‘Future Tense’ Event On Digital Storytelling – 2

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world the event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

‘Creative Gamers’ Seminar

What: Creative Gamers – Exploring Participatory Culture in Gaming seminar
When:January 11-12, 2005
Where: Hypermedia Laboratory,University of Tampere, Finland
Chair: Research Director Frans Mäyrä (Hypermedia Laboratory)

Details:
This event is organized by University of Tampere Hypermedia Laboratory GameLab. Proposals for presentations at the Creative Gamers seminar are requested, especially from graduate students. Work-in-progress papers are also welcome.

The possible list of topics includes but is not limited to:
*History of player created content and modding
*Analyses of creative game player activities
*Typologies and ways of interpreting mods and other creative practices
of game cultures
*The role of tools and editors in player participation
* The social roles, structure and activities of game player communities
* Learning and practices of support in game cultures
* The motivations of modders and other "player-producers"
* Ownership and fair use of information among game cultures
* Industry practices: ways of supporting and controlling player creativity

The two-day event consists of themed sessions that aim to introduce current research projects and discuss the potentials and limitations of gamer creativity.

Paper commentators include Professor Henry Jenkins (Comparative Media Studies, MIT), and Professor Mikko Lehtonen (Media Culture, University of Tampere).

The first day will have a public lecture by Professor Jenkins on War Between Effects and Meaning as part if the Games and Storytelling lecture series, which will be open for everyone. More details to follow.

Submissions:
To submit a paper to the seminar, please send an abstract of maximum 1500 words to the following address: mailto:info-gamestudies@uta.fiinfo-gamestudies@uta.fi. The deadline for the submission of papers is 19th November 2004.

For further information, please visit the seminar website at:
http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/creativegamers/http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamelab/creativegamers/ or send an email to
mailto:olli.sotamaa@uta.fiolli.sotamaa@uta.fi.

Key dates:
Abstract due: November 19, 2004
Notice of acceptance: November 26, 2004
Seminar material deadline: December 17, 2004
Seminar: January 11-12, 2005

Digital Storytelling Event

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world this event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

‘Future Tense’ Event On Digital Storytelling

Entitled Telling stories: the future of storytelling in a digital world the event will feature Glorianna Davenport from the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She will talk about her concept of ‘The Storied Machine’ – how storytelling can be enhanced by new technologies. Other topics include how computer networks, television, radio, cell phones, cameras, and sensing devices are converging and blurring distinctions between making and consuming.

The event takes place on Thursday 11 November at 7pm in the RTE Radio Centre. Admission is free; however tickets need to be booked by emailing mailto:science@rte.iescience@rte.ie.

Highlights from the lecture will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on Tues 16 Nov at 7.30pm. The lecture will be streamed live on radio1/futuretense/radio1/futuretense/

Awakenings 2004 – 2

Almost 200 students, educators and members of the industry gathered at the Awakenings 2004 conference at the Northwest Institute for Further and Higher Education (NWIFHE) in Derry on October 15, 2004 to discuss the future of digital games in Ireland. Speakers included Jason Della Rocca of IGDA, game designer Graeme Devine (Ensemble), Chris Van Der Kuyl (Vis Entertainment), Marcus Mäki (Remedy) and Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE.

Della Rocca set the tone for the day when he pointed out in his opening speech that the health of the industry depended on a healthy mix of licensed products and original IP. He urged Irish developers to "chase the leprechaun" in order to create products that appeal to a wide audience without denying their cultural roots. In tandem with alternative business models, such an approach would help to diversify the audience for computer games and create a sustainable economy in years to come.
image2
In the following keynote, Graeme Devine asked the provocative question ‘Where has all the innovation gone?’ He deplored the inevitable slowdown of innovation in a consolidating industry, the ‘arms race’ between developers, and the industry’s exclusivity to fresh talent. But he also pointed out that the games industry hadn’t reached the apex of the growth pyramid yet. "The industry is not a pyramid, but a skyscraper," he said, "There’s still a lot of room for invention."

