Crafting Games

Andrea Magnorsky, of BatCat games, was pretty happy with the turn out for Gamecraft in DIT Kevin Street last Sat, the 25th of February. A few weeks of frantic twittering and facebooking and the event had registered over 200 interested attendees.

On the day about 120 turned up with computers in tow to face the challenge of programming ‘dinosaur angst’ in one day. Some arrived in teams, some arrived with half their equipment but by the time I arrived at midday there was a hum of machines and tap taping on keyboards, runs for coffee and serious computer screen staring.

The event started with coffee and muffins and then the theme was announced. Not everyone could fit in the main room so they were spread out over three rooms with another room for lunch. DIT Kevin street were happy to accommodate the event and indeed Bryan Duggan of the Computer Science department was busy coding when I arrived. Sponsorship for refreshments and prizes was provided by Open Emotion, Demonware, Microsoft and Swerve.

I spotted some familiar faces of local indies like BitSmith, groups of students from different colleges and kids like Sean Reidy and Niall Fitzpatrick, aged 10 and 14 respectively who were having problems with Java and were going to switch to Python! Sean told me his uncle worked in a games company on the west coast of the States and he hoped he would be able to work experience over there in transition year…in a few years time. Representatives of Coder DoJo where there too.

Watch out for links to the work done on utube and for some more events like this in the near future.

For my pics of the event see

For interview in Irish Times last Friday with Andrea see

Action Plan For Jobs In Games 2012

The government’s action plan for jobs 2012 was released yesterday, the 13th of February.

One section of the report deals specifically with digital games (pgs 94-96). While the first part of this repeats some of the details from the recent Forfas report, the following are some specific actions to be taken this year.

‘The following actions will be undertaken in 2012 in respect of Digital Games. We will:

7.7.1 Establish a Clustering Development Team to support the implementation of actions called for in the Forfás Games Strategy including those below. (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

7.7.2 Convene an R&D supports workshop to promote awareness about available R&D supports and issue an enterprise friendly guide on R&D tax credits to include examples of relevance to games companies. (Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland)

7.7.3 Support industry in working with third level institutions to introduce a pilot game development/publishing ‘hothouse’ initiative for undergraduate and Post Leaving Certificate courses. The initiative will bring together, in multi‐disciplinary teams, students from games, multimedia and animation courses (from a range of participating PLC and third level colleges) to work together on a game development project for a defined period. Each of the teams will receive mentor support from industry practitioners. (Clustering Development Team with industry)

7.7.4 Undertake a feasibility study to examine what structures and policies could be developed to make Ireland a world centre for managing and trading in intellectual property. Complete the report of the Copyright Review Committee on barriers to innovation. (DJEI, DJE)

7.7.5 Assess the case for a new financial instrument/relief to incentivise creative content development. (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

7.7.6 Progress measures in relation to Next Generation Broadband set out in earlier section.

To see related press releases see

To download the report see

Animation & Stories Event

The Irish School of Animation, IADT, IFB and JDIFF have joined forces to organise a free animation event called ‘Stories Worth Telling’ as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012 programme.

More information on the event is available here:

Or from the JDIFF catalogue (page 127 of the printed version, page 64 of the PDF).

The PDF of the catalogue can be downloaded here:

You can mail to reserve a place.

Ei Call For Innovation Vochures

Enterprise Ireland have announced a new call for the Innovation Voucher Programme which is open for applications from 12th March to 28th March 2012.

The Innovation Voucher Programme was developed by EI to build links between Ireland’s small businesses and the public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes).

Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company to explore a business opportunity or problem in partnership with a registered knowledge provider.

The Innovation Vouchers Programme is open to all small (limited registered) companies (less than 50 employees) in Ireland.

Note: the companies are responsible for the VAT element on the voucher.

To check out the elibibility criteria and to apply for an Innovation Voucher see