Dare To Be Digital Event – 2

The Digital Hub Project Office will host this two-hour networking event which will also provide further information on applying for the Dare to be Digital competition, sponsored by Diageo Ireland and supported
by The Digital Hub, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

The website, www.daretobedigital.ie will give details about
the competition, how to apply, application forms, FAQs etc. In addition
it will include an online forum where participating teams can recruit
additional team members.

The event will take place at the Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, on Tuesday February 17th at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact: mailto:daretobedigital@thedigitalhub.comdaretobedigital@thedigitalhub.com
or (01) 4806200 by 12th February 2004

Address:
The Digital Hub Project Office
10-13 Thomas Street
The Digital Hub
Dublin 8

Dare To Be Digital Event

The Digital Hub Project Office will host this two-hour networking event which will also provide further information on applying for the Dare to be Digital competition, sponsored by Diageo Ireland and supported
by The Digital Hub, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

The website, www.daretobedigital.ie will give details about
the competition, how to apply, application forms, FAQs etc. In addition
it will include an online forum where participating teams can recruit
additional team members.

The event will take place at the Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, on Tuesday February 17th at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact: mailto:daretobedigital@thedigitalhub.comdaretobedigital@thedigitalhub.com
or (01) 4806200 by 12th February 2004

Address:
The Digital Hub Project Office
10-13 Thomas Street
The Digital Hub
Dublin 8

Copenhagen Game Design Workshop – 2

Format

Day 1:Introduction to the field by the organizers and presentations of selected research papers.
Day2: Hands-on workshop exploring game design methods and their effect on the industry and research. The workshop will be
conducted by the organisers.

Participation to both sessions will be free of charge. A more detailed
call for participation will be sent out separately in early 2004.

Themes

Paper submissions are invited that focus on game design, with a specific emphasis on theoretical and methodological aspects of design and/or how to develop and inform design practices via research methods and results. Papers and case studies that bridge the theory and practice are especially welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

*What is, and do we need, game design research? There already are
usability, interaction, graphic, audio, user interface and architecture
design fields. How is (or isn’t) game design different from these fields?
What is the relationship to general design research and studies?

*Roles of game design: in-game (game interaction, character, theme, audio-visuals, level, social interaction etc.) and out-game (package and marketing, communities, mods, skins, fan-sites etc.). Different design processes and roles for different types of games. One person with a
vision vs. collective design of the end product

*What is the impact of game design on areas that are not explicitly games, for example, work processes, management & simulation environments, education, recruitment and other media? How can game design inform other areas of design?

*Game design methods: Are there any? Do we need any? How do we validate them?

*How are design ideas/practices communicated and documented? How is
game design theory combined with the practical task of writing design
treatments and documents? What is the relationship of research to the
industry?

*Designing for different audiences: Do, for example, gender, cultural differences and age matter in game design? What are the social responsibilities of the designer?

*Paradigmatic implications of game design: Playing games is a profoundly human activity, yet the aspect of creating them has (almost) evaded serious discussions across disciplines. What can the impact of game design be for aesthetics, rhetorics, philosophy of mind, politics,
ethics, sociology etc.?

*Relation between game design research and game studies? How can the study of how gameS are designed and how games are played affect each other?

Organisers

Staffan Björk, Interactive Institute, Sweden
Aki Järvinen, Veikkaus, The Finnish National Lottery, Finland
Jussi Holopainen, Nokia Research Center, Finland
Steffen P. Walz, University for Art, Media and Design Zurich (HGKZ),
Switzerland
Espen Aarseth, IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Submission details
As selected papers are going to be published as a special issue of
Game Studies (http://www.gamestudies.orghttp://www.gamestudies.org), please follow the format and style guidelines at: http://www.gamestudies.org/about_submissions.htmlhttp://www.gamestudies.org/about_submissions.html
The selection of papers will be based on peer-reviews.

Deadlines

16.2.2004: Paper submissions by e-mail to Jussi Holopainen
mailto:jussi.holopainen@nokia.comjussi.holopainen@nokia.com
15.3.2004: Notification of acceptance and revision requests.
12.4.2004: Revised papers by e-mail to organizers.

Publications

The selected papers are going to be published as a special issue of
Game Studies. Selected authors are also invited to publish their paper in a forthcoming book on game design research.

For further information please contact Jussi Holopainen mailto:jussi.holopainen@nokia.comjussi.holopainen@nokia.com

Copenhagen Game Design Workshop

Format

Day 1:Introduction to the field by the organizers and presentations of selected research papers.
Day2: Hands-on workshop exploring game design methods and their effect on the industry and research. The workshop will be
conducted by the organisers.

Participation to both sessions will be free of charge. A more detailed
call for participation will be sent out separately in early 2004.

Themes

Paper submissions are invited that focus on game design, with a specific emphasis on theoretical and methodological aspects of design and/or how to develop and inform design practices via research methods and results. Papers and case studies that bridge the theory and practice are especially welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

*What is, and do we need, game design research? There already are
usability, interaction, graphic, audio, user interface and architecture
design fields. How is (or isn’t) game design different from these fields?
What is the relationship to general design research and studies?

*Roles of game design: in-game (game interaction, character, theme, audio-visuals, level, social interaction etc.) and out-game (package and marketing, communities, mods, skins, fan-sites etc.). Different design processes and roles for different types of games. One person with a
vision vs. collective design of the end product

*What is the impact of game design on areas that are not explicitly games, for example, work processes, management & simulation environments, education, recruitment and other media? How can game design inform other areas of design?

*Game design methods: Are there any? Do we need any? How do we validate them?

*How are design ideas/practices communicated and documented? How is
game design theory combined with the practical task of writing design
treatments and documents? What is the relationship of research to the
industry?

*Designing for different audiences: Do, for example, gender, cultural differences and age matter in game design? What are the social responsibilities of the designer?

*Paradigmatic implications of game design: Playing games is a profoundly human activity, yet the aspect of creating them has (almost) evaded serious discussions across disciplines. What can the impact of game design be for aesthetics, rhetorics, philosophy of mind, politics,
ethics, sociology etc.?

*Relation between game design research and game studies? How can the study of how gameS are designed and how games are played affect each other?

Organisers

Staffan Björk, Interactive Institute, Sweden
Aki Järvinen, Veikkaus, The Finnish National Lottery, Finland
Jussi Holopainen, Nokia Research Center, Finland
Steffen P. Walz, University for Art, Media and Design Zurich (HGKZ),
Switzerland
Espen Aarseth, IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Submission details
As selected papers are going to be published as a special issue of
Game Studies (http://www.gamestudies.orghttp://www.gamestudies.org), please follow the format and style guidelines at: http://www.gamestudies.org/about_submissions.htmlhttp://www.gamestudies.org/about_submissions.html
The selection of papers will be based on peer-reviews.

Deadlines

16.2.2004: Paper submissions by e-mail to Jussi Holopainen
mailto:jussi.holopainen@nokia.comjussi.holopainen@nokia.com
15.3.2004: Notification of acceptance and revision requests.
12.4.2004: Revised papers by e-mail to organizers.

Publications

The selected papers are going to be published as a special issue of
Game Studies. Selected authors are also invited to publish their paper in a forthcoming book on game design research.

For further information please contact Jussi Holopainen mailto:jussi.holopainen@nokia.comjussi.holopainen@nokia.com

Reminder:Igda Choice Award Deadline

The Choice Awards go to developers recognised by the games industry itself. To be eligible to submit nominations, you must be a game developer registered with the IGDA. Only those who have submitted nominations will be eligible to select the finalists.

The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony will be held at the
Game Developers Conference on Wednesday, March 24th at the San
Jose Civic Auditorium.

To nominate, go to:http://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htm

To find out more about the nomination and voting process, go to:http://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htm

Screenplay Weekend 2004

Among the events planned for Screenplay 2004 are:

*Regain The Game:
A new competition looking for creative proposals to rethink the video
game. Flyers have already been distributed for this worldwide requesting proposals for ‘wild ideas that go way beyond a tweak to the old favourites.’ The finalists’ games will be available to play for one week leading up to the festival, at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham and on the web at: http://www.broadway.org.ukwww.broadway.org.uk.
The competition will be judged through live debate between industry figures, designers, artists and fans at the Screenplay Weekend.

