Sept Shindig

This coming Friday, the 21st, gamedevelopers.ie will be holding a shindig. If you haven’t been before this is an informal pub meet to discuss game development related gossip and meet people from the forums.

The plan is to meet at the Pavilion bar in Trinity College Dublin at 6pm and then to move to Sinnotts bar, off Grafton Street to view the rugby match (for those interested!).

All welcome. Especially women.

If you have not met anyone from gd.ie before then please PM/private message someone who is attending to make sure you have a contact number for someone on the night and can find the group. We may not actually stand out in a crowd!

Block H Installation And Game

Part of Counter Strike: Block H is currently on show in Dublin as part of the Game On festival in Dublin’s Digital Hub. Block H is an interactive installation set in Northern Ireland. It comprises of a Counter-Strike mod and a sound reactive television.

Developed for an MA in interactive media at Goldsmiths College in London the project was originally conceived as a way of documenting the murals that were fast disappearing from the landscape of Northern Ireland. According to the developer it ‘ developed from there to explore the wider themes of media and social memory, surveillance and censorship, and militainment such as Kuma/War and America’s Army.’

The game section is a modification of Counter-Strike: Source.
Teams are Loyalist and Nationalist. Players wear celtic and rangers jerseys, denim jackets and anoraks. The game is set in a housing estate split by a peaceline and watchtower. Each side has their own versions of sectarian symbols such as murals, bonfires, flags, drums, graffiti etc. All details are based on reference images to create a composite environment of Belfast and Derry.

The interior section houses a sound reactive television made using MAX/MSP. It uses footage of cultural icons as well as victims and perpetrators of violence during “The Troubles”.
The audio and video channels are changed separately by the user using a two button remote control.The images stutter themselves in real time to synchronise with any one of the soundtracks.

You can see this along with other work including by this year’s Dare to be Digital team this coming Sat, 15th Sept at the Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 at 3pm and 5pm.

Entry is free, but as public viewing is limited please request a ticket in advance by emailing exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or call 01 4806200.

Block H
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website: http://www.blockh.net/
images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blockh/
video demo: http://stage6.divx.com/user/blockh/
game files: http://hosted.filefront.com/BlockH

see also http://www.worldcybergamesireland.com/openhouse.htm

Ctrl Open House

Saturday 15th Sept – Open House

Event: Digital Hub Open House

Venue: Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8

Time: 3pm and 5pm

Come visit CTRL where you can explore the close relationship between technology and creativity. Have a go at playing the latest games, singing karaoke, editing videos or record your own newscast!

Meet Ireland’s Dare to Be Digital team who recently returned from Protoplay 2007 (http://www.daretobedigital.com/protoplay/) and ask them questions on gaming, game development and their Dare experience. Check out the games that were created at this year’s Mission Maker Summer Camp and at other fun stuff that has been created in the Digital Hub Learning Initiative Courses.

Entry is free, but as public viewing is limited please request a ticket in advance by emailing exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or call 01 4806200

Creative Inspiration – How To Make A Living From The Arts

Creative Inspiration – How to Make a Living from
the Arts will be held on Thursday 27 September 2007 in the
Millennium Forum in Derry.

They have secured Wayne Hemingway as the
keynote speaker for the event and several other creative practitioners to participate in the event such as Terry Loane, Stephen Stewart, Scanner and Barry Sheehan from Irish Design Institute.

Shindig – 5

Informal pub meet has been agreed for Friday the 21st of September.

Yes we know the Ireland V France game is on at 21.00 so we will choose a suitable put – under discussion on the forums at present.

All welcome, and bring along friends with an interest in game development.

Montreal Games Festival 07

The 2007 edition of MIGS, Canada’s largest gathering of video game creators, developers and producers (consoles, PC’s, mobile devices, online games), will feature some of the most influential creative talent in the game industry worldwide. It takes place on the 27 and 28th of November in Montreal, Canada.

Among the keynote speakers is executive video game industry consultant and visionary David Perry , a 25 year veteran of the video game business. His professional experience includes working with Hollywood directors and studios, licensing in/out, IP creation, design and programming, as well as many other facets of the business of making and selling professional video games.

He is currently working on the creation of a number of MMO games: a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMOPRG) for Acclaim called 2Moons, the first massively multiplayer dancing game called Dance, and the first community-created MMO game, with tens of thousands of developers on his team. As CEO of the video game consultancy firm GAMECONSULTANTS.COM, David represents key video game talent. He is also CEO of the new video game investment portal GAMEINVESTORS.COM and writes about the video game industry as an expert columnist for BusinessWeek.com.

Other confirmed speakers include:

* Ian Bogost, Founding Partner, Persuasive Games
* George Borshukov, Computer Graphics Supervisor, Electronic Arts and WW Studio
* Mike Chrzanowski, Senior Designer, Vicarious Visions
* Don Daglow, President and CEO, Stormfront Studios
* Jon Goldman, President and CEO, Foundation 9
* Clint Hocking, Creative Director, Ubisoft
* Julien Merceron, Worldwide Chief Technology Officer, Eidos
* Samuel Rivello, Director of Multimedia Development, Neopets
* Duncan Wain, President, Scope Seven

Over the course of two days, participants will have the opportunity to attend some 50 tutorials, seminars and conference sessions as well as network and chat with each other.

New in 2007: Business Lounge

This year, Alliance numériQC has created the Business Lounge http://www.sijm.ca/en-business-lounge.html, a personalized meeting management service for publishers, development studios, intellectual property owners and other industry decision makers. This restricted access area will allow professionals to enjoy refreshments and hold meetings in an environment conducive to doing business. MIGS will act as an intermediary and facilitator for game industry stakeholders who wish to benefit from the event to develop new contacts and sell their services. As such, the Business Lounge is specifically designed to respond to a need expressed by the industry.

About MIGS
MIGS was created in 2004 to serve members of the video game industry, which currently employs over 5,000 people in Quebec. The organization of MIGS draws on the support of an Advisory Committee made up of key players in the Quebec game industry (A2M, Beenox , DC- Studios, Electronic Arts, International Game Developers Association, Sarbakan, Ubisoft, Wave Generation).

For more information about MIGS, to register for the event or to sign up for the MIGS Newsletter, visit the MIGS website http://www.sijm.ca/

Participants registering prior to October 15, 2007, benefit from reduced rates, with savings of up to 30%.

Montreal Games Festival

The 2007 edition of MIGS, Canada’s largest gathering of video game creators, developers and producers (consoles, PC’s, mobile devices, online games), will feature some of the most influential creative talent in the game industry worldwide. It takes place on the 27 and 28th of November in Montreal, Canada.

See http://www.sijm.ca/en

Game On Festival In Dublin

The Digital Hub in Dublin, is hosting GAME: ON, a Cyber Games Festival, from the 8th to the 15th of September and which includes the Irish Final of World Cyber Games.

Events include

– Monday the 10th at 1pm
Industry Seminar Talk Digital: “Social Networking in Games”

Panel: John Breslin – DERI, NUI Galway, founder of Boards.ie
Mark Taylor – Head of Content, Eircom.net
Jamie McCormick – Operations Manager Xbox Live Gaming Centre
Peter Lynch – CEO, Eirplay Games
Joe Drumgoole – CEO,Putplace.com
A representative from www.moli.com (TBC)
Chair: John Collins -The Irish Times

Limited availability. Register by emailing exhibit@thedigitalhub.com with “Talk Digital” as the subject heading

– Sat the 15th from 10am –
World Cyber Games Ireland – Final. Gamers from all over Ireland will meet in The Digital Hub to battle it out for an opportunity to represent Ireland in the Grand Final Seattle, USA.

For full listing of events see www.worldcybergamesireland.com/gameon.htm

For further details e-mail exhibit@thedigitalhub.com
_________________

London Game Career Fair

This should be of interest to those interested in getting into the industry.

Aphra.

*************

Organizers have announced that the London Game Career Fair will take place again this October, following the inaugural event last year, which was attended by more than one thousand visitors.

The 2007 fair, which is hosted by websites Gamasutra.com and Gamesindustry.biz, will take place at London’s Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, from October 23rd to 24th.

Entrance will be free for all attendees.

The event will be attended by games industry professionals, recent graduates and representatives from related industries such as film, computer graphics and animation, as well as those interested in joining the video game industry.

Exhibitor stands and speaker sessions are also planned – with publishers and developers including Electronic Arts, LucasArts, THQ, NCsoft, Rare, Evolution Studios and Team17 already confirmed as attending. Additional exhibitors, including colleges and universities, are expected to announce their participation in the event shortly.

A full schedule of speaker sessions will be announced shortly at the fair’s official website, and topics are intended to include programming, audio, art, production, design and quality assurance.

See http://www.gamecareerfair.com/

Game On

The Digital Hub in Dublin, is hosting GAME: ON, a Cyber Games Festival, from the 8th to the 15th of September and which includes the Irish Final of World Cyber Games.

