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October 15, 2003 at 11:41 pm #2862
I see some minister, i think his name was Ahern, was over in Japan and Korea, saw what a great games industry they have and is quoted in this weeks MCV saying that Ireland is going to have a big games industry soon, hoping that there will be 3,500 jobs in the near future.
I’d like to be optomistic but does this guy really know what he is talking about ??
October 16, 2003 at 8:21 am #9751
Well maybe he might be interested in attending one of the shindigs to actually talk to developers instead of jetting around the world just to say ‘oh yes, that looks nice, we’ll have to do that’.
Also last weeks latters page had a debate on female gamers, and Aphra they commended your latest piece of work.
October 16, 2003 at 8:36 am #9752
mm, funny how things get around. I sent a copy of my female gamers case study to someone I met at a conference in Manchester and look what happens..
can’t complain I guess..
Apparently only a couple of people went on that trade mission to Japan, including the head of the Digital Hub..hope they mean to follow it up with some action..
October 16, 2003 at 9:58 am #9753
October 16, 2003 at 11:59 am #9755
I had to laugh when I read it to tell the truth.
Comparing the games industry in Japan to what could be the future in Ireland….
Sorry I’ve been away for a while now, what exactly is the Digital Hub???
October 16, 2003 at 12:03 pm #9756
The Digital Hub is the body responsible for the regeneration of the Liberties area of Dublin where MLE is and a lot of space is being made available to digital media companies.
Their latest exhibition is called PLAY…which opened this week and it will run until January
October 16, 2003 at 12:03 pm #9757
mm, just in case..
MLE is Media Lab Europe..
October 16, 2003 at 12:11 pm #9758
There’s a challange for you now, just contact the Department of Communications and see if Mr. Ahern will be willing to put his money where his mouth is and invite him to attend one of the events, speakers nights or whatever. Considering he’s so happy to blag about the fantastic industry we have here maybe he might want to find out who’s actually working in the industry and see their problems.
October 16, 2003 at 12:22 pm #9760
for those who haven’t read what was said see the minister’s press release here http://www.marine.gov.ie/modules/pressreleases.asp
scroll down to the 26th of September..
i like particularly the term ‘games software writing’..
Jamie…when we see what Mahaffeys is like we might invite him on down and give him a soap box…
October 16, 2003 at 12:42 pm #9761
It’s the first I’ve heard of Games Infinity, anyone involved or know what they are on about?
October 16, 2003 at 3:29 pm #9762
I think it’s quite positive that our industry is gaining some recognition at the higher levels of govnerment.
Yes, we may scoff at the language but I think it’s dangerous to adopt the banana republic attitude.
It’s up to us as the industry to lobby and campaign for ourselves. If we’re not happy with recognition afforded us, lets organise and change that.
Sitting around complaining about lack of support, services, understanding etc. is all well and good but it’s not a positive position to adopt.
Complaining about how difficult it is to set up and the fact that there are no easy hand-outs to allow us indulge our collective hobbies does not allow anyone form a positive opinion of games developers as professional and organised.
Games development is a business. A fun business for sure but you’re not going anywhere without a sound business strategy.
Statements like these at ministerial level (and the trade mission itself) are positive indicators that our industry is at last gaining recognition as one with serious growth potential.
We should be looking at building on this and using it. For almost two years now, Enterprise Ireland has been making positive noises about supporting the gameing and wider creative media industries. Comments such as these help our case. We can use them to point to investors (state & private) that there is govnernment support and recognition for what we do. We’re now legit. Lets make the most of it!
OK, maybe we’re still not happy with the degree and type of recognition, but it’s a starting point.
There is a lot of logic in the statement. Yes, we have established expertise in software development. Lets build on that and attract inward investment and indigineous growth in a niche area. That’s what I get from the release.
Who doesn’t want a few major studios setting up here? It’s good for everyone and the required support services afford excellent opportunities for a thriving support industry.
Let’s not talk ourselves into failure.
Rant over, now, please respond with some positive steps we could recomend to government as useful and helpful.
I think we need more than just a rant at a minister in a pub (fanciful thinking if you ask me in any case). We need structured and ordered lobbying. We need industry representation.
I’ll start the ball rolling.
I’d like to see;
Tax breaks for investors in game development projects similar to those that helped the film industry so much in the 80s and 90s.
Possible inclusion of developer represenatatives on trade missions such as those to Japan!
Govt. funding of development projects akin to that provided in France (see here), and Australia.
(interesting to note the France funding comes from the ministry of culture under film financing!)
Support for Games development courses with particular emphasis on access to current and future console development kits/systems. Extend such access to start-up businesses for R&D purposes.
Juts a few cents there! I look forward to replies.