*Stelarc:
The Australian artist will be demonstrating his new creation ‘The Prosthetic Head’ as a giant street projection outside the Broadway Cinema. The Head is a conversational agent with real-time lip-synch and facial expression capabilities. It is promised that it will even sing!
See .au/transfigure/flash.htmwww.acmi.net.au/transfigure

*The Old Skool:
A Desert Island big-screen games session online with Scott Adams, PC games creator. Live streamed in collaboration with Moon Radio webTV.
Visit Moon Radio webTV at:http://www.moonradio.co.uk/moonradio_new/index.phpwww.moonradio.co.uk

*Live performers Reactor present GHAOS-ZX – an exploration of virtual
reality through the medium of the egg box.
Visit:www.reactorweb.com

* E-Games Tournament – climactic finale of city-wide teen knockout on the giant screen. http://www.nottinghamschools.co.uk/eduweb/cms-schoolswebsite/egames.aspxwww.nottinghamschools.co.uk/eduweb

* The first opportunity to have a look at the massive new online game Warhammer and interrogate its Nottingham-based programmers, Climax
http://www.climax.co.uk/www.climax.co.uk

* Interactive EyeToy – trials of new performance pieces with artists
Sophia Lycouris and Johannes Birringer from the Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design Digital Research Unit. >http://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htmhttp://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htm

*Games Fair – Games Design Course Marketplace and Recruitment Fair
where makers and students and teachers can mingle, learn and develop
their career directions.

* Replay – demos of cutting-edge research into new technology.

Plus more…..

For more information visit:http://www.broadway.org.ukhttp://www.broadway.org.uk

Screen Play Weekend

Title: ‘Play With Your Mind’
Date: Saturday 28th-Sunday 29th February 2004.
Location: Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, UK

Among the events planned for Screenplay 2004 are:

*Regain The Game:
A new competition looking for creative proposals to rethink the video
game. Flyers have already been distributed for this worldwide requesting proposals for ‘wild ideas that go way beyond a tweak to the old favourites.’ The finalists’ games will be available to play for one week leading up to the festival, at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham and on the web at:http://www.broadway.org.uk/www.broadway.org.uk.
The competition will be judged through live debate between industry figures, designers, artists and fans at the Screenplay Weekend.

*Stelarc:
The Australian artist will be demonstrating his new creation ‘The Prosthetic Head’ as a giant street projection outside the Broadway Cinema. The Head is a conversational agent with real-time lip-synch and facial expression capabilities. It is promised that it will even sing!
See .au/transfigure/flash.htm.au/transfigure/flash.htm

*The Old Skool:
A Desert Island big-screen games session online with Scott Adams, PC games creator. Live streamed in collaboration with Moon Radio webTV.
Visit Moon Radio webTV at:http://www.moonradio.co.uk/moonradio_new/index.phpwww.moonradio.co.uk

*Live performers Reactor present GHAOS-ZX – an exploration of virtual
reality through the medium of the egg box.
Visit:www.reactorweb.com

* E-Games Tournament – climactic finale of city-wide teen knockout on the giant screen.
http://www.nottinghamschools.co.uk/eduweb/cms-schoolswebsite/egames.aspxwww.nottinghamschools.co.uk

* The first opportunity to have a look at the massive new online game Warhammer and interrogate its Nottingham-based programmers, Climax.
http://www.climax.co.uk/www.climax.co.uk

* Interactive EyeToy – trials of new performance pieces with artists
Sophia Lycouris and Johannes
Birringer from the Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design Digital Research Unit. http://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htmhttp://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htm

Games Fair – Games Design Course Marketplace and Recruitment Fair
where makers and students and teachers can mingle, learn and develop
their career directions.

* Replay – demos of cutting-edge research into new technology.

Plus more…..

For more information visit:http://www.broadway.org.ukhttp://www.broadway.org.uk

Igda Choice Awards

Location: Game Developers Conference on Wednesday, March 24th at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.

All nominations for the 4th annual Game Developers Choice Awards must be in before midnight Friday, January 23, 2004.

The Choice Awards go to developers recognised by the games industry itself. To be eligible to submit nominations, you must be a game developer registered with the IGDA. Only those who have submitted nominations will be eligible to select the finalists.

To nominate, go to:http://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htm

To find out more about the nomination and voting process, go to:
http://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htm

Reminder:Igda Choice Award Deadline – 2

The Choice Awards go to developers recognised by the games industry itself. To be eligible to submit nominations, you must be a game developer registered with the IGDA. Only those who have submitted nominations will be eligible to select the finalists.

The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony will be held at the
Game Developers Conference on Wednesday, March 24th at the San
Jose Civic Auditorium.

To nominate, go to:http://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htm

To find out more about the nomination and voting process, go to:http://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htmhttp://www.igda.org/awards/rules.htm

Screenplay Weekend 2004 – 2

Among the events planned for Screenplay 2004 are:

*Regain The Game:
A new competition looking for creative proposals to rethink the video
game. Flyers have already been distributed for this worldwide requesting proposals for ‘wild ideas that go way beyond a tweak to the old favourites.’ The finalists’ games will be available to play for one week leading up to the festival, at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham and on the web at: http://www.broadway.org.ukwww.broadway.org.uk.
The competition will be judged through live debate between industry figures, designers, artists and fans at the Screenplay Weekend.

*Stelarc:
The Australian artist will be demonstrating his new creation ‘The Prosthetic Head’ as a giant street projection outside the Broadway Cinema. The Head is a conversational agent with real-time lip-synch and facial expression capabilities. It is promised that it will even sing!
See .au/transfigure/flash.htmwww.acmi.net.au/transfigure

*The Old Skool:
A Desert Island big-screen games session online with Scott Adams, PC games creator. Live streamed in collaboration with Moon Radio webTV.
Visit Moon Radio webTV at:http://www.moonradio.co.uk/moonradio_new/index.phpwww.moonradio.co.uk

*Live performers Reactor present GHAOS-ZX – an exploration of virtual
reality through the medium of the egg box.
Visit:www.reactorweb.com

* E-Games Tournament – climactic finale of city-wide teen knockout on the giant screen. http://www.nottinghamschools.co.uk/eduweb/cms-schoolswebsite/egames.aspxwww.nottinghamschools.co.uk/eduweb

* The first opportunity to have a look at the massive new online game Warhammer and interrogate its Nottingham-based programmers, Climax
http://www.climax.co.uk/www.climax.co.uk

* Interactive EyeToy – trials of new performance pieces with artists
Sophia Lycouris and Johannes Birringer from the Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design Digital Research Unit. >http://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htmhttp://davinci.ntu.ac.uk/rws/index.htm

*Games Fair – Games Design Course Marketplace and Recruitment Fair
where makers and students and teachers can mingle, learn and develop
their career directions.

* Replay – demos of cutting-edge research into new technology.

Plus more…..

For more information visit:http://www.broadway.org.ukhttp://www.broadway.org.uk

Film/Tv Score Master Classes – 2

The tutors for these master class sessions are Don Brandon Ray, former Music Supervisor and Composer at CBS T.V. (U.S.A.) and creator of the Film Scoring Programme at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) and Derek Gleeson (Conductor/Composer). Composers from classical, rock and commercial music backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in film or TV soundtrack production are asked to participate.

The programme aims to provide students with a portfolio of various pieces demonstrating their compositional skills. There will be 14 3-hour units in the module. Four of these will be recording sessions in Ireland and two will be with the 70-piece Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the National Radio Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria. Featured in the sessions will be ‘Classic Hollywood Cartoon Scoring’ (for example as featured in ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Loony Tunes’), with film cues dubbed to picture for later viewing, and mixed ensemble pieces of the composer’s choice of genre and style for 15- and 18-piece ensemble as well as large string ensemble with harp and piano.

Interested composers are asked to send their CVs to Helen McMahon at FÁS Screen Training Ireland not later than February 2, 2004.

Phone 01 607 0944
Fax 01 607 0959
Email: mailto:helen.mcmahon@fas.iehelen.mcmahon@fas.ie

Details of module:
Venue: Pulse Recording Studios
Fee: EUR700
Dates: 15 February – 12 April, 2004
14 -3 hour sessions and classes

Meedja

Meedja ltd. is a growing games studio with offices in Dundalk and Dublin. Our philosophy of entertainment and technology has allowed us to work on a variety of game and game related projects for a variety of local and international publishers and development studios.

The company has a strategy of new product development running in parallel with contract work. Projects to date have included everything from web and CD-ROM games to content management systems, television game show software, database-driven CD-ROMs and websites. Meedja can be characterised by its wide range of technical skills, extensive development experience and flexibility in meeting client requirements. Our key skills include Director/Lingo, C++, project management and implementation.