After the lunch break, Chris van der Kuyl of VIS Entertainment spoke about the possibilities of outsourcing in the game design process. Likening the games industry to Hollywood, he said that it was time to move on from the studio system to the modern era. While industry giants like Electronic Arts aimed to own every part of the production process the future would belong to small companies which were able to mobilize a specialised workforce for individual steps of the production process. In the future, van der Kuyl expected a massive growth in outsourcing, with less than 5 per cent of production actually taking place in-house.

Markus Mäki (Remedy) then shared his insights into building a successful European development company. He stressed the importance of aiming for the American market, as European markets were generally too small and too diverse to support local development. He also emphasised the role of original intellectual property, such as Remedy’s Max Payne brand, for surviving in the highly competitive games industry.
image3
The last speaker was Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE. He discussed the role of educators in the games industry, pointing out that formal education was becoming increasingly important. While developers had relied for a long time on recruits with self-taught skills such as modders, this was no longer an appropriate model due to the growth of the industry. At the NWIFHE, the growing demand for formal education in the games industry has been met by the formation of two games-related courses, ICE and CREAM. While there were now more than 30 such courses in the UK and more than a dozen in Ireland, Hegarty said, the British financial sector was generally not as supportive of such endeavours as in France or the US.

The conference closed with a panel discussion between all speakers, which were joined by Michael Griffin of Kapooki games. Chaired by Jason Della Rocca, the panel discussed whether it was possible in today’s marketplace to make a game with a budget of less than 5 million Euro. While Griffin pointed out that there was a huge market outside the hard core of AAA titles – e.g. wireless and web-based games – he stressed the importance of breaking into that market segment by following the path of original IP.

Unfortunately the panel failed to identify alternative business models that would enable Irish developers to create a sustainable national industry and succeed where many others had failed. Thus, at the end of the day, the future of the Irish games industry looked not as bright as many of the attendants might have wished. But at the very least, Awakenings 2004 should contribute to everyone’s awareness of the challenges which lie ahead.

Author: Julian Kücklich is a PhD student at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Further accounts and pics:

See Jason Della Rocca’s blog
http://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.htmlhttp://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.html

IGDA threads on our own forums
community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13

Related:

Article on NWIFE courses
news/index.php?article_number=117news/index.php?article_number=117

Awakenings 2004

Almost 200 students, educators and members of the industry gathered at the Awakenings 2004 conference at the Northwest Institute for Further and Higher Education (NWIFHE) in Derry on October 15, 2004 to discuss the future of digital games in Ireland. Speakers included Jason Della Rocca of IGDA, game designer Graeme Devine (Ensemble), Chris Van Der Kuyl (Vis Entertainment), Marcus Mäki (Remedy) and Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE.

Della Rocca set the tone for the day when he pointed out in his opening speech that the health of the industry depended on a healthy mix of licensed products and original IP. He urged Irish developers to "chase the leprechaun" in order to create products that appeal to a wide audience without denying their cultural roots. In tandem with alternative business models, such an approach would help to diversify the audience for computer games and create a sustainable economy in years to come.
image2
In the following keynote, Graeme Devine asked the provocative question ‘Where has all the innovation gone?’ He deplored the inevitable slowdown of innovation in a consolidating industry, the ‘arms race’ between developers, and the industry’s exclusivity to fresh talent. But he also pointed out that the games industry hadn’t reached the apex of the growth pyramid yet. "The industry is not a pyramid, but a skyscraper," he said, "There’s still a lot of room for invention."

After the lunch break, Chris van der Kuyl of VIS Entertainment spoke about the possibilities of outsourcing in the game design process. Likening the games industry to Hollywood, he said that it was time to move on from the studio system to the modern era. While industry giants like Electronic Arts aimed to own every part of the production process the future would belong to small companies which were able to mobilize a specialised workforce for individual steps of the production process. In the future, van der Kuyl expected a massive growth in outsourcing, with less than 5 per cent of production actually taking place in-house.

