FÍS Games Summit 2022 (online)

Our friends in the West have put together an amazing set of speakers for this year’s event.
FÍS Games Summit 2022 is the second annual event hosted by Galway Film Centre in association with Screen Ireland, and with the support of Romero Games, Creative Europe Media Desk Galway, Northern Ireland Screen, the WRAP Fund, and Imirt. The goal of the summit is to help foster growth and success in the Irish Games Development community by providing Developers on the island of Ireland with a unique opportunity to engage with talks and presentations that will help them in their own careers.

Full Programme:

11.00am – 11.30am

“Behind the scenes of WarDucks with Founder and CEO Nikki Lannen”

11.45am – 12.15am

A presentation on Games Exhibition and the Green Games Guide with Michael French, Festival Director at the London Games Festival.

12.30pm – 1.00pm

Tax Credit Panel

Discussing the new 32% Tax Credit with Chair Olivier Masclef and panelists Eibhlín Ni Mhunghaile of Creative Europe Media Desk, Rory Clifford of Northern Ireland Screen, and Brendan Dillon oImirt and Demonware.

1.05pm – 1.30pm

Creative Europe Funding Informations Session with Eibhlín Ní Mhunghaile.

2.15pm – 2.35pm

Colm Larkin joins us in conversation to talk about his company Gambrinous, their releases Guild of Dungeoneering and Cardpocalypse, and how they navigate the Irish Games industry.

2.50pm – 3.45pm

Hazel Kelly, Executive Producer, will be joined in conversation by Brenda Romero to talk about her position in the games industry and her journey there from starting in Galway just over ten years ago. Hazel has worked with some of the biggest names in gaming and her perspective will be invaluable to hear.

4.00pm – 5.00pm

Emil Pagliarulo, Lead Narrative Designer at Bethesda Games will be joined by Katie Gardner, Lead Narrative Designer at Romero Games, to have a look back at his career as a writer on some of the biggest and most impactful RPGs ever made. Having started working on Morrowind before moving on to Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim, Fallout 4, and more, Emil has an impressive track record and we look forward to hearing from him.


Tickets are FREE and are open to all Irish game developers, follow this link to Eventbrite where you can register.


State of Play (online) speakers announced

This year’s State of Play games conference and festival, organised by TU Dublin,  is a fully online event.

They have a  diverse list of speakers representing local and international game start-ups, studios, content creators and technology providers covering areas such as retro gaming, game design, music production, narrative design and game tech.

Speakers include:
1. Damian Scattergood Ireland’s Original Game Developer, Legendary 8-bit coder
2. Jari-Pekka Kaleva Managing Director, European Games Developer Federation
3. Travis George Co-Founder/CEO, VelaGames
4. Eimear Noone Award-winning Music Composer and Conductor
5. Aoife O Friel Writer/Narrative Designer, Massive Entertainment
6. Damien Marshall Technical Director, Demonware
7. Conor Crowley Executive Producer, Digit Games
8. Hugh McAtamney TU Dublin, Head of School of Media



Register in advance at: https://www.stateofplay.ie/

For further information contect peter.lynch@tudublin.ie

Game Workers Unite Ireland Survey results


A report commissioned by the Financial Services Union (FSU) into the working conditions of game workers in Ireland raises serious questions for employers according to Gareth Murphy, head of industrial relations and campaigns with FSU.

The report “What’s the Score?”, which was written by two academics Josh Moody and Aphra Kerr, is based on data gathered by Game Workers Unite Ireland over the past year in an online survey. A total of 223 respondents had completed the survey, which is estimated to be about 11.5% of the workforce.

It finds some worrying issues regarding low pay, unpaid overtime, a gender pay gap and lack of job security.

Some key points from the report include:

*64% of respondents have experienced low pay with 82.5% earning below the average wage.
*86% of female respondents earn less than 3,000 per month, for comparison, 58% of males earn 2,000/m or more while 72% of females earn 2,000/m or less.
*62% of survey respondents do not have secure employment contracts
*55.5% have been required to work crunch time in their jobs – (long periods of overtime at the end of a project to hit the deadline) in their jobs
*45% of respondents note working unpaid overtime.
*12% have experienced harassment and/or intimidation based on their gender, ethnicity, age or sexuality.

“The games industry is an expanding and highly profitable business sector in Ireland, yet the conditions of work are relatively poor. The issues raised in the report demonstrate why workers are coming together to campaign for better conditions.  This sector can afford to be better for those working in it.” stated Mr Murphy

Commenting on the report Ellen Cunningham, Coordinator of Game Worker Unite Ireland (GWU Ireland), said:

“Workers in the games industry deserve a decent living wage, to see an end to the gender pay gap , to see an end to unpaid overtime, to see an end to undocumented and unhealthy overtime hours and should be able to expect secure and reasonable contracts. Workers should not have to choose between quality of life or pursuing a career in the game industry.”


  1. Games Workers Unite is an international worker-led movement to organise and unionise global game workers in pursuit of fairer working conditions. Game Workers Unite Ireland is the official Irish chapter of GWU and has established official union status through its affiliation with the Financial Services Union (FSU)2. The Irish chapter is worker-led and collaborates with union organisers and academics to build an organised community which can represent workers across the industry.

You can download the full report online at https://gwuireland.org/

Introducing Game Assets Marketplace


A few weeks ago gd.ie got an email from Game Assets Marketplace, a relatively new Irish start up.

We were curious about what they do and what follows is our questions and their answers.


Q1- Who are the company founders and what are your backgrounds?

The founder of Game Assets Marketplace is Stoko Ltd, an Irish Software company dedicated to building successful projects in Ireland. Leo O’Brien is the manager.

The marketplace’s team has people from the gaming industry with previous experience in GameDev, entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, and customer support.

We’re familiar with every detail of the market, and the problems that many talented asset publishers have with publishing and selling game assets.


Q2. When were you founded?

The marketplace was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in early 2020. The core team is based in Dublin, and the other part of the team is remote. We prefer to keep a flexible work environment.

We achieved results beyond our expectations in the past eight months by attracting many talented asset creators and game devs from different countries.


Q3. What exactly do you do?

The marketplace is a hub that gathers talented indie game developers and asset creators. We offer the lowest possible commission per sale on the market (most stores get 20-40% commission from each sale, and it’s too much in our opinion). We only have a 10% flat commission.

Another unique feature is the approval process. It takes up to 24 hours, but in most cases, it’s about 1-2 hours. All other marketplaces make the approval within 3-4 weeks. Also, the minimum required balance to make a withdrawal is only 1 Euro. We don’t keep the users’ funds.

This combination provides the perfect conditions for an asset developer to earn more, get the earnings quickly, and easily publish all new assets.

The platform is a solution as a portfolio place because it’s free to join, free to upload any assets, and has an unlimited maximum size of all stored files.

The marketplace also includes a game asset search engine, which is something unique. Everyone can search top asset stores in the world with only one click.


Q4. There is a game ideas section. What are you trying to do there?

We’re using the available game assets to build a game idea. It includes assets, monetization ideas, theme, and genre (based on our experience and market research). We do our best to help all parts of the industry to be successful.

This section’s information is free to use, so there is no need for registration or order of only the selected assets. For many developers, it’s important to get inspiration from somewhere. It can be a successful game, news, articles, examples, and so on.

In this section, we’re trying to help the game devs to make a new game, and at the same time, we promote the assets of registered publishers.

We think that the success of each game depends on the scripts and the assets. All the magic happens around those two things, and with the right characters, interesting environment, good VFX, and sound effects, it’s possible to make a successful game.


5. Is it pay per asset, or are there other payment options available?

The marketplace only offers pay per asset, which can be a fixed price, or through a bidding system. Some of the assets are available for free, but they’re not premium, and others are free trials.

There are different promotions to sell assets with 0% commission, but we don’t have the option to offer premium assets for free, because the asset creators have to be rewarded.


Q6. Your website says you are a ‘hub for indies’. Why indies specifically?

The indie game developers usually are a small team or a solo developer. There are no designers in most cases, and it takes lots of time to create all the assets for a game.

The main market for assets and game scripts is indies. Also, they’re more open-minded. They can make a new game within a week or two, and a lot of innovation is coming from them.

