Shooting People. Founded by Jess Search and Cath Le Coteur in London about 6 years ago, Shooters is now huge- just shy of 40,000 members with around 250 more joining each and every week. Shooting People run 6 email bulletins (filmmaking, screenwriting, documentary, music video, animation,documentary) and run 1 in NY.

“Shooting People is basically about facilitating networking in a huge indie filmmaking community so everyone can get what they need and share what they know and the skills they have. It works really really well and we crew up and cast about 200 projects a week”.

For more information please visit their website:www.shootingpeople.org

EVENT 3
Casting For Filmmakers with John and Ros Hubbart, Casting Agents

Saturday 20th November, 3pm, Nerve Centre

If you are a filmmaker and would like some insight into the casting process – how to get the big names for your film, how much it might cost, or how to attract talent to an unknown but brilliant script – then sign up to hear some expert advice from Ros and John Hubbart who are two of the biggest names in casting in Ireland and the UK.

EVENT 4:
Lottery/ NIFTC Funding for Shorts and Features with Andrew Reid Head of Production NIFTC & Elsie Reid Funding Programmes Manager NIFTC

Sunday 21 November, 2.30pm Nerve Centre,

The NIFTC were delegated responsibility for Lottery Film Funding in April 2002. Since that time the NIFTC have received over 216 Lottery applications and have awarded £2,624,924 in funding to projects across the range of Lottery schemes.

The workshop will cover: Script Development Funding, Feature Film & TV Drama production funding, MINI (Made in NI) – production funding

This workshop is aimed at individuals who are considering applying to the NIFTC for Lottery Film Funding for the first time.

Places will be limited to 20 people.

For more information please visit their web site: www.niftc.co.uk

EVENT 5:
games and Visual Effects
Saturday 27 November Nerve Centre

Three separate visual presentations with experts from the Games and Visual Effects industries. This event will run from 2.00pm to 3.30pm and includes a brief break between each presentation.

Presentation with Videogames Superdeveloper Company Rebellion’s Executive Jason Kingsley

Jason and his brother Chris Kingsley established the UK based videogames super-developer Rebellion in 1991. Their creative reputation was sealed with the worldwide success of the double BAFTA-nominated Aliens Vs. Predator videogame for 20th Century Fox in 1999.

In June 2000 Rebellion purchased 2000 AD publications and its character portfolio, which includes Judge Dredd. Their aim was to raise the profile, the readership of 2000 AD and to utilise the characters in videogame and feature film development. Their first feature film production was ‘Parasite’ in 2003, an ‘alienseque’ horror movie produced through Fearnort, their movie production arm. Their first 2000 AD videogame release Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death, was launched in 2003 to universal acclaim and received a BAFTA nomination.
They are currently producing the Rogue Trooper videogame.

The company specialises in videogame development, feature film production and sci-fi and fantasy. He is responsible for establishing TIGA – The Independent Games developers Association, providing a platform to address industry issues and offer assistance to UK videogames developers.

EVENT 6:
Presentation with Physical and Visual Effects Creator Mike Kelt, Director of Artem

Saturday 27 November, 2.00pm – 3.30pm, Nerve Centre

Mike Kelt was born in Glasgow and studied at the Glasgow School of Art before entering a career in the Theatre as a Set Designer and Production Manager in Scotland. In 1979 he moved to BBC Television in London, working as a special effects supervisor on all types of production. From ‘Dr Who’, and ‘Blake’s 7’ to Shakespeare, comedy, and light entertainment.

In January 1988 Mike, with a few colleagues, set up ARTEM, a full physical effects house, providing Special Effects of all types covering Animatronics, Models, Pyrotechnics, Fire, Atmospherics, Mechanics, Prosthetics, Props, and Sculpture, and more recently digital Motion Capture and 3D Scanning. The philosophy has always been to cover the full range of Special Effects. The Company work mainly in Feature Film, TV, and Commercials, and have a substantial base in West London.

Film Projects the company has worked on include; ‘Reign of Fire’ (Spyglass), ‘Invincible’ (Werner Herzog), ‘Pinocchio’ (Roberto Benigni), ‘The Borrowers’ (Working Title), ‘Braveheart’ (Icon), ‘Gladiator’ (Scott Free), ‘Just Visiting’ (Gaumont), ‘The Lighthouse’ (Winchester Films), ‘The Innocents’ (BBC), and recently Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Brothers Grimm’ (Miramax) (still to be released)

Mike is a member of the Visual Effects Society in the US, sits on the British Screen Advisory Council, and is a founding Director of the new UK Post trade body that represents Post Production and Special Effects. He also sees an urgent need to revitalise the approach to training in the SFX industry in the UK where there is an ever-widening skills shortage.

For more information please visit their website : www.artem.com

Foyle Film Festival Workshops – 2

Experts in the fields of film finance, broadcasting, games creation, casting, documentary filmmaking, funding and distribution will be on hand over two weekends to give you the benefit of their wealth of knowledge in seminars, or in one on one meeting situations.

All you have to do is fill in the accreditation form specifying who you want to meet, pay £5 and turn up. All of the market events will take place between the Nerve Centre and the Tower Hotel.

For more information on accreditation contact the festival office on 028 71267432/ 7126052 or download an accreditation form from the festival website (registrations live from 2nd Nov) www.foylefilmfestival.com

Please note that places are limited. One on one meetings must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Foyle Film Festival Workshops – 3

Experts in the fields of film finance, broadcasting, games creation, casting, documentary filmmaking, funding and distribution will be on hand over two weekends to give you the benefit of their wealth of knowledge in seminars, or in one on one meeting situations.