Meedja Ltd.
Regional Development Centre,
DKIT, Dundalk,
Co. Louth.

www.meedja.com
info@meedja.com

Film & T.V. Scoring Sessions

FÁS SCREEN TRAINING IRELAND
In association with
CEÓIL PRODUCTIONS IRELAND, LTD.
Present
Film & T.V. Scoring Sessions
(Master Class)

Venue: Pulse Recording Studios
Fee: EUR700
Dates: 15 February – 12 April, 2004
14 -3 hour sessions and classes
Participant profile:
Composers from classical, rock and commercial music backgrounds who aspire to become composers of film and television music.
Tutor Profile:
Don Brandon Ray, former Music Supervisor and Composer at CBS T.V. (U.S.A.) and creator of the Film Scoring Programme at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.); and Derek Gleeson (Conductor/Composer)
Outline of Training Programme:
The aim of this module is to provide composers with a portfolio of recordings demonstrating their compositional skills. The module consists of 14 – 3-hour units (including 6 – 3-hour recording sessions: 4 in Ireland; 2 in Bulgaria with the 70-piece Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the National Radio Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria)
A. The first recording session will be based on an action/chase cartoon sequence, composed to picture, in the style of "Classic Hollywood Cartoon Scoring" (e.g., "Tom & Jerry" and "Bugs Bunny"). When recorded, these film music cues will be dubbed to picture for later viewing.
B. Subsequent sessions are for varying mixed ensemble groups (for the following recording sessions, genre, style, etc. will be of each composer’s own choice):
(1) 15-piece ensemble;
(2) 18-piece ensemble;
(3) large string ensemble with harp and piano
Application procedure:
Deadline for applications: 2nd February 2004
Send CV to Helen McMahon at FÁS Screen Training Ireland.
Phone 01 607 0944 Fax 01 607 0959
E-mail:
mailto:helen.mcmahon@fas.ie helen.mcmahon@fas.ie

Film/Tv Score Master Classes

The tutors for these master class sessions are Don Brandon Ray, former Music Supervisor and Composer at CBS T.V. (U.S.A.) and creator of the Film Scoring Programme at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) and Derek Gleeson (Conductor/Composer). Composers from classical, rock and commercial music backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in film or TV soundtrack production are asked to participate.

The programme aims to provide students with a portfolio of various pieces demonstrating their compositional skills. There will be 14 3-hour units in the module. Four of these will be recording sessions in Ireland and two will be with the 70-piece Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the National Radio Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria. Featured in the sessions will be ‘Classic Hollywood Cartoon Scoring’ (for example as featured in ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Loony Tunes’), with film cues dubbed to picture for later viewing, and mixed ensemble pieces of the composer’s choice of genre and style for 15- and 18-piece ensemble as well as large string ensemble with harp and piano.

Interested composers are asked to send their CVs to Helen McMahon at FÁS Screen Training Ireland not later than February 2, 2004.

Phone 01 607 0944
Fax 01 607 0959
Email: mailto:helen.mcmahon@fas.iehelen.mcmahon@fas.ie

Details of module:
Venue: Pulse Recording Studios
Fee: EUR700
Dates: 15 February – 12 April, 2004
14 -3 hour sessions and classes

Irish Igda Launch A Success – 2

The inaugural meeting of the Irish Chapter of the IGDA took place on January 8 at the Learning Studio, the Digital Hub. A larger-than-anticipated crowd turned out for the event, which had a keynote presentation from Ernest Adams, the founder member of the IGDA and ex-Gamasutra game design consultant. Also speaking was Dr. Stephen Brennan (Director of Marketing and Strategy at the Digital Hub Development Agency) and Tony Kelly (Intel and IGDA co-ordinator). The meeting was chaired by Aphra Kerr from the Centre for Science, Technology and Media, DCU and our own www.gamedevelopers.ie.

To view a separate thread on the forums about Ernest’s presentation, click community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13here.

The launch of the Irish Chapter of the IGDA was supported by the Digital Hub in conjunction with Diageo Ireland through the Liberties Learning Initiative and Enterprise Ireland.

Irish Igda Launch A Success

The inaugural meeting of the Irish Chapter of the IGDA took place on January 8 at the Learning Studio, the Digital Hub. A larger-than-anticipated crowd turned out for the event, which had a keynote presentation from Ernest Adams, the founder member of the IGDA and ex-Gamasutra game design consultant. Also speaking was Dr. Stephen Brennan (Director of Marketing and Strategy at the Digital Hub Development Agency) and Tony Kelly (Intel and IGDA co-ordinator). The meeting was chaired by Aphra Kerr from the Centre for Science, Technology and Media, DCU and our own www.gamedevelopers.ie.

To view a separate thread on the forums about Ernest’s presentation, click community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13here.

The launch of the Irish Chapter of the IGDA was supported by the Digital Hub in conjunction with Diageo Ireland through the Liberties Learning Initiative and Enterprise Ireland.

2003 Replay – 2

My top 12 of 2003, in no particular order of merit, were:

1. gamedevelopers.ie
2. Shindigs
3. Launch of the N-Gage Challenge
4. Bernard Stolar Talk
5. Edinburgh International Games Festival & Dare to be Digital 2003
6. New game design courses in Ireland
7. Formation and launch of IGDA Ireland chapter
8. Play exhibition at the Digital Hub
9. Dare to be Digital Ireland Information Day, Digital Hub.
10. Game companies move into the Digital Depot
11. Update on existing companies
12. Policy for the games industry in Ireland.

gamedevelopers.ie

Research conducted by STeM (Centre for Society, Technology and Media) in 2001 identified two PC/console development companies, five mobile/internet development companies, two part-time developers, two specialist service companies (middleware and animation) and two major localisation companies on the island of Ireland. Thirteen companies: 8 companies founded in the Republic, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 foreign owned. Approximately 256 people were working full time or devised a considerable part of their earnings from various aspects of the games industry. While these figures were probably conservative at least they provide a map of where we were at in 2001.

The report also noted however that another eight companies had gone to the wall in the 1980s and 1990s. Names like Gremlin Graphics (Ireland) Ltd., Emerald Software Ltd., PCSL Software Ireland Ltd., PixelMagic, Taintech, Pooka Games and Funcom all promised much but for various reasons shut their doors. Let no-one tell you it is an easy business.

STeM launched their research report in the Friends of the National Gallery building, Merrion Square in March 2002 (See http://www.comms.dcu.ie/kerra/ here under research for images). Only about ten people turned up, but those who did were appreciative of the fact that such research had taken place, they met new people and had a glass of wine.

What struck us was the fact that many of them didn’t know each other and had no facility through which they could meet. Our research indicated that there were people in Ireland who had gained considerable experience abroad but even at the height of the Celtic Tiger it was still a hard sell to get either national funding agencies or international publishers to invest in a start-up games company in Ireland. There were exceptions: Kapooki secured venture capital funding in 2000 to develop an online turn based game; Eirplay and Havok benefited from seed funding from Enterprise Ireland. Even then it wasn’t easy.

The summer of 2002 saw the development of the gamedevelopers.ie concept. We wanted to create an online resource to assist networking between companies and individuals interested in games development. Letters to different companies and funding agencies failed to secure funding but in late 2003 two suiters came forward with enthusiasm for the project: Nokia and 02. By Jan. 2003 we had hired two multimedia students from DCU to develop the project and with assistance from a number of parties the project went live in March. Late April saw the official launch of the site in the Guinness Storehouse – and a crowd about five times larger than that which greeted the earlier research report turned up. They weren’t disappointed: Steve Collins, Chief Technical Officer with Havok gave an insightful talk about the games industry and the food was great. People stayed to mingle afterwards and retired to a nearby drinking emporium after to hear stories of Irish antics at GDC.

Press coverage of the launch in Ireland was small, with The Digital Hub’s newsletter and the Sunday Independent (May 4th) the exceptions. But through word of mouth various industry publications abroad picked up the story. The editor of Gamesindustry.biz, who turned out to be Irish, contacted us and ran a story which can be found at http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=dev&aid=1473 this address

Develop magazine also ran a few lines saying; ‘Only so many coders can squeeze into a pub, so the nascent Irish development industry has got itself a new center of operations.’

shindigs

It is ironic that in fact the website has led to face to face meetings in pubs and from September 2003 there have been monthly shindigs on either the last Thurs or Friday of the month in Mahaffeys in Dublin. The shindigs are informal but each month one or two new faces turn up and they are a way for new people to make some friends and get some pointers. In December a small group held a shindig in Belfast too.

From the start companies and academics were supportive of the site with Havok providing an early article on their experiences of GDC 2003 and Hugh McCabe from Blanchardstown IT on his experiences of SIGGRAPH. We have a few regular freelance journalists contributing and despite the fact that the site is run mainly entirely on a voluntary basis it has held together well.