For full listing of events see www.worldcybergamesireland.com/gameon.htm

For further details e-mail exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Talk Digital – Games Industry Event

Monday the 10th at 1pm
Industry Seminar Talk Digital: “Social Networking in Games”

Panel: John Breslin – DERI, NUI Galway, founder of Boards.ie
Mark Taylor – Head of Content, Eircom.net
Jamie McCormick – Operations Manager Xbox Live Gaming Centre
Peter Lynch – CEO, Eirplay Games
Joe Drumgoole – CEO,Putplace.com
A representative from www.moli.com (TBC)
Chair: John Collins -The Irish Times

Limited availability. Register by emailing exhibit@thedigitalhub.com with “Talk Digital” as the subject heading

World Cyber Games Ireland – Final

– Sat the 15th from 10am –

World Cyber Games Ireland – Final. Gamers from all over Ireland will meet in The Digital Hub to battle it out for an opportunity to represent Ireland in the Grand Final Seattle, USA.

For full listing of events see www.worldcybergamesireland.com/gameon.htm

For further details e-mail exhibit@thedigitalhub.com

The Future Inside The Box

Most here on GD.ie are familiar with the history of gaming, some have participated, some witnessed or studied it. The depth, size and reach of our industry continues to grow, morphing and enriching other industries. Some view this expansion as enhancement, others as infection or even invasion. Nowhere were such polar opinions, insecurities and misguided evangelism more evident than on a recent visit to the world’s most prestigious television market, MIPTV in Cannes. (www.miptv.com)

Although more famous for its annual film festival (& market) the lunches, launches and parties attracted more than 12k television professionals from around the globe this year. They came to gorge themselves, hawk, buy and haggle over the purchase, licensing, co-production and distribution of future content on digital screens. This year, for the second time, games made it onto the menu. The world of television has finally woken up to the potential threat of games and started appointing some ‘heads of digital’ to get their brains around ideas like content 360.

From stage on screen to content 360

Television has been the dominant entertainment medium for the past fifty years. Expensive experimental program making quickly gave way to a safe, familiar and relatively cheap stage on screen approach to content production. By 2000AD, the battle for the living room saw the Nintendo Dolphin (gamecube), the PS2, Xbox and the Sega Dreamcast fighting for screen real estate and cash. With the assistance of soccer, digital TV fought a rear guard action and the internet’s pincher movement succeeded almost unnoticed. So much has changed since 2000AD. With 47% broadband penetration, after iTunes Xbox live is now the second largest on-line supplier of content to American households. Xbox offers shows, films, clips and games too! Those victory laurels have only really been gnawed at by its cousin windows entertainment centre.

Once labelled triple play, i.e. broadcast, web and mobile, TV now lives in its own 360 world. Like some other industries, when the telly industry is stuck for an idea or two, they simply have a competition. In Cannes this year they had several, among them the 360 pitching contest. Companies pitched product/programme ideas that embraced new technologies on offer, pitched for multiplatform but were mindful of the reverence accorded to the social networking phenomena and aware of the semantic web 2.0 mumbo jumbo.

While most TV execs bought, sold and bartered the traditional two dimensional boxware on the main show floor, several with ‘digital’ in their title turned up to the Beeb’s public commissioning 360 content pitches. Irish company RandomThoughts ollied in on the act with a pitch for StreetskillsTV, a mobile project to enable urban skaters to share their tricks and skills – unfortunately they didn’t land their Pop Shuv-it, which doesn’t mean that we may not see something very similar to StreetskillsTV on a very small screen near you.

Enter the new paradigm evangelists: Jason Hirschorn of Sling media and his slingbox promoting anywhere TV. Firstscience.tv, Joiningthedots.tv and a plethora of distribution channels giving viewers the chance to avoid EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) fatigue and discover their quality content via broadband. Of course Joost and babelgum, the latest internet tv darlings, also turned up. Babelgum is setting up in the Digital Hub in Dublin and are offering jobs. (http://www.babelgum.com/jobs/) Their spiel at MIP mentioned paying content creators $5 per thousand views until Babelgum can afford to generate advertising revenue. Dot what I hear you ask?

But it wasn’t only the new kids on the block talking about outside the box opportunities, Gerhard Zeiler, RTL chief executive (in Italy) said having a one channel product isn’t enough anymore. You need to play the field across IPTV, mobile and any other avenue that opens up. Did he mean games too? The largest piece of evidence to prove the existence of a bandwagon had to be the announcement of a partnership between Electronic Arts and Endemol – two major players in their respective channels – collaborating on a second life clone called Virtual Me.

MTV were also looking for a suitable partner to change South Park into a multi-platform digital property. Should they have spoken with Philip Rosedale CEO of Second life who was there doing his bit for virtual worlds? ITN and 3 were doing a mobile content deal, as the week wore on, more and more deals were announced until a sort of deal blindness set in. Bob Geldof turned up in his guise as TV production supremo to announce plans to do a whole box set of documentaries and map humanity into a multiplatform genealogy database called Dictionary of Man. You can never accuse Bob of thinking too small.

The Irish at MIP this year included friendly faces from TG4, Hibernian American, Telegael, Brown Bag, Kavaleer, Monster, RTE, E.I. and/or the Filmboard. I have attended ECTS, GDC, ETC and MIP before, always as a preferred outsider, but this year I was genuinely struck by the hubris pervading it all. Obviously where you get buying and selling you can get a lot of middle men, mostly distributors, who will mostly disappear as new direct digital distribution channels establish.

image2

Yet despite the talk about social networks, the need for personalisation and the need to embrace new technology opportunities – the vast majority of those attending seemed to miss one central point. We no longer live in a purely push technology paradigm; users, viewers and especially gamers prefer to genuinely interact with properties, it is my view that they want interactive entertainment that is genuine pull technology. A lot of what I heard, read, saw and witnessed at MIPTV was really just a slow movement to a kind of ‘prod’ technology, pushing users towards pre-packaged, albeit user generated, content with little regard for agency.

Many in TV foolishly think that storytelling is agency – which IMHO it most certainly is not. Agency manifests itself most prominently in our games industry as gameplay – we know and live the proven commercial fact that no amount of visual trickery or number crunching can compensate for genuinely engaging gameplay. Aristotle may have mentioned spectacle as an essential element of drama but even his classical unities were eventually scrubbed by TV. In these times of change did I witness the professional TV industry become a bubble rather than a box? I currently have semi-professional, mash ups, totally amateur and personal content on my phone, my Wii and my PC right now. Hands up anyone under 25 who has not put something on youtube, let alone watched a couple of hundred minutes of entertainment there.

The TV industry has already embraced the ARG (Alternative Reality Game) recently with the JR style ‘Who Killed Tom King’ in Emmerdale. Yet anyone flicking late night UK TV channels will have seen those appalling phone-in hangman style word games, not even a poor cousin of interactivity. Although obviously making someone money, they appear content to merely patronise an already dumbed down (or drunken) audience ? So where can the industries fit together? Are there genuine opportunities for game developers to add value to an ageing increasingly partitioned and struggling TV industry? Gina Jackson of Eidos told the audience in the conference on the role of games in cross-media entertainment: ‘we are good at repurposing our content for different platforms.’ It sounds like a services pitch, give us your proven content and we will work our gamer magic on it.

In a month when Spiderman 3, both movie and game, sat in the top five of their respective charts, we do get a successful model, ok an expensive model, from a company some might say is in decline due to a PS3 fiasco. It remains a commercial example of joined up thinking on the subject, let me call that thinking ‘holistic’. While the Virginia tech atrocity was underway on the other side of the world, the most common and unconnected observation I heard at MIPTV was ‘the Koreans have taken over.’ While perhaps somewhat xenophobic, the pre-eminence of their advertising and sponsorships was evident to the most myopic of attendees. They were the major sponsors of many of the headline events.

Korea as a whole, including its government, agencies, business and banking communities, has enthusiastically embraced the new pull paradigm. Obviously somebody sees the potential synergies and has invested heavily in skills training, infrastructural development and solidly supporting many indigenous companies to help build an industry. Those exact actions were proposed several years ago to allow the building of the Irish Games Industry. However in my own geographical area, different priorities were pursued. The IDA in their wisdom decided to give Xerox over 40 million of Irish taxpayers money to buy a landbank of 100 acres to locate here – rather than spend that money on growing local industry, skills and long term capability – ironic too perhaps that Xerox had to restate their earnings from around the time of their IDA courtship. When the inkjet facility closed, the IDA had the temerity to ask for 8 million euro of our money back.

So assuming that ‘enrichment’ and evolution continue and traditional broadcast culture embraces these changes. Assuming Irish games, mobile and digital media companies identify opportunities and decide to pursue holistic approaches, assuming media consumers continue to evolve into createsumurs (ok I made that word up – think of it in terms of wreaders – internet readers who write, contribute, edit as well as read on line, somebody more complex than a mashup maker). Assuming commercial and academic research identify, recognise and document these emerging trends – will this enrichment and evolution in the new pull paradigm create further buses of opportunity for Irish companies to miss?

