Santa V Banker Launching

Another Irish game release. Affinity Tech Group Ltd are launching of their new side scrolling platform pursuit game called “Santa Vs Banker”

“Help Santa outsmart his evil banker as he attempts to repossess his toys on Xmas eve. He blasts Santa’s sleigh out of the sky. The player’s mission is to help Santa retrieve all the presents in time for delivery to the children of the world on Xmas Day”!

This recession themed socially aware game has attracted the attention of Seattle based casual game giant BigFish games. The company have signed a distribution agreement with Affinity that
will see their game played in over 150 countries worldwide.

Bigfish have millions of downloads per month across the
globe on several different platforms. The company has signed contracts for another Affinity release called “Joe Vs Banker”
which is due for release in January 2013. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny played this game and found it “Hilarious”

Affinity have also signed a distribution agreement with New York based gaming heavyweight Oberon Media which supply titles to EA games, Microsoft Games, Virgin, AT&T and Orange network. The company has signed up 5 pipeline from Affinity.

Gary Carr CEO and the team at Affinity are very excited to be the first company in the Republic to be partners with Bigfish.

The game will be officially launched in the Digital Hub in Crane Street at 4.00pm on Wednesday

Affinity Tech Group Ltd are a High Potential Client of Enterprise Ireland!

Game opening shot:

Game-play footage:

Charity Indie Gamecraft

Next Tues, 11th December 2012 a number of indie companies are taking part in a charity GameCraft.

For one day only, some of the most excellent companies in the Irish game development scene will be making sparkly game development magic happen in various offices around Ireland, and streaming the event live for your entertainment.

From 9am to 6pm on Tuesday 11th of December, watch some of Ireland’ best known Indie game developers flounder about as they try to make a game from scratch in just 9 hours!

That would be a great thing in and of itself, but there’s more! In the spirit of Christmas, they’re offering you an incredible opportunity to imbue within yourself a feeling of enormous well-being. “How”, I hear you cry. Simple. Give them your money…and then they’ll give it to charity. All of it. Every last kind penny. To the ISPCA to be specific. By donating you will also get all the games made during the day and P-3 Biotic from BatCat Games

So make a puppy/kitten/horse thing happy. Tune in online next Tuesday and join in the festivities. See http://dublingamecraft.com/2012/12/04/11th-december-2012-charity-gamecraft/ for more.

Some of the developers involved (alphabetically):

BatCat Games
BitSmith Games
Bright Head Games Studio
Elaine Reynolds
John Kelly
Giant Oak Studios
Super Quest

Btec Diploma In It With Interactive Game Dev., Ballymoney (Nrc)

The production of games requires a unique set of skills, which covers disciplines in design, media, the visual arts, audio, story development and programming. In 2004 the Northern Regional College developed the first nationally approved Level 3 Course in Games Development.

EDEXCEL in association with the Northern Regional College and the UK’s largest game publisher Eidos have developed the course content, assessment and delivery strategies to meet the needs of this evolving and exciting Industry.

The Games Development course team work closely with Eidos and all of their development studios (such as Crystal Dynamics, Pivotal and Beautiful Games Studio) to ensure unit structure and content are relevant, industry specific and match the requirements of SkillSet (the Sector Skills Council for audio visual industries).

Eidos exclusively endorse the College’s course structure and delivery methods, and provide resource materials for student learning. This industrial link ensures students experience enriched training and opportunities to meet Games Industry professionals during guest lectures from Eidos personnel.

Course Location: Ballymoney. Northern Ireland.

Duration
1 year, Full-time

Awarding Body
Edexcel/Eidos

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have at least 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above or other relevant qualifications. A general interest in all aspects of Games and evidence of creativity is essential eg. Story Writing, Photography, Drawing, Digital Graphics or Model making.

In circumstances where there are more applications for the course than there are places available, the College reserves the right to ask for higher grades.

Contact
David Brockbank
david.brockbank@nrc.ac.uk

For more details see http://www.nrc.ac.uk/course_details.asp?facultyid=2&courseid=1215

Bsc In Computing With Computer Games Development, Lyit

The B.Sc. is a three year taught programme in computing, which focuses on core computing skills plus topics applicable to the computer games programming/development industry. Its aim is to provide students who participate in it with the range of both theoretical and practical skills required for them to participate fully in a strong and vibrant computing industry with a particular emphasis on computer games development.

In designing this course we have ensured that there is also a strong emphasis on game design, media content and teamwork. In addition graduates from this course will be able to do a planned one-year add-on Honours BSc in Computer Games Development.

Minimum Academic Entry Requirements

Grade D3 or higher in at least five ordinary level subjects at Leaving Certificate, including Mathematics and either Irish or English, or an equivalent qualification.

Are there follow-up Programmes Available?
Progression is available to a one year Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree in Computer Games Development internally at LYIT.

On completion of this programme graduates may go on to study for their Honours Degree at other ITs and Universities in Ireland and abroad. Progression internationally to second cycle (i.e. ‘Bologna Masters’) degree programmes.

For further information please see the college web site at http://www.lyit.ie/courses/computing/ly707/ or email thomas.dowling@lyit.ie

Thomas Dowling,
Head of Department of Computing,
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Telephone: (074) 918 6304

Nfq Level 5 – Computer Games And Interactive Entertainment, Bcfe (Dub)

Originally called the LUDO course at Ballyfermot Senior College, this course pre-empted the demand for third level training in computer-games design and development.

The course, which has a duration of one year, covers the basics of C++ programming, 3D modelling (3Dmax) and animation and analysis and design of games. Also covered is the History and development of the Games Industry, Digital Audio Production (Soundscape and Soundforge), Computer Architecture Systems.

There is a final project requirement, which takes the form of a partially implemented example of a game concept and design presented as a kind of “pitch” for an idea. There are no options during the course.

We spoke to Diarmuid O’Brien, from Ballyfermot Senior College, and he underlined that the course is intended as a solid foundation for anyone with the intention of working in games development. The course, he said, introduces the techniques and concepts behind audio, video and programming with application to interactive entertainment solely in mind.

Entry to the course is based on a basic leaving certificate or equivalent, an interview and a portfolio. The portfolio can include animations, artwork, multimedia – it is important that candidates display, above all, an interest and enthusiasm for games development.

Course Content:

History and development of the Games Industry, 3D Computer Animation and Modelling (3Dmax), Games Analysis and Design, Digital Audio Production (Soundscape and Soundforge), Computer Graphics and Computer Programming, Computer Architecture Systems, Design, Communications.

Entry Requirements:
Five passes in Leaving Certificate/LCVP or a merit in Leaving Certificate Applied or FETAC level 4 Certificate. Good computer literacy and a knowledge of computer games styles.

Certification:
FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Information Technology (CITXX). See http://www.nfq.ie

Progression:
Graduates with a merit profile may apply for entry to BTEC National Higher Diploma courses in Multimedia and in Computer Games Development in BCFE.

The academic entry requirements may be waived for mature applicants (21+). Graduates are eligible to apply to progress to Higher Education Courses through the Higher Education Links Scheme and through the Pilot Scheme.

Essentials:
Location:Ballyfermot College of Further Education, Ballyfermot Road, Dublin 10.

Course: Computer Games and Interactive Entertainment Development (FETAC level 5 Award in Information Technology)

Duration: 1 Year

Course Strengths:
3D, Audio and C++ programming.

Course Weaknesses:
The course is short and provides only a foundation in computer games design.

More information: http://applications.bcfe.ie/course-DLO-Computer_Games_And_Interactive_Entertainment_Developement.html

Contact: Main Office: 01 626 9421 or info@bcfe.cdvec.ie

Bsc In Computing In Multimedia Programming At Dliadt

Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology is one of many third level institutions in Ireland to have embraced the emerging discipline of multimedia. The BSC in Computing Multimedia Programming at Dun Laoghaire is a three year computing course during which students specialise in multimedia production.

Modules of relevance to games developers include Multimedia Authoring and Multimedia Communications. A lot of programming in Action Script and Lingo is covered, indicating a strong emphasis on the web as the interactive medium. Maths is studied as a tool for conceptualization and 3D modelling.

What is Multimedia Programming?

Multimedia (or digital media) is a dynamic and ever-evolving industry that offers excellent career opportunities for talented students. It refers to the use of different types of audiovisual data, or media, in computer applications. These media include images, animations, video clips and sound clips.

Multimedia Programming refers to the creation and development of these multimedia computer applications. Examples include: computer games, web sites, mobile applications and e-learning applications.

You will learn the skills and knowledge required to work in the busy IT industry. You will study computer programming (using Java), and how computers and the Internet work. You will also study specific multimedia subjects, including web development, and multimedia design and programming. The concepts required to create complex multimedia applications are just as important, and this often requires the use of applied mathematics concepts, such as using the theory of velocity, acceleration and friction to plot the motion of a car in a computer game.

AT IADT, you will develop the personal and professional skills to work as a mature, self-confident professional in the IT industry, and specifically the multimedia/digital media sector. The programme provides students with a specialisation in the technical design and implementation of complex multimedia systems.

Mathematics is a significant component in a number of modules, so you should be comfortable with studying maths.

Aims and Objectives

Most graduates opt to progress to DL142, IADT’s BSc (Honours) in Computing in Multimedia Systems / Web Engineering (Level 8 Award). You can also continue your studies at Honours Degree level in other institutions of Higher Education in Ireland or overseas.

Students graduating from this programme have found employment in games development, web application development, computer-based training and e-Learning application development, software development, and project management.

What modules will I study?

Year 1

Computer Technology, Web Programming I, Programming, Multimedia Authoring I, Digital Media Production Techniques, Computer Modelling I, Contemporary Issues in Multimedia

Year 2

Web Programming II, Software Production, Computer Architecture and Operating Systems, Algorithms and Data Structures, Multimedia Authoring and Design, Database Management Systems, Web Design, Video and 3-D Modelling Production

Year 3

Object-Oriented Programming and Design, Computer Modelling II, Computer Networks and Distributed Systems, Multimedia Programming, Digital Media Entrepreneurship

Students also choose one option from either: an individual project or The IDEA Project combined with Multimedia Programming Practice.

Are there any costs for materials and/or field trips?

The expenditure in this programme is of €50 approximately per year. You will have to purchase USB sticks, CD-Rom, DVDs, headphones, microphones, etc. It would be desirable that students could purchase their own digital camera. Cost could vary from €100 to €400.

Essentials:
Location: Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 3

See http://www.iadt-dl.ie/en/ProspectiveStudents/SchoolsCourses/SchoolofCreativeTechnologies/BScinComputinginMultimediaProgramming/

Nfq Level 6 – Game Development & Design, Clane College (Kildare)

This year-long course has been designed to provide you with a well rounded introduction to the major aspects of game development, with a focus on art and design principles.

While there is an appropriate amount of theoretical content on the course, it has been designed from inception to be as
practical and hands-on as possible.

Students on this course will be instructed in the processes and techniques involved in developing a game from concept to completion, through the utilisation of industry standard game engines such as Unity 3D & UDK.

All appropriate content creation packages will be explored and exploited for the purposes of 3D Modelling, 2D Imaging and Digital Sculpting.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will be presented with a number of opportunities for progression. One option is to specialise in a particular discipline, and continue your studies to graduate or post-graduate level.

Others may wish to take a more direct approach, endeavoring to launch their own indie studios. Whatever your choice, career
guidance will be provided throughout the course.

Note: Also available is an introductory evening class, which results in a minor award in Games Analysis & Design.

Qualification:
NFQ Level 6 Major Award in Media. See http://www.nfq.ie

Duration:
Full-time September – June

Contact Us:
richard@clanecollege.com

See http://www.clanecollege.com/cc/index.php/game-design/full-time-game-design-day-course

Nfq Level 5 – Introduction To Games Analysis & Design, Clane College (Kildare)

NFQ LEvel 5 – certificate – see http://www.nfq.ie

In this part-time Game Design evening course you will be introduced to the fundamental principles and techniques one must master in the design and development of a prototype game.

