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This topic contains 51 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  coolcom2 13 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #2869

    monument
    Participant
  • #9814

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Well, I was happily asleep in bed this morning when I got a phone call from the newstalk radio station asking me to do an interview on the subject.

    It was covered in the Times and the Indo this morning, and apparently the Gaelic Players Association were already in discussion with an Irish company (Multimedia Instructional Design)to do pretty much the exact same thing.

    Well I stuttered and spluttered a bit (god it was awful) but did answer a few questions relating to Irish game development and why the project had gone out of the country, and I do think I was reasonably fair to both sides of the arguement.

    With the players association and the GAA both treading different paths, important parts of the game such as usage of the names of star players is apparently in doubt.

    Not surprisingly, there are also plans afoot to release a Hurling game if the first one is successful

    Dave

  • #9817

    meedja
    Participant

    Any chance of getting the item in mp3 or similar to post here?

    Peter

  • #9818

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Ill type it up as much as possible. Have it on tape, but no simple way to transfer. Give me a while to get on it.

  • #9819

    meedja
    Participant

    That sounds great.

    If you want to pop it in the post, I can do the transfer if you like. (I’m sure we’re all curious to hear what you sound like half asleep :D)

    Peter

  • #9820

    Skyclad
    Participant
  • #9821

    Jamie McCormick
    Keymaster

    Well there has been background to this going on for years, so now that it’s out in the open i’ll give you a bit of information on it to the best of of my knowledge.

    A few years ago, a company called Pooka Games was granted the licence for the GAA titles, and they did start work on a GAA game engine for use in both a Hurling & Football game. However, funding for the game got pulled when the bubble burst and things were left in the air. What i imagine happened then is that the licence expired, and considering that the Aussies already have a game engine and game developed for their compromise rules games, which is pretty similar to the GAA engine required, that it worked out more economic to shift it down under instead of building up the game from scratch here with an inexperienced development team.

    Jamie

  • #9824

    mal
    Participant

    I personally think that these two games can co-exist easily.

    The Australian team developing for Sony already have a similar style of game developed for the PS/2, and I’m sure it’ll be PS/2 only, in 3D, and with an emphasis on action.

    If Frank’s company is going to do a game for the first time, they will probably do a PC version first, and I’m going to assume it’ll be more of a multi-media style Championship Manager game, rather than a 3D action game, to minimise the project risk.

    They definitely won’t be going head-to-head IMHO.

    Mal

    Also, did Sony / Niall make a good decision regarding outsourcing it? I think so… if there were a team in Ireland who had developed a similar type of game, then I’m sure they would have been seriously considered. As it is, the only team with experience developing a similar game ( Australian Football ) got the contract, so that makes complete commercial sense.

    I’m impressed that the game is in production for commercial release at all! That must have been some selling pitch to get it past the internal review team, due to Gaelic’s relatively limited global appeal, compared to soccer, american football, tennis etc.

  • #9825

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Yup, I agree that the decision to outsource it was the best one for the game, and that the team now involved has a lot of good experience in the area already. However, if we ever want to get anything off the ground, someone has to take the leap and support an Irish developed game and its sad to think that an organisation like the GAA arent prepared to be the one to do it.

    Dave

  • #9827

    meedja
    Participant

    Agree with Mal.

    It makes complete commercial sense to spend “hundreds of thousands” of Euro to develop a game based on an existing (and closely related) sports engine than to spend millions on developing the same game from the ground up. Particularly with the low potential global audience.

    (quote from an article in Todays Irish Times on the matter).

    Interesting to see in the same article that the GAA are keen on the game as it will put Gaelic Games on a world stage yada yada yada.

    Does anyone think that the cause/exposure/uptake of the GAA and our national games will be increased one jot as a result of a PS game?

    Skyclad, I’m quite happy to see this one go elsewhere. I’d hate to see an Irish studio invest a LOT of money in a licence like this only to see the game strangled on the international market due to lack of interest.

    Would it not be better to focus at least on a game with universal appeal that might have a better chance of reaching a broader audience.

    Yes, we need some serious games to start off here if the industry is to grow. I really feel the money will need to come from abroad though, through the traditional publisher advance on a really good game idea. Location of development studio irrelevant.

    Just some thoughts.

