Gd.Ie Awards – 2

The following are the nominations received through the website. The panel (Jab, Padraig and Aphra) have added one or two and will make the final decision as to the winners in each category. I will be contacting the nominees in the next day or so to find out your real names and something about you!

Humour:

1. Ian Hannigan
2. Omen /
3 Kyotokid
4 Skyclad

Salmon of Knowledge:

1. Ronny
2. Monument
3. Darwen
4. Grifmike

GD of the Year

1. Idora/ Tony Kelly
2. Skyclad/ Dave Kearney
3. Johnny Slim/ John Lynch
4. Grifmike/ Michael Griffin
5. Dylan Collins

There will also be a Stamina and a Sprint award given to people who have been contributing the longest and the most frequently to the forums on gamedevelopers.ie. There is some discussion still ongoing amongst the panel as to who the top three in these categories are.

The winners will be announced between 8.30-9pm on this coming Friday night, downstair in Toners pub on Bagott Street in Dublin. See the calendar on the home page for directions.

Some finger food will be provided on the night.

Gamedevelopers Is One Year Old! – 2

While the official launch of gamedevelopers.ie in the Guinness Storehouse was not until the end of April 2003, the 31st of March was our go live date.

The first feature was called ‘Creating Havok at GDC’ and was a review of GDC by Paul Hayes of Havok. The first news item? The launch of my working paper on the games industry in Ireland (mm content bias maybe?) followed by an announcement that Nokia had launched the nGage challenge.

Kapooki were first to make an entry in the Gallery section with Lorgaine followed swiftly by CanDo with their 3D Stressball game. And our first entry into the skills directory was by Philip McConnell from the LUDO course and under the 3D Modelling category.

Thanks to everyone for getting involved and for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for games with the rest of us.

Gd.Ie Awards

The following are the nominations received through the website. The panel (Jab, Padraig and Aphra) have added one or two and will make the final decision as to the winners in each category. I will be contacting the nominees in the next day or so to find out your real names and something about you!

Humour:

1. Ian Hannigan
2. Omen /
3 Kyotokid
4 Skyclad

Salmon of Knowledge:

1. Ronny
2. Monument
3. Darwen
4. Grifmike

GD of the Year

1. Idora/ Tony Kelly
2. Skyclad/ Dave Kearney
3. Johnny Slim/ John Lynch
4. Grifmike/ Michael Griffin
5. Dylan Collins

There will also be a Stamina and a Sprint award given to people who have been contributing the longest and the most frequently to the forums on gamedevelopers.ie. There is some discussion still ongoing amongst the panel as to who the top three in these categories are.

The winners will be announced between 8.30-9pm on this coming Friday night, downstair in Toners pub on Bagott Street in Dublin. See the calendar on the home page for directions.

Some finger food will be provided on the night.

Gamedevelopers Is One Year Old!

While the official launch of gamedevelopers.ie in the Guinness Storehouse was not until the end of April 2003, the 31st of March was our go live date.

The first feature was called ‘Creating Havok at GDC’ and was a review of GDC by Paul Hayes of Havok. The first news item? The launch of my working paper on the games industry in Ireland (mm content bias maybe?) followed by an announcement that Nokia had launched the nGage challenge.

Kapooki were first to make an entry in the Gallery section with Lorgaine followed swiftly by CanDo with their 3D Stressball game. And our first entry into the skills directory was by Philip McConnell from the LUDO course and under the 3D Modelling category.

Thanks to everyone for getting involved and for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for games with the rest of us.

Microsoft Games Challenge – 2

Microsoft and 3G have joined forces to host the first of many Microsoft Games Challenges. Gamers from all over the country are invited to battle it out at the 3G store on Henry Street for prizes and the title of MGC Champion.

The event will find out who is:

1). The best 4 player Halo team on PC

2). The best Project Gotham Racing 2 Driver on Xbox

When: 10am Saturday, 27th March Street
Where: 3G’s store on Henry
How: Register online at mgc/mgc/. The competition is FREE and entrants can enter as a team or individually to hook up with other team members at the event. Successful registrations will have the opportunity to compete in both games.

Mms Breakfast Briefing – 2

Title: Recent MMS deployments – unlocking the potential of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
Date: Wednesday, March 24th 8am-10am.
Location: The Westbury Hotel, off Grafton Street, Dublin 2.
Registration: 7.30am-8am; EURO 35/person; group discounts available

An Investnet event in association with Wireless Wednesday.

To register please email mailto:dneville@firsttuesday.iedneville@firsttuesday.ie (David Neville)

Presentations from:

*Campbell Scott, Products Director
http://web.o2.ie/portal/http://web.o2.ie (O2)

*Lorraine Fahy, Business Development – www.acotel.com (Acotel Group S.p.A) Launching MMS in new markets – An operators perspective
‘Unlocking the potential of MMS’

*Fran Fanning, Product Director – www.telcotec.com(Telcotec) ‘Benefits of security in mobile content’

*Gareth Nagle, Managing Director www.operatelecom.com (Opera Telecom International) ‘Interactive MMS’

Practical Guide To Online Selling

Time:17:00 – 19.30, 29 March 2004
Location: Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1

This event, organised by the Irish Internet Association and sponsored by Realex Payments will provide attendees with a practical update on the issues involved in selling online.

Programme:
* An Introduction to online selling – the main issues, presented by Colm Lyon, Managing Director and Founder of Realex Payments.
www.realexpayments.com

*Online Motor Tax – a Project Overview, presented by Philip O’Flaherty, Project Manager Online Motor Tax Project, Department of the Environment and Local Government
https://www.motortax.ie/mtoapp/welcome.dowww.motortax.ie

*European Consumer Centre Dublin – Linda Lenox Conyngham Distance selling – a guide to knowing the rules.
index.htmwww.ecic.ie

*Gift Voucher Shop – Online, presented by Geraldine O’Grady, Customer Service Manager and Aoife Davey, Marketing Executive, The Gift Voucher Shop.
www.giftvoucher.ie

*Future Trends – an introduction to the Verified by Visa service, presented by Colm Lyon, Managing Director, Realex Payments.

A Q+A discussion will follow each presentation and additional experts will be available to answer queries on VAT and taxation matters as well as members of the IIA Legal Working Group.

