Getting The Business Plan Right

The event is sponsored by BDO Simpson Xavier, and is an excellent
networking and learning opportunity for those who are interested in
setting up a company or for those who have already set up a company. The events are open to everyone and admission is free.

Date: 15 October 2003
Location: invent, DCU Campus
Time: 6.30pm
Topic: Getting the business Plan Right
Speaker: Ron Immink, Director Oaktree Press

Oak Tree Press is the leading expert in micro-enterprise development in
Ireland. It is well-known for its start-up publications, such as Fire in the Belly, Planning for Success, Starting Your Own Business, Starting a
Business in Ireland and TENBizPlan, as well as the web site,
www.startingabusinessinireland.com.

To register please contact Suzanne at invent reception on 01 7007777 or
email mailto: Suzanne.ennis@invent.dcu.ieSuzanne.ennis@invent.dcu.ie

Finalists Of N-Gage Challenge Announced – 2

The 5 selected concepts will now be developed into game proptotypes by Digi:CC and shown as part of the forthcoming Digital Hub Exhibit 4: Play exhibition starting the middle of Oct. Then it will be up to you, the public, to vote for the best game.

Remember the winning game will be published by UpStart Games and receive an advance of €5,000 on eventual royalties of the game when published, a period of training at a Digital Hollywood facility in Toyko or LA, an internship in a games development company and an ‘original concept’ credit on the published game. The winning concept will be published globally by Upstart Games and distributed in Europe by 02 through the 02 Games Arcade service.

Concept 1:
Name: Phil Bourke
Proposed Game Title: Fishtank Fire
Genre: Action/Puzzle
Reconfigure the plumbing in at the aquarium in the fastest possible time, so that the water level doesn’t rise so far as to let the electric eels out.

Concept 2:
Name: Ian James Hannigan
Proposed Game Title: Voodoo Vengeance
Genre: Virtual Voodoo Doll
The ‘who’ is up to you. Initially the player is presented with a tug-of-war style meter, 50% player 50% doll. Battle it out through various torments available to eventually break your doll.

Concept 3:
Name: Kenn Coleman
Proposed Game Title: Pitbull Frenzy
Genre: Unknown
Game is based on taking charge of savage pitbull and making him into a sheepdog, taking care not to eat the sheep.

Concept 4:
Name: Kaari Koehn
Proposed Game Title: Firefighter Kelly
Genre: Strategy/Action
A firefighter travels around a small town to extinguish fires before they grown out of control. The hose is tethered to the town’s single hydrant, so a path must be carefull planned.

Concept 5:
Name: Matthew Ryder
Proposed Game Title; Spin
Genre: Action/Puzzle
Spin is a single-player game combining action and puzzle elements. The player must keep the ball inside a circle, avoiding gaps in the perimeter. The only controls are to rotate the circle.

Further information on the Challenge can be found at challenge/index.htmlchallenge/index.html

The N-GAGE Challenge is organised and managed by UPSTART games and supported by Nokia (Ireland) Ltd. and O2 Ireland.

Win Tickets For Sony Playstation Party – 2

Our kind friends in Sony have given us 10 double passes to this year’s PlayStation Party which takes place in the Red Box, Harcourt St, D2 on Tues 7th of Oct.

It kicks off at 8pm and the acts on the night are Jon Carter, Killa Kela, Billy Scurry and others.

Those who can remember that last one tell us it was a proper shindig…

So if you want to win one pair of these tickets simply e-mail us here at gamedevelopers.ie using the feedback form provided in the top navigation bar under CONTACT. Remember to provide us with a snail mail address

When I have ten responses I will call a halt to proceedings in the FEEDBACK section of the forums..see the thread ‘Free Tickets for Sony….’

Get mailing..

Finalists Of N-Gage Challenge Announced

The 5 selected concepts will now be developed into game proptotypes by Digi:CC and shown as part of the forthcoming Digital Hub Exhibit 4: Play exhibition starting the middle of Oct. Then it will be up to you, the public, to vote for the best game.

Remember the winning game will be published by UpStart Games and receive an advance of €5,000 on eventual royalties of the game when published, a period of training at a Digital Hollywood facility in Toyko or LA, an internship in a games development company and an ‘original concept’ credit on the published game. The winning concept will be published globally by Upstart Games and distributed in Europe by 02 through the 02 Games Arcade service.

Concept 1:
Name: Phil Bourke
Proposed Game Title: Fishtank Fire
Genre: Action/Puzzle
Reconfigure the plumbing in at the aquarium in the fastest possible time, so that the water level doesn’t rise so far as to let the electric eels out.

Concept 2:
Name: Ian James Hannigan
Proposed Game Title: Voodoo Vengeance
Genre: Virtual Voodoo Doll
The ‘who’ is up to you. Initially the player is presented with a tug-of-war style meter, 50% player 50% doll. Battle it out through various torments available to eventually break your doll.

Concept 3:
Name: Kenn Coleman
Proposed Game Title: Pitbull Frenzy
Genre: Unknown
Game is based on taking charge of savage pitbull and making him into a sheepdog, taking care not to eat the sheep.

Concept 4:
Name: Kaari Koehn
Proposed Game Title: Firefighter Kelly
Genre: Strategy/Action
A firefighter travels around a small town to extinguish fires before they grown out of control. The hose is tethered to the town’s single hydrant, so a path must be carefull planned.

Concept 5:
Name: Matthew Ryder
Proposed Game Title; Spin
Genre: Action/Puzzle
Spin is a single-player game combining action and puzzle elements. The player must keep the ball inside a circle, avoiding gaps in the perimeter. The only controls are to rotate the circle.