Launch of the N-Gage Challenge

Call it coincidence but no sooner was the site up that we had news to report. April saw the launch of the N-Gage challenge, a joint initiative between Nokia and Upstart Games to find exciting game concepts for Nokia’s new platform. While we still await confirmation of the winner the final five were available on the web and generated some interesting comments on the forums of gamedevelopers.ie See community/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=158here

Bernard Stolar Talk

No sooner had we gotten over E3 and talk of Sony’s new PSP than Enterprise Ireland organised a seminar with Bernard Stolar, formerly of BAM Entertainment, and Havok’s Paul Hayes. Around 40 people turned up to hear Stolar’s insights into the industry and how to, or how not to, get along. See our feature report from July features/index.php?article=6here

Edinburgh International Games Festival & Dare to be Digital 2003

August is usually silly season for news but this year Scotland launched an International Games Festival to coincide with their annual summer cultural festival. Since I was in Scotland anyway I went along and an Irish accent proved a strong marker as a group of Irish people working at home and abroad gathered over coffee. The next day I went to meet with people from the University of Abertay to talk about their game courses and their research into games. See features/index.php?article=8here

Prior to that it had become apparent that many Irish students who wanted to study game design went across the waters to the UK and in particular to Abertay. Some of these participated in a competition called ‘Dare to be Digital’ which to me seemed like a great way to bridge the gap between college and work in a company. In September we were pleased to announce an Irish interest in one of the winning teams who developed an RPG called Demon Lore.

image2

New Game Design Courses in Ireland

But perhaps this brain drain to UK institutions will be no longer. 2003 was the year that academic institutions in Ireland started to take games seriously. On this website we have a list of courses and research in Irish colleges and universities which are of relevance to games (see resources/here) but notably in September Ballyfermot Senior College launched a two year Higher National Diploma in Game Design to complement their one year LUDO course and the North West Institute for Further and Higher Education in Derry launched a one year Higher National Certificate in Interactive Computer Entertainment. Both colleges are working with Torc Interactive and will be using their game engine as a teaching tool. 2004 is likely to see new courses in Letterkenny IT, Dundalk IT, Carlow IT and Ulster University.

Formation and launch of IGDA Ireland chapter

The Autumn is a good time to get people into pubs and Tony Kelly came up with an inspired excuse to darken the doors of some licensed establishments – form an Irish chapter of the IGDA. He got immediate support from companies and the first committee meeting took place in Nov., in a pub, just before that month’s shindig, in another pub. Nothing like fulfilling national stereotypes eh! The committee started to put structures in place for an Irish chapter and to plan a launch event.

Ernest Adams, founder of the IDGA was a suitably high profile keynote speaker for the launch on the 8th of Jan. 2004 and it was well attended to boot. Again the Digital Hub through the Liberties Learning Initiative and Diageo alongside Enterprise Ireland came forward to fund and host the event. Ireland’s IGDA chapter has a presence now on the IGDA website at http://www.igda.org/dublin/index.htm http://www.igda.org/dublin/index.htm but there is also a thread devoted to this topic on gamedevelopers.ie community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13See here.

image3

Play exhibition & Dare to be Digital Ireland Information Day, Digital Hub

Speaking of the Digital Hub; not only did gamedevelopers.ie get a regular plug in their monthly newletters but the Hub was proactive in other ways too. An early signal of what was to come was the launch of their fourth exhibition on ‘Play’.

Shortly afterwards the Digital Hub through their Liberties Learning Initiative announced that in 2004 the University of Abertay’s Dare to be Digital’ competition would be opened to Irish teams and the team selected to develop their game concept into a prototype would be housed in the Digital Depot on Thomas Street in Dublin over the summer of 2004.

A very successful information day was held in early Dec. in the Digital Depot when around 200 people turned up to hear visitors from Abertay introduce the competition and a roundtable with industry and government agency representatives discuss the opportunities and difficulties faced by digital games companies in Ireland. To my knowledge it was the first really open public discussion on this topic and it was great to see people engaging with issues like skill development, company finance and business opportunities for Irish companies. We understand that a video of the event will be available from the Digital Hub and a report on the event was posted under news in Dec. news/index.php?article_number=63See here.

Game companies move into the Digital Depot

The newly refurbished enterprise space, the Digital Depot, became home to a number of digital media companies in 2003 including game companies. Havok was the first Irish games company to move in (index.asp?i=206index.asp?i=206) and again in 2003 the company was recognised internationally by the Game Developer’s Frontline Awards in the middleware category. flanomination.htm#2002winnersMore info here.

Just this month Havok was jointed by Mistaril who are involved in indie PC game development (www.mistaril.com). Mistaril’s first game ‘Space Station Manager’ is a finalist in the Independent Games Festival to be held in San Jose, California in March 2004 ( ). We wish them luck!

Update on existing companies

And what of the other companies and where have we got to since the ‘Loading’ research report was published in March 2002. Well by the end of 2003 the number of companies had risen to 19 and the numbers employed to 360 approximately. One of the companies listed in 2001 failed to get their business in advergaming off the ground and another company which was listed lost their main game developer who went freelance. But these companies were joined by new mobile publishers, middleware companies, returning Irish emigrants and some English developers whose wives happen to be Irish and wanted to return home. The IDA’s job is made somewhat easier by these women!

Existing indigenous mobile companies signed important distribution deals in 2003 with UpStart announcing a deal with Konami online in November and Eirplay Games announcing a deal with Trust 5, amongst others. Kapookie became an approved X-Box development studio and are pitching their latest prototype to publishers as we speak. Torc Interactive became a fully fledged games company in late 2002 and not withstanding the odd excursion to Dublin for the shindigs they have been beavering away on their game engine. Rumour has it they are showing it to publishers so we will bring you news on this as soon as we have it.

Meedja in Dundalk consolidated themselves in 2003 and will be looking to grow in 2004. Meanwhile Demonware, formerly Phorest, are currently trialling their multiplayer networking technology and 2004 could be a big year for them. Finally, that gang of returned Irish emigrants who turned up at one of the shindigs this year have formed a company, Bugaboo Studios, and are working away on a console title. So unlike in 2001 we now have two companies each with a console game in production.

We keep coming across companies who are keeping their heads low but perhaps some of our readers can enlighten us? Does anyone know anything about Broken Edge Studios in Athlone and Deep Voodoo Gaming in Belfast? If so let us know….And while we would not like to spread rumours it would be wise to watch the people’s republic of Cork for another emerging company in 2004!

Of the major internationally owned companies Intel’s IT Innovation Centre won a major international award for skoool.ie in late 2003 and are working on educational game concepts as we speak. Both Microsoft and Vivendi continue to localise games in Ireland (and are Ireland’s largest employers in the games field with over a 100 full timers between them) and there is much potential there for additional activities to develop, especially as their online projects emerge. Sony, while mainly a marketing operation in Ireland, are also a useful actor on the scene and importantly they provided gamedeveloper.ie users with tickets to their annual party in the Red Box in August.

Given the expansion of companies in the past two years gamedevelopers.ie is launching a company directory to provide users with a list of companies operating in game development and associated services in Ireland. This will complement the skills directory which will, from now on, only include freelancers and students who are looking for work in this area. We hope you will help us to expand these two resources and perhaps revise your current entries if you have them. They will provide an important map of the key players in this industry in Ireland.

Policy for the games industry in Ireland

Directories of companies and skills are important when it comes to visibility and lobbying for appropriate policies to develop the games industry in Ireland. In 2003 Forfas (who develop industrial policies for Enterprise Ireland and the IDA) consulted widely with companies and gamedevelopers.ie on ways to assist the industry to develop in Ireland. Our policy submission is available on the site resources/setting_up/index.php?article_number=3 here and we look forward to hearing the results of this process in 2004.

We also understand that the IDA have developed their own internal policy on the games industry, although this document will not be published, and we know they have been consulting widely with a number of companies who are interested in establishing operations in Ireland – amongst these we are pleased to welcome TKO-Software to Ireland and they have a number of jobs currently available (See community/jobs/ community/jobs/ ). 2004 should also see a report on the supply and demand for skills in the digital content industry from the Expert Group on Future Skills and the games industry in included in this study.

Hobbyists

And we mustn’t forget that for some people developing games is a hobby and not an occupation. If you are interested in this side of things take a look at the group who are developing Irish scenery for Microsoft’s flight simulator (see ./www.ifsd.ie./) and the very active game threads on www.boards.ie full of people working together and sharing game development tips. Our cover image is from the Gael Con in Clontarf Castle last Halloween where I saw numerous fans playing their favourite board, table and card games.

So the final analysis is positive and we are pleased that gamedevelopers.ie has been there to record these developments, controversies (e.g. about the GAA game going down under) and the ‘rare’ rumours. We look forward to your contributions and reporting on your activities in 2004.

Author Bio: Aphra Kerr is a full time researcher based in STeM (Centre for Society, Technology and Media) at DCU.

Thanks to the Digital Hub for the images of Ernest Adams etc. from the IGDA launch

2003 Replay

My top 12 of 2003, in no particular order of merit, were:

1. gamedevelopers.ie
2. Shindigs
3. Launch of the N-Gage Challenge
4. Bernard Stolar Talk
5. Edinburgh International Games Festival & Dare to be Digital 2003
6. New game design courses in Ireland
7. Formation and launch of IGDA Ireland chapter
8. Play exhibition at the Digital Hub
9. Dare to be Digital Ireland Information Day, Digital Hub.
10. Game companies move into the Digital Depot
11. Update on existing companies
12. Policy for the games industry in Ireland.

gamedevelopers.ie

Research conducted by STeM (Centre for Society, Technology and Media) in 2001 identified two PC/console development companies, five mobile/internet development companies, two part-time developers, two specialist service companies (middleware and animation) and two major localisation companies on the island of Ireland. Thirteen companies: 8 companies founded in the Republic, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 foreign owned. Approximately 256 people were working full time or devised a considerable part of their earnings from various aspects of the games industry. While these figures were probably conservative at least they provide a map of where we were at in 2001.