The three major difficulties faced by Irish companies in relation to these new opportunities are replications of the same difficulties faced when the Irish games industry struggled to get off the ground in the early nineties:

  • Ignorance
  • Access to finance
  • Inertia.

    Ignorance: back in the nineties, companies, agencies, institutions and individuals could throw their hands up and say they simply did not know about the games evolution. The difference today of course is the information and research is all over the web 2.0 internet and also in the hands of the broadcast industry. The difficulty lies in the complexity of these changes, the average GD.ie reader may already be bored with this. BUT….there really is a critical mass of decision makers out there who do not know, who do not understand. Can we then perhaps educate them ?….see two of the previous GD articles by Tony Kelly, or Dave Bustard, Darryl Charles and Emmet Kilbride for some contextual understanding of the challenges of educating the non decision making strata.

    Access to finance: if you wanna make food for thought, develop a recipe, buy yourself some ingredients, cooking utensils and equipment, get HACCP approval and cook your stuff, package it up appropriately and bring it along to a distributor, wholesaler or buyer and if they like the taste, the profit margin and sales potential, you are in business. Now what distributor or buyer can give you a deal if you can only present a recipe and a couple of ingredients? Superficially an idiotic analogy but the standard situation Irish media technology start-up companies find themselves in when trying to get new product ideas off the ground.

    Bear in mind that very few new cross platform/360 product prototypes can be developed by anything less than a small multidisciplinary team and we enter into costs in a big way. Costs need to be funded. Assume only three people on an average industrial wage of €600 per week for let’s say 18 months, throw in a few overheads and some expenditure on hardware and software and we already have a basic finance requirement of 150K minimum. Who is going to give you 150k for a recipe and a few ingredients?

    Well actually if you are making a film, the Irish Film Board may lend you the money, if you are creating theatre or sculpture the arts council can provide levels of funding. If you are making a television programme you can apply to the BCI or seek a commission from a major broadcaster. Most Irish financial institutions will give you finance if the project is actually bricks and mortar. Does all of this boil back down to the risks and ignorance associated with betting on our industry? Have a go creating a digital media recipe and decide for yourself.

    Inertia: How often have we seen success stories come along and shake us up? We have been fortunate here on GD: Demonware, Havok and Upstart are all companies that progressed through the recipe stage to establish themselves in the field. Most making the technology furrows, most five to ten year overnight successes. Start-ups are subject to technology cycles and the ebb and flow of financial markets – markets which consist of one third trade and two thirds speculation. The bets made in the technology field cannot be safe bets, speculators who are attracted to technology punts equally must be prepared to loose their money if they are prepared for large returns on the next potential killer app. These bets need to change in tandem with the changing dynamics of their target industries, but they don’t appear to, they stand still, we see old thinking being applied to new imperatives. Brian Cowen did his bit, despite the protestations of the unions, the BES scheme has changed to something approaching realistic levels to fund a 360 project punt. So where are these punters? Where are the funds and funders and the tuned in infrastructure to enable it?

    MIP happens again in October 2007, like Arnie the Koreans will be back, the rest of the world will also be there. Will anything change for Irish companies looking for breaks in the mobile or multiplatform pavilions? I.e. now that the Irish housing boom has slowed down, our games industry is no longer the large teenage elephant in the room and waves of recognition are beginning to settle on our traditional media shores. Will things change for the next wave of games/digital/multiplatform/360 start-ups?

    Oddly enough I am personally optimistic about the future, there is a lot of ground level development and activity in these fields. Seed capital is again coming on-line, the Digital Hub, the Digital Media Association, our IGDA, new blood or renewed vigour within support and government funded agencies, a greater drive towards innovation, more private cash and greater understanding of the issues, Steve and his Trinity course as main evening news, digital technology shifting to the centre and mainstream and of course the most significant of all, the emergence of a new generation of Irish technology entrepreneurs free from old bogged down eighties bollix of belt tightening and blind pessimism.

    If new opportunities are to be grasped, if we as an industry or nation are to ride the next wave of cultural and technological convergence then we can only drive that as individuals – if you already recognised that, then you can combine quotes by Bill Gates, Adam Smith and Oscar Wilde to support it in the appendix of your next 360 business plan. Let me finish by offering this old but somehow apt Douglas Adams quote to any over thirties or TV people that might inadvertantly read this article on a lunch break: ‘A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the universe and move bits of it about.’

    Author Bio
    clevercelt went to MIPTV 07 with Irish company Dime under the EU Media Programme Sponsored ‘Marketplace’ Programme. Mick is a father, husband, son, creative director, writer, designer, director, programmer, producer, student, commercial researcher and management professional with experience in theatre, multimedia, TV, games, education, technology, digital media and pitch and toss. He’s a member of the IGDA steering committee, the digital media association, the international High IQ society, the woolly jumper liars appreciation society and lots of other stuff. PM him if you want to annoy him.

    Links and more info:
    MIPTV
    Digital Media Association
    The Digital Hub –
    Babelgum – http://www.babelgum.com/jobs/

  • Edinburgh Interactive Fest Early Bird

    Early bird rate ends at Midnight GMT on Tuesday 31st July 2007

    The Edinburgh Interactive Festival offers you the chance to join leading figures from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, EA, Eidos, SCi, BBC, Gamestation, Virgin, Rare, 19, Endemol, Ubisoft, Linden Labs and many others for two days of networking, conference, screenings and discussion.

    Conference kicks off on Monday 13th August with a keynote from Ubisoft President Yves Guillemot. On Tuesday 14th August the packed event also plays host to the Edinburgh Interactive Game Screenings. There’s the prestigious EDGE Award, plus a networking reception at 6.30pm on the first day. There are also major speeches from the BBC, 19, Endemol, Sony and others.

    The interactive festival is part of the wider Edinburgh arts and culture festival and the final winenrs of the Dare to be Digital competition will be announced around this time also.

    For a full programme of speeches, events and to ensure your registration, visit www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com.

    Ludic Engagement Conf: Leda 2007

    Ludic Engagement Designs for All: LEDA 2007
    29-30 November 2007
    Aalborg University Esbjerg, Denmark

    LEDA 2007 have confirmed four keynote speakers for their November conference along with their second call for papers.

    The conference will focus on user’s interactive, play and learning experiences in relation to toys and games discussing concepts and characteristics of aesthetics and design in relation to the ludic engagement.

    LEDA 2007 promises to be an informal and highly interactive symposium with distinguished invited speakers and session leaders on specific topics, and demonstrations. A cross-disciplinary event it will be organized around presentations of empirical, theoretical and methodological nature which will be supplemented by interactive sessions and demos.

    Keynote speakers confirmed are:

    * Caroline Hummels: PhD and researcher at the Technical University of Eindhoven, Department of Industrial Design, Designing Quality in Interaction
    * Katie Salen: Executive Director of the non-profit organization Gamelab Institute of Play, as well as an Associate Professor in the Design and Technology program, Parsons the New School for Design
    * Patrice Chazerand: Secretary General of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE)
    * Staffan Selander: PhD, Professor at Stockholm Institute of Education and head of the research group DidaktikDesign

    The symposium will be held in parallel with the International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence (ICAT 2007) and the International Conference ArtAbilitation 2007.

    The deadline for submissions of papers and/or interactive sessions is 15th August 2007.

    More info on the event can be found at http://www.aaue.dk/~tonybrooks/LEDA/

    World Cybergames Qualifier (Dub)

    The 2nd qualifier for the world cybergames competition will be in conjunction with GameCon in Dublin.

    Date: Friday 17th – Sunday 19th August 2007
    Time: TBC
    Venue: Griffith College Conference Centre, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
    Capacity: 250 participants
    Event site: www.gamecon.ie
    Venue site: www.conferencecenter.ie

    Ludic Engag, Designs For All ’07

    Ludic Engagement Designs for All: LEDA 2007
    29-30 November 2007
    Aalborg University Esbjerg, Denmark

    The conference will focus on user’s interactive, play and learning experiences in relation to toys and games discussing concepts and characteristics of aesthetics and design in relation to the ludic engagement.

    More info on the event can be found at http://www.aaue.dk/~tonybrooks/LEDA/

    Ba In Animation At Dliadt

    If your talent is traditional drawing, your interests include classic animation and you aspire to being a member of a game development team, then perhaps you have what it takes to become a games animator.

    Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology (DLIADT) provides a BA degree in animation. While the course provides most of the required skills for a games animator, it’s emphasis on theory of animation, the core skills required and the history of the art-form, give graduates a good store of flexible skills.

    Course co-ordinator Thelma Chambers emphasises that the course is designed with integration in mind – it is intended that graduates will be able to integrate their work in a wide variety of media forms.

    In first year the course concentrates mainly on 2D animation and the hands-on building of 3-D models. Once this foundation has been laid students are taught modern animation packages like 3DSMAX and Flash from scratch, no previous knowledge of these programs is assumed.

    The course is linked with the course in radio production which also runs at DLIADT, giving students access to full recording studio and audio mixing facilities at the college.

