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This topic contains 49 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  kyotokid 13 years, 3 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #2871

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Hi all,

    Following Skyclad’s suggestion in the feedback section of the forum we are setting up this thread to allow people to comment on and discuss our monthly features. Feel free to also suggest ideas for future features or come forward to write for the site (there is renumeration!)

    So any comments on the role of Sony in Ireland in terms of marketing games and consoles, their commissioning of a GAA game etc….

    Aphra.

  • #9822

    Jamie McCormick
    Keymaster

    Oh it’s a fantastic piece of journalistic work >:)

    Jamie

  • #9874

    coolcom2
    Participant

    The recent decision by SONY to go with an Australian Developer to produce the GAA game is a near fatal blow to the Irish Gaming Industry.

    As any game developer worth their salt knows any chance of developing & creating a Game to compete in the console market requires a great deal of investment. There are few gaurantees even after a huge investment.

    However one gaurantee is accepted. If you have a franchise or licenced product, ie. FIFA, NBA, Matrix, Harry Potter, etc., your chances of success are significantly improved. Of the top 10 selling console games world wide, 8 are licenced products.

    So what does SONY do with the only franchise/licence available in Ireland (ie. GAA). They hand it to an Australian Developer on a plate.

    Thanks a lot SONY.

  • #9875

    Pete
    Participant

    Disappointing to see the development go to our antipodean friends, but I can see why Sony have done it. For the reasons coolcom has outlined and because there are few gaurantees even after a huge investment, perhaps Sony aren’t willing to spend that much on development, so they have given it to a Melbourne based developer who are merely going to modify an existing Aussie rules game rather than start development from the ground up. It may be a risky venture, with possibly limited appeal, so I reckon Sony went with a company who could do it cheaply who have proven technology.

    Should be interesting to see what happens, because I’ve heard that there is interest by another Irish party in bringing the national game to the black boxes…

  • #9878

    meedja
    Participant

    This has been discussed at lenght in it’s own thread.

    It’s a no-brainer busness decision for Sony/GAA. Spend a 6 figure sum on a tried-and-tested developer/engine or spend 7 figures locally to develop mostly from scratch (engine, game design, development studio etc.).

    Even more relevant is the limited global appeal of the finished product (diaspora notwithstanding).

    In discussion of the article. It made for interesting reading but from a developer point of view, was very heavy on history and marketing. Both important, I agree, but I would have liked to have seen a lot more on what Sony like to see in potential developers.

    One of the big problemns here (and with any publisher) is the old chicken & egg. Publishers (especially console related) like to see prior track record on the platform. Can’t get track record without publishing. (well, that’s simplistic and there are workarounds but you know what I mean).

    I would have liked to see more on what Sony are looking for. Whatare the acceptance criteria etc.

    Look forward to the next articles. Always interesting.

    Peter

  • #9880

    coolcom2
    Participant

    In my opinion SONY should, at the very least, have offered the opportunity to an enterprising Irish based game developer first !!!! Then OK fine if they couldnt do it and couldnt come up with the funding to produce it.

    But this was one game where raising development funds would have been simple. Development would have been financed by private investors who would have jumped at the chance. Jersey sponsors, sideline advertising, CokeCola, MacDonalds, Guinness, AIB, BOI, O’Neills, etc… The list is endless. SONYs costs would only have been marketing and sales. Big deal.

    No I’m afraid the GAA have been sold down the Liffey by SONY. Infact I would think the Australian developers (IR Gurus) cant believe their luck. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. Update an Aussie Rules rules title for a few bob and then rake in 3.5 million euro in sales. (SONY/GAA’s estimate). Cant be bad.

    What an Irish Game company would do for a gauranteed 3.5 million ????

    Coolcom

  • #9884

    meedja
    Participant
  • #9886

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Good to hear some other views on this even though i may not agree with all of them. I think its worth persuing. If we are serious about a gaming industry in ireland then we should fight our corner. Peter makes some very interesting and perceptive points. The more people with intelligent comment the better I say.