All you have to do is fill in the accreditation form specifying who you want to meet, pay £5 and turn up. All of the market events will take place between the Nerve Centre and the Tower Hotel.

For more information on accreditation contact the festival office on 028 71267432/ 7126052 or download an accreditation form from the festival website (registrations live from 2nd Nov) www.foylefilmfestival.com

Please note that places are limited. One on one meetings must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Foyle Film Festival Workshops – 4

The following info was passed onto us as gd.ie..

****

Experts in the fields of film finance, broadcasting, games creation, casting, documentary filmmaking, funding and distribution will be on hand over two weekends to give you the benefit of their wealth of knowledge in seminars, or in one on one meeting situations.

All you have to do is fill in the accreditation form specifying who you want to meet, pay £5 and turn up. All of the market events will take place between the Nerve Centre and the Tower Hotel, Derry.

For more information on accreditation contact the festival office on 0044.28.71267432/ 7126052 or download an accreditation form from the festival website (registrations live from 2nd Nov) www.foylefilmfestival.comwww.foylefilmfestival.com

Please note that places are limited. One on one meetings must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

EVENT 1:
MONEY, TRAINING, MARKETS! MEDIA Plus Explained with Cian Smith

Saturday 20 November, 2pm, Nerve Centre

Cian Smyth began his position as MEDIA Coordinator for Northern Ireland in 2001. Based at the NIFTC, he is employed by the UK Film Council. MEDIA Service NI is supported by both organisations alongside the MEDIA Plus programme. Cian began his career in the film and television industry as a graduate of the UCD Film School where he completed a Masters in Film Studies and a Certificate in Film Production at Ardmore Studios.

The MEDIA Plus programme is a funding body within the Department of Education and Culture of the European Commission. It was established to strengthen the competitiveness of the European film, TV and new media industries while increasing the international circulation of European audiovisual content. It has a budget of ¤493 million to spend on project development, distribution, promotion (festivals and markets) and training.

MEDIA Service Northern Ireland is part of a network of around 40 offices throughout Europe established to promote national audiovisual industries’ access to the programme and performance in a European marketplace. Cian Smyth, MEDIA Coordinator for Northern Ireland, will present this overview of what the programme offers and how you can access it.

For more information please visit their web site: www.mediadesk.co.uk

EVENT 2
Shooting People The UK’s largest online film community with Simon Tzu editor-in-chief of Shooting People

Saturday 20th November, 3pm, Tower Hotel,

Simon studied Drama and Philosophy at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa – which he considers a great combination for a filmmaker, even though it was not planned that way. While waiting for his true calling to make itself know Simon spent most of the 90’s working in the Internet industry with South Africa’s premier ISP. In 2000 he moved to Europe and after a couple of years spent finding his feet over here he left employment to strike out on his own – launching a couple of companies and coming up with ideas for a half dozen more.

Simon wrote and produced the short Film, "The Art of Flirting". He is also editor-in-chief of Shooting People. Founded by Jess Search and Cath Le Coteur in London about 6 years ago, Shooters is now huge- just shy of 40,000 members with around 250 more joining each and every week. Shooting People run 6 email bulletins (filmmaking, screenwriting, documentary, music video, animation,documentary) and run 1 in NY.

“Shooting People is basically about facilitating networking in a huge indie filmmaking community so everyone can get what they need and share what they know and the skills they have. It works really really well and we crew up and cast about 200 projects a week”.

For more information please visit their website:www.shootingpeople.org

EVENT 3
Casting For Filmmakers with John and Ros Hubbart, Casting Agents

Saturday 20th November, 3pm, Nerve Centre

If you are a filmmaker and would like some insight into the casting process – how to get the big names for your film, how much it might cost, or how to attract talent to an unknown but brilliant script – then sign up to hear some expert advice from Ros and John Hubbart who are two of the biggest names in casting in Ireland and the UK.

EVENT 4:
Lottery/ NIFTC Funding for Shorts and Features with Andrew Reid Head of Production NIFTC & Elsie Reid Funding Programmes Manager NIFTC

Sunday 21 November, 2.30pm Nerve Centre,

The NIFTC were delegated responsibility for Lottery Film Funding in April 2002. Since that time the NIFTC have received over 216 Lottery applications and have awarded £2,624,924 in funding to projects across the range of Lottery schemes.

The workshop will cover: Script Development Funding, Feature Film & TV Drama production funding, MINI (Made in NI) – production funding

This workshop is aimed at individuals who are considering applying to the NIFTC for Lottery Film Funding for the first time.

Places will be limited to 20 people.

For more information please visit their web site: www.niftc.co.uk

EVENT 5:
games and Visual Effects
Saturday 27 November Nerve Centre

Three separate visual presentations with experts from the Games and Visual Effects industries. This event will run from 2.00pm to 3.30pm and includes a brief break between each presentation.

Presentation with Videogames Superdeveloper Company Rebellion’s Executive Jason Kingsley

Jason and his brother Chris Kingsley established the UK based videogames super-developer Rebellion in 1991. Their creative reputation was sealed with the worldwide success of the double BAFTA-nominated Aliens Vs. Predator videogame for 20th Century Fox in 1999.

In June 2000 Rebellion purchased 2000 AD publications and its character portfolio, which includes Judge Dredd. Their aim was to raise the profile, the readership of 2000 AD and to utilise the characters in videogame and feature film development. Their first feature film production was ‘Parasite’ in 2003, an ‘alienseque’ horror movie produced through Fearnort, their movie production arm. Their first 2000 AD videogame release Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death, was launched in 2003 to universal acclaim and received a BAFTA nomination.
They are currently producing the Rogue Trooper videogame.

