Tiga Outsourcing Conference

This event will deliver survey findings of TIGA members on their preferences for outsourcing development work. The study, conducted by brothers Rick and Nick Gibson, showed that more than 60% of respondents have outsourced in the past and 95% stated their intention to do so in the near future.

There will be a panel discussion with developers who have experience of outsourcing and offshoring, followed by a similar panel of key outsourcing suppliers. The final session will use panel and audience participation to draft guidelines for outsourcing, to be contained in the TIGA best practice handbook.

TIGA is a British trade association launched in March 2001 to represent the business and commercial interests of games developers not controlled by publishers.

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

When: Thursday October 21st 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Awakenings Schedule

8.30am Registration and coffee in foyer.

9.00am Welcome and event overview: Chair Tony Kelly, Chapter co-ordinator, IGDA, Ireland

9.15am Introductory comments and talk: Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Manager.

10.00am Keynote speech: Graeme Devine, Ensemble.

11.00am Coffee break

11.30am Chris Van Der Kuyl, VIS entertainment ltd

12.30pm Lunch

2.00pm Markus Macki, Remedy.

3.00pm Robbie Hegarty, NWIFHE.

4.00pm Coffee Break

4.30pm Panel Discussion to include all speakers and open to the floor, chaired by Jason Della Rocca, Program Manager IGDA.

5.30pm Word from Sponsors

5.45pm Closing by Chair

6.00pm Finish

The conference website is located at: awakenings/index.htmwww.torcinteractive.com/awakenings/

Tiga Outsourcing Conference – 2

Event title: Outsourcing and Offshoring Games Development – Solutions to Great Efficiency and Profitability

Location: Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

Time: 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Tiga Outsourcing Conference – 3

This event will deliver survey findings of TIGA members on their preferences for outsourcing development work. The study, conducted by brothers Rick and Nick Gibson, showed that more than 60% of respondents have outsourced in the past and 95% stated their intention to do so in the near future.

There will be a panel discussion with developers who have experience of outsourcing and offshoring, followed by a similar panel of key outsourcing suppliers. The final session will use panel and audience participation to draft guidelines for outsourcing, to be contained in the TIGA best practice handbook.

TIGA is a British trade association launched in March 2001 to represent the business and commercial interests of games developers not controlled by publishers.

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

When: Thursday October 21st 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Awakenings Schedule – 2

8.30am Registration and coffee in foyer.

9.00am Welcome and event overview: Chair Tony Kelly, Chapter co-ordinator, IGDA, Ireland

9.15am Introductory comments and talk: Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Manager.

10.00am Keynote speech: Graeme Devine, Ensemble.

11.00am Coffee break

11.30am Chris Van Der Kuyl, VIS entertainment ltd

12.30pm Lunch

2.00pm Markus Macki, Remedy.

3.00pm Robbie Hegarty, NWIFHE.

4.00pm Coffee Break

4.30pm Panel Discussion to include all speakers and open to the floor, chaired by Jason Della Rocca, Program Manager IGDA.

5.30pm Word from Sponsors

5.45pm Closing by Chair

6.00pm Finish

The conference website is located at: awakenings/index.htmwww.torcinteractive.com/awakenings/

Edinburgh Games Festival

Edinburgh – August – festival time. Last month, Ricky Gervais, Christian Slater, various oddball street performers and masses of tourists descended on the beautifully historic Scottish city for it’s annual fringe. Watched over by the castle, and poured on by unrelenting rain, those below had more entertainment choices than they could shake a washed up comedian at – the Comedy Store, the Fringe, the theatre and, for the second year, the Edinburgh International Games Festival.

The industry may still be in it’s infancy, and facing the teething problems of puberty, but the organisers believe that videogames should be celebrated alongside the more established creative arts. Thus EIGF combines public screenings of forthcoming games and a gallery exhibition with a two-day, more trade oriented, conference on the art of interactive entertainment.

