Exhibit 3: Design Presents Talk Digital – 3

Leading national and international digital artists, programmers and designers reveal the secrets of their success in a series of talks in
Dublin’s Digital Hub on the 4th, 11th and 18th of September 2003.

This series of informal discussions will examine the issues raised by Exhibit3:Design.

September 18th Programme:
The Interaction between Design and Technology
Giles Lane + Alice Aengus: probiscus.com
Fionnuala Conway + Katherine Moriwaki: Wearable Technology
Ben Hooker + Shona Kitchen: edgetown.net

Admission is free.

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30 pm
Venue: The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8
t: +353 1 4806200

RSVP to: mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.commailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

For more information on speakers go to:www.thedigitalhub.com

Exhibit 3: Design Presents Talk Digital – 2

Leading national and international digital artists, programmers and designers reveal the secrets of their success in a series of talks in
Dublin’s Digital Hub on the 4th, 11th and 18th of September 2003.

This series of informal discussions will examine the issues raised by Exhibit3:Design.

September 11th Programme:
Concepts on information and interaction design
Dominic Robson: RCA Interaction Design
Marc Tinkler: Plumb Design
Clifton Evans: On Information Architecture

Admission is free.

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30 pm
Venue: The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8
t: +353 1 4806200

RSVP to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.commailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

For more information on speakers go to:
www.thedigitalhub.com

Exhibit 3: Design Presents Talk Digital

Leading national and international digital artists, programmers and designers reveal the secrets of their success in a series of talks in
Dublin’s Digital Hub on the 4th, 11th and 18th of September 2003.

This series of informal discussions will examine the issues raised by Exhibit3:Design.

September 4th Programme:
Moving graphics and alternative interfaces
Damian Polly + Oonagh Casey: DCU ‘Savant’ project
Stanza: stanza.com
Glenn Marshall:Animator ‘The Drop’, ‘Lotus’

Admission is free.

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30 pm
Venue: The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8
t: +353 1 4806200

RSVP to: mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com

For more information on speakers go to:
www.thedigitalhub.com

London Calling – 2

This week London’s computer games events, both trade and public, will combine under the name London Games Week. The events, which include GDCE, ECTS and the PlayStation Experience will run until Saturday the 30th of August. We’ve compiled a quick rundown of the events and some of the games, which will be in London during the week.

GDCE 2003
Date: 26-29 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Trade Only

Games Development Conference Europe is the largest event of its kind in Europe; its aim is to provide a place for networking to share ideas and to promote the making of better games.

Of interest to newly set up as well as aged developers is “Grow or Die: Does Size Really Matter?” which sees a host of speakers discuss the problems facing small “basement” developers to larger companies who are more interested in making money then “great” games and how the industry needs small and large studios, Tony Van, who has worked on Die Hard, Star Wars: Rebel Assault and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation among other, speaks about licenses; what games are appropriate and how to get the most out of a license and David Wessman will talk about relationship between all parts of game development teams as well as testers, marketing and the publisher; his session will include individual and team motivation, efficient design, tools and overcoming egos.

The less serious aspects of GDCE will see the high profile Peter Molyneux battle against Gary Pennin in a “deathmatch” debate on their view of the industry, as well as “Are You Game?”, described as a cross between the BBC’s Test The Nation and a pub quiz, it gives attends the chance to test their computer game knowledge against a panel of well known developers.

Far more serious Naughty Dog’s Jason Rubin is to make the point that gamers will no longer care about graphics, that the time for graphics on their own selling games is over.

Other topics include Intellectual Property Rights in Game Development, Learning AI & Game Development, Localization For Maximizing Audience, Need for Hard Retail Statistics for Mobile Gaming, Preparing for and Transitioning to Next Generation Platforms, Developing PC expansion packs, Game Credit Standards, Game Design Pattern. Also taking place will be sponsored Tutorials from Nvidia, Intel, Microsoft for Windows developers and Xbox for Unsigned Developers.

ECTS 2003
Date: 27-29 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Trade Only

Although less floor space is available then last year because the growth of the PlayStation Experience (see below), ECTS is returning with the backing from large publishers: EA, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Atari (Infograms), Vivendi, and Nokia among others will have some presence, from Sony with their PlayStation Experience to Nintendo parking a truck outside.

Anyone who wasn’t at E3 and missed the chance to see the Halflife 2 in-game video footage (or just sinfully missed it) will be happy to know that they’ll have another chance at its European debut at ECTS.

Nintendo parked truck with its “extended trailer” will boost forty consoles. Gamecube games will include The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and for the first time a completed Mario Kart: Double Dash, while new GBA titles as well as GBA – GameCube connectivity will be on display.

A new developer – publisher element of ECTS is Games Market which will give developers with un-signed games the chance to meet pre determined publishers within an invitation only environment. Games Market runs on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th.

Other games to be shown at the event with video footage are Driver 3 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, while Breed, Broken Sword 3, FIFA, Lord of the Rings, Judge Dredd, MOH Rising Sun, Pro Evo 3, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and others will be present in some form.

PlayStation Experience
Date: 28-31 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Ticket Only [£6 in advance, £8 on the door]

After last years successful PlayStation Experience it again returns, only to grow larger in floor space and longer by a day then its trade only equality.

This ticket only event sees Sony and third party developers showing upcoming games to the public; last year the Getaway and the Eye Toy made their first appearance inside the Experience’s walls. In the near future the PSExperience format is expected to be exported to other European countries.

