V3 Launches


Welcome to the relaunched website.

Over the past few months a team of volunteers from the games industry, academia and related areas have been working in their spare time to bring this day about.

We have had a makeover which has added a number of improvements, including audiovisual and social media capabilities. We are updating our educational courses section and we have ported over our features and other resources. We have also been looking at the survey and yes we have tried to improve the user interface experience and make it easier for people to submit content and to post on the forums.

Why do it? 

We had a bit of soul searching as well. Should we do it? Is it needed?

We decided that this site provided a place to bring all the activities and information on the Irish games industry and game related activities into one place. We felt that while there are other spaces where people can communicate and meet but this site provides something different.

This site is open to all. Anyone can join and post on our forums and come to our events. We will post jobs and positions for small companies and projects based on the island of Ireland for free. It is not a closed group and we do not charge a membership fee.

We see this site as a hub in a dispersed network. It aims to keep people who are now abroad in touch with people at home. It provides a space for indies, freelancers, students and academics to share information and publicise their projects. We provide summary reports on relevant research and information on games that have been released. We commission people to do longer features on major developments.

Of course, as volunteers we can only do that if you, the users, provide us with the content. There is no team of journalists – if there is going to be content on the site we are all going to have to provide it.

So what now? 

We have upgraded to WordPress and added a new forum. All existing users of our forums will receive a password reset email, as well as a newsletter. We are aware that lots of people have changed email addresses. If you are locked out, please click here to get account recovery assistance.

We now have a strong security setup, and some members have volunteered to run a security audit. The old site experienced a hack during the summer involving an SQL Mass Injection. The site was originally developed back in 2003 and with minor updates it was not strong enough to withstand current hackers. The new site means that we are up to date with the latest security protocols.

We want to showcase the local industry. So if you have news, images, and links to youtube videos, please send them through the Submit Stories section of the site.

This is still a work in progress. We are not finished. Help us out by filling in our short survey at

Finally, there is a huge amount of work still to be done to tag our database of 2000 articles. Several of you have flagged through the survey you’re interested in helping, and we’ll follow up with you shortly. If you are interested in giving a few hours to help, please contact

Thanks to all our volunteers who have helped with the site redesign and supported us for the past twelve years. Site Statement 25th August 2014


Dear Users,

As you may have seen, on the 24th of July was down for several days. Following this several users begun to receive very targeted phishing emails trying to get login details for Bank of Ireland, including some sent to email accounts set up specifically for, and nothing else. We now believe that the site was hacked into (which broke the site) and potentially the entire database was compromised.

In line with current best practice we are taking down the current site with immediate effect. We only store usernames, skills profiles and the contents of private messages. Passwords were encrypted, and we have never stored any financial information.

However, if you used your username/email address and password associated with anywhere else we highly recommend that you change them.

Since April 2014 a team of volunteers has been working hard to redevelop the site and we are in the process of migrating the content and forums to brand new software. We had intended to launch the site in the next month or two and this is still our plan. Once we come back online with the new site you will receive an email and be asked to choose a new password.

If you can volunteer time to the V2 effort or want to follow our progress please follow/contact@AphraK. We are also seeking help from our more technical/hackery members to do a security audit and avoid this happening again.

We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused our members.


The Volunteer Team

[18/10/14] 3D Animation Masterclass with Kyle Balda in association with the Dublin Animation Festival

We received an update about a 3D animation masterclass with Kyle Balda that’s happening in October. Details below!

In association with the 2014 Dublin Animation Festival, Animation Skillnet have organised a one day 3D Animation Master Class with renowned Animation Director Kyle Balda.
Kyle Balda has been working in feature character animation for over 20 year, most notably with Pixar Animation Studios and Illumination Entertainment.
His credits include: The Mask (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996), Jumanji (1995), The Frightners and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013). At Pixar he animated on A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001) and worked as directing animator on Toy Story 2 (1999). At Illumination Entertainment he was head of layout for Despicable Me (2010), he co-directed The Lorax (2012) and he is currently co-directing Minions (2015). Kyle is also well known for his 3D animation masterclasses at renowned European and Asian film schools including Gobelins and the Animation Workshop.
For more information on the master class see:
Full details:
18.10.14 | 3D Animation Masterclass with Kyle Balda (1 Saturday) in association with the Dublin Animation FestivalThis Course Will Cover:

Fundamental concepts in Animation and the animator’s role in the storytelling process.
A new look at the Classic Principles: the question of how computer animation has altered the way we think about the classical principles while discussing some new ones that have been discovered over the years.
The Graph Editor: From Circular Movement and arcs to overlapping action, the graph editor is the best existing tool to master your animation.