    Peter

  • #9829

    Skyclad
    Participant
  • #9830

    meedja
    Participant

    I don’t think the consoles are fast enough to handle a Hurling game yet. (“the fastest field game in the world”)

    maybe next-gen machines :-)

    Peter

  • #9831

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Nice :)

  • #9833

    mal
    Participant

    > I definately would have preferred a hurling game though.

    I’m sure there’ll be a few examples of hurling at the get-together on Friday! Powered, instead of sponsored, by Guinness! :)

  • #9839

    lepton
    Participant

    I would have preferred a hurling game to, but, outside of this 480,000 population I’d say there’d be loads of takers in NI and maybe the states…

  • #9840

    monument
    Participant
  • #9895

    fmcnamee
    Participant

    Interesting discussion. Surprised at the defeatist attitude demonstrated throughout the thread. Are you all waiting for an Irish games industry to suddenly appear?

  • #9896

    Skyclad
    Participant

    As much as everyone here wants to see the game stay in Ireland, I think people recognise that the economies of scale are far better elsewhere, and it’s just not worth it for Sony to pay any existing Irish developer to do it. It’s not to say it can’t be done by MID (who would probably have a better “Irish” touch to the game), its just cheaper to do it elsewhere.

    Have the GPA made any official statement as of yet?

    Dave

  • #9897

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Thinking about it, would have been nice for the GAA to licence the .au engine and get an Irish company to do it. Similar costs (I think), more Irish.

    Dave

  • #9904

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    I’ve just picked up the thread of this subject today. Having read a lot of the comments I have the say that you are giving the gaa MORE credit than they deserve. And the Irish Gaming Industry LESS.

    Do you really think the GAA ‘Marketing’ department have looked at the pros and cons closely ? I dont think so. The Gaa cut on this is likely to be 10% and continued sponsorship by sony and executive boxes at croke park. They have no conception of other options, licencing game engines, putting gaa on world stage, improving their image, commercial potential of gaa. They do not have a corporate and commercial strategy, full stop.

    If they had insisted on MMID ( or at least listened to them ) or any Irish company, then their control, take and overall revenue would have increased exponentially. They could have called the shots. Now they have a small slice of their own large cake. Its laughable as far as the marketing of a large organisation like the GAA is concerned. They were made to look like mugs.

    The more you think about this deal the worse it gets. For example.

    a. This deal was rushed through. Press pics of gaa/sony launch
    show gaa president playing aussie rules game, not a demo of
    a soon to be released gaa game. The only evidence is the
    single A4 sheet he holds in his hand, with a cut & paste
    screen shot!!

    b. GPA/MMID were apparently going to annouce their plans this
    month. The gaa were no doubt aware of this and so it looks
    like the gaa announcement was deliberate to steal their
    thunder with the added effect of scuppering any investment
    interest. A very clever move.

    c. This being the case I wonder what IR-Gurus ( aussie developer)
    are thinking. “Hang on, we are in the middle of developing
    new titles and maintaining our current game titles ( 12 I
    believe ) and now we have to have a GAA game completed by
    June 2004 !!!!”. Its not going to happen. I think it will be Xmas
    04 at best.

    d. A more sinister development may be that IR-Gurus,
    who now have the licence, may sit on it until they are ready.
    They know as long as they have the licence no one else can
    do it. Whats the rush. The GAA/Sony announcement
    mentions “sometime next year”. Nothing more definite. This
    game may not appear for another 2,3 years maybe more. We
    really need to hear from sony on this.

    Coolcom

  • #9906

    Andy
    Participant

    Hey all, I’ve been following this thread and I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents.

    The upside to this Aussie development team taking on the title is that a quality game is far more likely as they have a proven track record with similar titles and as such more irish specific titles might be created and this mihgt in turn help the irish game industry we’re all so desperately hoping for. That is if the doom and gloom forseen by coolcom doesn’t come to fruition.

    On the other hand I’m sure an Irish team could handle this. I myself have developed an engine for a 3D ball game in 2 months and am now creating a speedball like game. Admittedly the per pixel shaders are still in the pipeline along with the light mapping functionality but I am one man and hoping to have a playable demo this side of christmass.

    Surely a team of experienced irish profesionals could produce something professional that would appeal to the niche audience (irish sports fans) in a reasonable timeframe? Its just thought I’d actually be interested in hearing any reasons why anybody might think this would not work?

  • #9907

    meedja
    Participant

    There are now two threads on this topic!

    Can admins merge threads?

    Peter

  • #9909

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Coolcom here. A lot has been discussed over last few days.

