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The Legend of Danny Crask @ E3 2016

Dublin-based studio LoPoly Games brought their new game The Legend of Danny Crask to E3 in June 2016 with a stunning debut trailer.

The Legend of Danny Crask is a sci-fi themed action/puzzle platformer that takes place in 1980’s middle America. Use your power-suit and throwing disc to defeat enemies and solve puzzles across multiple worlds, while trying to piece together the clues as to what happened to your childhood sweetheart on that long dark night.

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The game is coming soon to PC and Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program, with more platforms to be announced soon.

DIGIT_icon_white_black_HR

Digit are hiring a Game Client Developer (Dublin)

Digit Gaming

DIGIT are looking for Game Client Developers to work in their Dublin 2 office.

Founded in 2012, DIGIT is a cross-platform game developer based in Dublin, Ireland. They are the largest game developer in the country with an international team of experienced, passionate game-makers who create world leading next-gen MMORTS and Empire-Building games, played by millions of mobile gamers.

Game Client Developers:

Reporting to the Game Client Lead, successful candidates will join a highly skilled games client development team to help DIGIT deliver a super quality mobile strategy game, based on an iconic AAA IP.

– Develop next-gen MMORTS mobile games using Unity (across multiple devices) aiming to be played by millions of players
– Work closely with designers and UX/UI to get thorough specs and flesh out the best way to get new ideas into the game. (Work through storyboards, wireframes, feature specs etc)
– Implement a great UI, with rich game animations/interactions and great 2D & 3D user interfaces
– Write content pipeline tools and editor extensions, to streamline production
– Work closely with the Art team to get awesome artwork into the game and use Level Of Detail, to make it run on as many devices as possible
– Work with games server team (e.g. for persistent game data, error handling, network connections etc.)
– Attend daily standups and break down user stories for sprint planning and estimates
– Focus on writing clean, efficient and optimised code. Always be thinking about things like optimising memory usage, frame rates, garbage collection, maintainability etc.
– Test your own code extensively and work closely with the QA team to resolve bugs and to hit sprint goals with a high product quality
– Collaborate with the Platform team (e.g Login, authentication, creating accounts, getting data for general content etc.

To do this job, you will need:

– 3+ years of game-dev industry experience (AAA or F2P MMO game-dev experience)
– Experienced in developing 3D games using Unity – regrettably we cannot consider applications without Games industry experience
– Excellent C# (.Net 3.5) skills
– Very good understanding of real-time rendering and rendering bottlenecks
– Solid understanding how to write low-latency and low-garbage code in C#
– Fluent in using Git
– Solid understanding of programming principles, how components work together and various common architectural approaches
– Enjoy solving complex technical problems, in large scale systems

Non-essential, but useful:

– Experience in games programming outside of Unity using either C++, OpenGL or DirectX
– Competence with realtime shader development (HLSL/CGFX, Unity’s ShaderLab)
– Mobile experience (whether it’s native iOS or Android, or an understanding of the limitations of mobile platforms etc.)
– WebGL experience.

What DIGIT can offer you?

– Opportunity to work with a great team of experienced Game Client Developers
-We’ve got a deep and varied tech stack – your kept challenged and learning
– Opportunity to join a rapidly scaling successful Irish games company, and deliver an AAA Iconic IP product to millions
– To see all our Benefits and learn more, please visit us on https://www.digitgaming.com/

Location

This role is based full time in our office in Dublin 2, Ireland. It’s a great city location, close to all transport, and five minutes from Dublin City Centre.

For more information, or to apply

go to https://www.digitgaming.com/careers/job-listings/job/?id=ED7B1AC021&jobTitle=Game%20Client%20Developers%20(Unity)

Posted 15th June, 2016.

DIGIT_icon_white_black_HR

DIGIT are hiring a Game Server Developer (Dublin)

Digit Gaming

DIGIT are looking for Game Server Developers to work in their Dublin 2 office.

Founded in 2012, DIGIT is a cross-platform game developer based in Dublin, Ireland. They are the largest game developer in the country with an international team of experienced, passionate game-makers who create world leading next-gen MMORTS and Empire-Building games, played by millions of mobile gamers.

Our technology stack

We have a deep and varied tech stack in DIGIT. There’s lots to keep you technically challenged and learning. Here’s a flavour;

-Python, Microservices, Flask, Tornado, Celery etc.
– Redis Cluster, RabbitMQ
– Git, Jenkins, Docker, AWS, Mesos, Terraform
– Microservices, Real time games server architecture, Unity etc.

Game Server Developer:

The successful candidates will be part of a small, highly skilled game server development team, developing scalable backends with focus on consistency and low latency.