Preview screenings for EA’s The Sims 2, the world premier of Si’s Football Manager 2005 and Disney/Pixar’s PS2 game The Incredibles attracted the general public and delegates alike to the local Odeon cinema, who were also treated to fascinating presentations from Ian Livingstone of Eidos on the Tomb Raider phenomenon. The two-week exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ drew gamers to the rainy city’s Royal Museum, although the game list didn’t exactly cause a frenzy. The official unveiling of LEGO Star Wars, however, caught the eye, as did Nintendo’s Donkey Konga, which proved popular with the public.
image2
The International Conference Centre was the epicenter of the trade event. The main foyer was kitted out with pods including Project Gotham Racing 2, Mario Golf, Wario Ware Inc, The Legend of Zelda Four Swords and Manhunt and was complemented by a caged mini-basketball court and, crucially, a coffee stall. Upstairs, presentations were made in front of generous audiences, all seamlessly linked by football commentator Clive Tyldesley, who hosted the event for a second year.

Among the more interesting presentations at the industry event, EA’s worldwide executive of Music and Audio Steve Schnur’s essay, entitled ‘Videogames – The New Rock’n’Roll?, highlighted the growing importance of music in videogames, like the Madden franchise, especially for artists, who now call their managers insisting their latest tracks are included in games ahead of MTV.

Other highlights included a panel discussion on the economics of MMOGs, which was gloriously highjacked by EA’s Corporate Communications VP Jeff Brown, who at one point said the thought of someone making a living out of selling items from games on ebay was preposterous. He also dismissed the proposed existence of sweat shops, where Asian children are allegedly being whipped into playing MMOGs to level up characters their task masters then sell for real world profit.
image3
Seamus Blackley, he of the loud shirt, previous of XBox, now in Hollywood with Creative Artists Agency, gave us ‘Hollywood Model – Come on Up!’ which began when he poured what appeared to be comatose inducing Bloody Mary’s for himself and his panel to ‘get over their hangovers’. He encouraged videogame companies to take advice from the film industry in risk management, talent finding and social networking. By making moves to improve these, publishers would find it much easier to make a success of new IP.

The first BAFTA Interactive New Talent Award went to Paulina Bozek for her work producing EA’s karaoke title Singstar at Sony’s London studio, highlighting the importance of women and innovation to attract non-gamers to the industry. The 2005 EDGE award for Excellence and Innovation, which wrapped up day one, went to Wario Ware Inc, the manic GBA puzzle game, to nods of approval from the audience, most of which had been playing it on their way up to Edinburgh with bleary eyes.

The two-day event was wrapped up by the entertaining battle of the sexes quiz ‘Never Mind the Console Box’. Three lads and three ladies, including journalists and industry professionals, fought for gaming knowledge glory. Mike Goldsmith from Future Publishing gave us an excellent impression of Mario, sound effects and all, and Seamus Blackley looked so tired he could barely answer a question. Who won? The girls, 28/25, although most of their points were won by industry legend Jes San, who played the part of a woman for the first ten minutes while we waited for journalist Rhianna Pratchett to arrive.

Most delegates agreed the festival had been a resounding success, with much promise for the third EIGF next year. However, it was recommended that the two-day conference event be squeezed into one day to avoid padding of the presentation schedule, which many felt led to sparse audience attendance for some of the speeches. This would also make it easier for industry delegates to get time away from the office.

The public part of the event were also sparsely populated, which probably had something to do with the lack of exclusive and new games playable in the ‘Go Play Games’ exhibition. It is doubtful that those who arrived in Edinburgh for the Fringe will have chosen EIGF over stand up from Ricky Gervais.

EIGF, however, is more than an excuse to discuss the growing cultural relevance of videogames. It provides a networking opportunity for delegates to meet industry executives not only from the UK (although most in attendance were) but many from the major players in Europe and the US. Networking was facilitated by regular breaks in the Conference Centre’s main foyer, supported by free refreshments and name badges. Various stalls were set up, most from local Scottish companies, including information on ELSPA and government initiatives relevant to the area. Artem Digital glammed it up with a stand, where they showcased their new face rendering technology, and allowed attendees the chance to have their face rendered right in front of their eyes.