Markus Mäki (Remedy) then shared his insights into building a successful European development company. He stressed the importance of aiming for the American market, as European markets were generally too small and too diverse to support local development. He also emphasised the role of original intellectual property, such as Remedy’s Max Payne brand, for surviving in the highly competitive games industry.
image3
The last speaker was Robbie Hegarty of the NWIFHE. He discussed the role of educators in the games industry, pointing out that formal education was becoming increasingly important. While developers had relied for a long time on recruits with self-taught skills such as modders, this was no longer an appropriate model due to the growth of the industry. At the NWIFHE, the growing demand for formal education in the games industry has been met by the formation of two games-related courses, ICE and CREAM. While there were now more than 30 such courses in the UK and more than a dozen in Ireland, Hegarty said, the British financial sector was generally not as supportive of such endeavours as in France or the US.

The conference closed with a panel discussion between all speakers, which were joined by Michael Griffin of Kapooki games. Chaired by Jason Della Rocca, the panel discussed whether it was possible in today’s marketplace to make a game with a budget of less than 5 million Euro. While Griffin pointed out that there was a huge market outside the hard core of AAA titles – e.g. wireless and web-based games – he stressed the importance of breaking into that market segment by following the path of original IP.

Unfortunately the panel failed to identify alternative business models that would enable Irish developers to create a sustainable national industry and succeed where many others had failed. Thus, at the end of the day, the future of the Irish games industry looked not as bright as many of the attendants might have wished. But at the very least, Awakenings 2004 should contribute to everyone’s awareness of the challenges which lie ahead.

Author: Julian Kücklich is a PhD student at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Further accounts and pics:

See Jason Della Rocca’s blog
http://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.htmlhttp://www.igda.org/blogs/realitypanic/archives/000229.html

IGDA threads on our own forums
community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13community/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=13

Related:

Article on NWIFE courses
news/index.php?article_number=117news/index.php?article_number=117

November Content Forum – 2

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation, this event will discuss:
*Content opportunities
*Convergence and distribution
*TV Rights: ownership and exploitation

Themes include:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the Audio Visual Industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV Rights Ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Eurographics Conference – 2

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol OSullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

Creativity 2004

Event: Creativity 2004 – a conference on game audio content creation and management tools
Date: Friday, 29 October 2004 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
Location:Royal Society of Arts – RSA
8, John Adam Street
London WC2N 6EZ

Programme:

*Welcome and General Session I (45 mins)
Welcome – Speakers: George Thorn/Andrea D’Orta
Creative Technologies Unleashed: A comprehensive overview of the tools and technologies now available under the Creative umbrella. Attendees will learn how Creative can offer the perfect audio solution from start to finish.
Main Speaker: Steve Erickson
Additional Speakers: Keith Charley (ISACT & OpenAL), Peter Clare (GameCODA), Dave Anderson (EMU)

*General Session II (1 hour)
The new Sound Blaster: An in-depth preview of Creative’s newest hardware, including an overview of EAX 5.0 and mention of future EAX developments
Speaker: John Kraft (Zenith and EAX 5.0)

*General Session III (45 mins)
EAX integration into the latest game audio engines: Doom3 and UT2004
Speaker: Carlo Vogelsang

*General Session IV (30 mins)
Advancing Interactive Audio: A summary of Creative’s offerings, including explanation of the various license agreements for our tools.
Main Speaker: George Thorn
Additional Speakers: Neela Dass, Royee Leung, Franco De Bonis

*Breakout Session Tracks: Sound Design/Production & Programming
Breakout Session I (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: Interactive Audio at Your Fingertips: the ISACT Experience
Speaker: Peter Harrison

*Audio Programming (split session): Implementing the ISACT API in your next project
Speaker: Daniel Peacock

*Breakout Session II (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: GameCODA and CAGE Producer, Creating multi-platform content
Speaker: Mike Clarke

*Audio Programming: Implementing the GameCODA and CAGE API in your multi-platform titles
Speaker: Nathan Charles

*Breakout Session III (1 hour)
Sound Design/Production: Creative Professional: Introducing EMU’s latest digital audio systems
Speaker: Dave Anderson

*Audio Programming (split session):
Bringing OpenAL to your next project, Tips, Tricks, and Optimization
Speaker: Keith Charley
Techniques and optimizations to developing your cross-platform audio.
Speaker: Peter Clare

