Home Forums #IrishGameDev in the News Dare to be Digital (How does it work?)

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  alanodea 11 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #5027

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Ok aside from whats mentioned on the site, I was wondering if anyone has had an past experience with this. Be it a successful candidate, or a failed. I was just wondering more information on whats involved.

    Cheers
    Ronan

  • #29332

    Idora
    Participant

    what exactly did you want to know, Ronan?

    There’s whole thread on last year’s comp – incl. posts from then current and past participants, as well as my own experiences as a judge – and it includes lots of detail

  • #29333

    rosdahale2
    Participant

  • #29335

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    what exactly did you want to know, Ronan?

    There’s whole thread on last year’s comp – incl. posts from then current and past participants, as well as my own experiences as a judge – and it includes lots of detail[/quote:110f4196f9]

    Exactly that, I believe this may be my last year to apply for it doing a Masters (perhaps next year, but since I will be doing my Thesis I would rather not interupt that)

    If you have the link it would be great, Im going to start searching.

    Im just curious, doing a bit of research before they get back to me with more information and if I am suitable or not.

  • #29337

    Nifty
    Participant

    It is my understanding that you can enter up to 2 years following graduation

  • #29338

    r_mc_gowan
    Participant

    something like that, i think it was 1 year.

    dare was prob the best experience of my life, and most definitly the best summer too.
    if u got any questions still, pm me and il see if i can answer any of them.

    check out http://www.daretobedigital.com too.

  • #29355

    Skyclad
    Participant

    AFAIK, its one year after you graduate, though officially you dont graduate until the whole ceremony thing, which is October/November/December, so you can be pretty much 2 years out of college and still apply.

    Dave

  • #29358

    omen
    Participant

    I think its 1 – 2 years after, at the judges discretion. Its also only 1 – 2 members, everyone else should be still in uni.

    Its definitelly worth a go Ronan, and if you win the marketibility award you could be offered free office space for a year in Dundee to set up your company. ( Well thats if there is any free anymore ) Its definitelly starting to be recgonised by companies in the UK now and its something useful to have on your cv. Winning the competition gave me lots of oppurtunities. My first job came from Embryonix ( the people who run the competition ) recommending me to a company set up by past winners ( who still exist ) and future interviews were gained from the competition on the cv.

  • #29369

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Omen any comments recommendations or advice.

    If I were to enter, I would be going directly after a niche market that has yet to be exploited (AI orientated games, it would be down to the artists to come up with the concept.) That said I am looking at a few teams that have asked, but Im highly reluctant to hand any application I develop over too people (screwed once too often online). But Im looking at recording them with videos.

    Also what are the technical limitations. Obviously with the amount of money I pumped into 1944 over the past 2-4 years I have amounted a mass of technology.

    I have also colected some of the finest models, characters and other media (Royalty, as in I own them or have licence too them)

    Obviously if this would look badly on me, I wouldnt use them. And if needed I could level the playing field and go with a widely available engine.

    The greatest problem I see is that there is only 1 entry from Ireland (or am I mistaken)

  • #29371

    Nifty
    Participant

    You’re mistaken, 1 entry for the republic, one for the north

  • #29372

    lk_
    Participant

    Leaving the concept up to the artists might cause problems, some of the ideas which I heard last year we’re completely unrealistic for the Dare time frame. You really ought to get into a team as early as possible so you can, at the very least, give a technical insight and ensure it isn’t totally off the wall.

    Surely you’d stick with the Reality Engine, as you’re familiar with it. Silver Tongue made good use of it last year so I don’t see why you it could not be used again. I would be of the impression that using models you’ve bought defeats the purpose of the competition as it doesn’t show off the skills of the team as a whole, but then this would be up to debate and I’m not sure of Dare’s own standing on the subject.

  • #29373

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    I cant imagine the use of 3rd party assets being allowed…

  • #29375

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    That seems to be a major issue, while I know Torque and TSE, i have been working with RE for nearly a year.