    I’ve been in contact with Irish games company involved (MMID). They’re disappointed but not disheartened. After an interesting chat ( There are ‘serious’ backers behind them ) the upshot is that this game could still happen here!!!!

    I’m interested in hearing from any Irish Programming professionals, home or abroad interested in tackling this GAA Game. (Andy Gray where are you ? )

    Apologies for using this forum as a recruitment campaign but this is THE most important issue to come up in Irish gaming industry.

    I can be contacted at coolcom5@eircom.net.

  • #9910

    monument
    Participant
  • #9919

    Woody FX
    Participant

    ;)

    A freind of mine create a GAA management game using Java and mySQL about a year ago and was actually very good!

    It was never released and maybe it would be worth re-designing and re-doing this game if there is an interest!

    Though un-like soccer you can not sign players…. so maybe thats some of the appeal gone.. maybe you could replace it with poaching players or young payers or something!

    Any way its a pity this has gone out of Ireland!

    But i can understand GAA giving it to a company that have a track record in creating this kind of game and already have the engine for it!

    Brian

  • #9927

    Eoin
    Participant

    While I can see how coolcom2 and others are frustrated with this situation, I fail to see how it should be up to Sony or the GAA to take a risk in order to prove that the Irish gamedev industry is capable of making such a game. Surely that’s our job.

    Having had risk-mitigation stratagies hammered home during four years of managment and sw-eng lectures, to me, it makes perfectly good business sense to give the contract to a company with proven technology and experience. From Sonys point of view, they probably want a game that will sit well along side the other sports titles available on their hardware (i.e. top-notch 3d graphics, physics, sound etc..). These 3d, team based simulations are incredibly difficult for any company to implement (let alone a company with zero games experience), and while it may well be possible for an Irish team to do so, this hasn’t yet been demonstrated.

    In the long run, could this decision be a good thing? What I mean is: If the game is as good as the one they’re basing it on (Australian best-seller), perhaps updates will be commisioned and (once we have proved ourselves capable) the 2005/2006 versions could be developed here in Ireland.

    Edit: In response to Andy Grays question:

    Surely a team of experienced irish profesionals could produce something professional that would appeal to the niche audience (irish sports fans) in a reasonable timeframe? Its just thought I’d actually be interested in hearing any reasons why anybody might think this would not work?
    [/quote:0a0c175ee7]
    The issues involved are disscussed quite regurlarly on the gd-algorithms mailing list, even quite recently one of the lead engineers at Microsoft Sports Studios gave some startling statistics on the complexity, workloads and skill involved in programming and animating a sports sim. I’ll have a look for them when I get a chance… Basically, I feel that prior experience in the genre is absolutely essential.

  • #9935

    Skyclad
    Participant

    and while it may well be possible for an Irish team to do so, this hasn’t yet been demonstrated.[/quote:bca77bc8b5]

    Starting from a base of 0, it’s never going to be demonstrated unless someone actually takes the plunge and gives an Irish company a chance. Somewhere, somehow, someone has to take the first step, so if we ever want to build any sort of industry here, it’s not about how we have demonstrated it in the past, but rather convincing people that we are capable of it in the future.

    Dave

  • #9938

    monument
    Participant
  • #9943

    Eoin
    Participant

    Somewhere, somehow, someone has to take the first step[/quote:eb28995754]

    I agree completely, but I don’t think that this first step should (or even could) be the type of game Sony have in mind. I think Irish companies are already making first steps in genres far more suited to this.

    Eoin.

  • #9944

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Who is going to fund this Irish Game industry? Private investors, Government ?? All these are ,and have been, tried.

    The Government (Enterprise Ireland mostly) have just about given up after a string of disasters and bad choices. These companies last for 1 maybe two years and then go bust

    The Private Investor well is almost dry. They can be tempted once, maybe twice, but the current track record of unsuccessful expensive demos is just too much.

    What is needed is a steady, gauranteed existance producing a game with the same properties. ie. Reliable and consistant provding annual revenue, covering development costs and gauranteeing existance of the company over the long term.