Game development and design is a highly exciting and versatile industry, providing opportunities for all kinds of people in widely varied design and development roles.

On this course, you will be introduced to subjects and disciplines such as:

2D Texture Art
3D Modelling & Animation
Game Logic Programming
Digital Sculpting
Design principles

Using industry standard game engines such as Unity 3D as well as other cutting edge software packages for image editing and 3D modelling, on this Game Design course you will be thought how to conceptualise, storyboard, design, build and program your very own game. Successful learners may wish to progress on to our Full Time Game Development Course.

Qualification:
FETAC Level 5 Minor Award in Games Analysis & Design

Duration:
This course runs 6:30 – 9:30PM, one evening per week for a total of 12 weeks.

Contact Us:
richard@clanecollege.com

Tel: 045 893 676

see http://www.clanecollege.com/cc/index.php/game-design-intro

Nfq Level 5 – Game Design & Animation – Dorset College, Dublin

NFQ Level 5 – certificate – see http://www.nfq.ie

Pre-requisites

Computer users with an interest in Game Design Development and Animation

Course Aim

To provide students with the skills and knowledge required to progress their career in in this field and take advantage of new opportunities in the Game Design Industry.

Principal Areas of Study

Concepts of Games Studies

Games Critique and Analysis

Games Concept Development

Practical Game Development

Basics of studio and location sound production

Photo Shop

Digiital 3D Modelling Techniques using Blender

Assessment
Students are assessed as follows:

Assignment 20%
Learner Record 30%
Project 50%

Qualification
On successful completion of all assignments and Project students will be awarded a FETAC Games Studies Component Certificate Level 5

What Software will I be Using?
Unity 3d Game Engine
Blender animation and modeling software
Game salad for Mac OSX (2d game creation)
Elements of Photoshop and Google Sketchup
Introduction to Java Script for Unity
Logic 9 sound engine
Basics of the Unity fmod sound engine

Details
Location: Dublin 1
Start date: 20/03/2012 28/06/2012
Duration: 15 Weeks Tues & Thurs 06.30-09.30 p.m.
Cost: €850.00

For more see http://www.dorset-college.ie/Computing/courses/course_details/?rid=3&cid=126

Bsc (Hons) Degree In Computer Science, Dit

The DIT Faculty of Science located in Kevin St., Dublin, has offered courses in Computing since 1983. We currently offer a range of full time and part time undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Of particular interest to prospective games developers are our Honours Degree in Computer Science (DT228) and our Honours Degree in Computing (DT211).

The Honours Degree in Computer Science (DT228) runs for four years full time. It provides students with a wide range of practical skills required by games developers including programming in C, C++ and Java, computer maths and software engineering. In the third year of the course, students take a number of core subjects but also choose two out of four streams – Games Programming, Software Development and Internet Systems, Computer Systems Architecture and Administration or Data and Knowledge Management. All of the streams offer students the opportunity to undertake a six month work placement in the second semester of third year, which can games related.

In the final year of their degree, students specialise in one of the two streams they have chosen in third year. Students choosing the games programming specialisation take six core subjects – Game Worlds, Mobile and Multi-user Games, Artificial Intelligence 1 & 2, Game Middleware and Game Behaviour. Students taking this stream have access to a cutting edge games programming lab. In the final year of the course students must also undertake a significant software project and games have always featured highly as choices for student projects. Students also choose two elective subjects which may include music technology, digital audio, geographic information systems, graphics, image processing and assistive technology among others.

The Honours Degree in Computing (DT211) runs for four years full time, with the option of a certificate after two years or an ordinary degree after three years. This course has a practical focus and is designed to produce graduates that can work as software developers and hardware engineers in commercial and technological areas. This course similarly offers students a wide range of practical skills including programming, computer hardware, networking and databases. Elements of this course are offered in partnership with industry leaders including CISCO and Oracle. Students taking this course can opt for an internship in year three and four, where they spend up to two days per week on a supervised placement in the computer industry. In the fourth year of this course, students have access to the full range of electives including artificial intelligence, computer graphics, music technology and games programming.

We hope that our courses offer students the flexibility to work at all levels and in many specialist areas of the computer industry including games development.

Nfq Level 6 – Games Analysis & Design (Pulse College)

This course gives an introduction to some of the programmes used in producing games, with the aim of preparing the individual for entry into the industry and/or further specialisation.

Students will learn how to create game art and assets using packages such as 3ds Max and Mudbox. Sound production and editing will be included to train you to design soundscapes and effects. Basic programming will reveal the theory involved in game development.

Industry standard game engines and middleware such as Gamebryo Lightspeed (used to develop the massively popular Fallout 3) will demonstrate how technologies are combined to deliver a final product.

Course Content
•Game production techniques.
•Game analysis –understanding what’s going on under the hood, in modern 3d games.
•Learn the key elements of development in the production of a Game title.
•Game Art, Design and Programming. More info »
•Concept and pre-visualise the look of complex scenes.
•Development of 3d game Levels.
•Produce realistic game levels for first and 3rd person games.
•Character design for game development.
•3d Animation for characters and objects in a 3d environment.
•Learn camera and lighting techniques in a 3d environment.
•Sound for use in Interactive Media. More info »
•Texturing, lighting, propping and adding special effects.
•Produce a portfolio of work that will help get you into the industry.

Photoshop
•Its usage within the Production Pipeline of the games industry.
•Photoshop as a Photo manipulation tool.
•Photoshop as a Paint package, producing concept art.
•Working with layering techniques and Photoshop’s layer effects.
•Creating Tiling textures for game use.
•Painting custom textures over a 3d objects, Unwrapped Wireframe Template.
•Developing complex materials using Bump, Normal and Spec maps.
•Creating Costume Brushes, Masks, Vector paths, Interface buttons and Icons.

3d studio max
•3d Modelling of Characters, Weapons, Props, Vehicles and Environments for game development.
•Texturing and shading. From simple cartoon styles and colours to advanced photo-real bump mapped objects.
•3d Animation for characters.
•Rendering 3d scenes for multiple uses in game production.
•The uses of Lighting and Camera techniques in 3d worlds.
•Creating special effects using the toolset within max.
•Creating complex Bump and Spec textures from within 3Ds Max.
•Baking textures from High polygon 3d models onto lower poly game models.
•Importing and exporting of files from other 3d packages and art programmes.
Z-brush and/ or Mudbox
•Sculpting 3d models using methods that resemble traditional Clay Sculpting.
•The baking of Textures from the High polygon/ detailed objects to appear on much lower Poly objects in the game environment.
•Painting textures directly onto 3d models, adding bump detail where necessary.

Qualifications Gained
Fetac Level 6 In Game Analysis and Design
[See http://www.nfq.ie for details on levels]

Duration:
Attendance: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 1pm – 9pm
Wednesday: Off
Friday 10.15am – 4pm
Project and practical time is held Mon-Fri and equates to 20 Hrs per week.

This course is available as a full time and part time option.

Cost
This course costs €6,500 + €270 exam fee [2011 figure]

For more contact:
Cliodhna Pierce,
Pulse College,
67 Pleasants Place,
Dublin 8.

p :01 4784045

see http://www.pulsecollege.eu/gaming/overview

Nfq Level 5 – Certificate In Music Production For Games, Gcd, Dublin..

Griffith College Dublin has partnered with Windmill Lane Academy (WLA) to jointly deliver a Certificate In Music Production For Games programme.

The one year programme embraces learners from a variety of musical backgrounds. Focus will be on developing creative strategies by underpinning practical and theoretical knowledge of games music production techniques through creative assignments and industry relevant projects. By studying game development and game interactivity learners gain a deep understanding of how games are created.

The programme features production skills, recording techniques, composing techniques, sequencing, sampling and sound processing. As part of the programme, learners will be prepared for professional industry certification from Digidesign ProTools and Logic.

Course content includes
*Music Technology
*Applications Technology
*Music and Image
*Sound Design for Games
*Music Composition for Games
*Games Development
*Interactive Storytelling

See http://www.gcd.ie/certificate-in-music-production-for-games/

Bsc (Hons) Computing With Game Dev, It Tralee

NFQ Level 8 – See http://www.nfq.ie

The first three years of this four year honours programme are shared with the BSc in Computing with Games Development. The fourth year is designed to equip the student with honours degree graduate skills.

The fourth year includes the following Computing content:
*Advanced computing – Distributed Computing, Mobile Technology
*Software development – Software Quality Management
*Project activities – Computer Project 3 and 4
*Management – Management and the Business Environment, Software Project Management
*Industrial experience or equivalent -Work Placement

It also includes a specialist module in Games Development:
Designing computer games – Games Middleware, Digital Image Processing.

See http://www.ittralee.ie/en/InformationAbout/Courses/SchoolofBusinessComputingandHumanities/Computing/TL811-BScHonsInComputingwithGamesDevelopment/

Further Information

Text COMPUTING followed by your
name and your query to 087 9097866

Or

Head of Department Computing
Ms Mary Lucey
Email: Mary.Lucey@staff.ittralee.ie
Room(s): T229
Tel: +353 (0)66 7191863 Ext: 1863.

Bsc Computing With Game Dev, It Tralee

NFQ Level 7 – See http://www.nfq.ie

This course is designed to develop your general computing skill and competence so that you can use computers to perform a variety of useful tasks. Its primary focus is on developing your ability to use computer languages that you will find prepare you to operate and work with computers and computer systems in a wide variety of ways:

Speaking the coded language of the computer and writing software – Introduction to Programming, Object Oriented Programming 1,2,3 & 4, Algorithms, Structured Analysis and Design, Object Oriented Analysis and Design
*Understanding the computer as a system – Computer Architecture, Operating Systems
*How computers can be connected and made work together – Network Fundaments, Routing Concepts and Protocols, Local Area Networks (LAN) Switching and Wireless, Wide Area Networks (WAN) Services and Security
*Using computer to work with and manage data – Database Concepts, Introduction to Database Programming
*Providing users with a way to interact with computers – Visual Communications, Web Design, Digital Imaging, Web Design for Multiple Platforms, Human Computer Interaction.

As a student specialising in the area of Games Development you will take additional course content including:

*Design and graphics – Interactive Storytelling, Computer Graphics Animation in D&D, Digital Audio, Digital Video Production
*Creating games – Games Development, Games Design.

For more see http://www.ittralee.ie/en/InformationAbout/Courses/SchoolofBusinessComputingandHumanities/Computing/TL711-BScInComputingwithGamesDevelopment/

For more information:

Head of Department Computing
Ms Mary Lucey
Email: Mary.Lucey@staff.ittralee.ie
Room(s): T229
Tel: +353 (0)66 7191863 Ext: 1863.

Igda Scholarships

Some Irish students have got these in previous years and said they were great so get applying!

Aphra

****************************

The 2013 IGDA Scholarships Program is now accepting applications for the Game Developers Conference. The program is open to all students and recent graduates in fields relating to game development.

Applications should be submitted by January 11th 2013.

Please see
http://www.igda.org/scholars/2013-info/how-to-apply/ for further
information.

The IGDA Scholarships are awarded to the best and brightest students and provide access to the conference, individual mentorship from members of industry, opportunities to meet and talk to senior figures as well as the chance to visit some of the local studios in the areas the conferences are held in, so that students can get a feel for what it truly means to be a part of our industry.

You can learn more about the program, it’s history and find out how to apply on our newly revamped ready-for-2013 website:
http://igda.org/scholars/ .

Game Audio Event

The Digital Hub, in association with Games Music Ireland, would like to invite you to attend a presentation by Chanel Summers on The Importance of Great Audio in Modern Game Design.