October 16, 2003 at 4:07 pm #9763
These are useful suggestions. I hear that Forfas are currently drafting an internal report on the games industry. If we get some useful suggestions here I/with others who wish to help, can collate them and maybe make a submission. Then we will have made a collective input to the policy making process.
October 16, 2003 at 7:10 pm #9764
I don’t actually agree on all your points, but I’ll not go into the negative side of things here…..
For me to actually take people like this seriously I would just like to see something to the effect that they are actually talking to people in the industry, and I don’t mean the industry in Japan, cos its a completely different story over there.
The only reference made is that Havok exist and they do well.
A suggestion like what Aphra made is a step in the direction to get something like this.
However, my point is, is it really that much to ask for the government to be approaching Aphra or some recognised developers in the first place if we are to take them seriously? I think not…
….trying to be optomistic…
October 16, 2003 at 7:41 pm #9765
October 16, 2003 at 7:49 pm #9766
I met the Forfas people responsible for the games report in Liverpool last week at the GPDC conference. My understanding is that they are preparing a submission on the games industry that will form the basis of a policy document going forward.
I know from our conversation that they are talking to people individually but I think a collective submission is a very good idea. Perhaps we should dedicate a specific topic on the forum for this to allow people express their views?
October 16, 2003 at 8:16 pm #9767
good to see constructive contributions.
Omen, you make good points but I disagree fundamentally with the notion of sitting back and waiting for the powers that be to come to us and ask questions.
We need to shout and scream and make them aware of our presence and needs.
From a govt. point of view, why should they devote resources to gaming when there are many other equally deserving growth areas (biotech being one that springs to mind).
i think the moves here to put together a submission (would be even better if it could be an invited one!)
Skyclad, I think your attitued of leaving aside the grievences and concentrating on positives and what can be done is commendable.
I think fmcnamees notion of a dedicated thread (if not this one) is sound and I’d be happy to work on/support any agreement, submission or consensus that emerges.
(Omen, by the way, I’d be interested in your opinions and disagreements to my post. We need to debate the issues to reach agreement!).
October 17, 2003 at 11:25 am #9770
I think maybe we should rename this thread so we have the history of the discussion as well as suggestions.
I know Forfas have been approaching Irish companies and asking them for input. These have approached some mobile companies and some start-ups. When I presented a paper on policy for the Irish games industry in Manchester a couple of weeks ago there were two Forfas people at the presentation, so they are certainly getting around.
I will see if I can find out who is working on this in Forfas and if they are interested in a two/three page submission arising from these discussions. They might be interested at the very least in reading our discussions here..
If I get some agreement on renaming this thread I will do so after lunch..
October 17, 2003 at 11:48 am #9771
October 17, 2003 at 1:10 pm #9772
that’s a good idea, Aphra
October 17, 2003 at 2:06 pm #9773
As a reminder, as much as the press only knows about Havok when it comes to Ireland, I think it’s important to notice how much already exist in Ireland, all and all a small country, in terms of game dev infrastructure:
Let alone Havok, undoubtfully the success story on land, and a very useful technology asset.
We have the likes of Torque who are coming out with a full 3D engine said to be as powerfull as the Q3 engine, and very helpful when it comes to being there, and supporting Havok phisics.
Demon Ware, latest addition to the scene, are developing Massive on-line MP database technology, Media Lab europe and their Mind Games department, and many courses new and old, preparing students for the remaining task: creating content…
the guys at Kapooky are almost alone in that, if we forget about the mobile phone game developers!
With a new thread started on building a mods studio, with or without Bertie on board, there is no doubt the earth is moving, It’s a good time to be in game development…
October 17, 2003 at 2:13 pm #9774
it is not surprising that most people know about Havok given how good they are at marketing themselves and their presence at all the major trade shows and magazines. There are lessons to be learned there..
as an aside we have a company database structure ready to put up on the site as we felt the skills database was more geared to individuals..I hope to get someone to start populating that in the next week or so with company data that has already been entered into the skills database ..and we will be inviting companies who are not in the skills database to enter info. too.. this should give visibility to companies..
October 17, 2003 at 5:25 pm #9775
October 20, 2003 at 3:44 pm #9779
I’ve been invited to meet with Forfas people the week after this and while I can obviously offer my own thoughts it would be useful I think to offer feedback from this forum. So if there are additional ideas please post them here. By the end of the week/this weekend I will collate them and make it available on the website.
October 20, 2003 at 3:51 pm #9780
In addition to the above post by me;
Note that Scottish developers, VIS, are engaging in an alternate funding model for a forthcomg game. It’s very much in line with conventional movie funding and it will be interewsting to see how it pans out. (full details here ).
Advantages are that it fits with the tax breaks model currently in use in film production. Also, leaves developer in much better bargaining position with publisher.
