Ideas Generation Workshop

As part of the Business Generation Seminars run by the Dublin City Enterprise Board, this series of workshops include: setting up a business, understanding entrepeneurship, time frame for getting started, understanding the market place, indentifying real business potential, funding and start up assistance available in the Dublin region.

The workshops will be held in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Taylor’s Lane, Dublin 8.

More details of seminars as they occur at:

seminars.htmseminars.htm

Ideas Generation Workshop – 2

As part of the Business Generation Seminars run by the Dublin City Enterprise Board, this series of workshops include: setting up a business, understanding entrepeneurship, time frame for getting started, understanding the market place, indentifying real business potential, funding and start up assistance available in the Dublin region.

The workshops will be held in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Taylor’s Lane, Dublin 8.

More details of seminars as they occur at:
seminars.htmseminars.htm

Ideas Generation Workshops – 2

As part of the Business Generation Seminars, this series of workshops include: setting up a business, understanding entrepeneurship, time frame for getting started, understanding the market place, indentifying real business potential, funding and start up assistance available in the Dublin region.

The workshops will be held in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Taylor’s Lane, Dublin 8 on October 18th and November 29th.

More details of seminars as they occur at:

seminars.htmseminars.htm

Ni Telecoms Selected For Xbox Live – 2

Esat BT and BT Northern Ireland have been selected by Microsoft as broadband provider partners for Xbox Live as part of its Compatibility Programme, it has been announced this week. This worldwide programme helps to optimise user experiences by selecting broadband packages, offering a huge potential for both Northern Ireland companies.

"Xbox Live is a tangible example of what broadband can deliver for consumers. Xbox Live allows players to connect with each other globally in real-time at high-speed, which is, after all, what the Internet is all about," said Esat BT CEO Bill Murphy.

Esat BT and BT Northern Ireland will be joined by over 50 other broadband providers in North America, Japan and Europe developing connectivity packages and assisting in marketing initiatives.

Orla Sheridan, Home and Entertainments Division Sales Manager Ireland, Microsoft, said "We’re delighted to be partnering with Esat BT and BT Northern Ireland to provide Xbox Live customers on the island of Ireland with the ultimate gaming experience. Esat BT and BT Northern Ireland were chosen as Xbox Live partners because of the quality, reach and ease-of-use of their residential broadband services. Speed is of the essence in many of the Xbox Live games and this partnership will mean that Xbox Live users in Ireland will be able to compete against fellow gamers across the world at blistering speeds."

For more information on Xbox Live, visit:
en-IE/default.htm?culture=0www.xbox.com or default.aspwww.xboxemea.com

User name: partner
Password: xb0xr0ck$

For further information, contact Andrew McLindon/Frans van Cauwelaert WHPR,
Tel: (01) 669 0030
Email:
mailto:andrew.mclindon@ogilvy.comandrew.mclindon@ogilvy.com
mailto:frans.vancauwelaert@ogilvy.comfrans.vancauwelaert@ogilvy.com

Priscilla O’Regan, Communications Manager, Esat BT,
Tel: (01) 432 5162/086 633 5398
Email:mailto:Priscilla.o’regan@esat.comPriscilla.o’regan@esat.com

Xbox Public Relations
Nicola Watkins PR
Tel : (01) 6636587 / 087-2646858
Email:
mailto:nicolawatkins@eircom.netnicolawatkins@eircom.net

For more information on Esat BT, visit ie/www.esatbt.com

Iia And Invest Ni Net Visionary Awards

To nominate: nominations.htmlwww.netvisionary.ie/nominations

About the Awards
The 5th Annual Irish Internet Association Net Visionary Awards will take place on the 26th of November 2003 in the Clontarf Castle. The IIA are delighted to welcome Invest NI as headline sponsor for the awards for 2003.

Over the last five years the awards have become the most respected Internet awards, honouring individuals for their contribution to the Irish Internet Industry. Nominated by colleagues, clients, and peers, short listed by IIA member companies and judged by the IIA board of directors, these awards are truly the most prestigious awards on the Industry calendar.

This year a number of additional awards have been added. You do not need to be an IIA member to nominate and there is no cost of entry. The overall Net Visionary Award will be selected from all of the nominations received.