For more details on the programme and registration details, visit:
events.asp?eventid=38www.iia.ie

Game Design Book Review – 2

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman: Rules of Play.
Game Design Fundamentals
A Review by Julian Kücklich

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman’s book Rules of Play is a book about the Design of games with a capital D. The game designers-turned-authors do not get into the details of programming the AI for a first-person shooter, or the intricacies of creating a massively multiplayer on-line world. There is not a single line of code in this book and the term library is only used in its most literal sense. Instead, you will find quotes by linguists, anthropologists, semioticians and cybertheorists as well as journalists and novelists.

And of course Rules of Play is full of games: computer games, board games, card games, drinking games, ball games … more games than most of us are likely to play in our lifetimes. Some of these games are only mentioned in passing, while others are described in astonishing detail. On top of that, the book contains lots of pictures, a handful of corny jokes and some of the most thoughtful writing on play and games since Johan Huizinga’s 1938 book Homo Ludens.

So far, so good, but why should you read this book? Because it will change your life. If you are not a game designer (yet), you will start looking at the world in a different way. You will find yourself in the supermarket, staring into space while devising a game about mad shoppers in merciless battle with restocking personnel. You will find yourself in a traffic jam thinking about how you can coax your fellow motorists into playing a game of Klaxonette with you. You will find yourself turning any day- or night-time activity into a game.

And if you already are a game designer? In this case, you stand a good chance of becoming a better game designer. Your perception of the internal workings of games will be heightened. You will see structure where before you saw chaos. You will see possibilities where before you saw dead ends. You will see opportunities for meaningful play in every nook and cranny of the game you are working on right now.

Meaningful play, by the way, is Salen and Zimmerman’s Holy Grail and it will soon become yours as well. In the very first chapter you will learn that the creation of meaningful play is the goal of successful game design, and by the time you are through with the book this will be your credo. Not that the authors are preaching; in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Their manner is always explanatory, plain and polite – a style that is utterly convincing without being overbearing.

Every chapter is clearly structured, with a neat one- or two-page summary at the end. These summaries will not only help you remember what you just read, they will also be useful for getting a sense whether the chapter is relevant to a particular design problem. Ultimately, Rules of Play wants to be a toolbox of design instruments in which every utensil has its place and a clearly identifiable function.

In order to achieve this, the book has been structured in a highly modular fashion. After reading the first unit, which introduces core concepts such as systems, interactivity and the magic circle, the reader can progress as she pleases. The remaining units, ‘Rules’, ‘Play’ and ‘Culture’, can be read in any order and the same principle applies to the units themselves: after familiarizing yourself with the terminology, you are free to explore the other chapters in any way you fancy. This modular structure is not only helpful for game designers in search for a quick fix for an urgent design problem, it also makes this book well-suited for use in the classroom. Rules of Play presents a cogent way of teaching game design, thus demonstrating that it is an art that can be learned and mastered.

In fact, if you are not a designer already, you will find yourself scribbling the first ideas for your own games in the pages’ margins soon after you have hit the 400-page mark. By then, you will be familiar with most of the actual design tools, and the rest of the book is dedicated to the refinement of these basic skills. But what are these design tools and how do they work?

Granted, their names are not likely to set your imagination ablaze. Unit 2, for example, introduces concepts such as ‘Games as Emergent Systems’, ‘Games as Information Theory Systems’ and ‘Games as Game Theory Systems’. But don’t judge a game by its box. The concepts behind these lacklustre names turn out to be very exciting once you realize the potential they have for your own games.

In ‘Games as Emergent Systems’, Salen and Zimmerman introduce two "horrible" games, i.e. games that lack meaningful play. Then they convert them into meaningful games step by step. First they add some social interaction, then a pinch of repetition and scoring and finally they increase the risk. It’s a bit like watching a cook transform a heap of dirty vegetables into a ratatouille. You’re not really sure when or how the ingredients in the pot turn into a delicious soup, but for some reason it becomes easier once you’ve seen how it’s done.

It will not come as a surprise that a book of this length also contains some less strong chapters. The chapters entitled ‘Games as Information Theory Systems’ and ‘Games as Systems of Information’, for example, seem to lack the enthusiasm of some of the other chapters, but the remainder of Unit 2 easily makes up for this momentary lapse of fervour.

The highlight of Unit 3 is Chapter 25: ‘Games as the Play of Meaning’, the first part in a three-chapter treatise on representation and play. Here, Salen and Zimmerman present a semiotic theory of games; in other words: they look at the way the elements of games become signs that create meaning. These signs are quite complex, as the authors demonstrate by using the example of the ‘health bar’ in Virtua Fighter 4. As Salen and Zimmerman point out, this device does not only communicate to the players their respective characters’ health levels, but also who is winning the match, how near the game is to finishing and the relative skill of the players. While the theoretical concepts introduced in Unit 3 might often seem rather lofty to practitioners, the book presents them as ways to solve concrete design problems, thus making them easier to grasp for those who prefer a more hands-on approach.

The same is true for the book’s last unit, ‘Culture’, in which Salen and Zimmerman take a look at the contexts in which play takes place. They start this unit by pointing out that "no game is an island," a statement that is then backed up by several poignant examples. Especially interesting are the observations about ‘The Landlord’s Game’, the predecessor of Monopoly, in the context of ideology, and about games that are shaped by their fan cultures such as The Sims or Ultima Online.

Ultimately, this leads Salen and Zimmerman to re-examine the premises from which they set out, and, subsequently, to re-formulate their game definition. The concept of games that transgress their own boundary, such as Majestic or Assassin, leads them to conclude that each game plays with its own disappearance. Crucially, this is also one of the functions of art. It is therefore only consistent that Salen and Zimmerman end with an appeal to the readers: "It’s time for games to recognize their role within larger cultural environments." Rules of Play will certainly play an important role in bringing this ‘ludic turn’ about.

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman: Rules of Play. Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, 2003. 672 pp. USD 49.95/GBP 32.95. ISBN: 0-262-24045-9.

Author’s Bio: Julian is a PhD student from Germany who is currently visiting STeM at Dublin City University.

Game Design Book Review

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman: Rules of Play.
Game Design Fundamentals
A Review by Julian Kücklich

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman’s book Rules of Play is a book about the Design of games with a capital D. The game designers-turned-authors do not get into the details of programming the AI for a first-person shooter, or the intricacies of creating a massively multiplayer on-line world. There is not a single line of code in this book and the term library is only used in its most literal sense. Instead, you will find quotes by linguists, anthropologists, semioticians and cybertheorists as well as journalists and novelists.