More will be posted as it occurs to me….
October 20, 2003 at 3:52 pm #9781
might be worth mentioning to them the forthcoming IGDA chapter & the existence of this very site(!) as a contact point/sounding board…
October 20, 2003 at 3:55 pm #9783
what is the time horizon on the IGDA chapter…does it take long to set up ..
October 20, 2003 at 4:02 pm #9784
A few more;
-policy of attracting more major international publishers/developers to set up satellite studios here
-encouragement of ancillary and outsourced services provision (audio production for games, motion capture etc.)
-Rollout of braodband EVERYWHERE to facilitate stated objective of regionalisation of high-tech industries (particularly relevant in games industry).
-Agree with Idora on raising awareness of efforts of the indusrty to become organised through representative bodies etc.
October 20, 2003 at 4:10 pm #9785
We have 5 people on the organising committee now and two more who have expressed an interest, but not made any definite commitment as yet. As you know, this is a core requirement form the IGDA before it ratifies a new chapter.
I’ve notified the IGDA and awaiting to hear back from them, but my understanding us that this is just a formality. We haven’t decided on any concrete next steps as yet, so I’m speaking off the cuff a bit here, but…
I would hope we’d meet as a group some time early in November (after the DIGRA conference in Utrecht) and decide on an approach, first public event/meeting, etc. and take it from there.
Once I’ve heard back from the IGDA and contacted the members of the organising commitee, I’ll post an announcement here.
As a matter of interest to this thread, I’ve included two of the IGDA’s goals below:
– To provide a voice and to effect change on issues of concern, including representing game developers on issues of public debate
– To provide access to business resources, including financial, legal and strategic planning, for individual developers and development companies
Just how involved the Irish chapter gets involved in lobbying on such issues has yet to be determined, but I would personally hope that this would become a high priority. Of course, all of this will be determined by those who choose to participate in any of the IGDA events
October 29, 2003 at 9:39 am #9812
I am going to draft a submission today as I am meeting with Forfas tomorrow. I will then circulate it to the most prolific posters on this topic – e.g. Idora and Meeja for feedback. If there are others who wish to have ideas or comments incorporated please post before lunch.
Once we have a finished document (probably 2 pages) I will make it available in the Resources section of the website.
October 29, 2003 at 10:24 am #9816
Interesting to see Prime Time last night and the item on how the film industry is startying to fight against the removal of section 481 tax reliefs.
Govt. stated in last years budget that many (if not all) such industry specific tax breaks were to be eliminated in the interests of widening the tax base.
The more I think about it, the more I believe the games industry needs a tax incentive measure to kickstart major budget title development.
A strong case needs to be made for an emerging industry to receive tax breaks when they are being removed everywhere else.
Look forward to the submission Aphra.
October 29, 2003 at 3:47 pm #9832
October 29, 2003 at 4:12 pm #9834
I have only intermittent mail access just now, so suggest you move ahead without my input. I’ll hopefully get to catch up with you on Friday night or at the DIGRA conference next week
Good luck with the submission
October 29, 2003 at 4:18 pm #9836
Got it and will return with comments before 5.00 today.
October 29, 2003 at 7:24 pm #9841
Thanks Peter and Tony for your inputs. I will bring the document with me tomorrow to the Forfas meeting as it is a useful basis for discussions. Thanks to others who made suggestions off the forums – your inputs were included but no-one in particular identified as the author.
Who knows, it could be the start of an IGDA policy document for the Irish chapter.
I will let you know tomorrow afternoon how things went..
October 30, 2003 at 3:54 pm #9846
well had the meeting this morning and I circulated the gamedevelopers.ie discussion document. They hope to have their report to the Forfas steering committee before Chrismas so hopefully there will be something in the Christmas stockings or the New Year for Irish game developers…
do you think I should put that document up on the website or does it need more work? We could call it a draft I guess..
October 30, 2003 at 4:03 pm #9847
I think it should be publicly available. As you note, it could form the basis of an initial IDGA policy document and having as many bpoints of view as possible would be beneficial.
October 30, 2003 at 6:13 pm #9849
I agree with Peter’s suggestion to make it publicly available. I’m sure there’s lots of good ideas and feedback in the community.
sorry to hear you won’t make tomorrow night’s bash. I’ll send out a mail to the organising commitee members over the weekend to see if we can get an initial organising commitee meeting before end of November
November 7, 2003 at 7:42 pm #9928
Does anybody have an estimate of how many people in Ireland are employed in the Industry?