For more information:

Visit Invest NI at:index.htm

Nomination Procedure
Step 1: Nomination
To nominate someone for an award click on the link below and select the appropriate category. You will need to fill in your details and the nominees contact details and submit up to 50 words as to why you feel they should be short-listed. Closing date for nominations is the 24th of October 2003. There is no cost associated with making a nomination.
nominations.htmlnominations.html

Step 2: Shortlist
On the 28th of October, a representative from each IIA member organisation will vote to create a shortlist. There is one vote per category. The deadline for voting is the 7th of November 2003 and full shortlist details will be announced on the 11th of November 2003.

Step 3: The Judging
The board of the IIA will then vote to select the winners and full details will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony in Clontarf Castle on the 26th of November 2003. To ensure your place at these awards book online at the link below. Please note there are limited tables available due to venue size.
Online booking:events.asp?eventid=32events

Event Details
Date: 26th November 2003
Venue: Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3
Time: 6.45pm
Format: Black-Tie Gala Dinner & Awards

Stay in the Clontarf Castle for 49 euro per person sharing including breakfast – book directly with hotel and state you are attending the event to avail of the special rate.
Booking Details
* Cost: EUR150.00 per place. Tables are sold with 12 places at a cost of EUR1,800.00.

* Early booking is recommended as due to venue size seats are limited to 300 and booking is expected to close in advance of event.

* If booking online payment must be made by credit card to complete
booking process. If booking table please enter 12 for number of places required.

Online booking:events.asp?eventid=32www.iia.ie/events

* If you would like to book and pay by cheque please email: mailto:events@iia.ie events@iia.ie with invoicing details. Please note this is not a 30 day invoice – payment is required immediately.
.
Event Sponsors
We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support of this event.

Headline Sponsor: Invest NI

Media Partner: Thomas Crosbie Media

Category Sponsors: Overture, Realex Payments, Macromedia, IEDR, Ennis
Information Age Services, Nokia, ireland.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION: I I A

Irene Gahan, CEO
E-mail:mailto:irene@iia.iemailto:irene@iia.ie

Sinead Murnane, Operations Manager
E-mail:mailto:sinead.murnane@iia.iemailto:sinead.murnane@iia.ie

Emma Smith, Content Editor Email:mailto:emma.smith@iia.iemailto:emma.smith@iia.ie

For membership enquiries email:mailto:membership@iia.iemailto:membership@iia.ie
For account enquiries email: mailto:accounts@iia.iemailto:accounts@iia.ie

Irish Internet Association
43-44 Temple Bar
Dublin 2
T: 01 6707 621
F: 01 6707 623
W:
E: mailto:info@iia.iemailto:info@iia.ie

White Smoke From Torc

AK – When will the engine be released to market?

DG The engine is just coming out of it’s R&D phase, starting with a blank page mid Sept last year – and these screenshots are the first public airing of the engine. A fully unified real-time per-pixel lighting and shadowing engine targeted at PC and Xbox. The core is up and running, and even more pleasing than the asethetics it’s capable of producing, is its performance -it runs well even on mediocre DX8 cards. There’s quite a lot of work to tie in around the edges, but we’re aiming at GDC next year for its launch.

Obviously in it’s current form it’s being represented as screenshots, so the focus tends to be on the graphical side, but we’ve some other unique features in the engine, most notably the way entities are being handled that means that not only is it powerful, but relatively easy to use as well (partly driven by our close association with some colleges).

AK What colleges are you working with at present?

DG The technical colleges in Derry and Letterkenny as well as Ballyfermot as of now – but our plan is to take it far and wide.

AK Have you shown the work at any shows or conferences to date?

DG In its current early form, we’ve only been showing it to a few key individuals, but it did make a semi-public well received appearance at the recent GPDC in Liverpool.

AK What are your plans for the immediate future?

DG Our main focus right now is in finding a publisher. We’ve a few game concepts at various stages of development that we’re looking to pitch around November. Early responses have been very encouraging, and we’re in the process of forming our strategy to leverage the best deal for us.

Note:
1. Catch some of the Torc people at the shindigs…another reason to have them on Fridays!