    Q. What game could gaurantee this ?
    A. The GAA franchise stoopid.

    Coolcom

  • #9945

    Skyclad
    Participant

    The Government (Enterprise Ireland mostly) have just about given up after a string of disasters and bad choices. These companies last for 1 maybe two years and then go bust
    [/quote:1cca4ab40b]
    This statement is wholly incorrect. Only last week, Dr Kerr from these forums had a meeting with FORFAS officials to discuss what could be done to increase the support for games development companies in this country. The Digital Hub, a center for technological excellence and creativity is currently running an exhibition dedicated to games, and is planning further international games related speakers in the near future. The IDA have commissioned a number of reports into the Games development sector, some of which are completed already and some of which will be completed soon. Not long ago, EI hosted a seminar with Bernd Stolar on how Ireland could become part of that international games development community.

    The government therefore sees the games industry as an excellent area where jobs can be created, and is currently creating a strategy to support foreign investment and indigenous games companies.

    The Private Investor well is almost dry. They can be tempted once, maybe twice, but the current track record of unsuccessful expensive demos is just too much.
    [/quote:1cca4ab40b]
    Surely you are arguing against a small company such as MMID trying to get involved with this statement, since it will need the backing of a number of private investors?

    What is needed is a steady, gauranteed existance producing a game with the same properties. ie. Reliable and consistant provding annual revenue, covering development costs and gauranteeing existance of the company over the long term.
    [/quote:1cca4ab40b]
    Steady is a fine word, but guaranteed is something that doesn’t exist in the games world. Like films and like music, you create a product and release it, but the public still have to want and enjoy your product. What helps is innovation, creativity and licencing, but nothing is ever guaranteed.

    Q. What game could gaurantee this ?
    A. The GAA franchise stoopid.
    [/quote:1cca4ab40b]
    Name calling just isnt needed in this thread IMO. As for the GAA, right now that’s with a .au company, and its not likely that is going to change. So once again, nothing is ever guaranteed.

    Let’s face it: MMID had some form of demo going and the GAA rushed out a statement about another contractor trying to do the same thing. Coming from a card playing background I would say this: whenever you face a setback, you have to detach yourself from your previous plans and reanalyse the situation. It’s just bad money to continue with your initial plan in the hope that the ace will show. There is a lot of good people on this forum providing good advice, maybe it’s time to analyse the situation from the stage you are at now rather then the stage you started at.

    Dave

    ps did you get my private mail?

  • #9947

    coolcom2
    Participant
  • #9948

    Andy
    Participant

    I think Dave hit the nail on the head, whats done is done. Competing with the Australian studio that has the backing of Sony and the GAA as well as a game engine and a string of sucesses isn’t really a good idea most of the time never mind for a tentative start-up.

    I am curious a number of people so far have already said ‘I wish they’d release a hurling game’, why not try to beat the big boys to the crunch and get something out there? I think this would be a 100% better idea then trying to compete on the Aussies playing field.

    Personally, I’ve just completed the second round of interviews for a major games company so hopefully I’ll be too busy!

  • #9950

    meedja
    Participant

    I’m going to finish my contribution to this thread by agreeing with Dave that nothing is guaranteed in games development.

    Just take a look across the water where a number (a lot in fact) of high profile, established and credible games development studios have shut down over the past 6 months.

    Worrying times for those of us at the bottom of the hill looking up, particularly when publishers are becoming less reliant on independents, or new independents at least.

    Peter

  • #9957

    omen
    Participant

    Extending that point….
    Some big names have gone under. Some of them would have been working on big titles too. If you do not have a full dedicated team you are going to struggle like they did. That invovles programmers, artists and most especially management who can handle legal and money issues. Having a “guaranteed hit” means little if the contract you sign with a publisher means you relinquish most of your rights which is what they will try to do.

  • #9967

    coolcom2
    Participant

    Contract negotiation is vital, i agree.

    Would you agree though, it is better to be negotiating for a gauranteed share ( percentage or whatever) from a gauranteed income rather than nothing at all.

    Also Sony have entered into this knowing the sales are expected to reach 50-60k units per annum.

    The developers share of this ( good contract negotiation assumed ) should be substantial.

  • #9968

    omen
    Participant

    What is a guaranteed income when you talk about the games industry ????
    It really doens’t exist.

    If you are talking about a first time cmpany making this deal with someone like Sony, I expect, the developer share is not going to be high with the risks involved.

    I can’t remember the figures now and could be wrong, but developing for a console, you can expect with a good contract that the share would work out something like:
    Console Manufacturer: 20%
    Publisher: 30%
    Retailer: 30%
    Developer: 20%

    Added to that, the risk involved with a first time developer, you can cut your share down a bit. Due to large amount of money being pumped in, miss a single deadline, and its gonna hurt you. Royalty bonuses would be at a minimum too.