The report also noted however that another eight companies had gone to the wall in the 1980s and 1990s. Names like Gremlin Graphics (Ireland) Ltd., Emerald Software Ltd., PCSL Software Ireland Ltd., PixelMagic, Taintech, Pooka Games and Funcom all promised much but for various reasons shut their doors. Let no-one tell you it is an easy business.

STeM launched their research report in the Friends of the National Gallery building, Merrion Square in March 2002 (See http://www.comms.dcu.ie/kerra/ here under research for images). Only about ten people turned up, but those who did were appreciative of the fact that such research had taken place, they met new people and had a glass of wine.

What struck us was the fact that many of them didn’t know each other and had no facility through which they could meet. Our research indicated that there were people in Ireland who had gained considerable experience abroad but even at the height of the Celtic Tiger it was still a hard sell to get either national funding agencies or international publishers to invest in a start-up games company in Ireland. There were exceptions: Kapooki secured venture capital funding in 2000 to develop an online turn based game; Eirplay and Havok benefited from seed funding from Enterprise Ireland. Even then it wasn’t easy.

The summer of 2002 saw the development of the gamedevelopers.ie concept. We wanted to create an online resource to assist networking between companies and individuals interested in games development. Letters to different companies and funding agencies failed to secure funding but in late 2003 two suiters came forward with enthusiasm for the project: Nokia and 02. By Jan. 2003 we had hired two multimedia students from DCU to develop the project and with assistance from a number of parties the project went live in March. Late April saw the official launch of the site in the Guinness Storehouse – and a crowd about five times larger than that which greeted the earlier research report turned up. They weren’t disappointed: Steve Collins, Chief Technical Officer with Havok gave an insightful talk about the games industry and the food was great. People stayed to mingle afterwards and retired to a nearby drinking emporium after to hear stories of Irish antics at GDC.

Press coverage of the launch in Ireland was small, with The Digital Hub’s newsletter and the Sunday Independent (May 4th) the exceptions. But through word of mouth various industry publications abroad picked up the story. The editor of Gamesindustry.biz, who turned out to be Irish, contacted us and ran a story which can be found at http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=dev&aid=1473 this address

Develop magazine also ran a few lines saying; ‘Only so many coders can squeeze into a pub, so the nascent Irish development industry has got itself a new center of operations.’

shindigs

It is ironic that in fact the website has led to face to face meetings in pubs and from September 2003 there have been monthly shindigs on either the last Thurs or Friday of the month in Mahaffeys in Dublin. The shindigs are informal but each month one or two new faces turn up and they are a way for new people to make some friends and get some pointers. In December a small group held a shindig in Belfast too.

From the start companies and academics were supportive of the site with Havok providing an early article on their experiences of GDC 2003 and Hugh McCabe from Blanchardstown IT on his experiences of SIGGRAPH. We have a few regular freelance journalists contributing and despite the fact that the site is run mainly entirely on a voluntary basis it has held together well.

Launch of the N-Gage Challenge

Call it coincidence but no sooner was the site up that we had news to report. April saw the launch of the N-Gage challenge, a joint initiative between Nokia and Upstart Games to find exciting game concepts for Nokia’s new platform. While we still await confirmation of the winner the final five were available on the web and generated some interesting comments on the forums of gamedevelopers.ie See community/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=158here

Bernard Stolar Talk

No sooner had we gotten over E3 and talk of Sony’s new PSP than Enterprise Ireland organised a seminar with Bernard Stolar, formerly of BAM Entertainment, and Havok’s Paul Hayes. Around 40 people turned up to hear Stolar’s insights into the industry and how to, or how not to, get along. See our feature report from July features/index.php?article=6here

Edinburgh International Games Festival & Dare to be Digital 2003

August is usually silly season for news but this year Scotland launched an International Games Festival to coincide with their annual summer cultural festival. Since I was in Scotland anyway I went along and an Irish accent proved a strong marker as a group of Irish people working at home and abroad gathered over coffee. The next day I went to meet with people from the University of Abertay to talk about their game courses and their research into games. See features/index.php?article=8here

Prior to that it had become apparent that many Irish students who wanted to study game design went across the waters to the UK and in particular to Abertay. Some of these participated in a competition called ‘Dare to be Digital’ which to me seemed like a great way to bridge the gap between college and work in a company. In September we were pleased to announce an Irish interest in one of the winning teams who developed an RPG called Demon Lore.

image2

New Game Design Courses in Ireland

But perhaps this brain drain to UK institutions will be no longer. 2003 was the year that academic institutions in Ireland started to take games seriously. On this website we have a list of courses and research in Irish colleges and universities which are of relevance to games (see resources/here) but notably in September Ballyfermot Senior College launched a two year Higher National Diploma in Game Design to complement their one year LUDO course and the North West Institute for Further and Higher Education in Derry launched a one year Higher National Certificate in Interactive Computer Entertainment. Both colleges are working with Torc Interactive and will be using their game engine as a teaching tool. 2004 is likely to see new courses in Letterkenny IT, Dundalk IT, Carlow IT and Ulster University.

Formation and launch of IGDA Ireland chapter

The Autumn is a good time to get people into pubs and Tony Kelly came up with an inspired excuse to darken the doors of some licensed establishments – form an Irish chapter of the IGDA. He got immediate support from companies and the first committee meeting took place in Nov., in a pub, just before that month’s shindig, in another pub. Nothing like fulfilling national stereotypes eh! The committee started to put structures in place for an Irish chapter and to plan a launch event.

Ernest Adams, founder of the IDGA was a suitably high profile keynote speaker for the launch on the 8th of Jan. 2004 and it was well attended to boot. Again the Digital Hub through the Liberties Learning Initiative and Diageo alongside Enterprise Ireland came forward to fund and host the event. Ireland’s IGDA chapter has a presence now on the IGDA website at http://www.igda.org/dublin/index.htm http://www.igda.org/dublin/index.htm but there is also a thread devoted to this topic on gamedevelopers.ie community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13See here.

image3

Play exhibition & Dare to be Digital Ireland Information Day, Digital Hub

Speaking of the Digital Hub; not only did gamedevelopers.ie get a regular plug in their monthly newletters but the Hub was proactive in other ways too. An early signal of what was to come was the launch of their fourth exhibition on ‘Play’.

Shortly afterwards the Digital Hub through their Liberties Learning Initiative announced that in 2004 the University of Abertay’s Dare to be Digital’ competition would be opened to Irish teams and the team selected to develop their game concept into a prototype would be housed in the Digital Depot on Thomas Street in Dublin over the summer of 2004.

A very successful information day was held in early Dec. in the Digital Depot when around 200 people turned up to hear visitors from Abertay introduce the competition and a roundtable with industry and government agency representatives discuss the opportunities and difficulties faced by digital games companies in Ireland. To my knowledge it was the first really open public discussion on this topic and it was great to see people engaging with issues like skill development, company finance and business opportunities for Irish companies. We understand that a video of the event will be available from the Digital Hub and a report on the event was posted under news in Dec. news/index.php?article_number=63See here.

Game companies move into the Digital Depot

The newly refurbished enterprise space, the Digital Depot, became home to a number of digital media companies in 2003 including game companies. Havok was the first Irish games company to move in (index.asp?i=206index.asp?i=206) and again in 2003 the company was recognised internationally by the Game Developer’s Frontline Awards in the middleware category. flanomination.htm#2002winnersMore info here.

Just this month Havok was jointed by Mistaril who are involved in indie PC game development (www.mistaril.com). Mistaril’s first game ‘Space Station Manager’ is a finalist in the Independent Games Festival to be held in San Jose, California in March 2004 ( ). We wish them luck!

Update on existing companies

And what of the other companies and where have we got to since the ‘Loading’ research report was published in March 2002. Well by the end of 2003 the number of companies had risen to 19 and the numbers employed to 360 approximately. One of the companies listed in 2001 failed to get their business in advergaming off the ground and another company which was listed lost their main game developer who went freelance. But these companies were joined by new mobile publishers, middleware companies, returning Irish emigrants and some English developers whose wives happen to be Irish and wanted to return home. The IDA’s job is made somewhat easier by these women!

Existing indigenous mobile companies signed important distribution deals in 2003 with UpStart announcing a deal with Konami online in November and Eirplay Games announcing a deal with Trust 5, amongst others. Kapookie became an approved X-Box development studio and are pitching their latest prototype to publishers as we speak. Torc Interactive became a fully fledged games company in late 2002 and not withstanding the odd excursion to Dublin for the shindigs they have been beavering away on their game engine. Rumour has it they are showing it to publishers so we will bring you news on this as soon as we have it.