2. We will be adding further screenshots from Torc to the Gallery in the Community section of gamedevelopers.ie

Further Information www.torcinteractive.com/

Iia And Invest Ireland Net Visionary Award

Nominations have now opened for the 2003 Net Visionary Awards. You
are now invited to nominate individuals for their contribution to the Irish Internet Industry.

To nominate:nominations.htmlwww.netvisionary.ie/nominations

For more details visit our News section:news/news/

Iia And Invest Ni Net Visionary Awards – 2

To nominate: nominations.htmlwww.netvisionary.ie/nominations

About the Awards
The 5th Annual Irish Internet Association Net Visionary Awards will take place on the 26th of November 2003 in the Clontarf Castle. The IIA are delighted to welcome Invest NI as headline sponsor for the awards for 2003.

Over the last five years the awards have become the most respected Internet awards, honouring individuals for their contribution to the Irish Internet Industry. Nominated by colleagues, clients, and peers, short listed by IIA member companies and judged by the IIA board of directors, these awards are truly the most prestigious awards on the Industry calendar.

This year a number of additional awards have been added. You do not need to be an IIA member to nominate and there is no cost of entry. The overall Net Visionary Award will be selected from all of the nominations received.

For more information:

Visit Invest NI at:index.htm

Nomination Procedure
Step 1: Nomination
To nominate someone for an award click on the link below and select the appropriate category. You will need to fill in your details and the nominees contact details and submit up to 50 words as to why you feel they should be short-listed. Closing date for nominations is the 24th of October 2003. There is no cost associated with making a nomination.
nominations.htmlnominations.html

Step 2: Shortlist
On the 28th of October, a representative from each IIA member organisation will vote to create a shortlist. There is one vote per category. The deadline for voting is the 7th of November 2003 and full shortlist details will be announced on the 11th of November 2003.

Step 3: The Judging
The board of the IIA will then vote to select the winners and full details will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony in Clontarf Castle on the 26th of November 2003. To ensure your place at these awards book online at the link below. Please note there are limited tables available due to venue size.
Online booking:events.asp?eventid=32events

Event Details
Date: 26th November 2003
Venue: Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3
Time: 6.45pm
Format: Black-Tie Gala Dinner & Awards

Stay in the Clontarf Castle for 49 euro per person sharing including breakfast – book directly with hotel and state you are attending the event to avail of the special rate.
Booking Details
* Cost: EUR150.00 per place. Tables are sold with 12 places at a cost of EUR1,800.00.

* Early booking is recommended as due to venue size seats are limited to 300 and booking is expected to close in advance of event.

* If booking online payment must be made by credit card to complete
booking process. If booking table please enter 12 for number of places required.

Online booking:events.asp?eventid=32www.iia.ie/events

* If you would like to book and pay by cheque please email: mailto:events@iia.ie events@iia.ie with invoicing details. Please note this is not a 30 day invoice – payment is required immediately.
.
Event Sponsors
We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support of this event.

Headline Sponsor: Invest NI

Media Partner: Thomas Crosbie Media

Category Sponsors: Overture, Realex Payments, Macromedia, IEDR, Ennis
Information Age Services, Nokia, ireland.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION: I I A

Irene Gahan, CEO
E-mail:mailto:irene@iia.iemailto:irene@iia.ie

Sinead Murnane, Operations Manager
E-mail:mailto:sinead.murnane@iia.iemailto:sinead.murnane@iia.ie

Emma Smith, Content Editor Email:mailto:emma.smith@iia.iemailto:emma.smith@iia.ie

For membership enquiries email:mailto:membership@iia.iemailto:membership@iia.ie
For account enquiries email: mailto:accounts@iia.iemailto:accounts@iia.ie

Irish Internet Association
43-44 Temple Bar
Dublin 2
T: 01 6707 621
F: 01 6707 623
W:
E: mailto:info@iia.iemailto:info@iia.ie

White Smoke From Torc – 2

AK – When will the engine be released to market?

DG The engine is just coming out of it’s R&D phase, starting with a blank page mid Sept last year – and these screenshots are the first public airing of the engine. A fully unified real-time per-pixel lighting and shadowing engine targeted at PC and Xbox. The core is up and running, and even more pleasing than the asethetics it’s capable of producing, is its performance -it runs well even on mediocre DX8 cards. There’s quite a lot of work to tie in around the edges, but we’re aiming at GDC next year for its launch.