For more information:
http://developer.creative.com/articles/article.asp?cat=1&sbcat=40&top=73&aid=114http://developer.creative.com/articles/

Eurographics Conference Starts

Event: Eurographics
Dates: August 29 to September 2 2005
Location: Conference Centre, Trinity College Dublin

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol O’Sullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

November Content Forum

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation, this event will discuss:
*Content opportunities
*Convergence and distribution
*TV Rights: ownership and exploitation

Themes include:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the Audio Visual Industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV Rights Ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Eurographics Conference

Eurographics will be co-chaired by Carol OSullivan of the Image Synthesis Group, Trinity College(http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/) and Michael McNeill. The conference venue is the TCD conference centre and will include a banquet in the Old Dining Hall.

There will be awards for submitted conference entries which can include papers, short papers, state-of-the-art reports (STARs), multimedia, animations, tutorials and a special prize for medical visualisation/ virtual environment applications.

For full details including submission dates, visit http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/

Ei Agree To Cooperate With Kgdi – 2

The MOU formed the centrepiece of a market study visit organised by Enterprise Ireland, focusing on mobile games and initiating a formal co-operation in the development and promotion of the respective game industries of both countries.

According to the 2004 game industry report of the KGDI, the Korean games market reached $3.4bn in 2003 and is expected to rise to $4.3bn in 2005. Some 34,000 people were employed in the sector. Production volumes across the game space were valued at $1.2bn with $200m of in exports. The Korean government and the KGDI have set ambitious targets for the achievement of $8.5bn in domestic market size by 2007 supporting 100,000 jobs, $5bn in production volume and exports of $1bn.

Enterprise Ireland will seek to establish ongoing contact between Irish companies and potential partners in Korea, highlighting the strengths that Irish companies can bring to the arrangement – in the development, design and conversion/packaging of games, together with research strengths in game design, enabling technologies and middleware.

Attending the event last Friday from Ireland were Conor Murphy, the Irish Ambassador to Korea, Michael Kenna, Development Adviser – Digital Media in Enterprise Ireland, Dianne Rhee – Director EI Korea, Mary Twomey – Business Analysist in Forfás, Brendan Rossiter – Director of the IDA’s office in Toyko and myself. Attending on behalf of KGDI were Jong Sik Woo, President and Mr Jay Woo, Director of International Cooperation, amongst others.

Ei Agree To Cooperate With Kgdi

The MOU formed the centrepiece of a market study visit organised by Enterprise Ireland, focusing on mobile games and initiating a formal co-operation in the development and promotion of the respective game industries of both countries.

According to the 2004 game industry report of the KGDI, the Korean games market reached $3.4bn in 2003 and is expected to rise to $4.3bn in 2005. Some 34,000 people were employed in the sector. Production volumes across the game space were valued at $1.2bn with $200m of in exports. The Korean government and the KGDI have set ambitious targets for the achievement of $8.5bn in domestic market size by 2007 supporting 100,000 jobs, $5bn in production volume and exports of $1bn.

Enterprise Ireland will seek to establish ongoing contact between Irish companies and potential partners in Korea, highlighting the strengths that Irish companies can bring to the arrangement – in the development, design and conversion/packaging of games, together with research strengths in game design, enabling technologies and middleware.

Attending the event last Friday from Ireland were Conor Murphy, the Irish Ambassador to Korea, Michael Kenna, Development Adviser – Digital Media in Enterprise Ireland, Dianne Rhee – Director EI Korea, Mary Twomey – Business Analysist in Forfás, Brendan Rossiter – Director of the IDA’s office in Toyko and myself. Attending on behalf of KGDI were Jong Sik Woo, President and Mr Jay Woo, Director of International Cooperation, amongst others.

Deadline:Ma Games Research And Design

There are additional places available in the Online Master’s Course in Digital Games Research and Design, Module 2 Introduction to Theories of Games and Playup to October 18th.