London Games Week also includes the Develop Awards and Game Charity Ball processes of which will benefit Entertainment Software Charity (ESC), both are set to sell out.

http://www.gdc-europe.com/

Author bio: Cian Ginty is the Editor of Ireland’s online computer games publication Gameire.com.

Games Part Of Edinburgh Cultural Festival – 2

Was it an attempt to legitimise games as a cultural form? Well as part of the wider Edinburgh cultural festival this month you could head to the Royal Museum for the public exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ and attend a one day conference called ‘The Future of Entertainment is Interactive. Celebrating the creativity and growing cultural impact of videogames.’

I was in Edinburgh for a bit of culture so I though I would attend the games conference to try and make some contacts with companies in the UK and see what delegates had to say about the ‘cultural impact’ of videogames. I failed on both counts.

Firstly, the day was so packed with sessions that the only time one had to meet and greet was over lunch, a difficult time to talk it has to be said. Having said that the sound of an Irish accent was enough to attract a group of Irish people, some working in the UK and some from Ireland – including Torc Interactive and the North Western Institute in Derry – who are soon launching a games course (see the forums for info.). Also met a representative from Meeja in Dundalk who are working on a game but the guy disappeared from the dinner Q so quickly I couldn’t get any more info. So it is not true to say I didn’t make contacts – but interestingly many of them were Irish. Oh, and all knew of gamedevelopers.ie and had visited the forums so word is getting around.

Secondly, there was little new said about the cultural impact of games although many of the speakers were more realistic about the impact of games than is usually the case at such conferences. For example, the usual stats were trotted out about the games industry being bigger than film but in the afternoon Seamus Blackley, did a great job in debunking these statistics and pointing to the problems facing the industry, including sequelitis and the lack of professionalism. (I wonder did anyone suggest he might enter the Edinburgh Fringe festival as a stand up – I see a budding Perrier award winner there!)

The importance of developing original IP was raised in the first session by Rod Cousens of Acclaim who argued that contrary to popular belief there has been a greater number of original IP and franchises developed by the industry in the past three years than film/TV franchises. The session went on to discuss if the industry was mass market yet and if not how they might get there. Is it an issue of price or of quality? Is it advertising that puts women off or are they just a more demanding and discerning market? It would appear that while the battle for the legitimacy of games has been won inside major corporations like Microsoft and Sony, much has yet to be done out in the marketplace itself.

Indeed things need to change within the industry itself too. Call me paranoid but did anyone else notice the almost complete lack of women on the various panels during the day? The only female panellist was Aleksandra Krotoski, former presenter of Thumb Bandits, and she got a pretty small slot to air her views on women in games, even too short for me to jump in with findings from my research – guys try better to get a balance next time please!

The session on ‘Hollywood or Bust’ told us things we knew – that the process of creating a game and a film are different and the two processes have much to learn from each other. It didn’t go much further although it was nice to see previews of the new Bond and Alias games. And the participants seemed to think that bettering scripting would add more emotion to games, although TV scripting might be a better model to follow than film scripting.

Defining innovation is a tricky task – but the three examples offered in the innovation session did enough to whet appetites and lure us into a false sense that anything is possible in this industry. From Fightbox, the TV programme which will merge virtual and studio technology this Autumn to Peter Molyneux’s new game Fable we saw some great visuals without gaining much insight into the practical problems encountered when one tries to get an innovative idea made.

For me the Music Master Class was a disappointment, not for the fact that the speakers did not know their stuff, but rather for the fact that the only person who was working fulltime on sound in games failed to get his ideas across. It was a problem of chairing, an eloquent speaker from the film industry and an academic who all had interesting things to say in their own right, but who drowned out the only person actually involved in designing sound for games on a fulltime basis.

And then we ended up the day with an audience participation exercise. Even Clive Tyldesley, the host for the day, got into it ‘crawling’ over the audience to distribute a microphone to eager participants.

During this session what was left of the audience were invited to tease, heckle and cheer for the best of four soccer games – none of which I was in a position to judge it has to be said. But I was sitting beside a guy from EA whose FIFA soccer game was the most derided game – if the most successful in sales terms – and he took it all in good spirit. I am also proud to report that the ‘Irish row’ of attendees – yes there were that many – were successful in answering a number of the general knowledge soccer questions. I even managed to answer a few myself. And the winner? Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami. The chair of the session, Danny Kelly, was another possible entrant into the Perrier award as he delicately tread the line between questioning and insulting his panellists.

As for the evening’s entertainment. Well I remember that Metroid Prime won the nVidia award for excellence and innovation, although the place was so packed it was almost impossible to see the screen or hear what was going on. The rest is somewhat hazy.

Want To Develop For The Next Playstation Console? – 2

As you may have heard, Sony’s next console will be a handheld and portable console which is going by the rather self-explanatory name of Playstation Portable (PSP).

Scheduled for release in the latter half of 2004, the company hopes to take on head-to-head current market leaders Nintendo, and will be in the running with Nokia’s N-Gage.