As a chance to meet and greet the industry, EIGF, however, pales in comparison with London Games Week, held during the first week of September. The European Games Network, run alongside GameStars Live at East London’s ExCel Centre, and ECTS, are simply bigger, bolder and better. EIGF might provide a more relaxed atmosphere, the feeling of a tight-knit group and the prospect of meeting most of the major players in the industry, but it is not on the same scale as events during LGW. (see news piece by Jamie McCormick on gd.ie)

If lessons can be learned, next years EIGF should continue to reinforce the place of games alongside film, music, comedy and theatre in Europe’s cultural mix as well as providing industry types with the chance to get stinking drunk in Scotland while striking up a few deals over a game of Mario Golf in the process.

Author’s Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

Edinburgh Games Festival – 2

Edinburgh – August – festival time. Last month, Ricky Gervais, Christian Slater, various oddball street performers and masses of tourists descended on the beautifully historic Scottish city for it’s annual fringe. Watched over by the castle, and poured on by unrelenting rain, those below had more entertainment choices than they could shake a washed up comedian at – the Comedy Store, the Fringe, the theatre and, for the second year, the Edinburgh International Games Festival.

The industry may still be in it’s infancy, and facing the teething problems of puberty, but the organisers believe that videogames should be celebrated alongside the more established creative arts. Thus EIGF combines public screenings of forthcoming games and a gallery exhibition with a two-day, more trade oriented, conference on the art of interactive entertainment.

Preview screenings for EA’s The Sims 2, the world premier of Si’s Football Manager 2005 and Disney/Pixar’s PS2 game The Incredibles attracted the general public and delegates alike to the local Odeon cinema, who were also treated to fascinating presentations from Ian Livingstone of Eidos on the Tomb Raider phenomenon. The two-week exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ drew gamers to the rainy city’s Royal Museum, although the game list didn’t exactly cause a frenzy. The official unveiling of LEGO Star Wars, however, caught the eye, as did Nintendo’s Donkey Konga, which proved popular with the public.
image2
The International Conference Centre was the epicenter of the trade event. The main foyer was kitted out with pods including Project Gotham Racing 2, Mario Golf, Wario Ware Inc, The Legend of Zelda Four Swords and Manhunt and was complemented by a caged mini-basketball court and, crucially, a coffee stall. Upstairs, presentations were made in front of generous audiences, all seamlessly linked by football commentator Clive Tyldesley, who hosted the event for a second year.

Among the more interesting presentations at the industry event, EA’s worldwide executive of Music and Audio Steve Schnur’s essay, entitled ‘Videogames – The New Rock’n’Roll?, highlighted the growing importance of music in videogames, like the Madden franchise, especially for artists, who now call their managers insisting their latest tracks are included in games ahead of MTV.

Other highlights included a panel discussion on the economics of MMOGs, which was gloriously highjacked by EA’s Corporate Communications VP Jeff Brown, who at one point said the thought of someone making a living out of selling items from games on ebay was preposterous. He also dismissed the proposed existence of sweat shops, where Asian children are allegedly being whipped into playing MMOGs to level up characters their task masters then sell for real world profit.
image3
Seamus Blackley, he of the loud shirt, previous of XBox, now in Hollywood with Creative Artists Agency, gave us ‘Hollywood Model – Come on Up!’ which began when he poured what appeared to be comatose inducing Bloody Mary’s for himself and his panel to ‘get over their hangovers’. He encouraged videogame companies to take advice from the film industry in risk management, talent finding and social networking. By making moves to improve these, publishers would find it much easier to make a success of new IP.