    I should declare my interest in this issue. I am looking at this from from a 3rd level education perspective. I am a lecturer in Multimedia with specific interest in the area of Irish Gaming Industry. I want to see our graduates working here NOT Australia.

    That aside, some of the issues raised by Peter are worth looking at. I believe that the Irish company (MMID) ‘gazzumped’ by Sony/GAA had all their Costs, Distribution, Game Engine issues sorted and were already 6 months into the development phase. They had covered all the bases. But obviously not all of them.

    So I agree with Peter, I also would like to hear from Sony on the matter.

    Coolcom

  • #9901

    aphra
    Keymaster

    now that might be an interesting story..who are MMID and where are they based?

    Meeja – unfortunately the Sony office in Ireland don’t have any say in actually publishing games so we couldn’t pursue the criteria thing..hopefully we’ll get one of those interviews soon..

    Aphra.

    PS nice to see you were all chatting while I was off in Utrecht at the DIGRA games conference – met with Idora, Hugh from Blanch IT and Darryl from UU there too..

  • #9905

    mal
    Participant

    Here are some links for the companies…

    IR Gurus…
    http://www.irgurus.com

    Screenshots from one of their footie games..
    http://www.irgurus.com/afllive2003.htm

    MMI…
    http://www.multimedia-instruction.com/index.htm

    There were no 3D screenshots from their site, their background seems to be 2D multimedia instructional content ( funnily enough! :)

    Here are some of their apps that you can view online…
    http://www.multimedia-instruction.com/main_pages/demos.htm

    IMO, from the websites, I’d say that IR Gurus started developing 3D games a number of years ago, cut their teeth on a few non-AAA titles :P ( just like the rest of us ), knocked out a few aussie football based games, and now have the team experience ( for football games, and for PS/2 ( not easy to program for! ) and console development ) to put out an A to AAA 3D Gaelic title on PS/2.

    MMI seem to not have a lot of experience in developing 3D, or games, ( could be wrong here, just going by the website ), both of which are tough to do, or consoles, especially PS/2, which is extremely tough to code on. Their experience lies in both the knowledge of the game ( from Frank ) and in presenting information to people, not in fast action, playable games which is what we would expect from a good console based 3D Gaelic game, and which is why I would have assumed that they would have brought out a much simpler to develop, but still very popular, 2D style of game ( along the lines of Championship Manager ).

    It would be interesting to see screenshots of the prototype that MMI developed, maybe someone has a URL, or someone from that company could post them, so that we could make a more informed decision as to whether a ‘gazzump’ or a solid commercial decision was made. My money is on the second one so far with regard to the PS/2 game.

    Of course, one is completely ignoring any potential politics between afformentioned parties with regard to said project, of which I’m sure there, of course, weren’t. Much. :P

    My 2 cents ( oops, pennies, we’re not Euros yet up here in the North :) )
    Mal

  • #9988

    Grifmike
    Participant
  • #9991

    meedja
    Participant

    That’s what I would have said if I was as eloquent as Mike ;)

    It’s interesting that in discussions of this topic and on the board generally, there is a distinct difference in the attitude, tone and views of those actually working in the industry and those in related areas, on the fringes or wanting to get in.

    I know this is a sweeping generalisation and I apologise if it offends in any way but it’s an impression I’ve informed over the past few weeks. It’s not a dig at anyone in particular.

    However, those who must make a living making games, those who have responsibility for employing staff and those wondering where the next body of work is coming from realise the underlying business imperatives of the industry . Playing games and making games are two very different endevours.

    I can only echo Mike when he says it’s a global industry. We don’t need insular navel-gazing or shouldn’t expect support or handouts. If it’s there, we’ll take it as a bonus.

    (Of course, flip that on it’s head and you realise that we have great potential here in that the few companies around are in a unique position to co-operate in growing the indigenous industry. Yes we’re compeditors, but it’s a big market!)

    Maybe we should compile a list of game development commandments; required reading for those thinking of getting in to the industry.

    I’ll start the ball rolling;

    1. Game development is a business.

    2. The games industry is global.

    3. Game development is software development. No glamour added.

    Amend, augment & discuss!