And of course Rules of Play is full of games: computer games, board games, card games, drinking games, ball games … more games than most of us are likely to play in our lifetimes. Some of these games are only mentioned in passing, while others are described in astonishing detail. On top of that, the book contains lots of pictures, a handful of corny jokes and some of the most thoughtful writing on play and games since Johan Huizinga’s 1938 book Homo Ludens.

So far, so good, but why should you read this book? Because it will change your life. If you are not a game designer (yet), you will start looking at the world in a different way. You will find yourself in the supermarket, staring into space while devising a game about mad shoppers in merciless battle with restocking personnel. You will find yourself in a traffic jam thinking about how you can coax your fellow motorists into playing a game of Klaxonette with you. You will find yourself turning any day- or night-time activity into a game.

And if you already are a game designer? In this case, you stand a good chance of becoming a better game designer. Your perception of the internal workings of games will be heightened. You will see structure where before you saw chaos. You will see possibilities where before you saw dead ends. You will see opportunities for meaningful play in every nook and cranny of the game you are working on right now.

Meaningful play, by the way, is Salen and Zimmerman’s Holy Grail and it will soon become yours as well. In the very first chapter you will learn that the creation of meaningful play is the goal of successful game design, and by the time you are through with the book this will be your credo. Not that the authors are preaching; in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Their manner is always explanatory, plain and polite – a style that is utterly convincing without being overbearing.

Every chapter is clearly structured, with a neat one- or two-page summary at the end. These summaries will not only help you remember what you just read, they will also be useful for getting a sense whether the chapter is relevant to a particular design problem. Ultimately, Rules of Play wants to be a toolbox of design instruments in which every utensil has its place and a clearly identifiable function.

In order to achieve this, the book has been structured in a highly modular fashion. After reading the first unit, which introduces core concepts such as systems, interactivity and the magic circle, the reader can progress as she pleases. The remaining units, ‘Rules’, ‘Play’ and ‘Culture’, can be read in any order and the same principle applies to the units themselves: after familiarizing yourself with the terminology, you are free to explore the other chapters in any way you fancy. This modular structure is not only helpful for game designers in search for a quick fix for an urgent design problem, it also makes this book well-suited for use in the classroom. Rules of Play presents a cogent way of teaching game design, thus demonstrating that it is an art that can be learned and mastered.

In fact, if you are not a designer already, you will find yourself scribbling the first ideas for your own games in the pages’ margins soon after you have hit the 400-page mark. By then, you will be familiar with most of the actual design tools, and the rest of the book is dedicated to the refinement of these basic skills. But what are these design tools and how do they work?

Granted, their names are not likely to set your imagination ablaze. Unit 2, for example, introduces concepts such as ‘Games as Emergent Systems’, ‘Games as Information Theory Systems’ and ‘Games as Game Theory Systems’. But don’t judge a game by its box. The concepts behind these lacklustre names turn out to be very exciting once you realize the potential they have for your own games.

In ‘Games as Emergent Systems’, Salen and Zimmerman introduce two "horrible" games, i.e. games that lack meaningful play. Then they convert them into meaningful games step by step. First they add some social interaction, then a pinch of repetition and scoring and finally they increase the risk. It’s a bit like watching a cook transform a heap of dirty vegetables into a ratatouille. You’re not really sure when or how the ingredients in the pot turn into a delicious soup, but for some reason it becomes easier once you’ve seen how it’s done.

It will not come as a surprise that a book of this length also contains some less strong chapters. The chapters entitled ‘Games as Information Theory Systems’ and ‘Games as Systems of Information’, for example, seem to lack the enthusiasm of some of the other chapters, but the remainder of Unit 2 easily makes up for this momentary lapse of fervour.

The highlight of Unit 3 is Chapter 25: ‘Games as the Play of Meaning’, the first part in a three-chapter treatise on representation and play. Here, Salen and Zimmerman present a semiotic theory of games; in other words: they look at the way the elements of games become signs that create meaning. These signs are quite complex, as the authors demonstrate by using the example of the ‘health bar’ in Virtua Fighter 4. As Salen and Zimmerman point out, this device does not only communicate to the players their respective characters’ health levels, but also who is winning the match, how near the game is to finishing and the relative skill of the players. While the theoretical concepts introduced in Unit 3 might often seem rather lofty to practitioners, the book presents them as ways to solve concrete design problems, thus making them easier to grasp for those who prefer a more hands-on approach.

The same is true for the book’s last unit, ‘Culture’, in which Salen and Zimmerman take a look at the contexts in which play takes place. They start this unit by pointing out that "no game is an island," a statement that is then backed up by several poignant examples. Especially interesting are the observations about ‘The Landlord’s Game’, the predecessor of Monopoly, in the context of ideology, and about games that are shaped by their fan cultures such as The Sims or Ultima Online.

Ultimately, this leads Salen and Zimmerman to re-examine the premises from which they set out, and, subsequently, to re-formulate their game definition. The concept of games that transgress their own boundary, such as Majestic or Assassin, leads them to conclude that each game plays with its own disappearance. Crucially, this is also one of the functions of art. It is therefore only consistent that Salen and Zimmerman end with an appeal to the readers: "It’s time for games to recognize their role within larger cultural environments." Rules of Play will certainly play an important role in bringing this ‘ludic turn’ about.

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman: Rules of Play. Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, 2003. 672 pp. USD 49.95/GBP 32.95. ISBN: 0-262-24045-9.

Author’s Bio: Julian is a PhD student from Germany who is currently visiting STeM at Dublin City University.

Digital Media Conference Focuses On Games

This is the third year of ‘DMC’ and this year it will focus on broadcast, entertainment, film and music as well as wireless and gaming.

In the morning sessions, a panel of experts will discuss Ireland’s future in broadcasting and how best digital content providers, telecommunications companies and other stakeholders will work together. Games experts will also discuss Ireland’s future in the games market.

In the afternoon, the possibility of establishing a digital media trade body will be discussed. There will also be a fund-raising workshop with small to medium-sized companies in attendance discussing investment from private funders as well as venture capital companies.

A special early bird rate is available to online registrations before March 26th. For full registration and programme details, visit v2/index.php

Digital Media Conference Focuses On Games – 2

This is the third year of ‘DMC’ and this year it will focus on broadcast, entertainment, film and music as well as wireless and gaming.

In the morning sessions, a panel of experts will discuss Ireland’s future in broadcasting and how best digital content providers, telecommunications companies and other stakeholders will work together. Games experts will also discuss Ireland’s future in the games market.