    The final project requirement operates on a “menu” system enabling students to either focus on one kind of animation (3-D for example) or to present a lot of shorts in different styles and formats. The course provides 720 hours of time for completion of this project.

    In the past, graduates from the school have gone to work for games companies in the U.K. but most graduates enter into film, advertising and internet work. The course is full-time for four years with no part-time option, but if you are interested and would like to learn the basics there is a programme which runs on Saturday mornings aimed at school leavers in particular.

    Essentials:
    Location: Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland
    Course: B.A. in Animation
    Duration: 2 years
    Course Strengths:
    Provides students with skills needed for games animation and more, includes a solid basis in theory and principles of animation.

    Course weaknesses:
    There are no major games industry links to speak of, the course provides only minimal exposure to programming (Flash).

    Bsc. In Multimedia At Dcu

    Among the many third level courses now available in Ireland which providing training in the development of interactive media is the 4 year BSc. in Multimedia at Dublin City University. We spoke to lecturer Declan Tuite who teaches a number of modules on the course. <br /><br />Of particular relevance are modules in “Dramatic Authoring for the Web”, “Digital Audio” and “Programming for Multimedia”. In these modules students develop skills in character development and user engagement, soundtrack design, aesthetics and psychoacoustics and key programming principles respectively.<br /><br />Work is cross platform, with projects developed for PC, Mac and web. Audio development equipment used includes Pro Tools Digi 001 and a broadcast level Pro Tools AV studio is also available. Authoring for multimedia emphasizes the organisation of code and encourages re-useable objects and set pieces for interactive design and information architectures.<br /><br />A module in 3D Modelling and animation uses Cinema 4D. There are options during the course which facilitate specialisation in a given area of multimedia production, be it audio, video or imaging. All are of equal relevance to games design. Other software used on the course includes Director Shockwave Studio, Flash, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator while Digital Video (D9 format) and Stills cameras along with minidisk recording equipment are available. <br /><br />Students go on work experience placement in their third year of the course in order to establish industry links and build a familiarity with the way in which multimedia businesses operate. Placement in games companies would be acceptable for this period but to date no students have secured such a placement.<br /><br />The first graduates from this course will appear in 2003 and there are 50 places on the course every year. Final projects proposed include a broad range of multimedia productions, from animated narratives to online/networked games, research based projects and DVD/CD-ROM productions. There is no part time option. <br /><br />The only games industry links are by association with the research centre for Society, Technology and Media (STeM) at D.C.U, which is behind the online resource gamedevelopers.ie. Two students from the BSc. in Multimedia developed that website while on work experience. <br /><br />Essentials:<br /><br />Location: Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.<br /><br />Course: B.Sc. in Multimedia<br /><br />Duration: 4 years<br /><br />Course Strengths: <br />Interactive design, theory of narrative & traditional media, broad media basis, 3D Modelling, object oriented approach to web programming for Shockwave and Flash. Large web emphasis.<br /><br />Course Weaknesses:<br />No study of more commonly used games programming languages (C++, OpenGL, JAVA).<br /><br />More info: <LINK><ADDRESS>http://www.dcu.ie</ADDRESS><LTEXT>www.dcu.ie</LTEXT></LINK>

    Bsc. In Computer Applications At Dcu

    The production of games requires programmers to write complex engines for graphics and artificial intelligence, among other functions. In order to develop these kinds of applications, programmers must have a broad range of skills in planning, design and implementation in different computer programming languages.

    Dublin City University provides, within it’s four-year B.Sc. in Computer Applications, many of the core skills which games programming requires. Senior lecturer David Sinclair specified Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Concurrent Programming, Distributed Programming and Multimedia Technologies as being the most relevant modules on the course.

    David, who used to teach a module on the course specifically aimed at games programming (now removed), mentioned that these modules cover programming concepts essential to games programming. The two most popular languages used for games programming (C++ and Java) are both taught on the course.

    Regarding options, students choose between three threads in the second year of the course after completing the common core. The threads are Computer Science, Information Systems and Software Engineering, but Mr. Sinclair mentioned that all three threads cover the essential topics mentioned above.

    We could not get information on any graduates who have entered into games development careers although some graduates are conducting relevant postgraduate research. The course can accept up to 300 applicants per year.

    The final project is presented in fourth year and, while it must be pre-approved by the faculty, there is scope for games-related development within its requirements. In the past students have used the project to experiment with games related artificial intelligence.

    There are no direct games industry links to speak of but Mr. Sinclair stated that this course produces software developers (“coders” in gaming rhetoric) who can transfer their skills to many industries not least interactive entertainment.

    There is a part-time option (evenings) which provides the same qualification.

    Essentials:
    Location: Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
    Course: BSc. in Computer Applications
    Duration: 4 years
    Course Strengths:
    Artificial intelligence, multimedia technology, advanced software engineering practices.
    Course Weaknesses:
    No specific games related modules.

    More info: www.computing.dcu.ie

    Ba & Bsc (Evenings) In Computer Science, Tcd

    The computer science department in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) offers a full-time 4-year BA in Computer Science as well as a 4-year evening course for a BSc. in Computer Science.

    We spoke to Carol O’Sullivan, who teaches the computer graphics (optional) module to fourth year students. In the first three years the course can be divided into 45% software, 35% hardware and 20% mathematics. There is some study of the social uses and implications of computing. Programming languages covered include JAVA and C++ and both the UNIX and Windows 2000 operating systems are included. C++ is one of the more popular programming languages used for games today while hybrids of JAVA are growing more and more popular as a means of programming games for mobile handsets.

    Carol’s work is almost exclusively in real-time interactive computer graphics, covering display hardware, image processing, 2D and 3D transformations, rendering and OpenGL. Students of computer graphics are advised to use 3DSMAX to create models for their work. Although it is not taught on the course, there are copies of 3DSMAX installed for use by students on the course.

    Graduates from the course include the CEO and founder of Havok, Hugh Reynolds. Havok produce complex game middleware and 3D software for platforms including all the major games consoles and Macromedia’s ShockWave 3D technology. Many graduates of the programme go on to do post graduate study in the field of real-time interactive graphics.

    The only direct link with the gaming industry at present is with Havok, who have recruited from the programme.

    Essentials: Location: Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
    Courses: BA in Computer Science, BSc in Computer Science (Evenings)
    Duration: Both 4 years
    Course Strengths: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Programming C++, Programming JAVA. Course Weaknesses: Very technical, 3D packages are available but not taught.
    More Info: http://www.cs.tcd.ie

    Btec National Diploma In Media Production (Games Dev), Causeway Institute

    The production of games requires a unique set of skills, which covers disciplines in design, media, the visual arts, audio, story development and programming. In 2004 the Northern Regional College developed the first nationally approved Level 3 Course in Games Development.

    EDEXCEL in association with the Northern Regional College and the UK’s largest game publisher Eidos have developed the course content, assessment and delivery strategies to meet the needs of this evolving and exciting Industry.

    The Games Development course team work closely with Eidos and all of their development studios (such as Crystal Dynamics, Pivotal and Beautiful Games Studio) to ensure unit structure and content are relevant, industry specific and match the requirements of SkillSet (the Sector Skills Council for audio visual industries).

    Eidos exclusively endorse the College’s course structure and delivery methods, and provide resource materials for student learning. This industrial link ensures students experience enriched training and opportunities to meet Games Industry professionals during guest lectures from Eidos personnel.

    The following course units are subject to QCA approval.

    Core Units

  • Research Techniques for the Media Industries
  • Pre-Production Techniques for the Media Industries
  • Production Management Project
  • Professional Brief
  • Critical Approaches to Media Products

    Specialist Units

  • Working in the Games Industry
  • Digital Graphics for Interactive Media
  • Games Platforms and Technologies

    Additional Units may include

  • Digital Graphics
  • 3D Animation
  • 3D Environments
  • 3D Modelling
  • Games Engines
  • Game Story Development
  • Games Design
  • Sound for Games
  • Object Oriented Design
  • Web Animation for Interactive Media
  • Drawing Concept Art for Games

    For more details see THIS LINK

  • Bsc. In Computer Science & Software Engineering, Nuim

    If you harbour an ambition to become a games coder, NUI Maynooth offers a course in general Computer Science and Software Engineering which can provide training in most of the skills and concepts required. As is the trend with these kinds of courses, the course director Dr. Adam Winstanley specified that the course is not specifically aimed at games production but certainly has relevance.

    From first to third year students have no options and cover a core which includes programming, mainly in JAVA and object oriented development. In third year students go on a 6 month work placement in industry and in the past some have worked for Microsoft as part of their Xbox team here in Ireland.

    In fourth year there are no compulsory modules; instead students must pick nine out of an available seventeen, although this varies from year to year depending on resources. There is, Mr. Winstanley told us, a proposal for a fourth year module in computer gaming being processed at the moment, but this is not certain to be approved. There is a fourth year module in Computer Graphics.

    The course is relatively new, having had only one graduating year at time of writing To date there is no record of any graduates going to work in the gaming industry. There is a maximum capacity of 100 students per year, most years however, take-up of the course is lower due to the minimum requirements set by the faculty.