The company specialises in videogame development, feature film production and sci-fi and fantasy. He is responsible for establishing TIGA – The Independent Games developers Association, providing a platform to address industry issues and offer assistance to UK videogames developers.

EVENT 6:
Presentation with Physical and Visual Effects Creator Mike Kelt, Director of Artem

Saturday 27 November, 2.00pm – 3.30pm, Nerve Centre

Mike Kelt was born in Glasgow and studied at the Glasgow School of Art before entering a career in the Theatre as a Set Designer and Production Manager in Scotland. In 1979 he moved to BBC Television in London, working as a special effects supervisor on all types of production. From ‘Dr Who’, and ‘Blake’s 7’ to Shakespeare, comedy, and light entertainment.

In January 1988 Mike, with a few colleagues, set up ARTEM, a full physical effects house, providing Special Effects of all types covering Animatronics, Models, Pyrotechnics, Fire, Atmospherics, Mechanics, Prosthetics, Props, and Sculpture, and more recently digital Motion Capture and 3D Scanning. The philosophy has always been to cover the full range of Special Effects. The Company work mainly in Feature Film, TV, and Commercials, and have a substantial base in West London.

Film Projects the company has worked on include; ‘Reign of Fire’ (Spyglass), ‘Invincible’ (Werner Herzog), ‘Pinocchio’ (Roberto Benigni), ‘The Borrowers’ (Working Title), ‘Braveheart’ (Icon), ‘Gladiator’ (Scott Free), ‘Just Visiting’ (Gaumont), ‘The Lighthouse’ (Winchester Films), ‘The Innocents’ (BBC), and recently Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Brothers Grimm’ (Miramax) (still to be released)

Mike is a member of the Visual Effects Society in the US, sits on the British Screen Advisory Council, and is a founding Director of the new UK Post trade body that represents Post Production and Special Effects. He also sees an urgent need to revitalise the approach to training in the SFX industry in the UK where there is an ever-widening skills shortage.

For more information please visit their website : www.artem.com

Digital Media Awards 05 – 2

The event will take place on the 2nd February 2005, in the Burlington Hotel.

This year DMI are partnering with the European Digital Media Association and the American Digital Media Association and so the event will be open to entrants from around the world

Contact : Helen Connolly, Project Manager
00353.1.669 1750

Also see www.digitalmedia.ie

Foyle Film Fest 2 – 2

EVENT 8
Presentation with Special Effects Designer and Senior Supervisor Paul Mann, Managing Director, Machine Shop

Saturday 27 November, 2.00pm – 3.30pm, Nerve Centre

Paul Mann has 21 years full-time experience in the special effects and exhibition industry. During this time he spent a period of over 9 years working in the BBC visual effects department. This employment contained extensive specialist training periods for pyrotechnic uses, underwater rigging and diving, budgeting, studio and safety practices. Primary project designer with overall responsibility for the work of the company and its future direction.

Qualified underwater diver with credits on programmes such as Walking with Dinosaurs and Planet of Beasts. Puppeteer with numerous credits on commercial and film. Experience on over 1000 projects as Designer/Supervisor. Has a great belief that ‘there is always more than one way to skin a cat’ and is skilled in pulling something out of the bag at short notice. He is the driving force behind the company ethos that “we should produce quality at any price”.

Machine Shop’s experience also comprises of work on models, miniatures, animatronics, stop-frame animation, sculpting, mechanical rigs, liquids, foods, large and small-scale engineering, underwater work, flying and rigging. This selection of pop videos, commercials Television programme and events which the company has worked on illustrates the variety and skill which is abundant within the company: Stone Roses,Tetley Beer, Smirnoff Smarienberg, AC/DC,Tina Turner, Pepsi Michael Jackson, U2, Heineken, Blur, Bjork, BT / ET series, Walking With Dinosauors, Beyonce party In The Park, Jennifer Lopez 2002, London Fashion Week 2004, Celebrity Big Brother 2002,

For more information please visit their website: www.machineshop.co.uk

EVENT 9:
Film Finance Seminar with Lucy Conran, Bank of Ireland

Saturday 27 November, 3.00pm – 3.30pm, Tower Hotel

Individual meetings can be scheduled to take place after the seminar until 6.00pm. Contact the festival office to arrange a meeting.

EVENT 10:
Seminar with Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor TV3

Saturday 27 November, 3.30pm – 4.15pm , Nerve Centre

Jane Gogan is the Commissioning Editor for TV3. As part of her role at TV3, Jane is responsible for the management of investments in and relationships with the independent production sector in Ireland. She also oversees all elements of TV3’s indigenous commissioning programme output. Jane has worked in the film and television industry since the early eighties and is an award winning independent producer of television drama and documentaries. Jane was a co-founder of Film Base training and information centre and Film Makers Ireland, an independent producers’ representative group.

TV3, Ireland’s first independent television network, launched an advertiser supported, national, free-to-air, entertainment and information service on 21st September 1998. TV3 is a full service broadcast network, providing news and information, sport, entertainment, comedy, movies, drama, documentaries and children’s programming. As Ireland’s second most watched channel TV3 has an audience of 14% nationally in its target market of 15 – 44 year olds.

For more information please visit their web site: www.tv3.ie

EVENT 11:
Seminar with Emma Davie, European Documentary Network (EDN)

Saturday 27 November, 4.15pm – 5.00pm, Nerve Centre

EDN is a meeting point for all professionals, who work with documentary film and television. It started September 1996 as a membership organisation for filmmakers, producers, production companies, distributors, associations, film institutions & boards, universities and festivals, broadcasters and film & television agencies.