Further information on the Challenge can be found at challenge/index.htmlchallenge/index.html

The N-GAGE Challenge is organised and managed by UPSTART games and supported by Nokia (Ireland) Ltd. and O2 Ireland.

Win Tickets For Sony Playstation Party

Our kind friends in Sony have given us 10 double passes to this year’s PlayStation Party which takes place in the Red Box, Harcourt St, D2 on Tues 7th of Oct.

It kicks off at 8pm and the acts on the night are Jon Carter, Killa Kela, Billy Scurry and others.

Those who can remember that last one tell us it was a proper shindig…

So if you want to win one pair of these tickets simply e-mail us here at gamedevelopers.ie using the feedback form provided in the top navigation bar under CONTACT. Remember to provide us with a snail mail address

When I have ten responses I will call a halt to proceedings in the FEEDBACK section of the forums..see the thread ‘Free Tickets for Sony….’

Get mailing..

Computer Games And Art: Call For Papers/Articles – 2

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions

Submissions are invited for a special edition of the book series Anomalie,
guest edited by Grethe Mitchell and Andy Clarke, entitled "Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions". The paper can take any form (article, interview, overview, monograph, manifesto, etc.), but previously unpublished work is preferred. No restriction is placed upon the interpretation of the theme.

THEMES

What new artworks and art forms are emerging from the cross-fertilisation of the videogame world and the art world? How do they interface with the gaming community and the art establishment? Can videogame art play with ideas or is it just meant to be played? Can a commercial computer game be art or is it just well-executed craft? Is digital art just a game? Can art be playable?

These issues and others are to be explored in a special edition of Anomalie: "Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions".

The theme of Computer Games and Art will be interpreted widely, but could include the following:

– Art, whether digital or non-digital, that appropriates or critiques the
aesthetics, conventions, iconography, or technology of computer games in any way.

– Game levels, patches, skins, modifications and interventions as art.

– Interviews with, or monographs by, relevant theoreticians or
practitioners.

– Play and playfulness in digital art.

– Criticism, case studies, histories, surveys, and overviews.

– Studies of the aesthetics and iconography of computer games.

– Computer games as art objects.

– Issues relating to the production, distribution, curation and exhibition
of videogame art.

This list is clearly not exhaustive, and alternative interpretations of the
theme are invited (feedback can be given on proposed ideas). No restriction is placed upon the definition of "computer game" or "art".

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

Submissions are invited in the form of full papers/articles, though feedback can be given on ideas at an earlier stage. Previously unpublished work is preferred, and should adopt the following guidelines.

– The preferred format for submissions is Word document (.doc)

– The languages for submissions are either English or French (Anomalie is published in English and French).

– All illustrations must be identified with a caption and numbered
sequentially. Illustrations must be placed at the end of the paper, rather
than interspersed in the text.

– All visual and other material must be cleared for copyright by the author of the text. This copyright clearance must be provided, in writing, prior to publication.

– Endnotes should be used for both references and short notes (rather than using footnotes for one and endnotes for the other.

– Submissions should include a short biography of the authors (max 150 words per author).

– Submissions must include an email and postal address for the author(s).

WHERE TO SUBMIT

Submissions should be sent via email to Grethe Mitchell at the following
address:mailto:g.r.Mitchell@uel.ac.ukg.r.Mitchell@uel.ac.uk

Some feedback can be given on abstracts/outlines prior to the submission of a full paper/article, but this is not a guarantee of acceptance and should not be taken as such.

SUBMISSION DATES

As we are seeking unpublished articles wherever possible, a decision has
been made to provide an extended deadline for submission. The revised
schedule of submission and publication is as follows:

– Deadline for submissions: 21st November 2003

– Notification on or after: 19th December 2003

– Final revised papers by: 6th February 2004

– Publication: Spring 2004

ABOUT THE EDITORS

This special edition of Anomalie is guest edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell. Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell are co-founders and co-organisers of the COSIGN series of conferences. They have written on computer games, digital art and interactive performance, and also practice in these fields. For more information about COSIGN, see:
http://www.cosignconference.orghttp://www.cosignconference.org

ABOUT ANOMALIE

Anomalie is a digital arts journal, published in book format, produced by
Anomos – a collective of academics, researchers and practitioners in the field of digital art connected to the University of
Paris 8. The special edition on computer games and art will be issue four of Anomalie. Previous editions were on Avatars and the Body, Digital
Performance, and Interfaces. For further information about Anomos, see:http://www.anomos.orghttp://www.anomos.org

This call is also available online at the following address:

Computer Games And Art: Call For Papers/Articles

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions

Submissions are invited for a special edition of the book series Anomalie,
guest edited by Grethe Mitchell and Andy Clarke, entitled "Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions". The paper can take any form (article, interview, overview, monograph, manifesto, etc.), but previously unpublished work is preferred. No restriction is placed upon the interpretation of the theme.

THEMES

What new artworks and art forms are emerging from the cross-fertilisation of the videogame world and the art world? How do they interface with the gaming community and the art establishment? Can videogame art play with ideas or is it just meant to be played? Can a commercial computer game be art or is it just well-executed craft? Is digital art just a game? Can art be playable?

These issues and others are to be explored in a special edition of Anomalie: "Computer Games and Art: Intersections and Interactions".

The theme of Computer Games and Art will be interpreted widely, but could include the following:

– Art, whether digital or non-digital, that appropriates or critiques the
aesthetics, conventions, iconography, or technology of computer games in any way.

– Game levels, patches, skins, modifications and interventions as art.