We know that many big companies are focusing their resources on indie games, which is one reason this niche has become so competitive these days.


Q7. What specifically should Irish devs and students know about you?

Irish devs and students can use the marketplace to sell their work on the market’s best possible terms. Also, they can request any type of collaboration about their games. We have a lot of experience with game development, publishing, and asset creations.

Most of the big marketplaces are not so friendly when it comes to custom solutions and partnerships. In the same, we support Irish game development, and we’re ready to help such types of projects.


Thanks to Leo for answering our questions.

Check them out here – https://gameassetsmarketplace.com/about


IndieCade festival anywhere..

IndieCade is switching to online from anywhere with nine full days of 24-hour programming for the 2020 online festival celebrating independent games. It will take part this October 16-24 for #AnywhereAndEverywhere. See https://anywhere.indiecade.com/

The event will be filled with gameplay, exhibitions, discussions, connections and interactions, conference sessions, workshops, and more!

For more than 15 years, IndieCade has supported and celebrated independent gamemakers.

For IndieCade 2020, the core programming will take place online from October 16-24, across borders and timezones.

For more information, read the FAQ.

Submissions for IndieCade 2020 are now closed.

See https://anywhere.indiecade.com/

IndieCade Anywhere And Everywhere

Two game companies win European funding



Two game companies, Isometric Dreams (Spooky Doorway) and Gambrinous have received a total of €300,000 for the development of new Video Game projects in the latest round of Creative Europe MEDIA funding.

The Creative Europe Media video game development scheme is for companies who have produced at least one recently published video game and who wish to invest in the development of a new video game concept or prototype. It supports European video games companies with proven experience who want to develop up to an alpha or beta version of a narrative-led video game.

A list of previous video game winners from Storytoys in 2013 through to Simteractive in 2017 and the latest winners can be found at https://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu/media/projects/funding-recipients alongside all the other Irish film and other winners.

See https://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu/media/funding/production/development-of-video-games for more on the scheme.

These latest results bring to €12,231,201 the amount awarded to Irish audiovisual and games companies since the Creative Europe Programme commenced in 2014. The next calls for funding will be in 2021.

Well done everyone.


Programmer Simteractive (Dublin)


Simteractive is seeking a talented, experienced and enthusiastic programmer to join their team and work on their next project, Designer Life, which has already been selected for Creative Europe funding. The core team are based in Dublin but we are working remotely at the moment.

Previously we released a resort-building game called Eden Isle: Resort Paradise, which won multiple awards and has an average app store rating of 4.5 stars. We also have another game in soft launch called Tropic Cove: Match 3 Resort. This is a great opportunity looking for someone to make their mark on an up and coming studio!


*Implementation of new gameplay systems
*Programming tasks across all areas of the game including AI, UI, GameSparks integration, Facebook integration, saving and loading systems, in-app purchases and in-game adverts
*Implementation of character animations, effects and art assets
*Optimisation, refactoring and bug fixing of existing game systems
*Maintain a high level of code quality
*Co-operate in the overall planning of projects
*Evaluation of third-party tools


*2+ years of relevant professional experience in a programming role including at least one shipped commercial titles, ideally for mobile or tablet
*Excellent programming skills including knowledge of Unity3D and C#
*Strong prototyping skills
*Strong understanding of the challenges presented by mobile platforms
*Confidence and experience with third-party tools such as GameSparks, Facebook API, advertising, analytics and plugins
*Great communication skills and ability to work well with all disciplines
*Hard-working, focused, high degree of self-motivation and ability to solve problems independently
*A degree in computer science, game development or equivalent

**We Offer:**

*Remote working
*Opportunity to work in award-winning team
*Work on an exciting new mobile game
*Join a small, multicultural, friendly and dedicated team
*A good work-life balance
*A chance to join a company in a key role at a very exciting stage
*Salary negotiable depending on experience

**How to Apply:**

To apply, please email hello@simteractive.com with a cover letter and CV and your availability.

**More Information:**

For more information on Simteractive, see www.Simteractive.com

Posted August 2020

Entries open for Imirt Irish Game Awards (16th Aug)


If you released a game in 2019 then you should consider entering the fourth Imirt Irish Game Awards.

All entries for the game awards must have been released during the 2019 calendar year.

Please submit your game or game dev tool in as many categories as you see fit.

All entries are eligible for the Game of the Year category. Typically, game makers should self-nominate their games.

Nominations are open until 31st July 2020 16th of August.

Further information including on eligibility at https://forms.gle/syYKJEhMP9VNnDsJA 

Note: All entries must be submitted by Imirt members whose membership covers the period of 2020. If you have not renewed your Imirt membership this year, please do so as soon as possible by visiting http://www.imirt.ie/join/

In addition to these awards, your membership helps ensure that Imirt continues to grow and is able to provide a common representative voice for the Irish game maker community.


9th Impact working on Big Brother Game

During the lock down we learned that Galway based game development studio, 9th Impact, are partnering with Endemol Shine Group on the first Big Brother mobile game, to be released towards the end of 2020.

9th Impact have previously partnered with major TV rights owners including on Danger Mouse. For more on 9th Impact see https://9thimpact.com/ 

Well done to all the team.

Full info below on the deal and available at https://www.endemolshinegroup.com/endemol-shine-group-partners-with-9th-impact-for-big-brother-game/




Introducing a new genre of reality gaming, ‘Big Brother: The Game’ will be available worldwide for Apple and Android devices.

With a life changing prize fund up for grabs, anyone, anywhere can win the world’s first online multi-player reality TV show.

Players can become virtual housemates, experiencing life as a Big Brother contestant. They must make strategic choices in order to remain in the house and ultimately become victorious. The skill of the game is social, psychological and interpersonal.

Anil Mistry, Director of Gaming & E-Commerce at Endemol Shine Group, said, “This project was an ambitious undertaking and we needed a partner who had the vision, the capability and the creativity to deliver something truly unique that would both appeal to strategic gamers and delight Big Brother fans.”

Head of Development at 9th Impact, Dr. Finn Krewer, said, “Our approach to designing this game was to think of a person’s mobile device as their portal into a massive online Big Brother season. The player will face competitions, chores, nominations, evictions and have to navigate all the same complex social relationships and intrigue that make the TV show so compelling.”

Big Brother The Game will have 2 modes – Housemate and Spectator.

The game is free to download and the Spectator mode is free with optional purchases. To become a Housemate the player must use a Token to enter the House which is an in-app purchase.

Last year marked twenty years since Big Brother first aired in the Netherlands. Since then, 480 series have aired across 62 markets, producing an over 28k episodes. 7,153 housemates from around the globe have spent over 35,000 days in the house, with over 5,000 live evictions.

‘Big Brother: The Game’ is set to launch globally later this year.

NEW: Experienced C#/Unity Developer – VRAI (Dublin)

We’re looking for an experienced C#/Unity Developer for our dev team working on our data driven VR simulation product, as well as creating bespoke VR simulation experiences.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced C# developer who creates high quality software, and is a problem solver.

Your Responsibilities

*You will lead the Development team working in a multi-disciplinary environment with the Asset team, Data Team and Management team.

*Your team will translate product design and plans into high quality virtual simulation

*Share knowledge, help and mentor colleagues in a communal, cross-disciplinary and remote team environment

*Design and implement well-engineered, reliable, maintainable, and bug-free code

*Solve challenging technical issues

*Follow best practices, development processes, and coding standards

*Document and peer review technical designs with other software engineers

Candidate Requirement

*4+ years of professional games/simulation development experience

*Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or similar field.

*Extensive experience with self-testing to minimize and fix issues

*Expert knowledge of software development and best-practices

*Experience in leading a team of developers

*Experience of multi-user networking would be a bonus


During COVID remote working is supported but there will be a requirement in future to attend the office in Dublin for meetings, sprints etc.

The position is envisaged as fully flexible with the option of using city centre offices if and when needed.

About Us

VRAI create data driven VR simulation training for hazardous environments. Our customers are leading organisations such as the Irish Defence Forces, the United Nations in Somalia and International Airlines Group (IAG) in Heathrow Airport.

We have created HEAT, Hazardous Environment Awareness Training. HEAT combines authentic virtual training environments with cutting edge data capture and analytics capability.