For more details:
http://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamestudies/admissions.htmlhttp://www.uta.fi/hyper/gamestudies/admissions.html

Talk Digital: Wireless Today – 2

The return of this series at the Digital Hub will begin by asking where Ireland is placed internationally with wireless applications, and what are the relationships between mobile network operator and consumer. Panellists include:
• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

The event takes place in the Diageo Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

RSVP is required before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Upcoming events are:
*3G: Thursday, 18 November (In association with Darklight)

* Gaming: Thursday, 9 December

Karlin Lillington’s webpage: http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/

Talk Digital: Gaming

Event: Talk Digital @ Digital Hub
Topic: Gaming
Time:Thursday, 9 December 6.30pm-8pm
Location: The Diageo Liberties Learning Studio
The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

For further information on the Tallk Digital series please contact:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Talk Digital:3G

Panellists at the ‘3G – Next Generation’ talk will include Steve McCormack, Co-Founder, Wildwave, John Hurley, VP Marketing, Valista, and Prof Donal O’Mahony, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science in Trinity Collge Dublin.

Event will be chaired by Karlin Lillington.

Event: Talk Digital @ Digital Hub (In association with Darklight)
Topic: 3G
Time:Thursday, 18 November 6.30pm-8pm
Location: The Diageo Liberties Learning Studio
The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

For further information on the Tallk Digital series please contact:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Talk Digital: Wireless Today

The return of this series at the Digital Hub will begin by asking where Ireland is placed internationally with wireless applications, and what are the relationships between mobile network operator and consumer. Panellists include:
• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

The event takes place in the Diageo Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

RSVP is required before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Upcoming events are:
*3G: Thursday, 18 November (In association with Darklight)

* Gaming: Thursday, 9 December

Karlin Lillington’s webpage: http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/

Talk Digital @ The Digital Hub

Talk Digital @ The Digital Hub with Karlin Lillington (Technology Journalist, The Irish Times http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/)

Event topic: Wireless Today
Time:6:30pm, Wednesday, 20 October 2004
Location:The Diageo Liberties Learning Studio,The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

——————————————————————————–

Agenda:
*Is Ireland ahead of the curve when it comes to wireless applications and services?
*Are Irish consumers paying over the odds?
*Does the mobile network operator still own the consumer?
*Is Ireland best placed internationally to take advantage of the wireless boom?

The panel will include:

• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

RSVP, before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Enterprise Ireland / Ibec Content Forum

Date: 12th November 2004
Venue: Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin

Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation presents the latest Seminar in the Content Forum series on:

Content opportunities, convergence and distribution, TV rights ownership & exploitation

Themes:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the audio visual industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV rights ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Bitdemon 1.5 From Demonware – 2

DemonWare have unveiled their new BitDemon Netcode 1.5 system which supports console and PC multiplayer games. BitDemon 1.5 is available with client/server and peer-to-peer support and is available for Xbox, PS2, PC and Linux with impending support for PSP.

DemonWare have also announced that leading US studio, 5000FT (Reno, NV), is the latest studio to licence BitDemon for an upcoming AAA multi-platform title. "I’m very happy with this iteration of BitDemon," said Sean Blanchfield, DemonWare CTO, "I think developers will find it straight-forward to use and well thought out. Now that we support peer-to-peer networking, as well as client-server, we have the most relevant solution no matter what kind of game you are developing."

You can evaluate BitDemon 1.5 at:
https://www.demonware.net/evaluatewww.demonware.net/evaluate

For more info, developers can contact:
mailto:dev@demonware.netdev@demonware.net

Bitdemon 1.5 From Demonware

DemonWare have unveiled their new BitDemon Netcode 1.5 system which supports console and PC multiplayer games. BitDemon 1.5 is available with client/server and peer-to-peer support and is available for Xbox, PS2, PC and Linux with impending support for PSP.

DemonWare have also announced that leading US studio, 5000FT (Reno, NV), is the latest studio to licence BitDemon for an upcoming AAA multi-platform title. "I’m very happy with this iteration of BitDemon," said Sean Blanchfield, DemonWare CTO, "I think developers will find it straight-forward to use and well thought out. Now that we support peer-to-peer networking, as well as client-server, we have the most relevant solution no matter what kind of game you are developing."