The first BAFTA Interactive New Talent Award went to Paulina Bozek for her work producing EA’s karaoke title Singstar at Sony’s London studio, highlighting the importance of women and innovation to attract non-gamers to the industry. The 2005 EDGE award for Excellence and Innovation, which wrapped up day one, went to Wario Ware Inc, the manic GBA puzzle game, to nods of approval from the audience, most of which had been playing it on their way up to Edinburgh with bleary eyes.

The two-day event was wrapped up by the entertaining battle of the sexes quiz ‘Never Mind the Console Box’. Three lads and three ladies, including journalists and industry professionals, fought for gaming knowledge glory. Mike Goldsmith from Future Publishing gave us an excellent impression of Mario, sound effects and all, and Seamus Blackley looked so tired he could barely answer a question. Who won? The girls, 28/25, although most of their points were won by industry legend Jes San, who played the part of a woman for the first ten minutes while we waited for journalist Rhianna Pratchett to arrive.

Most delegates agreed the festival had been a resounding success, with much promise for the third EIGF next year. However, it was recommended that the two-day conference event be squeezed into one day to avoid padding of the presentation schedule, which many felt led to sparse audience attendance for some of the speeches. This would also make it easier for industry delegates to get time away from the office.

The public part of the event were also sparsely populated, which probably had something to do with the lack of exclusive and new games playable in the ‘Go Play Games’ exhibition. It is doubtful that those who arrived in Edinburgh for the Fringe will have chosen EIGF over stand up from Ricky Gervais.

EIGF, however, is more than an excuse to discuss the growing cultural relevance of videogames. It provides a networking opportunity for delegates to meet industry executives not only from the UK (although most in attendance were) but many from the major players in Europe and the US. Networking was facilitated by regular breaks in the Conference Centre’s main foyer, supported by free refreshments and name badges. Various stalls were set up, most from local Scottish companies, including information on ELSPA and government initiatives relevant to the area. Artem Digital glammed it up with a stand, where they showcased their new face rendering technology, and allowed attendees the chance to have their face rendered right in front of their eyes.

As a chance to meet and greet the industry, EIGF, however, pales in comparison with London Games Week, held during the first week of September. The European Games Network, run alongside GameStars Live at East London’s ExCel Centre, and ECTS, are simply bigger, bolder and better. EIGF might provide a more relaxed atmosphere, the feeling of a tight-knit group and the prospect of meeting most of the major players in the industry, but it is not on the same scale as events during LGW. (see news piece by Jamie McCormick on gd.ie)

If lessons can be learned, next years EIGF should continue to reinforce the place of games alongside film, music, comedy and theatre in Europe’s cultural mix as well as providing industry types with the chance to get stinking drunk in Scotland while striking up a few deals over a game of Mario Golf in the process.

Author’s Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

Digra 05 Call For Papers

** Changing Views: Worlds in Play **

This interdisciplinary conference encourages a range of contributions including paper presentations, symposia, poster presentations, author sessions, workshops, senior scholar mentoring roundtables, and, innovative formats which bring together games researchers, developers and emerging user communities.

Conference proposal themes will include, but are not limited to, the
following topics and categories:

* Theoretical Perspectives: History, Theory, and Game Typology:

* Design and Game Architectures:

* Serious Games: (How) are games serious?

* Research Methodologies and Case Studies:

* Game Aesthetics and Storytelling:

* Identity in Gaming:

* Learning to Play: Playing to Learn:

* From Player to Players: Social and Cultural aspects of games and game play;

* Industry and the Academy:

* Legal and Ethical Issues:

* Under Development: Exploding canons: Innovation and investigation into new forms and genres, games as transmedia, synaesthetic play, emerging technologies, devices and peripherals.

———————————————————————–

Proposal Submission and Instructions:

All proposals will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of scientific
committee specializing in the area of the paper topic, and authors will be
provided with reviewers’ critical comments as well as any suggestions for
revision.

Full paper submissions (papers of 2500-3000 words) require a 1000 word
abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference, and short papers (papers of 1250-1500 words) require submission of a 500 word abstract (excluding references).