HEAT allows organisations whose activities are Risky, Remote or Rare to train in a more authentic, memorable and measurable way.

We create shared value for our customers, investors, employees and community by adopting the ‘Triple Bottom Line’. We focus not just on profit, but also on people and the planet.

See more on the company at https://vrai.ie/

Posted 20/07/2020

Vela Games Raises €3.1M in funding

April saw some good news on the games front in Ireland.

Vela Games has announced significant new investment led by London Venture Partners and with investment from existing investor IIU.  Lvp partner Mack Growen will join the board of directors as part of the investment.

The studio will use the investment to redefine Mulitplayer Gaming Through Co-Operative Play.

Founded in 2018 by Travis George, Brian Kaiser, and Lisa Newon George, Vela Games previously raised $3.7 million to establish a team of 16 developers from AAA studios, and prove out their design. This current round will accelerate delivery of the studio’s first title, a unique new genre of gameplay Vela Games is calling Multiplayer Online Co-Operative, or MOCO for short.

“We’ve been building out our bold vision for MOCO over the past two years and we are excited to work with Lvp to combine their long history and expertise in scaling genre-defining games companies with our own,” commented Travis George.

“We believe it’s important to work with partners who are excited about our mission, and Lvp has a great track record of working with innovative companies.  We are thrilled to add Lvp to our fantastic team of existing partners, including IIU and Enterprise Ireland,” added Kaiser.

“Our goal is to reimagine what multiplayer co-operative gaming looks like with a player first mentality in everything we do,” commented Newon George. “Co-operative gaming hasn’t yet been developed to its full potential. We want to create a new genre of game that will enable us to unite both PvP and PvE players from all over the world.”

Well done everyone.

More news at https://vela.games/press-release-lvp-080420/


Game Tools (Web application Developer) Warducks

We are looking for a web application engineer to build content and LiveOps tools that will control the in-game experience for millions of players in our upcoming mobile game. You will need extensive technical expertise, the ability to work independently, and commitment to follow through on big ideas.


As a game developer at WarDucks, you are part of an agile, cross-functional and experienced team, building amazing multiplayer games. Your responsibilities would include building cutting-edge web tools for our Game Designers, Game Operators, Analysts, and Community Managers. You are always on the lookout for ways to help your fellow team members, optimizing workflows and creating tools that enable others to be creative.




  • Overall responsibility of game operations tools (content, player support, in-game communication, etc…)
  • Identify and solve problems in our content creation workflows and pipelines
  • Actively participate in finding the best solution for new engine and tools features
  • Design, implement and maintain user interfaces




  • A full understanding of how to build and deploy RESTful services
  • A deep understanding of ES6 standard JavaScript and best practices
  • 3+ Experience delivering production quality, highly performant web application interfaces
  • 3+ Years Experience using JavaScript Application Frameworks: AngularJS, Angular2+, Vue.js or similar
  • Experience configuring and developing with modern web technologies: ASP.Net, Typescript, WebPack, Node.js, SCSS, etc.
  • Ability to write well-structured code and create robust solutions
  • Efficient communicator
  • A passion for games and game development




  • Experience with mobile games a plus
  • Experience with C# a plus
  • Experience with Unity a plus


About WarDucks


WarDucks is an all-star development studio known for top-notch entertainment software. After a series of hit VR games, we are now developing an exciting (unannounced) Augmented Reality game for mobile platforms. We’ve pulled together a tight team of experienced game devs from around the globe, and we’re building a new kind of gaming experience that we can hardly wait to show you!

If you are interested in applying, e-mail your C.V and cover letter to patrick@warducks.com

**Posted April 24th 2020

Ourea wins two awards at Games Fleadh 2020

Rewrite Games, an indie development team in TU Dublin’s School of Media, has won two awards at Ireland’s Games Fleadh, which took place on the 4th March, in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. 

Their game Ourea, a cinematic puzzle PC game, picked up two awards as the team of 5 came home with the Best Game Built Using A Game Engine and Best in Social Impact awards. 

Ourea is a cinematic narrative game about discovering the harrowing past of a long-forgotten world.

Overcome environmental puzzles as you ascend an ancient and mysterious mountain in search of what happened to those who inhabited it before.

The protagonist Glyf is the last of the Oreads, an ancient species of mountain nymphs who inhabited the planet Ourea for centuries. The Oread species drew energy from immense heat or fire through their natural power. Using the trees and natural life that surrounded them, the Oreads lived off the land, subsequently destroying nature in the process.

Having been very well received at the show, the team won both awards against 32 other teams.

Speaking of the awards, Gary O’ReillyProduction Lead at Rewrite Games said “We’re delighted to receive these awards at Games Fleadh and to meet so many people looking forward to Ourea’s release. It is a huge motivation for us, and we aim to deliver a fun yet thought provoking game in May.” 

The team consists of five students with Conor Barron on Art, Robyn Behan on Narrative and Art, Tom Eustace on Design, Samuel Hegner on Tech and Gary on Production.

You can find out more about Ourea and sign up for the upcoming demo at https://oureagame.com/

You can also follow the game’s development on social media at https://twitter.com/OureaGame and https://www.instagram.com/oureagame/

Ourea is releasing on Steam in May 2020. Take a look at the trailer. Well done all.


This is not a plumbing issue!

Aphra Kerr and Vicky Twomey-Lee explore how to make game events more diverse and inclusive.

The games and technology industries are fond of saying that they have a pipeline issue. They argue that there are not enough people studying and entering the industries, and their solutions have focussed on promoting educational and employment opportunities. Advertisements of women in white coats, persons of colour in hard hats and the ill-fated European campaign ‘Science: It’s a Girl Thing’ have all tried to break down the perceived stigma around working in tech.

The pipeline metaphor is catchy but it is misleading. It presumes that the issue with diversity is simply one of spending more on promotion of the working opportunities than a wider structural and cultural issue. But fancy imagery is not going to break down the structures and cultures that are reproducing the marginalisation of minorities and others in technology.

The flow of water into the pipeline is not only slow, it is also leaky. Many leave the industry, and this leaves it with a workforce that skews young and inexperienced. The metaphor also ignores the lack of diversity in many industries and occupations. It is hard to address recruitment and retention when you are simply not recruiting and retaining a diverse range of workers. This week we will see a range of events to mark international women’s day – the challenge is turning these events into meaningful change throughout the year.

The Persistent Low Levels of Females in Games and Discrimination


The pipeline metaphor and the skills shortage debate conveniently ignores the diversity of people entering the technology industries. Indeed, many industry surveys and companies in Ireland don’t collect, or won’t reveal, the diversity of their workers. The Oldsburg Nord City report on the audio-visual industries in Ireland estimates that there are approximately 16,930 full time equivalent workers in 2016 in Ireland and 2,000 in the games industry, of which only 150 worked in development. We don’t know anymore about these people. We simply do not have any demographic data on these workers (see https://www.imirt.ie/industryreports/).

Creative industries and games industry data in the UK is more comprehensive.  The latest census of the games industry in the UK had 3,200 responses (see UK Games Industry Census – Understanding diversity in the UK games industry workforce). It estimated that 10% of employees were Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) and 28% were female across all occupations. This findings puts female representation at well under the national average of all those in work, roughly equal to those working in film and television in the UK and above that of the general IT/software sector. It highlights the persistent low level of females working in certain parts of the creative and cultural industries and in technology.

And what is working in these industries like for those who do enter? Developer satisfaction surveys conducted by the International Game Developers Association in North America point to ongoing workplace challenges including discrimination, overwork, unpaid work, employment volatility and high staff turnover (see https://igda.org/dss/). Many companies have no formal equality policies or complaints procedures. In North America there are also widespread differences in pay across occupational roles. For example, programming roles are overwhelmingly male but also the most highly paid. These are what academics often call structural issues – and we need to work harder to change them.

Refiguring Innovation in Games


In 2015 we became part of an international networking project called ‘Refiguring Innovation in Games’, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada. The focus of the project was on diversity, inclusion and equity in the games industry and culture and addressing the structural challenges identified above. A key part of this project was its focus on equity and the adoption of feminist theories and methodologies. The project brought together researchers and community organisers in Canada, North America, the UK and Ireland (see http://www.refig.ca/).