You can evaluate BitDemon 1.5 at:
https://www.demonware.net/evaluatewww.demonware.net/evaluate

For more info, developers can contact:
mailto:dev@demonware.netdev@demonware.net

Liverpool Workshop On Game Design And Tech

Title: The Second Annual International Workshop in Computer Game Design and Technology

Event: A two-day event of lectures, tutorials and exhibitions on Computer Games Research and Development

Date: 15 – 16 November 2004

Venue : Liverpool Moat House Hotel, Liverpool John Moores University

Keynote speakers:
Jesse Schell -IGDA Chairman -Professor of Computer Entertainment at Carnegie Mellon University
Newton Lee–Senior Producer -Disney Online –Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ACM Computer in Entertainment
Ernest Adams -IGDA co-founder -Game Design Consultant
Chris Bateman -International Hobo -Game Design Consultant
Jeremy Chatelaine -Argonaut Games
Jason Chown -SCEE Liverpool
Dino Dini -CEO Abundant Software
Sarah Ewen -SCEE London
Andrew Oliver -CTO and Co-founder of Blitz Games
Dr. David Sharp -Atomic Planet Entertainment
Matt Southern-Evolution Studios
Marc Wilding-Acclaim Studio Liverpool

For more details, visit:
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/

The Emerald Isle

Videogames are mere pups in the grand scheme of entertainment artistry, young scamps nipping at the heels of old pros like cinema and music. This is a fresh-faced medium compacted into a meagre 30 years that considers anything created over a decade ago “retro”, anything on the wrong side of 1990, a technological relic. But amidst the relentless onslaught of technology, the race to keep up with ever-improving graphics, physics, and network technology, our developer forefathers should not be forgotten. After all, it’s their pixilated people, musical bleeps, and joyous pick-up-and-play titles that took us to where we are today.

Cast your mind back to the 1980’s – long before Havok, DemonWare, and other 21st century Irish game companies began turning heads across the globe. This was a time of bedroom programmers and start-up garage businesses, of an unconsolidated industry, small budgets and huge hopes. Around the world teen and 20-something talent was honing its digital chops and Ireland was no exception.

In 1989, Fran Heeran, an avid computer buff who had coded on the Sinclair from an early age, spotted an ad in a weekly UK trade mag: “Games Programmers Wanted”. Intriguingly, the business was neither based in London nor another industry hub, but in Ireland’s sunny southeast, Waterford. At only 20 years old, fresh-faced from college, Fran was eager to sign up. The company in question, Emerald, had been founded that year by two Englishmen: Dave Martin, an ex-maths teacher who split school for the games industry; and Mike Dixon, whose background was in the music industry. Martin ran an umbrella company called Martec and Gremlin Graphics; Dixon was assigned the position of Emerald MD.

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“Another friend of mine, Bobby Healy, also read the ad,” recalls Fran. “We had been in school and at Kevin Street College [Dublin] together. He’d been a Sinclair hobby enthusiast too, learning assembly language from the age of thirteen. We were classic geeks, I guess.” Bobby continues: “I put together a demo tape for the Spectrum z80 and went down on the train with Fran for our interview. I remember being awed by the notion that a real company had a coin-op in the lobby and games consoles all over the place. We both got the job that day. I met Mike Dixon who welcomed me on board and told me how much I would be making – a ton of money for a college student at the time.”

“Emerald had a stunning development team, all ex-Waterford graduates, and I still look back on it as one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with,” says Fran. “The engineering manager, Mike Murphy, was phenomenal. They hired guys on six months work experience during their Waterford Computer Science course degree, all of whom went on to become full-time employees.”

Based in a large three-story house on the outskirts of Waterford City, the young team put their noses to the grind. “It was a superb working environment. Everyone there was very young. We were doing seven-day weeks, all night shifts, but it wasn’t a problem at first because we had the energy. There was a huge buzz from creating games and seeing them on shop shelves a few months later,” says Fran. Replete with IDA grant money and fantastic talent, the decision to locate Emerald in Waterford suddenly didn’t seem so peculiar. What’s more, a few of its titles were big sellers.