EDN supports, stimulates and networks within the sector in Europe. One major focus has been to inform the members about possibilities for co-production and other kind of collaboration across the borders. This is done through individual service to members, including consultancy on film projects and through workshops and conferences. And through the indispensable EDN TV Guide and DOX Magazine.

Emma Davie is a Scottish based documentary maker. She is currently EDN (European Documentary Network) representative for the UK and in the past, programmed documentaries for the Edinburgh Film Festival, and served as jury member and tutor at various festivals/ workshops in Europe. Previous work includes" Seaview", "Buying Our Island"
(2003,BBC), "Mobile", "Flight" ( about Scots in Canada. BBC/ Vision). She has just finished a documentary for Channel4 about an incredible Art Room in the Highlands run by children whose cutting edge conceptual work is taking the art world by storm. She is one of the founders of Docspace, which is one of the key partners in the new European Docuzone – a digital network of 255 screens across 98 countries. Docspace will also lead the research into the audience and digital potential of European Docuzone.

For more information visit their website:www:edn.dk

EVENT 12
Seminar with Derry O’Brien Managing Director, Network Ireland Television

Saturday 27 November, 5.00pm – 5.45pm, Nerve Centre

Derry O’Brien is Managing Director of Network Ireland Television, Ireland’s foremost independent TV and film distribution Company. He has over 20 years experience in international services in both the music, TV and film sectors, with EMI Records, Irish Trade Board and Network Ireland Television respectively.

Derry was responsible for the inauguration of the Ireland on Screen joint marketing initiative between LEDU (Local Enterprise Development Unit – Belfast) and ABT (The Irish Trade Board) which represented the joint Irish TV production industry, at both the MIP and MIPCOM television markets for 5 years, from 1991 – 1995 inclusive. Furthermore, as a Board Member of the Brussels-based E.U. programme Euro Aim for a similar period, Derry was actively involved in Euro Aim sales and marketing activities at both the Berlin Film Festivals, the Donestia Screenings and their Rendezvous Co-Production and at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1995 Derry founded the first dedicated Irish-based international TV sales and marketing distribution Company. In the last 10 years their programme catalogue has grown to include a broad portfolio of 950 hours of TV and video material from Irish broadcasters and production companies which are available for sale to the international marketplace. They distribute the library of UTV, the ITV franchise company in Northern Ireland.

They also represent on the international market, the output of TG4, Ireland’s Irish language broadcaster, and selected titles from the BBC Northern Ireland library, along with programmes from over 100 Irish independent production companies. With over 330 short film titles in it’s catalogue, Network Ireland Television is also now regarded as one of the largest distributors of quality short programming in the U.K. and Ireland.

Sunday 28 November

EVENT 13:
Seminar with Micheál Ó Meallaigh, TG4, Documentary making as Gaeilge – the challenges Eagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe Sinsearach TG4 / Senior Commissioning Editor TG4.

Sunday 28 November, 2pm, Nerve Centre

After a varied career in New York and Donegal as a teacher and hotelier, Michael he trained as a television producer / director. He worked in the independent sector for a few years before moving to Údarás na Gaeltachta where his brief was to up the skills of new producers / directors for the promised Irish language broadcaster by commissioning pilot programmes.

Appointed as one of two Commissioning Editors for TnaG in Jan 1995. Has been responsible over the years for various programming strands that ranged from children’s / comedy / entertainment / travel / documentary / animation and drama. Currently concentrating on drama and documentary and promoting international coproductions.
Micheal will also touch on the new fund for Irish language productions which will be managed by the NIFTC.
For more information please visit their web site: www.tg4.ie

Korean Awakening

The Korean trade mission was the first game specific trade mission from Ireland and it was organised by the goverment agency, EI. The participating companies included Selatra from Cork, Nephin Games, StarCave and VirTecCo from Galway and Vyro Games from Dublin. While all except VirTecCo are operating in, or aiming to target the mobile games space, the aim of the trade mission was to brief the companies and officials on the Korean Digital Media and Games market and to arrange one to one business meetings with Korean game companies.

EI now has a local office in Seoul and working with the KGDI they developed an intensive agenda for the three days, which left no ground for any accusations of junkets! The agenda included networking and one to one business meetings, visits to PC bangs, PS2 cafes and the X-box sponsored Sejoong Game World, which has 50 Xbox units, three DVD rooms, 90 PCs and a cafe. The group were also shown around KGDI’s incubation centre for game companies and their equivalent of the Digital Hub – the Digital Media City. In the remaining time the group attended sessions at the Korea Games Conference which had almost 800 participants and keynote speakers from the US, the UK, Japan and Korea.

Alan Duggan of Nephin Games commented that ‘Our expectation of the mission was greatly exceeded, due primarily to the huge efforts of Enterprise Ireland’s local representative, Diane Rhee, and all the SkyVenture team particularly JayDee and AJ.’ He went on to add that ‘The visit confirmed that with the right business models and appropriate use of technology, all parties in the mobile gaming value chain from gamers to game developers can benefit…(and) despite cultural differences, Irish developers have a lot to offer Korea.’

For Sean Cronin of Selatra the trip was especially useful. He told us that he met with 7 potential partners through arranged meetings and had 3 other meeting with newly discovered companies during the week. He noted that ‘meeting the 3 carriers was a big bonus as the games companies I met afterwards were impressed that I’d already met with the SG telecom main man for Games Je Sang Moon (known as the ‘Game God’ by the developers). In all we will probably partner with 3 players, who are best set up to deal locally with format conversion economically. We will take games from them all.’