– Work on existing and new mobile MMOs, improving existing servers as well as co-designing architectures for new titles
– Implementing game featuresas well as tools that empower our LiveOps & Game-Design teams to create new and exciting gameplay experiences
– Design and implement server side logic
– Create low latency solutions and highly scalable and consistent systems
– Attend daily standups – work closely with the feature owners and game client developers to implement features
– Work with game client developers to implement networked communications between game client and server
– Work with DevOps on scaling and deploying large scale distributed systems
– Write high quality tests(Unit, functional, smoke etc) and work with QA teams
– This role will require a one week rotating on call element (Paid).

To do this job, you will need:

-2-3+ years as part of a professional game development team or other relevant experience
– Very experienced developing highly available backends and servers, for large scale MMO games
– Experienced in creating large scale distributed systems
– Solid Python development skills
– Strong Linux (e.g login & debug server, working with log files, comfortable using Linux Bash terminal etc.)
– Experience working with Redis (or other open source Databases) ORMs and migration scripts
– Ability to write efficient low-latency and low-IO code & systems
– Good understanding on how to prevent intrusions, injections, cheating etc
– Experienced in data migration and in using GIT

What DIGIT can offer you?

– Opportunity to work with a great team of experienced Game Client Developers
-We’ve got a deep and varied tech stack – your kept challenged and learning
– Opportunity to join a rapidly scaling successful Irish games company, and deliver an AAA Iconic IP product to millions
– To see all our Benefits and learn more, please visit us on https://www.digitgaming.com/

Location

This role is based full time in our office in Dublin 2, Ireland. It’s a great city location, close to all transport, and five minutes from Dublin City Centre.

For more information, or to apply

go to https://www.digitgaming.com/careers/job-listings/job/?id=5CC7171EC8&jobTitle=Game%20Server%20Developers

Posted 15th June, 2016.

DIGIT_icon_white_black_HR

Digit are hiring a Lead Client Developer (Unity)

Digit Gaming

DIGIT are looking for a Lead Client Developer to work in their Dublin 2 office.

Founded in 2012, DIGIT is a cross-platform game developer based in Dublin, Ireland. They are the largest game developer in the country with an international team of experienced, passionate game-makers who create world leading next-gen MMORTS and Empire-Building games, played by millions of mobile gamers.

 

Our goals for this role

Working with a games CTO veteran, your goal is to manage a highly skilled team of games client developers for DIGIT

We want you to help us deliver a super quality mobile strategy game, based on an iconic AAA IP.

Here’s what you will be doing

– Agree and implement all technical goals assigned by (CTO)
– Own and enhance the game’s architecture
– Lead a small Agile team of experienced game client developers. Assign workloads, conduct code reviews, technically coach, set goals etc.
– Attend daily standups – make sure your teams stories are delivered on time
– Work closely with feature owners to provide feedback on features. Identify/mitigate any technical issues. Work with stakeholders to figure out and implement the best alternative technical solutions
– Be the quality gate for all codes that goes into the product. Keep the team writing clean, efficient and optimised code
– Conduct pair programming, 1-1’s & knowledge sharing sessions to enhance skills
-Work closely with QA team to resolve bugs and deliver high quality code for testing
– Contribute directly to the code base (hands on Unity development)
– Work closely with multiple stakeholder teams throughout delivery e.g games server leads, platform team feature owners, devops etc.

To do this job, you will need;

– 5-7+ years of game-dev industry experience (AAA or F2P MMO game-dev experience).
-Have technically led or managed a game client team (any size really)
– Experienced in developing 3D games using Unity – regrettably we cannot consider applications without Games industry experience
– Excellent understanding of programming principles, how components work together and various common architectural approaches
– Ability to solve complex technical problems, in large scale systems
– An excellent communicator – proven ability to engage and motivate, to bring out the best in people
– Excellent experience working with multiple stakeholders in the dev process – be able to understand their goals, and deliver/ evaluate various tech solutions to meet these
– Be very service orientated and instill this mindset across your team
– Excellent C# (.Net 3.5) skills
-Very good understanding of real-time rendering and rendering bottlenecks
– Fluent in using Git
– It goes without saying that you love playing games, as much as we love making them.

What DIGIT can offer you?

– Opportunity to lead a team of experienced Game Client Developers
-You get to own and shape the Architecture – We’ve got a deep and varied tech stack – your kept challenged and learning
– Senior Management buy in, so you’re supported to make real changes, fast
– Opportunity to join a rapidly scaling successful Irish games company and deliver an AAA Iconic IP product
– To see all our Benefits and learn more, please visit us on https://www.digitgaming.com

Location

This role is based full time in our office in Dublin 2, Ireland. It’s a great city location, close to all transport, and five minutes from Dublin City Centre.

