Popcap Closes

After weeks of rumours PopCap Dublin finally announced this week that it was closing its doors and that all 96 jobs were to go. They have been the largest development studio in Dublin for quite some time now.

This follows on from a period of review following the purchase in July 2011 of PopCap by Electronic Arts. EA bought PopCap to expand its strength in mobile and casual games. See http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20078900-17/ea-acquires-popcap-games-for-digital-push/ for more details on the financial side of the transaction. Some of the deal at least was performance related up to 2013.

Most of you will have already read the news reports online and in the national papers this week. See http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0925/1224324358143.html

At present there is not much to add except to wish all former employees well in their search for employment.

For more discussions by gd.ie folks see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6835

Go there to have your say.

London Womens Game Jam

Okay so this is not exactly in Ireland, but just in case you are in the area…



The world’s first XX Game Jam, a pioneering all-women event in association with Ada Lovelace Day will take place in London on 26/27th October as part of London Games Festival. Registration is now live here: http://xxgamejam.eventbrite.com/

A game jam is a gathering of developers, artists, and other creatives to make games in a very short space of time, usually 24 or 48 hours. The event will run from 6.30pm on Friday 26 October until 11pm, and then from 9am until 6.30pm on Saturday 27 October. Food and refreshments will be provided on both days. The theme for the games will be revealed on the Friday evening.

Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, is a modern figurehead for women in technology. We think it’s time to inspire a new generation of girls to get into coding and help women already in tech to become and discover new role models. Ada Lovelace Day Live! is also open for registration here;http://www.wes.org.uk/content/ada-lovelace-day-live-featuring-wes-karen-burt-award-0

We’re looking for programmers, producers, artists, designers, sound designers and composers, and you can apply whether you have direct experience in the games industry or not.

Men are welcome to support the event and attend the games showcase and prize ceremony on the Saturday evening from 6.30pm, but only women may participate.

Contact debbie@aurochdigital.com for any inquiries or if you’d like to get involved.

Indie Meet & Shindig

This Thurs (13th) there will be an indie meet up from 7pm on 18 Eustace street, Temple Bar, Dublin.

Shindig afterwards – we will be heading to the Bull and Castle, beside Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. We will join with other tech companies in a monthly meet up called pub standards. See http://pubstandards.ie/

All working in the games industry and teaching on game related courses welcome to the indie meet up, everyone welcome to the social event after.

See http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6844

Unity And C# Course In Bcfe

One of our forum members, Faerdan, will be teaching an evening course on Games Programming with Unity and C# in Ballyfermot College of Further Education in Dublin from September 19th. Registration opens from the 5th of Sept.

The aim of this course is to expose game developers to industry ready programming techniques using C# with the Unity Engine; software design patterns will be used to make game code easier to maintain and extend.

Topics covered:

* Introduction to C# programming
* Using C# in Unity
* Project Management using version control
* Structuring a Unity project
* Creating game states and game state management
* Using events to simplify game code
* Audio Management
* Game play programming
* An introduction to deploying mobile games

Registration is taking place from 7pm to 9pm at Ballyfermot College [directions] on the 5th, 10th and 12th of September.

The course will run from 18:45 to 21:45 each Wednesday for 12 weeks.

The cost of the course is €190.

A follow on course, Mobile Games Programming with Unity and C#, is being run in Semester 2.

For more see http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6845

Digit Launches Game Incubator

We have just received news that the recently founded Dublin based games studio, Digit Games, has created a space for promising startups to develop their titles.

The first two teams to take up residence are Batcat Games and Bitsmith games, both of which received CSF funding from Enterprise Ireland recently. Digit will offer space, mentorship and access to markets through its existing team and network.

“It is in our interest to help to grow the base of great game companies in Ireland and a games incubator initiative made the most sense to us. The first high potential teams to move into Digit’s incubator, Bitsmith and Batcat, not only get access to purpose built office space but also access to mentoring
from the Digit team, the most experienced games development team in the country. We are not an accelerator offering investment for equity, instead we are looking to continue the great initiatives already in place from EI by giving game startups the biggest chance of success”, said Richard Barnwell, CEO
of Digit, commenting at the launch.

“As a small company, finding any space to work together in is a challenge, both financially and timewise. What Digit has provided for us is an incredible opportunity to become one of Ireland’s prominent game development companies, by leaning on their experience, and by being in a shared space with the astounding Bitsmith games. It’s going to be like one awesome gamedev party, everyday “, said Andrea Magnorsky, MD of Batcat games.

“We are so happy to have this opportunity, BatCat and Digit are fantastic studios. It is so important for our burgeoning game development community to communicate, share and work together. We don’t just want to succeed ourselves. We want to see BatCat, Digit and all the other amazing Indie Studios turn this country in to a new hub of creative, independent Game
Development”, said Owen Harris, CEO of Bitsmith games

About Digit Game Studios

Digit Game Studios is Ireland’s newest independent studio, developing cross platform games for tablet, mobile, browser and social networks. Currently working on a series of strategy games, Dublin based Digit was founded by a group of English and Irish industry veterans from EA, Jagex, Popcap and Monumental.

About Batcat Games

BatCat Games are an award winning games development company founded early 2012 with a goal of creating immersive, visually stunning games for the PC, iPad, and console markets. To date, they have released one game, an arcade shooter called P-3 Biotic, on the PC and Xbox platforms. The game is available for digital download on Desura, IndieCity, and IndieVania. They are
currently hard at work on their second title, a fantasy Japanese-themed side scrolling beat em up.

About Bitsmith Games

Bitsmith games formed in the summer of 2011 with the aim of bringing the gaming experiences we love to the iPad and other tablets. To this end we are about to launch Ku, an Action RPG in which Irelands ancient past and economic present collide. You play as young Ku, who must venture out in to a broken and strange world for the first time. You will have to battle
monsters, solve puzzles and retrieve an ancient treasure from the goddess Morrigan.