For more on Chanel see http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chanel-summers/41/b36/a57

Chanel will enunciate on why game audio is important, what it lends to a game and what makes a great game audio design.

She will examine these questions as well as look at the various audio technologies that are enabling (and will enable) game creators to process, mix, and control sound for aesthetic effect and to push audio – and games themselves — forward in an emotionally impactful way. Topics to be covered include:

· Why is audio important?

· Audio & perception

· The state of game audio

· The use of game audio

· How to excel with audio

· Current and emerging audio technologies

· Example games that feature great audio design

The presentation will be live streamed with access through the Digital Hub website. Log on details will be posted on the site closer to the date.

Venue: 10 – 13 Thomas St., Dublin 8

Date: Wednesday, 5th December, 2012

Time: 11.15 – 12.30 (please be in attendance at 11.15 sharp).

Please RSVP to Breandán Goss at the Digital Hub if you are interested in attending in person at info@thedigitalhub.com

t: 00 353 (0) 1 480 6200 (ext. 6230)
m:00 353 (86) 827 6706

Enterprise Development Manager
Digital Hub Development Agency
Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8, Ireland.

The Games Industry In Ireland 2012

It is three years since Dr. Aphra Kerr’s and Dr. Anthony Cawley’s “The Games Industry in Ireland 2009”. Their survey estimated that there were 1,469 employed by 21 companies and noted that there had been a rapid growth in community support jobs in foreign owned companies. This new 2012 survey by Jamie McCormick identified 91% jobs growth since 2009 with over 2800 employed across 80 companies by October 2012. It also identified significant growth in the game development sector of activity in Ireland. A summary of the report is available below, but the full report is available from the author.

 

Methodology

The Irish Computer Games Survey 2012 was initiated in March 2012. A follow up survey to identify changes in the industry was conducted in October 2012. While not all the questions in the two surveys were identical, the same core questions were asked giving consistent results across the timeframe.

The survey was processed using Polldaddy and drew on direct responses, trusted industry sources, and bare-minimum estimates, (i.e. 1) for staff of identified companies who did not directly participate. It was promoted through the GameDevelopers.ie community, industry events, industry contacts, state agencies and internationally through GamesIndustry.biz.

The survey excludes several companies that work on games industry contracts, but who do not primarily derive their revenue from the games industry e.g those hosting customer contact centres for a games company. Gambling companies are also excluded. Recently acquired Irish companies are defined as ‘indigenous international’.

Findings of the March 2012 survey

The March 2012 survey estimated that there were at least 3,344 people working in the industry in Ireland in February 2012 in at least 75 companies. Of these indigenous companies (61) and indigenous international companies (3) employed 872. Foreign owned companies (14) employed almost 2472 staff.

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the location and distribution of the games industry around Ireland. While Dublin still dominates in terms of number of companies, Munster also has considerable numbers employed in the industry.

 

When companies were asked to indicate the type of company they worked for the following answers were given. These answers are further combined to evaluate the number of companies in each market sector.

 

Table 2 gives an overview of the types of positions advised by direct respondents of the survey.

Development Roles

Publishing Roles

Game Operation Roles

        Office Roles     

Animator Business Development Community-Manager Administration
Game-Designer Distribution Customer-Support Finance
Graphic-Artist Localisation Games-Master HR
Illustrator Marketing Producers Management
Level-Designer PR
Programmer Product-Managers

eLearning Roles

Intern Roles

Project-Manager QA Education Liaison Part-Time Interns
R&D Sales Full-Time Interns
Software-Engineer Testing
Sound-Designer
Sound-Engineer Systems & Technology Roles
System-Architect Cloud-Engineer
Tools Network-Support
UI Server-Operations
Web-Developer System-Engineers
Web-Planner
Writer

 

When we asked what platforms the companies were developing for almost 20 were working on IOS. The next most popular platforms were browser and PC with ten each. Significantly only two companies were working on games for the main consoles, Xbox and Playstation respectively.

Findings of the October 2012 Survey

 

A follow-up survey was completed in October 2012. During this survey, further information was attained from 27 companies.

It was found that one indigenous international company closed in the six month period between these reports. Two international companies removed their investment in the Irish market. A third international company announced redundancies which were completed during this timeframe. Between these, it is estimated that 590 jobs were lost.

Eleven companies responded to both surveys. Among these, four developers lost twenty-one staff, one had no perceptible change in staffing, and six of the developers employed ten additional staff between them. This produces a further net employment loss of 11 staff. It should be noted that most of these losses were in part-time, contractor or intern positions.

Nevertheless, a total of twelve new companies were identified in the October survey. Nine of which are comprised of one developer in Co. Down, seven additional developers in Dublin, and one more developer operating in both counties Dublin and Meath. An Industry Services team was the tenth with the remaining two operating as media outlets. Between these a total of 59 additional jobs were identified. The majority of these were formed in the last six months.

The figures from the October update show a net change reduction in employment of 542 job losses. This reduces the total estimated in the March figures to 2802 jobs. During the same period the number of companies increased from 75 to 83.

Just as we were completing the second survey a further 300 new jobs were announced by an international company, and 100 by an indigenous company. These are not included in these figures and hopefully will be capture in a future survey.

We also found in the follow up survey that five companies expanded the number of platforms they are releasing content on – four Android, two PC, one Xbox, one iOS, one Mac and one Linux games are being worked on in the six months between the two reports.

The following figures summaries the key findings over time.

Notes: It should be noted though that one international company and nine indigenous companies included in the 2012 report were also active in the Irish market at the time of the 2009 report. These include companies occupying the retail, sales, marketing, media and PR services sectors. The more macroscopic remit of this report allows them to be now included.

 

Conclusions

The survey highlights some important changes that are happening within the Irish Games Industry.

  1. The report shows a large increase in the number of developers within Ireland, most specifically in the Leinster region. Since 2009 there has been a 292% growth in the number of game developers.
  2. In terms of jobs growth, the industry has grown 91% in the three years since 2009 to an estimated total of 2802 workers.
  3. This survey indicates that iOS, mobile and web platforms are what indigenous developers are targetting. Few Irish companies develop for platforms like Facebook or consoles.
  4. There is a significant difference between employment numbers of companies who were pre-release on their first game, or only had one product currently published, against those developers who have progressed to having three or more games published on the market.
  5. There is a mismatch between the publishers and developers that operate in Ireland. The platforms that the international publishers located in Ireland work on versus those that are being developed on in Ireland are different. This means that local developers still need to make contact with international publishers located abroad.
  6. Few indigenous developers have got to the stage of internationalising their products through localisation into languages other than English. This may be an opportunity for export growth and sales, and leverage the skills currently available in Ireland among the publishers that exist in Ireland today.
  7. A critical mass of companies now exist in Dublin, but while the regional figures between Leinster and Munster may look similar on the surface, Munster and Connacht are heavily reliant on a small number of international companies for the majority of these jobs.

 

Recommendations

The international competitive landscape is going through a period of maturation as new business models shake out the games industry. The survivors of this should be well placed to deal with a future of reduced barriers to entry, reduced capital requirements and shorter development cycles enabling revenues to be generated sooner. Based on the figures from this survey we offer the following as recommendations for consideration by key stakeholders.

  1. Continue to make it easier for developers with viable products to get access to funding, mentoring and space to get their products made.
  2. Grow a number of developers, as a group, and aim that at least one will produce a hit game and cross-subsidise the rest – i.e. the hip hop business model.
  3. With the emergence of web, apps, and micro-transactions, there is an opportunity for Ireland to become an “IFSC for Virtual Currencies”, with a growing number of companies worldwide utilising micro-transactions or free-to-play business models. A micro-tax on the sale of virtual goods would give an incentive to the large number of Asian, American and European companies now utilising this business model for their games to establish in Ireland, channelling these revenues and jobs through Ireland.
  4. Aligning college courses with the current games industry, not only in development, but also in publishing and post-release services into the mid-term (5 years or so).
  5. Develop post-graduate or further education courses for incumbent senior management looking to formalise skills in areas such as Quality Assurance, Customer Services, Games Marketing and PR, Games Masters (inc Community Management) and other non-development skills that exist in Ireland today.
  6. Build on ten years of GameDevelopers.ie and Games Fleadh, both celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2013.
  7. Identify areas where skills gaps continue to exist, causing developers to leave Ireland, and focus on developing expertise in these areas.
  8. Attract back ex-pats with AAA credentials and get studios up and running with core “lead” talent, and then recruit in graduates to fill out other roles. A project to identify Irish people working in the international games industry is underway as a follow-on project to this report at http://tinyurl.com/irishexpatgamessurvey2012
  9. Continue to build a register of games companies operating in Ireland to track changes in the future. Companies that missed the October survey can still participate at http://tinyurl.com/irishgamessurveyoct12.

Published in Dublin, Ireland on Friday 16th November 2012 at Digital Skills Academy, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8, GAME: State of Play Exhibition at the Science Gallery, Dublin 2 and online at www.GameDevelopers.ie

Author Bio & Contact Details

Jamie McCormick is from Dublin, and has worked in the Irish Computer Games Industry since the late 90’s. A graduate of DIT, he has worked across retail, middleware, gaming centres, development and publishing companies in the Irish games industry, including with the Japanese-owned, Dublin based GALA Networks Europe, a publisher of free to play browser and client games across Europe through www.gPotato.eu. He now runs his own company Advanced Marcomm in Dublin. See http://advancedmarcomm.com/ 

The PDF of the full report is available at http://gamedevelopers.ie/features/TheGamesIndustryinIreland2012.pdf

Industry Survey Launched

As part of Dublin Games Week, “The Games Industry in Ireland 2012 survey”, an independent report by Jamie McCormick, was published today for the GameDevelopers.ie community and interested parties at DigitalSkillsAcademy.com, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 after previews at the GAME: The Future of Play on Thursday 15th November at ScienceGallery.com, Trinity College.

The report gives a conservative estimate of the size, scale, distribution and make-up of digital gaming companies operating across the island of Ireland, as well as an estimation of the size of the Irish consumer games market as a distinct wedge of the broader UK market, of which it is part.

The current feature here on gd.ie presents a summary of the report and you can access the full report from there too.

The report breaks down the industry across four main categories: core development, industry services, retail and consumer focused services, and publishing services. It was conducted through two surveys in March and October 2012. It outlines regional jobs numbers, county company numbers, the split between indigenous and international companies, and the types of jobs currently available among people working in the Irish Digital Gaming Industry.

The survey found that as of October 2012, at least 2802 people work across 83 games companies on the island of Ireland (Republic and Northern Ireland), with jobs up 91%, game developers up 292%, and overall company numbers quadrupling since the 2009 report on the industry by Dr. Aphra Kerr (NUI Maynooth) and Dr. Anthony Cawley (UL).

These figures factor in known recent losses to the games industry, but do not include recent job announcements made in November.

The report also identifies twelve different games platforms being developed for, with iOS in first place, followed by browser games and PC games in second place.

The report values the Irish consumer market between 2001 and 2011 at over €2 billion, and the 2011 market value of over €211 million and measures it at least 7% of the overall UK market.

Published as a piece of independent research freely available to the public from Friday afternoon at GameDevelopers.ie, it is offered to industry and state agencies as a benchmark, against which future growth in the entire Irish Digital Gaming Industry can be measured.

Jamie McCormick works professionally as Marketing Systems Manager at free-to-play publisher gPotato.eu since 2008, and has worked for over a decade in the Irish Games Industry across Gamesworld, Demonware, Xbox Live Gaming Centre and Jolt Online gaming.