ReFiG focused on four areas: games culture, the games industry, formal and informal learning. Our project in Ireland focussed on informal games education and how informal games education events might challenge or reproduce diversity. We set up a ‘Network in Play’ of local academics, community organisers and others. The funded part of this project is just coming to an end (see https://gamedevelopers.ie/diversity/).

Researching Game jams in Ireland


Informal learning events are generally not formally accredited and not typically not classroom based. Informal learning can take place in formal settings, but we were interested in the burgeoning range of hackathons and game jams in cities and towns around the country. They are usually ‘open to all’. You just sign up online. Most are free to attend. Who was organising them, who was attending and what were they learning?

Game jams are a collaborative intense game making event where people form teams to work on digital or non-digital game making. They sometimes last all weekend, like the Global Game Jam, or as in our examples, they last one day. A theme is announced at the beginning of the day, and then teams are formed and people try to make something in line with the theme. At the end of the day people play each other’s games and often prizes are awarded. Game jams have been praised for being a useful way to learn content, technical skills and team working skills. They are sometimes seen as a pathway into games and tech education and a way to build local game making communities.

Yet we were struck by the fact that the attendees at the game jams we studied were not very diverse. In a previous feature on gamedevelopers.ie we reported on our initial findings on a game jam in Dublin, and subsequently we surveyed game jams in Cork and Limerick. Attendees at these events skewed male, young (18-25), white, and often the attendees were already studying or working in technology (see https://gamedevelopers.ie/the-diversity-game/). 

Our conclusion is that games jams may be good opportunities for learning, but they are not necessarily good for diversity. If attention is not given to explicitly broadening attendance, and building an inclusive learning environment, then game jams and similar types of events may actually merely replicate highly individualist, competitive, temporary ‘crunch’ like working patterns. It is perhaps not surprising that competitive game jams developed in North America and were developed by people who already worked in technology jobs.

Of course not all game jams are like this. Some are explicitly designed to be diverse, to challenge cultural and political norms, and to create spaces for marginalised creators. However, the key point seems to be, that when informal events are organised without attention to diversity, they may simply reproduce structures and cultures of exclusion. As with many ‘open to all’ events, organisers may not think about, or may not have the resources and capacity to make the events diverse and inclusive.

Organising Diverse and Inclusive Technology Events


Organising diverse and inclusive informal educational events can face significant challenges. We organised creative workshops in interactive fiction, board game design and coding for games in Dublin and Galway and in each case we faced a range of challenges. If you are relying on the good will of others to provide venues, technologies and support, you will find yourself being asked to compromise on certain issues. Do you run the event if your venue is inaccessible to some, if the technology is locked down to the desks and only certain software programmes are available?  How can you make sure that those with caring responsibilities can attend? Do you impose quotas to diversify attendance?

We wanted to include more women in our events and we achieved over 50% female attendees in our workshops. We wanted to include people with diverse creative backgrounds and skills in our workshops and we achieved that.

Your diversity challenges may differ from ours, but the key lesson we learnt was you need to identify who is missing from your events, or who is leaving early, and you need to actively work to address the reasons behind this. It is not enough to say your event is open to all and you have a Code of Conduct. You actively need to work to make attendance at your event diverse, reach out beyond your own online and offline networks to bring in new groups, and make your event a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone so positive word of mouth will bring in others.

Today we are publishing a free to download report and a 10-point roadmap to help organisers to think about the key issues you need to consider in order to make your games or tech event more diverse and inclusive.

Our 10-point roadmap considers the following ten issues and gives tips on how to address them:

* Time
* Space
* Publicity and Promotion
* Code of Conduct
* Cost to attendees
* Organisational Work/Labour
* Pedagogy of event
* Knowledge and expertise of tutors and attendees
* Technology choices
* Culture of event

This feature is just a taster of our work. Feel free to download the report, share widely and to get in contact with the authors for more details. We have written a number of academic chapters which analyse our findings and will be published over the next few months. We are happy to share these also if you wish to read more.

Informal learning environments take place in towns and cities around Ireland and the technology industry is particularly active in organising them. We all need to identify who and what is missing in our events if we are to address the diversity challenge in our creative, cultural and technology industries. Otherwise those pipelines will have low water pressure and leak for years to come.




Our Full Report (6 MGs) –  NIP-PDFGraphics-FA




Our 3 page Roadmap – NIP-PDFGraphics-Roadmap



Refig safer Space Policy guidelines – http://www.refig.ca/safer-space-policy/

Network in Play Code of Conduct – https://gamedevelopers.ie/diversity/refig-nip-code-of-conduct



Dr. Aphra Kerr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University.

Ms Vicky Twomey-Lee is a code, tech event organiser, mentor and advocate for diversity in tech. She is currently the Maker Advocate for Dublin Maker.



With thanks to Joshua D. Savage, the SSHRC, our collaborators and participants.


Network in Play Report 2020 published

For International Women’s Day 2020 the Network in Play project in Ireland has launched the ‘Decoding and Recoding Game-Making Events for Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation’ report and roadmap.

The report and roadmap are written by Dr. Aphra Kerr (Maynooth University), Ms. Vicky Twomey-Lee (MADE, Coding Grace, PyLadies) and and Mr Joshua Savage (Maynooth University), and they summarise a four year research project exploring diversity and inclusion in the games industry and at game making events internationally and in Ireland. The documents also report on our field research at gamejams in Ireland and our experiences running creative workshops on game design.

The 3 page roadmap includes tips on developing inclusive events.

The document is published by Maynooth University and funded by the Refiguring Innovation in Games project.

The documents are free to download and share.

You can download the full manual here NIP-PDFGraphics-FA (6MBs) 

You can download the 3 page roadmap here NIP-PDFGraphics-Roadmap

A summary of the key findings will be available as a feature on gamedevelopers.ie and you can find out more about the Network in Play project on the diversity pages on this site.

For more on the international Refiguring Innovation in Digital Games please see http://www.refig.ca/ 

We welcome feedback and suggestions. Thank you to all our collaborators and participants.

Contact us – network-in-play-crafting-diversity-in-games@googlegroups.com

ShipItCon Paper Call – Failure!

ShipItCon is a not-for-profit, community driven conference about Software Delivery. Attendees come from Technology, Agriculture, Fintech, Healthcare, Gaming, Human Capital Management and the Beauty Industry.

This year’s theme is “Failure”.

What happens when you “Ship It” and instead of high fives and profit you find yourself in a downward spiral of Pager Duty calls and fire fighting? They want to hear your stories about system failures, organisational failures, how to overcome failure, the psychology of failure, burnout, building resilience etc. If you have an interesting story to tell then they would love to hear from you.

This year’s event is the 3rd ShipItCon. Last year they had 372 attendees from 150+ companies from all over the world. In 2020 the event will maintain the same format as the previous years; a one day event, hosted in the beautiful surroundings of the Round Room at Mansion House, Dublin.

Call for papers  closes at March 31, 2020 17:00 UTC

Submit your talk ideas at https://www.papercall.io/signin 

See more at https://www.papercall.io/shipitcon2020


UK Games Industry Census 2020 Diversity Findings


UKIE and Dr. Mark Taylor of the University of Sheffield in the UK have published a new Games Industry Census which gives some good insights into the employment of women and black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people in the British games industry.

Funded via the Arts & Humanities Research Council, this independent analysis focuses on three main areas:  the kinds of work that games industry workers do, their personal characteristics, and their backgrounds.

The census was completed by over 3,200 games workers, or around 20% of the overall workforce, between September and October 2019. By using both open and targeted recruitment methods, they were able to ensure a  representative sample of people working across the sector.

Key findings of interest:

*The games sector is a young industry, with two thirds of people working in the sector aged 35 or under. But 54% of people in the industry have worked in the sector for five years or more.

*10% of people working in games are Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME). This is a slightly higher percentage than in the national working population, and higher than both the overall creative industries and specific sectors such as music, publishing and film/TV. However, it is lower than the equivalent figure for IT and software, as well as below the average in the working-age population. While BAME workers can be found broadly equally in all job roles, with a small skew towards more non-sector specific roles, they are noticeably less represented in senior positions.

