Women In Games 2006 Cfp – 2

Women in Games Conference 2006
Location: University of Teesside, UK.
Date: 10th and 11th July 2006

Call for papers

Now entering its third year the Women in Games conference is seeking participants from both the academic, creative and industrial communities. Through this annual event we aim to disseminate the most recent, groundbreaking work into games (past, present and future), especially (but not exclusively) with reference to the experience of women playing, developing and responding to games and game culture. The conference will also provide networking opportunities for those within the industry as well as providing support for researchers and developers who are exploring and redressing the game industry’s gender imbalance.

This year we would like to address three broad themes:

Transformations:

“Looking backward” – for example, this might include accounts of previous or existing economically or politically motivated initiatives that have sought to transform some aspect of game production or consumption.

and

“Looking forward” – alternative games initiatives by artists or small development teams.

Mobility:

Contributions are invited which attend to the developments surrounding
mobile game production and/or consumption. This theme will include
work which relates to contemporary technological challenges and constraints as well as highlighting work which looks at the role of mobile gaming and everyday life (for both adults and children).

Differences:

Gameplay around the world – continuities and differences.

How are games produced and consumed differently in different geographical spaces and places? We are particularly interested in showcasing research into less dominant consumption and production cultures.

Contributions are invited as either individual papers, posters or panels which address these themes. Other areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

Gaming and everyday life
Children’s gaming culture (industry and academic perspectives are
welcome)
Histories of play and game culture
Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Game Studies
Political games and gaming practices
Women and online gaming – including card games such as poker Female Avatar Construction – changes, continuities, developments & critique Marketing Games – building audiences without the booth babes? Game Art & Game Curation MMORPGs Advergaming.

Types of submission:

Submissions can be made within the following categories: full paper, short paper, poster, panel or student forum. All submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed by the Women in Games steering committee.

Full papers

Full papers are reports of completed research and will be published in the conference proceedings. Papers may address any of the areas identified in the conference topics. Submissions should report original work, which has not been previously published. Full papers will not exceed 16 pages including all diagrams and be prepared using the format for Volume 1 of the conference proceedings.

Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the paper title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the paper. Submit an abstract, not to exceed 1200 words, which must include – at the top of the first page – the paper title and a statement as to whether the research is completed or the anticipated date of completion (which must be PRIOR to the camera-ready submission date). Any paper proposal extending beyond the 1200 words will be excluded from consideration.

Short papers

Submissions are solicited of short papers that address any of the conference topics. Authors are encouraged to submit late-breaking research results and work in progress that show the latest innovative ideas. Short paper submissions should report original work and must not have been published previously nor be a condensed version of previously published papers. Short papers will not exceed 6 pages including all diagrams and be prepared using the format for Volume 2 of the conference proceedings.

Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the paper title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the paper. Submit an abstract, not exceeding 600 words, which must include – at the top of the first page – the paper title and a statement as to whether the research is completed or a work-in-progress. Any paper proposal extending beyond the 600 words will be excluded from consideration.

Posters

Poster submissions addressing any of the areas identified in the conference topics are invited. Authors are encouraged to demonstrate work in progress and late-breaking research results that show the latest innovative ideas. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the poster title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the poster. Submit a two-page summary, which will be used as the basis for review. Posters will not be included in the proceedings.

Panel, Workshop, Masterclass

Suggestions from industry and academia are welcomed. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the theme for the panel discussion, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of the chair for the panel and a 500 word statement explaining the panel with 250 word individual abstracts for each panellist. Successful candidates will be responsible for enlisting panel members and chairing the panel.

Student Forum

Under-graduate and Graduate students are encouraged to present at the student forum to be held during the conference. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the presentation title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the presentation. Submit an abstract no longer than 1000 words summarising the research activity, which will be used as the basis for review. Successful candidates will present their work at the conference.

Conference Language

WiG 2006 is an international conference and contributions are welcomed from all parts of the world. However, the official written and spoken language of the conference is English. Please remember that the delegation will include international representatives from industry and academia and appropriate (“jargon-free”) language should be used at all times.

Important dates:

March 20th, 2006 Deadline for submission in all categories

April 24th, 2006 Notification of acceptance

May 30th, 2006 Camera-ready deadline for FULL papers

June 16th, 2006 Camera-ready deadline for SHORT papers

June 2nd, 2006 Deadline for providing names and affiliations for panel members and chair

Submissions procedure

All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.