If you are proposing a symposium, a 500 word overview of the session as a whole, and a 350 word abstract from each symposium participant are required.

In order to devise the best possible program arrangements and to secure suitable chairs and respondents, we are requesting that completed papers be submitted by April 15/2005 for review
for inclusion in the conference proceedings publication.

To encourage the widest possible range of alternative forms of work as well as work-in-progress, submissions of other kinds such as demos, roundtables and workshops are encouraged, and in each case a description of the proposed session should be submitted (up to 1000 words), with the type of session proposed being clearly specified.

All proposals are to be submitted to:
http://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocshttp://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocs

The online submission system is available from the beginning of September, 2004.

Particularly invited are papers and symposium proposals which directly
advance the conference themes of internationalism and interdisciplinarity.

Important Dates:

Conference Proposal submission, short papers (500 word abstracts) and full papers (1000 word abstracts): November 15/04

Notification of Acceptance: January 15/05

Completed Papers submitted: March 15/05

For Graduate Students:

A greatly reduced conference fee ($100.00) for student delegates makes
participation more accessible. In addition, limited financial support is
available to those, but especially graduate students and independent
scholars, for whom registration fees and travel costs impede participation.

Please submit your request for financial consideration before January 31st, 2005, to: Cher Hill, chill@sfu.ca Please include an overview of your costs, your institutional status (especially if you are a graduate student,
independent scholar or junior researcher), whether you are presenting at the conference, and a brief justification for your request.

Resources are limited, however. After all applications have been received, the conference committee will determine allocations of financial support, and decisions will be communicated by email to applicants by February 15th/2005.

———————————————————————–

International Advisory Board:

Serving as review and editorial board for the conference program and
publications:

Dr. Suzanne de Castell, (Conference Chair), Professor in New Media and
Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. John Waterworth, Professor of Informatics, Umea University, Sweden, and Research Manager, Tools for Creativity Studio, Interactive Institute

Sara Diamond, Artistic Director, Media and Visual Arts and Executive
Producer, Television and New Media at The Banff Centre for the Arts,
Executive Director of the Banff Institute for new media research

Dr. Catherine Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Deakin Centre for Education and
Change and School Of Social and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Education,
Deakin University, Australia

Gonzalo Frasca, Game Designer, Publisher of www.ludology.org, and PhD program, Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University in Copenhagen

Dr. Henry Jenkins, Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, U.S.A.

Dr. Frans Mäyrä, DiGRA President, Research Director, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere, Finland

Awakenings Website Goes Live

Awakenings is a one day games conference being organised by the Irish chapter of the IGDA in association with a number of partners, including ourselves, gamedevelopers.ie.

After months of behind the scenes work by the IGDA committee the following high profile speakers have been confirmed:

*Graham Devine, Ensemble Studios (U.S.)
*Marcus Maki, Remedy Entertainment (Finland)
*Chris Van Der Kuyl, Vis (Scotland)
*Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Director will MC the event (Canada)

This is a unique opportunity for Irish game companies, academics, students and others interested in the games industry to meet each other and to hear high quality international speakers discussing the key issues facing the games industry globally. Topics to be discussed include:

*the challenges facing independent games & middleware developers
*the changing & sometimes volatile nature of the games business
*the advent of next generation platforms & technologies
*licences & sequels vs. original IP
*convergence with Hollywood – real or imagined?

Attendance is free but you must register online at
awakenings/awakenings/

Preference will be given to IGDA member but otherwise it is first come first served..

Digra 05 Call For Papers – 2

** Changing Views: Worlds in Play **

This interdisciplinary conference encourages a range of contributions including paper presentations, symposia, poster presentations, author sessions, workshops, senior scholar mentoring roundtables, and, innovative formats which bring together games researchers, developers and emerging user communities.

Conference proposal themes will include, but are not limited to, the
following topics and categories:

* Theoretical Perspectives: History, Theory, and Game Typology:

* Design and Game Architectures:

* Serious Games: (How) are games serious?