The report is released as part of Dublin Games Week, incorporating the launch of the GAME: The Future of Play, a free exhibition running in at ScienceGallery.com, Trinity College from 16/11/12 – 20/01/13, GameDevelopers.ie workshops taking place at DigitalSkillsAcademy.com on 16th November and DublinGameCraft.com, taking place on Saturday 17th November at Engine Yard, Barrow Street.

As a follow up we are seeking industry help from the expatriate Irish and Northern Irish game development community who have scattered around the world to “#icheckedingd.ie” after doing http://tinyurl.com/irishexpatgamessurvey2012 so we can see what skills gaps still remain before they’ll come home to enable AAA development to become a reality in Ireland.

Happy reading and well done to Jamie and all involved.

Survey Results Update

There are several events taking place on Friday 16th November we’d like to inform you about.

1. The results of the Irish Computer Games Survey will be launched at the Digital Skills Academy, Digital Hub, Dublin 8 at 9.30am on Friday 16th November. If you would like to attend the launch, please get in touch with jamiemc or aphra via the PM on the forums, or email jamie.mccormick@gmail.com

2. A series of workshops are scheduled to be organised for the Friday afternoon from 12pm at the same location. Information on these is available at http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6909 and you can reserve your free place at http://www.amiando.com/gdienov12workshop

3. There is an organised tour scheduled for the GAME: State of Play exhibition at the Science Gallery, Trinity College at 7pm.

4. There is a shindig organised for across the road in the Lombard pub from 8pm.

5. Also, Dublin GameCraft is running on Saturday 17th, you can get more information at www.dublingamecraft.com

Finally, for all of those of you who aren’t in Ireland any more, as a follow up to the survey we are running an expat survey to find out why you left Ireland. We would really appreciate if as many expats as possible who are members of GD.ie could fill in the survey, and spread the word to colleagues who you know. The link for this survey is http://tinyurl.com/irishexpatgamessurvey2012

New Webelevate Prog

This should be of interest to some of the companies on gd.ie

******************

WebElevate, a leading digital technology and game development programme, is currently inviting game development companies to partner with it’s WebElevate Industry Partner Programme, to develop web, mobile and social games for free.

Partner companies will be provided with a multidisciplinary team (based at Digital Skills Academy, Dublin) who will work on developing projects set by industry partners across a host of areas for web, social and mobile game development, including; game development and design projects, marketing or localisation of existing games, game prototype development or game testing and QA.

Interested companies will be joining the ranks of BT Ireland, Digiweb, Telefonica Ireland, Oracle, Pigsback.com, Gill & MacMillan and many more companies who have successfully partnered with the programme to date. Delivered by Digital Skills Academy with Dublin Institute of Technology as the awarding body, WebElevate retrains graduate jobseekers for employment in areas including online and mobile game development, mobile application development, digital marketing, content development and digital project management.

Paul Dunne, CEO of Digital Skills Academy said “Whether companies need support on the R&D of a new product, the development of a prototype, or a fully delivered online and mobile game, the WebElevate programme provides them with a great opportunity to tap into our resources and talent pool. Digital Skills Academy can provide companies with the resources of multidisciplinary teams of emerging digital media professionals, providing up to 2,000 man hours to work on their digital innovation under the guidance of industry experts.”

Companies interested in partnering with the programme are invited to attend an Information Event at 8am on Wednesday, 21st November 2012 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

RSVP online at www.digitalskillsacademy.com/invite

The next Industry Partner Programme will commence in December 2012 and projects will be fully delivered by September 2013.

State Of Play

State of Play takes place this year on Friday the 30th of November in the Dublin Institute of Technology building on Aungier Street from 18.00-21.00.

The ‘state of play’ is a chance for new and experienced developers to network with each other, demonstrate and showcase their work to their peers and get a sense of whats happening in the industry.

17:00 – 21:00 DEMO LEVEL
For those who have a game or game idea you want to showcase
Have you a game you want to test out on gamers? Then apply for this category (places available but limited to first come first served)

18:00 – 19:00 LEVEL 1
For new games or game companies
Have you recently released a game or do you have a game that is close to being finished? Are you a new entrant to the Indie Game scene then here is your chance to tell everyone about it. We can give you 5mins to talk to the community about it.
(12 places available but a selection process exists)

19:00 – 19:45 – LEVELING UP (Invite only)
Words of wisdom from some of our most successful indie developers

PRESS PAUSE

20:00 – 20:30 SIDE QUESTS- (Invite Only)
Different perspectives on the games industry

20:30 – 21:00 BOSS LEVEL – keynote address
We’re really excited about this as the guys from MONOGAME are flying in to tell us their story

Options to demonstrate, present or merely attend exist but you need to sign up fast.

See http://stateofplay.ie/

Friday The 16Th Nov.

So November, Friday the 16th is shaping up to be quite a busy day so here is a heads up.

1) We are going to do a press release and a feature on gd.ie based on the survey we have been badgering you all about for the past few months. So yes, finally the findings.

2) We are considering hosting a workshop or two on some of the business related issues that have come up at the last few indie meets. The Digital Skills Academy in the Digital Hub have agreed to host us. Jamiemc will post a poll on the forums to see what is most of interest.

3) The GAME exhibition in the Science Gallery is opening that day and they have agreed to give us (gd.ie folks) a guided tour at 7pm on Friday the 16th! It is free but this way you get to visit with gd.ie folks.

4) We have reserved space in the Lombard, across the street from the Science Gallery, to have a shindig and meet and greet after the tour. For those who can’t make the tour just turn up in the Lombard. Details in the calendar. No agenda this time, just meet and greet.

A lot more detail to come.

New Online Tournament Portal

This press information was sent to us recently and we always like to help fellow Irish groups with a volunteer element. This is mostly aimed at organising online game tournaments and a proportion of the advertising revenue will go to charity.

A.

******************

Irelands first volunteer online gaming company is now setting up an Online Gaming Portal at www.n00bgaming.com to aid in the development of online gaming in Ireland.

As a non-profit company, www.n00bgaming.com will not be looking at how much money to take from gamers. In fact, we will not be profiting directly from gamers in any way. In addition to this 10% of advertisements on the site will be going directly into charities such as www.gamesaid.org and other charities around the world.

Starting with an online tournament in Starcraft 2, n00b gaming will focus its build over the next few months by establishing itself in the gaming community as THE online site for gaming tournaments.

The site itself will be hosted at www.n00bgaming.com and will begin with a 64 player Starcraft 2 tournament with a prize pool of €320 up for grabs.

The full site will be launched within the next couple of weeks and will contain other gaming information such as:

● Games news
● Gaming Trailers
● Upcoming Events
● Gaming Resources
● Forums
● And much more…

Be ready to play like a Pr0 and register now to compete in the event on launch day from the comfort of your own home.

Advance through the tournament to see your games broadcast live and recorded on YouTube! Be in with a chance to compete against the StarCraft 2 Pr0s and measure your skills in the European Leaderboard that will be launched soon.

Play like a Pr0 at n00bgaming.com

Icgs 2012 Update & Expat Survey

Ahead of the launch of the Irish Computer Games Survey 2012 this coming November, we would like to have as accurate figures as possible. We have results from over 70 companies from our February report, but during the intervening six months there have been a couple of companies who have laid off staff or shut down, but also a decent number of new games companies setting up, taking on additional staff (whether full or part time, or interns), or switching from part-time projects to full-time projects.

This survey is being run for GameDevelopers.ie to enable everyone inside and outside of the industry to have an up-to-date view of the computer games industry here in Ireland in 2012.

It’s objectives are to identify the size, scale, spread and makeup of the industry that exists on the island of Ireland today.

Overall job breakdowns by county will not be released, as the regional form allows some anonymity, and only companies who specify they want to be identified will be named in the rollcall.

Please participate in the October report before 31st October 2012 via http://tinyurl.com/irishgamessurveyoct12

We are also running an expatriate survey and are requesting that Irish people working in the games industry who are now abroad participate at http://tinyurl.com/irishexpatgamessurvey2012.

This will be an ongoing survey into 2013, and with this we hope to identify why people left Ireland, would they ever come back, and what skills they have now, to cross reference against the ICGS and identify areas where skills can be developed. It’s also an opportunity for the games diaspora to check in, no matter how long ago it’s been.

Finally, any companies that would like to register for the report’s launch in Dublin in mid-November, participate in a short show-and-tell of your game that you’ve released since 2011 at the same event as the launch of the report, please PM jamiemc via the forums here on gd.ie.

Dublin Gamecraft 2

Dublin GameCraft is a game-jam held in the city centre. What that means is that around one-hundred game developers (designers, writers, coders, artists, sound engineers and so on) come together in teams or as lone-wolves and try to make a game from scratch in twelve hours.

At the start of the day the judges announce a theme and then you’re let loose to make the most fun game you can think of based on that. Use any technology, any equipment and any number of people you want to squeeze onto your team; essentially do whatever it takes to turn that theme into a fun game inside of your twelve hours!

When is it?
The next GameCraft is being held on Saturday the 17th November from 9am to, well, to the end of the day (twelve hours of developing, followed by some mingle and judging time).

Where is it?
November’s gathering is kindly being hosted by the folks at http://www.engineyard.com/

How do I find out more?
The internet! Come find us at http://dublingamecraft.com/, like us at https://www.facebook.com/dublingamecraft or follow us over at https://twitter.com/DublinGameCraft

How much does it cost?
Nothing! Thanks to our kind sponsors, such as Digit Gaming, Microsoft, BatCat Games and BitSmith –Games, all you have to do is register (which you can do from the website) and bring along whatever gear you want to use on the day (laptop, desktop, whatever).

Why come along?
Well, you’ll get an intensive day of experience. You may even get a game out of it. You’ll be surrounded by folks from the industry (organisers, judges and other participants) with whom you can network. Heck, two companies formed because of last Gamecraft; you could be next! Also, while the judges judge you can mingle and show off your day’s work. And of course, prizes!

Popcap Closes

After weeks of rumours PopCap Dublin finally announced this week that it was closing its doors and that all 96 jobs were to go. They have been the largest development studio in Dublin for quite some time now.

This follows on from a period of review following the purchase in July 2011 of PopCap by Electronic Arts. EA bought PopCap to expand its strength in mobile and casual games. See http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20078900-17/ea-acquires-popcap-games-for-digital-push/ for more details on the financial side of the transaction. Some of the deal at least was performance related up to 2013.

Most of you will have already read the news reports online and in the national papers this week. See http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0925/1224324358143.html

At present there is not much to add except to wish all former employees well in their search for employment.

For more discussions by gd.ie folks see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6835

Go there to have your say.

London Womens Game Jam

Okay so this is not exactly in Ireland, but just in case you are in the area…

Aphra

*****************

The world’s first XX Game Jam, a pioneering all-women event in association with Ada Lovelace Day will take place in London on 26/27th October as part of London Games Festival. Registration is now live here: http://xxgamejam.eventbrite.com/

A game jam is a gathering of developers, artists, and other creatives to make games in a very short space of time, usually 24 or 48 hours. The event will run from 6.30pm on Friday 26 October until 11pm, and then from 9am until 6.30pm on Saturday 27 October. Food and refreshments will be provided on both days. The theme for the games will be revealed on the Friday evening.

Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, is a modern figurehead for women in technology. We think it’s time to inspire a new generation of girls to get into coding and help women already in tech to become and discover new role models. Ada Lovelace Day Live! is also open for registration here;http://www.wes.org.uk/content/ada-lovelace-day-live-featuring-wes-karen-burt-award-0

We’re looking for programmers, producers, artists, designers, sound designers and composers, and you can apply whether you have direct experience in the games industry or not.

Men are welcome to support the event and attend the games showcase and prize ceremony on the Saturday evening from 6.30pm, but only women may participate.

Contact debbie@aurochdigital.com for any inquiries or if you’d like to get involved.

