Dare Winners Announced – 2

As most of you probably know, the finalists of the Irish heat of the Dare to be Digital competition gathered in Dublin last Friday to pitch their game concepts to a interview panel of Irish and UK based industry and educational personnel. The team members were given a tight time schedule in which to pitch their ideas and they were judged in terms of the creativity of their idea and the market potential of their game.

The winning game is a third-person puzzle/adventure set in 1950s America. The game is in the style of an old B-Movie with the game’s main character being a college student who has been turned into a monkey by an undercover Russian scientist posing as a college professor (always an issue in academia!). The student must go through a series of challenges on a college campus in order to return to his human state. Apparently the character is able to change its simian form to undergo these challenges i.e. turn into a spider monkey to go through air vents, transform into a silver-back gorilla to undertake physical challenges.

The Red Ruckus team members are Brian Murray, Angus Lynn, James Murphy, all DLIADT, and Andy Rohan, Shane Culliton, both DCU. The three students from DLIADT are all in their second year studying animation, while the two from DCU are both in their fourth year studying Computer Applications.

They beat off some strong competetion from Trinity College, Dublin; Ballyfermot College of Further Education; DIT; Bray Institute of Further Education; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; NCAD and Institute of Technology Carlow.

The winning team will spend their summer in Dundee developing their game concept and will compete against teams from Scotland, Korea and Malaysia at the end of the summer. They will compete for a prize fund of STG5,000, as well as follow-up support to develop their prototype to commercial reality.

Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to all the other teams. Hopefully all the hard work that teams put into the competition has helped them to get a taste for game development and forged new links and partnerships which can be built upon. Congratulations also the the Digital Hub and partners, Diageo Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA Ireland for organising the competition and giving Irish students and recent graduates a chance to compete in the competition.

Note:

The interview panel included the following: Charlie Rohan, Head of Design, NCR; Julia Bond, Games Producer, BBCi; Michel Buch-Anderson, Group Manager for Microsoft Games Studios; Paul Durrant, Director, University of Abertay’s Business Development Office; Michael Griffin, CEO, Kapooki Games; and Gerry Carthy, General Manager, Vivendi Universal Games.

Purplenose Games

Based in Dublin, Purplenose Games was established by a group of professional software developers and long-time game players to produce original games for the online games market

Our first release, Plummit, has already achieved critical acclaim from the online community and it is our intention to build on this reputation with our subsequent releases.

Further information is available from our site at www.purplenose.com or contact us by e-mail at marketing@purplenose.com

Igda Ireland Event

Event: International Game Developers Association Meeting organised by the Digital Hub and Diageo

Venue:Liberties Learning Studio in The Digital Hub Project Office
Time: 8pm

This second event will take place on Wednesday 5th May and will feature two speakers from Sony, who will give an overview of the forthcoming Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable).

Also on the agenda:
– how to get accredited as a developer
– the development/publishing/distribution process
– the tools and technical issues related to the platform
– how it compares to existing consoles/PC development

The speakers from Sony are:
– Zeno Colaco, Vice President, Publisher and Developer Relations
– Mark James, Account Manager 3rd Party Relations

For more info visit our discussion thread on the IGDA:
community/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=249community/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=249

or contact:

Sorcha Ni Dhonnchú
01 4806200
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Tony Kelly,
IGDA Ireland Chapter Co-ordinator
mailto:tony.kelly@intel.com tony.kelly@intel.com

Dare Winners Announced

As most of you probably know, the finalists of the Irish heat of the Dare to be Digital competition gathered in Dublin last Friday to pitch their game concepts to a interview panel of Irish and UK based industry and educational personnel. The team members were given a tight time schedule in which to pitch their ideas and they were judged in terms of the creativity of their idea and the market potential of their game.

The winning game is a third-person puzzle/adventure set in 1950s America. The game is in the style of an old B-Movie with the game’s main character being a college student who has been turned into a monkey by an undercover Russian scientist posing as a college professor (always an issue in academia!). The student must go through a series of challenges on a college campus in order to return to his human state. Apparently the character is able to change its simian form to undergo these challenges i.e. turn into a spider monkey to go through air vents, transform into a silver-back gorilla to undertake physical challenges.

The Red Ruckus team members are Brian Murray, Angus Lynn, James Murphy, all DLIADT, and Andy Rohan, Shane Culliton, both DCU. The three students from DLIADT are all in their second year studying animation, while the two from DCU are both in their fourth year studying Computer Applications.

They beat off some strong competetion from Trinity College, Dublin; Ballyfermot College of Further Education; DIT; Bray Institute of Further Education; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; NCAD and Institute of Technology Carlow.

The winning team will spend their summer in Dundee developing their game concept and will compete against teams from Scotland, Korea and Malaysia at the end of the summer. They will compete for a prize fund of STG5,000, as well as follow-up support to develop their prototype to commercial reality.

Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to all the other teams. Hopefully all the hard work that teams put into the competition has helped them to get a taste for game development and forged new links and partnerships which can be built upon. Congratulations also the the Digital Hub and partners, Diageo Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA Ireland for organising the competition and giving Irish students and recent graduates a chance to compete in the competition.