Format your abstract according to the style sheet. To ensure anonymity please omit your name and contact details from the abstract that you submit for review. Complete the cover sheet (Word) or cover sheet (rtf) with your personal details and submit it, with your abstract, electronically to submissions@womeningames.com

Successful applicants only will be notified. Upon notification of acceptance please ensure that the paper you intend to submit for publication is written in accordance with the requirements listed on the style sheet and submitted to submissions@womeningames.com by the relevant deadline. Short papers are not to exceed 6 pages and full papers are not to exceed 16 pages, including references. Accepted papers will not be published unless the conference registration costs are paid by 30th May 2006.

Women In Games Conf

Women in Games Conference 2006
Location: University of Teesside, UK.
Date: 10th and 11th July 2006

More here: http://www.womeningames.com/

Women In Games 2006 Cfp

Women in Games Conference 2006
Location: University of Teesside, UK.
Date: 10th and 11th July 2006

Call for papers

Now entering its third year the Women in Games conference is seeking participants from both the academic, creative and industrial communities. Through this annual event we aim to disseminate the most recent, groundbreaking work into games (past, present and future), especially (but not exclusively) with reference to the experience of women playing, developing and responding to games and game culture. The conference will also provide networking opportunities for those within the industry as well as providing support for researchers and developers who are exploring and redressing the game industry’s gender imbalance.

This year we would like to address three broad themes:

Transformations:

“Looking backward” – for example, this might include accounts of previous or existing economically or politically motivated initiatives that have sought to transform some aspect of game production or consumption.

and

“Looking forward” – alternative games initiatives by artists or small development teams.

Mobility:

Contributions are invited which attend to the developments surrounding
mobile game production and/or consumption. This theme will include
work which relates to contemporary technological challenges and constraints as well as highlighting work which looks at the role of mobile gaming and everyday life (for both adults and children).

Differences:

Gameplay around the world – continuities and differences.

How are games produced and consumed differently in different geographical spaces and places? We are particularly interested in showcasing research into less dominant consumption and production cultures.

Contributions are invited as either individual papers, posters or panels which address these themes. Other areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

Gaming and everyday life
Children’s gaming culture (industry and academic perspectives are
welcome)
Histories of play and game culture
Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Game Studies
Political games and gaming practices
Women and online gaming – including card games such as poker Female Avatar Construction – changes, continuities, developments & critique Marketing Games – building audiences without the booth babes? Game Art & Game Curation MMORPGs Advergaming.

Types of submission:

Submissions can be made within the following categories: full paper, short paper, poster, panel or student forum. All submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed by the Women in Games steering committee.

Full papers

Full papers are reports of completed research and will be published in the conference proceedings. Papers may address any of the areas identified in the conference topics. Submissions should report original work, which has not been previously published. Full papers will not exceed 16 pages including all diagrams and be prepared using the format for Volume 1 of the conference proceedings.

Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the paper title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the paper. Submit an abstract, not to exceed 1200 words, which must include – at the top of the first page – the paper title and a statement as to whether the research is completed or the anticipated date of completion (which must be PRIOR to the camera-ready submission date). Any paper proposal extending beyond the 1200 words will be excluded from consideration.

Short papers

Submissions are solicited of short papers that address any of the conference topics. Authors are encouraged to submit late-breaking research results and work in progress that show the latest innovative ideas. Short paper submissions should report original work and must not have been published previously nor be a condensed version of previously published papers. Short papers will not exceed 6 pages including all diagrams and be prepared using the format for Volume 2 of the conference proceedings.

Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the paper title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the paper. Submit an abstract, not exceeding 600 words, which must include – at the top of the first page – the paper title and a statement as to whether the research is completed or a work-in-progress. Any paper proposal extending beyond the 600 words will be excluded from consideration.

Posters

Poster submissions addressing any of the areas identified in the conference topics are invited. Authors are encouraged to demonstrate work in progress and late-breaking research results that show the latest innovative ideas. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the poster title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the poster. Submit a two-page summary, which will be used as the basis for review. Posters will not be included in the proceedings.

Panel, Workshop, Masterclass

Suggestions from industry and academia are welcomed. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the theme for the panel discussion, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of the chair for the panel and a 500 word statement explaining the panel with 250 word individual abstracts for each panellist. Successful candidates will be responsible for enlisting panel members and chairing the panel.