The companies also benefited from the experience Korean companies had accumulated in their dealings with other Asian countries. Sean Cronin again informed us that ‘advice on the Korean’s experience in China has been very enlightening for me … many have been burned and not realized the revenues they anticipated.’ Selatra plans to ‘ have games (with) the Korean operators by Christmas, either directly or indirectly. We will also be internationalizing some Korean games and distributing these to the USA, Europe. As a result of the visit we have decided to now include Brew games in our portfolio and use Korean partners as our outsourced conversion facility. This will, hopefully, lead to penetration of the USA and generate new revenues there for us in 2005.’

Michael Kenna was struck by the outstanding level of courtesy and cooperation that the participants experienced from both government officials and companies. The feedback from the Irish companies, he said, augured well for future business development and the visit established a tremendous foundation for further interaction between Irish and Korean games companies. He added that he hoped other Irish companies would be encouraged to build on this initiative and to further exploit the opportunities that the visit has helped to identify.

Next year the Korean Games Conference is being enlarged into an international Game Expo combining a trade expo with conference and seminars, a buyers lounge and events. It might just be worth checking out if you are interested in the online and mobile games market – or their Costume Play and Game Character Show!

Our pack for the trade mission included a very helpful guide to doing business in Korea – the key tips were – dress formal, always have business cards and learn the correct way to hand over your card to the other person. We didn’t learn much Korean but Ko Sam Y Da (my own phonetic spelling of thank you!) might be useful if you find yourself in that part of the world.

For more:

See Sept., 20, 2004, Fortune magazine, ‘Broadband Wonderland.’
2004 ‘The Rise of Korean Games. Guide to Korean Game Industry and Culture.’

Korean Game Development Institute (KGDI)- http://www.gameinfinity.or.uk www.gameinfinity.or.uk

Date for your diary:
Game Expo Korea 2005, Nov. 10-12, KINTEX, Korea.

Also:
Keep an eye on the Enterprise Ireland website for future trade missions.
See http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/News/Events/EventsCalendar.htmhere

Foyle Film Festival

After Awakenings you should all know where Derry is!!..

so there is no excuse for not getting to the 17th Foyle Film Festival which runs from the 19th – 27th of November and along with screenings of Irish and international films there are workshops on film, animation and on the 27th a curiously titled workshop entitled ‘Presentation with Video Games’

Check it out on

and the booking office is as usual in the Nerve Centre , 7-8 Magazine Street, Derry BT48 6HJ

Darklight Festival

Darklight Digital Festival at the digital hub from the 17th – 21st of Nov.

Includes screenings, 3D Studio Max workshops, HDV video camera workshops and much more…

Full details of screenings on their website http://www.darklight-filmfestival.com/http://www.darklight-filmfestival.com/

Korean Awakening – 2

The Korean trade mission was the first game specific trade mission from Ireland and it was organised by the goverment agency, EI. The participating companies included Selatra from Cork, Nephin Games, StarCave and VirTecCo from Galway and Vyro Games from Dublin. While all except VirTecCo are operating in, or aiming to target the mobile games space, the aim of the trade mission was to brief the companies and officials on the Korean Digital Media and Games market and to arrange one to one business meetings with Korean game companies.

EI now has a local office in Seoul and working with the KGDI they developed an intensive agenda for the three days, which left no ground for any accusations of junkets! The agenda included networking and one to one business meetings, visits to PC bangs, PS2 cafes and the X-box sponsored Sejoong Game World, which has 50 Xbox units, three DVD rooms, 90 PCs and a cafe. The group were also shown around KGDI’s incubation centre for game companies and their equivalent of the Digital Hub – the Digital Media City. In the remaining time the group attended sessions at the Korea Games Conference which had almost 800 participants and keynote speakers from the US, the UK, Japan and Korea.

Alan Duggan of Nephin Games commented that ‘Our expectation of the mission was greatly exceeded, due primarily to the huge efforts of Enterprise Ireland’s local representative, Diane Rhee, and all the SkyVenture team particularly JayDee and AJ.’ He went on to add that ‘The visit confirmed that with the right business models and appropriate use of technology, all parties in the mobile gaming value chain from gamers to game developers can benefit…(and) despite cultural differences, Irish developers have a lot to offer Korea.’

For Sean Cronin of Selatra the trip was especially useful. He told us that he met with 7 potential partners through arranged meetings and had 3 other meeting with newly discovered companies during the week. He noted that ‘meeting the 3 carriers was a big bonus as the games companies I met afterwards were impressed that I’d already met with the SG telecom main man for Games Je Sang Moon (known as the ‘Game God’ by the developers). In all we will probably partner with 3 players, who are best set up to deal locally with format conversion economically. We will take games from them all.’

The companies also benefited from the experience Korean companies had accumulated in their dealings with other Asian countries. Sean Cronin again informed us that ‘advice on the Korean’s experience in China has been very enlightening for me … many have been burned and not realized the revenues they anticipated.’ Selatra plans to ‘ have games (with) the Korean operators by Christmas, either directly or indirectly. We will also be internationalizing some Korean games and distributing these to the USA, Europe. As a result of the visit we have decided to now include Brew games in our portfolio and use Korean partners as our outsourced conversion facility. This will, hopefully, lead to penetration of the USA and generate new revenues there for us in 2005.’