– Interviews with, or monographs by, relevant theoreticians or
practitioners.

– Play and playfulness in digital art.

– Criticism, case studies, histories, surveys, and overviews.

– Studies of the aesthetics and iconography of computer games.

– Computer games as art objects.

– Issues relating to the production, distribution, curation and exhibition
of videogame art.

This list is clearly not exhaustive, and alternative interpretations of the
theme are invited (feedback can be given on proposed ideas). No restriction is placed upon the definition of "computer game" or "art".

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

Submissions are invited in the form of full papers/articles, though feedback can be given on ideas at an earlier stage. Previously unpublished work is preferred, and should adopt the following guidelines.

– The preferred format for submissions is Word document (.doc)

– The languages for submissions are either English or French (Anomalie is published in English and French).

– All illustrations must be identified with a caption and numbered
sequentially. Illustrations must be placed at the end of the paper, rather
than interspersed in the text.

– All visual and other material must be cleared for copyright by the author of the text. This copyright clearance must be provided, in writing, prior to publication.

– Endnotes should be used for both references and short notes (rather than using footnotes for one and endnotes for the other.

– Submissions should include a short biography of the authors (max 150 words per author).

– Submissions must include an email and postal address for the author(s).

WHERE TO SUBMIT

Submissions should be sent via email to Grethe Mitchell at the following
address:mailto:g.r.Mitchell@uel.ac.ukg.r.Mitchell@uel.ac.uk

Some feedback can be given on abstracts/outlines prior to the submission of a full paper/article, but this is not a guarantee of acceptance and should not be taken as such.

SUBMISSION DATES

As we are seeking unpublished articles wherever possible, a decision has
been made to provide an extended deadline for submission. The revised
schedule of submission and publication is as follows:

– Deadline for submissions: 21st November 2003

– Notification on or after: 19th December 2003

– Final revised papers by: 6th February 2004

– Publication: Spring 2004

ABOUT THE EDITORS

This special edition of Anomalie is guest edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell. Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell are co-founders and co-organisers of the COSIGN series of conferences. They have written on computer games, digital art and interactive performance, and also practice in these fields. For more information about COSIGN, see:
http://www.cosignconference.orghttp://www.cosignconference.org

ABOUT ANOMALIE

Anomalie is a digital arts journal, published in book format, produced by
Anomos – a collective of academics, researchers and practitioners in the field of digital art connected to the University of
Paris 8. The special edition on computer games and art will be issue four of Anomalie. Previous editions were on Avatars and the Body, Digital
Performance, and Interfaces. For further information about Anomos, see:http://www.anomos.orghttp://www.anomos.org

This call is also available online at the following address:

Wireless Wed – Moving Up The Value Chain

‘Moving up the value chain; how SIM cards are driving mobile adoption’

Location: The Ulster room, The Burlington Hotel, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4.
Registration: 6-6.30pm

Presentations from:

Gemplus, Tim Cawsey – Marketing and Communications Director.
‘Moving towards advanced data services; the role of the SIM’

Alatto, John Whelan – Director.
‘The Mobile Economy Triangle: The view from an application developer’

CardBASE, Gerry Looby – CTO.
‘m-payments and the SIM cards’

Followed by Q&A panel discussion with representatives from Gemplus, Alatto, CardBASE and O2.

Registration will be at the venue at 6pm and the event will commence at 6.30pm.

Admission: Euro 20
Food will be served after the event.

The Wireless Wednesday team 01 -7008508

For further information on this event clickevents/eventsb.htmlhere

Irish-Finnish Mobile Game

Fantasy Warrior, created jointly between Irish mobile applications developer Forwind and Finnish games publisher Sumea, will be available to O2 and Vodafone customers from late autumn.

Forwind developed Fantasy Warrior as an RPG/Adventure game for Sun Microsystem’s J2ME platform, based on a concept by Sumea. Customers of the two Irish mobile operators and a number of mobile games portals and operators throughout Europe will be able to download Fantasy Warrior direct to their mobile phones using WAP or OTA. The game has just been released in the UK through O2. Currently the game is available for the current Nokia 30 and 40 and 60 series, the Sharp GX10/20, Siemens S55/Sl55, Motorola T720, and Sony Ericsson T610/P800.

For more information:
http://www.o2.co.uk/games/story/fantasywarrior.html

Irish-Finnish Mobile Game – 2

Fantasy Warrior, created jointly between Irish mobile applications developer Forwind and Finnish games publisher Sumea, will be available to O2 and Vodafone customers from late autumn.

Forwind developed Fantasy Warrior as an RPG/Adventure game for Sun Microsystem’s J2ME platform, based on a concept by Sumea. Customers of the two Irish mobile operators and a number of mobile games portals and operators throughout Europe will be able to download Fantasy Warrior direct to their mobile phones using WAP or OTA. The game has just been released in the UK through O2. Currently the game is available for the current Nokia 30 and 40 and 60 series, the Sharp GX10/20, Siemens S55/Sl55, Motorola T720, and Sony Ericsson T610/P800.

For more information:
http://www.o2.co.uk/games/story/fantasywarrior.html

Dare To Be Digital Winners, 2003. – 2

On September 5th, ten weeks after it began, the winners of the “Dare To Be Digital” competition were announced. After careful deliberation judges from Electronic Arts, BBC Scotland, Real Time World, Develop Magazine, IOMO and Storyland awarded a total of three team awards and one individual award. Here Damian Furlong, member of team ‘Lost Box’, graduate of Abertay and DCU, summarises who won what.