Note:

The interview panel included the following: Charlie Rohan, Head of Design, NCR; Julia Bond, Games Producer, BBCi; Michel Buch-Anderson, Group Manager for Microsoft Games Studios; Paul Durrant, Director, University of Abertay’s Business Development Office; Michael Griffin, CEO, Kapooki Games; and Gerry Carthy, General Manager, Vivendi Universal Games.

Bsc Computing In Uu, Coleraine. – 2

BSc Computing
University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

There are three exclusive games modules on the Computing Degree on Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster:
"An Introduction to Computer Games"
which is taught the 2nd year of the degree, "Computer Game Design and Development" and "3-Dimensional Modelling and Rendering" both of which are offered as specialist modules in the final year.

These modules are well supported by other degree modules especially "Software Development" I and II, "Advanced Software Development", "Computer Technology" and "Multimedia Technologies". In the final year of the course students will have the opportunity to undertake a major project in which they will typically construct a full computer game on a PC or PlayStation 2, or they may investigate a state-of-the-art problem from the games industry involving artificial intelligence, educational games or similar. Throughout the course students have the opportunity to learn how to design and program games as they do in the games industry, and we currently teach students methods that are relevant for PC and XBOX as well as PlayStation 2 game development. Students learn about the design and construction of classic games of decades ago through the 2nd year module and will progress to an understanding of modern game design and technologies in their final year of the course. More information on the games aspect of our Computing degree contact Dr Darryl Charles >mailto: dk.charles@ulster.ac.uk
or have a look at our web portal: www.infc.ulst.ac.uk/computing/games.php

For information about admissions or similar contact Mr Martin McKinney met.mckinney@ulster.ac.uk or have a look at our main school website: www.infc.ulst.ac.uk/informatics/cie/

Bsc Computing In Uu, Coleraine.

BSc Computing
University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

There are three exclusive games modules on the Computing Degree on Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster:
"An Introduction to Computer Games"
which is taught the 2nd year of the degree, "Computer Game Design and Development" and "3-Dimensional Modelling and Rendering" both of which are offered as specialist modules in the final year.

These modules are well supported by other degree modules especially "Software Development" I and II, "Advanced Software Development", "Computer Technology" and "Multimedia Technologies". In the final year of the course students will have the opportunity to undertake a major project in which they will typically construct a full computer game on a PC or PlayStation 2, or they may investigate a state-of-the-art problem from the games industry involving artificial intelligence, educational games or similar. Throughout the course students have the opportunity to learn how to design and program games as they do in the games industry, and we currently teach students methods that are relevant for PC and XBOX as well as PlayStation 2 game development. Students learn about the design and construction of classic games of decades ago through the 2nd year module and will progress to an understanding of modern game design and technologies in their final year of the course. More information on the games aspect of our Computing degree contact Dr Darryl Charles >mailto: dk.charles@ulster.ac.uk
or have a look at our web portal: www.infc.ulst.ac.uk/computing/games.php

For information about admissions or similar contact Mr Martin McKinney met.mckinney@ulster.ac.uk or have a look at our main school website: www.infc.ulst.ac.uk/informatics/cie/

Eweek

eWeek, a Dublin Chamber of Commerce Initiative, celebrates all things digital and new media, running from April 26th-30th. Among the events being held are:

26th – 30th April
Technology Futures Exhibition
Digital Depot

27th – 28th April
eBusiness without Frontiers: The Legal Challenges Ahead
Mansion House

28th April
Local technology showcase
Dundalk Chamber of Commerce

26th April
Coyle Hamilton eRisk Conference
Mansion House

26th – 30th April
Digital Media Workshop
Digital Hub

Full details on events around the country:
www.eweekireland.ie

Talk Digital Event

Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue: 10-13 Thomas Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8
Limited Parking is available across the road at Digital Depot, Roe Lane, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8.

As part of the Digital Hub’s ongoing series of Talk Digital events, the Digital Hub Development Agency presents Innovation & Creativity in Digital Media Enterprise – The Commercialisation Cycle

The Talk Digital series for the digital media and creative sectors discusses topics that relate to the current Exhibit5 Exhibition at the Hub. The talk is also part of eWeek, a national initiative by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. eWeek will focus on how new information and communications technologies can be put to best and practical use.

For more information please visit www.eweekireland.ie and The Digital Hub website www.thedigitalhub.com

Discussion Topic:
In the face of strong global competition, to what extent is our commercialisation cycle optimised to provide Ireland with an opportunity for growth in the digital sector?
Moderator: John Travers, Former Chief Executive of Forfás
Panellists:
Alistair Glass – Science Foundation Ireland
Dr Eucharia Meehan – Higher Education Authority
Enterprise Ireland Representative (tbc)
2 representatives of the commercial sector (tbc)

To register for this event please email Sorcha Ní Dhonnchú at
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com or call 01 480 6200

Exhibit5 At The Digital Hub

The event, entitled Exhibit5:Innovation and Creativity in Enterprise, hosts 16 exhibitions from leading digital media companies as well as university research groups at two locations: the Digital Depot, Roe Lane and 10-13 Thomas Street. The focus is animation, mobile technology, gaming, and DVD production.