    I have been warned heavily about getting in with artists :P … Apparently by the time they get the programmers in the entire concept is fleshed out and all that is left is for the programmer to slave over it. Personally I dont see that as a team effort, and is certainly something I always hated about mods.

    Im talking with two people right now about joining teams, both of whom have their concepts set in stone, and they may even have the technical details nailed down without a programmer which means it could well be an upward struggle from the start.

    With regards to Royalty free content, I highly doubt that every team created their own textures from scratch? But rather used ones which were freely available. Obviously key characters, levels etc will need to be done. But logically a team could spend $50 on a DVD and get about 10,000 high quality textures. It wouldnt make sense to focus your efforts on environment textures or props/prop textures when for such a little price they can be purchased.

    If there is nothing against using licenced engines, then why against royalty free content? The Games market is shifting towards nearly 80% outsource of artistic content. With companies like Liquid simply cleaning up. But thats my view, and until told otherwise I will assume that they are not allowed.

  • #29376

    rosdahale2
    Participant

    With regards to Royalty free content, I highly doubt that every team created their own textures from scratch?
    [/quote:59e0b7d65d]

    Speaking for our team everything was created from scratch with no royalty free content (textures were taken from around dundee city). Speaking from my own personal point of view it kind of defies some point of the competition for me personaly as the competition is supposed you give you a idea of what its like to work in the industry with deadlines to meet, and just using ready avalible content kind of spoils the whole experience of producing your own IP with in the given deadlines . BUT…as I said before, the judges will be looking at a 100% polished games, so It dont matter if the game is just one room with only about 10 textures in it, as long as it looks completed.

  • #29378

    RonanHayes
    Participant
  • #29381

    rosdahale2
    Participant

    Sounds cool, but if the purpose of the competition is to give you an idea about the industry, then its rather foolish to think that outsourcing content in order to meet deadlines is not an option.
    [/quote:a5b4fb9612]

    Yeah by all means, I wasnt suggesting that it wasnt an option, in fact we probably would have benefited in the long run if we did do that

  • #29382

    r_mc_gowan
    Participant

    some of the other teams did outsource such things as audio, A.I. and i think some 3rd party programs such as poser/deep paint were used.

    simple fact of the matter is, the competition is aimed mainly for students. and not all students have that kind of money to splash out on 1,000,000 poly normal mapped characters or textures or advanced middle ware. as rosdahale basically said, it is supposed to give you an idea of what it is like to work in the industry. what are you going to do if your main goal is to work as a character modeller or visual effects artist for a company, but your team decides to outsource that section of your project because they have the resources to do so??

    Yes i agree with you regarding the future of the industry/outsourcing, but to a degree. eventually these firms will be bought out by the larger studios, to elimanate competition.

    The teams in this competition are regarded as professional students, but i highly dought if they are all seen as future professional companies.

  • #29386

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    The purpose of outsourcing is to fill the gaps. Time and time again I have seen artist who claim to be jack of all traits. But in all honesty thats a lie, they are moderately good at alot of things, but dont have an specifics.

    As opposed to those who specialise who can throw out high quality content time and time again. The structure of the team should most likely be:

    1 x Modeller
    1 x Texture Artist
    1 x Animator
    1 x Programmer
    1 x Scripter/Business

    Now given this form of structure you would expect that you have 1 person in each of these roles that is excellent at that. You would therefore have your complete workflow.

    Obviously your animator may have excellent modelling skills and be more than capable of doing characters. At which point you would get him to model the characters.

    But my point would be to correctly assign and judge your skills. If you have a weapons modeller who is brilliantly capable of modelling weapons, vehicles, props etc. And you turn to him and say : “Now model 3 characters” chances are they will suck and even if he manages to pull it off there is still the issue that he probably spent double the time working on the characters which he could spend on someting else.