The award for the product with the greatest ‘Marketability’ went to “Team Brick” for their game “Zoo Crew”. “Zoo Crew” developed a new way of approaching puzzle/adventure games, putting the skills and weaknesses of five very different animal characters at your disposal. The multiple solution puzzle-style encourages teamwork and the character’s personalities provide humour in large doses. The visual style sets the game apart, with larger than life cel-shaded crew interacting with a photo-realistic environment.

The award for ‘Innovation and Creativity’ went to team “Lost Box” for their game ‘Demon Lore’. ‘Demon Lore’ is a third-person team based role-playing game that allows you to simultaneously take control of multiple characters, each with their own unique skills. Using a sophisticated point and click interface, you guide your way through six vast hellish worlds out of mythology, slaying blood-chilling enemies, overcoming deadly puzzles and traps, gain otherworldly powers and obtain mighty weaponry to fulfil your destiny – to destroy the Demon Lord Krahliss and escape from Hell.

The ‘Endeavour’ award was presented to ‘Kita’. This plot driven 2D animated series for 10-14 year olds aimed to engage its audience with a mix of gripping storylines, rounded characters and fast-paced action and adventure.

A ‘Most Outstanding Individual’ award was also presented to Ms. Sarah Deas from the “Lost Box” team. This award was made in recognition of her immense effort as the lone artist on the ‘Demon Lore’ game.

The other competitors were:
•‘Portable Interactive’ with their football management simulation, ‘Socomo’, developed for the mobile phone.
•‘Tasukete’ a product designed to help teach foreign languages through a series of mini-games.
•‘Big House Games’ with their GTA style prison game, “Inmate”.

These projects began back in April when a large number of entries from all over Scotland were submitted to a judging panel. Twelve teams were selected to present their concepts in greater detail and this was then whittled down to the final six.

Ten weeks of work ensued beginning on June 30th. Working long hours and aided by industry consultants all the teams worked hard to get their products to a satisfactory level. Again this year the judges were impressed with what had been achieved in such a short period of time.

Today the teams are looking to move on. Some of the products are attracting interest from publishers. For the “Lost Box” team the desire to break into the industry is strong and they are currently in contact with several sources to help them do just that.

For more information on any of the above, please feel free to contact the author at:mailto:furlond2@mail.dcu.iefurlond2@mail.dcu.ie

More information on the Dare To Be Digital competition can be found at:

Author:Damian Furlong
Team ‘Lost Box’
Project ‘Demon Lore’

Note: A Screenshot from ‘Demon Lore’ illustrates this month’s feature on gamedevelopers.ie

Dare To Be Digital Winners, 2003.

On September 5th, ten weeks after it began, the winners of the “Dare To Be Digital” competition were announced. After careful deliberation judges from Electronic Arts, BBC Scotland, Real Time World, Develop Magazine, IOMO and Storyland awarded a total of three team awards and one individual award. Here Damian Furlong, member of team ‘Lost Box’, graduate of Abertay and DCU, summarises who won what.

The award for the product with the greatest ‘Marketability’ went to “Team Brick” for their game “Zoo Crew”. “Zoo Crew” developed a new way of approaching puzzle/adventure games, putting the skills and weaknesses of five very different animal characters at your disposal. The multiple solution puzzle-style encourages teamwork and the character’s personalities provide humour in large doses. The visual style sets the game apart, with larger than life cel-shaded crew interacting with a photo-realistic environment.

The award for ‘Innovation and Creativity’ went to team “Lost Box” for their game ‘Demon Lore’. ‘Demon Lore’ is a third-person team based role-playing game that allows you to simultaneously take control of multiple characters, each with their own unique skills. Using a sophisticated point and click interface, you guide your way through six vast hellish worlds out of mythology, slaying blood-chilling enemies, overcoming deadly puzzles and traps, gain otherworldly powers and obtain mighty weaponry to fulfil your destiny – to destroy the Demon Lord Krahliss and escape from Hell.

The ‘Endeavour’ award was presented to ‘Kita’. This plot driven 2D animated series for 10-14 year olds aimed to engage its audience with a mix of gripping storylines, rounded characters and fast-paced action and adventure.

A ‘Most Outstanding Individual’ award was also presented to Ms. Sarah Deas from the “Lost Box” team. This award was made in recognition of her immense effort as the lone artist on the ‘Demon Lore’ game.

The other competitors were:
•‘Portable Interactive’ with their football management simulation, ‘Socomo’, developed for the mobile phone.
•‘Tasukete’ a product designed to help teach foreign languages through a series of mini-games.
•‘Big House Games’ with their GTA style prison game, “Inmate”.

These projects began back in April when a large number of entries from all over Scotland were submitted to a judging panel. Twelve teams were selected to present their concepts in greater detail and this was then whittled down to the final six.

Ten weeks of work ensued beginning on June 30th. Working long hours and aided by industry consultants all the teams worked hard to get their products to a satisfactory level. Again this year the judges were impressed with what had been achieved in such a short period of time.

Today the teams are looking to move on. Some of the products are attracting interest from publishers. For the “Lost Box” team the desire to break into the industry is strong and they are currently in contact with several sources to help them do just that.

For more information on any of the above, please feel free to contact the author at:mailto:furlond2@mail.dcu.iefurlond2@mail.dcu.ie

More information on the Dare To Be Digital competition can be found at:

Author:Damian Furlong
Team ‘Lost Box’
Project ‘Demon Lore’

Note: A Screenshot from ‘Demon Lore’ illustrates this month’s feature on gamedevelopers.ie

Games Development & Production Conference – 4

GPDC addresses the issues that developers need to face up to and the opportunities that they should seize in an industry full of unprecedented change.