Exhibit5 coincides with eWeek which runs in Ireland between April 26 and May 1. The public will be given the opprotunity to engage with exhibitors through special Talk Digital events on April 29, May 20, and June 17.

Exhibit5 runs from April 1 to June 30.

For more information on, visit:
index.asp?do=notice&bid=1&itm=19www.thedigitalhub.com

Exhibit5 At The Digital Hub – 2

The event, entitled Exhibit5:Innovation and Creativity in Enterprise, hosts 16 exhibitions from leading digital media companies as well as university research groups at two locations: the Digital Depot, Roe Lane and 10-13 Thomas Street. The focus is animation, mobile technology, gaming, and DVD production.

Exhibit5 coincides with eWeek which runs in Ireland between April 26 and May 1. The public will be given the opprotunity to engage with exhibitors through special Talk Digital events on April 29, May 20, and June 17.

Exhibit5 runs from April 1 to June 30.

For more information on, visit:
index.asp?do=notice&bid=1&itm=19www.thedigitalhub.com

Gd.Ie Award Winners – 2

Last week’s awards were really about thanking everyone for being involved over the past year in gamedevelopers.ie: the volunteer moderators (Tony, Dave, Ronny and John) the people behind the scenes in DCU (Padraig, Niall, Johnnyslim), the writers (Pavel, Jamie, and others) and of course the people on the boards.

highlights

I started off the awards part of the evening with a few memories. Who remembers the Sony and the GAA license discussion, the nGage criticism thread, the creative thread and the Myth of Innovation thread? Then there were the new ‘start up’ rumours where people had seen recruitment ads in the UK press and we all tried to guess who they might be.

I also met a lot of new people through the boards on gamedevelopers.ie. Many of them are working here in Ireland, but we’ve also reached out to Irish people working in the games industry abroad. For example, Paul McLaughlin, head of art at Lionhead studios and the editor of gamesindustry.biz, Rob Fahey, again Irish. We also had a feature interview with Dave Perry, originally from Belfast and head of Shiny Entertainment in the US.

My memories of the shindigs are pretty clear given the amount of orange juice I’ve consumed over the past year. It was great though to to see Jab for the first time (!) and to meet people from Muff, Co. Donegal. Those Demonware t-shirts also have to be seen to be properly appreciated. (Tony is sporting one in the pic above but you can’t see what it says underneath the rabbits)

And to the awards…

The nominees in the five categories: stamina, sprint, humour, salmon of knowledge and gd.ie person of the year were announced last week and Jab, Padraig and I went through the forums checking your nominations and adding our own. There wasn’t much disagreement – well there was a bit, but we are all still friends. A big thanks to Ian for his help in sourcing and designing the awards.

The winners were:

1. Stamina: Pete who registered on the forums on the 1st of April 2003, has 112 posts and still regularly posts. A graduate of Ballyfermot he works with Torc Interactive in Donegal creating low and high poly content. He is a regular at the shindigs and survived the marathon GDC this year.

2. Sprint: Kyotokid: Ivan McCloskey is a level designer in Dundee and has been working for Visual Science for the past 5 months. He registered on the forums on gamedevelopers.ie on the 6th of Feb. 2004 but already has 59 posts, an average of 1.1 posts a day. Unfortunately Ivan couldn’t be with us but he will be home soon to collect his award.

3. Humour: Ian Hannigan for overall contributions to the forums but also for the Ngage thread and the subsequent postings. Ian works as an interaction designer in eSpatial in Dublin and was a finalist in the N-Gage Challenge last year.

4. Salmon of Knowledge: Michael Griffin for occasional gems and especially his ‘Lessons learned the hard way’ thread, 3rd April 03. Michael is the CEO of Kapooki Games in Dublin and a member of the IGDA Ireland committee.

5. Finally, the GD.ie Person of the Year award went to Tony Kelly (aka Idora, see pic above). Tony Kelly works as a Senior Producer in Intel’s Innovation group. With a degree in graphic design from NCAD he has been working on web & multimedia development since 1995. He is currently designing & developing simulations and games, and is the person behind the formation of an Irish IGDA chapter in Jan. 04.

And the award for the best acceptance speech goes to….(only joking)…

Thanks to all for coming, thanks for my presents, which made it home eventually the next day, and here’s to a bigger and brighter year ahead.

Gd.Ie Award Winners

Last week’s awards were really about thanking everyone for being involved over the past year in gamedevelopers.ie: the volunteer moderators (Tony, Dave, Ronny and John) the people behind the scenes in DCU (Padraig, Niall, Johnnyslim), the writers (Pavel, Jamie, and others) and of course the people on the boards.

highlights

I started off the awards part of the evening with a few memories. Who remembers the Sony and the GAA license discussion, the nGage criticism thread, the creative thread and the Myth of Innovation thread? Then there were the new ‘start up’ rumours where people had seen recruitment ads in the UK press and we all tried to guess who they might be.

I also met a lot of new people through the boards on gamedevelopers.ie. Many of them are working here in Ireland, but we’ve also reached out to Irish people working in the games industry abroad. For example, Paul McLaughlin, head of art at Lionhead studios and the editor of gamesindustry.biz, Rob Fahey, again Irish. We also had a feature interview with Dave Perry, originally from Belfast and head of Shiny Entertainment in the US.