*70% of people working in the games industry are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers. Female representation in the workforce is significantly under the national average of those in work, as well as less than in cultural and creative roles more generally, but is similar to the proportion of women working in Film/TV, and above that of the general IT/software sector.

*81% of the industry is educated to at least undergraduate level, rising to 88% for core games production roles in art or programming. This is considerably above the 57% average for the cultural and creative industries. 27% of workers hold a game-specific qualification, rising to over half of workers in games design and art roles. More commonly, workers have qualifications in STEM subjects at 31%, increasing to 60% for workers in programming roles.

*21% of people working in games are LGBTQ+, while 79% are heterosexual. This is a significantly high proportion of LGBTQ+ workers, with other data sources indicating that heterosexual people make up between 93-97% of the national population. At 2%, non-binary representation in the UK games industry workforce is higher than the national average, which is estimated at 0.4%. Trans people make up 3% of the games industry workforce, which again is above the estimated 1% within the national population.

*21% of people working in the games industry live with a chronic physical health condition. This is higher than the overall working-age population, where 13% report long term physical issues.

*31% of respondents reported that they live with anxiety, depression or both, considerably above the national average of 17%. Individuals working in junior or mid-level roles were more likely to report that they had anxiety and/or depression, with higher levels of depression also reported among Directors/CEOs of smaller companies.

*3.5% of respondents reported that they worked 51 hours per week or more. Three quarters of all respondents reported working a standard full-time working week of between 33-40 hours.

You can download the full report at https://ukie.org.uk/sites/default/files/cms/docs/UK_Games_Industry_Census_2020_FINAL_DIGITAL_0.pdf 

FutureScope 2020 (Dublin)

Animation Skillnet, Immersive Technologies Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland, in collaboration with Animation Ireland and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, are proud to present this exciting programme at Ireland’s #1 innovation event; Futurescope 2020.

On Wednesday 1st of April, some of the biggest names in the Irish and International industry will converge at the Convention Centre in Dublin to participate in a series of panels, demonstrations and interactive workshops.

Topics to be explored through panels and presentations on the day:

*Immersive Story-telling vs Story-finding
*Turning the Invisible Into Reality with VR
*XR in Museums: A New Awakening
*Nailing the Business of XR

Confirmed Speakers:

*Kim-Leigh Pontin, Creative Director at Nexus Studios (UK)
*Nikki Lannen, CEO at WarDucks (IRE)
*Christiane Hütter, Writer & World Builder (GER)
*Sam Wolson, Immersive Film Director (USA)
*Raphaël de Courville, Co-founder of NEEEU (GER)
*Chloé Jarry, Digital Producer at Lucid Realities (FRA)
*Agata Di Tommaso, Festival Distribution at Diversion Cinema (FRA)
*Susanna Murphy, Director of Operations at Virtual Reality Gaming
*Camille Donegan, General Manager at Virtual Reality Ireland (IRE)
…and many more to be confirmed!

Registration/Payment here:

Irish Game Based Learning Conference (Cork)

The 10th Irish Conference on Game Based Learning (iGBL), will take place in the Clayton Hotel in Cork again, on the 25th and 26th of June 2020.

Formerly the Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning, it provides a forum for all stakeholders interested in exchanging ideas, projects, and best practice on the use of games and game-based approaches to support motivation, learning, and change.

Contributions are welcomed from a wide range of topics and may be research or practitioner-based. Researchers from all countries and backgrounds are invited to submit.

iGBL was created as a symposium and an opportunity to share ideas on how games can be used to teach, train and promote change in both formal and informal learning environments. The conference includes a mix of academic presentations, practical workshops, digital and non-digital games demos, along with plenty of opportunities to network.



Themes for the conference

The symposium will include (but is not restricted to) the following topics:

*Pedagogy, Educational and Social issues
Pedagogical/learning theories for game-based learning
Evaluation of game-based learning
Assessment in game-based learning
Integrating games into the curriculum
Games to teach arts, science, or business
Social and collaborative aspects of game-based learning
Multi-modal aspects of game-based learning (e.g. audio, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc)
Motivational aspects of game-based learning
Gender/age/cultural issues
Ethical concerns of game-based learning (e.g. young children, adolescents, etc)
Achieving sustainable impact with game-based learning

*Gamification and Serious Games
Serious games and gamification in different sectors (e.g., primary, secondary and higher education, corporate learning, training)
Gamification within the industry and at the customer interface
Organizational issues when implementing games

*Creative Issues in Game Development
Designing games for learning
Best practices in game development
Alternative controls/ interfaces for games
Technologies, tools and platforms for developing games for learning
Technologies for mobile and multi-user games for learning
Prototyping and/or playtesting
Narrative/role-playing in game-based learning
Developing characters & animations for learning games

*Virtual and Augmented Reality for Training and Learning
Designing Serious games based on AR/VR
Immersive learning experiences
Virtual Worlds for Learning
Geo-based gamified apps

*Human Computer Interaction (HCI) & Audio
User Interface and User Experience in games
User-Centered  Game-Based Learning
Designing audio games for learning and training
Audio devices and design for game-based learning
Virtual Worlds for Learning
Geo-based gamified apps
Adaptive Design

*Non-Digital Game-based  Learning
Board games for education and motivation
Trading card games to learn and teach
Simulation and draw games for education and motivation
Educational games based on physical activities

Types of Submissions

Research-based submissions may include theoretical (e.g., literature review, theoretical frameworks, or systematic reviews) and/or empirical studies employing qualitative or quantitative methods. These can consist of completed research projects or works-in-progress. There are categories also for research students, so that you can obtain feedback on your work, regardless of where you are at in the research process (e.g., research proposal, data collection, or close to completion). The idea here is to give you the chance to talk about your work or project(s). You will also have the opportunity to submit a poster. The best 7 research papers/presentations will be shortlisted to be published in the International Journal of Game-Based Learning.

Practitioner-based submissions may include presentations that describe how game-based approaches have been employed to teach, train or promote change with no specific associated research required. For example, you may have used games in your classroom or for your company, and you would like to take the opportunity to share your experience and insights with like-minded people by delivering a presentation that explains what you have applied/used and how it worked for you. The emphasis for this format is to share practical information rather than research results.

Proposals for workshops and interactive posters are also invited. Workshops would typically be practical and last between 1 and 2 hours. The idea here is to provide participants with skills that they can apply straight away in their context (e.g., at home, in the classroom or at a company). These workshops need to be related to the theme of games, learning and/or motivation.

Proposals for game demos: if you have created a game which purpose is to promote change, learning or motivation, you can submit a short abstract. Once accepted, you will be able to showcase your game at the conference and to be in for a chance to win a prize.
Submission of interest to attend the student summer school.
Submission of interest to take part in the game jam.

There will be cash prizes (€50 per presentation) for each of the following categories: best presentation overall and best game demo.

Submitting an Abstract

The earlier the abstract is submitted, the earlier you will receive your notification:

Authors who submitted their abstract(s) by 22nd January will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd February.
Authors who submitted their abstract(s) after 22nd February will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd March.

Important Dates

25th of February: Abstract submission deadline.
22nd of March: Notification of abstract acceptance.
25th March: Successful abstracts are invited to submit an extended abstract (i.e., paper to be published in the conference proceedings).
12th of April: Registration deadline for authors.
12th April: Submission of extended abstracts (i.e., research papers).
22nd April: Notification of acceptance of extended papers.

See http://www.igbl-conference.com/cfp/ 

Mindframe Arena released by Fierce Fun

Irish game developer Fierce Fun has just released their digital board game Mindframe Arena – a ‘Smart and Safe’ game designed for a family-friendly environment.

As games like chess can be off-putting for some children, Mindframe Arena is a great way to introduce children to intellectually stimulating activities such as board and strategy games. Based on classic board games like chess, Mindframe Arena requires skill and strategy to play – yet it is easy and fun to learn. Research has shown that playing board games can help in the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Peter Lynch from Fierce Fun states “From showing the game at events and conventions in Ireland, we found that 7 to 10-year olds really enjoyed it as did their parents.”

Irish parents can rest assured with the following Smart and Safe game features:

*No in-game chat or messaging
*No graphic violence
*No analytics or tracking
*Parental purchase & social media locks

Mindframe Arena is available  as a free download on Google Play and the Apple Apps Store.