Meedja in Dundalk consolidated themselves in 2003 and will be looking to grow in 2004. Meanwhile Demonware, formerly Phorest, are currently trialling their multiplayer networking technology and 2004 could be a big year for them. Finally, that gang of returned Irish emigrants who turned up at one of the shindigs this year have formed a company, Bugaboo Studios, and are working away on a console title. So unlike in 2001 we now have two companies each with a console game in production.

We keep coming across companies who are keeping their heads low but perhaps some of our readers can enlighten us? Does anyone know anything about Broken Edge Studios in Athlone and Deep Voodoo Gaming in Belfast? If so let us know….And while we would not like to spread rumours it would be wise to watch the people’s republic of Cork for another emerging company in 2004!

Of the major internationally owned companies Intel’s IT Innovation Centre won a major international award for skoool.ie in late 2003 and are working on educational game concepts as we speak. Both Microsoft and Vivendi continue to localise games in Ireland (and are Ireland’s largest employers in the games field with over a 100 full timers between them) and there is much potential there for additional activities to develop, especially as their online projects emerge. Sony, while mainly a marketing operation in Ireland, are also a useful actor on the scene and importantly they provided gamedeveloper.ie users with tickets to their annual party in the Red Box in August.

Given the expansion of companies in the past two years gamedevelopers.ie is launching a company directory to provide users with a list of companies operating in game development and associated services in Ireland. This will complement the skills directory which will, from now on, only include freelancers and students who are looking for work in this area. We hope you will help us to expand these two resources and perhaps revise your current entries if you have them. They will provide an important map of the key players in this industry in Ireland.

Policy for the games industry in Ireland

Directories of companies and skills are important when it comes to visibility and lobbying for appropriate policies to develop the games industry in Ireland. In 2003 Forfas (who develop industrial policies for Enterprise Ireland and the IDA) consulted widely with companies and gamedevelopers.ie on ways to assist the industry to develop in Ireland. Our policy submission is available on the site resources/setting_up/index.php?article_number=3 here and we look forward to hearing the results of this process in 2004.

We also understand that the IDA have developed their own internal policy on the games industry, although this document will not be published, and we know they have been consulting widely with a number of companies who are interested in establishing operations in Ireland – amongst these we are pleased to welcome TKO-Software to Ireland and they have a number of jobs currently available (See community/jobs/ community/jobs/ ). 2004 should also see a report on the supply and demand for skills in the digital content industry from the Expert Group on Future Skills and the games industry in included in this study.

Hobbyists

And we mustn’t forget that for some people developing games is a hobby and not an occupation. If you are interested in this side of things take a look at the group who are developing Irish scenery for Microsoft’s flight simulator (see ./www.ifsd.ie./) and the very active game threads on www.boards.ie full of people working together and sharing game development tips. Our cover image is from the Gael Con in Clontarf Castle last Halloween where I saw numerous fans playing their favourite board, table and card games.

So the final analysis is positive and we are pleased that gamedevelopers.ie has been there to record these developments, controversies (e.g. about the GAA game going down under) and the ‘rare’ rumours. We look forward to your contributions and reporting on your activities in 2004.

Author Bio: Aphra Kerr is a full time researcher based in STeM (Centre for Society, Technology and Media) at DCU.

Thanks to the Digital Hub for the images of Ernest Adams etc. from the IGDA launch

Eirplay Games

Eirplay Games creates cross-media digital entertainment content designed to give our clients the edge in the digital media marketplace. We have an extensive portfolio of Web and mobile entertainment content such as Web games, Java games and media messages. As we develop for standard PC and wireless devices, we can ensure our products reach the widest possible audience in our client’s marketplace.

In addition to original content creation, we also develop customised gaming solutions for specific consumer devices and markets. Other categories: Mobile Games, Shockwave/Flash, Marketing/Sales

For further information, visit our site www.eirplaygames.com
or email us at: info@eirplaygames.com

Trust5

Trust5 provide mobile content publishing services in Ireland and a number of European markets. We are interested in hearing from any game developer who is developing Java mobile games.

Call us at 01 2941188
or mail info@trust5.com

Upstart Games

Upstart is a Dublin based publisher of mobile games. Upstart has distribution agreements in EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific markets through contracts with many aggregators and operators.

Upstart is interested in hearing from any developers out there who have developed mobile games or who would like to talk about their ideas for games.

www.upstartgames.com
Contact: info@upstartgames.com

Kapooki Games

Kapooki Games is a multi-platform* game development studio. The studio boasts a highly skilled team with development expertise in PC, PS2, Xbox GameCube, wireless and online game creation. Currently the Kapooki studio is working on a major PC and Console title scheduled for release in Q1 2005 as well as developing a number of projects for future release.

Founded in 2000, Kapooki Games is Ireland’s leading interactive game developer. The studio has developed game product for Online, PC and Wireless platforms. The studio is currently expanding its portfolio into the game console market and is working with a number of high profile game industry experts based in the UK on this product road map. The company has worked extensively with a number of large multinational organisations in providing interactive game content, ranging from 3D online to wireless game applications, for organisations such as the German ISP T-Online to the Mobile network O2.

Kapooki Games is a registered Xbox development studio.

*Multi-platform – primarily PC and Game Console (PS2 / Xbox / GameCube).

www.kapookigames.com
info@kapookigames.com

Elspa One-Day Conference

This seminar hosted by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) at Le Meridien Piccadilly, 3rd February 2004 will look at the challenges of service provision to deliver profitable online network gaming services.

Online gaming has moved to the top of the business agenda. The
industry is gearing up to meet the challenges this new channel
presents. This event offers a unique opportunity to hear from the
experts and to discuss the issues, pitfalls and opportunities in this
dynamic sector. Speakers include Nainan Shah (Sony CEE) Michel Cassius (Microsoft), Simon Protheroe (Eidos) and Itzik Ben-Bassat (Vivendi).

Details and booking on:
serv/onlinegaming.aspwww.elspa.com
or call on +44 20 7534 0580

E3 2004 Expo

E3 has been in existence since 1995. This year’s programme promises to ‘celebrate the industry’s transition from fringe player to core member of the entertainment community, explore the expanding alliance between the game industry and the film and music industries, and look at new trends in marketing and cross-promotion. ‘

The conference program begins on May 11 with a full-day workshop with sessions that will deal with: the evolution of the massively multiplayer online business model; the expanding relationship between the game industry and the film and music industries; trends in the Asian and European markets that are likely to influence gaming in North America region; and the development of mobile handsets and the entertainment applications. Over nine workshops, guest speakers will use their experiences to speculate on current and future strategies.

The E3 Exhibit floor opens May 12 – 14, 2004.

E3 will also hold special luncheons with three topic strands:
Track 1: The New Rules of Business: Responding to growth and change
Track 2: Development: Opportunities and challenges ahead
Track 3:Online, Mobile, Handheld Games: Taking measure of their growing importance.

The event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For more details and registration, please visit:
e3expo/www.e3expo.com/e3expo

Isaga 2004 Call For Papers

Call for papers:

The 35th Annual Conference of the International Simulation And Gaming Association (ISAGA) and Conjoint Conference of SAGSAGA takes place from 6-10 September, 2004 with the ISAGA Summer School 2004 running from August 3 – September 4.

If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract via email or fax to the conference organizer (see below). The length of the abstract must not exceed 350 words and the length of the full paper must not exceed 4000 words. A detailed guideline for the style of the abstract and the full paper will be available at the website below. Contributors should state the format, whether the contribution is a workshop (60 minutes or 120 minutes; activity based session with game play and/or demonstration of simulation game and discussion), a paper (40 minutes; based on research, theory, development or experience with discussion) or a poster presentation (displayed throughout the conference and discussed in a special 45-minute poster session). The program committee will consider all abstracts received and will inform potential contributors regarding their presentation to the program. Please remember to include paper title, format, full name, affiliation, address, telephone, fax and email with the abstract.

Additional Information:

You could also plan and organize your own parallel session for specific topics. If you would like to organize a special session within ISAGA 2004 conference please contact directly: mailto:wkriz@edupsy.uni-muenchen.de wkriz@edupsy.uni-muenchen.de
Participants for special sessions can send their abstracts to the conference organizers and to the session organizers. For example, Dr. Ivo Wenzler and Dr. Igor Mayer were the first toorganize a special session, concerning Simulation/Gaming for technological Infrastructures and Utlilities.

For more information please visit:
http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/index.php?inhalt=call_special#http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/

Deadlines:

Deadline for paper abstract: 30th April, 2004
Notification of acceptance: 15th May, 2004
Deadline for full paper: 15th June, 2004

Please remember to include paper title, format, full name, affiliation, address, telephone, fax and email with the abstract.