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Publishers began commissioning Emerald for arcade games or movie tie-ins. U.S. Gold commissioned the team to work on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker and this was followed by the Schwarzenegger spin-off, The Running Man, courtesy of publishers Grandslam. The former King of Pop’s side-scrolling Amiga hit was later released on the Sega platform and although this retread had its differences, the artwork, info and cut screens were all lifted from Emerald’s version, suggesting U.S. Gold sold some of the original’s graphical bits and bobs. The Deep was a “dreadful arcade game” commissioned by U.S. Gold. There was also Vigilante, a Double Dragon styled beat-‘em-up, and an Amiga-based shoot-‘em-up, Phantom Fighter (which the Americans promptly renamed If It Moves Shoot It).

The 1980’s was quite a different beast to that of today, notes Fran. “You could create a game by yourself with the help of a single artist. Typically, Emerald would have one guy coding and another doing the artwork. This was practical back then because you were constructing games in around 48k. Today teams of up to 40 people work on a title. Relationships between developers and publishers were more informal then too.”

“Programmers didn’t take the art department seriously at the time,” according to Bobby. “A programmer never cared what the graphics looked like, so long as the screen refreshed every 50/60th of a second and the sprites were the biggest and smoothest ever seen. That’s what was important.”

Fran also noticed a weighty cynicism about game development from certain sectors. “This was far more challenging than most other occupations, but because games were ‘kids’ stuff’, development was considered a childish job. Gamers were jealous, of course, but the more serious programmers thought it was a joke. It was an outcast industry. Time has proved them wrong because the revenues today are so huge. My parents were great about it, though. My father was a schoolteacher and understood that it was the perfect job to begin straight after college. Emerald gave me a great grounding and appreciation for the techniques and work required for a career in programming.”

The financial recompense wasn’t too bad, even in the impoverished Ireland of the time, and the team had enough money to get by, have fun, and pop over to Geoff’s, their local pub, for the occasional shindig. However, the industry was notorious for working its young coders dry, and after two years those who hadn’t already scarpered were fast approaching burnout. In 1991, Emerald beat them to it. “Towards our demise, we were asked to churn out X titles in four weeks to save ourselves and we delivered some real crap then. I personally built a game from start to finish in three weeks: a five-level beat-em-up with the compulsory baddy at the end of each level. In order to get it out on time, I dumped 90% of the graphics which the art department had so carefully put together,” says Bobby.

Fran had left the year before so wasn’t privy to all the reasons for the company’s collapse. “I was head down writing the games and not looking too hard as to how the business was running, even when I was there. Besides, I was only 20.” Fran adds. “It’s fair to say that the problems were probably financial.”

When Dave Martin and Mike Dixon called it quits, Bobby Healy and a few others from Emerald released an isometric puzzle game called Treasure Trap for the Amiga and PC, featuring a diver walking around a sunken ship. Their company, Doodlebug Designs, was set up with the help of Electronic Zoo. Treasure Trap, although successful in its day, has sunk into the recesses of retro past, while Doodlebug Designs failed to set the world alight with its digital scribbles. Sadly, only one ex-employee remained in game development: Paul McLaughlin, Art Director for Lionhead (Black and White, Fable, etc.). Bobby set up another software company, which he eventually sold to SITA, an airline industry goliath.

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As for Fran, he snared a job working on Version 1 of Windows in the UK and is now Director of Product Management for Wicklow-based payment software company, Valista. His brief dalliance with game development is never too far from his thoughts, though, especially since former comrades Frank Somers and Damien Power still work alongside him. He doubts any of them will ever return to game development, though, certainly not as a way of living. It’s a risky industry today more than ever and publishers retain all the control. “I’m still an avid gameplayer and follow the industry closely,” he concludes. “I miss it but it has changed and isn’t the same anymore. But, you know, although it’ll probably never happen, I think game development is something we all yearn to return to.”