Here’s the specifications of the machine:

Display: Wide screen (16:9) TFT LCD with backlight and a resolution of 480 x 272
Disc format: Universal Media Device (UMD) ROM cartridge optical disc with capacity of 1.8GB
Video Support: MPEG4
Graphics: 3D Polygon/NURBS
Sound: PCM (built-in speakers & stereo headphone output)
I/O: USB 2.0 & Sony Memory Stick
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion

In a recent interview with Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Ireland, Niall O’Hanrahan, I discussed the forthcoming machine. Sony is positioning the console as the ‘Walkman of the 21st century’, with multi-functional capabilities and support for future technologies. Although no images of the machine have been made available, we did discuss development opportunities for Irish game developers.

Unlike previous Sony consoles, which required the purchase of an expensive development kit, Playstation Portable games will be developed using a PC package which will emulate the hardware. This substantially reduces development costs and should encourage Irish companies to develop for the machine. Initial indications suggest that the platform will be able to run games with a capability somewhere between PSOne and PS2 titles.

Sony have a 3rd Party Liaison Group which is dedicated to talking to third party developers, however Mr. O’Hanrahan has said that Irish companies who are seriously interested in developing for the console may contact him for further information on development opportunities with Sony. We have set up an email address for you to use to contact Sony. Please include your company name, contact details and any development history to mailto: sonypsp@dcu.iesonypsp@dcu.ie

We’ll have further information on the Playstation Portable and development issues surrounding the console later in the year.

Playstation Experience

Everything you ever wanted to play…

alongside the trade shows ECTS and GDCE this event is for the public

Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Ticket Only [£6 in advance, £8 on the door]
Dates: 28-31 August

London Calling

This week London’s computer games events, both trade and public, will combine under the name London Games Week. The events, which include GDCE, ECTS and the PlayStation Experience will run until Saturday the 30th of August. We’ve compiled a quick rundown of the events and some of the games, which will be in London during the week.

GDCE 2003
Date: 26-29 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Trade Only

Games Development Conference Europe is the largest event of its kind in Europe; its aim is to provide a place for networking to share ideas and to promote the making of better games.

Of interest to newly set up as well as aged developers is “Grow or Die: Does Size Really Matter?” which sees a host of speakers discuss the problems facing small “basement” developers to larger companies who are more interested in making money then “great” games and how the industry needs small and large studios, Tony Van, who has worked on Die Hard, Star Wars: Rebel Assault and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation among other, speaks about licenses; what games are appropriate and how to get the most out of a license and David Wessman will talk about relationship between all parts of game development teams as well as testers, marketing and the publisher; his session will include individual and team motivation, efficient design, tools and overcoming egos.

The less serious aspects of GDCE will see the high profile Peter Molyneux battle against Gary Pennin in a “deathmatch” debate on their view of the industry, as well as “Are You Game?”, described as a cross between the BBC’s Test The Nation and a pub quiz, it gives attends the chance to test their computer game knowledge against a panel of well known developers.

Far more serious Naughty Dog’s Jason Rubin is to make the point that gamers will no longer care about graphics, that the time for graphics on their own selling games is over.

Other topics include Intellectual Property Rights in Game Development, Learning AI & Game Development, Localization For Maximizing Audience, Need for Hard Retail Statistics for Mobile Gaming, Preparing for and Transitioning to Next Generation Platforms, Developing PC expansion packs, Game Credit Standards, Game Design Pattern. Also taking place will be sponsored Tutorials from Nvidia, Intel, Microsoft for Windows developers and Xbox for Unsigned Developers.

ECTS 2003
Date: 27-29 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Trade Only

Although less floor space is available then last year because the growth of the PlayStation Experience (see below), ECTS is returning with the backing from large publishers: EA, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Atari (Infograms), Vivendi, and Nokia among others will have some presence, from Sony with their PlayStation Experience to Nintendo parking a truck outside.

Anyone who wasn’t at E3 and missed the chance to see the Halflife 2 in-game video footage (or just sinfully missed it) will be happy to know that they’ll have another chance at its European debut at ECTS.

Nintendo parked truck with its “extended trailer” will boost forty consoles. Gamecube games will include The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and for the first time a completed Mario Kart: Double Dash, while new GBA titles as well as GBA – GameCube connectivity will be on display.

A new developer – publisher element of ECTS is Games Market which will give developers with un-signed games the chance to meet pre determined publishers within an invitation only environment. Games Market runs on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th.

Other games to be shown at the event with video footage are Driver 3 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, while Breed, Broken Sword 3, FIFA, Lord of the Rings, Judge Dredd, MOH Rising Sun, Pro Evo 3, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and others will be present in some form.

PlayStation Experience
Date: 28-31 August
Location: Earls Court, London
Restrictions: Ticket Only [£6 in advance, £8 on the door]

After last years successful PlayStation Experience it again returns, only to grow larger in floor space and longer by a day then its trade only equality.

This ticket only event sees Sony and third party developers showing upcoming games to the public; last year the Getaway and the Eye Toy made their first appearance inside the Experience’s walls. In the near future the PSExperience format is expected to be exported to other European countries.

London Games Week also includes the Develop Awards and Game Charity Ball processes of which will benefit Entertainment Software Charity (ESC), both are set to sell out.

http://www.gdc-europe.com/

Author bio: Cian Ginty is the Editor of Ireland’s online computer games publication Gameire.com.

Games Part Of Edinburgh Cultural Festival

Was it an attempt to legitimise games as a cultural form? Well as part of the wider Edinburgh cultural festival this month you could head to the Royal Museum for the public exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ and attend a one day conference called ‘The Future of Entertainment is Interactive. Celebrating the creativity and growing cultural impact of videogames.’