My memories of the shindigs are pretty clear given the amount of orange juice I’ve consumed over the past year. It was great though to to see Jab for the first time (!) and to meet people from Muff, Co. Donegal. Those Demonware t-shirts also have to be seen to be properly appreciated. (Tony is sporting one in the pic above but you can’t see what it says underneath the rabbits)

And to the awards…

The nominees in the five categories: stamina, sprint, humour, salmon of knowledge and gd.ie person of the year were announced last week and Jab, Padraig and I went through the forums checking your nominations and adding our own. There wasn’t much disagreement – well there was a bit, but we are all still friends. A big thanks to Ian for his help in sourcing and designing the awards.

The winners were:

1. Stamina: Pete who registered on the forums on the 1st of April 2003, has 112 posts and still regularly posts. A graduate of Ballyfermot he works with Torc Interactive in Donegal creating low and high poly content. He is a regular at the shindigs and survived the marathon GDC this year.

2. Sprint: Kyotokid: Ivan McCloskey is a level designer in Dundee and has been working for Visual Science for the past 5 months. He registered on the forums on gamedevelopers.ie on the 6th of Feb. 2004 but already has 59 posts, an average of 1.1 posts a day. Unfortunately Ivan couldn’t be with us but he will be home soon to collect his award.

3. Humour: Ian Hannigan for overall contributions to the forums but also for the Ngage thread and the subsequent postings. Ian works as an interaction designer in eSpatial in Dublin and was a finalist in the N-Gage Challenge last year.

4. Salmon of Knowledge: Michael Griffin for occasional gems and especially his ‘Lessons learned the hard way’ thread, 3rd April 03. Michael is the CEO of Kapooki Games in Dublin and a member of the IGDA Ireland committee.

5. Finally, the GD.ie Person of the Year award went to Tony Kelly (aka Idora, see pic above). Tony Kelly works as a Senior Producer in Intel’s Innovation group. With a degree in graphic design from NCAD he has been working on web & multimedia development since 1995. He is currently designing & developing simulations and games, and is the person behind the formation of an Irish IGDA chapter in Jan. 04.

And the award for the best acceptance speech goes to….(only joking)…

Thanks to all for coming, thanks for my presents, which made it home eventually the next day, and here’s to a bigger and brighter year ahead.

Alt+Ctrl Festival – 2

ALT+CTRL provides a juried venue outside the mainstream game industry to showcase the latest independent games and game art and aims to cultivate a vibrant independent game community. The event will explore applications in game design, game genres, design methodologies and approaches to game play.

ALT+CTRL also provides sponsors with an opportunity to support independent game developers and artists. The exhibition and conference will provide exposure to a projected audience of over 2500 indy developers, game industry publishers, and game fans.

For more information on ALT+CTRL and SHIFT+CTRL, online submissions, and sponsorship opportunities, visit:
http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.htmlhttp://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.html

Closing date for submissions is June 1 2004.

Cal-(IT)2 Game Culture & Technology Lab

http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/index.html

Beall Center for Art and Technology

http://beallcenter.uci.edu/splash.htmhttp://beallcenter.uci.edu

Dare..Heats Up – 2

According to Michael Hallissy of the The Digital Hub, the quality of entries is impressive. “Thus far, we’ve only had a cursory look at the entries in conjunction with Abertay, but they all look very good. We’re very happy with the quality of the applications,” he says.

Given that 2004 is the first time that game enthusiasts in Irish third-level institutions have had an opportunity to enter this competition, devised by the University of Abertay in Dundee, the limited amount of entrants was to be expected. “It’s the first year we have held Dare to be Digital so it’s a pretty new concept, but only one team will get to compete in Scotland – less competition means that there is a good chance for all who applied.”

Held in the Digital Hub, the April 23rd judging event will interview each of the seven teams, scoring entrants not only for their work to date, but also for their team-member composition, the clarity of their application, the market potential of their product, and their creativity and innovation. “In the interview you discover whether or not they really know what they’re talking about,” adds Michael.

The interview panel will consist of a wide range of expert opinion from within the industry:
· Charlie Rohan, Head of Design, NCR
· Julia Bond, Games Producer, BBCi
· Michel Buch-Andersen, Microsoft (Dublin Office)
· Professor Ian Marshall, Dare to be Digital Director
· Michael Griffin, Kapooki Games
· Gerry Carthy, Vivendi

Also in attendance, for team briefing, will be Jackie McKenzie (Dare to be Digital Project Manager) and Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development, Abertay.

What then awaits the winner? “The chosen Irish team will represent the country at the Dare competition, hosted in Scotland for 10 weeks from June 21st, 2004. Flights and accommodation are all provided and each member of the team will receive £170 per week. The winner is announced on August 26th and there’s a press conference the next day.”

Dare to be Digital is not to be sniffed at, with winners of last year’s competition entering subsequent talks with EA. Michael plans on expanding Ireland’s role in the competition next year, housing at least three of the entry teams in the Digital Hub, and further promoting the opportunities for students via this competition.