    The final project requirement makes up 25% of fourth year marks. Suggestions are posted to the class and students choose from these suggestions. There is also the opportunity for students to come up with their own proposal but they need to get it approved and supervised by a faculty member. Most final year projects concentrate on web applications and scientific computing. Games related projects are very rare.

    There is no part time option but interestingly, Computer Science is available under the arts system at Maynooth so students have the option of combining Computer with another arts subject e.g. music.

    The course has no specific games industry links but through work placement has developed a relationship with wireless operators 02 and Motorola.

    Essentials:
    Location: National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
    Duration: 4 years
    Course: BSc. Computer Science and Software Engineering
    Course Strengths:
    Industry placement, transferable skills, artificial intelligence, computer graphics.

    Course Weaknesses
    Constraints in final project system, limited industry links.

    More info: www.cs.may.ie

    Postgraduate Diploma/Msc In Computer Games Development, Lyit

    The Post-graduate Diploma at Letterkenny IT is a one year (two semester) taught programme in computing which focuses on topics applicable to the computer games programming and development industry. Its aim is to take a computing graduate, or graduate with equivalent qualifications, and supplement their skills and knowledge in readiness to begin a career in computer games development.

    The subjects covered on the post-graduate diploma are:

    Semester 1:
    Games Programming 1
    The Mathematics and Physics of Game Environments
    Game Design
    3D Animation and 3D Modelling

    Semester 2:
    Games Programming 2
    Game Technologies and Entrepreneurship
    Team Project
    2D and 3D Graphics

    The core programming language used in the course is C++. After a quick review of topics such as the STL and data structures the programming elements of the course focuses on OpenGL and DirectX. The Animation subject uses 3DS-Max and the Torc Instinct Engine. When developing the course we worked closely with industry and this cooperation has continued into the delivery of the course. For example, Mark Cullen, from Torc Interactive is delivering the Game Design module and a number of industry players are giving guest lectures and talks. The Team Project will allow students to enhance their portfolio or potential employers and an Entrapreneurship element has been added in recognition of the fact that some graduates
    will aspire to set up their own games companies. The college is keen to work with and facilitate such graduates.

    To attain the Masters qualification an additional dissertation component must be completed. The dissertation will offer the student the opportunity to demonstrate extended knowledge and abilities in areas suggested by topics covered in the Post-graduate Diploma. The dissertation will be agreed during the initial taught phase of the course to allow the student to undertake background research over the summer break. After the summer break the dissertation will normally be completed over one full-time semester (September to Christmas) although it may be completed part-time over two semesters (September to Easter).

    Entry Requirements
    Admission to this programme will be by standard application procedure for Post-graduate programmes. The requirement for entry to the proposed programme will be an Honours Degree in Computing with first, or second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. Applicants will be required to attend an interview.

    Progression Requirements
    To continue from the Post-graduate Diploma in Computer Games Development to the Master of Science in Computer Games Development the candidate must obtain a passing grade in each module plus a 50% average mark over the 8 taught modules of the Post-graduate Diploma.

    For further information please see the college web site at www.lyit.ie or email
    thomas.dowling@lyit.ie

    Msc. In Multimedia At Dcu

    Students of many disciplines are seeing the potential of new and interactive media as a tool for exploring and expanding traditional fields. The MSc. in Multimedia at Dublin City University intends to facilitate these people and provides training for postgraduates in development of interactive products for many platforms. <br /><br />Modules of relevance to games development include “Dramatic Authoring for the Web”, “Multimedia Sound and Music” and “Authoring for Multimedia”. These explore character development and user engagement with narrative, soundtrack aesthetics and psychoacoustics and object oriented programming for multimedia respectively. <br /><br />Production focused modules are integrated with theory based modules which explore a wide variety of media from film to TV and games, giving the students a broad source for critical understanding of multimedia.<br /><br />Production work is done in a cross platform (PC/Mac/Web) environment using, among other programs, Director, Flash, Pro Tools LE, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D and After Effects.<br /><br />The course lasts 1 year and can accommodate 25 students each year. Three graduates from the course are now involved in games related research or work. <br /><br />There is a final project requirement that in the past has included proposals for networked or online games; cd-rom productions, installations and DVD based products.<br /><br />There is no part time option and the only link the course has with the games industry is by association with STeM, the Centre for Society, Media and Technology at D.C.U. who are responsible for the gamedevelopers.ie online resource. <br /><br />Essentials:<br /><br />Location: Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.<br /><br />Course: MSc. in Multimedia<br /><br />Duration: 1 year<br /><br /><br />Course Strengths: <br />Interactive design, theory of narrative & traditional media, broad media basis, object oriented approach to web programming for Shockwave and Flash.<br /><br />Course Weaknesses:<br />No study of more commonly used games programming languages (C++, OpenGL, JAVA).<br /><br />More info: <LINK><ADDRESS>http://www.dcu.ie</ADDRESS><LTEXT>www.dcu.ie</LTEXT></LINK>

    Msc. In Multimedia Technology At Tcd

    If you have completed an undergraduate course and would like to turn your attention towards the gaming industry there are a variety of postgraduate courses with an emphasis on the field of interactive digital media. The MSc. in Multimedia Technology at TCD is one such course.

    The entry requirements state that “good honours graduates from any discipline” are admitted. In conversation with course co-ordinator, Nina Bresnihan, we were told that a 2:1 result from an undergraduate degree is a good level to aim for, although applicants have been accepted with lower results based upon individual merit. Successful applicants have come from many different backgrounds, some with a specific interest in games development.

    The course appears to have a distinct bias towards web-based multimedia and in the past some graduates have founded successful multimedia web design companies. However, Ms. Bresnihan pointed out that the course is currently evolving with students this year commencing a module in Interactive 3-D. This new module includes study of VRML and Shockwave 3D – both used to deliver 3-D gaming experiences over the web.

    Although some groups have created online games for their final project , we could not trace any graduates who have become games developers. At present there are no notable games industry links with this course.

    All modules on the course are compulsory. The modules of most relevance include Java Programming, Graphics Processing, Digital Audio, the Interactive 3-D module already mentioned and the study of interactive narrative.

    Aside from the final project, a thesis is expected from every participant in March. While subject matter of this must be approved, the range of topics covered is very wide, therefore scope is available for research into game related topics.

    There are 30 places on this course each year and applications should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Offices at TCD. The course is available on a full-time basis only.

    Essentials:
    Location: Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
    Course: MSc. In Multimedia Technologies
    Duration: 1 year full-time
    Course Strengths:
    Study of 3-D with a strong bias towards web delivery, large emphasis on theory, study of interactive narrative, digital audio.
    Course Weaknesses:
    Little or no games-related industrial input, minimal focus on console and PC gaming.
    More Info: www.cs.tcd.ie/courses/mscmm

    Bsc In Computing (Multimedia) At Dliadt

    Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology is one of many third level institutions in Ireland to have embraced the emerging discipline of multimedia. The National Diploma in Computing at Dun Laoghaire is a three year computing course during which students specialise in multimedia production. Students can opt to do an additional one year if they wishs to obtain a degree.

    Modules of relevance to games developers include Multimedia Authoring and Multimedia Communications. A lot of programming in Action Script and Lingo is covered, indicating a strong emphasis on the web as the interactive medium. Maths is studied as a tool for conceptualization and 3D modelling.

    3D Studio Max, Director and Flash are the three major pieces of authorware available to students and taught on the course. Students who take the 1 year add-on B.Sc. course cover OpenGL – the graphics programming language behind many windows games. There are no optional modules on the course.

    We spoke to Rupert Westrup at Dun Laoghaire who, while unable to say if any graduates have gone to work in games development, did say that many of the final projects submitted by students are shockwave or flash games. Of these various examples include flight sims, driving games, first person shooters and multi-user network games. Some students have also applied their programming skills to visualizations, for example simulating the movement of a flock of birds.

    The courses have had some input from the staff at Havok in the form of guest lectures and consultation with students but industry links are sparse.

    Overall, the computing courses at Dun Laoghaire provide a good basis for an aspiring web developer and many of the programming concepts which could be applied to gaming.

    Essentials:
    Location: Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland
    Course: BSc. In Computing (Multimedia)
    Duration: 4 years
    Course Strengths:
    Provides students with the skills needed to program games for the web as well as core programming skills transferable to other media. A good all-round course with design and business content also.

    Course weaknesses:
    There are no major games industry links. The course does not produce games, rather multimedia programmers, who could transfer their skils to the games market.

    Hnc In Interactive Computer Entert., Nwife

    Launched in September 2003, the North West Institute for Further and Higher Education in Derry (NWIFHE) offers a one year Higher National Certificatein Interactive Computing Entertainment (ICE). It is aimed at students who wish to work in the computer games industry. Stuents get to work use Torc Interactive’s Instinct Engine.