I was in Edinburgh for a bit of culture so I though I would attend the games conference to try and make some contacts with companies in the UK and see what delegates had to say about the ‘cultural impact’ of videogames. I failed on both counts.

Firstly, the day was so packed with sessions that the only time one had to meet and greet was over lunch, a difficult time to talk it has to be said. Having said that the sound of an Irish accent was enough to attract a group of Irish people, some working in the UK and some from Ireland – including Torc Interactive and the North Western Institute in Derry – who are soon launching a games course (see the forums for info.). Also met a representative from Meeja in Dundalk who are working on a game but the guy disappeared from the dinner Q so quickly I couldn’t get any more info. So it is not true to say I didn’t make contacts – but interestingly many of them were Irish. Oh, and all knew of gamedevelopers.ie and had visited the forums so word is getting around.

Secondly, there was little new said about the cultural impact of games although many of the speakers were more realistic about the impact of games than is usually the case at such conferences. For example, the usual stats were trotted out about the games industry being bigger than film but in the afternoon Seamus Blackley, did a great job in debunking these statistics and pointing to the problems facing the industry, including sequelitis and the lack of professionalism. (I wonder did anyone suggest he might enter the Edinburgh Fringe festival as a stand up – I see a budding Perrier award winner there!)

The importance of developing original IP was raised in the first session by Rod Cousens of Acclaim who argued that contrary to popular belief there has been a greater number of original IP and franchises developed by the industry in the past three years than film/TV franchises. The session went on to discuss if the industry was mass market yet and if not how they might get there. Is it an issue of price or of quality? Is it advertising that puts women off or are they just a more demanding and discerning market? It would appear that while the battle for the legitimacy of games has been won inside major corporations like Microsoft and Sony, much has yet to be done out in the marketplace itself.

Indeed things need to change within the industry itself too. Call me paranoid but did anyone else notice the almost complete lack of women on the various panels during the day? The only female panellist was Aleksandra Krotoski, former presenter of Thumb Bandits, and she got a pretty small slot to air her views on women in games, even too short for me to jump in with findings from my research – guys try better to get a balance next time please!

The session on ‘Hollywood or Bust’ told us things we knew – that the process of creating a game and a film are different and the two processes have much to learn from each other. It didn’t go much further although it was nice to see previews of the new Bond and Alias games. And the participants seemed to think that bettering scripting would add more emotion to games, although TV scripting might be a better model to follow than film scripting.

Defining innovation is a tricky task – but the three examples offered in the innovation session did enough to whet appetites and lure us into a false sense that anything is possible in this industry. From Fightbox, the TV programme which will merge virtual and studio technology this Autumn to Peter Molyneux’s new game Fable we saw some great visuals without gaining much insight into the practical problems encountered when one tries to get an innovative idea made.

For me the Music Master Class was a disappointment, not for the fact that the speakers did not know their stuff, but rather for the fact that the only person who was working fulltime on sound in games failed to get his ideas across. It was a problem of chairing, an eloquent speaker from the film industry and an academic who all had interesting things to say in their own right, but who drowned out the only person actually involved in designing sound for games on a fulltime basis.

And then we ended up the day with an audience participation exercise. Even Clive Tyldesley, the host for the day, got into it ‘crawling’ over the audience to distribute a microphone to eager participants.

During this session what was left of the audience were invited to tease, heckle and cheer for the best of four soccer games – none of which I was in a position to judge it has to be said. But I was sitting beside a guy from EA whose FIFA soccer game was the most derided game – if the most successful in sales terms – and he took it all in good spirit. I am also proud to report that the ‘Irish row’ of attendees – yes there were that many – were successful in answering a number of the general knowledge soccer questions. I even managed to answer a few myself. And the winner? Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami. The chair of the session, Danny Kelly, was another possible entrant into the Perrier award as he delicately tread the line between questioning and insulting his panellists.

As for the evening’s entertainment. Well I remember that Metroid Prime won the nVidia award for excellence and innovation, although the place was so packed it was almost impossible to see the screen or hear what was going on. The rest is somewhat hazy.

Want To Develop For The Next Playstation Console?

As you may have heard, Sony’s next console will be a handheld and portable console which is going by the rather self-explanatory name of Playstation Portable (PSP).

Scheduled for release in the latter half of 2004, the company hopes to take on head-to-head current market leaders Nintendo, and will be in the running with Nokia’s N-Gage.

Here’s the specifications of the machine:

Display: Wide screen (16:9) TFT LCD with backlight and a resolution of 480 x 272
Disc format: Universal Media Device (UMD) ROM cartridge optical disc with capacity of 1.8GB
Video Support: MPEG4
Graphics: 3D Polygon/NURBS
Sound: PCM (built-in speakers & stereo headphone output)
I/O: USB 2.0 & Sony Memory Stick
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion

In a recent interview with Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Ireland, Niall O’Hanrahan, I discussed the forthcoming machine. Sony is positioning the console as the ‘Walkman of the 21st century’, with multi-functional capabilities and support for future technologies. Although no images of the machine have been made available, we did discuss development opportunities for Irish game developers.

Unlike previous Sony consoles, which required the purchase of an expensive development kit, Playstation Portable games will be developed using a PC package which will emulate the hardware. This substantially reduces development costs and should encourage Irish companies to develop for the machine. Initial indications suggest that the platform will be able to run games with a capability somewhere between PSOne and PS2 titles.