The father of pop culture Marshall McLuhan announced a long time ago that the “medium is the message” and if videogames are telling developers anything it’s that the march of technological progress demands we look forward rather than back. But it’s important to remember that small businesses like Emerald, and their now antiquated 8bit eccentricities, played a significant role in our gaming evolution, if only to prove that it could be done successfully in Ireland. Now, who’s up for a game of Moonwalker?

Opening Of Alt+Ctrl, California

Location: University of California, Irvine.

Date: October 5 -7, 2004

Details:
ALT+CTRL is the follow-up to SHIFT-CTRL, a festival organised by the Game Culture & Technology Lab, The Beall Center for Art and Technology, and Cal-(IT)2, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, University of California, Irvine.

Over 20 works will be shown, including modded games, hot-rodded game machines, net-based games, and installations. A special screening of machinima films will also be included.

Programme:
"Soft" opening, 12 noon, Thursday, Oct. 5
Public lecture featuring the editor and contributing authors of the new MIT book FIRST PERSON: New Media as Story, Performance and Game
Humanities Instructional Building, room 135
(Gallery will be open afterwards)

Opening reception 6 – 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.
Press preview
10am – noon Tuesday, Oct. 5
Members of the Press, please Contact: Christine Byrd: (949) 824-9055, cbyrd@uci.edu
The Beall Center

Gallery hours noon – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Wednesday, and noon – 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday

Campus map: www.uci.edu/campusmapwww.uci.edu/campusmap

Participating artists:
Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn , Brody Condon, c-level, collapsicon, delire and pix, Eddo Stern, gameLab, Geoffrey Thomas, Indie Game Jam, Maia Engeli and Nina Czegledy, Molleindustria, Nick Montfort, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Josh Carroll, Robert Coover, Shawn Greenless, and Andrew McClain, Olaf Val Mignon, Pappy Boyington, Rebecca Cannon, RSG, THE JAB, yumi-Co

REDO/UNDO The custom exhibition environment features internationally acclaimed graffiti artists AERO, EQUIS, HEX, HUGE, LOOK, MAC, NYSE, PERSUE, POSH, PUSH, RETINA, REVOK,SEVER, SILOE, SURGE, WISE, WITNES, ZANE

Organizers/Jury:
Organized by Robert Nideffer, Antoinette LaFarge, and Celia Pearce with an outside panel of jurors from the independent game world, including Rebecca Cannon, Drew Davidson, Erkki Huhtamo, Paul Marino (who led the jurying for the machinima works), Jeannie Novak, Warren Spector, and Eric Zimmerman.

ALT+CTRL was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Beall Center for Art andTechnology, the Department of Studio Art, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine.

Address:
University of California, Irvine
712 Arts Plaza, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Irvine, CA 92697-2775

Hours:
Tuesday – Wednesday, 12:00-5:00
Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 8:00

Panel discussion:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Editor, First Person: New Media as Performance, Story and Game (MIT 2004)plus contributing authors
12:00 noon – 1:00pm
Humanities Instructional Building 135

Contact:
Exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 001-949-824-4339 or visit http://beallcenter.uci.edu.http://beallcenter.uci.edu.

Dj And Digital Music Academy (Ddma)

Where: The Digital Hub, Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October

Subjects covered include: DJing and its history; Vinyl/CD mixing; beat matching and syncing; radio broadcasting; scratching and turntable techniques; technical set-up; production; promotion.

Classes at the Academy are interactive and intimate. They are kept to a
maximum of 30 students in order to encourage this interaction and allow for more personal tutoring.

Tutor DJs include DJ Arveene (Academy Director),Tu-Ki (Irish 2004 DMC Champion), DJ Scope and Al Gibbs.

The course objective is to provide students with a grounding in the
overall range of DJing and digital technology. It permits every student
to extend and further develop his/her specialist competencies in
particular music domains, in line with their individual interests and
orientations, and also learn about other new aspects and areas with
which they are unfamiliar.

For more information on the DDMA or an application form please contact
Wallis at Modern Green on mailto:ddma@moderngreen.com ddma@moderngreen.com or at 01-8363366.

Digital Hub Development Agency
10 – 13 Thomas Street
The Digital Hub
Dublin 8
T: 01 4806200
F: 01 4806201
e:mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com