Kinesiology and Character Set-up: this module takes a non-technical approach to character set-up and how animators should handle the controls of the model.
Physically Based Animation: Animating from the Inside Out: How to deal with weight and action based animation?
Walk Cycles: Here we take a step-by-step look at the walk cycle and begin to understand how the body moves in space.

Thinking and Feeling: Through the examination of various clips, a deep exploration of story beats will take place to clearly communicate what characters are thinking and feeling. We will discuss the positive and negative reversals characters go through in the story telling process and how animators can show these changes to progress the story. As well, we discuss what it means for the audience to effectively be ahead or behind the story.
Subtext: The most elusive principle in acting. How does the animator elevate their performances from simply being clear to the lofty heights of entertainment?
Animating the Eyes: The eyes are the window to the soul of the character. Here we take a very detailed look at the subtle mastery of eye animation as this is where the audience is looking and connecting to our characters.
Staging: The single most vast principle of animation, in fact staging is an art form all to itself. In this module we will discuss how to lead the audience’s eye on screen and dealing with multiple characters within a shot. As well we will explore some basic cinematography that animators should know in order to maintain good character staging and silhouette.

Participant Profile:

Participants should be currently working as animators in the sector and have a good understanding of animation generally.

Tutor Info:

Kyle Balda has been working in feature character animation for over 20 year, most notably with Pixar Animation Studios and Illumination Entertainment. He began his career in the early 90’s as a student at Calarts and soon after joined the crew of Industrial Light and Magic where he animated on such films as The Mask (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996) and as supervising animator on Jumanji (1995). After animating the Grim Reaper for Peter Jackson’s The Frightners (1996) at Weta Digital in New Zealand, Kyle returned to California to work at Pixar on A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001) and as directing animator of Toy Story 2 (1999). Following a number of years conducting 3D animation masterclasses at renowned European and Asian film schools and directing short form animation projects, Balda returned to feature production in Paris as the head of layout for Illumination’s Despicable Me (2010) followed by co-directing The Lorax (2012). Balda has since directed a number of short films for Illumination and is presently directing Minions along side Pierre Coffin which is due for release in 2015.

Date & Times:

Saturday 18th October for 6 hours: 9am-12pm (with a lunch break from 12-2pm) and 2pm-5pm.


The Kingstown 1 Suite, Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin (Map and Directions:


Waged: 75 Euro.

Unwaged: 50 Euro.

Application Procedure:

Those interested in the Master Class can register and pay here:

Please notes that there are only 25 places available on this Master Class!

Organised in association with the Dublin Animation Festival.


IT Carlow celebrates 10 years in #irishgamedev with Brenda & John Romero

As most of you know at this stage renowned game designer Brenda Romero is currently visiting many of the colleges in Ireland that have games related degrees. The visit was proposed by Bob Jackson, a lecturer at the Institute of Technology, Tralee and is funded under the Fulbright programme.

As part of Brenda Romero’s tour of Ireland’s academic institutions, she and husband John Romero spent a couple of days on the Institute of Technology Carlow campus. This conveniently coincided with their tenth anniversary of running game development courses. Well done to all involved, and here’s to another ten years!

The press release is below.


IT Carlow Welcomes Game Industry Legends John and Brenda Romero. September 2014:

Game industry legends John and Brenda Romero were in Ireland recently to meet with game industry developers, educators, and students. The Romeros visited the Institute of Technology Carlow and spoke to students who form the tenth intake for the computer games development degree class, which was the first of its kind in Ireland when launched at IT Carlow in 2004.

Games that Mr. Romero designed and programmed such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D are credited with defining the biggest-selling game genre, generating billions of dollars in sales each year. Since the early nineties First Person Shooters have been referred to as ‘Doom clones’ such is the influence the title and its creators had on gamers worldwide.