Michael Kenna was struck by the outstanding level of courtesy and cooperation that the participants experienced from both government officials and companies. The feedback from the Irish companies, he said, augured well for future business development and the visit established a tremendous foundation for further interaction between Irish and Korean games companies. He added that he hoped other Irish companies would be encouraged to build on this initiative and to further exploit the opportunities that the visit has helped to identify.

Next year the Korean Games Conference is being enlarged into an international Game Expo combining a trade expo with conference and seminars, a buyers lounge and events. It might just be worth checking out if you are interested in the online and mobile games market – or their Costume Play and Game Character Show!

Our pack for the trade mission included a very helpful guide to doing business in Korea – the key tips were – dress formal, always have business cards and learn the correct way to hand over your card to the other person. We didn’t learn much Korean but Ko Sam Y Da (my own phonetic spelling of thank you!) might be useful if you find yourself in that part of the world.

For more:

See Sept., 20, 2004, Fortune magazine, ‘Broadband Wonderland.’
2004 ‘The Rise of Korean Games. Guide to Korean Game Industry and Culture.’

Korean Game Development Institute (KGDI)- http://www.gameinfinity.or.uk www.gameinfinity.or.uk

Date for your diary:
Game Expo Korea 2005, Nov. 10-12, KINTEX, Korea.

Also:
Keep an eye on the Enterprise Ireland website for future trade missions.
See http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/News/Events/EventsCalendar.htmhere

‘Future Tense’ Event On Digital Storytelling

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world the event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

Digital Storytelling Event

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world this event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

‘Creative Gamers’ Seminar

What: Creative Gamers – Exploring Participatory Culture in Gaming seminar
When:January 11-12, 2005
Where: Hypermedia Laboratory,University of Tampere, Finland
Chair: Research Director Frans Mäyrä (Hypermedia Laboratory)

Details:
This event is organized by University of Tampere Hypermedia Laboratory GameLab. Proposals for presentations at the Creative Gamers seminar are requested, especially from graduate students. Work-in-progress papers are also welcome.

The possible list of topics includes but is not limited to:
*History of player created content and modding
*Analyses of creative game player activities
*Typologies and ways of interpreting mods and other creative practices
of game cultures
*The role of tools and editors in player participation
* The social roles, structure and activities of game player communities
* Learning and practices of support in game cultures
* The motivations of modders and other "player-producers"
* Ownership and fair use of information among game cultures
* Industry practices: ways of supporting and controlling player creativity

The two-day event consists of themed sessions that aim to introduce current research projects and discuss the potentials and limitations of gamer creativity.

Paper commentators include Professor Henry Jenkins (Comparative Media Studies, MIT), and Professor Mikko Lehtonen (Media Culture, University of Tampere).

The first day will have a public lecture by Professor Jenkins on War Between Effects and Meaning as part if the Games and Storytelling lecture series, which will be open for everyone. More details to follow.

Submissions:
To submit a paper to the seminar, please send an abstract of maximum 1500 words to the following address: mailto:info-gamestudies@uta.fiinfo-gamestudies@uta.fi. The deadline for the submission of papers is 19th November 2004.

For further information, please visit the seminar website at:
http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/creativegamers/http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/creativegamers/ or send an email to
mailto:olli.sotamaa@uta.fiolli.sotamaa@uta.fi.

Key dates:
Abstract due: November 19, 2004
Notice of acceptance: November 26, 2004
Seminar material deadline: December 17, 2004
Seminar: January 11-12, 2005

‘Future Tense’ Event On Digital Storytelling – 2

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world the event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

Awakenings 2004 – 2

Almost 200 students, educators and members of the industry gathered at the Awakenings 2004 conference at the Northwest Institute for Further and Higher Education (NWIFHE) in Derry on October 15, 2004 to discuss the future of digital games in Ireland. Speakers included Jason Della Rocca of IGDA, game designer Graeme Devine (Ensemble), Chris Van Der Kuyl (Vis Entertainment), Marcus Mäki (Remedy) and Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE.

Della Rocca set the tone for the day when he pointed out in his opening speech that the health of the industry depended on a healthy mix of licensed products and original IP. He urged Irish developers to "chase the leprechaun" in order to create products that appeal to a wide audience without denying their cultural roots. In tandem with alternative business models, such an approach would help to diversify the audience for computer games and create a sustainable economy in years to come.
image2
In the following keynote, Graeme Devine asked the provocative question ‘Where has all the innovation gone?’ He deplored the inevitable slowdown of innovation in a consolidating industry, the ‘arms race’ between developers, and the industry’s exclusivity to fresh talent. But he also pointed out that the games industry hadn’t reached the apex of the growth pyramid yet. "The industry is not a pyramid, but a skyscraper," he said, "There’s still a lot of room for invention."

After the lunch break, Chris van der Kuyl of VIS Entertainment spoke about the possibilities of outsourcing in the game design process. Likening the games industry to Hollywood, he said that it was time to move on from the studio system to the modern era. While industry giants like Electronic Arts aimed to own every part of the production process the future would belong to small companies which were able to mobilize a specialised workforce for individual steps of the production process. In the future, van der Kuyl expected a massive growth in outsourcing, with less than 5 per cent of production actually taking place in-house.

Markus Mäki (Remedy) then shared his insights into building a successful European development company. He stressed the importance of aiming for the American market, as European markets were generally too small and too diverse to support local development. He also emphasised the role of original intellectual property, such as Remedy’s Max Payne brand, for surviving in the highly competitive games industry.
image3
The last speaker was Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE. He discussed the role of educators in the games industry, pointing out that formal education was becoming increasingly important. While developers had relied for a long time on recruits with self-taught skills such as modders, this was no longer an appropriate model due to the growth of the industry. At the NWIFHE, the growing demand for formal education in the games industry has been met by the formation of two games-related courses, ICE and CREAM. While there were now more than 30 such courses in the UK and more than a dozen in Ireland, Hegarty said, the British financial sector was generally not as supportive of such endeavours as in France or the US.