Obviously in it’s current form it’s being represented as screenshots, so the focus tends to be on the graphical side, but we’ve some other unique features in the engine, most notably the way entities are being handled that means that not only is it powerful, but relatively easy to use as well (partly driven by our close association with some colleges).

AK What colleges are you working with at present?

DG The technical colleges in Derry and Letterkenny as well as Ballyfermot as of now – but our plan is to take it far and wide.

AK Have you shown the work at any shows or conferences to date?

DG In its current early form, we’ve only been showing it to a few key individuals, but it did make a semi-public well received appearance at the recent GPDC in Liverpool.

AK What are your plans for the immediate future?

DG Our main focus right now is in finding a publisher. We’ve a few game concepts at various stages of development that we’re looking to pitch around November. Early responses have been very encouraging, and we’re in the process of forming our strategy to leverage the best deal for us.

Note:
1. Catch some of the Torc people at the shindigs…another reason to have them on Fridays!

2. We will be adding further screenshots from Torc to the Gallery in the Community section of gamedevelopers.ie

Further Information www.torcinteractive.com/

Exhibit 4: Play At The Digital Hub

The following information is taken from the advance publicity currently being circulated by the Hub.

‘The theme of Exhibit4 is Play and will examine how video games are increasingly becoming educational and artistic tools. Exhibitors will include the finalists of the Nokia N-Gage Challenge, a talent search to find innovative ideas for mobile games, and Dennis McNulty, who has created music using a Nintendo Gameboy.

Exhibit4 also features exhibitions on the Linux kit for PlayStation 2, which allows PlayStation 2 users to program their machines and create their own games; an interactive game character production booth; and a Website and game detailing the history, culture and future of video games. Game players will also be able to play three new games for the Sony PlayStation 2 at Exhibit4 – Formula One 2003, Jak 2 Renegade, and Eye Toy Play.

Exhibit4 is the latest in a series of exhibitions held in conjunction with Diageo Ireland through the Liberties Learning Initiative that have examined the creative potential of digital technology.’

While the exhibition is running the Talk Digital Series will include talks by the creators of the various works. These talks also take place in the The Digital Hub Project Office from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Dates and speakers will be announced at

In addition the Hub are planning a one-day symposium on Games, details and dates to be announced but gamedevelopers.ie might have some involvement.

The opening is Tues the 14th of Oct. and invitations to the opening can be obtained from Nicky Grogan at the Digital Hub mailto: ngogan@thedigitalhub.comngogan@thedigitalhub.com
or
mailto: exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Exhibit 4: Play At The Digital Hub – 2

Exhibit4:Play

The opening of the latest exhibition in the Digital Hub will take place on Tues the 14th of Oct. at 6.30 pm.

Venue: The Digital Hub Project Office, 10 – 13 Thomas Street, Dublin.

Exhibit4 will showcase Games, the Games sector and games related projects. Catch the finalists of the N-Gage challenge presented as working prototypes, art projects and commerical projects.

More details as we get them…

For invitations contact Nicky Gogan, The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas St., The Digital Hub, Dublin 8

Email: mailto: exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Exhibit 4: Play At The Digital Hub – 3

The following information is taken from the advance publicity currently being circulated by the Hub.

‘The theme of Exhibit4 is Play and will examine how video games are increasingly becoming educational and artistic tools. Exhibitors will include the finalists of the Nokia N-Gage Challenge, a talent search to find innovative ideas for mobile games, and Dennis McNulty, who has created music using a Nintendo Gameboy.

Exhibit4 also features exhibitions on the Linux kit for PlayStation 2, which allows PlayStation 2 users to program their machines and create their own games; an interactive game character production booth; and a Website and game detailing the history, culture and future of video games. Game players will also be able to play three new games for the Sony PlayStation 2 at Exhibit4 – Formula One 2003, Jak 2 Renegade, and Eye Toy Play.

Exhibit4 is the latest in a series of exhibitions held in conjunction with Diageo Ireland through the Liberties Learning Initiative that have examined the creative potential of digital technology.’