Kezos invites you to Games Development & Production Conference (GDPC) on 8th and 9th October 2003, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool. GDPC will debate the key issues and opportunities for developers in the current shape-shifting market of hybrid platforms, converged media, consolidation, branding and globalisation. Also under discussion is understanding the global business of games; understanding where the opportunities for games development are now, identifying niche areas and taking control of the client relationship through controlling the routes of development.

The cost is STG£73 + VAT for both days.

Places are running out fast so book now at
www.gpdc.co.uk

Programme:
Day 1: Exploring key areas with the industry’s most respected thinkers

Seamus Blackley, CEO at CEG Games outlines the issues.

Zeno Colaco, VP Publisher and Developer Relations, SCEE and Mark Craddock, Strategy Manager EMEA, Xbox Live will address the platform issues and opportunities.

Ivan Davies of Warthog, Mike Gamble of THQ and Kevin Holloway of Kuju Entertainment will explore the areas where developers can carve out opportunity for themselves: finding niches, building franchises, developing games for current not future opportunities and presenting a global ‘brand’ through product and a global studio presence

Jason Kingsley of Rebellion; Eric Hobbs of Bluebeck and Fred Hasson of Tiga will take part in a final debate identifying the reality from the hype (eg “In 5 Years the UK Development Sector will be Dead”) based on the facts presented throughout the day.
Expert Clinics – where the experts address your key issues of funding; investor-ready grooming; claiming back tax credits; contracts

Day 2: Identification of projects using converged media that require games, workshops and ‘Games Show-down’ final

Peter Cowley, Director of Interactive Media, Endemol, Ted Evans, Executive Director of Interactive Programming, Flextech and Tim Harrison, Head of Mobile Content, Vodafone will discuss the issues and opportunities for games in converged applications across TV and mobile.

Workshops:
Interactive TV with Stuart Nolan of Needlework TV
Games for Nokia’s N-Gage with Jari Saarhelo of the N-Gage Game Development Tools Team at Nokia
Overview of Renderware Tools and Introduction to Tao Intent Media Platform

Show-down -old hands and young turks together debate who and what is the best game… who did things best …. how things have changed… truly generational! Jason Kingsley, Philip Oliver, Dino Dini, John Chasey, Marcus Potter and Jeremy Longley will battle it out along with input from the audience.

For further information, contact mailto:martine@kezos.com
www.kezos.com

Games Development & Production Conference – 3

Day 2: Identification of projects using converged media that require games, workshops and ‘Games Show-down’ final

Peter Cowley, Director of Interactive Media, Endemol, Ted Evans, Executive Director of Interactive Programming, Flextech and Tim Harrison, Head of Mobile Content, Vodafone will discuss the issues and opportunities for games in converged applications across TV and mobile.

Workshops:
Interactive TV with Stuart Nolan of Needlework TV
Games for Nokia’s N-Gage with Jari Saarhelo of the N-Gage Game Development Tools Team at Nokia
Overview of Renderware Tools and Introduction to Tao Intent Media Platform

Show-down:
Old hands and young turks together debate who and what is the best game… who did things best …. how things have changed… truly generational! Jason Kingsley, Philip Oliver, Dino Dini, John Chasey, Marcus Potter and Jeremy Longley will battle it out along with input from the audience.

The cost is £73 + VAT for both days.

For more information and booking go to:
http://www.gpdc.co.uk/order.aspwww.gpdc.co.uk
Contact:mailto:martine@kezos.commartine@kezos.com

Games Development & Production Conference – 2

Day 1: Exploring key areas with the industry’s most respected thinkers

Seamus Blackley, CEO at CEG Games outlines the issues.

Zeno Colaco, VP Publisher and Developer Relations, SCEE and Mark Craddock, Strategy Manager EMEA, Xbox Live will address the platform issues and opportunities.

Ivan Davies of Warthog, Mike Gamble of THQ and Kevin Holloway of Kuju Entertainment will explore the areas where developers can carve out opportunity for themselves: finding niches, building franchises, developing games for current not future opportunities and presenting a global ‘brand’ through product and a global studio presence

Jason Kingsley of Rebellion; Eric Hobbs of Bluebeck and Fred Hasson of Tiga will take part in a final debate identifying the reality from the hype (eg "In 5 Years the UK Development Sector will be Dead") based on the facts presented throughout the day.

Expert Clinics – where the experts address your key issues of funding; investor-ready grooming; claiming back tax credits; contracts

The cost is £73 + VAT for both days

Places are running out fast so book now at:

http://www.gpdc.co.uk/order.aspwww.gpdc.co.uk

Further information:mailto:martine@kezos.commartine@kezos.com

Games Development & Production Conference

GPDC addresses the issues that developers need to face up to and the opportunities that they should seize in an industry full of unprecedented change.

Kezos invites you to Games Development & Production Conference (GDPC) on 8th and 9th October 2003, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool. GDPC will debate the key issues and opportunities for developers in the current shape-shifting market of hybrid platforms, converged media, consolidation, branding and globalisation. Also under discussion is understanding the global business of games; understanding where the opportunities for games development are now, identifying niche areas and taking control of the client relationship through controlling the routes of development.

The cost is STG£73 + VAT for both days.

Places are running out fast so book now at
www.gpdc.co.uk

Programme:
Day 1: Exploring key areas with the industry’s most respected thinkers

Seamus Blackley, CEO at CEG Games outlines the issues.

Zeno Colaco, VP Publisher and Developer Relations, SCEE and Mark Craddock, Strategy Manager EMEA, Xbox Live will address the platform issues and opportunities.