Sony have a 3rd Party Liaison Group which is dedicated to talking to third party developers, however Mr. O’Hanrahan has said that Irish companies who are seriously interested in developing for the console may contact him for further information on development opportunities with Sony. We have set up an email address for you to use to contact Sony. Please include your company name, contact details and any development history to mailto: sonypsp@dcu.iesonypsp@dcu.ie

We’ll have further information on the Playstation Portable and development issues surrounding the console later in the year.

Game Connection

A chance to meet approx. 50 publishers all in one place. But there is competition as at least 75 European game developers are expected too and there are only 32 time slots available.

So the deal seems to be that you tell Game Connection who you would like to meet and they try to arrange a schedule as best they can. Alongside these meetings there is a number of conferences dedicated to business and the sponsors.

For a developer selling a project it is not cheap but probably cheaper than individually arranging all the meetings and travelling to the publisher. So for €2,500 you can buy a booth and have access to business conferences and an online meeting system to present your project.

If you want to attend the conferences only it costs €300.

For a publisher it costs €600 for two nights or €450 for one night.

registration info etc. can be found at http://www.game-connection.netwww.game-connection.net

See the August issue of Develop magazine also for info..pgs.16-17.

Digital Hub Looking For Games – 2

The Digital Hub continues their series of innovative showcases for new media and digital technologies with ‘Exhibit 4:Play’ later this year and they are now looking for entries.

Exhibit4: Play will focus on gaming, the games sector and games related projects. The Digital Hub are currently looking for submissions from Ireland and abroad to showcase individual’s games for web, PC, networks, mobile, console, projects that are research based, experimental, or educational, and ‘conceptually and technically innovative, projects and products that take games and game play to new, places and domains where gaming has not previously being used i.e. education.’

Projects can cover a broad range of disciplines and may include graphics, product design, fashion, furniture, architectural, web, interaction and sound design, motion graphics, film, animation, special effects, commercial production, advertising and computer programming as long as they address the gaming brief. The final exhibits will be chosen by a selection panel and those that are chosen to exhibit will be awarded an honorarium of EUR1,000.

Closing Date for receipt of submissions is 15th September 2003.

Entries can be sent on CD, DVD, URL, interactive presentation, VHS or mini DV or email exhibit@thedigitalhub.com and the proposal clearly marked with ‘Exhibit 4:Play’.

Address: Nicky Gogan, The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas St., The Digital Hub, Dublin 8

For further details including submission proposal format visit:www.thedigitalhub.com www.thedigitalhub.com

Wi-Fi Seminar 2003

Wi-Fi Seminar 2003 in association with Siemens, Intel and O2.

Date: Wednesday, August 27th 9am-2pm.
Location: The Grosvenor Suite, The Berkeley Court Hotel, Lansdowne Rd., Dublin 4.
Registration: EURO 80+VAT/person; group discounts available

To register email dneville@firsttuesday.ie

08.30-09.00 – Registration and coffee
09.00-09.10 – Introduction
09.10-09.50 – , Diego Cabezudo – Strategy Manager
09.50-10.30 – , Paul Cullen – Director Public Wireless LAN Networks
10.30-10.50 – Coffee & Demos
10.50-11.30 – , Colin Mac Hale
11.30-12.10 – , Richard Dineen – Research Director
12.10-12.30 – Panel Q&A session
12.30-13.30 – Lunch

For further information on this event click
www.firsttuesday.ie/events/eventsb.htmlwww.firsttuesday.ie

Digital Hub Looking For Games

The Digital Hub continues their series of innovative showcases for new media and digital technologies with ‘Exhibit 4:Play’ later this year and they are now looking for entries.

Exhibit4: Play will focus on gaming, the games sector and games related projects. The Digital Hub are currently looking for submissions from Ireland and abroad to showcase individual’s games for web, PC, networks, mobile, console, projects that are research based, experimental, or educational, and ‘conceptually and technically innovative, projects and products that take games and game play to new, places and domains where gaming has not previously being used i.e. education.’

Projects can cover a broad range of disciplines and may include graphics, product design, fashion, furniture, architectural, web, interaction and sound design, motion graphics, film, animation, special effects, commercial production, advertising and computer programming as long as they address the gaming brief. The final exhibits will be chosen by a selection panel and those that are chosen to exhibit will be awarded an honorarium of EUR1,000.

Closing Date for receipt of submissions is 15th September 2003.

Entries can be sent on CD, DVD, URL, interactive presentation, VHS or mini DV or email exhibit@thedigitalhub.com and the proposal clearly marked with ‘Exhibit 4:Play’.

Address: Nicky Gogan, The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas St., The Digital Hub, Dublin 8

For further details including submission proposal format visit:www.thedigitalhub.com www.thedigitalhub.com

Ects

ECTS 2002 takes place from August 27th-29th at Earl’s Court , London. All the key names will be there: Activision, Capcom, Eidos, Konami, THQ, Ubi Soft as well as Intel, Midway and ATI.
ECTSfloorplan.pdf

N-Gage Tour Bus

Nokia rolls its N-Gage tour bus into Blanchardstown Shopping Centre on Wednesday August 27th between noon and 8pm in advance of the general release of N-Gage on October 7th .

Portable console games to try out include Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, MotoGP, Rayman 3, Tomb Rader, Pandemonium, Sonic N and Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer (gamedevelopers.ie has been reliably informed the N-Gage version of Red Faction will not be included).