In the afternoon, the possibility of establishing a digital media trade body will be discussed. There will also be a fund-raising workshop with small to medium-sized companies in attendance discussing investment from private funders as well as venture capital companies.

A special early bird rate is available to online registrations before March 26th. For full registration and programme details, visit v2/index.php

Digital Media Conference (Dmc)

Venue: Alexander Hotel Dublin 2

Date: April 26th 2004 8.30am

This year’s O2 Digital Media Conference (DMC) presented by Digital Media Intelligence (DMI) has a special focus on the digital entertainment industry.

DMI are offering an early bird special to visitors of their website before March 26th.

Key topics:
*Changes to traditional media
*Film and Music
*Wireless
*Games
*The European perspective
*Funding for digital media.

Programme:

Registration 8.30, Light Breakfast

MORNING

Session 1 THE BIGGER PICTURE 9.30-11.00

Speakers:
Jason Ohler: University of Alaska
Peter Coyle : Enterprise Ireland
Cathal Goan : RTE
Neil O’Brien: BCI

Coffee Break

Session 2 MUSIC AND FILM 11.30 – 13.00

Chair:
Rod Stoneman, CEO of the John Huston School of Digital Media
Panel:
Ossie Kilkenny: OJ Kilkenny and Co
George Fraser : Real Networks
Colin Kavanagh: Arthur Cox

Lunch 1pm- 2.15

AFTERNOON

Session 1 DIGITAL MEDIA TRADE BODY 2.15 – 2.45
Chair: Lucy Cronin, European Digital Media Association

Session 2 WIRELESS 2.45- 3.45
Panel:
Gavin Barrett, Multimedia Business Manager, Nokia Ireland
Campbell Scott, Product Development Manager, O2
More: TBC

Coffee Break

Session 3 GAMES 4.00- 5.00

Panel:
Peter Mee, Meedja
Peter Lynch, Eirplay games
More: TBC

Session 4 FUNDRAISING WORKSHOP ongoing
Chair: Sinead Parker, PWC

If you wish to speak at the conference or feel that there is a point that you think should be addressed please mail Briain Smyth:mailto:briain@digitalmedia.iebriain@digitalmedia.ie

For booking information and full programme details:
http://digitalmediaintelligence.com/v2/?page=EventProgramme&parent=Conferencehttp://digitalmediaintelligence.com

Wit Win Robocode 2004 – 2

Tipperary Institute (TI) hosted an army of digital tanks, and one real one, at this year’s National RoboCode Programming Competition. Twenty-one 1st year students from nine colleges, north and south of the border, sent their Java-designed AI fighting machines into battle, while an audience of 115 congregated to watch the showdown. Targeted at 1st year programming students, this event was intended to demonstrate abilities in GUI programming, API usage and Artificial Intelligence. 2004 was the first year in which it was open to colleges nationwide.

The chosen arena for robotic carnage was a large computer monitor projected onto a wall in TI’s Thurles campus; information about energy levels and radar scanning was included on the screen. According to Phil Bourke (RoboCode organiser, TI lecturer, and winner of this year’s N-Gage competition with his game Fishtank Fire), the initial stages of the competition featured one-on-one battles, while the final entailed a melee round with a number of tanks fighting.

“Students were required to program various intelligences,” said Phil. “In order to win, and to avoid being hit, the tanks had to be equipped with good dodge and target mechanisms. They had to dance around the place, scanning and searching for their opponents, making judgement calls depending on the situation. The Java code base varied considerably, with everything between 50 to 400 lines of code written for each robot. The more code, the more advanced manoeuvres could be carried out, but consequently the longer a robot’s cycle-time.”

Organised code bunkers allowed student programmers to re-engineer their tanks and alter their codes after studying their opponent’s fighting styles. There were time constraints for these robotic pit stops, which served to demonstrate in real-time “the student’s programming skills and understanding of intelligent software development”. The Minister for Education and Science, Noel Dempsey TD, has expressed his support of the event, pointing to the need to “engage students, encourage excellence and support hard work” in the academic delivery of technology subjects.

Competition winners – Waterford Institute of Technology – were presented with the ICS RoboCode Challenge Trophy and each received Tadpole Laptops, Fuji A310 Digital Cameras and Siemens C60 mobile phones. RoboCode was sponsored by the Irish Computer Society (ICS), Sun Microsystems (whose Java computer language gave the electronic robots life), BCS
Computers, Siemens Mobile, the Higher Education Authority, LAN Communications, and Powerballs.com. Also in attendance were the Irish Defence Forces, accompanied by their own fully functional tank! “We told them about the competition, they liked the idea, and brought along an event recruitment programme stand along with a tank,” explains Phil Bourke.

Buoyed by the success of this year’s event, RoboCode’s TI organisers plan on making next year’s event bigger and better, with the inclusion of more college teams, public exposure, and an impartial panel of industry veterans on board to judge the students’ programming code. Rest assured: Ireland’s robotic army will battle once more come 2005.

For more information:

E-mail: mailto: robocode2004@tippinst.ierobocode2004@tippinst.ie

RoboChamps

Winners or RoboMarshalls
Waterford Institute of Technology (Bill Malone, Leigh Griffin Patrick Ffrench)

Runners up
Queens University Belfast (Niall McLaughlin, Domhnall Wildy, James Hardaker)

Semi-finalists
DCU (Stephen Ryan, Pavlo Tishkin)
NUI Maynooth (Nicola Byrne, Stephen Fahy, Fergal Rooney)

Tipperary Institute team (Pieter Vos, David Conde)
Teams from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, NUI Galway, Griffith College Dublin and the Institute of Technology Tralee also competed.

Wit Win Robocode 2004

Tipperary Institute (TI) hosted an army of digital tanks, and one real one, at this year’s National RoboCode Programming Competition. Twenty-one 1st year students from nine colleges, north and south of the border, sent their Java-designed AI fighting machines into battle, while an audience of 115 congregated to watch the showdown. Targeted at 1st year programming students, this event was intended to demonstrate abilities in GUI programming, API usage and Artificial Intelligence. 2004 was the first year in which it was open to colleges nationwide.

The chosen arena for robotic carnage was a large computer monitor projected onto a wall in TI’s Thurles campus; information about energy levels and radar scanning was included on the screen. According to Phil Bourke (RoboCode organiser, TI lecturer, and winner of this year’s N-Gage competition with his game Fishtank Fire), the initial stages of the competition featured one-on-one battles, while the final entailed a melee round with a number of tanks fighting.