Student Forum

Under-graduate and Graduate students are encouraged to present at the student forum to be held during the conference. Electronically submit a cover sheet, which includes the presentation title, the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of each author and a 30 word summary that will be suitable for inclusion in the programme and on the website to introduce the presentation. Submit an abstract no longer than 1000 words summarising the research activity, which will be used as the basis for review. Successful candidates will present their work at the conference.

Conference Language

WiG 2006 is an international conference and contributions are welcomed from all parts of the world. However, the official written and spoken language of the conference is English. Please remember that the delegation will include international representatives from industry and academia and appropriate (“jargon-free”) language should be used at all times.

Important dates:

March 20th, 2006 Deadline for submission in all categories

April 24th, 2006 Notification of acceptance

May 30th, 2006 Camera-ready deadline for FULL papers

June 16th, 2006 Camera-ready deadline for SHORT papers

June 2nd, 2006 Deadline for providing names and affiliations for panel members and chair

Submissions procedure

All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.

Format your abstract according to the style sheet. To ensure anonymity please omit your name and contact details from the abstract that you submit for review. Complete the cover sheet (Word) or cover sheet (rtf) with your personal details and submit it, with your abstract, electronically to submissions@womeningames.com

Successful applicants only will be notified. Upon notification of acceptance please ensure that the paper you intend to submit for publication is written in accordance with the requirements listed on the style sheet and submitted to submissions@womeningames.com by the relevant deadline. Short papers are not to exceed 6 pages and full papers are not to exceed 16 pages, including references. Accepted papers will not be published unless the conference registration costs are paid by 30th May 2006.

Camelot Galway Released – 2

Starcave Studios in Galway have announced that ‘Camelot Galway -City of Tribes’ is now available for download from Garage Games at
http://www.garagegames.com/products/78

Go check it out. More on this story to follow soon.

Camelot Galway Released

Starcave Studios in Galway have announced that ‘Camelot Galway -City of Tribes’ is now available for download from Garage Games at
http://www.garagegames.com/products/78

Go check it out. More on this story to follow soon.

Marketing For A Start Up – 2

Speaker: Peter Nolan, Managing Director True North

Topic: What a start-up needs to know about marketing?

Date: 25th January 2006

Time: 6.00 pm sharp

Location: Seminar Room, Invent Centre, Dublin City University, Glasnvein, Dublin 9.

Peter has an MA in Media from the Royal College of Art, London and an MSc in
Marketing. He set-up Windmill Lane Picture’s digital media group and
clients included the National Lottery, the IDA, and the Department of Marine
and Natural Resources.

Peter then joined Deloitte & Touche as Director of the Emerging Business
Support Centre. He gained specific knowledge and experience in the
provision of consulting to businesses including the NOVA UCD innovation centre.

He has lectured in University College Dublin, DIT, and University of Limerick,
Irish Management Institute. Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of
Arts and a past national Council Member of the Marketing Institute. He has recently assisted the United Nations and the Government of Ireland in the establishment of the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative.

If you would like to attend, please reply via email to davi.doyle at invent.dcu.ie or on 01 700 7777.

Start Up Marketing, Dcu.

Speaker: Peter Nolan, Managing Director True North

Topic: What a start-up needs to know about marketing?

Date: 25th January 2006

Time: 6.00 pm sharp

see news for contacts

Marketing For A Start Up

Speaker: Peter Nolan, Managing Director True North

Topic: What a start-up needs to know about marketing?

Date: 25th January 2006

Time: 6.00 pm sharp

Location: Seminar Room, Invent Centre, Dublin City University, Glasnvein, Dublin 9.

Peter has an MA in Media from the Royal College of Art, London and an MSc in
Marketing. He set-up Windmill Lane Picture’s digital media group and
clients included the National Lottery, the IDA, and the Department of Marine
and Natural Resources.

Peter then joined Deloitte & Touche as Director of the Emerging Business
Support Centre. He gained specific knowledge and experience in the
provision of consulting to businesses including the NOVA UCD innovation centre.

He has lectured in University College Dublin, DIT, and University of Limerick,
Irish Management Institute. Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of
Arts and a past national Council Member of the Marketing Institute. He has recently assisted the United Nations and the Government of Ireland in the establishment of the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative.

If you would like to attend, please reply via email to davi.doyle at invent.dcu.ie or on 01 700 7777.

Igda Gdc Student Scholarships – 2

We have a good record to keep up this year so get applying for the IGDA GDC scholarships. Deadline is Feb 15th.