Gamestop: Gamesworld Takeover – 2

GameStop Corp, America’s largest video game and entertainment software specialist retailer have announced the acquisition of Gamesworld Group Ltd., the Irish video game retailer. Gamesworld has 11 retail locations around Ireland and GamesStop intends to build on this success, creating up to 100 new jobs. “We are very excited to partner with the world’s largest video game specialist retailer,” said Kevin Neary, Managing Director of Gamesworld. “Teaming up Gamesworld and GameStop will create a strong growth opportunity for video game retailing in Ireland. This relationship is a big win for our customers and our employees. We’re looking forward to further extending he GameStop brand into Ireland.”

GameStop, which Barnes and Noble has a 60 percent interest in, sells PC software, hardware and game accessories for Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand our operation in the vibrant Irish games market,” said R. Richard Fontaine, Chairman and CEO of GameStop Corp Ireland. “Having a large per capita game console install base, provides us with a unique opportunity to bring our brand of game retailing to this dynamic market”.

Neary will retain his position of Managing Director as will the other founding partners of Gamesworld Group, Michael Finucane, Commercial Director and Paul Hennessy, Financial Director.

Gamestop: Gamesworld Takeover

GameStop Corp, America’s largest video game and entertainment software specialist retailer have announced the acquisition of Gamesworld Group Ltd., the Irish video game retailer. Gamesworld has 11 retail locations around Ireland and GamesStop intends to build on this success, creating up to 100 new jobs. “We are very excited to partner with the world’s largest video game specialist retailer,” said Kevin Neary, Managing Director of Gamesworld. “Teaming up Gamesworld and GameStop will create a strong growth opportunity for video game retailing in Ireland. This relationship is a big win for our customers and our employees. We’re looking forward to further extending he GameStop brand into Ireland.”

GameStop, which Barnes and Noble has a 60 percent interest in, sells PC software, hardware and game accessories for Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand our operation in the vibrant Irish games market,” said R. Richard Fontaine, Chairman and CEO of GameStop Corp Ireland. “Having a large per capita game console install base, provides us with a unique opportunity to bring our brand of game retailing to this dynamic market”.

Neary will retain his position of Managing Director as will the other founding partners of Gamesworld Group, Michael Finucane, Commercial Director and Paul Hennessy, Financial Director.

Half Of Ireland’s Companies Want Better Telecoms Service – 2

An IBEC study shows 44% of Irish companies are dissatisfied with telecoms infrastructure.

IBEC’s Telecommunications User Group (TUG) has released results of a study showing that 44% of Dublin companies feel there is inadequate telecoms infrastructure, an increase of 14% on the figure for 2001. The figure was 54% for companies outside of Dublin. Among the complaints participants in the study had were poor quality of connections, delays in installations, and inconsistent mobile communications, as well as rising costs, customer service and delays in new service deliveries.

Among the recommendations made by the study were ‘evangelisation’ of the need for broadband or those who have access, Government subsidies to improve infrastructure for those who can’t, and greater transparency in pricing.

Eighty businesses took part in the survey which followed up from a similar one on the same population in 2001.

Half Of Ireland’s Companies Want Better Telecoms Service

An IBEC study shows 44% of Irish companies are dissatisfied with telecoms infrastructure.

IBEC’s Telecommunications User Group (TUG) has released results of a study showing that 44% of Dublin companies feel there is inadequate telecoms infrastructure, an increase of 14% on the figure for 2001. The figure was 54% for companies outside of Dublin. Among the complaints participants in the study had were poor quality of connections, delays in installations, and inconsistent mobile communications, as well as rising costs, customer service and delays in new service deliveries.

Among the recommendations made by the study were ‘evangelisation’ of the need for broadband or those who have access, Government subsidies to improve infrastructure for those who can’t, and greater transparency in pricing.

Eighty businesses took part in the survey which followed up from a similar one on the same population in 2001.

Government Tenders For Two Telecom Initiatives – 2

Two new telecom initiatives have been given the go-ahead this week from state bodies – a fibre optic cable maintenance contract from Bord Gais and a broadband provision tender from CLAR, the rural development body.

Bord Gais have requested submissions for a multi-million euro tender for the supply, laying and maintenance of 600km of fibre optic cable beside existing gas pipelines, in an effort to increase telecom capabilities.

Bord Gais already offers telecom services through its subsidiary Aurora. Under the Ceantair Laga Ard-Riachtanais (CLAR) programme to halt rural depopulation and services decline, the Government is also seeking proposals for the provision of broadband to 15 rural towns. This will be a 12-month contract and the initial proposal is investigating the possibility of HLAN /HIPERLAN and DSL technologies.

Full details of the project and designated towns can be found at the following URL: http://www.marine.gov.ie/files/CommsDevCallforCLARproposalsfinal.doc

Government Tenders For Two Telecom Initiatives

Two new telecom initiatives have been given the go-ahead this week from state bodies – a fibre optic cable maintenance contract from Bord Gais and a broadband provision tender from CLAR, the rural development body.

Bord Gais have requested submissions for a multi-million euro tender for the supply, laying and maintenance of 600km of fibre optic cable beside existing gas pipelines, in an effort to increase telecom capabilities.