    And I have to say that the expected sales of this game are numbers that I find it really hard to believe.

    Damian.

  • #9970

    Ronny
    Participant
  • #9971

    omen
    Participant

    My apologies….I was thought that stuff at the start of last year, I was being very vague with my numbers cos I knew they were off somewhat. Thanks for giving more accurate figures.

    Damian.

  • #9972

    coolcom2
    Participant

    From my experience in the last 6 months ( Research for new course development at 3rd level). Speaking with Game Developers, Sony, Microsoft, Enterprise Ireland; the current situation is:

    Console 50%
    Developer 15-20%
    Publisher 10-15%
    Retailer 20%

    And this is flexible based on developer / publisher agreements.

  • #9974

    monument
    Participant

    The reality for start-up independent developers is very grim indeed, a high number of well-known UK developers, most of whom were working on what were seen as sound developments, have went out of business.

    Say good-bye to the games industry, and hello to the third entertainment industry using the Hollywood model.

  • #9975

    Lynchman
    Participant

    On a smaller more immediate scale, does anyone have any idea if these ex-employees are having any trouble in regrouping with the remaining companies? Also, other than Rockstar North, does anyone have an idea of other companies doing really well? Criterion kinda comes to mind but not so sure on their sales…

    Chris

  • #9976

    monument
    Participant
  • #9977

    Lynchman
    Participant

    oh okay, I knew that already, wasn’t talking about indie companies exclusively; just in general, is it only Rockstar North doing good in UK?

  • #9978

    monument
    Participant

    oh okay, I knew that already, wasn’t talking about indie companies exclusively; just in general, is it only Rockstar North doing good in UK? [/quote:f77b0dc291]

    O, right…

    Criterion’s Burnout 2 done fairly well. Climax has had MotoGP and The Italian Job (based on the new film) and are making Warhammer Online and Sudeki. The Getaway was made in by Sony London (Team Soho) and the EyeToy and its games were also made by Sony London.

    I am sure there is more but that’s the high profile stuff which comes to mind.

  • #9979

    Lynchman
    Participant

    Thanks,
    Sorry, I know it might off seemed off topic but was thinking more along the lines of a breakaway company starting in Ireland rather than one from the ground up. Obviously a breakaway company would have learned structure and already have more industry and publisher ties, and have more of a track record.

  • #9981

    coolcom2
    Participant
  • #9983

    meedja
    Participant

    Say good-bye to the games industry, and hello to the third entertainment industry using the Hollywood model. [/quote:ee261862df]

    Not even sure that’s a runner.

    Have you seen the report that Seamus Blackley’s Capital Entertainment Group is closing down?

    Set up to replicate a movie production model in the games industry, it didn’t work though they seem confident that the model is good.

    Peter

  • #9984

    omen
    Participant

    Visual Sicence is doing pretty okay too, working on Medal of Honour for EA now.
    Dave Jones, Mr. DMA now runs Real Time Worlds, they should be releasing their new games sometime in the near future I think and there are high hopes for them.
    Lionhead are obviously doing extremely well.
    Eutechnyx have several good games under their belt and are coming out with Street Racing Syndicate soon. Thats going to be a big hit.
    Sure there’s others but can’t think at the moment…

  • #9992

    monument
    Participant
  • #9996

    Andy
    Participant

    Have you seen the report that Seamus Blackley’s Capital Entertainment Group is closing down? [/quote:0c44458a4a]

    Way off topic but I beat him (Seamus Blackley) at virtua fighter 4 after only playing it for about half an hour and its one of his favourite games in which he’s supposed to be akin to a god. He challenged me after I trashed one of the game’s developers…

    It’s the street fighter 2 skill rearing its head again, I’m almost unbeatable at that game.

    (PS: Seamus Blackley is dead on though, real nice guy)

    Anway almost back on topic Lionhead’s line up of games looks quite impressive I think Peter Molyneux heavy investment in AI and ‘free will’ is really gonna start paying dividends with this next batch of games.

  • #10012

    coolcom2
    Participant

    One lesson that can be learned from all this is that we could all perhaps improve our communication. This forum offers one such avenue. The Irish gaming community is small and we all want the same thing.

    All parties concerned i’m sure have the same goal. A successful and thriving industry.

    Its is a pity the way things worked out. But perhaps we can prevent this from happening in the future and we can work together on other projects.

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