* Research Methodologies and Case Studies:

* Game Aesthetics and Storytelling:

* Identity in Gaming:

* Learning to Play: Playing to Learn:

* From Player to Players: Social and Cultural aspects of games and game play;

* Industry and the Academy:

* Legal and Ethical Issues:

* Under Development: Exploding canons: Innovation and investigation into new forms and genres, games as transmedia, synaesthetic play, emerging technologies, devices and peripherals.

———————————————————————–

Proposal Submission and Instructions:

All proposals will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of scientific
committee specializing in the area of the paper topic, and authors will be
provided with reviewers’ critical comments as well as any suggestions for
revision.

Full paper submissions (papers of 2500-3000 words) require a 1000 word
abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference, and short papers (papers of 1250-1500 words) require submission of a 500 word abstract (excluding references).

If you are proposing a symposium, a 500 word overview of the session as a whole, and a 350 word abstract from each symposium participant are required.

In order to devise the best possible program arrangements and to secure suitable chairs and respondents, we are requesting that completed papers be submitted by April 15/2005 for review
for inclusion in the conference proceedings publication.

To encourage the widest possible range of alternative forms of work as well as work-in-progress, submissions of other kinds such as demos, roundtables and workshops are encouraged, and in each case a description of the proposed session should be submitted (up to 1000 words), with the type of session proposed being clearly specified.

All proposals are to be submitted to:
http://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocshttp://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocs

The online submission system is available from the beginning of September, 2004.

Particularly invited are papers and symposium proposals which directly
advance the conference themes of internationalism and interdisciplinarity.

Important Dates:

Conference Proposal submission, short papers (500 word abstracts) and full papers (1000 word abstracts): November 15/04

Notification of Acceptance: January 15/05

Completed Papers submitted: March 15/05

For Graduate Students:

A greatly reduced conference fee ($100.00) for student delegates makes
participation more accessible. In addition, limited financial support is
available to those, but especially graduate students and independent
scholars, for whom registration fees and travel costs impede participation.

Please submit your request for financial consideration before January 31st, 2005, to: Cher Hill, chill@sfu.ca Please include an overview of your costs, your institutional status (especially if you are a graduate student,
independent scholar or junior researcher), whether you are presenting at the conference, and a brief justification for your request.

Resources are limited, however. After all applications have been received, the conference committee will determine allocations of financial support, and decisions will be communicated by email to applicants by February 15th/2005.

———————————————————————–

International Advisory Board:

Serving as review and editorial board for the conference program and
publications:

Dr. Suzanne de Castell, (Conference Chair), Professor in New Media and
Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. John Waterworth, Professor of Informatics, Umea University, Sweden, and Research Manager, Tools for Creativity Studio, Interactive Institute

Sara Diamond, Artistic Director, Media and Visual Arts and Executive
Producer, Television and New Media at The Banff Centre for the Arts,
Executive Director of the Banff Institute for new media research

Dr. Catherine Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Deakin Centre for Education and
Change and School Of Social and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Education,
Deakin University, Australia

Gonzalo Frasca, Game Designer, Publisher of www.ludology.org, and PhD program, Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University in Copenhagen

Dr. Henry Jenkins, Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, U.S.A.

Dr. Frans Mäyrä, DiGRA President, Research Director, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere, Finland

Awakenings Website Goes Live – 2

Awakenings is a one day games conference being organised by the Irish chapter of the IGDA in association with a number of partners, including ourselves, gamedevelopers.ie.

After months of behind the scenes work by the IGDA committee the following high profile speakers have been confirmed:

*Graham Devine, Ensemble Studios (U.S.)
*Marcus Maki, Remedy Entertainment (Finland)
*Chris Van Der Kuyl, Vis (Scotland)
*Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Director will MC the event (Canada)

This is a unique opportunity for Irish game companies, academics, students and others interested in the games industry to meet each other and to hear high quality international speakers discussing the key issues facing the games industry globally. Topics to be discussed include:

*the challenges facing independent games & middleware developers
*the changing & sometimes volatile nature of the games business
*the advent of next generation platforms & technologies
*licences & sequels vs. original IP
*convergence with Hollywood – real or imagined?