While the exhibition is running the Talk Digital Series will include talks by the creators of the various works. These talks also take place in the The Digital Hub Project Office from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Dates and speakers will be announced at

In addition the Hub are planning a one-day symposium on Games, details and dates to be announced but gamedevelopers.ie might have some involvement.

The opening is Tues the 14th of Oct. and invitations to the opening can be obtained from Nicky Grogan at the Digital Hub mailto: ngogan@thedigitalhub.comngogan@thedigitalhub.com
or
mailto: exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Robocode 2004: Let The Games Begin !

Due to the phenomenal success of the 2003 inaugural Tipperary Institute 1st Year ICT Programming Competition the ICT Department have decided to organise a inter-college and university challenge.

The competition is targeted at 1st year programming students. It is intended as an opportunity for fresher years to demonstrate their programming abilities and advance their knowledge of GUI programming, API usage and Artificial Intelligence.

Full details can be found @

http://ict.tippinst.ie/~pbourke/robocode/index.htmlhttp://ict.tippinst.ie/~pbourke/robocode/index.html

Robocode 2004: Let The Games Begin ! – 2

Due to the phenomenal success of the 2003 inaugural Tipperary Institute 1st Year ICT Programming Competition the ICT Department have decided to organise a inter-college and university challenge.

The competition is targeted at 1st year programming students. It is intended as an opportunity for fresher years to demonstrate their programming abilities and advance their knowledge of GUI programming, API usage and Artificial Intelligence.

Full details can be found @

http://ict.tippinst.ie/~pbourke/robocode/index.htmlhttp://ict.tippinst.ie/~pbourke/robocode/index.html

Siggraph In San Diego, 2003.

SIGGRAPH is the worlds premier annual conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques and this year was held in San Diego at the end of July. It brings together researchers, practitioners, developers, industry big-wigs, artists, and anyone else involved in graphics and related fields such as gaming, film, and animation. SIGGRAPH is somewhat unique in that it goes far beyond the rather staid nature of many academic conferences and enthusiastically embraces all aspects of the field. So, in addition to highly technical presentations of leading-edge research work, we also get the guys from Pixar talking about how they achieved the amazing effects in the forthcoming Finding Nemo film; game developers discussing the motivations behind their newest titles; an Electronic Theater night showing selected computer-animated short films; and numerous other diversions.

Arriving in San Diego I quickly realised that the biggest problem for a SIGGRAPH virgin like myself is caused by the sheer scale of the thing. Over 10,000 people usually turn up and any conference centre wishing to host it has to be able to provide over 1 million square feet of exhibition space. A quick look at the program shows that at any one time there are at least 10 things going on and for the conscientious attendee this leads to agonising choices and a timetabling problem of horrific proportions. Shall I go to a paper session about character animation? Or a course on real-time shading? Or will I go and visit the exhibition hall to see demos of nVidia’s newest graphics accelerators? Or join the Web Graphics series of discussions? Or just say “sod it” and go and lie on the beach?

The conference is divided into a number of different types of activities. The heart of SIGGRAPH is the paper sessions. For almost 30 years now, researchers have been presenting the newest computer graphics techniques in this forum. The selection process is extremely rigorous. This year there were 424 submissions and 81 were accepted. Successful researchers get to present their work in front of an audience of well over a thousand people. If you can imagine giving a talk in the Point Theatre then you are beginning to get the idea. Papers this year covered topics such as texture synthesis, animation of smoke and explosions, human animation, algorithms for GPUs, motion capture and shape from data. Carol O’Sullivan of Trinity College’s Image Synthesis Group presented a paper as part of a session on “Perception and Manipulation” which is, as far as I know, the first SIGGRAPH paper ever from Ireland.

In addition to the paper sessions we also get a series of courses which are of half-day or full-day duration. These are given by experts in their field and aim to bring people quickly up-to-speed on a given area of research. There were numerous courses to choose from this year. A highlight was the one on Dynamics by David Baraff and colleagues. Baraff practically invented the idea of driving 3D graphics using physics simulation. He now works for Pixar and hence was able to illustrate his talks with examples of how these concepts were applied in films such as Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. His colleague Andrew Witkin later presented a paper called “Untangling Cloth” which dealt with solutions to cloth animation problems they ran into when working on the Boo character in Monsters Inc.