    Peter

  • #9994

    omen
    Participant

    Here here!
    Thanks to Mike for his eloquence.
    Game development is also one of the hardest and non-forgiving of all businesses probably.
    Saying that an Irish developer should have done the game…could they, is there evidence that a company exists that has the credentials to do a good job?
    Doing a bad job may have been more damaging than the deal going to IR Gurus. At least now, the door to Irish sporting games may be opened and the opportunity is there NOW for someone to make a hurling game. Bring something out on the heels of a football game and who knows what opportunities could open.
    Don’t bemoan the loss, look to the opportunities it opens up.

    D.

    ps. if a company does exist who thinks they have the credentials to do this, I don’t mean to be-little you, but would love to hear what you are doing instead.

  • #10047

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Irish company might have done a bad job . . . ??
    Dont bemoan …. ??.
    Use this as an opportunity ….??

    Continuing the GAA theme, these platitudes remind me of the winning captain entering the losing teams dressing room and giving the hard luck speech. Hard luck lads, better luck next time.

    This is not good enough im afraid, especially in business.

    Coolcom

  • #10061

    mal
    Participant

    > Irish company might have done a bad > job . . . ??
    > Dont bemoan …. ??.
    > Use this as an opportunity ….??

    CoolCom2, your opinion is appreciated, don’t knock other peoples opinions. Especially not omens. Haven’t you seen his movies?

    > This is not good enough im afraid,
    > especially in business.

    With regard to your previous statement, as a lecturer, you don’t want anyone bringing up the ol’ “if you can, do, if you can’t teach” slogan, especially when coversing with businesses.

    Be open to the global commercial market… if I were Sony ( and I personally would greatly like to see the Irish game development industry get a break ), I ( and I’m sure a lot of the folks on this list who are trying to make a living developing games ) would still have given the Gaelic game license to the Aussies from a purely commercial point of view if we were potential shareholders and had a say in it, rather than give it to any ( no disrespect meant, and I know none will be taken ) of the local developers.

    > Continuing the GAA theme, these
    > platitudes remind me

    BTW WTF does ‘platitudes’ mean? Mountains? ( too lazy to check it up in Word! )

    It might be of more benefit for you to post your game development experience, put up some URL’s of your proposed modules for the next few semesters, and if possible your completed solutions to the game development related problems you are about to present to your classroom-fulls of students. Hopefully you’re going to be teaching real game development from experience, not reading from a book.

    That would earn you a lot more respect ( and possibly get you a pint or two at the next shindig ) than trying to slag off the GAA, Austrialian game developers ( starting to grind a bit, did you have shares in it? :) ), and fellow gamedevelopers.ie’ers.

    10 Be happy.
    20 WHOOHOOOOO!!!
    30 GO TO 50
    40 DOH!

  • #10062

    omen
    Participant

    Especially not omens. Haven’t you seen his movies?[/quote:210073bf7d]
    lol :)

    Coolcom2…I’m sorry if my opinions don’t agree with yours but I’m just trying to see it looking to the future or what is there because of what has now happened, you seem to be still nursing what is lost….
    Tell us about your course.

  • #10066

    Idora
    Participant

    agree with all the comments above re: it’s a business, global market, etc.

    To rant at Sony placing the title offshore on the basis of ‘we’re Irish – they should have given it to us’ is naieve from a business persepective. Increasingly, software development is moving offshore as it quite simply makes sense.

    Recently, I put out some RFQs for work (not game dev) to both Irish companies and to vendors in India. The price differential was staggering to say the least – the Irish developers were anything from 2 – 16 times more expensive! While working with offshore vendors can have its own problems (quality, time differences, cross-cultural communication, etc.) it’s very difficult to justify spending the extra money to go with a local developer… and if they have an engine that already has 80 – 90% of the funtionlaity you want… and the team has a proven track record… well, that’s a no-brainer

    Of course, if the local developer has a track record, relevant genre experience, or can prove value-add in some other manner – that’s another story. In the past I’ve paid higher fees to local developers because of some competitive advantage they’ve had that the offshore vendors hadn’t.