“Students were required to program various intelligences,” said Phil. “In order to win, and to avoid being hit, the tanks had to be equipped with good dodge and target mechanisms. They had to dance around the place, scanning and searching for their opponents, making judgement calls depending on the situation. The Java code base varied considerably, with everything between 50 to 400 lines of code written for each robot. The more code, the more advanced manoeuvres could be carried out, but consequently the longer a robot’s cycle-time.”

Organised code bunkers allowed student programmers to re-engineer their tanks and alter their codes after studying their opponent’s fighting styles. There were time constraints for these robotic pit stops, which served to demonstrate in real-time “the student’s programming skills and understanding of intelligent software development”. The Minister for Education and Science, Noel Dempsey TD, has expressed his support of the event, pointing to the need to “engage students, encourage excellence and support hard work” in the academic delivery of technology subjects.

Competition winners – Waterford Institute of Technology – were presented with the ICS RoboCode Challenge Trophy and each received Tadpole Laptops, Fuji A310 Digital Cameras and Siemens C60 mobile phones. RoboCode was sponsored by the Irish Computer Society (ICS), Sun Microsystems (whose Java computer language gave the electronic robots life), BCS
Computers, Siemens Mobile, the Higher Education Authority, LAN Communications, and Powerballs.com. Also in attendance were the Irish Defence Forces, accompanied by their own fully functional tank! “We told them about the competition, they liked the idea, and brought along an event recruitment programme stand along with a tank,” explains Phil Bourke.

Buoyed by the success of this year’s event, RoboCode’s TI organisers plan on making next year’s event bigger and better, with the inclusion of more college teams, public exposure, and an impartial panel of industry veterans on board to judge the students’ programming code. Rest assured: Ireland’s robotic army will battle once more come 2005.

For more information:

E-mail: mailto: robocode2004@tippinst.ierobocode2004@tippinst.ie

RoboChamps

Winners or RoboMarshalls
Waterford Institute of Technology (Bill Malone, Leigh Griffin Patrick Ffrench)

Runners up
Queens University Belfast (Niall McLaughlin, Domhnall Wildy, James Hardaker)

Semi-finalists
DCU (Stephen Ryan, Pavlo Tishkin)
NUI Maynooth (Nicola Byrne, Stephen Fahy, Fergal Rooney)

Tipperary Institute team (Pieter Vos, David Conde)
Teams from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, NUI Galway, Griffith College Dublin and the Institute of Technology Tralee also competed.

Data 17.0 Ushers In St. Patrick’s Day

Time: 7pm
Venue: Stags Head Pub (Upstairs Room), Dame Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Admission: FREE

Featuring presented work by artists/designers Lisa Jevbratt (Information Visualisation), Ken Greene (Mobile Phone Games), animation and videos, special guests and a music performance by Brian Cullen.

NOTE -SPECIAL VIDEO EVENT You are invited to bring your digital animations or digital video work to this event! Please email the organisers beforehand if you have something specific to bring and tell them the format it will show on or simply bring your video to the event and they will show it!

Presenters:

Lisa Jevbratt (Sweden), Assistant Professor, MAT and Studio Arts, Univerisity of California, Santa Barbara
www.jevbratt.com

Lisa Jevbratt is a Swedish systems/network artist working primarily with the Internet. She was born in Sweden and lives in the US since 1994. She got her education in art and computers at Konstfack, Malmo Konstskola Forum and CADRE (San Jose State University). She is an assistant professor at University Of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB) in the Studio Arts Department and the Media Arts Technology program. Her work, which explores the aesthetic, political and cultural implications of the languages and protocols constituting information technologies, has been exhibited and presented internationally in venues such as The New Museum in New York, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Ars Electronica in Linz, Transmediale in Berlin, Electrohype in Malmo, Sweden, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial. She has been a board member of the New Langton Arts Gallery, San Francisco, curating the Net Work program. She is an affiliate of the Silicon Valley collaborative research endeavor C5. Jevbratt will present a few of her projects – minimalist Internet and Web visualiSations and a web visualisation tool currently in development.

Ken Greene, Trinity College Dublin, Networking and Telecommunications Research Group
forwindmobile.com/www.forwindmobile.com

Ken Greene is a postgraduate student in Trinity College Dublin, and a member of the NTRG under the supervision of Dr Linda Doyle. His main area of focus is mobile applications in (ad-hoc) networks and he enjoys sitting for hours in front of a computer coding! Between Autumn 2002 and Summer 2003 he was involved with an Irish startup company called Forwind Mobile (www.forwind.net / www.forwindmobile.com) Greene has coded up a J2ME game (Fantasy Warrior) for the Finnish games publisher Sumea (www.sumea.com). Greene will give a quick overview of the game and the steps taken to bring it to life. The game is now available for download at www.sumea.com

Musical Guest: Brian Cullen
Cullen finished a degree in fine art in 2000 at NCAD.He ad artistic leanings towards sound and video during his final year. He has created low budget music (ie no computer!) for the two years following and started a Masters in music and media technology at Trinity in 2002, which he is currently doing. Cullen incorporates live sound with electronics to create music. He has played with ‘live musicians and household objects’ usually bringing their sounds into Max/msp and abusing them in a whole manner of different ways. He hopes to refine these techniques over the coming year. He is part of the Music and Media Technologies Program at Trinity College Dublin.
http://www.mee.tcd.ie/mmt/www.mee.tcd.ie/mmt

About DATA:
The Dublin Art and Technology Association (DATA) is a group formed with the intention of promoting, exploring, discussing, and exhibiting art and technology in Ireland and the world. DATA will be asking for an open call for people to present their projects at the various events and venues around Dublin.

Contact Info:
www.data.ie

To join mailing list:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/datagroup/http://groups.yahoo.com/group/datagroup/

Co-Founders:
Jonah Brucker-Cohen mailto:jonah@coin-operated.comjonah@coin-operated.com
Nicky Gogan mailto:nicky_gogan@yahoo.com nicky_gogan@yahoo.com

The Future Of The Irish Telecommunications

"The Future of the Irish Telecommunications – Breaking the Logjam"

A conference presented by First Tuesday / Investnet.

Venue: The Grafton Suite, The Westbury Hotel, off Grafton St., Dublin 2

Registration: 6.00pm at the venue, the event will be followed by networking and refreshments. The event will commence promptly at 6.30 and finish at 8pm.