Ivan Davies of Warthog, Mike Gamble of THQ and Kevin Holloway of Kuju Entertainment will explore the areas where developers can carve out opportunity for themselves: finding niches, building franchises, developing games for current not future opportunities and presenting a global ‘brand’ through product and a global studio presence

Jason Kingsley of Rebellion; Eric Hobbs of Bluebeck and Fred Hasson of Tiga will take part in a final debate identifying the reality from the hype (eg “In 5 Years the UK Development Sector will be Dead”) based on the facts presented throughout the day.
Expert Clinics – where the experts address your key issues of funding; investor-ready grooming; claiming back tax credits; contracts

Day 2: Identification of projects using converged media that require games, workshops and ‘Games Show-down’ final

Peter Cowley, Director of Interactive Media, Endemol, Ted Evans, Executive Director of Interactive Programming, Flextech and Tim Harrison, Head of Mobile Content, Vodafone will discuss the issues and opportunities for games in converged applications across TV and mobile.

Workshops:
Interactive TV with Stuart Nolan of Needlework TV
Games for Nokia’s N-Gage with Jari Saarhelo of the N-Gage Game Development Tools Team at Nokia
Overview of Renderware Tools and Introduction to Tao Intent Media Platform

Show-down -old hands and young turks together debate who and what is the best game… who did things best …. how things have changed… truly generational! Jason Kingsley, Philip Oliver, Dino Dini, John Chasey, Marcus Potter and Jeremy Longley will battle it out along with input from the audience.

For further information, contact mailto:martine@kezos.com
www.kezos.com

Education Pioneers – 2

The University of Abertay is a small university with only 5,700 students but certainly one whose reputation in relation to computer game education and research goes far beyond its size. I visited the university in August 2003 to see what lay behind this reputation.

Professor Ian Marshall is head of the School of Computing & Advanced Technologies (CATS) and the person who established the computer game technology courses in the university. I asked him why the courses were set up and did he face any difficulties justifying these developments back in 1997/1998.

The origin of the computer games course lies in a BSc (Hons) Microsystems course developed over 15 years ago and which combined low level programming, physics, electronics and artificial intelligence. One graduate of this course was David Jones, the designer of Lemmings and founder of DMA, the first Scottish computer games company.

While the BSc (Hons) Microsystems course itself was not a popular choice with university entrants and was discontinued, the university received quite a few requests from game companies for graduates with the same mix of skills around 1996/1997. As a result they designed the current BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Technology course and an MSc in Computer Games Technology which were launched in 1997/1998. Both courses were designed with the help of local and national games development companies.

Entry requirements for the courses are high and to date there has been two graduations from the undergraduate programme. The undergraduate course takes approximately 60 students annually while the masters takes about 10. The course content focuses on games programming, maths, dynamics, team work and communication. There is also a four year BSC in Computing (Game Development) which is a traditional computing degree with a games programming theme.

Students on the games courses are encouraged to undertake summer placements in the industry and many have found work with Visual Sciences, Vis and a host of other local games development companies. These placements provide invaluable experience, and, in the past, students employed over the summer have been recruited by the host company when they graduate.

The two Computer Game Technology courses focus on programming and I asked Ian Marshall if he had problems recruiting lecturers for the course. Apparently not. Between freelance game designers, some astute hiring from abroad of people like Alistair Houston, Peter Astheimer and Jim Terkeurst, the refocusing of existing staff who had taught on the Microsystems course and returning graduates have meant they have encountered no such problems. David Jones (RealTime Worlds), Chris van der Kuyl (Vis) and Russel Kay (Visual Sciences) are all visiting professors within the School.

With the focus on programming one might ask what of animation and design? 3D and level design are included in both the BSc and MSc courses and there is a sister degree in computer arts in the University of Abertay which has a strong animation focus. While Professor Marshall admits that the links between the two courses could be stronger they are actively working on developing these links and the two groups already work closely on an informal basis – if a programmer needs an image or an animation, one of the arts students will normally oblige, in return for programming help in an arts project.

I also asked Professor Marshall about the challenges posed by the pace of technological change in the industry. In his experience constantly changing platforms have not posed many problems for the university as the underlying programming principles have remained the same. Programming for a console, he suggests, is in many ways easier than for the Windows environment, because the underlying hardware is fixed for about five years until the next generation product is launched. Abertay’s close links with industry also allow it to anticipate new technology, and adjust course content in line with new developments.

These industry links include a good relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), who equipped the two original Sony Playstation Development Studios, and has just sponsored the SCEE Linux for their Playstation 2 Development Studio. The School has also reached agreement with another of the largest games hardware manufacturers for three full development kits, for use in honours degree projects.

While law, marketing and enterprise are part of the undergraduate and postgraduates degrees a few years ago Professor Marshall recognised that graduates might need additional experience in the business elements of the games industry and experience working in teams with artists and business people. This led to the development of the ‘Dare to be Digital’ competition in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Dundee City Council and Embreonix, the university’s graduate enterprise centre. This was launched internally in 1999 and as a Scottish competition in 2000.

The ‘Dare’ competition is an innovative plan where an industry and academic panel select a small number of teams, currently six teams of five members, who develop a product pitch document and demo for a digital project. The selected teams are paid a minimum project fee, given access to computers and technical and creative expertise and subsidised accommodation over a ten week period. They also receive weekly sessions on issues like contract preparation, business plan development and accountancy from lawyers, accountants and successful entrepreneurs.