  • #10067

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Now, now people. Lets all keep our heads here. These are just opinions. Surely there is room for opposing views on a discussion forum ? If not, why bother. What do you want. Back slapping all round. No fun there.

    couple of points.

    1.
    This is not a ‘we’re Irish – they should have given it to us’ issue. Heaven help us if that is where this leads us. No, this is about recognising and exploiting a vital indigenous resource. (ie. a licence). OK its the GAA, but do you know of any others ?? (Unless someone is planning a Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance spectacular for XBox or PS2.)

    If Oil deposits are discovered in Mullingar tomorrow (keep digging lads ), the last thing that will happen is we hand it over to another party to exploit.

    My point I suppose is, the Irish Gaming community need to be aware of all resources at our disposal. So to be fair its not SONYs fault. Good luck to them.

    2.
    On the 3rd level issues. No I dont lecture on a Gaming course. Are there any in ireland apart from 1 in Dublin??. Its new media/multimedia related. I hope that doesnt mean I have no input in a debate on Irish Gaming. Our courses cover 3D modelling, Animation, Video/Sound editing, Graphics, C++, Java, S/Eng. I would love a gaming element and it will arrive ( sooner rather than later I hope). We always consult industry about course content. We get involved in the industry by supporting any local companies interested in gaming. Supplying graduates, technical support, advice etc. We were involved in supplying these elements to the Irish company involved. But not as suggested (in jest i’m sure ) as shareholders. The experience gained for course development was exceptional. Everything will feed in to new course development.

    3rd level colleges are a little afraid of gaming courses. They think its a fad, a fashion, for the kids, not to be taken seriously. They take time to convince. These courses should be based on the reqs of the industry and they will be. However the gaming industry has to contribute too.

    3. What does BTW WTF mean ?

    Respectfully

    Coolcom2

  • #10068

    omen
    Participant

    What does BTW WTF mean ? [/quote:df694703dd]
    What The F*ck

  • #10069

    mal
    Participant
  • #10070

    mal
    Participant

    Feck, that last post was the 666th! Spooky or what!

    Apologies for stealing it on you, omen! :)

  • #10071

    meedja
    Participant

    >
    Any more TLA translaters? [/quote:400f6cd9eb]

    RTFM:

    http://bovis.gyuvet.ch/3dict/390ainet.htm

    Peter :)

  • #10072

    Skyclad
    Participant

    These appear to be the important ones…

    IITYWIMWYBMAD – If I Tell You What It Means Will You Buy Me A Drink

    IARTPFWTSIOWIM – I Am Repeating This Parrot Fashion Without The Slightest Idea Of What It Means

    IHABICNRWTSF – I Hate Abbreviations Because I Can Never Remember What They Stand For

    ROTFLSHISMC- Rolling On The Floor Laughing So Hard I Spilt My Coffee

    ROTFLMAO @ BFI?
    gg n00b5 :(
    etc

    Dave

  • #10073

    Jamie McCormick
    Keymaster

    My point I suppose is, the Irish Gaming community need to be aware of all resources at our disposal. So to be fair its not SONYs fault. Good luck to them.[/quote:f1f9a070ce]

    Sorry I’ve been away from the boards for a while, Xbox Live and other comittments have gotten in the way for the last few weeks.

    In relation to this whole GAA discussion which seems to be going a little off the topic at the moment, I just had my own two cents to throw in as I knew what the situation was going back to 2000. The GAA licence for a PS2 game WAS given to an Irish developer called Pooka Games, and as far as I was aware had started work on a generic GAA game engine that would allow for ports of Football, Hurling and Handball. However, the bubble burst and money got pulled out. Then I do believe that Pooka had been in touch with EA in the UK about a possibility of a publishing deal, but I think this fell through in the end.

    It seems to be a simple case that in fairness the GAA DID offer the licence to an Irish company, but as they didn’t do anything with it their licence expired. As this came to nothing, do you blame Sony for getting in there and giving it to an Aussie developer?

    The whole argument that seems to be boiling over by my reading of this and related threads is that the GAA should have given it to an Irish team. They did, the Irish team did nothing with it and now it’s down under.