More info, application form and details on how to apply can be found at http://www.igda.org/scholarships/

Deadline For Gdc Student Scholarships

We have a good record to keep up this year so get applying for the IGDA GDC scholarships. Deadline is Feb 15th.

More info, application form and details on how to apply can be found at http://www.igda.org/scholarships/

Igda Gdc Student Scholarships

We have a good record to keep up this year so get applying for the IGDA GDC scholarships. Deadline is Feb 15th.

More info, application form and details on how to apply can be found at http://www.igda.org/scholarships/

Speakers For Game Marketing Conf. – 2

The Game Marketing conference is looking for speakers for its forthcoming conference, March 8-9, 2006, in San Francisco, California. If you or someone in your organization is interested in participating contact chris@gameconference.com

Tentative Conference Schedule and speakers are available at the conference web site http://www.GameMarketing.com

The Game Initiative 2006 is also organising the following conferences in 2006.

Seattle Game Conference – February 4, 2006 – Seattle, Washington

How to Break Into the Game Industry – February 25, 2006 – Austin, Texas

Game Marketing Conference – March 8-9, 2006 – San Francisco

Advertising In Games Forum East – April 2006 – New York City

Advertising In Games Forum West – Summer 2006

Casual Games Conference – July 13-14, 2006 – Seattle, Washington

Austin Game Conference – September 7-8, 2006 – Austin, Texas

Women’s Game Conference – Fall 2006

Game Writers Conference – Fall 2006

Speakers For Game Marketing Conf.

The Game Marketing conference is looking for speakers for its forthcoming conference, March 8-9, 2006, in San Francisco, California. If you or someone in your organization is interested in participating contact chris@gameconference.com

Tentative Conference Schedule and speakers are available at the conference web site http://www.GameMarketing.com

The Game Initiative 2006 is also organising the following conferences in 2006.

Seattle Game Conference – February 4, 2006 – Seattle, Washington

How to Break Into the Game Industry – February 25, 2006 – Austin, Texas

Game Marketing Conference – March 8-9, 2006 – San Francisco

Advertising In Games Forum East – April 2006 – New York City

Advertising In Games Forum West – Summer 2006

Casual Games Conference – July 13-14, 2006 – Seattle, Washington

Austin Game Conference – September 7-8, 2006 – Austin, Texas

Women’s Game Conference – Fall 2006

Game Writers Conference – Fall 2006

Replay 2005

This year replay is a little longer. The first part of this review are personal thoughts from a distracted academic, i.e. me, and below you will find an annual review by Tony Kelly of IGDA Ireland activities for 2005.

Overall it has been a year of ups and downs. For the industry we had the high of Torc’s Dreadnought and the low of Kapooki’s closure. For academia we had the launch of new game courses and modules and the decision by the government to fund a National Digital Media Research Centre. The Digital Hub ran a month of game related events and gd.ie relaunched with a new look all thanks to voluntary efforts. And Sony published a Gaeilic football game for the PS2 that developed by an Australian development company – you can file that under an up or down depending on your own perspective.

For gd.ie it was a year of steady change. We had our second birthday in a packed room in the Digital Hub in April as compared to the back of a pub the year previously. The packed room had nothing I am sure to do with the free wine and supposed presence of DC studios – who unfortunately had to pull out at the last moment.

Nevertheless the crowd heard presentations by Michael El Baki (Bomberman) from Bit Rabbit, a recently established company in Dublin and Tony Kelly, (Idora) from Torc Interactive in Donegal, a rather more established company. These were followed by Ciaran Vipond who presented the project ‘BlowAway: The Winds of Therslow’ which was originally a final year thesis project in DCU.

image2

Subsequently all speakers made important announcements later in the year which goes to show gd.ie picks winners! Blowaway found travel funding and the project was shown at the Wired ‘Nextfest’ in Chicago in June, Torc released the Dreadnought demo to international acclaim in Sept. (http://amd64downloads.filecloud.com/dreadnought.asp ) and Bit Rabbit’s mobile games Yukiko and Atomanix started making waves by Dec. (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/BitRabbit_Hops_Into_More_Mobile_Markets.php).

Also unveiled on the night was the gd.ie site redesign courtesy of gd.ie board regulars Dave Kearney and Ian Hannigan. We have spent some time tweaking but I think we are looking pretty good now. As regards traffic we have 661 registered users on the forums, of which 45 joined in Dec! I see the newbies come from places as dispersed as Kerry, Athlone and Northern Ireland so word must be getting out there. While the newbies are quiet enough in terms of posts we currently have five people on over 1,000 posts, although being one of them I am not sure if that is something to be proud of or not!