IT Carlow visit by John & Brenda RomeroPicture  Credit Brian Gavin Press 22


Course Director (centre) Ross Palmer with Game Industry Legends John and Brenda Romero, celebrating 10 years of Computer Games Development at the Institute.

During his commencement address to students of games development at Institute of Technology Carlow, Course Director Ross Palmer said “you’re the future of this industry. Our alumni have worked on multi-million dollar titles that have been played by millions of gamers. This is the influence of games as a medium”. Mr. Palmer went on to say “IT Carlow was the first third level Institute in Ireland to offer Honours Degrees in Games Development and Software Engineering and since we first began accepting students a decade ago, we have continued to evolve and develop Ireland’s flagship games development course. Our graduates not only work in industry but also within IT Carlow’s GameCORE Research Centre. In 2004 the Irish games industry employed just over a 100 people and is now expected to employ in excess of 5,000 by the end of this year.”

Mr Nigel White, Head of Department of Computing at Institute of Technology Carlow welcomed Brenda Romero, game designer and author of the book ‘Breaking into the Game Industry: Advice for a Successful Career from Those Who Have Done It’. Brenda was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work with the Irish Games Industry. Introducing Brenda Romero to address students, Nigel White said “this is an important opportunity for the games industry in Ireland as we review where we’ve come from and plan towards our future.

Institute of Technology Carlow expect to be the first institution in Ireland to offer the opportunity for game developers and digital game artists to study and work side by side. We’re delighted that Brenda and John Romero could join us to celebrate this important milestone as Institute of Technology Carlow celebrates a decade of educating game developers and appreciate their guidance as we continue to develop and evolve courses to serve specialist industries such as digital games. We very much look forward to potentially welcoming digital game artists to IT Carlow in 2015”.

IT Carlow visit by John & Brenda RomeroPicture  Credit Brian Gavin Press 22

Games Industry Legends John and Brenda Romero celebrating 10 years of Computer Games Development at Institute of Technology Carlow this week

During her public lecture, game industry veteran and Program Director of the Master’s Program in Games & Playable Media at the University of California Santa Cruz, Brenda Romero enlightened attendees on what it takes to be successful within the game industry. She went on to detail the elements of a great portfolio, how to make contacts, and how to succeed during a job interview. Institute of Technology Carlow students gave Brenda Romero a standing ovation as they embarked on their journey to become the developers who define the next decade of video games.


The Institute of Technology Carlow offers Computer Games Development and Software Development courses. The degree course in games development has been available at IT Carlow since 2004 and the degree in software engineering has been available for even longer.

GameCORE is IT Carlow’s Centre for Research and Enterprise in Interactive Applications Software and Networks

Key research themes/interests:

  • Networks
  • Games Engines
  • Serious Games for Strategy, Sports and Health

More at:

Team Aozora starts at starting a startup

Team Aozora

Starting a games company requires expertise, ideas, money and courage. In this feature founding member of Team Aozora Ltd, Ivan McCloskey, gives an insight into their start up and what happens if you get onto Enterprise Ireland’s Frontiers Programme. You can stay informed of all things Team Aozora via their new subreddit (the paint is still wet) and Twitter feed.

Ahoy-hoy. I’ve been asked to write an article covering the following topics:

  • My experiences forming and running a game development start-up.
  • Our experiences going from being a bunch of creative, sex gods to cold hearted business sharks via the use of front-end integrated solutions, synergistic strategies and hyper-dynamism.

If we have time before I go to bed, I’ll visit upon my experiences on Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers (Phase 2) programme. If you don’t know what the programme is go have a read here and then come back. Now scratch your left arm. Now check your phone again. Right, let’s begin…

Just to be clear, French isn’t my first language, so forgive any mistakes.

I’ll need to give a wee bit of backstory so that you can see how we’ve progressed over the last 9 months.

Who or what are Team Aozora Ltd?

This project began in a dappled park in the centre of Berlin way back in the heady days of summer 2013. Whilst trying to work on a script outline, a completely different game idea popped into my head. This was the spark that lead to this weird Team Aozora journey into weirdness, elation, stress and teamwork.

10+ years previous to the park brainwave, I had left the rainy shores of Ireland to pursue a career in videogames and erotic hand modelling. Moving through numerous flats, cities and countries I joined world class development studios and worked on a bunch of million selling games. I also encountered some companies that were completely [content removed – Ed].