Indie Meet & Shindig

This Thurs (13th) there will be an indie meet up from 7pm on 18 Eustace street, Temple Bar, Dublin.

Shindig afterwards – we will be heading to the Bull and Castle, beside Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. We will join with other tech companies in a monthly meet up called pub standards. See http://pubstandards.ie/

All working in the games industry and teaching on game related courses welcome to the indie meet up, everyone welcome to the social event after.

See http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6844

Unity And C# Course In Bcfe

One of our forum members, Faerdan, will be teaching an evening course on Games Programming with Unity and C# in Ballyfermot College of Further Education in Dublin from September 19th. Registration opens from the 5th of Sept.

The aim of this course is to expose game developers to industry ready programming techniques using C# with the Unity Engine; software design patterns will be used to make game code easier to maintain and extend.

Topics covered:

* Introduction to C# programming
* Using C# in Unity
* Project Management using version control
* Structuring a Unity project
* Creating game states and game state management
* Using events to simplify game code
* Audio Management
* Game play programming
* An introduction to deploying mobile games

Registration is taking place from 7pm to 9pm at Ballyfermot College [directions] on the 5th, 10th and 12th of September.

The course will run from 18:45 to 21:45 each Wednesday for 12 weeks.

The cost of the course is €190.

A follow on course, Mobile Games Programming with Unity and C#, is being run in Semester 2.

For more see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6845

Digit Launches Game Incubator

We have just received news that the recently founded Dublin based games studio, Digit Games, has created a space for promising startups to develop their titles.

The first two teams to take up residence are Batcat Games and Bitsmith games, both of which received CSF funding from Enterprise Ireland recently. Digit will offer space, mentorship and access to markets through its existing team and network.

“It is in our interest to help to grow the base of great game companies in Ireland and a games incubator initiative made the most sense to us. The first high potential teams to move into Digit’s incubator, Bitsmith and Batcat, not only get access to purpose built office space but also access to mentoring
from the Digit team, the most experienced games development team in the country. We are not an accelerator offering investment for equity, instead we are looking to continue the great initiatives already in place from EI by giving game startups the biggest chance of success”, said Richard Barnwell, CEO
of Digit, commenting at the launch.

“As a small company, finding any space to work together in is a challenge, both financially and timewise. What Digit has provided for us is an incredible opportunity to become one of Ireland’s prominent game development companies, by leaning on their experience, and by being in a shared space with the astounding Bitsmith games. It’s going to be like one awesome gamedev party, everyday “, said Andrea Magnorsky, MD of Batcat games.

“We are so happy to have this opportunity, BatCat and Digit are fantastic studios. It is so important for our burgeoning game development community to communicate, share and work together. We don’t just want to succeed ourselves. We want to see BatCat, Digit and all the other amazing Indie Studios turn this country in to a new hub of creative, independent Game
Development”, said Owen Harris, CEO of Bitsmith games

About Digit Game Studios

Digit Game Studios is Ireland’s newest independent studio, developing cross platform games for tablet, mobile, browser and social networks. Currently working on a series of strategy games, Dublin based Digit was founded by a group of English and Irish industry veterans from EA, Jagex, Popcap and Monumental.

About Batcat Games

BatCat Games are an award winning games development company founded early 2012 with a goal of creating immersive, visually stunning games for the PC, iPad, and console markets. To date, they have released one game, an arcade shooter called P-3 Biotic, on the PC and Xbox platforms. The game is available for digital download on Desura, IndieCity, and IndieVania. They are
currently hard at work on their second title, a fantasy Japanese-themed side scrolling beat em up.

About Bitsmith Games

Bitsmith games formed in the summer of 2011 with the aim of bringing the gaming experiences we love to the iPad and other tablets. To this end we are about to launch Ku, an Action RPG in which Irelands ancient past and economic present collide. You play as young Ku, who must venture out in to a broken and strange world for the first time. You will have to battle
monsters, solve puzzles and retrieve an ancient treasure from the goddess Morrigan.

Darklight Gamejam

Have you ever wanted to make a computer game but don’t have the time? Just said to yourself “I bet it takes forever to design and write a game.” You don’t need forever. You only need a weekend and a few friends.

This year Darklight, running from the 23rd-26th of August, is hosting its first competitive GameJam event! The event will take place in The Factory, Barrow St, Dublin, Friday 24th August – 7pm until 7am Sunday 26th.

A GameJam is a fixed amount of time where people, usually in teams come together in a shared space to make a game from start to finish.

What can you make in 36 hours? Get together with your friends, with your workmates, with your college buddies. Collaborate. Create something.

Anyone can get involved. Programmers, illustrators, musicians, artists, writers.

If you are interested but don’t know anyone else who is up for it, get in touch with team coordinator at Rosef.events@gmail.com and she’ll match you up with a team!

For 36 hours teams will each work on building a game around a common theme. The theme is super secret and will only be revealed just before the competition starts!

Games will be judged by a local, home-grown games company and a Fabulous Prize will be given to the winners!

For more information on the GameJam concept check out http://globalgamejam.org/

If you have any questions email: Rosef.events@gmail.com

F.A.Q will be up on the Darklight site soon! See http://www.darklight.ie/festival-2012/workshops/gamejam/

To enter email the name of at least one participant and the name of your team to Rosef.events@gmail.com

Bright Head Workshop

Bright Head Games are a start up Educational Games company.

They are holding a story game workshop for research purposes this Saturday the 28th of July in exchange dublin.

For more see

http://brightheadgames.com/2012/07/20/story-game-workshop-at-exchangedublin-28th-of-july/

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/events/319620601465750/

Batcat Releases P-3 Biotic

Great to see that BatCat Games have released their twin-stick shooter, P-3 Biotic, on PC today.

It is available via:
IndieCity – http://store.indiecity.com/game/P-3-Biotic
and IndieVania – http://www.indievania.com/games/p-3-biotic

P-3 Biotic was released on the Xbox LIVE Indie Games marketplace in January 2012 and since then has been undergoing radical cellular mutations resulting in a PC version with increased graphical fidelity, global leaderboards and achievements, and an expanded and remastered soundtrack.

P-3 Biotic is an intense twin-stick shooter featuring advanced real-time lighting and gorgeous particle effects. Pilot the MK4s nano-ship inside a petri dish against 14 waves of infectious bacteria as they attempt to destroy the Nucleus, a bio-engineered organism growing at the center of the dish.

Use mines and weapon power ups to defeat increasingly tough bacteria, and collect energy dropped by vanquished enemies to keep the Nucleus healthy. Or walk a finer line and use the energy stored in the Nucleus to charge up your weapons, turn your entire ship into a projectile, or unleash a devastating shockwave to wipe out all bacteria. The choice is yours, but the Nucleus must survive.

P-3 Biotic is available now via IndieCity and IndieVania for €2.99.

About BatCat Games

BatCat Games are an award winning indie developer based in Dublin, Ireland, developing games around a set of core principles designed to make immersive games playable in bite-sized chunks.

We respect the value of our players time, and our games reflect this in their carefully considered flow. Our games reward skill over mindless repetition, and we eschew cutesy graphics and adolescent themes in favour of a more mature aesthetic.

In March 2012, BatCat Games were successful in securing funding from Enterprise Ireland under the Competitive Start Fund program, a funding program designed to accelerate the growth of Irish start-up companies.

Since then, they have continued to grow the company, taking on additional staff and winning multiple awards for the first release of their game, P-3 Biotic, on the Xbox. They are also actively involved in programs designed to promote indigenous and foreign awareness of Ireland as a powerhouse games development country, helping to organise events such as Dublin Gamecraft, and most recently the Irish Indie Bundle, which is a collection of games created in Ireland designed to showcase our burgeoning industry.

Website – http://www.batcatgames.com
Email – info@batcatgames.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/batcatgames
Twitter – @batcatgames, http://www.twitter.com/batcatgames
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BatCatGames
IndieDB – http://www.indiedb.com/company/batcatgames

Pegi Ratings In The Uk

The new PEGI age ratings system for video games will go live in the UK on the July 30th.

This will replace the current system whereby games are rating both by PEGI and, if they contain mature content, the BBFC. PEGI will assume sole control from the end of this month.

Of importance and interest here is that PEGI ratings will also become legally enforceable for the first time, meaning retailers will be forced to observe the age restrictions when selling to minors, or else face prosecution.

For more see http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/pegi-ratings-go-official-on-july-30th

Foundations Of Digital Games Cfp

First call for academic papers and demos for this games conference.

Aphra

********************

14-17 May 2013
Chania, Crete, Greece
http://www.fdg2013.org/

We invite researchers and educators to submit to FDG 2013 and share insights and cutting-edge research related to game technologies and their use. FDG 2013 will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers, invited talks by high-profile industry and academic leaders, panels, and posters.

The conference will also host a technical demo session, a Research and Experimental Games Festival, and a Doctoral Consortium.

The technical demo session will include novel tools, techniques, and systems created for games. The Research and Experimental Games Festival will showcase the latest experimental and research games.

The Doctoral Consortium serves as a forum for Ph.D. students to present their dissertation research, exchange experiences with peers, discuss ideas for future research and receive feedback from established games researchers and the wider FDG community.

IMPORTANT DATES

Workshop proposals:
* Submission: 28 October 2012
* Notification: 11 November 2012

Papers, panel proposals, doctoral consortium:
* Submission: 10 December 2012
* Notification: 1 March 2013
* Camera-ready: 18 March 2013

Research and experimental game festival:
* Submission: 13 January 2013
* Notification: 22 February 2013
* Camera-ready: 18 March 2013

Posters and demos:
* Submission: 4 March 2013
* Notification: 18 March 2013
* Camera-ready: 31 March 2013

FULL PAPERS

Full papers must not exceed 8 pages in length. Authors should submit to either the general conference or one of the following tracks:

* Game studies, social science track (games, players, and their role in society and culture)

* Game studies, humanities track (aesthetic, philosophical, and ontological aspects of games and play)

* Game design (methods, techniques, studies)

* Serious games (building and evaluating games for a purpose, learning in games)

* Game education (preparing students to design and develop games)

* Artificial intelligence (agents, motion/camera planning, navigation, adaptivity, content creation, dialog, authoring tools)

* Game technology (engines, frameworks, graphics, networking, animation)

* Interaction and player experience (game interfaces, player metrics, modeling player experience)

PANELS

Panel submissions should be in the form of a 2-page extended abstract describing the focus of the panel, providing a list of confirmed speakers, and indicating their areas of expertise relative to the topic. We encourage both debate-style panels that include representatives advocating several positions
on a topic of disagreement, and emerging-area style panels that consolidate and explain recent work on a subject of interest to the FDG community.

RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL GAMES FESTIVAL

The Festival is designed to showcase playable games that are experimental or have a research component. Submitted games could be significant because they are designed to answer a research question or experiment with the design process, or because their technological components represent research
advancements.

Works in progress are permitted, but the game will ideally
include at least one playable level (or comparable unit of play time). Works that have not yet reached this stage may be more suitable for the conference demo track. In addition to submitting the game, submissions should also include a 2–4 page writeup of the project.

POSTERS AND DEMOS

The poster and demo track provides a forum for late-breaking and in-progress work to be presented to the community. Submissions should be in the form of a 2-page extended abstract. The interactive technical demo event will showcase
the latest tools, techniques, and systems created for games by academic or industrial research groups. (Playable games should instead be submitted to the Research and Experimental Games Festival.)

WORKSHOP PROPOSALS

The conference workshops are full-day and half-day sessions focused on emerging game-related topics. These workshops provide an informal setting for new developments to be presented, discussed and demonstrated. We are particularly
interested in topics that bridge different communities and disciplines. Concise workshop proposals (2 pages) should include: an extended abstract, the objectives and expected outcome of the workshop, the planned activities, the
background of the organizer(s), the anticipated number of participants, and the means for soliciting and selecting participants.