Registration:

Please send your registration form by mail or fax to the conference organizer. Early registration with a reduced fee is possible until 30 April 2004. Late registration at higher rates is possible up to the conference date and may be also done directly at conference site.
For downloading the registration forms, please visit http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/index.php?inhalt=reg_formshere.

ISAGA 2004 Summer School:

The number of participants is strictly limited to 35, so please make sure to register as soon as possible. If you pay via bank transfer, please be aware that you will have to pay within three weeks of submitting the registration form to the conference organizers.

Chi2004 In Vienna

Vienna is the venue for CHI2004, a conference on human factors in computing, with the theme ‘Social Learning Through Gaming.’ This workshop will bring together researchers, academics, and designers from several disciplines, including game design, development, communication, psychology, computer science, graphic and the visual arts. The social learning effects from playing games in technology-mediated settings such as computer/ video and augmented reality games will be explored, as well as virtual reality, mobile devices, live action role plays, and multi-player online role playing games.

A workshop report will be generated for SIGCHI Bulletin, and workshop participants are invited to submit extended versions of their position papers to a special issue on "Social Implications of Learning from Gaming" to be published in the winter 2005 issue of the journal Interactive Technology and Smart Education.

Participants are selected based on submitted position papers. By January 12, 2004, prospective participants are asked to electronically submit the following:

A position paper of no more than four pages, which should include:
(a) A discussion of your interest in creating opportunities for learning, exploration, and discovery in games.
(b) A description of your relevant work or approach to data analysis, evaluation, incorporating subject matter experts (SMEs), or designing learning opportunities into games.
(c) Examples or lessons learned by having taken certain approaches to design, evaluation, or from having explored certain topics with games.
(d) Please indicate whether you intend to give a short demo of your work (for scheduling purposes)
(e) A short biography of no more than 250 words.

Important dates:
Participant submission deadline: January 12, 2004
Notice of participant acceptance: February 23, 2004
Workshop in Vienna: April 26, 2004

Contacts for position paper submissions:

Elaine Raybourn, Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800 MS 1188
Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
Tel: +1 505 844 7975
mailto:emraybo@sandia.govemraybo@sandia.gov

Annika Waern, Swedish Institute of Computer Science
P.O. Box 1263
SE-164 29 Kista, Sweden
Tel: +46-8-633 15 00
mailto:annika@sics.seannika@sics.se

Conference website:
workshop/CHI04GamesWorkshop.htmlwww.cantoche.com/workshop

Gender & Ict: Strategies Of Inclusion

The Gender & ICT symposium is a joint initiative of the Policy Research
Centre on Equal Opportunities (Belgium), the European SIGIS (Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society) Network, The Dutch Association for Gender & Technology (the Netherlands) and Digitales (Belgium). It aims to be a meeting point for researchers from different disciplines and research schools that are familiar with ICT and gender studies, women’s studies or feminist studies.

A morning session will feature keynote lectures by Wendy Faulkner (Edinburgh University, Scotland), Merete Lie (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) and Eileen Green (University of Teesside, England).

During the afternoon, eight parallel sessions will take place on the
following topics:
– Strategies of inclusion for women through the development of products
geared to female audiences
– Myths about men, women and ICT
– Women’s career paths in the ICT sector
– E-learning in a gendered world
– Designing gender or gendering design ?
– Inclusion policies for education, social inclusion and ICT
– Using ICT in everyday life
– Flexibility and control in new work arrangements related to ICT
– Teaching with/in ICT
– ICT as a tool for the empowerment of women

The registration fee is 20 EURO and the deadline for registration is 14 January 2004

Links to the websites from the organisators:
Policy Research Centre on Equal Opportunities:
http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.behttp://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be
SIGIS:
http://www.rcss.ed.ac.uk/sigis/http://www.rcss.ed.ac.uk/sigis/
Dutch Association for Gender & Technology:
http://www.indexsociety.nl/genderictsymposium/aboutvgt.htmhttp://www.indexsociety.nl/genderictsymposium/aboutvgt.htm
Digitales:
http://www.digitales-online.orghttp://www.digitales-online.org

Full details on the programme and registration at:
http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/

Launch Of Igda Ireland, 8Th Jan.

The IGDA in the international professional, not for profit, association for game developers. This Thurs gamedevelopers.ie in association with the IGDA and the Liberties Learning Initiative at the Digital Hub is pleased to mark the founding of an Irish IGDA chapter with a talk by Ernest Adams, IGDA Founder and Game Design Consultant. Tony Kelly, senior producer in Intel and chair of the interim IGDA Irish chapter committee will speak briefly on what the IGDA Ireland hopes to achieve.

This will be followed by a glass of wine sponsored by the Learning Liberties Initiative at the Digital Hub. Ernest Adams is kindly sponsored by Enterprise Ireland.

Date/Time: Thursday, 8th January 2004 at 7pm

Place: Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8.

Further details from Sorcha Ni Dhonnchú on 01 4806200 or exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

E3 Expo 2004

‘That Was Then…See What’s Next’

Expo: May 12-14, 2004
Conference Program: May 11-13, 2004
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center

E3 has been in existence since 1995. This year’s programme promises to ‘celebrate the industry’s transition from fringe player to core member of the entertainment community, explore the expanding alliance between the game industry and the film and music industries, and look at new trends in marketing and cross-promotion. ‘

The conference program begins on May 11 with a full-day workshop with sessions that will deal with: the evolution of the massively multiplayer online business model; the expanding relationship between the game industry and the film and music industries; trends in the Asian and European markets that are likely to influence gaming in North America region; and the development of mobile handsets and the entertainment applications. Over nine workshops, guest speakers will use their experiences to speculate on current and future strategies.

The E3 Exhibit floor opens May 12 – 14, 2004.

E3 will also hold special luncheons with three topic strands:
Track 1: The New Rules of Business: Responding to growth and change
Track 2: Development: Opportunities and challenges ahead
Track 3:Online, Mobile, Handheld Games: Taking measure of their growing importance.

For more details and registration, please visit:
e3expo/www.e3expo.com/e3expo

Elspa Conference

Location:Le Meridien Piccadilly

This one-day seminar hosted by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) on 3rd February 2004 will look at the challenges of service provision to deliver profitable online network gaming services.

Online gaming has moved to the top of the business agenda. The
industry is gearing up to meet the challenges this new channel
presents. This event offers a unique opportunity to hear from the
experts and to discuss the issues, pitfalls and opportunities in this
dynamic sector. Speakers include Nainan Shah (Sony CEE) Michel Cassius (Microsoft), Simon Protheroe (Eidos) and Itzik Ben-Bassat (Vivendi).

Details and booking on:
serv/onlinegaming.aspwww.elspa.com
or call on +44 20 7534 0580

Saga 2004 Conference

Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action through Gaming and Simulation

35th Annual Conference of the International Simulation And Gaming Association (ISAGA) and Conjoint Conference of SAGSAGA

Date: 6-10 September 2004
Location: Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany

Contact:mailto:isaga2004@sagsaga.orgisaga2004@sagsaga.org

Isaga 2004 Summer School

The Art and Science of Simulation and Gaming Design

Date: August 30- September 4, 2004
Location: Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany

Contact:
mailto:isaga2004@sagsaga.orgisaga2004@sagsaga.org

Chi2004: Connect

Vienna is the venue for CHI2004:Connect, a conference on human factors in computing, with the theme ‘Social Learning Through Gaming.’ This workshop will bring together researchers, academics, and designers from several disciplines, including game design, development, communication, psychology, computer science, graphic and the visual arts. The social learning effects from playing games in technology-mediated settings such as computer/ video and augmented reality games will be explored, as well as virtual reality, mobile devices, live action role plays, and multi-player online role playing games.

A workshop report will be generated for SIGCHI Bulletin, and workshop participants are invited to submit extended versions of their position papers to a special issue on "Social Implications of Learning from Gaming" to be published in the winter 2005 issue of the journal Interactive Technology and Smart Education.

Participants are selected based on submitted position papers. By January 12, 2004, prospective participants are asked to electronically submit the following:

A position paper of no more than four pages, which should include:
(a) A discussion of your interest in creating opportunities for learning, exploration, and discovery in games.
(b) A description of your relevant work or approach to data analysis, evaluation, incorporating subject matter experts (SMEs), or designing learning opportunities into games.
(c) Examples or lessons learned by having taken certain approaches to design, evaluation, or from having explored certain topics with games.
(d) Please indicate whether you intend to give a short demo of your work (for scheduling purposes)
(e) A short biography of no more than 250 words.