YouTube Trailer


Apple App Store Page




Google Play Page


Fierce Fun

Located in Dublin, Ireland, Fierce Fun was founded by a team of experienced Irish game design professionals and mobile app developers. The company specialises in innovative new strategy and action games for mobile and PC platforms. In addition to original game development, Fierce Fun also provides custom game and app development services. The company is a registered Google Play and Apple App Store Developer. Fierce Fun is a client of Enterprise Ireland and has been supported by their CSF fund.

The company’s production team is a mixture of youthful technical talent and experienced creative designers. Most important of all, everyone at Fierce Fun is a serious gamer.



Imirt Annual Survey – have your say

Imirt, the Irish game makers association, is running its annual survey and has asked us to share it.

They have added a new section on game development related topics to get a better overview of the industry.

Please take a moment to answer the survey and share with your dev friends.

To access the survey go to https://forms.gle/URP7q7BJXwvdy5KH6

The survey is open  until the 14th of February.

See also the discussion on their Facebook page. Here is a link to the post .

History of Games Conf – Call for papers

History of Games International Conferences 

In 2018 an international steering committee was formed to insure that History of games conferences occur every two years.

Members were elected from 10 broad regions around the world and the committee will make sure that conferences alternate between different world regions.

New members can be voted in at the event and the organization seeks to grow by including even more regions as historical research develops on a global scale. For more information, please visit http://www.history-of-games.com/

CFP: Transnational Games Histories. 2020 Conference

27th – 29th May 2020, Collegium Maius (ul. Jagiellońska 15), Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

The theme of this year’s conference, Transnational Games Histories, reflects a changing awareness in the influence of games throughout time and space. Following from earlier calls for a broader and more inclusive approach to the histories of games (Therrien, 2012), games do not belong to one country, nation state or region. Through formal and informal networks (Wasiak, 2015) of production, distribution and consumption games pop up in areas far from their intended market (Swalwell, 2007). Indeed, when they permeate geographical and political boundaries they have the capacity to transform traditional ways of consuming media and even the way individuals interact within society (Švelch, 2018). In doing so, they alter contemporary notions of how these societies are viewed.

As Marshall McLuhan wrote, as societies change, so do games. By exploring the transnational histories of games, this conference series seeks to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of how transnational games transform across local, regional, national, international and global spaces and times and how they challenge and rework or hold and replicate, the status quo of those societies (Debus and Hammeleff Jørgensen, 2017).

Given the expansive, transnational, transformative and transdisciplinary reach and constitution of games histories, the conference welcomes original submissions from researchers and scholars working across the spectrum of academic disciplines, including, but not limited to: economic history; cultural history social history; computer science; military history; cultural history; media history; memory studies; sensory history; the history of technology; psychology of games; history of play; history of games, history of computing, art history; material histories; ethnography; historical archaeology; museology; information science; preservation; curation; education studies and heritage studies.

Topics to be covered, can include, but are not limited to:

• Board, card, table-top, playground, field, hand games

• Computer, video and electric / electronic games

• Histories and biographies of games designers and developers

• Histories of hardware and software (including board, card, table-top, playground, field, hand games)

• Histories of minorities in play and games

• Local, regional and national game histories

• Material games histories (storage, curation, display, upgrade, degradation)

• Historical Studies of Gaming Media (Magazines, disks, cassettes etc.)

• Sites of play (e.g. amusement arcades, theme parks, bowling alleys)

• Historical anthropology of games

• Animals and play

• Cultural and political discourse of games

• Histories of the games industry

• Wargames and political deployment of games

• Pinball and arcade games

• Home or lone programming

• Convergence of games with other games and media (e.g. chess, Tetris, pool)

• Critical readings of historical games

• Histories and biographies of players and their communities

• Histories of games no longer played

• Games and everyday life

• Histories of games and education


750 words including references

Closes: 13th January 2020

Notifications sent 29th February 2020

Submit via https://easychair.org/cfp/HoG2020

Gambrinous releases Cardpocalypse

Make friends, play cards, twist the rules, become a Mega Mutant Power Pets master, and try to save the world in this single-player RPG about being a 90’s kid.

On her first day at Dudsdale Elementary, 10-year old Jess accidentally gets everybody’s favorite collectible card game banned, forcing the kids to take their card battles underground. Troubles arise when mutants from the game invade the real world, and it’s up to Jess and friends to stop them.

From the award-winning indie game studio, Gambrinous, creators of Guild of Dungeoneering, comes an RPG where battles are played with an epic collectible card game. Cardpocalypse takes you back to the 1990’s, a time when computers used floppy disks, and people read magazines for video game cheat codes. You will explore Dudsdale Elementary on a mission to build killer card decks in an effort to defeat the mutants. You will have to trade, earn, wager, change rules and permanently alter cards on your way to victory.


+ BE A CHAMPION: Build your decks around the ultra rare Champion cards you earn. Each Champion comes with unique abilities to tailor your deck around. First player to get their opponent’s Champion card’s health to zero wins the match.

+ GO MEGA: Champion cards evolve to their MEGA forms when their health halves, doing more attack damage and gaining new powers.

+ CHANGE THE GAME: The kids sometimes use house rules and who knows what the Mutants will change. Throughout the game you will choose the new rules and conditions as well as renaming your favorite cards and giving them upgrades using stickers. Create entirely new cards using the Mega Mutant Power Magazine. But be careful, these decisions are permanent.

+ GET SCRAPPY: Adventure throughout the school to unravel the strange occurrences at Dudsdale Elementary. Take on quests to earn cards, stickers, and candy which you can collect and trade with your classmates. Careful, there’s no backsies!

+ YOU CAN’T COLLECT ‘EM ALL: In the end, your decks and rules will be unique to you. Stickers are rare, choices matter, and sometimes you’ll have to make a tough decision to get the best cards.

+ THE 1990’s: Through its totally rad, choice-driven, interactive narrative, Cardpocalypse delivers the experience of being a 90’s kid. Boo-ya!



Originally released in Sept on PC and on Apple Arcade in Dec. 2019 saw the release of Cardpocalypse to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

For more see http://cardpocalyp.se/ 

Join them on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/gambrinous


Irish HCI Conf (Galway)

The 13th annual Irish Human Computer Interaction conference (iHCI 2019) will take place on Friday 15th of November 2019 at NUI Galway.

Following on from last year’s memorable 12th anniversary conference in the University of Limerick, we are delighted to be able warmly welcome everyone to Galway – Ireland’s friendliest and most charming city.

Registration is free and now open. More details here: https://sites.google.com/view/ihci-2019/home

We would like to invite you to this one-day event that will bring together leading voices from the field of HCI and provide an overview of HCI research in Ireland. Our intention and the ethos of the event is to give everyone the opportunity to engage, exchange ideas and participate.

As in every year, the conference will showcase leading research by researchers in Ireland, 
and by Irish researchers working internationally, with contributions also welcome from PhD students and early career HCI researchers.

The event will also include keynote talks from:

Professor Matt Jones, Swansea University, Wales; “The Robots are Coming – Be Afraid!”
Prof. Stephen Brewster , University of Glasgow; “Designing New Interfaces for Cars”
Rachel O’Donnell, Genesys; “HCI & UX: An Industry Perspective”

Call for Submissions

The Paper Presentation Track

The Paper Presentations Track is a showcase of work by researchers based in Ireland, as well as Irish researchers based internationally, that has been published in leading international HCI venues over the past year (from September 2018 onwards). Examples of venues including CHI, CSCW, ECSCW, PDC, DIS, MobileHCI, NordiCHI, IJHCS, TOCHI, IwC and other highly ranked international conferences and journals. The aim is to give the authors of such work the opportunity to share their research with an Irish audience. We invite submissions from all application domains relevant to HCI, including (but not exclusively): AI/Hybrid systems, Living Environments, Gaming, Education, Interaction Design / UX, Health and Aging, and Digital Health and Wellnesss. We also particularly encourage submissions from PhD students and early career HCI researchers in Ireland. A link to the paper as well as full paper details (title, presenter/author name, abstract, venue presented) should be submitted.