DOCTORAL CONSORTIUM

We invite PhD students to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, a forum to provide PhD students with early feedback on their research directions, from fellow students, researchers, and experienced faculty in the area. The consortium is
intended primarily for PhD students who intend to pursue a career in academia, who will soon propose, or have recently proposed, their research.

To apply, doctoral students should submit a CV, a 3-page extended abstract describing their proposed research, and a support letter from their PhD advisor. The abstract should address the goals of your research, the proposed approach and
how it differs from prior work, any results you may have, and your plans for completing the work. Invited Doctoral Consortium students will give a presentation and present a poster at the conference.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

General Chairs
Georgios N. Yannakakis and Espen Aarseth

Program Chairs
Kristine Jørgensen and James Lester

Digit Launch Event

Digit Game Studios is a new company in Dublin and they have 10 roles and up to 20 openings at the moment…see under jobs, all posted 3rd June http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/jobs/

Yesterday saw the official press launch in Dublin city centre and the announcement that Digit Game Studios has acquired significant funding from Irish investors and is set to establish a major independent games studio in Ireland.

The initial team is expected to grow rapidly as the games deployed expand on multiple platforms. The management team has held senior positions in EA, Atari, Jagex, Popcap and Jolt/Gamestop.

“We chose Dublin because of the ability to access best in class talent, the great support from Enterprise Ireland and the general buzz around the cities startup scene. We hope to hire locally mostly but also intend to attract some top class people from around the games world”, said Richard Barnwell, CEO of Digit, commenting at the launch.

“We were impressed by the founding team of Digit which is one of the most experienced teams we have seen in the online gaming sector in Europe. This funding will allow them to recruit the appropriate personnel and give the company a platform to execute on their strategy of becoming a global leader in the online gaming sector” Maurice Roche, General Partner Delta Partners.

‘We have known Richard, Martin, Dave and Fergus for sometime, and it is great to have found an opportunity to invest in them. The innovative titles they are creating are going to get the attention of players and major publishers’ John O’Sullivan, General Partner ACT Venture Capital.

Welcoming the announcement, Greg Treston, Enterprise Ireland Head of High Potential Start Ups, said: ‘Digit Games Studios is a highly innovative young Irish company which will rapidly make a name for itself in the games sector.

About Digit Gaming Founders

CEO Richard Barnwell was most recently CEO of Jolt Online Gaming and an Advisor to GameStop (NYSE:GME) Prior to that he was CEO of secureVirtual (Cloud hosting platform in London) and part of the original management team at Jagex

CMO Martin Frain was most recently Marketing Director at Stan James. His games experience spans Marketing and Business Development Director at Atari, Global Marketing Director at EA, Marketing Director at Radica and Marketing Manager at Hasbro

Art Director Fergus Duggan worked at Jolt Online Gaming, Monumental Games, Swordfish Studios and at Circle Studio

David McGovern was Head of Studio at Jolt Online Gaming and was previously Mobile QA Lead at Popcap

An experienced team in developing and launching games:
MMOs: Runescape, Star Trek Online
AAA console :Tomb Raider, Colin McRae, Mirrors Edge
Online :Battlefield Heroes, Championship Manager Rivals
Mobile :Bejewelled, Chuzzle

Meet and Greet

Digital Game Studios are having a more general launch event this thurs. evening, 28th June, in Dublin.

Attendance is free so if you are interested in hearing more about the company and the jobs sign up at https://digitgameslaunch.eventbrite.com/

If you can’t make it pop along to the gd.ie shindig in the Lombard on Pearse Street on fri evening from 7.30 and we should have all the gossip!

Science Gallery Events

First up the deadline for proposals for the game exhibition is fast approaching – next Monday, 2nd July. Get your thinking caps on for this weekend and get some proposals in to them at
http://sciencegallery.com/game

There current exhibition is HACK THE CITY and there are a lot of intereesting events coming up.

THU 28.06.12 18:00-19:30
CULTURE JAMMING WORKSHOP WITH WILL ST. LEGER
Join ‘artivist’ Will St Leger for a culture jamming master class. In this workshop, you’ll learn about city interventions, adbusting, art hacking and generally challenging the status-quo with a game of visual jiu-jitsu. Admission: Free (pre-booking essential). BOOK HERE.

SAT 14.07.12 10:00-18:00
DUBLIN MINI MAKER FAIRE
Makers of all kinds will descend upon Science Gallery for Ireland’s first ever mini maker faire during ESOF this summer. It will also feature a special one-off event with Ireland’s favourite maker, Mary “Make and Do” Fitzgerald from RTE’s 80s classic, How Do You Do? (BOOK HERE). FIND OUT MORE.

THU 28.06.12 – SUN 01.07.12
OPENHERE
A four day festival that addresses social, technological and cultural issues around the digital commons runs at Science Gallery and CTVR headquarters, Trinity College Dublin from June 28 – July 01. REGISTER HERE.

What’s The Score?

As a frontman for numerous cover bands, and composer for RTÉ’s About the House, Mick Kiely played in front of a few audiences in his time, but nothing compared to the rowdy rabble that faced him in South America. After writing the soundtrack for Codemasters shooter Bodycount, the Irish composer travelled to Brazil to perform as part of touring orchestral production Video Games Live (VGL). Kiely stepped on stage with a strap-on keyboard in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and São Paulo, and performed the Bodycount score while footage from the game played on a huge screen behind him.

Rather than sitting sedately, as is the norm at classical concerts, the audiences acted like they were at an Iron Maiden gig. “They were going mental,” laughs Kiely. “You can’t help thinking, that’s how Beethoven intended it to be back in his day. It was a great experience to see. It’s probably the first time in the history of classical music that young audiences have flocked to orchestral performances.”

The rapturous reception that greets VGL versions of gaming classics – whether Mario, Zelda, Mass Effect or Monkey Island – should come at no surprise to committed gamers. From the staccato blips of Pong to the creepy melodies of Silent Hill, or the soaring strings of Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim, audio and music has always played an integral part of game design.

Music supports the emotional experience of the player, says Alan Duggan, who develops casual games at Galway-based Tribal City Interactive. “It’s an important part of the experience in the games we make – it sets the tone. I’ve often said that if we can get to a point with our games where we can affect you emotionally in the same way that a song does, then we have reached something special. It’s a very hard thing to do.”

Codemasters requested three separate types of music for Bodycount: orchestral, ethnic and electronic, so Kiely travelled to Bulgaria to work with a 60-piece philharmonic orchestra. He continues: “The ethnic instruments were recorded in Switzerland. We used shakuhachis, bamboo flutes and other ethnic wind instruments. There was a big dedication to African rhythms. I used a percussionist who had gone to Kenya and learned old battle rhythms with tribes. The electronica was done at my studio in Gorey.”

Kiely’s mammoth production was a far cry from casual games, so earlier this year Kiely travelled to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco to discuss casual games with established composers. “Most composers in the AAA sector have no interest in the casual game sector,” he says. “That’s a real problem for casual game developers when it comes to music. They either know somebody [who can work on the score], perhaps someone in a band, or they license it. But with licensing comes tonnes of problems…”

Music design is a skill unto itself. Developers are unlikely to be au fait with audio software, such as Logic or Pro-Tools. “When we want art for our games, we go to a game artist,” says Duggan. “It should be no different with music. To some extent, you might get away with a library of sound effects, particularly with casual games. But even then, you have to be able to articulate what you want in the sound. Otherwise, you often end up listening to hundreds of sound effects looking for the one you want. It’s obviously more expensive, but much easier from the developer’s perspective to have someone who knows what they are doing – whether it’s a composer or someone doing Foley [sound effects] – to create that effect for you.”

Kiely felt a sense of achievement when he wrapped his 10 months of work on Bodycount, but he also felt isolated as there was no community of game composers in Ireland. So in late 2011, he established Games Music Ireland (GMI), a portal that allows composers to learn about game development and network with game developers. Over 70 composers turned up at GMI’s first networking event in December, 2011.

Just as developers are unlikely to know much about music composition, Irish composers are uninformed about the games industry. “Composers are afraid because they don’t understand it – there’s no knowledge base,” says Kiely. “When I got the Bodycount job, they brought me to the Codemasters studios and I was terrified. I didn’t know what I was doing – I didn’t know how music worked in games and how it was implemented. I had to learn on the job.”

Music in games has evolved steadily over the years, yet memorable tunes were always integral to great gaming experiences. Early arcade classics like Defender had digital ditties that remain mind-bogglingly addictive to this day. Rob Hubbard (composer behind C64 classics like Ace II and Commando, famed for writing music in ones and zeroes on pub napkins), once said that the “limited polyphony of the sound hardware in consoles and home computers forced you to write in a certain style.”

Casual and social game developers face new audio challenges. With the advent of tablets and smartphones, a great audio experience is crucial. The interactive experience is markedly different in console games, where the composer has to reel in the player for hours. In a casual game, players dip in and out. Either way, the purpose of the music remains the same.

“Immersion is the key word here – the soundtrack helps the immersion,” says Claire Fitch, who designed music loops for Jolt’s Playboy Manager, Blender’s Yo Frankie!, Forfás game NanoQuest, and Torc’s Dreadnought. “The Dreadnought music was particularly tense, in line with the game,” says Fitch. “The colourful, cartoon-like world of Yo Frankie! needed a more cute sounding track. NanoQuest needed a soundtrack to really enhance concentration, and the stylised world of Playboy Manager needed hip-hop, pop and rock cues to help immerse the player into the game world.”

Limerick’s Open Emotion Studios also produced memorable casual game soundtracks. Ninjamurai crosses Eastern melodies with dance music, Mad Blocker Alpha is a mix of suspense music and classical, and Revoltin’ Youth is a homage to 1970’s jazz-funk and contemporary house. In choosing soundtracks, developers at Tribal City take cues from their game’s graphics. Into The Twilight, for example, was inspired by Tim Burton’s movies, so the developers sought a Danny Elfman inspired score. For Flip the Switch, they wanted something “cheeky and fun”.

The composing process for these two games was pointedly different. Tribal City had a tiny budget for Into The Twilight, so the team opted to license music from www.soundrangers.com. But licensed music has drawbacks.

“You’re always trying to make your game stand out and be unique,” says Duggan. “The music is a big part of that. Since Twilight was released two and a half years ago, I’ve come across its music once elsewhere. That’s not often, but we want an audio experience that is singular to our games. Because audio is so emotive, it’s one of the things that people will remember. You’re looking for a riff that sticks in your head. It’s the same concept as an advertisement.” For Flip the Switch, Tribal City hired a composer to create an original score.

StoryToys, the Irish development company formerly known as Ideal Binary, leapt to fame with their exquisite series of interactive books based on the Grimm Brother stories. The studio licensed music at first, although this was less than ideal, according to Jim Pipe, Product Manager. “The problem with licensing music is that ultimately a lot of the good stuff sitting around has been taken,” says Pipe. “It’s frustrating when you get a really good piece of music and then hear it on a poorly designed app a few months later.”

On 31 May, 2012, StoryToys will release their first original-IP app, which features a uniquely composed score. Pipe, who composed the score with the help of a few musicians, says the app is aimed at the pre-school market: “It’s for three years old and under. I was concerned that we couldn’t find licensed stuff gentle enough for this age group. I wanted to create a toy box feel in the music, so the main tune is played on a glockenspiel and vibraphone. The higher pitch sounds is a good fit for something like an iPhone or iPad.”

Memory capacity is a significant challenge in audio composition – graphics and audio consume the most amount of space. “There’s a struggle in game development where the art and graphics make up the game economy,” says Kiely. “Little is left to the audio. The audio also includes Foley – gunshots, etc – and dialogue. You have to find a way to put as little music content into the game as possible, so the game can produce a long-playing score.”