These experiences made me realise that I had the skills, knowledge and determination to try it for myself. I didn’t want to make dull, ‘me-too’ products for other people.

Let’s be honest, does anyone really get into the games industry to make free-to-play manipulators disguised as games? Well, congratulations if you did, (I’m happy for you) but that’s not what floats our boat.

A lot of our team have worked on quite a few million selling games and it was time for us to put up or shut up; we needed to unleash our own games onto the world.

aozora-dreamsDon’t be afraid to chase your dreams (c) Perry Bible Fellowship


Back to Berlin. I put out the call to friends and colleagues and began to recruit allies to the Team A cause. I wanted talented, like-minded developers to help me form the initial bones of Team Aozora. Weirdly, some people said ‘yes’.

As a quick guide to what we we’re about, one unofficial mission statement we use is:

“Offbeat, irreverent videogames for discerning gamers”

Or to put it simply: “We make games” (…yeah don’t bother, The Behemoth already nabbed that tagline).

All of us here at Team A Towers share a desire to make something special and to that end we’re aiming big. ‘Mickey Rooney’ big. Together we have the expertise, industry experience and stupidity to attempt something quite ambitious.

We want to stick our metaphorical flag in the ground, rip open our shirts and scream to the world “Here we are! Play our sex-filled, tentacle laden pachinko games!”
(Note to potential investors: we are not currently making pachinko games)

At this juncture you might be saying “Ivan,

…how can you possibly achieve such a feat with zero money?!?”
…please send me some photos of the team. Waist down.”
…just make a free-to-play puzzle game gosh darnit!”
…you’re an idiot, get to the point.”

Good stuff. Quite insightful. I appreciate your honesty. Let me address some of these.

We currently have no publisher or backer money. Our team are all volunteers drinking the same special brand of kool-aid as us. We work from our kitchens and bedrooms. Half our super team are UK game industry veterans whose experience ranges from the Sinclair Spectrum all the way to PS4 and everything in-between (Game Boy crew reprazent’).

aozora-printingpressimage: Some of the team working on level layouts.

Since moving back to Ireland in November 2013 I’ve continued to act as madame ringleader

on a recruitment drive to add Irish talent to our Team. We have a floating total of approximately 15 people. The core is ~8 people. Think of us as the pasty, non musical version of The Polyphonic Spree.

For the last few months I’ve have been absorbed in Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers (NF) Phase 2 programme.

On Phase 1 there were 900 applications.
On Phase 2 it’s down to the top 150 startups in Ireland.

Acceptance onto New Frontiers Phase 2 has given us guidance on the business and a small stipend to spend on development. It’s been an enlightening (but full-on) experience. Learning what’s entailed in running a startup (via mentoring and workshops) and what is expected when dealing with customers, other businesses and potential investors. Some of this is clearly not super applicable to game devs but the principles are sound.

My job has been to manage all these concerns, take care of the day to day practicalities of running a team and (occasionally) do some design work. I’ve been ’busy’. Luckily I’m ginger so I can’t be out in the sun even if I wanted to.

The business issues (how do we eventually pay wages?!?!) are a classic problem and one that we’re adapting to; creativity versus commercial concerns.

Our team juggles jobs and real life with the demands of mistress Team Aozora. In time we’ll be going after other forms of investment and to that end I’ve been planning our Kickstarter campaign 15 months in advance. Yep; I’m sad like that. If you see me in the pub and want to start the party and get crazy; ask me about my spreadsheet. Like any megalomaniac worth his salt I have non-kickstarter fallback plans too.

Backed by this newfound business knowledge, our belief in what we’re attempting is stronger than ever. We’ve taken all our wacky ideas and fleshed them out into a cohesive grand design and adapted our company roadmap (with some diversions) to enable us to get to our destination (and beyond).

Our games are exciting us and we hope to excite you too. We need to keep our resolve, work hard, get some ulcers and go after funds to help expedite our vision to the world. Contact me if you want to send us some money – no questions asked.

Over the next few months you’ll discover more about our plans and in turn you can help us shape our wonderful games, the first of our which arrives in 2015. We still need to bolster our design and code teams, so if you’re interested get in touch.