In industry terms the major news was Torc releasing the ‘Dreadnought’ demo in September. Developed for AMD to showcase their latest chip this free to download level of a first person shooter got mostly favourable reviews in the game press, demonstrated what an Irish company was capable of and left us all impatient to see more! In the mobile sector Nephin increased its employee numbers considerably following the success of its ‘WKN Kickboxing’ game, Eirplay launched play.ie and Starcave continued to expand and ran a successful summer intern programme. Locally Nephin and Upstart received industry awards for their game applications. Forum posters have pointed us to the development of new companies like Frantic games in Athlone (see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2185 ) and Gmedia in Limerick (see http://www.nsd.ie/htm/news/story.php3?id=2885 ) which augurs well for the strength and depth of the industry.

Demonware and Havok continue to make international headlines in the middleware business (not just for t-shirts!) with the former opening an office in Vancouver and getting nominated for a Game Developer Magazine award.. Steve Collins left Havok and rejoined his alma mater Trinity College in late summer which has to be a bonus for Trinity and a loss to Havok.

It was not all good news though. There was the excitement and then disappointment as DC studios announced it was to establish an office in Ireland and by the end of 2005 there was still no news. There was the excitement of a TKO local management buyout and then the news that it was not to be afterall. But this was nothing compared to the announcement that after five years Kapooki was to close its doors. Kapooki employees had been tireless lobbyists and supporters of game related initiates in Ireland. It was with much disappointment that we learned of their closure. The full postmortem has yet to be written and may well provide useful lessons for others. For now we must send our regrets and wish all involved well in their next venture.

The Digital Hub continued its support of the games community with a month of largely game related events last May, in association with the IGDA Ireland committee. The month involved everything from talks and an education fair to an exhibition ‘Exhibit8: New Frontiers in gaming’ See http://www.thedigitalhub.com/news/pa.asp?NID=346&NCID=3&Y=2005&T=N .

Going by our features Irish companies are making waves internationally and many attended major international events like GDC, Imagina, Wired NextFest and E3 while Irish academics were not to be outdone and Trinity College hosted ‘Eurographics’ in September (see http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/) while a little gang of Irish researchers attended the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference in Vancouver in August (See http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/). There were new game courses and modules at Letterkenny IT, St. John’s College Cork, Tralee IT, DIT and the University of Ulster.

image3

By Dec. you couldn’t watch an evenings mainstream television without being bombarded by advertisements for Playstation and Xbox games. Indeed one of the biggest discussion points on gd.ie was the Gaeilic football game published by Sony in time for the Christmas market. We ran a feature on the Irish company who had the original license and tried to follow it up with a story on the Australian company who eventually developed it but our efforts have been scuppered so far. It will be interesting to see how well the game does in terms of sales and what the implications might be for the Irish games community in terms of future developments and our international profile.

IGDA Replay 2005 – Tony Kelly

Superficially at least, 2005 was a quiet year for the Irish chapter of the IGDA. The end of 2004 saw the successful launch of Awakenings, Ireland’s first digital games conference, and 2006 will see the second Awakenings conference take place in Dublin. Not bad at all, considering the organisers are voluntary part-timers – all of whom have busy, full-time jobs in and around the industry.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, 2005 saw a lot of reflection re: both commitment and direction of the chapter – not to mention the industry as a whole in Ireland, North and South. Despite the ups and downs – not least of which was the closure of two of Dublin’s gaming companies, Kapooki & TKO, both of whom had members on the chapter organising committee – I genuinely believe both chapter and industry will emerge the stronger for it, difficult thought that may be to see at present

Here’s a quick run down of what we’ve been up to for the past year:

Dare to be Digital –
· Promoting and judging both Irish heats of Dare to be Digital
· Consulting on organisation of both Irish heats of Dare to be Digital 2006
· Providing industry support to Irish teams before taking up their places at Dare

Local Industry Support –
· meeting/consulting with 3 new potential developers and semi-state bodies
· Media interviews & liaison, etc.
· early stage discussions re: a Northern Ireland digital media association
· Providing judges for both 2004/2005 & 2005/2006 Digital Media Awards competitions
· raising early stage interest from semi-state bodies in a prototyping fund
· provisionally securing funding, venue & support for Awakenings ’06 in Dublin

Education/Accreditation –
· early stage discussions re: accreditation for Irish third level courses
· involvement in the Skillset accreditation of NI and UK third level courses
· Organising the industry sessions at Eurographics in TCD this year
· Organising three events and providing speakers for Digital Hub’s Gaming Month
· Providing consultancy & letters of support for several new gaming-related initiatives in the fields of education, research and industry on both sides of the border

Wider IGDA Activity –
· Providing judges for Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2005
· Aiding in selection of student scholarship places for GDCE
· Providing input on first game producer’s retreat and production best practice white paper via Production SIG

So what does 2006 hold for the Irish chapter?