Although a casual developer is unlikely to work with a 60-piece orchestra, they can use tricks of the trade to emulate this effect, enhance the score, and make the most out of available memory. The standard technique is to loop music, although badly looped music can ruin an interactive music experience. “Because music is so emotive, if it annoys you, it will push you away pretty quickly,” says Duggan. “Seamless loops can be difficult to achieve.”

Creating loop distractions is an efficient compositional trick. “[In AAA games], if a piece of music is 60MB, you have to be able to reduce it to 10MB, but recreate that entire piece of music with clips, introducing tricks so the players do not realise they’re listening to loops,” says Kiely. “You might introduce another instrument into the loop, so all of a sudden it feels the score is evolving. In film, you have the luxury of an entire score that never has to change. But music in games is all smoke and mirrors. We have the technology whereby we can apply the same tricks of the trade to casual games, as we do in AAA gaming. This is what’s exciting for me – I think it’s where Game Music Ireland can come into play.”

In most casual and social games, music is a background asset, but composers and developers see no reason why casual game scores should not evolve. “Music plays tricks on your brain and rewires it in a certain way,” says Pipe. “I’d be very interested in developing something in the future in which the music and interaction is tightly locked in. The only way you can do that is to create stuff that is scored to tie in exactly with the app.”

Can casual and social developers, facing mounting budgetary challenges, afford to commission or create unique scores? Licensed music tends to involve a flat fee. Licensing songs from established bands – commonplace in AAA titles – often costs outrageous amounts. In the case of indie titles and bands – as in the case of Open Emotion’s upcoming RubberBandits title – finances can be more affordable. Kiely is under no illusions about the budgetary differences between Bodycount and the average casual venture.

“That’s why most composers working on AAA games are not really interested in casual games – because the money is not there,” he says. “Occasionally, there will be a semi-decent budget where you can record some orchestral stuff but that’s very rare. But with good samples, there’s a real opportunity for composers to make a difference in the games space, even with the budgets that are there now, whether we’re talking €10,000 or €500.”

Duggan and Pipe intend to keep creating original music for their games. Tribal City, who has five games in development, has outsourced a composer, Lemonmultimedia.com, for upcoming title Turtle Trouble. Pipe hopes to hire a composer for future StoryToys apps. “[Our business] has only really taken off over the last few months,” says Pipe. “In two or three months time, there’s no way I’m going to be able to focus on [music composition]. I partly did it so I could know what is involved before I commission anyone else.”

As traditional composers become increasingly informed about the casual game space, through projects such as Games Music Ireland, indie game audio can only improve. Whether you are a composer, developer, gamer or app user, this can only be music to everyone’s ears.

Games Music Ireland and Windmill Lane Recording Studios Present Composing for Games Module, June 11, 12, 13.
http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/news/viewnews.php?article=579

For more information: gamesmusicireland@gmail.com

See also:
www.mickkiely.com
www.fitchsounds.com
www.openemotionstudios.com
www.storytoys.com

2Paperdolls Release Mind Of Man

Nice to hear that 2PaperDolls, the Irish based mobile games studio, have gotten inside the Mind of Man, at least on Twitter.

Mind of Man for Twitter®, the Twitter discovery game will be launched this week and reveals how the world sees you by turning your text and behaviors into unique digital avatars.

The avatars, called MindPrints, identify players’ most dominant traits and emotions relative to their friends, favorite celebrities, and the rest of the Twitterverse. While popular social media tools rank only power or influence, Mind of Man portrays players’ online personalities, character flaws, even anti-social tendencies through crowdsourcing. Players earn both virtual and real-world rewards for judging each other.

What began as a project to capture mood on Twitter has evolved into an application that “blurs the boundaries between real life and your online world,” explains founder Louis Ravenet. “The game captures a player’s online persona in a MindPrint, then uses their personality to drive other game experiences for prizes, discounts and rewards.”

Although sentiment analysis tools until recently relied on a simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” model, Mind of Man goes beyond polarity in measuring moods and emotions through “an oracle that talks back” in an Orwellian tone. “This is no coincidence in an era of digital privacy concerns,” says Ravenet.

Mind of Man for Twitter is now available on the iTunes App Store in both free and premium subscription versions:

Mind of Man for Twitter http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mind-of-man-for-twitter/id509239872?mt=8

Mind of Man+ for Twitter http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mind-of-man+-for-twitter/id530543746?mt=8

Mind of Man® is a Twitter discovery game that allows players to learn more about themselves and others through crowdsourced recommendations, while competing to win free stuff at choice retailers, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes.

See http://www.mindofman.com and @mindofman .

2PaperDolls mobile games studio creates entertaining and purposeful games that blur the lines between real life and your online world. To find out more, visit www.2paperdolls.com and @2paperdolls.

European Serious Games Awards!

The European Serious Games Awards aim to celebrate the best videogames for learning created in Europe. We will rely on scientific evaluation of the submitted games in order to award prizes not only to the best Serious Games, but also to the best academic works in the field.

The Awards Ceremony will take place during the VS-Games 2012 Conference in Genoa, Italy, on October 30th 2012 (http://www.vs-games2012.org/).

*Prizes*
Each winner of one the 4 European Serious Games Awards will be
rewarded by the following cash prizes:

Awards for the Serious Games:
– Best Learning Game Award (1st place): 1000€
– Best Learning Game Award (2nd place): 500€

Award for the evaluation of Serious Games:
– Best Learning Game Evaluation: 500€

Award for the academic students:
– Best Student Academic Paper: 500€

Each winner will also get a free entrance to the VS-Games 2012
Conference, where the Awards ceremony will take place. We will offer one conference registration (worth about 400€) for each award winner who will attend to the Awards ceremony (travel and accommodation costs remaining at the charge of the winners).

*Submission*

To submit a Serious Game:
– Your game must have been created by and/or funded by an organization within Europe (private company, school or university, NGO…)
– Your game is available in English.
– You agree to provide us with at least three working copies of your game (to perform the evaluations).
– Fulfil the game submission form and send it to sgawards@gmail.com before June 30th.
(http://www.irit.fr/sgawards/files/static/File/sgawards_game_submission.doc)

To volunteer for the scientific evaluation of Serious Games:
– The scientific evaluation of the submitted games will be performed by the members of the GALA Young Academy.
– If you wish to participate in the evaluation process of the games
for the European Serious Games Awards and maybe win the “Best Learning Game Evaluation Award”, you need to be a member of the Young Academy first.

The young academy is open to students, researchers, teachers
and professional working on Serious Games. Check the GALA Young Academy to subscribe and see how you can participate in the evaluation process.
– If you are interested, be sure to get in touch with the GALA Young Academy before June 30th.
(http://www.galanoe.eu/SocialNet/pg/groups/14723/official-european-serious-games-evaluators/)

To submit an academic student paper:
– You are a Master or PhD Student studying in an European school or university.
– Your article is between 4 and 8 pages long.
– Your article is written in English language.
– Your article was accepted to a conference or journal (reference
needed for verification – if you have been accepted to a conference that didn’t take place yet or in a journal issue that is yet to be published, please send the acceptation letter).
– Only one paper can be submitted per student.
– Fulfil the student paper submission form and send it to
sgawards@gmail.com before June 30th.
(http://www.irit.fr/sgawards/files/static/File/sgawards_paper_submission.doc)

*More Information*
For further information, please check the official European Serious
Games Awards website: http://www.galanoe.eu/sgawards.html

The European Serious Games Awards are organized by GALA, an European Network of Excellence dedicated to research on Serious Games

Q-Con Speaker Line Up

The industry speakers line up for Q-Con in Belfast, weekend of the 22nd of June has been announced.

They include:

John Hope of Project Zebra: www.projectzebra.com
Jim Murray of Troll Inc: www.troll-inc.com
Kevin Beimers of Straandlooper: www.straandlooper.com
Gawain Morrison of FilmTrip: www.filmtrip.tv
Alan Hook of University of Ulster: www.ulster.ac.uk
Sean McCafferty of Blackmarket Games: www.blackmarketgames.com
Paddy Murphy of 2PaperDolls: www.2paperdolls.com
Peter Moorhead of Cube Noir: www.cube-noir.com
John Connor of Pearlmoon Productions: www.pearlmoonproductions.co.uk

See http://www.q-con.org.uk/node/38

Digit Recruiting

We have just posted eight positions at various levels from senior to junior in programming and art on gd.ie.

The company hiring is Digit, a new comer on the scene which is backed by venture capital but with four veterans from the industry in charge. Their founders have experience in developing and launching games including : World leading MMOs (Runescape, Star Trek Online), AAA console titles (Tomb Raider,Colin McRae, Mirrors Edge), Online (Battlefield Heroes, Championship Manager Rivals) and mobile games (Bejewelled, Chuzzle).

For more on their backgrounds you can see their profiles on Linked in via http://digitgaming.com/about-us/

We have asked for more info and been assured that in about a month we will have it! Looking forward to hearing more..

For now pass on the word re the jobs…

Pulse College Careers Event

Pulse College is hosting a free event on career opportunities in the computer games industry.

Guest speakers will include Owen Harris of Bit Smith games and John Joyce CEO Seoige Technology.

Date – Wednesday 30th May

Location – Studio one at Windmill Lane Recording Studios.

Time – 10am-12pm

Sci Gallery Game Cfp

Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland is seeking proposals for an upcoming major exhibition GAME.

Call Opens: Wed 23rd May 2012

Call Closes: Monday 2nd July 2012

Exhibition duration: 26 October 2012 – 18th January 2013

See call at http://www.sciencegallery.com/game

Calling all gamers from casual to hardcore, newbies and retrogamers, data nerds, hobbyists, artists, scientists, tech geeks, edgy engineers and serious gamers, Science Gallery is seeking proposals for its major 2012 exhibition GAME launching in October 2012, during Dublin’s tenure as European City of Science.

Ireland is rapidly emerging as a global hub for animation and games with many of the leading software and middleware developers located here.

GAME at Science Gallery will explore the multifaceted world of gaming from the technology and design behind games to gaming and society and the history of games. GAME at Science Gallery will explore the amazing potential of games and offer opportunities to visitors to engage in numerous aspects of this theme, even creating their very own game during a visit.

GAME will ask why people play games? How do our brains respond to games? What makes a game compelling? What will the future of gaming look like? How can we harness games for good?

GAME is Science Gallery’s end of year exhibition for 2012. We are interested in receiving proposals for exhibits, events and workshops along the following themes,

*Game Technology from state of the art physics, graphics, animation and audio to augmented reality to cutting edge interfaces to neuro-gaming
*Game Design from the art of games, to the mechanics of games and game narratives and storytelling
*Games & Society from gamification to competitive games to the psychology of gaming and serious games to gaming as a professional sport to the opportunity for gaming to make us better
*History of Games from Spacewar! to the first home consoles to speculative pieces exploring the future of gaming
*Game production and the business of games – what do game designers consider in developing a new game, how do games make money and what are the new trends in this growing market?

GAME objectives

*To engage young adult visitors to GAME not merely as consumers of games, but as potential game creators;
*To inspire visitors with the opportunities in the games sector;
*To provide an engaging experience of the creative process of game design and development;
*To provide exciting experiences of current trends and future directions in games (mobile/social games, neuro-gaming, AR, etc);
*To provoke critical engagement with games and game-culture and “gamification”;
*To highlight the different skills (art, science, design, storytelling, strategy) involved in game creation
*To impact over 50,000 visitors on-site during the 3 month exhibition run and over 100,000 visitors online (through key online-only elements)
*To work with key games industry and research partners and EI/IDA to highlight Ireland’s position as a potential hub for games industry
*To help put Ireland on the map for games with key international audiences including game industry, investors, tech community through significant national and international media coverage for GAME and its participants
*To host high impact events, workshops and demos during the course of GAME for young adult, educational and industry/investor audiences
*To inspire more young people to take an interest in computer science, physics and mathematics and to motivate them to develop their skills in these areas

Curator and Advisors:

GAME will be curated by Steve Collins, Founder of Swrve and previously co-founder of Havok and Kore, Mads Haahr a lecturer in Trinity College Dublin’s Department of Computer Science with a focus on computer game studies, mobile and ubiquitous computing and self organizing systems, Dylan Collins, Founder of Fight My Monster and previously Demonware and JOLT and Michael John Gorman, the Founding Director of Science Gallery and Adjunct Professor of Creative Technologies at Trinity College Dublin.