When one’s brain reaches information overload it is easy to switch over to some of the other SIGGRAPH attractions. The Exhibition Hall is a showcase for the industry to parade their latest wares and everyone involved in graphics gets in on the act. So we had Discreet showing off 3DS Max 6, nVidia with their new range of graphics cards, and a bewildering array of hardware products from haptic input devices to VR equipment and 3D scanners. More stimulating fare was to be found in the Emerging Technologies room. Here participants were able to try out exotic new technologies and quiz their creators. Want to see a chroma-keying system that segments humans from video in real time using thermal information? Or a projector that uses a wall of fog as a screen? Or an interface that translates human body movements into 3D paintings? If you get bored with all this then there is always the Electronic Art Gallery, the Guerilla Studio, or the Computer Animation Festival.

Overall themes are difficult to identify from such a wide-ranging programme but there’s no doubt that programmable graphics hardware continues to have a huge impact. The introduction of programmable graphics cards (commonly known as GPUs) have allowed developers to implement algorithms that run lightning-fast on the graphics processor and make possible complex shading, shadowing and texturing in real time. The latest generation of First Person Shooter games have started to exploit this with glee and at SIGGRAPH, researchers demonstrated more spectacular things possible with this technology, now and in the future. Peter Pike-Sloan of Microsoft Research presented pioneering work on carrying out lighting calculations on GPUs that take advantage of pre-computed radiance and deliver stunning real-time rendering of glossy objects with effects such as dynamic self-shadowing and inter-reflection. Other researchers talked about how to implement techniques such as collision detection and texture synthesis in this way, and there was also a heavy emphasis on the emerging languages for programming the graphics hardware – such as nVidia’s CG language and the new OpenGL Shading Language which is part of the OpenGL 2.0 standard.

Almost everything at SIGGRAPH is of potential interest to game developers and several special sessions specifically addressed this audience. In “Behind The Game: Deconstructing the Successes of 2002”, the developers of Neverwinter Nights, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus, and Splinter Cell, talked about the approaches, motivations and methodologies behind the production of these hits. Early in the week a fascinating course on Game Art was delivered. This dealt with the increasing use of game mods such as those supplied with Half-Life and Unreal as a means of building interactive 3D worlds which are intended as art pieces rather than as games. The most controversial of these is “911 Survivor” which aims to simulate the experience of victims trapped in the Twin Towers. On a related theme, Velvet Strike allows the user to download anti-war graffiti tags which can then be sprayed onto the walls of online Counter-Strike worlds.

The item with the biggest “Wow!” factor at SIGGRAPH, for this attendee at least, was the High Dynamic Range Display, which was exhibited in Emerging Technologies. Modern graphics hardware and software have a very limited selection of colours and, more importantly, brightness values at its disposal. The range of visible light in the real world is vastly higher than this and our visual system has elaborate means of coping with this (e.g. squinting when we leave a dark cinema on a bright day). High dynamic range graphics have been knocking around in the research world for a few years now. The idea here is that we capture real world lighting (in its full range) and use this to render objects on the screen. Up until now the results still have to squashed into the RGB range that the monitor is capable of displaying. However, the High Dynamic Range Display System developed by Sunnybrook Technologies is capable of coping with a massive dynamic range comparable to that existing in the real world. Or to put it simply, the bright bits are way brighter and the dark bits blacker than black. Images that are rendered with captured high-dynamic range lighting look truly amazing on this display and come significantly close to the manufacturer’s vision of creating digital display systems that can “present images that are visually indistinguishable to the real setting they portray”. I want one, now.

SIGGRAPH is a fantastic conference that more than lives up to its billing as the greatest graphics show on earth. I recommend anyone with an interest in graphics, gaming or related technologies to try and make the trip. And in a message to my employers – I didn’t really bunk off and go to the beach. Honestly.