In the early parts of the year we’ll iron out the remaining structural issues – i.e. possible formalisation of chapter status, possibly moving to two tier admin structure, old members stepping down, new members stepping up, etc.

At the same time, we’ll be moving into an exciting year which has the potential to be a significant one for the industry in Ireland – what with the potential arrival of some new studios, new product releases from existing developers, and some innovative projects in various stages of development, including some exciting activities planned for later in the year in the North

There has been a lot of interest in the early stage prototyping fund which we’re trying to get off the ground. This would be broadly similar to the innovative GRIPP fund administered by Games Republic in Yorkshire, and could potentially fill the gap for content developers with innovative ideas who have yet to secure publisher funding.

We will of course continue to promote and support the Dare to be Digital competition for third level students. For the first time this year, we are hoping to provide a number of resources for the Irish teams chosen to represent the Republic and Northern Ireland in order to enable them better compete in a competition, which, not only provides a unique and valuable opportunity for the winning teams, but continues to go from strength to strength

Recent discussions and activity both home and abroad has shown just how important the need for some sort of educational accreditation or industry recognition has become, and we will continue to work with SkillSet in NI and on our own in the Republic to provide guidance to industry, academia and students

And last, but by no means, least – Awakenings ’06 looks set to take place in Dublin in the last quarter of the year. It’s early stages at the moment, but suffice to say we’re aiming to outdo the last Awakenings in every way – more industry speakers, more local industry support, more attendees, and possibly the addition of workshops alongside the main conference. As I said, it’s early days yet, so watch this space…

I’d like to end by thanking all of those who helped out in some way or other with the chapter’s activities but especially – Dave Kearney (GD.ie), Michael Hallissey (Digital Hub), Tanya Magill (NESTA), Brendan McGoran (Belfast City Council), Maeve McConnon & Donal Travers (IDA), Michael McKenna, Michael Cantwell, Colin Mc Cullagh, Maggie Daleo & Jonathan Loughran (Enterprise Ireland)

And of course, I’d also like to thank all of the chapter organising committee volunteers, past and present: Aphra Kerr, Steve Collins, Wendy Gibbons, Robbie Hegarty, Gerry Carty, Dylan Collins, Mick Maguire, Peter Mee, Will Golby & Ger Lawlor.

Replay 2005 – 2

This year replay is a little longer. The first part of this review are personal thoughts from a distracted academic, i.e. me, and below you will find an annual review by Tony Kelly of IGDA Ireland activities for 2005.

Overall it has been a year of ups and downs. For the industry we had the high of Torc’s Dreadnought and the low of Kapooki’s closure. For academia we had the launch of new game courses and modules and the decision by the government to fund a National Digital Media Research Centre. The Digital Hub ran a month of game related events and gd.ie relaunched with a new look all thanks to voluntary efforts. And Sony published a Gaeilic football game for the PS2 that developed by an Australian development company – you can file that under an up or down depending on your own perspective.

For gd.ie it was a year of steady change. We had our second birthday in a packed room in the Digital Hub in April as compared to the back of a pub the year previously. The packed room had nothing I am sure to do with the free wine and supposed presence of DC studios – who unfortunately had to pull out at the last moment.

Nevertheless the crowd heard presentations by Michael El Baki (Bomberman) from Bit Rabbit, a recently established company in Dublin and Tony Kelly, (Idora) from Torc Interactive in Donegal, a rather more established company. These were followed by Ciaran Vipond who presented the project ‘BlowAway: The Winds of Therslow’ which was originally a final year thesis project in DCU.

image2

Subsequently all speakers made important announcements later in the year which goes to show gd.ie picks winners! Blowaway found travel funding and the project was shown at the Wired ‘Nextfest’ in Chicago in June, Torc released the Dreadnought demo to international acclaim in Sept. (http://amd64downloads.filecloud.com/dreadnought.asp ) and Bit Rabbit’s mobile games Yukiko and Atomanix started making waves by Dec. (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/BitRabbit_Hops_Into_More_Mobile_Markets.php).