    From the business point of view which seems to be overlooked so far in this whole discussion, why has nobody mentioned the fact that an Irish development team could have very easily gone to the GAA with a proposal and had a very good chance to do so. It seems that there will be only one official Gaa game (the PS2 one) which didn’t seem to have any competition getting the licence, and then this other proposed GPA one which looks equally as interesting to me.

    There’s no point bitching about what’s happened because it’s there now, and there’s nothing we can do about it, but at least there will be a GAA game released, no matter where it’s from.

    Jamie

  • #10076

    Idora
    Participant

    >>From the business point of view which seems to be overlooked >>so far in this whole discussion

    ???!!!
    Isn’t that what most of the posts have been about?

  • #10101

    Grifmike
    Participant
  • #10111

    horse
    Participant

    While researching the gaming industry from the point of view of marketing and sales I am trying to get a handle on current events.

    Why is (was) the GAA game NOT attractive to an Irish Game developer ?

    Why is it attractive to an Australian company ?

    Is the revenue generated by such a game not enough to cover
    production costs ?

    Has anyone in Ireland ever produced a console game ?
    If not, why ? Are the resources (staff,skills,expertise,investment ) NOT available in ireland to produce such games ?

  • #10113

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Why is (was) the GAA game NOT attractive to an Irish Game developer ? [/quote:bf17d92c63]
    It was. there was an Irish company looking at doing the game (from scratch though).

    Why is it attractive to an Australian company ?[/quote:bf17d92c63]
    They already have an engine written for an Aussie rules football game, thus drastically reducing the workload required to actually make then GAA game

    Is the revenue generated by such a game not enough to cover production costs ?.[/quote:bf17d92c63]
    It would be tight, and require that the game took and held the #1 spot in Ireland for a respectable length of time.

    Has anyone in Ireland ever produced a console game ?
    [/quote:bf17d92c63]
    Apart from the the GBA, no. There are a number of companies working on games at this time though.

    If not, why ?[/quote:bf17d92c63]
    There is no real answer to this :(

    Are the resources (staff,skills,expertise,investment ) NOT available in ireland to produce such games ?
    [/quote:bf17d92c63]
    We would like to believe that they are.

    Dave

  • #10114

    Jamie McCormick
    Keymaster

    Idora,

    That didn’t come out the way I was hoping it would, and I’m too hungover to think clearly to figure out what I was trying to say.

    Has anyone in Ireland ever produced a console game ?[/quote:3e9779871b]

    Yes they have, Funcom did Speed Freaks on the PSOne when they were still based in Sandyford, I’m sure there have to be some of the old Funcom lads knocking around, surely we could get in touch with some of them if anyone has a contact.

    Jamie

  • #10115

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Woops, my bad. Forgot about them.

    Dave

  • #10116

    bomberman
    Participant

    Hi Dave,

    which GBA games were produced in Ireland and what was the company ??? Any info appreciated !

    Thanks, see you at the shindig :p

  • #10122

    horse
    Participant

    GBA is Game Boy ? Sorry Im just getting used to these abrevs.

    So, there is no single company in ireland who has produced for PS2 or XBox yet?. Oh well…, looks like i may “watch this space” and call back in a year or two then.

    Who are the main developers in the UK with a track record in this industry I should speak to ?

    Thanks again

  • #10123

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Bomberman: I was referring to your games :) Didnt specify commercial! More to point the Staff/skill/expertise is available.

    Horse: Would you like the list sorted by name, location or employment prospects? Or……how about trying google? :)

    Dave

  • #10124

    horse
    Participant

    Market Research into the Game Industry. ie.

    Numbers Employed
    Important Technologies
    Skills Required
    Investment required
    Business Planning

  • #10126

    bomberman
    Participant

    Thanks for counting me in :)

    I thought that you knew about another “real” company… It would have been interesting getting in touch with them and chatting about GBA dev. If I remember correctly, Zensunni from this forum (working in NI I think) also worked on this platform commercially but in Austria. But yes, expertise is here !

  • #10302

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Hi all,

    we are putting together this month’s feature on where the games industry is at in Ireland and highlights of 2003…any suggestions for things we might include?