Bord Gais already offers telecom services through its subsidiary Aurora. Under the Ceantair Laga Ard-Riachtanais (CLAR) programme to halt rural depopulation and services decline, the Government is also seeking proposals for the provision of broadband to 15 rural towns. This will be a 12-month contract and the initial proposal is investigating the possibility of HLAN /HIPERLAN and DSL technologies.

Full details of the project and designated towns can be found at the following URL: http://www.marine.gov.ie/files/CommsDevCallforCLARproposalsfinal.doc

Advice From Beyond – Dave Perry

JMC: Shiny has seen huge growth, from the creation of the hit Earthworm Jim, my first encounter with your work, to your latest game Enter The Matrix. Can I ask you how Shiny came about?

DP: After developing Disney’s Aladdin game, I wanted to take more control and develop my own games, so I formed Shiny in 1993, and Earthworm Jim was our first game. Shiny’s 10-year anniversary is coming up this October, actually. Enter The Matrix was a once-in-a-career opportunity to work with the Wachowskis, and we’re very lucky to have played a part – back in 1999, we actually turned the Wachowski down the first time they offered the opportunity!

How did you get involved in games development, and what was the first project you worked on?

DP: My school in Belfast, Methodist College Belfast, received a big government grant for computers, and I was pretty much glued to the computers from there on out. I started writing games that were published in books and magazines. That’s how you bought games back then – you had to buy books and type in the code yourself. I think the first game I had published was a driving game – a black square that avoided other black squares. They printed it, and I was excited, and then after a few more games, they sent me a check for 450 pounds! To me, that was a fortune! I published a few of my own books, then moved to London after getting my first real job offer.

How did you go about getting finance to set up Shiny?

DP: It was a combination of personal savings and bank loans. It also helped that the first people I hired were all friends, too.

Back then, what was the average cost of development, and how has this changed through the years?

DP: Back then, development costs were about a quarter of what they are now, because the games were so much simpler – the development teams were much smaller. Now, when you’re developing complex games for multiple platforms, with licensors taking their cut, you just can’t compare the two. That being said, there’s even MORE opportunity now, with all the free tools available on the Internet, for people to make independent games very cheaply.

Who did you look to for help when you were initially setting up? Was it friends, business associates or did you have any help whatsoever from government agencies?

DP: When you’re first starting out, you need to make friends with lawyers, accountants, bankers and businesspeople, and learn all that you can from them. There’s always an expert willing to help you. I also took a lot of classes on things like payrolls, accounting, etc. You need a great lawyer and a great accountant – you can’t go far without someone to help you with the nuts and bolts.

What was your first hurdle when you set up Shiny?

DP: Trying to explain my great game idea to a bank manager. “Erm, I have a great-paying job, but I want to leave so I can make a game about a worm. Not just any worm, you know, but a worm in a CYBERNETIC suit! So, can I please have a gigantic loan to get started?”

What advice can you give to companies who wish to set up now?

DP: If a developer has a few years of experience under his belt, plenty of friends in the industry, and a game concept that they think will really work, there’s no reason they shouldn’t try to make the jump. On the other hand, it’s certainly easier to stay where you are, and maybe even get your game developed from inside a larger company. Many people I know that start companies, end up in pain.

But if you have the passion, you must prepare yourself as best you can – learn everything you can about running a business. I’m talking about things like payroll, insurance, rent, purchasing equipment, etc. Those are the things that are most likely to trip you up.

A lot of developers ask about issues such as digital rights, copyright and other legal issues in relation to development. What advice can you give to companies setting up in relation to the legal aspects of game development?

DP: Get an attorney to help you. There’s always an expert out there to help you if you pay them.

How have development methods changed with the arrival of new technologies? How has development changed in the last ten years, comparing developing for the SNES and nowadays the likes of Gamecube, Xbox and Playstation 2?

DP: At the bottom level, the process itself hasn’t changed much – you still have programmers, artists and designers. But since the hardware is so much better, the games are more complex, and the teams are larger. That introduces so many more variables into the mix, so now you’re focused on the production side of things, to make sure the entire team is moving in the right direction.

For students who are currently studying development courses, what should they focus on to have a chance to be employed within a company such as yours?

DP: People starting out shouldn’t wait for their development courses to teach them everything. They need to get started right now with the games-related projects and free tools available on the Internet. Work on a Quake mod, or design your own Counter-Strike map. That’s how you’ll really learn how a game is put together, and that’s really the kinds of experience that game developers are looking for.

Looking to the future, can you recommend any specific fields that students entering into third level should focus on to be in with a chance of developing in four or five years time?

DP: Students must realize that today, most people in the gaming industry don’t have formalized “game design certificates.” There are schools that do that nowadays, but it’s pretty rare. So, they should try to get as much real-world experience as possible. For more on this, they can visit my Web site,

www.dperry.com , where I list software to learn, how to get started on projects, etc.

You have been an ambassador for the industry, often a keynote speaker at events such as E3 or the GDC. Where do you see the industry going over the next years?

DP: I think the next big step is for games to better incorporate the human element – things like voice recognition technology and games that spark an emotional response from people (fear, excitement, relief) that you see in good movies. The other thing is having game characters display true AI. Game characters that form sentences themselves. Characters that think, watch, learn and respond. That will change the current experience.

Dave Perry, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s always a pleasure to hear advice from such a notable person within the industry, and I appreciate having the chance to talk to you.