 

For more information and to apply

Job url:  https://www.digitgaming.com/careers/job-listings/job/?id=65442A18F0&jobTitle=Lead%20Client%20Developer%20(Unity)

 

Posted 15th June, 2016.

GameCraft Feb 2016

The Diversity Game

Network In Play Logo

You have probably observed it. Women can be pretty rare at games events. The Irish games industry is not unusual; this is a pattern observed in many countries. Stats for the games industry in the UK and the US usually put the proportion of women across all occupations at around 10%.

ReFiG-static-all

Refiguring Innovation in Games Project logo.

So, can we do anything about this? The ReFiG project thinks we can. Funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council in Canada and involving academics, activists, and students in Canada, North American, Britain, and Ireland it aims to document inclusion initiatives, share experiences, and design new initiatives aimed at educators, the industry, and the general public.

The network is particularly concerned with recent events where women and the LGBT community have been harassed, threatened, and abused online for criticising representations in games. But discrimination doesn’t have to be this overt. A range of behaviour can make both online and offline environments uncomfortable for people. Casual sexism, racism, and homophobia are all too common. The victims often do not want to make a fuss. People might turn up to events once, but then they disappear.

If we are really interested in improving the diversity of people in the industry, on college courses, and at events, we need to examine our methods of promotion, and turn a critical eye to the cultures and environments we create. This is not about turning women or men into gamers; rather, this is about making game cultures more inclusive.

Network In Play

In this short feature, we want to introduce our Network in Play project, which has had pilot funding this year from the Canadian ReFig project. Network In Play involves two academics at Maynooth University and a range of partners in other institutions. We hope to grow this network over time, but our current list of supporters are listed below.

Our first activity was to document who attends existing informal games-related events, specifically meaning ad hoc events run outside of formal education settings. We chose to focus on GameCraft.

GameCraft is a volunteer-run informal education event which began in 2012. It runs day-long game jam events in various locations around the country for anyone over 18 years, and no prior experience is needed. People can make digital or non-digital games. They are often free to attend, or have a minimal cost.

Our survey was developed in discussion with colleagues in Canada, and we adapted some questions from the ESRI/Equality Authority 2008 publicationThe Experience of Discrimination in Ireland’. The survey was constructed using the Bristol Online Survey tool. The questions, consent forms, and information sheets went through ethical approval in Maynooth University.

From Jan-March 2016 GameCraft ran one event in Dublin and one in Limerick. The GameCraft board kindly assisted us in publicising our survey.

The survey was introduced in person by the researchers at each event, after which participants filled out the survey electronically. There were 27 attendees at the Dublin GameCraft and 26 attendees at the Limerick GameCraft. Of these 27, or 51%, filled out our survey.

Demographics & Skills

Most respondents at the GameCraft events identified as male (77% in Dublin and 93% in Limerick), white (92% in Dublin and 93% in Limerick), and straight (77% in Dublin and 93% in Limerick). Respondents in Dublin were fairly evenly distributed between different age groups, while attendees in Limerick were primarily aged 18-24. 38% of attendees at Dublin were studying at least part time, while 43% of attendees at Limerick were doing so.

Gender - Dublin-Limerick GameCraft

Ethnicity - Dublin-Limerick GameCraft

Sexual Orientation - Dublin-Limerick GameCraft

Age Groups - Dublin and Limerick GameCraft

Currently Studying - Dublin-Limerick GameCraft

Most attendees at both events were programmers (85% in Dublin, 57% in Limerick), and respondents were primarily attending in order to improve game-making skills (92% in Dublin and 93% in Limerick) and to meet others in the Irish games making community (92% in Dublin and 64% in Limerick).

41% of the total respondents felt that games events in Ireland do not attract a diverse audience, with 37% citing women as an underrepresented population. 41% also felt that games events should more explicitly address diversity issues.

Feelings of Diversity - Dublin-Limerick GameCraft

While the number of for our survey is small, the results do provide some insight into current attendees at GameCraft events. They are also largely in line with findings from similar events like the Global Game Jam (GGJ). A 2013 survey of GGJ participants found that participants were 86% male, 56.5% were aged 21-29 years and 60% had a college or degree level qualification (Fowler et al., 2013). The same survey noted that almost half of participants learned a new tool during the event and most felt their skills improved.

Discrimination

44% of respondents reported seeing discriminatory behaviour directed towards another individual at a games event or online (not necessarily at GameCraft). The most common perceived reasons for the discrimination were gender (83%), race (75%), sexual orientation (42%), nationality (33%), religious belief (33%) and age (25%).