The winner is the project with the best market potential, the most balanced team, the best business plan and the most innovative and creative demo. The winner receives a cash prize of €3,500 and a place in Embreonix, a graduate enterprise programme and office space in the University of Abertay. There is also the experience gained from working in a team on an actual project, which is critiqued and judged by an industry panel. It appears that ‘Dare’ people have no problem finding employment in the games industry afterwards.

To date the competition has been run in both Scotland and in Malaysia where the University of Abertay has strong links. Apparently there is no reason why the competition could not be extended to other countries if the sponsorship was available. Indeed a Japanese team entered the Scottish competition last year and came joint second!

A visit to Embreonix found two game companies established there, the Fallen, which is concentrating on developing software for the Game Boy Advance and TPLD which is focussing on developing computer game based training software for large enterprises. Companies can trade from within Embreonix and in return for a modest grant they participate in a post-graduate qualification in Entrepreneurship. Companies can move from Embreonix to a Digital Media Incubator space jointly operated by Embreonix and Interactive Tayside. At present there is one company in this centre focussing on the design and creation of computer games. For further information see www.embreonix.com

The winner of the 2003 Dare competition was announced at an awards ceremony on Friday the 5th of September in Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. The leader of the winning team was Damian Furlong, a graduate of Computer Applications here in DCU. The winning game was called Demon Lore and is described as a third-person, team based RPG in which players control a holy man and a young woman. The screen shot accompanying this feature is from this game and while the team had only 10 weeks to work on the demo they clearly impressed the judges with their creativity and innovation. Apparently there was a strong Irish element to another team too. Watch the news pieces on gamedevelopers.ie to find out more about this competition from Damian himself.

So the University of Abertay is producing skilled game programmers through its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and also supporting the development of business skills and companies through the Dare competition and their enterprise programmes and incubator.

An additional element in the mix is the International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment (IC-CAVE). Founded by Prof Peter Astheimer, this research centre focuses on industry related technological research with some work on usability and business issues. Indeed Dr. Jim Terkeurst, the Business & Research Development Manager within IC-CAVE has worked with the DTI in the UK to arrange a number of trade missions for UK game companies to Japan, the US and France. These have resulted in very informative reports including ‘Games are like Fruit’ on a mission to Japan and ‘Creativity is Not Enough’ on global best practice in digital game publishing in France and the US.

IC-CAVE has 19 full-time researchers working on a number of projects and the centre is self-financing. The centre offers a number of services to the games industry including rapid game prototyping, network game testing and usability testing. They also run master classes and offer advice on funding. Currently IC-CAVE is working on externally funded research and development projects on realistic bi-pedal motion for games and animation; an automated tool to support the localisation of games in the global market; the use of games with the elderly; a novel interface for controlling games without the use of keyboard, joysticks or mice; various projects on mobile and network games technology; the use of games in education and training; and VR for historical buildings using games technology.

So if you are interested in attending Abertay University there is an open day for the Computer Game Technology courses on Wed. 1st Oct. from 2-6pm in 2003. Contact the university to reserve a place.

Further info from:
Professor Ian Marshall, Head of School, School of Computing & Advanced Technologies, Kydd Building, Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG.

Dr. Tim Terkeurst, Research and Business Development Manager, International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment, Level 3, Kydd Building, Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG

See also
www.iccave.com
http://www.daretobedigital.co.ukwww.daretobedigital.co.uk

Education Pioneers

The University of Abertay is a small university with only 5,700 students but certainly one whose reputation in relation to computer game education and research goes far beyond its size. I visited the university in August 2003 to see what lay behind this reputation.

Professor Ian Marshall is head of the School of Computing & Advanced Technologies (CATS) and the person who established the computer game technology courses in the university. I asked him why the courses were set up and did he face any difficulties justifying these developments back in 1997/1998.

The origin of the computer games course lies in a BSc (Hons) Microsystems course developed over 15 years ago and which combined low level programming, physics, electronics and artificial intelligence. One graduate of this course was David Jones, the designer of Lemmings and founder of DMA, the first Scottish computer games company.

While the BSc (Hons) Microsystems course itself was not a popular choice with university entrants and was discontinued, the university received quite a few requests from game companies for graduates with the same mix of skills around 1996/1997. As a result they designed the current BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Technology course and an MSc in Computer Games Technology which were launched in 1997/1998. Both courses were designed with the help of local and national games development companies.

Entry requirements for the courses are high and to date there has been two graduations from the undergraduate programme. The undergraduate course takes approximately 60 students annually while the masters takes about 10. The course content focuses on games programming, maths, dynamics, team work and communication. There is also a four year BSC in Computing (Game Development) which is a traditional computing degree with a games programming theme.

Students on the games courses are encouraged to undertake summer placements in the industry and many have found work with Visual Sciences, Vis and a host of other local games development companies. These placements provide invaluable experience, and, in the past, students employed over the summer have been recruited by the host company when they graduate.

The two Computer Game Technology courses focus on programming and I asked Ian Marshall if he had problems recruiting lecturers for the course. Apparently not. Between freelance game designers, some astute hiring from abroad of people like Alistair Houston, Peter Astheimer and Jim Terkeurst, the refocusing of existing staff who had taught on the Microsystems course and returning graduates have meant they have encountered no such problems. David Jones (RealTime Worlds), Chris van der Kuyl (Vis) and Russel Kay (Visual Sciences) are all visiting professors within the School.

With the focus on programming one might ask what of animation and design? 3D and level design are included in both the BSc and MSc courses and there is a sister degree in computer arts in the University of Abertay which has a strong animation focus. While Professor Marshall admits that the links between the two courses could be stronger they are actively working on developing these links and the two groups already work closely on an informal basis – if a programmer needs an image or an animation, one of the arts students will normally oblige, in return for programming help in an arts project.