Attendance is free but you must register online at
awakenings/awakenings/

Preference will be given to IGDA member but otherwise it is first come first served..

London Games Week

The result? A lot of confusion and shuffling around London, not the nicest thing to be doing at the best of times, but the uproar has now led to an announcement that two competing trade shows, the same week will never happen again. Compounding that was Sony’s no-show at both events; they will be running their consumer orientated Playstation Experience in Alton Towers at the end of September. After the success at Leipzig where both Microsoft and Sony made price cut announcements for Europe, many people were left wondering if indeed there is a future for the London shows, or if something fresh is required to become the premier European show that will effectively be able to compete with E3.

The shows themselves were as different as possibly could be. ECTS ran in the Earls Court for another year, but was notably subdued this time around. The vast majority of both developers and publishers passed on the opportunity this year, leading to a fairly drab and dull show that mainly seemed to feature retail products such as disc cleaning tools, a number of trade delegations from Korea and our own IDA, and the only two big names of Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox.

Upstairs, GDCE went on unabated, with a wide range of speakers and a specific focus on the next generation, with both Xbox 2 and PSP development talks and workshops going on. However, attendance was poor in some, but the overall opinion seemed to be that of the two Developers Conferences, this was the good one. EDF down in ExCeL suffered badly from the split resources, with many talks featuring more people on stage than were in attendance in the audience, and overall it seems that EDF failed to attract a sufficient number of attendees to justify itself.

Also in ExCeL, the European Games Network was a little bit more upbeat. With the large consumer show going on across the hallway, more games focused stands and a good showing from both developers and studios the show was full of activity and the bar was pretty busy for most of the three days. But it was not as open as previous ECTS’s have been, with very few public displays in the trade area meaning that it wasn’t really that enjoyable to walk around and just see closed doors everywhere.

However, the definite saving grace of the ExCeL programme was Game Stars Live. It featured pretty much every publisher other than Acclaim and Sony, with plenty of activity from the get go every morning. Halo 2 was on show, the new Mortal Kombat, Pro Evolution, Prince of Persia, Championship Manager 5, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and many more. With the recent events in the UK surround Manhunt, ELSPA were keen to show responsibility, and most publishers had restricted areas with security on duty to stop under 18’s viewing the more adult titles such as Fight Club and Leisure Suit Larry.

My own personal star of the show (other than the obvious wait for a chance to play Halo 2) was the Nintendo stand. While the DS was not on show, they had a Pier setup showing off all their planned titles for the rest of the year. Metroid Prime 2, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and a range of GBA titles were on show, but the ultimate game was there: Donkey Konga. Bongos will be heard all over the land come Christmas, and for good reason because it really is showing Nintendo’s commitment to making games fun again.

Overall the damage of having two shows running in separate venues concurrently really did show. Visitors that I spoke to who had been shuffling between the two areas were not too happy with the situation, and something will have to be done to address the splitting of resources if any of the London events hope to have any sort of long-term future.

For more info see and http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.phphttp://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.php

Gd.Ie Shindig – 2

The September Shindig will be held on the 24th of September and it is likely with Awakenings in Oct. that there won’t be another one until the end of November. As usual all are welcome to attend – shindigs are just informal pub meets where developers, academics, students and others with a general interest in games meet.

Time: From 7.30pm onwards

Location: Downstairs in Toners pub on Baggott Street in Dublin. A couple of tables will have reserved signs on them.

Directions: From Stephen’s Green North walk past the Shelbourne Hotel and towards Merrion Row/Baggot Street. Keep walking straight with Upper Merrion Street on your left and Ely Place on your right. Toners is a wine & black pub and will be on your right on a corner. If you reach Pembroke Street. on your right you have passed it and gone too far.