Authors of accepted presentations will be given a three minute presentation slot during the 3MR section of the symposium, or a ten minute presentation in the research presentation track. (Note that preference will be given to internationally published papers to the longer presentation slots, and early stage research to the three minute slots).

The Posters Track

The poster track is intended to display the depth and breadth of HCI research in Ireland and to provide a starting point for new conversations. We encourage submissions that focus on Human-Computer Interaction, broadly defined. A 250 word abstract should be submitted below.

Demo Session

This allows you to present your hands-on demonstration, share novel interactive technologies, and stage interactive experiences. We encourage submissions from any area of human computer interaction, games, entertainment, digital and interactive art, and design. We invite contributions from industry, research, startups, maker communities, the arts, and design. If you have an interesting prototype, device, system, exhibit or installation, we want to know about it.

Submit for any of the above tracks on https://sites.google.com/view/ihci-2019/programme/call-for-partipation

Deadline for submissions (for both tracks): 25 October 2019

(A notification of acceptance and finalisation of the draft programme schedule will follow, based on the number of submissions received one week later.)

Afternoon Design Clinic/Roundtable Session

We hope to introduce an afternoon design clinic / roundtable session back into the event, as per the original event back in 2007. These small group discussions will be facilitated by people with experience within these domains. The sessions may be grouped around a current problem (Design Clinic) or more generally around identifying, articulating, and exploring ill-defined or fuzzy challenges in these specific HCI research areas. They will involve active participation by all participants throughout the discussions as well as in the determination of potential future research directions and the generation of new insights arising from the discussions. Themes include:

*Gaming and Play
*Health, Wellbeing and Aging
*Living Spaces and Cars
*Interaction Design
*Artificial Intelligence and Hybrid Systems
*Novel Interactions

Register to attend

You can specify your interest in one of the above roundtable sessions when you register to attend https://sites.google.com/view/ihci-2019/programme/registration


Graduate Traineeship Programme seeks applicants.


Screen Skills Ireland and Animation Skillnet are currently seeking applicants for their next graduate Traineeship Programme for Animation, VFX and Games.

In 2018-19, 15 trainees took part in the programme and were placed in a studio for 6 months.The studios that took part in the last programme included Piranha Bar, Salty Dog Pictures, 3D4 Medical, Turnip and Duck, Jam Media, Cartoon Saloon, TouchPress/StoryToys and Lighthouse Studios.

The programme, which has been running since 2016, has a great track record with over 90% of participants going on to gain further work in the industry either with their host studio or with another studio.

For the 2019-20 programme they aim to take on approximately 10 trainees for a 6 month period (24 weeks). Over the course of the programme, the trainee will work in-house in the studio where they will receive on the job training. In addition to on-the-job training, the trainee will receive additional tailored training through Animation Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland before they enter the studio and at other agreed times over the 6 months.

The Traineeship programme will commence on Monday 11th November 2019 (with approx. one week of up-front training to include the Schoolism Dublin event https://workshops.schoolism.com/workshops/6/schoolism-live-dublin) and finish on Friday 24th April 2020.

A training allowance/bursary will be made available to participants (400 Euro a week for the 6 months/24 weeks).

Start Date: Monday 11th November 2019

End Date: Friday 24th April 2020

Interested applicants should upload a CV Link or LinkedIn link and showreel/portfolio link to


Deadline for applications: Wednesday 23rd October 2019 at 5pm

Interviews will be held in late October with Final Selection on Wednesday 6th November 2019.

All applications will be evaluated and shortlisted for interview by a panel of industry experts, in consultation with Screen Skills Ireland/Animation Skillnet.

Please note only those who are shortlisted will be called for interview.​

Game Workers Unite Ireland Survey

Game Workers Unite Ireland are a new organisation which aims to work with everyone employed in the sector to improve working terms and conditions. They are a branch of the Financial Services Union in Ireland.

GWU are currently running a survey to establish what are the key issues workers face. If you are working in games and what to have your say go to https://fsusurvey.typeform.com/to/EgTAy7.

Participation is totally confidential.

You can find some further background on Game Workers Unite Ireland in this article, which features an interview with GWU Ireland coordinator Ellen Cunningham.

For more information, check out  www.gwuireland.org where you can find out more about our charter and what we want to achieve for workers in the sector.

They are also on twitter @GWU_Ireland, and on Facebook @GWUIreland.

Membership is open to everyone working in Games.

Two game companies receive Creative Europe funding


Two game companies were among the six Irish companies who have been successful in the latest round of Creative Europe MEDIA results.

Both companies were first time MEDIA beneficiaries.

Timeslip Softworks (And Prometheus Wept)

Donegal based Timeslip Softworks run by Daithí McHugh has released two Video Games: Deadstone and Vigilantes.

Psychic Games (The Necromancer)

Galway based Phychic Software run by Sam Redfern has released a number of Video Games including Orbs.it which won an Imirt Award for Best Technical Achievement in 2017.

Total Awarded in 2019 to Irish registered Game companies: €91,077.

Nearly a million Euros has been awarded to Irish games companies since 2014.

Creative Europe Desk Ireland has two specialist MEDIA information offices, one based in Dublin and one in Galway.

They offer comprehensive information on the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme and specifically the MEDIA sub-programme.

For more see https://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu/media 

Well done to everyone.

Imirt Annual Awards & Social event


Imirt is holding its annual awards ceremony and a social gathering of the Irish game development community on Thursday 19th September from 7.30pm.

The event will take place downstairs in The Well at Stephens Green, a very cool space with retro arcade games. – 130 Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.  See http://www.thewelldublin.ie/

For the first time ever the Imirt awards will be announced on the night so there will be lots of excitement!

This will be followed by an informal social evening.

Space is limited so make sure to reserve your ticket!

For tickets see Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/imirt-irish-game-awards-tickets-72722249205?fbclid=IwAR0uLtYQwsWwk4sz864gQ2RqIs2yZq-md2QWt1AsDX3MGreO1_6LywsCif4 

For more on Imirt see http://www.imirt.ie/

European Games Week Cancelled

Last Friday it was announced that the European Games Conference event was cancelled.

The event was to take place over five days this week in Croke Park in Dublin, and include workshops, keynotes, an expo and esports.

A full refund for all ticket sales will be available through your point of sale.

More information via info@europeangamesweek.com and on the website https://europeangamesweek.com/




iGBL Programme Announced

The  programme for this year’s Irish Conference on Game Based Learning (iGBL), in Cork City, on the 27th and 28th of June, has been announced.

Download or browse the programme at https://www.igbl-conference.com/programme/

Formerly Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning, the IGBL conference, provides a forum for all stakeholders interested in exchanging ideas, projects, and best practice on the use of games and game-based approaches to support motivation, learning, and change. It is a forum for students, teachers,  researchers, or companies to meet and share this enthusiasm for this platform

This year the event is being keynoted by Brenda Romero, who needs no introduction. In her keynote Brenda will explore the power of games to educate using both her own work as well as the work that was carried-out on the game Cybersquad to teach girls about cyber security.


AR/VR PhD opportunity (Dublin)

The deadline for this position has now passed. Please do not apply.


PhD Research Opportunity TU Dublin School of Media
Diagnostic Applications of Mixed/Augmented Reality Visualisation of MRI Scans

Application Deadline: June 30, 2019 PhD
Start Date: September 2019

Objectives of project:
This project is a cross-institute (Technological University Dublin & Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience) research study into the use of virtual reality/augmented reality in the medical space – specifically to identify and map areas of brain structures for teaching/diagnostic applications.

Proposed research direction will be to improve and extend current 2.5D brain nerve tract visualisation and analysis and overall user experience of current state-of-the-art MRI diagnostic tools to full 3DVR for visual/algorithmic based edit/query/analysis of brain structures. The project aims to develop and test a diagnostic/teaching prototype able to investigate the potential strengths and advantages of Mixed/Virtual Reality technologies for medical applications. Stipend and academic fee waiver.

The successful applicant will receive a stipend of €16,000 per annum through TU Dublin’s College of Arts & Tourism Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme for the project’s duration (up to a maximum of four years).

The cost of EU academic fees will be covered for the duration of the project (subject to successful annual evaluations). Non-EU applicants are eligible to take up the project; however, they will be required to fund the fee differential.