    Structure
    Induction (To include introduction to games industry and history)
    3D Game Project (Value 2 Units) Spans 2 semesters and culminates in 3D game demo with audio.
    Semester 1 (4 single value units)
    Introduction to Programming for Games
    Mathematics for Games Programming
    2D Graphics and Engine Tools
    Computer Game Fundamentals
    Semester 2 (4 single value units)
    Development Using 3D Engine
    3D Game Programming
    3D Computer Graphics for Games
    Computer Music Production
    Description of units
    INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING FOR GAMES
    An understanding of the general principles and concepts of programming underpins much of the knowledge in any course in computing or IT.
    Being a core unit, this seeks to provide the fundamental ideas and opportunities to develop and reinforce basic programming skills. Students will develop programs of increasing complexity, using Microsoft Visual C++. The skills learned are transferable to other areas within the ICT industry but will be geared towards programming sprite based platform games. In doing so, students will become familiar with all the concepts involved in programming games.
    MATHEMATICS FOR GAMES PROGRAMMING
    This unit is an introduction to some of the mathematical concepts and techniques which will be required by games programmers. To develop the mathematical skills necessary for games programming the following areas are covered:
    – Understand number systems and their role in games programming
    – Gain an understanding of the elementary techniques of algebra and geometry:
    Introduce the ideas of matrices and vectors and define the abstract structure of a vector space:
    – Gain an understanding of the mathematical concepts and methods used for games programming:
    – Interpret sets and propositions given in mathematical notation.
    – Understand the use of Exponentials in games programming
    – The unit aims are to allow the student to appreciate the mathematical knowledge required for games programming and prepare him/her for more advanced concepts of mathematics in relation to games programming.

    2D Graphics and Engine Tools
    The aim of this unit is twofold: to create and manipulate 2D digital graphics and sprites and to use these in a 2D engine to produce a simple game.
    This will involve
    – Accessing, handling and working with images.
    – Demonstrating the ability to use image manipulation tools and techniques.
    – Demonstrating the ability to manipulate images in a 2D game development tool.
    – Creating a fully functional 2D game using a 2D Engine.

    Computer Game Fundamentals
    – In this unit students will learn the history of computer games and research milestones in both software and platforms. They will consider how ideas, information and feelings can be conceptualised, transformed and conveyed through narrative descriptions and story boarding techniques.

    Students will be able to transfer historical knowledge and research to applications developed in other units.

    3D GAME PROGRAMMING
    This module will concentrate on techniques commonly used in computer games production and on the common ground that most object-oriented programming languages share.
    The module will also introduce 3D and Audio APIs, available as COM (Component Object Model) objects. E.g. DirectX and OpenGL. These APIs provide objects and functions for developing real-time, high-performance graphics applications on the Windows platform.
    3D Computer Graphics for Games
    This unit aims to give the student an understanding of the principles and practical applications of 3D computer modelling and animation using 3D Studio Max, an industry standard 3D Graphics application. The unit will enable students to visualise and design three dimensional worlds/maps, and characters. It will provide opportunities to review the work of existing 3D environments and characters.

    Development Using 3D Engine
    Most commercial game development companies will either create or use an existing 3D Game Engine. Engines are basically APIs that sit between graphics libraries, such as DirectX and OpenGL, and a completed 3D game. While the 3D Game Programming unit introduces students to graphics libraries, this unit will introduce a commercial 3D game engine.
    Students will gain an understanding of the general principles of building a 3D game in the way that industry expects. They will learn how to put a game together using components such as the level editor, materials editor, artificial intelligence editor and physics engine.
    While some of the outcomes from this unit are similar to other units the method of producing them are different. Students learn the fundamentals of a 3D engine in the 3D Game Programming unit and make use of them in this unit.
    Computer Music Production
    The aim of this unit is to analyse and apply the techniques and procedures involved in the production of music involving computers and related technologies. It examines a range of hardware and software options with a view to integrating them within the production process and the individual creative resource.
    Audio samples produced in this unit can be used in the 3D Game project.
    ADVANCED 3D GAME PROJECT
    This unit will form a central part in the development of the student’s ability to link and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the programme to produce a fully functional one level game. The unit will encourage team work but assessment will be based on individual work.

    Students will undertake a complete and realistic project and successfully complete it within the time constraint imposed, working within a group and individually when necessary. The project will span all the lifecycle stages for the development of a computer game, from planning to story-boarding, implementation and maintenance. The project may be assigned by the college or by the students and agreed by the college.
    Essentials
    Location: Strand Road, LondonDerry, Northern Ireland.
    Course: Higher National Certificate in Interactive Computer Entertainment
    Duration: 1 year
    More www.nwifhe.ac.uk

    Computer Game Design & Development, St. John’s College, Cork

    St John’s College Cork

    This course is aimed at individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the computer games industry. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of computer game development and will also learn how ideas can be transformed and conveyed through computer graphics and storyboarding techniques .Students also study programming in C+ and Visual Basic as well as mathematics for computing and elements of computer animation.

    Duration : One year full time

    Certification :FETAC (NCVA): – Information Technology, Level 5, CITXX

    http://www.stjohnscollege.ie/index.php?pageID=37

    Bsc Hons Computing (Digital Games Development), Uu

    This course at the the University of Ulster, Coleraine enables a student to study for a computing degree with a specialist theme of computer game development. The focus of the course is on game design and programming for modern games platforms, for example, in the past students have been taught about game creation for the PC, Xbox, PS2 and mobile phones. Research at Coleraine is strong in computer game AI, internet and network systems, as well as mainstream Artificial Intelligence, and these themes feature strongly in lectures. The course overview is illustrated in the following table:

    Year/Sem BSc Hons Computing (Digital Games Development)
    1/1 Programming I Databases Computing Foundations
    1/2 Programming II Information Systems Computer Technology
    1/2 Advanced Programming Internet Applications / Multimedia Concepts Networks
    2/1 Systems Applications Professional Issues / Multimedia Practice Introduction to Computer Games (2D Technology)
    3 Industrial Placement
    4/1 E-Business Applications Development Computer Game Design & Development(3D Technology)
    4/2 Final Year Game Development Project 3-D Modeling and Rendering Option (a) & (b)
    Options (a) Options (b)
    1 From:
    Machine Learning and Data Mining
    Operational Research Methods
    Image Processing
    1 From:
    Advanced Computer Networks
    Advanced Database Systems
    Intelligent Systems

    More information on the games aspect of our computing degree contact Dr Darryl Charles dk.charles@ulster.ac.uk or have a look at our web portal: www.infc.ulst.ac.uk/computing/games.php

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

    The games research website is here:
    http://games.infc.ulst.ac.uk/

    Bsc. In Computer Games Development, Lyit

    Overview
    In September 2005 Letterkenny Institute of Technology is launching it’s B.Sc. in Computer Games Development. This course has been developed with the help of computer game companies. It covers key skills, methods and techniques used in the development of computer games.

    Course Structure
    The B.Sc. is a three year taught programme in computing, which focuses on core computing skills plus topics applicable to the computer games programming/development industry. Its aim is to provide students who participate in it with the range of both theoretical and practical skills required for them to participate fully in a strong and vibrant computing industry with a particular emphasis on computer games development. In designing this course we have ensured that there is also a strong emphasis on game design, media content and teamwork. In addition graduates from this course will be able to do a one-year add-on Honours BSc in Computer Games Development.

    Entry Requirements
    The basic entry requirements for this course is six passes in the Leaving Certificate, including Mathematics and English or Irish. For students from Northern Ireland: Minimum entrance requirements are 1 A Level along with 5 GCSE passes at grade C including English and Mathematics. Alternatively a Pass in GNVQ Advanced or a BTEC National Diploma will gain entry.

    BSc in Computer Games Development – Subjects:

    Year 1:
    Computer Game Design and Development Technologies 1
    Games Programming 1
    Software Design 1
    Communications
    Mathematics
    Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

    Year 2:
    Computer Game Design and Development Technologies 2
    Games Programming 2
    Software Design 2
    Graphics and Physical Modelling
    Systems Analysis and Design
    Database Technology

    Year 3:
    Computer Game Design and Development Technologies 3
    Games Programming 3
    Team Project (Design and develop elements of a computer game)
    Software Design 3
    Systems Development
    Data Communications and Networking

    Bsc In Multimedia And Computer Games Development, Ul

    First offered in Autumn 2005

    Run by:
    Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS),
    Department of Mathematics and Statistics (MS)
    College of Informatics and Electronics (CIE)

    Rationale:
    These students will learn the art and science of computer games programming and aesthetics. The ultimate objective is to produce graduate programmers with computer games creation and design specialisms. In order to achieve this, students will learn underlying scientific concepts from Computer Science, such as: graphics, AI, game theory, gaming mechanics and modelling.

    Aims and Objectives of the Programme
    The key aims of the proposed course B.Sc. (Hons) in Multimedia and Computer Games Development programme are to provide students with: · A competence in Programming, in System Analysis, and integration of software components; · Knowledge of the various digital media and digital media technologies. · Knowledge in areas such as the human computer interface and theories of perception which will enable the student to select appropriate representations in computer gaming situations.