How to submit a proposal:

To submit your proposal, please follow the link the submissions page http://opencall.sciencegallery.com/

If you need any help, please email help@sciencegallery.com.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail and link to other forums and individuals and do please contact us at vicky.lee@sciencegallery.com, if you would like to suggest projects or people for the exhibition.

Science Gallery

Science Gallery (www.sciencegallery.com) is a dynamic new model for public engagement at the interface between science and the arts which has rapidly achieved significant international profile since its launch in Dublin in 2008.

Science Gallery is an initiative of Trinity College Dublin with support from the Wellcome Trust, our Science Circle of Dell, Google, ICON, NTR Foundation, and PACCAR. Science Gallery is also supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Science Foundation Ireland. Sponsors during 2012 include Intel, IBM and Dublin City Council.

Irish Games Company Launches Texas Ask’Em Poker!

Today sees Irish company OteetO Ltd. launch a new form of poker with the much anticipated Texas Ask’Em Poker on Facebook at the Social Gaming Summit in Berlin, Germany.

Texas Ask’Em PokerTM combines poker with trivia to create a new poker game with a big difference – players can now influence the cards they receive yet the game still maintains the core successful poker elements of skill and chance.

Texas Ask’Em Poker enters the world of Facebook poker games with a decent pair of hole cards, they have amassed 5,000 likes and their players have already sent over 100,000 game invites to their friends – and all this even before today’s official launch.

“One weekend in February, we quietly spent €400 on Facebook ads in order to have some real players , unknowingly, be the first to play Texas Ask’Em Poker”, says Neal O’Gorman Co-Founder of OteetO, “ the response was really excellent, people played for hours and then later we got complaints from fans whenever the game went down for updates! We have made significant improvements to the game since then and will continue to but we are now delighted to be officially launching Texas Ask’Em Poker at the Berlin Social Gaming Summit”.

Texas Ask’Em Poker is addictive, fun and simple to play! Gamers are invited to sit at a table on a topic they know and enjoy e.g. Sports, Entertainment, General Knowledge, etc. Each hand begins with a multiple choice question, each player answers and then receives their cards and regular Texas Hold’Em Poker follows.

So where’s the smart part? The first trick is that all players are competing for the best of the randomly dealt starting hands. So, the person with the fastest correct answer will receive the best of the random starting hands. Naturally players with the correct answer will receive better ranked starting hands than the players that answer incorrectly.

The second, but key trick, is that players are not informed as to how either they or their opponents performed in the question round until the poker hand is complete! But, players be warned, even if you feel you answered fast and correct maybe someone else was faster but perhaps even more importantly, as it is still poker, having a good starting hand does not guarantee a winning hand anything can appear on the flop the turn and the river! Even the person that had the answer wrong can still win the poker hand – you still need to know when to fold’em!

On signing up to Texas Ask’Em Poker, each player receives 20,000 worth chips and can raise this by 3,000 by liking the app and another 2,000 to 5,000 chips every day they log in. The smallest number of chips a player can purchase is 675,000 chips for close to €2 euro with the maximum being 270 million chips for over €100. At the moment there is only 1 stakes table but as there are more players joining the game will offer higher stakes table. The stakes table currently has a minimum number of chips needed to play of 200 and the max you can join the table with is 4,000 chips with minimum bets at 20 chips.

Texas Ask’Em Poker is a lot more social than normal online poker games as people with two hobbies in common are seated at the same table, with good questions striking up table chat, and players being able to share the experience of an interesting or relevant question with their friends on facebook. In addition, not only can you play against your friends in real time but you can also try to win more chips than them or beat their personal record of correct answers in a row.

Targeted at the existing facebook poker players Texas Ask’Em is not for players that play for real money just the fantasy and adrenaline rush that you get from playing with in effect monopoly money in the online world. With over 40 million facebook poker players playing each month, Texas Ask’Em Poker is appealing to the poker players that are looking for that extra challenge and additional entertainment value.

Poker players on facebook are predominantly male (75% male and 25% female) but OteetO feels that Texas Ask’Em Poker can appeal to a wider audience changing the demographics to 70% male and 30% female. Currently only available in English this will be expanded into other languages over the next six months.

www.TexasAskEm.com

www.OteetO.com

Company History.

OteetO Ltd, an Irish startup with seed investment from the Berlin Accelerator Make-A-Startup.

OteetO was founded by Neal O’Gorman and Narcis Ilisei in December 2010, after they both took redundancy from the multi-national Agilent Technologies (a Test&Measurement company with about 19,000 people) where Narcis worked as Senior R&D Engineer and Neal as Programme Manager with responsibility for products that were used in testing laser used in communications.

The company name OteetO stems from a Greek word ικανότητα (ikanOteeta) which means skill, ability and also proficiency. This reflects nicely on how Neal and Narcis want to run the company but also on the games that they look to develop. Texas Ask’Em PokerTM is the first game released by OteetO Ltd.

Neal O’Gorman

Originally from Naas, a graduate from UCD (Electronic Engineer), O’Gorman (35) was Co-founder of Tsunami Photonics (founded in 2001) which merged with PXIT in 2003, moved to the US (Silicon Valley & Boston) in 2004 to work with PXIT for 2.5 years, then moved to Germany (Boeblingen – near Stuttgart) when Agilent bought out his previous employers PXIT in 2006 and worked there for three years as PXIT Product Manager & Optical Programme Manager with responsibility for “all products that were used in testing laser’s used for communications” before leaving to set up OteetO with Narcis. Now spending his time between Naas and Germany (Boeblingen & Berlin) O’Gorman still makes guest appearances as the Quiz Master in the local Irish Pub in Boeblingen – which was a catalyst for Texas Ask’Em Poker idea.

Narcis Ilisei

IIisei worked with Agilent for ten years from 2000, as Senior R&D engineer that was assigned to the PXIT products within Agilent. Originally from Romania, IIisei (36) moved to Germany when he started with Agilent. Prior to that Ilisei worked at the Technical University Iasi in Romania. A very talented technologist turned Entrepreneur and Game Developer. Texas Ask’Em Poker is the second game IIisei has developed. Ilisei also founded Inatech in 2010, a start up company that focus’s on smartphone/tablet application development. In 2011 Ilisei officially joined OteetO as a Co-founder.

Ballyfermot Animation Show

The Ballyfermot College Animation Showcase 2012 is on Wednesday 23rd May at 7pm in the IFI, Temple Bar.

The showcase will include a mixture of third and fourth year short animations from the BA (Hons) Animation course.The showcase will be officially opened by Andrew Kavanagh of Kavaleer Productions.

See http://www.isa-bcfe.ie/

Composing For Games

The founder of Games Music Ireland, Mick Kiely, in association with Windmill Lane Recording Studios will be offering a short course in Composing for Games, June 11-12-13 2012 in Windmill Lane, Dublin.

The module will take place over three days. The course offers up skilling and training in technique for composing in the field of digital games.

Day 1.

Morning session.

• Introduction.
• A brief history of music in games.
• The rapid evolution and demand for music in games
• Understanding a game brief
• Composition, Film v Games.

Lunch

Afternoon session.
• Game score demo.
• How the score works interactively in the game.
• The importance of loop progression.
• Creating the evolving score illusion.
• Memory economy within the game.
• Useful tips and tricks.

Day 2

Composers will be assigned a brief and will work with the platform of their preferred choice in a compositional exercise where they will compose and construct game scores with interactive capability. Composers will receive one on one support during this session.

Day 3

Today sees the final touches to the scores, analysis and discussion. The module closes with a talk on plans for the future. Platforms supported by the course are Pro-Tools, Logic and Reason. Also provided is a Mac computer and keyboard. The module will be delivered by Mick Kiely.

The cost for the three day course is €380.

Places are secured on a first come basis.

To reserve a place email: gamesmusicireland@gmail.com

About Mick Kiely

Irelands first AAA games composer with a firm understanding of music and it’s place in the digital games industry. Well connected internationally with music professionals in the games industry. Also composing professionally for TV and film.

Game Based Learning Symp

This event should be of interest to some on gd.ie.

*********************

Registration is now open for the second Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning (iGBL2012)!

This one-day event will be held in Waterford Institute of Technology on Thursday 7th June 2012, and bring together teachers, students and researchers with an interest in the educational potential of games.

This conference will be a great opportunity to learn more about the different educational applications of games, and network with other like-minded researchers and practitioners.

This year, we are delighted to welcome Derek Robertson as our keynote speaker. Derek has an impressing record in innovative teaching. He has done significant work in the area of Game-Based Learning, and given several inspirational keynotes on how to engage students inside and outside the classroom through games.

Derek Robertson’s career in education has seen him work as a primary school teacher, a staff tutor in a council education department, a lecturer on the B.ED(P) and PGDE(P) teacher preparation courses at the University of Dundee, and now as national adviser for emerging technologies and learning at Learning and Teaching Scotland. In his current position, he leads the team responsible for exploring and developing the effective uses of computer games to enhance teaching, learning and assessment approaches that underpin Scotland’s new curriculum: Curriculum for Excellence.

In addition, the symposium will include more than 20 presentations from national and international experts in a wide range of areas including: virtual worlds in the classroom, using chess to improve cognitive skills and confidence, e-Poetry, games to improve mental health, instructional design patterns, adaptive learning strategies, GBL start-ups, Scratch & Kinect, gamification, Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), Role-Playing Games (RPGs), games for health care, or games to teach people with intellectual disabilities.

For more information on presentations please visit: http://www.wit.ie/gbl/igbl2012/Program/Presentations/.

This event promises to be very interesting and attendees are now welcome to register before Friday 25th May 2012.

For more information on iGBL2012, please send an email to: pfelicia@wit.ie.

You can also sign up to the iGBL 2012 mailing list by sending an email to pfelicia@wit.ie with the subject “iGBL2012 mailing list”.

Q-Con Belfast

Q-Con is taking place in Belfast from 22nd to 24th June this year, and the weekend is attended by a mixture of enthusiastic gamers, fans, and game creators. The event is hosted by QUB Dragonslayers, the Queen’s University Belfast Gaming and Anime Society.

The event attracted over 1800 people last year and they expect to receive around 2000 this year.

They are keen to have more local Irish independent studios involved and have a dedicated demonstration space for local indie studios to show off their latest releases and upcoming games.

There will also be a series of talks and tutorials by professional and upcoming creators on the Saturday, under the moniker of “Q-ED sessions”.

For more information on the Q-ED sessions, and taking part, please contact qed@q-con.org.uk

See http://q-con.org.uk/

Games Music Event

We have just received notice of an event aimed at building links between game developers and composers of music.

The discussion will focus on identifying music challenges in casual games. Attending will be composers wishing to network with game developers. The evening will open with a panel discussion between developers and composers exploring the area of
music in games, followed by light refreshments and an opportunity to network.

The event talkes place in the IMRO offices in the (appropriately enough) named Copyright House on Pembroke Row in Dublin 2 on the 29th May from 6:30pm – 9:30pm.

Free admittance but RSVP to gamesmusicireland@gmail.com

Next Page »