“Dare to be Digital raises the profile of game development in colleges; it creates closer links with the industry and provides our students with an opportunity to work on something they have a passion for during the summer,” says Michael Hallissy. “It exposes them to the leaders in the games industry. Indeed, it’s raising the whole profile of the industry in Ireland.

Entry teams and their members are free to forward queries to: mailto: daretobedigital@digitalhub.iedaretobedigital@digitalhub.ie

Invent Entrepeneur Network Event

A series of Spring 2000 events will be launched at Invent, the business innovation centre based in Dublin City University on April 14th, beginning with a talk by Ron Immink, Operations Manager at Invent.

Ron supports the Invent clients as well as marketing and developing the profile of the campus incubation centre. Before he joined Invent, he was the business development director of Oak Tree Press, Ireland’s leading business book publisher.

He is an acknowledged expert in enterprise development and has written,lectured, trained and advised extensively in the area of starting and developing businesses. He worked with businesses, enterprise support organisations and government in Holland, Ireland, UK, Finland and Italy.

He will be speaking about techniques to expand the idea base of start up companies, the importance of innovation and trend watching.

To register please contact Suzanne at Invent reception on 01 7007777 or

email: mailto:Suzanne.ennis@invent.dcu.ieSuzanne.ennis@invent.dcu.ie

Deadline For Submissions To Alt+Ctrl

The University of California Irvine School of Arts will this year hold ALT+CTRL, a festival of independent and alternative games and follow-up to SHIFT+CTRL, originally held in 2000. The event is co-hosted by the Cal-(IT)2 Game Culture and Technology Lab and the Beall Centre for Art and Technology at Irvine.

ALT+CTRL provides a juried venue outside the mainstream game industry to showcase the latest independent games and game art and aims to cultivate a vibrant independent game community. The event will explore applications in game design, game genres, design methodologies and approaches to game play.

ALT+CTRL also provides sponsors with an opportunity to support independent game developers and artists. The exhibition and conference will provide exposure to a projected audience of over 2500 indy developers, game industry publishers, and game fans.

For more information on ALT+CTRL and SHIFT+CTRL, online submissions, and sponsorship opportunities, visit:

http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.htmlhttp://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.html

Alt+Ctrl Festival

ALT+CTRL provides a juried venue outside the mainstream game industry to showcase the latest independent games and game art and aims to cultivate a vibrant independent game community. The event will explore applications in game design, game genres, design methodologies and approaches to game play.

ALT+CTRL also provides sponsors with an opportunity to support independent game developers and artists. The exhibition and conference will provide exposure to a projected audience of over 2500 indy developers, game industry publishers, and game fans.

For more information on ALT+CTRL and SHIFT+CTRL, online submissions, and sponsorship opportunities, visit:
http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.htmlhttp://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/events/alt_ctrl_04.html

Closing date for submissions is June 1 2004.

Cal-(IT)2 Game Culture & Technology Lab

http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/gamelab/index.html

Beall Center for Art and Technology

http://beallcenter.uci.edu/splash.htmhttp://beallcenter.uci.edu

Dare..Heats Up

According to Michael Hallissy of the The Digital Hub, the quality of entries is impressive. “Thus far, we’ve only had a cursory look at the entries in conjunction with Abertay, but they all look very good. We’re very happy with the quality of the applications,” he says.

Given that 2004 is the first time that game enthusiasts in Irish third-level institutions have had an opportunity to enter this competition, devised by the University of Abertay in Dundee, the limited amount of entrants was to be expected. “It’s the first year we have held Dare to be Digital so it’s a pretty new concept, but only one team will get to compete in Scotland – less competition means that there is a good chance for all who applied.”

Held in the Digital Hub, the April 23rd judging event will interview each of the seven teams, scoring entrants not only for their work to date, but also for their team-member composition, the clarity of their application, the market potential of their product, and their creativity and innovation. “In the interview you discover whether or not they really know what they’re talking about,” adds Michael.

The interview panel will consist of a wide range of expert opinion from within the industry:
· Charlie Rohan, Head of Design, NCR
· Julia Bond, Games Producer, BBCi
· Michel Buch-Andersen, Microsoft (Dublin Office)
· Professor Ian Marshall, Dare to be Digital Director
· Michael Griffin, Kapooki Games
· Gerry Carthy, Vivendi

Also in attendance, for team briefing, will be Jackie McKenzie (Dare to be Digital Project Manager) and Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development, Abertay.

What then awaits the winner? “The chosen Irish team will represent the country at the Dare competition, hosted in Scotland for 10 weeks from June 21st, 2004. Flights and accommodation are all provided and each member of the team will receive £170 per week. The winner is announced on August 26th and there’s a press conference the next day.”

Dare to be Digital is not to be sniffed at, with winners of last year’s competition entering subsequent talks with EA. Michael plans on expanding Ireland’s role in the competition next year, housing at least three of the entry teams in the Digital Hub, and further promoting the opportunities for students via this competition.

“Dare to be Digital raises the profile of game development in colleges; it creates closer links with the industry and provides our students with an opportunity to work on something they have a passion for during the summer,” says Michael Hallissy. “It exposes them to the leaders in the games industry. Indeed, it’s raising the whole profile of the industry in Ireland.