    Modules

    Year 1 Semester 1 Year 1 Semester 2
    CS: Computer Applications CS: Representation and Modelling
    CS4411: Imperative Programming 1 CS4512: Imperative Programming 2
    CS4111: Computer Science 1 CS4112: Computer Science 2
    CS4211: Computer Organisation 1 CS4212: Computer Organisation 2
    MA4402: Computer Mathematics MS4111: Discrete Mathematics
    Year 2 Semester 1 Year 2 Semester 2
    CS4815: Computer Graphics CS4115: Data Structures and Algorithms
    CS: Object Oriented Development CS4225: Computer Networks
    MA4403: Statistics for Computing CS4826: Human Computer Interaction
    CS: Games Modelling Design CS: Software Testing and Inspection
    CS: Digital Video Fundamentals CS: Intelligent Systems
    Year 3 Semester 1 Year 3 Semester 2
    CS: Perceptual Systems and Multimedia CO4220 Co-operative Education
    CS: Operating Systems
    CS4513: Introduction to Systems Analysis
    CS: Digital Audio Fundamentals
    CS: Computer Graphics tools and technique
    Year 4 Semester 1 Year 4 Semester 2
    CS: Multimedia Games Project 1 CS: Multimedia Games Project 2
    CS4135: Software Architectures CS4416: Database Systems
    CS: Multimedia Industry Perspectives CS4125: Systems Analysis and Design
    CS: Machine Learning and AI for Games CS4226: Distributed Systems
    CS: Writing Games Analysis CS4358: Interactive Multimedia

    Entry Qualifications
    Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with at least Grade C3 in two Higher Level subjects and Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects (including Mathematics; Irish or another language; and English).

    In addition, applicants are required to hold at least the following in the Leaving Certificate, or an approved equivalent: Grade B2 in Ordinary Level Mathematics (Grade D2 in Higher Level Mathematics also suffices).

    Cooperative Education and Work Practice
    In semester two of year three students will have an eight month co-operative education placement, either in Ireland or abroad.

    For more information contact:
    Dr. Nikola S. Nikolov (Course Leader)
    E-mail: nikola.nikolov@ul.ie
    Homepage: http://www1.csis.ul.ie/staff/NikolaNikolov/

    Gcdc (Leipzig)

    GC Developers Conference (GCDC)

    Leipzig, Germany:

    August 20, 2007 to August 22, 2007

    See http://www.gcdc.eu/

    Geometric Algebra Workshop

    Event Date September 14, 2007
    Start Time 10 AM
    End Time 5 PM

    A one-day workshop on geometric algebra for computer games, computer animation and 3D computer graphics.

    Speakers: Prof. John Vince (Bournemouth University), Dr Chris Doran (Geomerics Ltd, Dr Joan Lasenby (Cambridge University) and Dr Hugh Vincent (Consultant)

    Venue
    The Moving Picture Company
    127 Wardour Street
    London
    W1F 0NL
    United Kingdom

    Organizer
    Event Mgmt. Bournemouth University
    Phone +44 (0)1202 965860
    Fax +44 (0) 1202 965530
    Email jpower@bmth.ac.uk

    Bafta Awards

    British Academy Video Game Awards, London.

    http://www.bavga.co.uk//EnteraGame.aspx

    Honours Degree In Computer Science, Dit

    The DIT Faculty of Science located in Kevin St., Dublin, has offered courses in Computing since 1983. We currently offer a range of full time and part time undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Of particular interest to prospective games developers are our Honours Degree in Computer Science (DT228) and our Honours Degree in Computing (DT211).

    The Honours Degree in Computer Science (DT228) runs for four years full time. It provides students with a wide range of practical skills required by games developers including programming in C, C++ and Java, computer maths and software engineering. In the third year of the course, students take a number of core subjects but also choose two out of four streams – Games Programming, Software Development and Internet Systems, Computer Systems Architecture and Administration or Data and Knowledge Management. All of the streams offer students the opportunity to undertake a six month work placement in the second semester of third year, which can games related.

    In the final year of their degree, students specialise in one of the two streams they have chosen in third year. Students choosing the games programming specialisation take six core subjects – Game Worlds, Mobile and Multi-user Games, Artificial Intelligence 1 & 2, Game Middleware and Game Behaviour. Students taking this stream have access to a cutting edge games programming lab. In the final year of the course students must also undertake a significant software project and games have always featured highly as choices for student projects. Students also choose two elective subjects which may include music technology, digital audio, geographic information systems, graphics, image processing and assistive technology among others.

    The Honours Degree in Computing (DT211) runs for four years full time, with the option of a certificate after two years or an ordinary degree after three years. This course has a practical focus and is designed to produce graduates that can work as software developers and hardware engineers in commercial and technological areas. This course similarly offers students a wide range of practical skills including programming, computer hardware, networking and databases. Elements of this course are offered in partnership with industry leaders including CISCO and Oracle. Students taking this course can opt for an internship in year three and four, where they spend up to two days per week on a supervised placement in the computer industry. In the fourth year of this course, students have access to the full range of electives including artificial intelligence, computer graphics, music technology and games programming.

    We hope that our courses offer students the flexibility to work at all levels and in many specialist areas of the computer industry including games development.

    Web Accessibility – Iia

    18 July – 2pm-5pm – Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4

    The IIA in partnership with iQ Content present a half day workshop on Accessibility 2.0. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web. An accessible website also means a better user experience for all visitors to your site. Many organisations are legally or ethically required to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), but the new WCAG 2.0 makes the definition of compliance ever more ambiguous.

    This workshop demystifies the new guidelines, clearly defines what they mean for you and your website, and offers advice on how to achieve compliance and enhance the usability of your site for all users. If accessibility is something you have to, or choose to, care about, then you won’t want to miss it.

    Date: Wednesday, 18th July 2007
    Cost: €145 Members (€210 Non-Members)

    Places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment.

    To register, view the full agenda and details, click here or email events@iia.ie

    Digra 07

    Interdisciplinary academic/industry event which takes place every two years.

    This year it moves to Toyko in Japan from the 24-28th of September, just after the Toyko Games Show.

    For more see http://www.digra2007.jp/

    Dare To Be Digital Prototype

    From 12th – 14th August, all the prototype games developed by the Dare to be Digital contestants will be on display for the public to play at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

    It will be held alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival during the Edinburgh festivals season in August.

    Visitors to Dare ProtoPlay will:

    * Be the first to play new video games created by the top young designers of the future
    * Be invited to participate in creating the world’s largest games storyboard
    * Discover how a game is made
    * Be a judge for the day by casting their vote for their favourite game.

    All this and a whole lot more…for free!

    Event details

    Our Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS www.dynamicearth.co.uk

    Dates & hours of opening

    Sunday 12th August 11am – 6pm

    Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th August 10am – 6pm

    Admission

    Entry is free, and there is no need to register

    Digra 07 Reg Open

    Registration for the DIGRA conference, taking place in September 2007, just after the Toyko Games Show in Japan, is now possible. See www.digra2007.jp/

    Two keynote speakers have been confirmed: Prof. Edward Castronova and Mr. Marc Prensky. Two prominent Japanese developers have also been invited.

    A summary of the program is available at http://www.digra2007.jp/Program.html. It is intended that a timetable will be available next month.

    A welcome reception (September 24) will be held at Sanjo Conference Hall at the University of Tokyo.
    http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/campusmap/cam01_00_02_j.html

    The banquet (September 28) will be held at Hotel Metropolitan Edmont, two stations away from the University of Tokyo by subway.
    https://apollon.nta.co.jp/07digra/perl/hotel.pl?&mode=info&hotel_master_id=2485

    Hotels in the vicinity of University of Tokyo are listed on the website.

    World Cybergames Ireland

    The date for The World Cyber Games Ireland 2007 has been announced. The Irish Qualifiers will take place in The Digital Hub from 15th – 16th Sept 2007. The world event will take place in Seattle, later in the year.

    This year the World Cyber Games Ireland will be running two regional competitions.

    The 1st qualifier will be in conjunction with Midlans in Co Westmeath.

    Date: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July 2007
    Time : 4pm start on Friday 20th
    Venue: Streete Community Centre, Streete, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
    Click here for a map
    www.midlans.net

    The 2nd qualifier will be in conjunction with GameCon in Dublin.

    Date: Friday 17th – Sunday 19th August 2007
    Time: TBC
    Venue: Griffith College Conference Centre, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
    Capacity: 250 participants
    Event site: www.gamecon.ie
    Venue site: www.conferencecenter.ie

    For more information see www.worldcybergamesireland.com

    Lab Workshops

    Some of the following workshops lmay interest those working on modding and using games as a means of artistic and political expression. One workshop looks at 8 bit music.

    The location is also great, i.e. northern Spain! So if you haven’t booked your holidays yet take a look.

    Aphra.

    ****************

    Modding, Reversing and Intervening in Today’s Gaming Worlds
    02.07.07 – 27.07.07

    CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

    In July LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries is organising four workshops exploring the intersections between videogames, art and reality today.