Admission: Euro15

Suggested programme:
*Introduction of panelists
*After government backed investments during the 80s and early 90s in our telecoms infrastructure, have we now fallen behind?
*How can the government prevent "winback" by the the incumbent?
*What are the long term effects of an underdeveloped broadband infrastructure on the country’s cost base?
*Is the rollout of DSL to homes the final piece of the broadband puzzle?
*Looking overseas to international benchmarks – What’s being done and what lessons can be learned?
*What impact, if any, is the Governments intervention going to have on the Irish market?

Panellists:
John Doherty, Chairperson of the commission (ComReg)
www.comreg.ie
Paul Slattery, Country Manager Ireland (Tiscali)
www.tiscali.net
Donal Hanrahan, General Manager (Aurora Telecom)
www.auroratelecom.ie
Oisin Fanning, Managing Director (Smart Telecom)
www.smarttelecom.ie
Sean McVeigh, Managing Director (Ryanair Telecom)
www.ryanairtelecom.com

Chairman:
Martin Creaner, Vice President Technical Programs (TeleManagement Forum)
http://www.tmforum.orgwww.tmforum.org

If you would like to sponsor this or future events please contact David Neville
mailto:dneville@firsttuesday.iedneville@firsttuesday.ie

Selatra

Selatra delivers GAMING on the GO! We are a global mobile content solutions provider, serving GSM network operators, telcos, infrastructure vendors, media organisations and mobile entertainment portals across Europe, USA, Australia and Asia.

Selatra partners with some of the world’s leading providers of mobile content including: O2, Starhub, One, and Mobitel. In addition to our delivery platform, we also provide a comprehensive portfolio of validated Java games and an outsourced games testing service.

Selatra also retails directly to public under its own brand, www.fonearcade.com

Contact us:
Tel +353 21 230 7180
Fax +353 21 230 7179
www.selatra.com

The Right Connections – 2

Ever since the days of Nolan Bushnell’s 1971 bat and ball phenomenon that was Pong, co-operative gaming has added a social element to a medium which has otherwise been man vs. machine. In recent years, publishers have embraced the shift towards online games, first by PC and now second generation consoles, and developers have in turn sought ways to deliver a fast, streamlined multiplayer experience.

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG’s) have already proven an alternative form of revenue stream for publishers. EverQuest, Sony’s fantasy online world, has around 500,000 subscribers, each paying €10 a month, while Star Wars Galaxies and Dark Age of Camelot have 300,000 customers. Free to play games like Counter-Strike remain the most popular multiplayer choices – their global fan base numbering tens of millions.

With the introduction of broadband, an increasing amount of publishers are demanding network technology from their developers. Xbox Live has proved that keyboards can be successfully bypassed in favour of voice communication and Sony is likely to pull a few technical rabbits from its hat with its online services. Networked gaming’s online community is its biggest appeal and, even though hardcore gamers devote 10+ hours a week to their favourite MMOG, transient gamers are likely to become multiplayer’s biggest cash cow.

“We’re also on the verge of seeing a huge uptake in multiplayer gaming on mobiles,” says John Cahill, CEO of U.S./Irish mobile game developer Stadeon. “The mobile space is crying out for a new interactive application of some sort. Nobody expected that SMS’s would become so ubiquitous and that ring-tone downloads would become so popular. The next logical move is fully interactive applications and, from my perspective, the most immediate result of those is multiplayer games. A phone handset is one of the most personal devices people have. It’s become part of peoples’ culture.”

Beyond Microsoft’s successful foray into the online medium (Xbox Live), publishers are still trying to figure out the best solutions for on-line gaming and developers are busily refining the technology. Problems arise when, a few months before release, the publisher requests that their game be enabled for on-line play. This nightmarish 11th hour challenge for developers can only be alleviated by either a superb in-house team or outsourced middleware.

Just as Havok proved that a ready-made physics engine has the ability to relieve a developer of time and expertise constraints, so Dublin-based demonWare provide network technology allowing developers to hit the ground running. This company was formed when Dylan Collins (whose background was in game development) and Sean Blanchfield (a specialist in distributed networks) began investigating the technical aspects of multiplayer gaming and recognised a shortage in real-time network software to provide functionality for online games.

image2

“Development of low-level network stuff is pretty tricky and takes a long time to get right but we figured that we could build something genuinely useful for game developers,” says Collins. “Our BitDemon product provides state synchronization for games. This keeps all the players in a virtual game world in harmony with each other, ensuring that any action which one player takes on his computer or console, moving a cup for example, is consistent in all the other players’ game worlds. Managing that information flow through the Internet, with all of its latency issues, is a tough challenge.”

demonWare will be demoing the second version of its technology at March 2004’s Games Developers Conference in the United States. “2.0” provides multi-server networking, allowing additional players to join a game without the platform/server having to increase online infrastructure. “This is technology that the likes of Microsoft are interested in because every time they set up a game on Xbox Live it costs them bandwidth money. Our technology reduces the cost and increases the dimensions of the game,” notes Collins.

The company, established in 2003, will be announcing its first clients in the coming months and contends that developer interest in their software has been phenomenal. As is the case with Havok, demonWare’s biggest competition comes not from rival middleware companies, but from developers themselves (creating this technology in-house). However, demonWare is at a further disadvantage: while Havok can impress with demos of their physics in action, network software is less of a “sexy” physical entity. Still, the surge in online gaming and BitDemon’s ability to reduce development time and costs should make them winners.

Surveys reveal that around ¾ of all games currently played on the net are old staples like chess, checkers and jigsaws. Also, the players are slightly older than the average console gamer, are split 50/50 male and female, and play for a shorter time each day. If casual gaming is the future of multiplayer, then the mobile market is an ideal playground. Until now, the number of consumers with decent handsets were few but new technologies and platforms are aligning to make mobile multiplayer gaming a serious reality.

Stadeon’s John Cahill has an impressive background in multiplayer development, having built the first online PC network in 1997 for SegaSoft (a subsidiary R&D lab for Sega) he helped convince Sega’s hardware team to install a modem in the Dreamcast and subsequently constructed a network for the console. Carousel, Stadeon’s platform, enables service providers, operators and publishers to quickly develop and deploy multiplayer cross-platform games. In short, it offers developers all the tools and billing environments to write a multiplayer mobile game.

“We pitch software development kits to game developers in a language they understand. We give them the programming API’s, a well-documented software development kit, and show them how their games can be employed on a GPRS or a 3G network. We give them traffic management tools, help them cut down on bandwidth and create a superb gaming experience. That frees up game developers to do what they do best, which is writing games.”