November 10, 2003 at 12:20 pm #9936
the forfas digital content report estimated there were about 12 companies ( 9 Irish and 3 international) and taking 8 of these companies, for some reason, they estimated there were about 193 people in the sector.
my own, conservative estimate, would put the number of companies around 20 ( 14 Irish and 6 foreign owned) and around 355 people employed in total. These are definite companies I have interviewed in the past two years and don’t include companies whose names I have just heard or start-ups with only one employee etc. A good deal of these employees however (about 180 ) work in localisation. Only about 50 work in game development itself. The rest in related activities…e.g. middleware…
December 15, 2003 at 1:06 pm #10224
haven’t had the chance to get to these boards in a while, so I’m gonna roll up a couple of christmas replies into this one.
Mal – When you send me the usual christmas card, don’t forget you still owe me that tenner.:)
Aphra – In relation to Dermot Ahern,(the begining of the thread) he is and has been extremely well briefed on the games industry. I for one have been annoying him about it for 4 years or more, since he was minister for social & family affairs, before he got his current comms & fish gig. As ever when dealing with ‘offical’ government channels just remember we’re dealing with total tankers (not a typo – it does take them an extermely long time to change direction)
On the chapter naming issue, why wasn’t it called the Dundalk Chapter, everyone who is anyone knows that like Dermot, the Irish Games industry was born in Dundalk:rolleyes: doah……and on that note – happy christmas.
December 15, 2003 at 1:48 pm #10225
I second the Dundalk chapter suggestion ;)
December 15, 2003 at 2:38 pm #10227
well I was thinking of doing a feature ‘What is going on in Dundalk?..just because there is so much activity in this area and it would be good to look into it..
so Pavel might be in touch with you all soon…I know about the creative industries start-up programme, Meedja, DKIT initiatives…what else should we know about…?
December 15, 2003 at 2:58 pm #10229
I can put you in touch with a few people but probably best wait until achedemia starts up again in January……
December 16, 2003 at 3:37 pm #10239
I was sorta kinda just a wee bit joking there Aphra, but if you are seriously thinking about giving ‘De Town’ a mention, I’d be happy to chip in, in whatever way I can, Alan Byrne is running the ‘new’ media centre and I recently talked with Rowan the Chair of the Louth County Enterprise Board about their renewed perceptions regarding new & creative Media, yes Tom Collins in DKIT has previously communicated his feelings in relation to those spheres of discipline, some udder interesting stuff goin’ on there too, so if I can help in any capacity, I’d be happy to.
Also FYI a certain Driving force behind Havok was born in that area, actually when I think about it the whole area has a very interesting/ varied Entrepreneurial history – Martin Naughton (Glen Dimplex) Neil McCann (Fyffes) Fergal Quinn (Super Quinn) Larry Goodman (opps) Phil Monaghan (The square, Monach Properties) a couple of world music stars, a hollywood director, jaysus even steve staunton the one time Irish Soccer captain, must be something got to do with the shadow of the cooley mountains/selafield or something.
December 16, 2003 at 3:46 pm #10240
actually I had put Pavel onto this story before you even posted here CleverCelt and Meedja
but it is starting to look like a series rather than a once off feature now!
isn’t there a new by-pass too…?!
CleverCelt..will we see you out on Friday? or do we have to arrange a Dundalk event…
December 17, 2003 at 12:48 am #10248
> Mal – When you send me the usual christmas card, don’t forget you still owe me that tenner.
I’m glad you’re Euros now, I’ve made a few pennies on that loan :)
> total tankers (not a typo – it does take them an extermely long time to change direction)
lol… very diplomatically put, I must remember that line for future govt meetings :)
> the Irish Games industry was born in Dundalk
You should upload a few screenies of Danger Magee ( and Chieftan ) to the forum, they were shaping up to be pretty cool games!
> and on that note – happy christmas.
And a merry new year, hopefully, for the Irish games industry!
December 17, 2003 at 2:57 pm #10259
but the duck is dead, long live the new duck ! On the chieftain thing, I didn’t archive any of the materials so God knows where all that stuff is at, possibley on at least one of the machines.
Sorry, yet again Aphra, can’t make Friday, I’m OOF from tomorrow on MS business between now & Christmas Day, will be in Dublin around Jan 5-9th, more than likely headin’ to HQ in early-mid Jan. So won’t really be phyiscally around until feb/Mar timeframe even if we get a dundalk event sorted, I’m sure Niall O Sony would be happy to help us org something.
Any reports from the dare to be digitial event ? (yet another one I was tied up for)
December 17, 2003 at 3:23 pm #10260
there is a report on the Dare to be Digital day on the website under news..
the event was also filmed by the Digital Hub and I have asked for a copy of the video..
Will have to do something in Dundalk me thinks but tied up organising the events on the 8/9th of Jan in the Digital Hub – launch of IGDA Ireland and Ernest Adams design workshop at the moment …again see under news on the home page..
hope you have a happy and peaceful Xmas when you get back from MS work..
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