    Game hardware and software will be used for performances, activism and critique and participants will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the language of videogames and create new meanings and results.

    MODDING
    An intense workshop tackling the basic notions about modding and editing of Quake III Arena levels with the aid of open source code elements. In order to create fully redistributable games, participants will learn to generate interactive 3D contents for Quake III and to engineer new game features in the game engine’s source code.

    Workshop led by:
    JULIAN OLIVER (NZ) is an artist, educator and media theorist specialising in the development of free software. In 1998 he set up Select Parks, an artistic game development collective.

    Dates: 02. – 07. 07.2007
    Hours: 10 am – 2 pm & 4 – 7 pm

    15 participants, age +18, selected by CV and motivation letter in English
    Registration fee: 100 €
    Registration: www.laboralcentrodearte.org
    Deadline: 15.06.2007
    Working language: English
    Prior experience in programming and 3D modelling will be valued

    BORDERGAMES
    The Fiambrera Obrera team will work with digital cameras and image editing, teaching basic levels of 3D modelling as well as some “tricks” and activities related with their software: narrative design and characters, modelling and remodelling of scripts and characters. Participants will be involved in field work in the area of Gijon.

    Workshop led by:
    LA FIAMBRERA OBRERA (ES) is an open group that works in areas charged with a high degree of political and social conflict. Their methods are primarily direct action and intervention.

    Dates: 09. – 13.07.2007
    Workshop limited to members of Asociación Mar de Niebla
    Hours: 12 am – 2 pm & 4 – 8 pm
    Working language: Spanish

    ENTERING THE TERRITORIES OF SECOND LIFE

    This workshop explores SL as a platform for art expression, activism and critique. It will be led by a machinima professional, two media artists and a programmer who work on SL on a practical and theoretical level using it as an ideal platform to share ideas and to perform.
    Participants will learn through collaborative work how to make machinimas, how to write basic scripts and how to use SL as a platform for social action and artistic expression.

    Workshop led by:
    RICARD GRAS (ESP) is an artist, producer and director of machinima Europe Board. He explores new creative uses for technologies and relationships between art and the media. In 2003, he founded LA-INTERACTIvA, one of the companies that are officially in charge of the development of SL.

    KRISTIAN LUKIC (SERBIA) is a writer, artist and a cultural and game researcher. He is a program manager in New Media Center – kuda.org and the founder of Eastwood – Real Time Strategy Group and also of Napon – Institute for flexible culture and technologies.

    ILIAS MARMARAS (GR) is a new media artist and a leading member of the international group Personal Cinema. He has been working in gaming environments and game art since 1999.

    YANNIS SCOULIDAS (GR) is a technical director, administrator and programmer of Personal Cinema and specialist in software and hardware.

    Dates: 17. – 21.07.2007
    Hours: 10 am – 2 pm & 4 – 8 pm
    15 participants, age +18, selected by CV and motivation letter in English
    Registration fee: 100 €
    Registration: www.laboralcentrodearte.org
    Deadline: 03.07.2007
    Working language: English
    Experience in on-line game environments and especially familiarisation with SL will be valued

    CHIPTUNES – 8BIt MUSIC
    8bit sound and music is a distinctive feature of early videogames, and has become a seminal contemporary music style utilized by artists and DJs in engaging live audiovisual performances and remixes. This workshop will bring together creators from US and Spain who will work with young people to create music using Gameboys. The workshop will close with an evening of Chiptunes performances with sounds by the artists, the workshop participants and visuals by media artists Entter.

    Workshop led by:
    HAEYOUNG KIM (BUBBLYFISH) (KO) is a sound artist and composer who explores the textures of sounds and their cultural representation. Her work has been presented in art venues, clubs and new media festivals around the world.

    CHRIS BURKE (GLOMAG) (USA) has been making 8bit music since 2001. He has performed in many countries and his music has played in films, on television and on the Internet. The machinima series “This Spartan Life”, features his music as well as other 8bit artists and is featured in Gameworld.

    RABATO(ESP) composes music with the famous software Littlesounddj created by Johan Kotlinski for a Nintendo Gameboy consoles. He is the co-founder of microBCN and has participated in festivals and concerts in various cities.

    YES, ROBOT (ESP) mix Gameboy sounds with other instruments like synthesizes, samples and toys modified by themselves. They are founding members of the 8bit collective microBCN.

    ENTTER(ESP) is formed by Raúl Berrueco and Raquel Meyers. Entter was formed to create a collective space for the expression of the common restlessness felt by many creative people in the interactive media art field. Their fields of research include AVperformance, installations, non-linear narrative, videogames, interfaces, experimental music, VJing and net.art.

    Dates: 26. – 27.07.2007
    Hours: 11 am – 2 pm & 4 – 7 pm
    15 participants, age +18, selected by CVand motivation letter
    Registration fee: 50 €
    Registration: www.laboralcentrodearte.org
    Deadline: 16.07.2007
    Working language: English and Spanish
    Prior basic programming experience and music ability will be valued

    Concept and Coordination of workshops:
    Daphne Dragona, independent new media arts curator, Athens

    Carl Goodman, Deputy Director and Director of Digital Media,Museum of the Moving Image, New York

    Activities will take place at the labs and workshops of the LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries

    LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries is a space for artistic exchange. It is set up with the purpose of establishing an effective alliance between art, design, culture, industry and economic progress and the goal of becoming a space for interaction and dialogue between art, new technologies and industrial creation. It throws a special spotlight in production, creation and research into art concepts still being defined.

    LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries
    Director: Rosina Gómez-Baeza
    Universidad Laboral s/n, 33394 Gijón, Asturias – Spain
    T. +34 985 185 577 F. +34 985 337 355

    labworkshops @laboralcentrodearte.org

    www.laboralcentrodearte.org

    Games: Edu, Mobile & Develop Confs 07

    This years Games:Edu conference will take place in Brighton in the UK on the 24 July just before the Develop conference and expo.

    Backed by Skillset, the UK government agency focussed on skills in industry, and a number of major game development companies the focus is on games education.

    Looks very interesting for both industry and academics involved in games education.

    Early bird pricing of £95 is available until the 1st of July. For more on the programme and to register see http://www.gamesedu.co.uk/pricing/ and http://www.gamesedu.co.uk/programme/

    For more on the larger Develop conference and Expo see http://www.develop-conference.com/developconference/all_sessions.shtml

    There is also a Develop Mobile event on the 24th of July. See http://www.develop-conference.com/developconference/develop_mobile.shtml

    Launch Of Darklight

    The programme for the 2007 Darklight Film Festival Symposium was unveiled in the Curved Café, Filmbase, Temple Bar today.

    Darklight Director, Nicky Gogan, introduced the programme, which includes a number of screenings, discussion forums, master classes and workshops and the YouTube Video Lounge.

    There are five key themes this year which include the future of TV, game and film convergence, digital archiving, exhibition and distribution of film.

    There are a number of locations for this year’s symposium, including Filmbase, the IFI and Cineworld and the event takes place from Thursday 21st June – Sunday 24th June.

    Entrance to the entire Darklight weekend costs €50 or €20 for students/unwaged.

    Further information and tickets are available at www.darklight.ie or Tel: 01 6709017

    Games: Edu 07

    Brighton, UK

    24 July

    Focus on games education

    Skillset and major game companies involved

    see http://www.gamesedu.co.uk/programme/

    Develop Mobile Conf

    Brighton, UK

    24th of July

    for more see http://www.develop-conference.com/developconference/develop_mobile.shtml

    Develop Conference And Expo

    Brighton, UK

    All sorts of passes and prices but the expo is free.

    For more see http://www.develop-conference.com/developconference/index.shtml

    24-26th of July

    Game Dev Tech Talk

    Rob Burke from Microsoft (Ireland) will be speaking at Cineworld in Dublin on Thursday the 7th of June at 6:15PM on Microsoft game developer technologies for Windows, the XBox 360, and Microsoft Robotics Studio.

    It’s all part of the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, which is on all day.

    If you would like to register, please tell the IMTC that you heard about it at gamedevelopers.ie.

    see http://imtc.firstport.ie/

    or

    http://robburke.net/2007/05/22/robs-last-stand-xna-microsoft-robotics-studio-360s-wiis-and-dancing-robots/

    Skillset Games Showcase

    For those of you who are in the London area/or willing to travel the Skillset Annual Animation and Games Showcase will be taking place in The David Lean Room, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London on Tuesday 26 June from 4pm-7pm.

    Irish Microsoft Tech Conf

    Rob Burke from MS will be speaking at Cineworld in Dublin on Thursday the 7th of June at 6:15PM on Microsoft game developer technologies for Windows, the XBox 360, and Microsoft Robotics Studio:

    http://robburke.net/2007/05/22/robs-last-stand-xna-microsoft-robotics-studio-360s-wiis-and-dancing-robots/

    It’s part of the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, which is on all day.

    If you would like to register, please tell the IMTC that you heard about it at gamedevelopers.ie.

    see http://imtc.firstport.ie/

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