*drops microphone*
*trips over cord*

Bio: Ivan is a lifelong gamer. A designer by trade, he enjoys writing about himself in the 3rd person, listening to various forms of electronic music and staring at individual blades of grass. Despite evidence to the contrary he is quite professional. His handle on the forums is kyotokid (yes, that one).


Fulbright TechImpact Awards – Applications Now Open: Deadline 12 November 2014

For people who would like to put in an application for the Fulbright TechImpact Awards, you’ve about six weeks to get your submission in. Full details below.

What Are They?

The Fulbright TechImpact Awards are designed to respond to the potential and pace of ICT. The Fulbright Commission is interested in supporting candidates across all disciplines who are exploring how technology contributes to a larger social value. Preference will be given to candidates who have received their PhD since 2010 and candidates in the areas of education, mobile technology and digital arts, humanities, and culture.

The Fulbright Commission is partnering with the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures (CSLC) to co-fund 2 Fulbright – University of Notre Dame TechImpact Scholar Awards. One Fulbright – University of Notre Dame TechImpact Scholar per semester will be resident in the CSLC to create beneficial synergies and potential collaborations with Notre Dame foreign language faculty in the use of technology for second language acquisition, technology enabled language applications and testing, and the development of other relevant research and programs being undertaken in the CSLC.

Fulbright TechImpact Awards are for

  • periods of two weeks to three months between July 2015 – August 2016. The possibility of repeat visits that do not aggregate to more than three months may be considered provided there is a robust justification and program of work for return visits.   N.B.  The Fulbright – University of Notre Dame Awards are for 3 months during the September to December 2015 or January to May 2016 periods
  • conducting non-commercial based research on the impact and application of ICT


  • An Irish Citizen or an E.U. citizen who has lived in the Republic of Ireland for three or more years
  • Preference will be for early career researchers with PhD conferred since 2010 or a professional with three to five years’ experience in relevant fields
  • A clear research proposal that demonstrates the pivotal importance of a Fulbright TechImpact Award at this career stage, expected outcomes / impact and an affiliation with a recognized educational institution, research institute, cultural organization, or other approved non-academic institutions
  • Leadership qualities and potential
  • A clear understanding of what it means to be a Fulbrighter
  • Are not a dual U.S.-Irish citizen, green card holder, or currently living in the U.S. and do not already have extensive experience of studying or living in the U.S.

How To Apply

If you meet the above criteria, please email stating:

  • Your full name
  • Area of study or research
  • Where you intend to research or study

We will then issue you the link to the online application system (known as Embark) and the guidelines:

All applications are due by November 12th, 2014

Funding Details

  • Monetary grant, plus accident and emergency insurance, cultural and professional programming, and J-1 visa administration.

Anything Else You Should Know?

All successful applicants must comply with two-year home rule, which means that awardees will not be eligible for U.S. residency or a visa until the two-year home rule is completed

For more information visit:

Funded MSc, Games & Student Engagement, IT Carlow

* This is a re-advertisement.


A funded research masters opportunity has arisen in IT Carlow’s GameCORE research centre to study ‘The Effect of Game Elements on Student Engagement’.

The scholarship, funded by the IOTI ( comprises a maintenance grant of €10,000 p.a., a consumables/materials budget of €2,000, and tuition fees.

The project builds on existing work in applying game elements to courses in IT Carlow that will make learning more engaging for students.

Applications are encouraged from graduates of courses in design related disciplines (such as Product/Industrial Design, Interaction Design, or Visual Communication) or from computing related disciplines (such as Computer Science or Computer Games Development).

Applications should consist of a curriculum vita and a short covering letter explaining why you would be suitable for the position.

For enquiries or to apply, contact or

Deadline for applications is Friday 16th January, 2014.

See also


[29/09/14] dubLUDO XV with @br

So to kick off the final week of the Romeros in Ireland dubLUDO is hosting an event upstairs in Whelans at 25 Wexford St. in Dublin and Brenda Romero will be sharing some of her wisdom and experience of Design Documentation.

This is a free to attend event and all are welcome, but I suspect it will be busy. Don’t leave it too late!

For more on the event and directions see

You can also follow dubLUDO game events on twitter at @DubLUDO