Some mobile developers have bypassed middleware in favour of forging multiplayer technology themselves. Currently, Irish developer Speirtech has two multiplayer games on the market (poker and chess), both of which store the game’s progression on a server, allowing players to revisit the game whenever they choose.

image3

“The system is designed to link with PC’s,” adds Speirtech’s Paul Savage, who has secured releases of his games in the U.S. and UK. “We had a great game of poker the other day with one player on interactive TV, one on the mobile and the other on the PC. At the moment we’re trying to add video streaming to our games to create a better user experience but that’s a tough challenge on such a small screen.”

The challenges in creating a multiplayer game for mobile phones are staggering, not least because there are so many different platforms on the market, says John Cahill. “Handsets today are about as smart as a game console from the early 90’s, like the Sega Saturn. Many have constraints in terms of memory, display and device. Even though most infrastructure has been upgraded you have to assume that there’s a fairly slow network and you must guarantee that there’ll be enough network bandwidth to allow the game to operate.”

Just as mobile entertainment is increasingly co-operative, so on-line gaming is becoming a mass-market priority for publishers; the quality of service, especially in console games, must be finely chiselled. If the developer delivers a product which isn’t technically sufficient and does not match its off-line experience, then the gamer will walk away. No company can afford that: average networking must be replaced by superb networking.

“The future?” asks demonWare’s Dylan Collins. “A lot of platforms and publishers are still wondering how money can be made from multiplayer gaming, especially when the biggest online games in the world, like Counter-Strike, are free. Billing is likely to come to the fore in the immediate future. Also, protecting kids online is going to become a major issue. No one is talking about it yet, but I guarantee in 18 months they will. For middleware developers like us, the challenge is to get network technology in games up to the standard and priority of graphics… I believe that’s going to happen.”

demonWare:

mailto: info@demonware.net info@demonware.net
Tel + 353 (0) 1 873 3682

Speirtech:

mailto: paul@speirtech.com Email paul@speirtech.com
Tel +353 (0) 1 4736220

Stadeon:

mailto:info@stadeon.cominfo@stadeon.com

The Right Connections

Ever since the days of Nolan Bushnell’s 1971 bat and ball phenomenon that was Pong, co-operative gaming has added a social element to a medium which has otherwise been man vs. machine. In recent years, publishers have embraced the shift towards online games, first by PC and now second generation consoles, and developers have in turn sought ways to deliver a fast, streamlined multiplayer experience.

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG’s) have already proven an alternative form of revenue stream for publishers. EverQuest, Sony’s fantasy online world, has around 500,000 subscribers, each paying €10 a month, while Star Wars Galaxies and Dark Age of Camelot have 300,000 customers. Free to play games like Counter-Strike remain the most popular multiplayer choices – their global fan base numbering tens of millions.

With the introduction of broadband, an increasing amount of publishers are demanding network technology from their developers. Xbox Live has proved that keyboards can be successfully bypassed in favour of voice communication and Sony is likely to pull a few technical rabbits from its hat with its online services. Networked gaming’s online community is its biggest appeal and, even though hardcore gamers devote 10+ hours a week to their favourite MMOG, transient gamers are likely to become multiplayer’s biggest cash cow.

“We’re also on the verge of seeing a huge uptake in multiplayer gaming on mobiles,” says John Cahill, CEO of U.S./Irish mobile game developer Stadeon. “The mobile space is crying out for a new interactive application of some sort. Nobody expected that SMS’s would become so ubiquitous and that ring-tone downloads would become so popular. The next logical move is fully interactive applications and, from my perspective, the most immediate result of those is multiplayer games. A phone handset is one of the most personal devices people have. It’s become part of peoples’ culture.”

Beyond Microsoft’s successful foray into the online medium (Xbox Live), publishers are still trying to figure out the best solutions for on-line gaming and developers are busily refining the technology. Problems arise when, a few months before release, the publisher requests that their game be enabled for on-line play. This nightmarish 11th hour challenge for developers can only be alleviated by either a superb in-house team or outsourced middleware.

Just as Havok proved that a ready-made physics engine has the ability to relieve a developer of time and expertise constraints, so Dublin-based demonWare provide network technology allowing developers to hit the ground running. This company was formed when Dylan Collins (whose background was in game development) and Sean Blanchfield (a specialist in distributed networks) began investigating the technical aspects of multiplayer gaming and recognised a shortage in real-time network software to provide functionality for online games.

image2

“Development of low-level network stuff is pretty tricky and takes a long time to get right but we figured that we could build something genuinely useful for game developers,” says Collins. “Our BitDemon product provides state synchronization for games. This keeps all the players in a virtual game world in harmony with each other, ensuring that any action which one player takes on his computer or console, moving a cup for example, is consistent in all the other players’ game worlds. Managing that information flow through the Internet, with all of its latency issues, is a tough challenge.”

demonWare will be demoing the second version of its technology at March 2004’s Games Developers Conference in the United States. “2.0” provides multi-server networking, allowing additional players to join a game without the platform/server having to increase online infrastructure. “This is technology that the likes of Microsoft are interested in because every time they set up a game on Xbox Live it costs them bandwidth money. Our technology reduces the cost and increases the dimensions of the game,” notes Collins.

The company, established in 2003, will be announcing its first clients in the coming months and contends that developer interest in their software has been phenomenal. As is the case with Havok, demonWare’s biggest competition comes not from rival middleware companies, but from developers themselves (creating this technology in-house). However, demonWare is at a further disadvantage: while Havok can impress with demos of their physics in action, network software is less of a “sexy” physical entity. Still, the surge in online gaming and BitDemon’s ability to reduce development time and costs should make them winners.

Surveys reveal that around ¾ of all games currently played on the net are old staples like chess, checkers and jigsaws. Also, the players are slightly older than the average console gamer, are split 50/50 male and female, and play for a shorter time each day. If casual gaming is the future of multiplayer, then the mobile market is an ideal playground. Until now, the number of consumers with decent handsets were few but new technologies and platforms are aligning to make mobile multiplayer gaming a serious reality.

Stadeon’s John Cahill has an impressive background in multiplayer development, having built the first online PC network in 1997 for SegaSoft (a subsidiary R&D lab for Sega) he helped convince Sega’s hardware team to install a modem in the Dreamcast and subsequently constructed a network for the console. Carousel, Stadeon’s platform, enables service providers, operators and publishers to quickly develop and deploy multiplayer cross-platform games. In short, it offers developers all the tools and billing environments to write a multiplayer mobile game.