————————————————————————————

Author Bio: Hugh McCabe is a lecturer at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. He is a founding member of the Graphics and Gaming Research Group. See the resources section of this website for more information on projects in that group in 2D, AI and audio at:
resources/research/resources/research/

Links:

SIGGRAPH:http://www.siggraph.orghttp://www.siggraph.org
Graphics and Gaming Group at ITB: learningandinnovation/ggg/index.htmlwww.itb.ie/learningandinnovation
ISG, Trinity College: http://isg.cs.tcd.iehttp://isg.cs.tcd.ie
Pixar:
Peter-Pike Sloan: http://research.microsoft.com/~ppsloan/http://research.microsoft.com/~ppsloan/
cg language: object/cg.htmlobject/cg.html
OpenGL shading language: http://www.opengl.org/developers/documentation/oglsl/www.opengl.org
911 Survivor:
Velvet Strike: velvet-strike/velvet-strike/
High Dynamic Range Displays:

Siggraph In San Diego, 2003. – 2

SIGGRAPH is the worlds premier annual conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques and this year was held in San Diego at the end of July. It brings together researchers, practitioners, developers, industry big-wigs, artists, and anyone else involved in graphics and related fields such as gaming, film, and animation. SIGGRAPH is somewhat unique in that it goes far beyond the rather staid nature of many academic conferences and enthusiastically embraces all aspects of the field. So, in addition to highly technical presentations of leading-edge research work, we also get the guys from Pixar talking about how they achieved the amazing effects in the forthcoming Finding Nemo film; game developers discussing the motivations behind their newest titles; an Electronic Theater night showing selected computer-animated short films; and numerous other diversions.

Arriving in San Diego I quickly realised that the biggest problem for a SIGGRAPH virgin like myself is caused by the sheer scale of the thing. Over 10,000 people usually turn up and any conference centre wishing to host it has to be able to provide over 1 million square feet of exhibition space. A quick look at the program shows that at any one time there are at least 10 things going on and for the conscientious attendee this leads to agonising choices and a timetabling problem of horrific proportions. Shall I go to a paper session about character animation? Or a course on real-time shading? Or will I go and visit the exhibition hall to see demos of nVidia’s newest graphics accelerators? Or join the Web Graphics series of discussions? Or just say “sod it” and go and lie on the beach?

The conference is divided into a number of different types of activities. The heart of SIGGRAPH is the paper sessions. For almost 30 years now, researchers have been presenting the newest computer graphics techniques in this forum. The selection process is extremely rigorous. This year there were 424 submissions and 81 were accepted. Successful researchers get to present their work in front of an audience of well over a thousand people. If you can imagine giving a talk in the Point Theatre then you are beginning to get the idea. Papers this year covered topics such as texture synthesis, animation of smoke and explosions, human animation, algorithms for GPUs, motion capture and shape from data. Carol O’Sullivan of Trinity College’s Image Synthesis Group presented a paper as part of a session on “Perception and Manipulation” which is, as far as I know, the first SIGGRAPH paper ever from Ireland.

In addition to the paper sessions we also get a series of courses which are of half-day or full-day duration. These are given by experts in their field and aim to bring people quickly up-to-speed on a given area of research. There were numerous courses to choose from this year. A highlight was the one on Dynamics by David Baraff and colleagues. Baraff practically invented the idea of driving 3D graphics using physics simulation. He now works for Pixar and hence was able to illustrate his talks with examples of how these concepts were applied in films such as Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. His colleague Andrew Witkin later presented a paper called “Untangling Cloth” which dealt with solutions to cloth animation problems they ran into when working on the Boo character in Monsters Inc.

When one’s brain reaches information overload it is easy to switch over to some of the other SIGGRAPH attractions. The Exhibition Hall is a showcase for the industry to parade their latest wares and everyone involved in graphics gets in on the act. So we had Discreet showing off 3DS Max 6, nVidia with their new range of graphics cards, and a bewildering array of hardware products from haptic input devices to VR equipment and 3D scanners. More stimulating fare was to be found in the Emerging Technologies room. Here participants were able to try out exotic new technologies and quiz their creators. Want to see a chroma-keying system that segments humans from video in real time using thermal information? Or a projector that uses a wall of fog as a screen? Or an interface that translates human body movements into 3D paintings? If you get bored with all this then there is always the Electronic Art Gallery, the Guerilla Studio, or the Computer Animation Festival.