I also asked Professor Marshall about the challenges posed by the pace of technological change in the industry. In his experience constantly changing platforms have not posed many problems for the university as the underlying programming principles have remained the same. Programming for a console, he suggests, is in many ways easier than for the Windows environment, because the underlying hardware is fixed for about five years until the next generation product is launched. Abertay’s close links with industry also allow it to anticipate new technology, and adjust course content in line with new developments.

These industry links include a good relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), who equipped the two original Sony Playstation Development Studios, and has just sponsored the SCEE Linux for their Playstation 2 Development Studio. The School has also reached agreement with another of the largest games hardware manufacturers for three full development kits, for use in honours degree projects.

While law, marketing and enterprise are part of the undergraduate and postgraduates degrees a few years ago Professor Marshall recognised that graduates might need additional experience in the business elements of the games industry and experience working in teams with artists and business people. This led to the development of the ‘Dare to be Digital’ competition in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Dundee City Council and Embreonix, the university’s graduate enterprise centre. This was launched internally in 1999 and as a Scottish competition in 2000.

The ‘Dare’ competition is an innovative plan where an industry and academic panel select a small number of teams, currently six teams of five members, who develop a product pitch document and demo for a digital project. The selected teams are paid a minimum project fee, given access to computers and technical and creative expertise and subsidised accommodation over a ten week period. They also receive weekly sessions on issues like contract preparation, business plan development and accountancy from lawyers, accountants and successful entrepreneurs.

The winner is the project with the best market potential, the most balanced team, the best business plan and the most innovative and creative demo. The winner receives a cash prize of €3,500 and a place in Embreonix, a graduate enterprise programme and office space in the University of Abertay. There is also the experience gained from working in a team on an actual project, which is critiqued and judged by an industry panel. It appears that ‘Dare’ people have no problem finding employment in the games industry afterwards.

To date the competition has been run in both Scotland and in Malaysia where the University of Abertay has strong links. Apparently there is no reason why the competition could not be extended to other countries if the sponsorship was available. Indeed a Japanese team entered the Scottish competition last year and came joint second!

A visit to Embreonix found two game companies established there, the Fallen, which is concentrating on developing software for the Game Boy Advance and TPLD which is focussing on developing computer game based training software for large enterprises. Companies can trade from within Embreonix and in return for a modest grant they participate in a post-graduate qualification in Entrepreneurship. Companies can move from Embreonix to a Digital Media Incubator space jointly operated by Embreonix and Interactive Tayside. At present there is one company in this centre focussing on the design and creation of computer games. For further information see www.embreonix.com

The winner of the 2003 Dare competition was announced at an awards ceremony on Friday the 5th of September in Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. The leader of the winning team was Damian Furlong, a graduate of Computer Applications here in DCU. The winning game was called Demon Lore and is described as a third-person, team based RPG in which players control a holy man and a young woman. The screen shot accompanying this feature is from this game and while the team had only 10 weeks to work on the demo they clearly impressed the judges with their creativity and innovation. Apparently there was a strong Irish element to another team too. Watch the news pieces on gamedevelopers.ie to find out more about this competition from Damian himself.

So the University of Abertay is producing skilled game programmers through its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and also supporting the development of business skills and companies through the Dare competition and their enterprise programmes and incubator.

An additional element in the mix is the International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment (IC-CAVE). Founded by Prof Peter Astheimer, this research centre focuses on industry related technological research with some work on usability and business issues. Indeed Dr. Jim Terkeurst, the Business & Research Development Manager within IC-CAVE has worked with the DTI in the UK to arrange a number of trade missions for UK game companies to Japan, the US and France. These have resulted in very informative reports including ‘Games are like Fruit’ on a mission to Japan and ‘Creativity is Not Enough’ on global best practice in digital game publishing in France and the US.

IC-CAVE has 19 full-time researchers working on a number of projects and the centre is self-financing. The centre offers a number of services to the games industry including rapid game prototyping, network game testing and usability testing. They also run master classes and offer advice on funding. Currently IC-CAVE is working on externally funded research and development projects on realistic bi-pedal motion for games and animation; an automated tool to support the localisation of games in the global market; the use of games with the elderly; a novel interface for controlling games without the use of keyboard, joysticks or mice; various projects on mobile and network games technology; the use of games in education and training; and VR for historical buildings using games technology.

So if you are interested in attending Abertay University there is an open day for the Computer Game Technology courses on Wed. 1st Oct. from 2-6pm in 2003. Contact the university to reserve a place.

Further info from:
Professor Ian Marshall, Head of School, School of Computing & Advanced Technologies, Kydd Building, Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG.

Dr. Tim Terkeurst, Research and Business Development Manager, International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment, Level 3, Kydd Building, Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG

See also
www.iccave.com
http://www.daretobedigital.co.ukwww.daretobedigital.co.uk

Gamedev Shindig..New Venue

Time: 7pm
Location: Maguire’s Pub on Baggot Street, Dublin City Centre. Walking from Stephen’s Green, away from town, walk past Toners pub and Tescos. Maguires is on the same side of the road as Tescos and just past Hacketts Reprographics. It looks more like a Georgian House than a pub. And they serve platters of food about 7.30! .

Opposite the main door there is a mid sized snug..we will be in there.

Feel free to drop in and say hello!

Irish Internet Association Annual Conf.

Venue: Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3
Time: 9.00am to 5.00pm
Cost: EUR175.00 (IIA Members) and EUR225.00 (Non Members)

More info:
events.asp?eventid=30events.asp?eventid=30