The shindig will be downstairs. To get there you can walk through the pub to the back where there is a stairs or walk around the side outside where there is another door. I will put up signs so you know where you are going..

Still unsure? The address is 139 Baggot Street Lower.

check your route here
www.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.htmlwww.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.html

Ei Trade Mission To Korea

Enterprise Ireland is organising a trade mission whereby Irish game companies will be visiting Korea and meeting with their Korean counterparts from the 14-16th of Oct. 2004. This is organised to co-incide with the Korean Game Development and Promotion Institute’s own game development conference in Seoul.

Contact Michael Kenna in EI.

More info: http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?eventid=90http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?eventid=90

Iia National Conference

IIA ANNUAL CONGRESS – IIA State of the Net

The IIA Internet Congress 2004 will consiste of three events:
IIA State of the Net
IIA Web Developer
E-business seminars

One ticket will allow access to all events.

Venue: Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3

Time: Registration 8.30am – 9.15am

Cost: Early Registration: IIA Members EUR195 / Non Members EUR245

More info:
www.internetcongress.ie

London Games Week – 2

The result? A lot of confusion and shuffling around London, not the nicest thing to be doing at the best of times, but the uproar has now led to an announcement that two competing trade shows, the same week will never happen again. Compounding that was Sony’s no-show at both events; they will be running their consumer orientated Playstation Experience in Alton Towers at the end of September. After the success at Leipzig where both Microsoft and Sony made price cut announcements for Europe, many people were left wondering if indeed there is a future for the London shows, or if something fresh is required to become the premier European show that will effectively be able to compete with E3.

The shows themselves were as different as possibly could be. ECTS ran in the Earls Court for another year, but was notably subdued this time around. The vast majority of both developers and publishers passed on the opportunity this year, leading to a fairly drab and dull show that mainly seemed to feature retail products such as disc cleaning tools, a number of trade delegations from Korea and our own IDA, and the only two big names of Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox.

Upstairs, GDCE went on unabated, with a wide range of speakers and a specific focus on the next generation, with both Xbox 2 and PSP development talks and workshops going on. However, attendance was poor in some, but the overall opinion seemed to be that of the two Developers Conferences, this was the good one. EDF down in ExCeL suffered badly from the split resources, with many talks featuring more people on stage than were in attendance in the audience, and overall it seems that EDF failed to attract a sufficient number of attendees to justify itself.

Also in ExCeL, the European Games Network was a little bit more upbeat. With the large consumer show going on across the hallway, more games focused stands and a good showing from both developers and studios the show was full of activity and the bar was pretty busy for most of the three days. But it was not as open as previous ECTS’s have been, with very few public displays in the trade area meaning that it wasn’t really that enjoyable to walk around and just see closed doors everywhere.

However, the definite saving grace of the ExCeL programme was Game Stars Live. It featured pretty much every publisher other than Acclaim and Sony, with plenty of activity from the get go every morning. Halo 2 was on show, the new Mortal Kombat, Pro Evolution, Prince of Persia, Championship Manager 5, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and many more. With the recent events in the UK surround Manhunt, ELSPA were keen to show responsibility, and most publishers had restricted areas with security on duty to stop under 18’s viewing the more adult titles such as Fight Club and Leisure Suit Larry.

My own personal star of the show (other than the obvious wait for a chance to play Halo 2) was the Nintendo stand. While the DS was not on show, they had a Pier setup showing off all their planned titles for the rest of the year. Metroid Prime 2, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and a range of GBA titles were on show, but the ultimate game was there: Donkey Konga. Bongos will be heard all over the land come Christmas, and for good reason because it really is showing Nintendo’s commitment to making games fun again.

Overall the damage of having two shows running in separate venues concurrently really did show. Visitors that I spoke to who had been shuffling between the two areas were not too happy with the situation, and something will have to be done to address the splitting of resources if any of the London events hope to have any sort of long-term future.

For more info see and http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.phphttp://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.php