This finding needs to be understood in relation to the profile of the attendees. Very few women or people of colour, or non-Irish, were in attendance.

Further, this rate is quite high when compared to surveys of general discrimination conducted by the Central Statistics Office which in 2014 reported levels of around 12%. In national surveys the most common grounds for discrimination are age and race/ethnicity.

These initial findings indicate that more research needs to be done on this issue. We need to reach out to those who are not attending and understand why.

In summary

Overall, it would appear that while people who attend GameCraft have a mostly positive experience, the event is not attracting a very diverse audience, either in demographic terms or in terms of background skills.

Further, quite a few attendees have experiences of discrimination at online and offline games events.

Some suggestions
2016-02-13 13.55.38

Crafting materials

These findings demonstrate that GameCraft’s current communication channels are good at finding young, male, programmers, who dominate in terms of attendees. A day long game jam is obviously attractive to this group. How do we reach others? Do we need different types of event or different communication channels? Or both?

Additionally, GameCraft is designed to promote the development of all games, including card and board games. Based on the survey and on observation at these events, the making of non-digital games is poorly taken up. Highlighting this analogue aspect of GameCraft might help to broaden the range of attendees.

Finally, it is good practice to have a code of conduct for public events and to have some means for people to make complaints if necessary.  GameCraft have a code of conduct on their website but we think it would be good to introduce it at the beginning of events so that people who have not visited the website are aware of it. Making people aware of the complaints procedure is also good practice.

Next Steps

We have circulated these findings to the GameCraft board, and an academic report of the full findings is available for those who are interested. We have removed some of the detail to maintain the anonymity of attendees.

While we will continue to document existing events, we also hope to organise some pilot workshops with our partners which will explicitly target people who are not attending current events. Visit the gamedevelopers.ie and Coding Grace websites for further details or follow them on twitter at @gamedev_ie and @CodingGrace.

In the next two months we are supporting other initiatives, including working with GameCraft for their partner/child event at the Inspirefest Fringe in July, and supporting the Alter conf event in August (http://www.alterconf.com/conferences/dublin-ireland).

If you would like to get involved in helping us craft diversity in games, please contact us at network-in-play-crafting-diversity-in-games@googlegroups.com. Ideas, resources, and time are all welcome.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took the time to take our survey and to GameCraft for hosting us.

Other Resources

Network In Play – Read more about our project at http://gamedevelopers.ie/diversity/

ReFiG – http://www.refig.ca/

GameCraft – https://gamecraft.it/

Coding Grace – http://codinggrace.com/

FOWLER, A., KHOSMOOD, F., ARYA, A. & LAI, G. 2013. The Global Game Jam for Technology and Learning In: LOPEZ, M. & VERHAART, M. (eds.) Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ2013) Hamilton, New Zealand.

Central Statistics Office, Quarterly National Household Survey, Equality module, 2014, accessible at http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/q-eq/qnhsequalitymodulequarter32014/

InspirefestFringe GameCraft Unplugged – https://www.gamecraft.it/events/family-gamecraft-unplugged-inspirefest-2016/

Alt Conference – http://www.alterconf.com/conferences/dublin-ireland

Author Bios

Joshua D. Savage is an independent scholar involved in research initiatives at Maynooth University and DCU. He has worked as a freelance writer and designer since 2011 and has researched games since 2001.

Dr. Aphra Kerr is a Senior Lecturer in Maynooth University. She established the website gamedevelopers.ie back in 2003 and she has been researching games since 2000. She is a collaborator on the ReFig project.

storytoys

StoryToys Release Batman App

storytoys

StoryToys’ new app Batman Unlimited – Gotham City’s Most Wanted is available on the App Store.

The game is an original storybook adventure app for young superhero fans.

Children test their detective skills as they help their favourite DC Super Heroes solve a bizarre crime wave hitting Gotham City. To do so, their decision-making and problem-solving skills are put to the test as they gather clues to help Batman track down the mastermind behind the crimes.  Teaming up with Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Robin, Green Arrow, Cyborg and The Flash, readers must track down and interview villains and piece together the clues to solve the mystery.

“We’re absolutely thrilled and honoured to team up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create this unique Batman experience for children,” said Barry O’Neill, CEO of StoryToys. “The app brings a whole new dimension of fun to young DC fans, allowing them to immerse themselves in the world of Gotham City, take part in the action and engage with their favourite DC Super Heroes in fresh and innovative ways.”

StoryToys, based in Dublin, are going from strength to strength after their award-winning The Very Hungry Caterpillar won at the Kidscreen Awards earlier this year. See http://storytoys.com/apps/batman-unlimited-gotham-citys-most-wanted/