Entry teams and their members are free to forward queries to: mailto: daretobedigital@digitalhub.iedaretobedigital@digitalhub.ie

It’s A Long Way To.. Gdc ’04

Set-Up

The conference, which took place on 22nd – 26th March this year in the San Jose Convention Center, presents sessions and tutorials in seven tracks (Visual Arts, Production, Business & Legal, Game Design, Audio, Programming, and the IGDA track) – along with a number of satellite events, which this year for the first time, featured Game Connection – a matchmaking event for publishers and developers modelled on similar events held in Europe and Asia. During Game Connection it was estimated that 80 independent game developers and 60 publishers met during 2,200 meetings over the course of the three days.

Other satellite events included GDC Mobile, the IGDA Business Summit, the Serious Games Summit, and the usual expo and jobs fair. The 4th Independent Games Festival and the 6th Game Developers Choice awards were also held in the nearby San Jose Civic Auditorium.

Oh, and there’s lots of parties!

Passion and Process

The theme of this year’s GDC was ‘Evolve’ – highlighting the current industry movement towards middleware and more robust, scalable production and development processes. Another theme was the increasing predominance of licensed titles and sequels. Dave Perry, president of Shiny Entertainment and native of Belfast covered all these themes in his Production Track keynote, ‘Through Collaboration: Escalating Demands on the Producer’– noting that of the top 10 best-selling titles in the US last year only one was not a sequel, and all of them were based on licenses.

The theme was continued in the IGDA Business Summit and the Serious Games Summit – the latter being a two-day workshop to discuss alternative sources of revenue and non-entertainment games in a number of fields including education, training and public policy.

In another session, ‘Building Big Licensed Games with Big Teams’, we were reminded that only a few years ago developers with strong artistic and technical skills could manage major projects using just experience and instinct. With 3 to 8 people on a 12 month project, the number of variables and relationships was low enough that a single individual could (possibly) still keep it all in his/her head and make it all work.

But times have changed.

Now that we have teams of 25 to 75 people working on major games, and budgets ranging from $3 – $40 million, the requirement for the process to be well-organized has transcended all other considerations. Even excellent individual project management skills cannot obviate the need for detailed procedures and formal development processes. It’s the only way to make so many pieces fall into place… and to do it again and again until that all-important Gold Master milestone.

But how do we manage to integrate these organizational processes and procedures into our industry without stamping out the passion and creativity that drives it? This is perhaps the biggest non-technical challenge we’re currently facing as we turn into the next generation hardware cycle.

image4

Irish game developers get down to facing the non technical challenges. Left to right: Mark & Pete of Torc with Tony of Intel.

Highlights

Some highlights of GDC this year…

·legendary engine programmer, John Carmack of id Software, in the programming keynote entitled ‘A Candid Look at the Issues and Rewards of Bleeding Edge Engine Development’

·John Gaeta, Visual Effects Supervisior on the three Matrix films gave an excellent Visual Arts Keynote

·Epic’s impressive early build of the next gen Unreal engine

·Sony, who described the PSP as a wireless, multi-function, mobile device – “like having a PS2 in the palm of your hand“ – unveiled a stunning software demo (running on an emulator only, unfortunately) of the Digital Eclipse title Death, Jr. The developer claimed that not only was the PSP more powerful than the PlayStation 2, with a larger number of built-in effects, but that it was also easier to develop for. It was also revealed that a total of eighty-one developers are currently working on PSP titles. Sony plans to show a prototype of the PSP at this year’s E3, and to release the product in Japan within the 2004 calendar year. The US and European releases will occur before the end of the 2004 fiscal year

Some announcements this year

·Microsoft unveiled a new development framework named XNA, which will be used across all future game platforms, including the next generation Xbox, PCs and mobile devices. The company claims that XNA will allow developers to combat rising production costs and increasing hardware complexity.

·According to rumour the next-generation Xbox will actually be unveiled this summer, presumably at the X04 press event. The rumours follow comments from Peter Moore, suggesting that "It’s too early in the cycle of Xbox to be talking about its successor" – when questioned as to whether the new Xbox machine will be shown at this year’s E3.

·Nokia’s Kirsi Kotilainen hinted at a major redesign of the N-Gage, details of which are expected to be announced a major press conference for 14th April in London. Kotilainen indicated that the next iteration of the hardware would have its speaker and earpiece mounted on the face of the device and that users would no longer have to unplug the battery to install new game cartridges. No surprises there then.

There’s That ‘I’ Word Again!

Many of the themes covered in the General Interest Keynote, “Encouraging Innovation in Game Development – ‘What is innovation?’”, given by Andrew House of Sony Computer Entertainment America, will be familiar to readers of the Myth of Innovation thread on Gamedevelopers.ie.
·Why do we seek new experiences, the latest software, the newest gadgets?
·Why should game playing be any different?
·Should game developers care about innovation?

His conclusion? As game development costs rise, taking a risk with the design of your game becomes an increasingly difficult decision to make. By reproducing the gameplay of a previously-successful title, so common wisdom goes, you can maximize the chances that your title will also be a success. But new and exciting experiences are what keep game players interested. Creating something unique is absolutely fundamental if you are to truly maximize your possibility for success.