Conference website:
workshop/CHI04GamesWorkshop.htmlworkshop/CHI04GamesWorkshop.html

Gender And Ict: Strategies Of Inclusion

Location: Amazone Conference Centre, Brussels

The Gender & ICT symposium is a joint initiative of the Policy Research
Centre on Equal Opportunities (Belgium), the European SIGIS (Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society) Network, The Dutch Association for Gender & Technology (the Netherlands) and Digitales (Belgium). It aims to be a meeting point for researchers from different disciplines and research schools that are familiar with ICT and gender studies, women’s studies or feminist studies.

Full details on the programme and registration at:
http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/

E3 2004 Expo – 2

E3 has been in existence since 1995. This year’s programme promises to ‘celebrate the industry’s transition from fringe player to core member of the entertainment community, explore the expanding alliance between the game industry and the film and music industries, and look at new trends in marketing and cross-promotion. ‘

The conference program begins on May 11 with a full-day workshop with sessions that will deal with: the evolution of the massively multiplayer online business model; the expanding relationship between the game industry and the film and music industries; trends in the Asian and European markets that are likely to influence gaming in North America region; and the development of mobile handsets and the entertainment applications. Over nine workshops, guest speakers will use their experiences to speculate on current and future strategies.

The E3 Exhibit floor opens May 12 – 14, 2004.

E3 will also hold special luncheons with three topic strands:
Track 1: The New Rules of Business: Responding to growth and change
Track 2: Development: Opportunities and challenges ahead
Track 3:Online, Mobile, Handheld Games: Taking measure of their growing importance.

The event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For more details and registration, please visit:
e3expo/www.e3expo.com/e3expo

Elspa One-Day Conference – 2

This seminar hosted by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) at Le Meridien Piccadilly, 3rd February 2004 will look at the challenges of service provision to deliver profitable online network gaming services.

Online gaming has moved to the top of the business agenda. The
industry is gearing up to meet the challenges this new channel
presents. This event offers a unique opportunity to hear from the
experts and to discuss the issues, pitfalls and opportunities in this
dynamic sector. Speakers include Nainan Shah (Sony CEE) Michel Cassius (Microsoft), Simon Protheroe (Eidos) and Itzik Ben-Bassat (Vivendi).

Details and booking on:
serv/onlinegaming.aspwww.elspa.com
or call on +44 20 7534 0580

Launch Of Igda Ireland, 8Th Jan. – 2

The IGDA in the international professional, not for profit, association for game developers. This Thurs gamedevelopers.ie in association with the IGDA and the Liberties Learning Initiative at the Digital Hub is pleased to mark the founding of an Irish IGDA chapter with a talk by Ernest Adams, IGDA Founder and Game Design Consultant. Tony Kelly, senior producer in Intel and chair of the interim IGDA Irish chapter committee will speak briefly on what the IGDA Ireland hopes to achieve.

This will be followed by a glass of wine sponsored by the Learning Liberties Initiative at the Digital Hub. Ernest Adams is kindly sponsored by Enterprise Ireland.

Date/Time: Thursday, 8th January 2004 at 7pm

Place: Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub Project Office, 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8.

Further details from Sorcha Ni Dhonnchú on 01 4806200 or exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Isaga 2004 Call For Papers – 2

Call for papers:

The 35th Annual Conference of the International Simulation And Gaming Association (ISAGA) and Conjoint Conference of SAGSAGA takes place from 6-10 September, 2004 with the ISAGA Summer School 2004 running from August 3 – September 4.

If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract via email or fax to the conference organizer (see below). The length of the abstract must not exceed 350 words and the length of the full paper must not exceed 4000 words. A detailed guideline for the style of the abstract and the full paper will be available at the website below. Contributors should state the format, whether the contribution is a workshop (60 minutes or 120 minutes; activity based session with game play and/or demonstration of simulation game and discussion), a paper (40 minutes; based on research, theory, development or experience with discussion) or a poster presentation (displayed throughout the conference and discussed in a special 45-minute poster session). The program committee will consider all abstracts received and will inform potential contributors regarding their presentation to the program. Please remember to include paper title, format, full name, affiliation, address, telephone, fax and email with the abstract.

Additional Information:

You could also plan and organize your own parallel session for specific topics. If you would like to organize a special session within ISAGA 2004 conference please contact directly: mailto:wkriz@edupsy.uni-muenchen.de wkriz@edupsy.uni-muenchen.de
Participants for special sessions can send their abstracts to the conference organizers and to the session organizers. For example, Dr. Ivo Wenzler and Dr. Igor Mayer were the first toorganize a special session, concerning Simulation/Gaming for technological Infrastructures and Utlilities.

For more information please visit:
http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/index.php?inhalt=call_special#http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/

Deadlines:

Deadline for paper abstract: 30th April, 2004
Notification of acceptance: 15th May, 2004
Deadline for full paper: 15th June, 2004

Please remember to include paper title, format, full name, affiliation, address, telephone, fax and email with the abstract.

Registration:

Please send your registration form by mail or fax to the conference organizer. Early registration with a reduced fee is possible until 30 April 2004. Late registration at higher rates is possible up to the conference date and may be also done directly at conference site.
For downloading the registration forms, please visit http://sagsaga.org/isaga2004/index.php?inhalt=reg_formshere.

ISAGA 2004 Summer School:

The number of participants is strictly limited to 35, so please make sure to register as soon as possible. If you pay via bank transfer, please be aware that you will have to pay within three weeks of submitting the registration form to the conference organizers.

Chi2004 In Vienna – 2

Vienna is the venue for CHI2004, a conference on human factors in computing, with the theme ‘Social Learning Through Gaming.’ This workshop will bring together researchers, academics, and designers from several disciplines, including game design, development, communication, psychology, computer science, graphic and the visual arts. The social learning effects from playing games in technology-mediated settings such as computer/ video and augmented reality games will be explored, as well as virtual reality, mobile devices, live action role plays, and multi-player online role playing games.

A workshop report will be generated for SIGCHI Bulletin, and workshop participants are invited to submit extended versions of their position papers to a special issue on "Social Implications of Learning from Gaming" to be published in the winter 2005 issue of the journal Interactive Technology and Smart Education.

Participants are selected based on submitted position papers. By January 12, 2004, prospective participants are asked to electronically submit the following:

A position paper of no more than four pages, which should include:
(a) A discussion of your interest in creating opportunities for learning, exploration, and discovery in games.
(b) A description of your relevant work or approach to data analysis, evaluation, incorporating subject matter experts (SMEs), or designing learning opportunities into games.
(c) Examples or lessons learned by having taken certain approaches to design, evaluation, or from having explored certain topics with games.
(d) Please indicate whether you intend to give a short demo of your work (for scheduling purposes)
(e) A short biography of no more than 250 words.

Important dates:
Participant submission deadline: January 12, 2004
Notice of participant acceptance: February 23, 2004
Workshop in Vienna: April 26, 2004

Contacts for position paper submissions:

Elaine Raybourn, Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800 MS 1188
Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
Tel: +1 505 844 7975
mailto:emraybo@sandia.govemraybo@sandia.gov

Annika Waern, Swedish Institute of Computer Science
P.O. Box 1263
SE-164 29 Kista, Sweden
Tel: +46-8-633 15 00
mailto:annika@sics.seannika@sics.se

Conference website:
workshop/CHI04GamesWorkshop.htmlwww.cantoche.com/workshop

Gender & Ict: Strategies Of Inclusion – 2

The Gender & ICT symposium is a joint initiative of the Policy Research
Centre on Equal Opportunities (Belgium), the European SIGIS (Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society) Network, The Dutch Association for Gender & Technology (the Netherlands) and Digitales (Belgium). It aims to be a meeting point for researchers from different disciplines and research schools that are familiar with ICT and gender studies, women’s studies or feminist studies.

A morning session will feature keynote lectures by Wendy Faulkner (Edinburgh University, Scotland), Merete Lie (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) and Eileen Green (University of Teesside, England).

During the afternoon, eight parallel sessions will take place on the
following topics:
– Strategies of inclusion for women through the development of products
geared to female audiences
– Myths about men, women and ICT
– Women’s career paths in the ICT sector
– E-learning in a gendered world
– Designing gender or gendering design ?
– Inclusion policies for education, social inclusion and ICT
– Using ICT in everyday life
– Flexibility and control in new work arrangements related to ICT
– Teaching with/in ICT
– ICT as a tool for the empowerment of women

The registration fee is 20 EURO and the deadline for registration is 14 January 2004

Links to the websites from the organisators:
Policy Research Centre on Equal Opportunities:
http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.behttp://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be
SIGIS:
http://www.rcss.ed.ac.uk/sigis/http://www.rcss.ed.ac.uk/sigis/
Dutch Association for Gender & Technology:
http://www.indexsociety.nl/genderictsymposium/aboutvgt.htmhttp://www.indexsociety.nl/genderictsymposium/aboutvgt.htm
Digitales:
http://www.digitales-online.orghttp://www.digitales-online.org

Full details on the programme and registration at:
http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/http://www.steunpuntgelijkekansen.be/genderandict/