Also unveiled on the night was the gd.ie site redesign courtesy of gd.ie board regulars Dave Kearney and Ian Hannigan. We have spent some time tweaking but I think we are looking pretty good now. As regards traffic we have 661 registered users on the forums, of which 45 joined in Dec! I see the newbies come from places as dispersed as Kerry, Athlone and Northern Ireland so word must be getting out there. While the newbies are quiet enough in terms of posts we currently have five people on over 1,000 posts, although being one of them I am not sure if that is something to be proud of or not!

In industry terms the major news was Torc releasing the ‘Dreadnought’ demo in September. Developed for AMD to showcase their latest chip this free to download level of a first person shooter got mostly favourable reviews in the game press, demonstrated what an Irish company was capable of and left us all impatient to see more! In the mobile sector Nephin increased its employee numbers considerably following the success of its ‘WKN Kickboxing’ game, Eirplay launched play.ie and Starcave continued to expand and ran a successful summer intern programme. Locally Nephin and Upstart received industry awards for their game applications. Forum posters have pointed us to the development of new companies like Frantic games in Athlone (see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2185 ) and Gmedia in Limerick (see http://www.nsd.ie/htm/news/story.php3?id=2885 ) which augurs well for the strength and depth of the industry.

Demonware and Havok continue to make international headlines in the middleware business (not just for t-shirts!) with the former opening an office in Vancouver and getting nominated for a Game Developer Magazine award.. Steve Collins left Havok and rejoined his alma mater Trinity College in late summer which has to be a bonus for Trinity and a loss to Havok.

It was not all good news though. There was the excitement and then disappointment as DC studios announced it was to establish an office in Ireland and by the end of 2005 there was still no news. There was the excitement of a TKO local management buyout and then the news that it was not to be afterall. But this was nothing compared to the announcement that after five years Kapooki was to close its doors. Kapooki employees had been tireless lobbyists and supporters of game related initiates in Ireland. It was with much disappointment that we learned of their closure. The full postmortem has yet to be written and may well provide useful lessons for others. For now we must send our regrets and wish all involved well in their next venture.

The Digital Hub continued its support of the games community with a month of largely game related events last May, in association with the IGDA Ireland committee. The month involved everything from talks and an education fair to an exhibition ‘Exhibit8: New Frontiers in gaming’ See http://www.thedigitalhub.com/news/pa.asp?NID=346&NCID=3&Y=2005&T=N .

Going by our features Irish companies are making waves internationally and many attended major international events like GDC, Imagina, Wired NextFest and E3 while Irish academics were not to be outdone and Trinity College hosted ‘Eurographics’ in September (see http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/) while a little gang of Irish researchers attended the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference in Vancouver in August (See http://isg.cs.tcd.ie/eg2005/). There were new game courses and modules at Letterkenny IT, St. John’s College Cork, Tralee IT, DIT and the University of Ulster.

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By Dec. you couldn’t watch an evenings mainstream television without being bombarded by advertisements for Playstation and Xbox games. Indeed one of the biggest discussion points on gd.ie was the Gaeilic football game published by Sony in time for the Christmas market. We ran a feature on the Irish company who had the original license and tried to follow it up with a story on the Australian company who eventually developed it but our efforts have been scuppered so far. It will be interesting to see how well the game does in terms of sales and what the implications might be for the Irish games community in terms of future developments and our international profile.

IGDA Replay 2005 – Tony Kelly

Superficially at least, 2005 was a quiet year for the Irish chapter of the IGDA. The end of 2004 saw the successful launch of Awakenings, Ireland’s first digital games conference, and 2006 will see the second Awakenings conference take place in Dublin. Not bad at all, considering the organisers are voluntary part-timers – all of whom have busy, full-time jobs in and around the industry.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, 2005 saw a lot of reflection re: both commitment and direction of the chapter – not to mention the industry as a whole in Ireland, North and South. Despite the ups and downs – not least of which was the closure of two of Dublin’s gaming companies, Kapooki & TKO, both of whom had members on the chapter organising committee – I genuinely believe both chapter and industry will emerge the stronger for it, difficult thought that may be to see at present

Here’s a quick run down of what we’ve been up to for the past year:

Dare to be Digital –
· Promoting and judging both Irish heats of Dare to be Digital
· Consulting on organisation of both Irish heats of Dare to be Digital 2006
· Providing industry support to Irish teams before taking up their places at Dare

Local Industry Support –
· meeting/consulting with 3 new potential developers and semi-state bodies
· Media interviews & liaison, etc.
· early stage discussions re: a Northern Ireland digital media association
· Providing judges for both 2004/2005 & 2005/2006 Digital Media Awards competitions
· raising early stage interest from semi-state bodies in a prototyping fund
· provisionally securing funding, venue & support for Awakenings ’06 in Dublin

Education/Accreditation –
· early stage discussions re: accreditation for Irish third level courses
· involvement in the Skillset accreditation of NI and UK third level courses
· Organising the industry sessions at Eurographics in TCD this year
· Organising three events and providing speakers for Digital Hub’s Gaming Month
· Providing consultancy & letters of support for several new gaming-related initiatives in the fields of education, research and industry on both sides of the border

Wider IGDA Activity –
· Providing judges for Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2005
· Aiding in selection of student scholarship places for GDCE
· Providing input on first game producer’s retreat and production best practice white paper via Production SIG

So what does 2006 hold for the Irish chapter?

In the early parts of the year we’ll iron out the remaining structural issues – i.e. possible formalisation of chapter status, possibly moving to two tier admin structure, old members stepping down, new members stepping up, etc.

At the same time, we’ll be moving into an exciting year which has the potential to be a significant one for the industry in Ireland – what with the potential arrival of some new studios, new product releases from existing developers, and some innovative projects in various stages of development, including some exciting activities planned for later in the year in the North

There has been a lot of interest in the early stage prototyping fund which we’re trying to get off the ground. This would be broadly similar to the innovative GRIPP fund administered by Games Republic in Yorkshire, and could potentially fill the gap for content developers with innovative ideas who have yet to secure publisher funding.

We will of course continue to promote and support the Dare to be Digital competition for third level students. For the first time this year, we are hoping to provide a number of resources for the Irish teams chosen to represent the Republic and Northern Ireland in order to enable them better compete in a competition, which, not only provides a unique and valuable opportunity for the winning teams, but continues to go from strength to strength

Recent discussions and activity both home and abroad has shown just how important the need for some sort of educational accreditation or industry recognition has become, and we will continue to work with SkillSet in NI and on our own in the Republic to provide guidance to industry, academia and students

And last, but by no means, least – Awakenings ’06 looks set to take place in Dublin in the last quarter of the year. It’s early stages at the moment, but suffice to say we’re aiming to outdo the last Awakenings in every way – more industry speakers, more local industry support, more attendees, and possibly the addition of workshops alongside the main conference. As I said, it’s early days yet, so watch this space…

I’d like to end by thanking all of those who helped out in some way or other with the chapter’s activities but especially – Dave Kearney (GD.ie), Michael Hallissey (Digital Hub), Tanya Magill (NESTA), Brendan McGoran (Belfast City Council), Maeve McConnon & Donal Travers (IDA), Michael McKenna, Michael Cantwell, Colin Mc Cullagh, Maggie Daleo & Jonathan Loughran (Enterprise Ireland)

And of course, I’d also like to thank all of the chapter organising committee volunteers, past and present: Aphra Kerr, Steve Collins, Wendy Gibbons, Robbie Hegarty, Gerry Carty, Dylan Collins, Mick Maguire, Peter Mee, Will Golby & Ger Lawlor.

Game Developers Conference 2006

March 20-24
San Jose, California
@ the San Jose Convention Center

GDC
Serious Games Summit
Independent Games Festival
Game Developers Choice Awards
Mobile Conference

all under one roof..

More info: http://www.gdconf.com/

E3

The interactive entertainment event of the year.

May 10-12, 2006
Los Angeles Convention Center

Conference Program: May 9th—11th
Expo: May 10th—12th

More info: http://www.e3expo.com/

Midem 2006

Dates: Sunday 22nd – Thursday 26th January 2006

Location: Cannes

Description
Enterprise Ireland will participate at MIDEM 2006 in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, from 22-26 January 2006.

Enterprise Ireland will host the “Music from Ireland” stand at this important music trade fair, with an industry attendance of 12,000 music executives, particularly in music publishing, licensing and distribution. Some 30 Irish companies will participate on the “Music from Ireland” stand with 45 delegates attending. The stand is also supported by IMRO, the Irish Music Rights Organisation.

Contact: Michael Kenna