And the Winner Is…

Warren Spector of Ion Storm announced Bioware’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as Game of the Year at the Fourth Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. As expected, both Prince of Persia and Call of Duty also did well.

On the same night and at the same venue Mind Control Software won the Independent Games Festival’s (IGF) Web/Downloadable award for its rapid turn-based strategy game, Oasis. The team at Mind Control included Mark LeBlanc and Sean Barrett, both of whom worked previously at Looking Glass Studios. Mistaril – based in Dublin’s Digital Hub – was one of the ten shortlisted developers in the same category.
As many predicted, the team from S2 Games Grand Prize won the IGF Open award for its game Savage: The Battle For Newerth.

The Irish Are Coming

And, of course, as many Gamedevelopers.ie regulars will no doubt know, this year’s GDC saw the greatest concentration of Irish attendees to date.

image2

You know them by now..DemonWare

DemonWare had the whole team over for the launch of version 1.0 of their multiplayer networking code, BitDemon. Havok announced its forthcoming support for Sony’s PSP console, and used it’s stand to showcase the many clients for it’s game dynamics middleware. Steve Collins, Havok’s CTO, also gave a talk on the AMD stand. Nephin Games was over for GDC Mobile, and both Kapooki and Upstart Games attended Games Connection.

But the most ubiquitous Irish developer at GDC this year had to be Torc Interactive. Not only were Demonware using Torc’s Instinct engine to showcase their netcode, but both Havok and AMD also used a playable demo provided by the Donegal developers. Many ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s could be heard at the AMD stand in particular…

image3

Torc Demo on AMD stand

Next Year

So that’s it for another year. While many thought this GDC was quieter than previous years, the organisers have announced that the annual event will be held in San Francisco from next year, citing a lack of hotel space as the reason for the move of location. Hopefully GDC next year will see more Irish developers in a position to showcase their wares.

Author’s Bio

Tony Kelly is Senior Producer in Intel’s IT Innovation Centre, chair of the IGDA Ireland committee and more importantly, gd.ie Person of the Year for 2004.

Related Links

Torc Interactive -www.torcinteractive.com
Havok –www.havok.com/
Demonware – www.demonware.net
Kapooki – www.kapookigames.com
Upstart Games – www.upstartgames.com
Mistaril – www.mistaril.com/

Microsoft XNA – xna/www.microsoft.com/xna/
NGage 2? – article2/0,2053,1553861,00.aspwww.1up.com/article2/0,2053,1553861,00.asp
Main GDC site – www.gdconf.com
Gamasutra’s GDC diaries – gdc2004/www.gamasutra.com/gdc2004/

It’s A Long Way To.. Gdc ’04 – 2

Set-Up

The conference, which took place on 22nd – 26th March this year in the San Jose Convention Center, presents sessions and tutorials in seven tracks (Visual Arts, Production, Business & Legal, Game Design, Audio, Programming, and the IGDA track) – along with a number of satellite events, which this year for the first time, featured Game Connection – a matchmaking event for publishers and developers modelled on similar events held in Europe and Asia. During Game Connection it was estimated that 80 independent game developers and 60 publishers met during 2,200 meetings over the course of the three days.

Other satellite events included GDC Mobile, the IGDA Business Summit, the Serious Games Summit, and the usual expo and jobs fair. The 4th Independent Games Festival and the 6th Game Developers Choice awards were also held in the nearby San Jose Civic Auditorium.

Oh, and there’s lots of parties!

Passion and Process

The theme of this year’s GDC was ‘Evolve’ – highlighting the current industry movement towards middleware and more robust, scalable production and development processes. Another theme was the increasing predominance of licensed titles and sequels. Dave Perry, president of Shiny Entertainment and native of Belfast covered all these themes in his Production Track keynote, ‘Through Collaboration: Escalating Demands on the Producer’– noting that of the top 10 best-selling titles in the US last year only one was not a sequel, and all of them were based on licenses.

The theme was continued in the IGDA Business Summit and the Serious Games Summit – the latter being a two-day workshop to discuss alternative sources of revenue and non-entertainment games in a number of fields including education, training and public policy.

In another session, ‘Building Big Licensed Games with Big Teams’, we were reminded that only a few years ago developers with strong artistic and technical skills could manage major projects using just experience and instinct. With 3 to 8 people on a 12 month project, the number of variables and relationships was low enough that a single individual could (possibly) still keep it all in his/her head and make it all work.

But times have changed.

Now that we have teams of 25 to 75 people working on major games, and budgets ranging from $3 – $40 million, the requirement for the process to be well-organized has transcended all other considerations. Even excellent individual project management skills cannot obviate the need for detailed procedures and formal development processes. It’s the only way to make so many pieces fall into place… and to do it again and again until that all-important Gold Master milestone.

But how do we manage to integrate these organizational processes and procedures into our industry without stamping out the passion and creativity that drives it? This is perhaps the biggest non-technical challenge we’re currently facing as we turn into the next generation hardware cycle.

image4

Irish game developers get down to facing the non technical challenges. Left to right: Mark & Pete of Torc with Tony of Intel.