Also check out

www.shiny.com/

Author Bio: Jamie McCormick is the former editor of the Irish Games website IrishPlayer.com, as well as a freelance writer for a number of magazines and sites around the country. He is currently studying Marketing in Dublin Institute of Technology. Check out his other article for gamedevelopers.ie last May.

Advice From Beyond – Dave Perry – 2

JMC: Shiny has seen huge growth, from the creation of the hit Earthworm Jim, my first encounter with your work, to your latest game Enter The Matrix. Can I ask you how Shiny came about?

DP: After developing Disney’s Aladdin game, I wanted to take more control and develop my own games, so I formed Shiny in 1993, and Earthworm Jim was our first game. Shiny’s 10-year anniversary is coming up this October, actually. Enter The Matrix was a once-in-a-career opportunity to work with the Wachowskis, and we’re very lucky to have played a part – back in 1999, we actually turned the Wachowski down the first time they offered the opportunity!

How did you get involved in games development, and what was the first project you worked on?

DP: My school in Belfast, Methodist College Belfast, received a big government grant for computers, and I was pretty much glued to the computers from there on out. I started writing games that were published in books and magazines. That’s how you bought games back then – you had to buy books and type in the code yourself. I think the first game I had published was a driving game – a black square that avoided other black squares. They printed it, and I was excited, and then after a few more games, they sent me a check for 450 pounds! To me, that was a fortune! I published a few of my own books, then moved to London after getting my first real job offer.

How did you go about getting finance to set up Shiny?

DP: It was a combination of personal savings and bank loans. It also helped that the first people I hired were all friends, too.

Back then, what was the average cost of development, and how has this changed through the years?

DP: Back then, development costs were about a quarter of what they are now, because the games were so much simpler – the development teams were much smaller. Now, when you’re developing complex games for multiple platforms, with licensors taking their cut, you just can’t compare the two. That being said, there’s even MORE opportunity now, with all the free tools available on the Internet, for people to make independent games very cheaply.

Who did you look to for help when you were initially setting up? Was it friends, business associates or did you have any help whatsoever from government agencies?

DP: When you’re first starting out, you need to make friends with lawyers, accountants, bankers and businesspeople, and learn all that you can from them. There’s always an expert willing to help you. I also took a lot of classes on things like payrolls, accounting, etc. You need a great lawyer and a great accountant – you can’t go far without someone to help you with the nuts and bolts.

What was your first hurdle when you set up Shiny?

DP: Trying to explain my great game idea to a bank manager. “Erm, I have a great-paying job, but I want to leave so I can make a game about a worm. Not just any worm, you know, but a worm in a CYBERNETIC suit! So, can I please have a gigantic loan to get started?”

What advice can you give to companies who wish to set up now?

DP: If a developer has a few years of experience under his belt, plenty of friends in the industry, and a game concept that they think will really work, there’s no reason they shouldn’t try to make the jump. On the other hand, it’s certainly easier to stay where you are, and maybe even get your game developed from inside a larger company. Many people I know that start companies, end up in pain.

But if you have the passion, you must prepare yourself as best you can – learn everything you can about running a business. I’m talking about things like payroll, insurance, rent, purchasing equipment, etc. Those are the things that are most likely to trip you up.

A lot of developers ask about issues such as digital rights, copyright and other legal issues in relation to development. What advice can you give to companies setting up in relation to the legal aspects of game development?

DP: Get an attorney to help you. There’s always an expert out there to help you if you pay them.

How have development methods changed with the arrival of new technologies? How has development changed in the last ten years, comparing developing for the SNES and nowadays the likes of Gamecube, Xbox and Playstation 2?

DP: At the bottom level, the process itself hasn’t changed much – you still have programmers, artists and designers. But since the hardware is so much better, the games are more complex, and the teams are larger. That introduces so many more variables into the mix, so now you’re focused on the production side of things, to make sure the entire team is moving in the right direction.

For students who are currently studying development courses, what should they focus on to have a chance to be employed within a company such as yours?

DP: People starting out shouldn’t wait for their development courses to teach them everything. They need to get started right now with the games-related projects and free tools available on the Internet. Work on a Quake mod, or design your own Counter-Strike map. That’s how you’ll really learn how a game is put together, and that’s really the kinds of experience that game developers are looking for.

Looking to the future, can you recommend any specific fields that students entering into third level should focus on to be in with a chance of developing in four or five years time?

DP: Students must realize that today, most people in the gaming industry don’t have formalized “game design certificates.” There are schools that do that nowadays, but it’s pretty rare. So, they should try to get as much real-world experience as possible. For more on this, they can visit my Web site,

www.dperry.com , where I list software to learn, how to get started on projects, etc.

You have been an ambassador for the industry, often a keynote speaker at events such as E3 or the GDC. Where do you see the industry going over the next years?

DP: I think the next big step is for games to better incorporate the human element – things like voice recognition technology and games that spark an emotional response from people (fear, excitement, relief) that you see in good movies. The other thing is having game characters display true AI. Game characters that form sentences themselves. Characters that think, watch, learn and respond. That will change the current experience.

Dave Perry, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s always a pleasure to hear advice from such a notable person within the industry, and I appreciate having the chance to talk to you.

Also check out

www.shiny.com/

Author Bio: Jamie McCormick is the former editor of the Irish Games website IrishPlayer.com, as well as a freelance writer for a number of magazines and sites around the country. He is currently studying Marketing in Dublin Institute of Technology. Check out his other article for gamedevelopers.ie last May.