Overall themes are difficult to identify from such a wide-ranging programme but there’s no doubt that programmable graphics hardware continues to have a huge impact. The introduction of programmable graphics cards (commonly known as GPUs) have allowed developers to implement algorithms that run lightning-fast on the graphics processor and make possible complex shading, shadowing and texturing in real time. The latest generation of First Person Shooter games have started to exploit this with glee and at SIGGRAPH, researchers demonstrated more spectacular things possible with this technology, now and in the future. Peter Pike-Sloan of Microsoft Research presented pioneering work on carrying out lighting calculations on GPUs that take advantage of pre-computed radiance and deliver stunning real-time rendering of glossy objects with effects such as dynamic self-shadowing and inter-reflection. Other researchers talked about how to implement techniques such as collision detection and texture synthesis in this way, and there was also a heavy emphasis on the emerging languages for programming the graphics hardware – such as nVidia’s CG language and the new OpenGL Shading Language which is part of the OpenGL 2.0 standard.

Almost everything at SIGGRAPH is of potential interest to game developers and several special sessions specifically addressed this audience. In “Behind The Game: Deconstructing the Successes of 2002”, the developers of Neverwinter Nights, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus, and Splinter Cell, talked about the approaches, motivations and methodologies behind the production of these hits. Early in the week a fascinating course on Game Art was delivered. This dealt with the increasing use of game mods such as those supplied with Half-Life and Unreal as a means of building interactive 3D worlds which are intended as art pieces rather than as games. The most controversial of these is “911 Survivor” which aims to simulate the experience of victims trapped in the Twin Towers. On a related theme, Velvet Strike allows the user to download anti-war graffiti tags which can then be sprayed onto the walls of online Counter-Strike worlds.

The item with the biggest “Wow!” factor at SIGGRAPH, for this attendee at least, was the High Dynamic Range Display, which was exhibited in Emerging Technologies. Modern graphics hardware and software have a very limited selection of colours and, more importantly, brightness values at its disposal. The range of visible light in the real world is vastly higher than this and our visual system has elaborate means of coping with this (e.g. squinting when we leave a dark cinema on a bright day). High dynamic range graphics have been knocking around in the research world for a few years now. The idea here is that we capture real world lighting (in its full range) and use this to render objects on the screen. Up until now the results still have to squashed into the RGB range that the monitor is capable of displaying. However, the High Dynamic Range Display System developed by Sunnybrook Technologies is capable of coping with a massive dynamic range comparable to that existing in the real world. Or to put it simply, the bright bits are way brighter and the dark bits blacker than black. Images that are rendered with captured high-dynamic range lighting look truly amazing on this display and come significantly close to the manufacturer’s vision of creating digital display systems that can “present images that are visually indistinguishable to the real setting they portray”. I want one, now.

SIGGRAPH is a fantastic conference that more than lives up to its billing as the greatest graphics show on earth. I recommend anyone with an interest in graphics, gaming or related technologies to try and make the trip. And in a message to my employers – I didn’t really bunk off and go to the beach. Honestly.

————————————————————————————

Author Bio: Hugh McCabe is a lecturer at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. He is a founding member of the Graphics and Gaming Research Group. See the resources section of this website for more information on projects in that group in 2D, AI and audio at:
resources/research/resources/research/

Links:

SIGGRAPH:http://www.siggraph.orghttp://www.siggraph.org
Graphics and Gaming Group at ITB: learningandinnovation/ggg/index.htmlwww.itb.ie/learningandinnovation
ISG, Trinity College: http://isg.cs.tcd.iehttp://isg.cs.tcd.ie
Pixar:
Peter-Pike Sloan: http://research.microsoft.com/~ppsloan/http://research.microsoft.com/~ppsloan/
cg language: object/cg.htmlobject/cg.html
OpenGL shading language: http://www.opengl.org/developers/documentation/oglsl/www.opengl.org
911 Survivor:
Velvet Strike: velvet-strike/velvet-strike/
High Dynamic Range Displays:

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

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..

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 – 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 – 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.

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:

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:

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.

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. – 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

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

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 – 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 – 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

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

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

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

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 – 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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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