The conference closed with a panel discussion between all speakers, which were joined by Michael Griffin of Kapooki games. Chaired by Jason Della Rocca, the panel discussed whether it was possible in today’s marketplace to make a game with a budget of less than 5 million Euro. While Griffin pointed out that there was a huge market outside the hard core of AAA titles – e.g. wireless and web-based games – he stressed the importance of breaking into that market segment by following the path of original IP.

Unfortunately the panel failed to identify alternative business models that would enable Irish developers to create a sustainable national industry and succeed where many others had failed. Thus, at the end of the day, the future of the Irish games industry looked not as bright as many of the attendants might have wished. But at the very least, Awakenings 2004 should contribute to everyone’s awareness of the challenges which lie ahead.

Author: Julian Kücklich is a PhD student at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Further accounts and pics:

See Jason Della Rocca’s blog
http://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.htmlhttp://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.html

IGDA threads on our own forums
community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13

Related:

Article on NWIFE courses
news/index.php?article_number=117news/index.php?article_number=117

Awakenings 2004

Almost 200 students, educators and members of the industry gathered at the Awakenings 2004 conference at the Northwest Institute for Further and Higher Education (NWIFHE) in Derry on October 15, 2004 to discuss the future of digital games in Ireland. Speakers included Jason Della Rocca of IGDA, game designer Graeme Devine (Ensemble), Chris Van Der Kuyl (Vis Entertainment), Marcus Mäki (Remedy) and Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE.

Della Rocca set the tone for the day when he pointed out in his opening speech that the health of the industry depended on a healthy mix of licensed products and original IP. He urged Irish developers to "chase the leprechaun" in order to create products that appeal to a wide audience without denying their cultural roots. In tandem with alternative business models, such an approach would help to diversify the audience for computer games and create a sustainable economy in years to come.
image2
In the following keynote, Graeme Devine asked the provocative question ‘Where has all the innovation gone?’ He deplored the inevitable slowdown of innovation in a consolidating industry, the ‘arms race’ between developers, and the industry’s exclusivity to fresh talent. But he also pointed out that the games industry hadn’t reached the apex of the growth pyramid yet. "The industry is not a pyramid, but a skyscraper," he said, "There’s still a lot of room for invention."

After the lunch break, Chris van der Kuyl of VIS Entertainment spoke about the possibilities of outsourcing in the game design process. Likening the games industry to Hollywood, he said that it was time to move on from the studio system to the modern era. While industry giants like Electronic Arts aimed to own every part of the production process the future would belong to small companies which were able to mobilize a specialised workforce for individual steps of the production process. In the future, van der Kuyl expected a massive growth in outsourcing, with less than 5 per cent of production actually taking place in-house.

Markus Mäki (Remedy) then shared his insights into building a successful European development company. He stressed the importance of aiming for the American market, as European markets were generally too small and too diverse to support local development. He also emphasised the role of original intellectual property, such as Remedy’s Max Payne brand, for surviving in the highly competitive games industry.
image3
The last speaker was Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE. He discussed the role of educators in the games industry, pointing out that formal education was becoming increasingly important. While developers had relied for a long time on recruits with self-taught skills such as modders, this was no longer an appropriate model due to the growth of the industry. At the NWIFHE, the growing demand for formal education in the games industry has been met by the formation of two games-related courses, ICE and CREAM. While there were now more than 30 such courses in the UK and more than a dozen in Ireland, Hegarty said, the British financial sector was generally not as supportive of such endeavours as in France or the US.

The conference closed with a panel discussion between all speakers, which were joined by Michael Griffin of Kapooki games. Chaired by Jason Della Rocca, the panel discussed whether it was possible in today’s marketplace to make a game with a budget of less than 5 million Euro. While Griffin pointed out that there was a huge market outside the hard core of AAA titles – e.g. wireless and web-based games – he stressed the importance of breaking into that market segment by following the path of original IP.

Unfortunately the panel failed to identify alternative business models that would enable Irish developers to create a sustainable national industry and succeed where many others had failed. Thus, at the end of the day, the future of the Irish games industry looked not as bright as many of the attendants might have wished. But at the very least, Awakenings 2004 should contribute to everyone’s awareness of the challenges which lie ahead.

Author: Julian Kücklich is a PhD student at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Further accounts and pics:

See Jason Della Rocca’s blog
http://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.htmlhttp://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.html

IGDA threads on our own forums
community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13

Related:

Article on NWIFE courses
news/index.php?article_number=117news/index.php?article_number=117

Eurographics Conference

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol OSullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

November Content Forum

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation, this event will discuss:
*Content opportunities
*Convergence and distribution
*TV Rights: ownership and exploitation

Themes include:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the Audio Visual Industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV Rights Ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Eurographics Conference Starts

Event: Eurographics
Dates: August 29 to September 2 2005
Location: Conference Centre, Trinity College Dublin

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol O’Sullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

Creativity 2004

Event: Creativity 2004 – a conference on game audio content creation and management tools
Date: Friday, 29 October 2004 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
Location:Royal Society of Arts – RSA
8, John Adam Street
London WC2N 6EZ

Programme:

*Welcome and General Session I (45 mins)
Welcome – Speakers: George Thorn/Andrea D’Orta
Creative Technologies Unleashed: A comprehensive overview of the tools and technologies now available under the Creative umbrella. Attendees will learn how Creative can offer the perfect audio solution from start to finish.
Main Speaker: Steve Erickson
Additional Speakers: Keith Charley (ISACT & OpenAL), Peter Clare (GameCODA), Dave Anderson (EMU)

*General Session II (1 hour)
The new Sound Blaster: An in-depth preview of Creative’s newest hardware, including an overview of EAX 5.0 and mention of future EAX developments
Speaker: John Kraft (Zenith and EAX 5.0)

*General Session III (45 mins)
EAX integration into the latest game audio engines: Doom3 and UT2004
Speaker: Carlo Vogelsang

*General Session IV (30 mins)
Advancing Interactive Audio: A summary of Creative’s offerings, including explanation of the various license agreements for our tools.
Main Speaker: George Thorn
Additional Speakers: Neela Dass, Royee Leung, Franco De Bonis

*Breakout Session Tracks: Sound Design/Production & Programming
Breakout Session I (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: Interactive Audio at Your Fingertips: the ISACT Experience
Speaker: Peter Harrison

*Audio Programming (split session): Implementing the ISACT API in your next project
Speaker: Daniel Peacock

*Breakout Session II (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: GameCODA and CAGE Producer, Creating multi-platform content
Speaker: Mike Clarke

*Audio Programming: Implementing the GameCODA and CAGE API in your multi-platform titles
Speaker: Nathan Charles

*Breakout Session III (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: Creative Professional: Introducing EMU’s latest digital audio systems
Speaker: Dave Anderson

*Audio Programming (split session):
Bringing OpenAL to your next project, Tips, Tricks, and Optimization
Speaker: Keith Charley
Techniques and optimizations to developing your cross-platform audio.
Speaker: Peter Clare

For more information:
http://developer.creative.com/articles/article.asp?cat=1&sbcat=40&top=73&aid=114http://developer.creative.com/articles/

Eurographics Conference – 2

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol OSullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

November Content Forum – 2

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation, this event will discuss:
*Content opportunities
*Convergence and distribution
*TV Rights: ownership and exploitation

Themes include:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the Audio Visual Industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV Rights Ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Ei Agree To Cooperate With Kgdi – 2

The MOU formed the centrepiece of a market study visit organised by Enterprise Ireland, focusing on mobile games and initiating a formal co-operation in the development and promotion of the respective game industries of both countries.

According to the 2004 game industry report of the KGDI, the Korean games market reached $3.4bn in 2003 and is expected to rise to $4.3bn in 2005. Some 34,000 people were employed in the sector. Production volumes across the game space were valued at $1.2bn with $200m of in exports. The Korean government and the KGDI have set ambitious targets for the achievement of $8.5bn in domestic market size by 2007 supporting 100,000 jobs, $5bn in production volume and exports of $1bn.

Enterprise Ireland will seek to establish ongoing contact between Irish companies and potential partners in Korea, highlighting the strengths that Irish companies can bring to the arrangement – in the development, design and conversion/packaging of games, together with research strengths in game design, enabling technologies and middleware.

Attending the event last Friday from Ireland were Conor Murphy, the Irish Ambassador to Korea, Michael Kenna, Development Adviser – Digital Media in Enterprise Ireland, Dianne Rhee – Director EI Korea, Mary Twomey – Business Analysist in Forfás, Brendan Rossiter – Director of the IDA’s office in Toyko and myself. Attending on behalf of KGDI were Jong Sik Woo, President and Mr Jay Woo, Director of International Cooperation, amongst others.

Ei Agree To Cooperate With Kgdi

The MOU formed the centrepiece of a market study visit organised by Enterprise Ireland, focusing on mobile games and initiating a formal co-operation in the development and promotion of the respective game industries of both countries.

According to the 2004 game industry report of the KGDI, the Korean games market reached $3.4bn in 2003 and is expected to rise to $4.3bn in 2005. Some 34,000 people were employed in the sector. Production volumes across the game space were valued at $1.2bn with $200m of in exports. The Korean government and the KGDI have set ambitious targets for the achievement of $8.5bn in domestic market size by 2007 supporting 100,000 jobs, $5bn in production volume and exports of $1bn.

Enterprise Ireland will seek to establish ongoing contact between Irish companies and potential partners in Korea, highlighting the strengths that Irish companies can bring to the arrangement – in the development, design and conversion/packaging of games, together with research strengths in game design, enabling technologies and middleware.

Attending the event last Friday from Ireland were Conor Murphy, the Irish Ambassador to Korea, Michael Kenna, Development Adviser – Digital Media in Enterprise Ireland, Dianne Rhee – Director EI Korea, Mary Twomey – Business Analysist in Forfás, Brendan Rossiter – Director of the IDA’s office in Toyko and myself. Attending on behalf of KGDI were Jong Sik Woo, President and Mr Jay Woo, Director of International Cooperation, amongst others.

Deadline:Ma Games Research And Design

There are additional places available in the Online Master’s Course in Digital Games Research and Design, Module 2 Introduction to Theories of Games and Playup to October 18th.

For more details:
http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamestudies/admissions.htmlhttp://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamestudies/admissions.html

Talk Digital: Wireless Today – 2

The return of this series at the Digital Hub will begin by asking where Ireland is placed internationally with wireless applications, and what are the relationships between mobile network operator and consumer. Panellists include:
• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

The event takes place in the Diageo Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

RSVP is required before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Upcoming events are:
*3G: Thursday, 18 November (In association with Darklight)

* Gaming: Thursday, 9 December

Karlin Lillington’s webpage: http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/

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