Highlights

Some highlights of GDC this year…

·legendary engine programmer, John Carmack of id Software, in the programming keynote entitled ‘A Candid Look at the Issues and Rewards of Bleeding Edge Engine Development’

·John Gaeta, Visual Effects Supervisior on the three Matrix films gave an excellent Visual Arts Keynote

·Epic’s impressive early build of the next gen Unreal engine

·Sony, who described the PSP as a wireless, multi-function, mobile device – “like having a PS2 in the palm of your hand“ – unveiled a stunning software demo (running on an emulator only, unfortunately) of the Digital Eclipse title Death, Jr. The developer claimed that not only was the PSP more powerful than the PlayStation 2, with a larger number of built-in effects, but that it was also easier to develop for. It was also revealed that a total of eighty-one developers are currently working on PSP titles. Sony plans to show a prototype of the PSP at this year’s E3, and to release the product in Japan within the 2004 calendar year. The US and European releases will occur before the end of the 2004 fiscal year

Some announcements this year

·Microsoft unveiled a new development framework named XNA, which will be used across all future game platforms, including the next generation Xbox, PCs and mobile devices. The company claims that XNA will allow developers to combat rising production costs and increasing hardware complexity.

·According to rumour the next-generation Xbox will actually be unveiled this summer, presumably at the X04 press event. The rumours follow comments from Peter Moore, suggesting that "It’s too early in the cycle of Xbox to be talking about its successor" – when questioned as to whether the new Xbox machine will be shown at this year’s E3.

·Nokia’s Kirsi Kotilainen hinted at a major redesign of the N-Gage, details of which are expected to be announced a major press conference for 14th April in London. Kotilainen indicated that the next iteration of the hardware would have its speaker and earpiece mounted on the face of the device and that users would no longer have to unplug the battery to install new game cartridges. No surprises there then.

There’s That ‘I’ Word Again!

Many of the themes covered in the General Interest Keynote, “Encouraging Innovation in Game Development – ‘What is innovation?’”, given by Andrew House of Sony Computer Entertainment America, will be familiar to readers of the Myth of Innovation thread on Gamedevelopers.ie.
·Why do we seek new experiences, the latest software, the newest gadgets?
·Why should game playing be any different?
·Should game developers care about innovation?

His conclusion? As game development costs rise, taking a risk with the design of your game becomes an increasingly difficult decision to make. By reproducing the gameplay of a previously-successful title, so common wisdom goes, you can maximize the chances that your title will also be a success. But new and exciting experiences are what keep game players interested. Creating something unique is absolutely fundamental if you are to truly maximize your possibility for success.

And the Winner Is…

Warren Spector of Ion Storm announced Bioware’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as Game of the Year at the Fourth Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. As expected, both Prince of Persia and Call of Duty also did well.

On the same night and at the same venue Mind Control Software won the Independent Games Festival’s (IGF) Web/Downloadable award for its rapid turn-based strategy game, Oasis. The team at Mind Control included Mark LeBlanc and Sean Barrett, both of whom worked previously at Looking Glass Studios. Mistaril – based in Dublin’s Digital Hub – was one of the ten shortlisted developers in the same category.
As many predicted, the team from S2 Games Grand Prize won the IGF Open award for its game Savage: The Battle For Newerth.

The Irish Are Coming

And, of course, as many Gamedevelopers.ie regulars will no doubt know, this year’s GDC saw the greatest concentration of Irish attendees to date.

image2

You know them by now..DemonWare

DemonWare had the whole team over for the launch of version 1.0 of their multiplayer networking code, BitDemon. Havok announced its forthcoming support for Sony’s PSP console, and used it’s stand to showcase the many clients for it’s game dynamics middleware. Steve Collins, Havok’s CTO, also gave a talk on the AMD stand. Nephin Games was over for GDC Mobile, and both Kapooki and Upstart Games attended Games Connection.

But the most ubiquitous Irish developer at GDC this year had to be Torc Interactive. Not only were Demonware using Torc’s Instinct engine to showcase their netcode, but both Havok and AMD also used a playable demo provided by the Donegal developers. Many ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s could be heard at the AMD stand in particular…

image3

Torc Demo on AMD stand

Next Year

So that’s it for another year. While many thought this GDC was quieter than previous years, the organisers have announced that the annual event will be held in San Francisco from next year, citing a lack of hotel space as the reason for the move of location. Hopefully GDC next year will see more Irish developers in a position to showcase their wares.

Author’s Bio

Tony Kelly is Senior Producer in Intel’s IT Innovation Centre, chair of the IGDA Ireland committee and more importantly, gd.ie Person of the Year for 2004.

Related Links

Torc Interactive -www.torcinteractive.com
Havok –www.havok.com/
Demonware – www.demonware.net
Kapooki – www.kapookigames.com
Upstart Games – www.upstartgames.com
Mistaril – www.mistaril.com/

Microsoft XNA – xna/www.microsoft.com/xna/
NGage 2? – article2/0,2053,1553861,00.aspwww.1up.com/article2/0,2053,1553861,00.asp
Main GDC site – www.gdconf.com
Gamasutra’s GDC diaries – gdc2004/www.gamasutra.com/gdc2004/