    Aphra.

  • #10303

    meedja
    Participant

    Aphra

    It might not be something you consider important or may not feel comfortable blowing your own trumpet but in my opinion, one of the key factors in 2003 was gamedevelopers.ie and the ongoing building of a development community, the forums, the shindigs, the contacts & the people.

    I think that should be a big part of the article.

    Peter

  • #10304

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Meeja,

    Well we might give that a mention! :)

    My ideas were:

    1: gamedev.ie
    2: Dare to be Digital launch
    3. Two new game design courses – Ballyfermot and NWIFE
    4. Forfas – policy review on games industry and EI support for guest speakers
    5. Play exhibition in the Digital Hub

    ….for a start..

    Aphra.

  • #10305

    Idora
    Participant

    formation of the local chapter of the IGDA?

    agree with Peter’s comments re: significance of Gamedevelopers.ie

    and how about Bernie Stolar workshop in EI?

  • #10306

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Bernie Stolar was going to come under EI funding for guest speakers..IGDA formation of course needs to be added…

    Aphra..

  • #10307

    Darwen
    Participant

    Not forgetting the other two games courses initiated by Torc and that plan to use the Torc engine in 2004 – an MSc in LYIT and a BSc in U.U.

  • #10308

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Is LYIT… Letterkenny IT? Have these courses been accredited yet?

    Aphra.

  • #10309

    Darwen
    Participant

    LYIT is Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the course accreditation is in progress. The U.U. course is in negotiation stage at present, but planned for commencement in Sept 2004. NWIFHE are also planning a feeder course for this date too.

  • #10311

    ManE
    Participant

    I think mentioning the few Indy gamedev projects (Space Station) joining the Digital Hub should be there too. With a lot of mainstream development going to India, Ukraine, etc. to cut costs, we might see more of this fenomenon take foot in western countries, especially Ireland where we have the tools and dev kits and need content…

  • #10335

    aphra
    Keymaster

    I am still waiting for some images to be sent to me for this month’s feature but rather than hold off any longer I’ve put in holding images and will change them when the others arrive

    ..I am sure you will all have events to add to the list but i tried to include any suggestions received on the boards..

    Aphra.

  • #10350

    hyperwolf
    Participant

    This seems to be one of those topics were everyone should have agreed to disagree a long time ago.
    If the game is missing something complain, Im sure they have some Irish people working there, If an Irish company gets a samurai game to make i dont think the Japanese will complain. Dont look down on any Irish company, Sony might, but sony is all about Money!!!!!!! :(

  • #12033

    aphra
    Keymaster

    This month we are going to try out having an interview and an opinion piece instead of just one feature…let’s see how it works out..

    any comments on the interview with the Dare winners you can discuss it here…

    well done to the winning team and we hope you keep us informed as to how things go in abertay..

    Aphra.

  • #12048

    omen
    Participant

    If the Dare winners would like some advice, they can contact me. From just reading the interview, I can forsee several problems ahead of them already. Or if there is an email address I can contact them on?

  • #12296

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Hi everyone…

    I have just been asked why we don’t provide information on more companies in the current feature article.

    Basically there is a link in the article to a fairly complete list of companies and in the article we only examined a limited number of these companies because

    A) we felt the readership of the IEJ may not know what a console, mobile, middleware and localisation games company does so a brief paragraph on a company from each sector would be helpful

    B) but we were faced with a word limit which we had to work within

    Of course we don’t have that word limit now….but then the focus of the article is on issues faced by the industry, not an exhaustive list of companies…

    open to hearing your comments on it though..

    Aphra.

    PS and I have clearer versions of the diagrams used in the article now which I will put up soon..

  • #12298

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    The issue is building a development community that mirrors other European countries. If Denmark and Czech Republic can have successful games why can’t we?

    …only 118 are involved in actual original content, software and middleware development. [/quote:4874015442]

    This point needs to be really driven home. Without the middleware figures we are getting into quite low numbers (relatively speaking).

    All we need now is for the home grown companies to have a successful title [PRESSURE PRESSURE] :)

The forum ‘General Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.