“We pitch software development kits to game developers in a language they understand. We give them the programming API’s, a well-documented software development kit, and show them how their games can be employed on a GPRS or a 3G network. We give them traffic management tools, help them cut down on bandwidth and create a superb gaming experience. That frees up game developers to do what they do best, which is writing games.”

Some mobile developers have bypassed middleware in favour of forging multiplayer technology themselves. Currently, Irish developer Speirtech has two multiplayer games on the market (poker and chess), both of which store the game’s progression on a server, allowing players to revisit the game whenever they choose.

image3

“The system is designed to link with PC’s,” adds Speirtech’s Paul Savage, who has secured releases of his games in the U.S. and UK. “We had a great game of poker the other day with one player on interactive TV, one on the mobile and the other on the PC. At the moment we’re trying to add video streaming to our games to create a better user experience but that’s a tough challenge on such a small screen.”

The challenges in creating a multiplayer game for mobile phones are staggering, not least because there are so many different platforms on the market, says John Cahill. “Handsets today are about as smart as a game console from the early 90’s, like the Sega Saturn. Many have constraints in terms of memory, display and device. Even though most infrastructure has been upgraded you have to assume that there’s a fairly slow network and you must guarantee that there’ll be enough network bandwidth to allow the game to operate.”

Just as mobile entertainment is increasingly co-operative, so on-line gaming is becoming a mass-market priority for publishers; the quality of service, especially in console games, must be finely chiselled. If the developer delivers a product which isn’t technically sufficient and does not match its off-line experience, then the gamer will walk away. No company can afford that: average networking must be replaced by superb networking.

“The future?” asks demonWare’s Dylan Collins. “A lot of platforms and publishers are still wondering how money can be made from multiplayer gaming, especially when the biggest online games in the world, like Counter-Strike, are free. Billing is likely to come to the fore in the immediate future. Also, protecting kids online is going to become a major issue. No one is talking about it yet, but I guarantee in 18 months they will. For middleware developers like us, the challenge is to get network technology in games up to the standard and priority of graphics… I believe that’s going to happen.”

demonWare:

mailto: info@demonware.net info@demonware.net
Tel + 353 (0) 1 873 3682

Speirtech:

mailto: paul@speirtech.com Email paul@speirtech.com
Tel +353 (0) 1 4736220

Stadeon:

mailto:info@stadeon.cominfo@stadeon.com

Tko Announces New Jobs In Dublin

The US-based software company, specialising in developing game content for PC, console, wireless and handheld platforms as well as supporting technologies and services, hopes to create 40 jobs over the next 5 years at the Digital Hub in Dublin’s Liberties area.

TKO has said that ninety percent of the jobs will focus on third level graduates in the engineering, production and computing areas. The company will also be recruiting people with game specific expertise, particularly in animation and production.

“Dublin provides an ideal location for spearheading our overseas expansion," said Will Golby, general manager of TKO Software Limited. "Ireland has decades of experience in helping US technology companies establish successful European operations and the result is that it boasts a considerable network of knowledge and expertise as well as a deep pool of talent."

TKO, which currently employs over 150 staff in Santa Cruz, Dallas and Austin, intends to use the Irish base initially for porting, localising, testing and marketing existing game titles for wireless platforms. The company hopes to increase Ireland’s profile as a centre of development as the customer base grows in this part of the world.

For more information visit: http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com

Also check community/jobs/www.gamedevelopers.ie/community/jobs for possible upcoming jobs.

Diag Research Group, Maynooth – 2

Those of you who attended the gamedevelopers.ie shindig last Friday (27th Feb.) may have met Tomas Ward and Declan Delaney, two lecturers at NUI Maynooth who have set up the Distributed Interactive Applications Group (D.I.A.G.).

This group, which currently involves five full time students, two PhD’s and three Masters, are investigating ways of dealing with latency in networked games.

More information resources/research/www.gamedevelopers.ie/resources/research/

Tko Announces New Jobs In Dublin – 2

The US-based software company, specialising in developing game content for PC, console, wireless and handheld platforms as well as supporting technologies and services, hopes to create 40 jobs over the next 5 years at the Digital Hub in Dublin’s Liberties area.

TKO has said that ninety percent of the jobs will focus on third level graduates in the engineering, production and computing areas. The company will also be recruiting people with game specific expertise, particularly in animation and production.

“Dublin provides an ideal location for spearheading our overseas expansion," said Will Golby, general manager of TKO Software Limited. "Ireland has decades of experience in helping US technology companies establish successful European operations and the result is that it boasts a considerable network of knowledge and expertise as well as a deep pool of talent."

TKO, which currently employs over 150 staff in Santa Cruz, Dallas and Austin, intends to use the Irish base initially for porting, localising, testing and marketing existing game titles for wireless platforms. The company hopes to increase Ireland’s profile as a centre of development as the customer base grows in this part of the world.

For more information visit: http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com

Also check community/jobs/www.gamedevelopers.ie/community/jobs for possible upcoming jobs.

Play As Communication, Ncad

Location: HADCom Department, National College of Art and Design, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin [exact room to be announced].

Date: 5.30pm, March 11, 2004

Event: Shane Whelan, lecturer in Ballyfermot but also a Master’s student in NCAD, will be giving a lecture entitled ‘Play As communication.’ The lecture will explore game design and it’s potential as a mode of communication based on his MA research. Broad themes of game, story, intelligence , play and learning will be defined and discussed in this design context. How these concepts blend together and can be moulded by a designer to express ideas with meaning will be explored. Also, the ways in which games are unique as a storytelling medium and how they relate to our intelligence on a multi-sensory level. Debate will be encouraged.

This event may particularly interest people entering the Dare to be Digital competition.

Shane requests RSVP to get numbers attending through our discussion forum at: community/forums/showthread.php?s=de28a9fffd9b206ecc2195e18bbfbe85&threadid=253community/forums/

Keep posted here for more details about the lecture as well as the exact location.

Diag Research Group, Maynooth

Those of you who attended the gamedevelopers.ie shindig last Friday (27th Feb.) may have met Tomas Ward and Declan Delaney, two lecturers at NUI Maynooth who have set up the Distributed Interactive Applications Group (D.I.A.G.).

This group, which currently involves five full time students, two PhD’s and three Masters, are investigating ways of dealing with latency in networked games.

More information resources/research/www.gamedevelopers.ie/resources/research/