    Hence Turbo Squid or Poser. Whip open poser, create a character (defualt ones are fine, export. Bring into max and modify) You have essentially outsourced your Base Characters to the guys that make Poser…. thus saving you alot of time. Same with turbo squid. Spend 10 – 20 minutes browsing the web for good characters etc

  • #29388

    Barry Gallagher
    Participant

    The competition tries to simulate the work environment of say a classic small game studio. Most people entering are looking to get a job in the industry eventually.

    Think of the end demo as a resumee. Saying i outsourced such and such isnt what you want to do on a resumee, unless your looking for managerial experience. Dare has a stake in your game if your looking at it from the standpoint of making a game to sell after the competition..

    Plus there are prizes for best artist, best programmer etc.. outsourcing would make this a fuzzy area..

    As they state on the Dare site, it’s not about competing with big companies and making the next Quake etc.. its about showing how you can utilise your versatility as a small company.. typically most games from Dare are quirky.. and unique..

  • #29393

    rosdahale2
    Participant

    Yeah kind of what I was attempting to bring across, its not just how you manage your work, a big part of it is showing your talent and basicly coming up with your own original IP and basicly not using or copying someone elses work. Some of the best games from last year were so simple and small, yet well put together.

    Ok, if you were just going for the best programming award maybe you could do that, but to have a chance at winning I’d say pretty much all of it will have to be your own work. And don’t forget your gonna have six team members ! (international scholar) and a professional mentor in each department to help you out almost every day.

    Plus you have to sign a contract that eveything is your own work and that the organisers from Dare own the content for the 10 weeks and some time after, so you cant really sign away someone elses work as your own

  • #29394

    alanodea
    Participant

  • #29395

    alanodea
    Participant

    Last year as part of my final year BSc Interactive Systems and Video Game Design Degree my team of student game designers from the University of Bradford, UK entered and were short listed in the Dare to be Digital competition.

    http://www.insignia-game.co.uk

    The toughest competition was in the Yorkshire region with 9 entries for 1 place.

    We got great feedback and produced in the judges minds the best material. However our game was too ambitious for the competition. Also most of the team were well on out way to getting game design degrees which made Dare somewhat redundant for use anyway.

    I have been asked to write a post mortem for the game entry for the industry website http://www.gamasutra.com.

    I will place a link on this forum to that article when its up.

    I am willing to offer my help to any Irish team looking to enter the Dare competition as it is a great opportunity and I have valuable experience. And the more Irish game design talent in the world the best able we are to show these edjits how to make real games.

    Alan O’Dea

  • #29396

    omen
    Participant

    Hi Ronan,

    I’m a purist believer in Dare, in that your work should be basically the 10 weeks work pretty much from scratch. However, we did bring in our engine that we had been using that college year. It wasn’t complete, but we did know it. We figured it was an even playing field, incomplete engine you know, verses a licensed engine you don’t know. However we were told that it would be considered more of an advantage we had come the judging.

    However, as Dare has gone on, things have changed and people are coming in more and more prepared, people getting prepared for it up at a year in advance. In these circumstances, I wouldn’t presume your going to be going in with as much advantage as you might think with all your assets.
    However, should you make your way to Dundee, when you go in on your first day and people see what you’ve got, that will be taken into account come the judging. Because you can’t expect a level playing field, your starting position is noted to give a fairer judgement at the end, so I don’t see you having a problem with assets you own.

    The issue may come with the entry stages. You may be considered too advanced but I don’t know much about this stage, Idora would be the man to ask.

    As for going in with an artists concept…as you said yourself, its not going to be pretty…

  • #29397

    alanodea
    Participant
  • #29471

    aphra
    Keymaster

    if you guys don’t mind I am going to move this to the events thread to keep all the dare threads together.

    Aphra.

  • #29480

    alanodea
    Participant

    Nope go ahead!

  • #29731

    alanodea
    Participant

    As promised here is a link to a Gamasutra postmortem article for a Dare to be Digital project entry.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060213/odea_01.shtml

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