The aforementioned stipend and EU academic fee waiver constitute part of a scholarship, and not part of a contract of employment. The successful candidate will be a student, rather than an employee of TU Dublin. The candidate

Candidates will be either:
• a Masters graduate in computer science, computer game development, or related computing discipline awarded at 2.1 or higher; and/or,
• an outstanding (minimum upper 2:1) Bachelors in computer science, computer game development, or related computing discipline with evidence of high quality research potential.

• Background, knowledge or experience in Unreal Engine or Unity3D gaming engine(s).
• Background, knowledge or experience in C#, C++, or JavaScript programming.
• Background, knowledge or experience in HTC Vive, Oculus Rift (or similar) 3DVR gaming technologies.
• Background, knowledge or experience in User Experience/Interface Design, particularly for Interactive Applications

How to apply:
Completed applications and requests for further information submitted directly to Basil Lim by email at basil.lim@dit.ie

A complete application includes:
i) A full curriculum vitae – including qualifications, experience, list of publications

ii) A personal statement outlining motivations for pursuing PhD research (maximum 1000 words), and,

iii) A sample of the candidate’s written work (these will not be returned)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

///Advert posted 17th June, 2019.

Digit Games acquired

Digit Game Studios has been acquired by Los Angeles-based Scopely in May 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

Digit, which employes around 70 people in Dublin, was founded in 2012 and specialises in mobile games.

The companies recently collaborated on the Star Trek franchise, which reportedly generated $50m in revenue in the first four months of its availability.

Scopely was already a minority shareholder in Digit, with other backers including Enterprise Ireland, Delta Partners and ACT Venture.

l-r: David McGovern, Richard Barnwell and Fergus Duggin, Digit Founders.                            by City Headshots Dublin


For more see:

  1. RTE news  https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2019/0509/1048509-digit-scopely-gaming/
  2. the Irish Times – https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/dublin-based-digit-games-acquired-by-scopely-1.3886970
  3. Also https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/irish-games-developers-going-boldly-into-new-frontiers-1.3757603
  4. https://www.digitgaming.com/


Deep Learning PhD opportunity (Dublin)

The deadline for this position has now passed. Please do not apply.


PhD Research Opportunity TU Dublin School of Media
Automatic Updating of Crowd-sourced Maps Using Deep Learning

Application Deadline: June 30, 2019
PhD Start Date: September 2019

Objectives of project: 
Pattern matching in raster digital imagery using machine learning has received a lot of recent attention but automatic updating of crowd-sourced vector maps using these techniques is still an open problem. Today, VGI maps like OSM are well populated with built environment data – how to keep them up-to-date in a timely manner is the main research question, with plenty of scope to develop new techniques for automating this process.

To address this problem, we propose a novel change/damage detection system using satellite imagery and deep learning techniques (multi-layered neural networks) in order to automate the updating of freely available online crowd-sourced maps like OpenStreetMap (OSM). We ensure the quality of information added by our automated system is up to standard by using inter-rater reliability statistics. Stipend and academic fee waiver.

The successful applicant will receive a stipend of €16,000 per annum through TU Dublin’s College of Arts & Tourism Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme for the project’s duration (up to a maximum of four years).

The cost of EU academic fees will be covered for the duration of the project (subject to successful annual evaluations). Non-EU applicants are eligible to take up the project; however, they will be required to fund the fee differential.

The aforementioned stipend and EU academic fee waiver constitute part of a scholarship, and not part of a contract of employment. The successful candidate will be a student, rather than an employee of TU Dublin.

Candidates will be either:
• a Masters graduate in computer science, spatial information science, or related geospatial discipline awarded at 2.1 or higher; and/or,
• an outstanding (minimum upper 2:1) Bachelors in computer science, spatial information science, or related geospatial discipline with evidence of high quality research potential.

• Background, knowledge or experience in spatial databases, OSM Editing/Overpass API.
• Background, knowledge or experience in image processing, GIS application development.
• Background, knowledge or experience in machine learning.

How to apply: 
Completed applications and requests for further information submitted directly to Dr. James D. Carswell by email at jcarswell@dit.ie

A complete application includes:

i) A full curriculum vitae – including qualifications, experience, list of publications

ii) A personal statement outlining motivations for pursuing PhD research (maximum 500 words), and,

iii) A sample of the candidate’s written work (these will not be returned).

Incomplete applications will not be considered

///Advert posted 17th June, 2019.

Assis Lecturer in Game Design DIT (Aungier St.)


Assistant Lecturer in Game Design
(Permanent Wholetime)
(Reference: HRC/A/83b/18).
Location:  Currently located in DIT Aungier Street, Dublin 2.

The School of Media is seeking to appoint an Assistant Lecturer in Game Design on a Permanent Wholetime Basis.

The role of Assistant Lecturer in Game Design will involve delivering multi-disciplinary and well-rounded education in game conception, design and development with a view to creating students who can innovate in game design across the domains of both entertainment and serious games. The role will also involve the development of DIT as a centre of excellence for research into games.

The ideal candidate will have qualifications in game development, a record of teaching and an active professional/creative portfolio in the games industry with demonstrated interest in all aspects of game design. They will also need significant experience in developing and running game design workshops.

Applicants should have a professional background with evidence of participation in games that have been published.

Technical proficiency across multiple areas of game design is required. S/he will be a creative and innovative individual willing to join a dynamic team supporting the delivery of programmes in game design at both undergraduate and post graduate level.

Candidates should have the ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment; lead new initiatives in game design techniques; contribute to new programme development; and to contribute actively to School, College and Institute activities, reflecting its position as a leading centre for the creative and cultural industries.

Note: At least an MA level qualification is an essential requirement.

Full details available at https://my.corehr.com/pls/ditrecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.display_form

Deadline for applications 22nd of Oct. 2018

Posted 8th of Oct, 2018.

Gaming as Youth Work – Funded MA – Deadline 16th of Aug**

Gaming as Youth Work: Exploring the Role of Gaming as a Creative Tool for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning among Socially Isolated Young People

Applications are invited for a two-year, full-time, funded Masters through research exploring the role of gaming in youth work. This project is a partnership between IT Carlow and Carlow Regional Youth Service (CRYS). Funded by IT Carlow’s President’s Fellowship Scholarship and by CRYS, the student will have their fees paid and will receive a stipend of €26,000 (€13,000 across each year of the programme). In addition to an academic qualification, the successful candidate will receive direct, hands-on youth work experience.

Project summary

Youth work is a form of informal education which uses flexible methods to support young people’s social and personal development. Despite youth work’s demonstrable success in engaging a diversity of young people, there remain a cohort of young people who do not participate in traditional youth work formats because of communication, learning or mental health difficulties. Such young people may experience significant social isolation. For youth workers, innovative ways to engage such young people are required. Research suggests that gaming may offer one such approach (Stewart, 2013; Dunlap and Rivers, 2018). While ‘games in isolation do not provide in-depth emotional bonding … they can serve to facilitate relationships’ (Dunlap and Rivers, 2018: 141). Games can also integrate skills such as communication and cooperation, and provide safe spaces for experimentation and risk-taking (ibid.).

The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to work collaboratively with youth workers and a targeted cohort of 20 young people from the Carlow region in order to answer the following research questions:

*Can gaming be used to build relationships between youth workers and socially isolated young people, and if so, in what ways?

*Can gaming contribute to young people’s social and emotional learning, and is so, how?

The research will result in a resource pack for youth workers which will be disseminated throughout the sector. The successful candidate will be based in Carlow Regional Youth Service (CRYS) for part of the week and will work alongside its staff in the development of the project.

The student will be co-supervised by the director of SocialCORE, IT Carlow’s applied social research centre, and the director of GameCORE, IT Carlow’s research centre for interactive applications, software and networks. He/she/they will be also required to undertake two hours teaching per week.

Person specification

The successful candidate will:

-Be a youth work graduate, or a graduate of another discipline with at least five years’ youth work experience;

-Have a minimum 2.1 honours degree;

-Be available to work/study full-time;

-Have the ability to engage with diverse young people using youth work pedagogy;

-Have very good writing and analytical skills;

-Be committed to the principles of youth work;

-Be interested in gaming as a tool of youth

Technical knowledge of gaming or coding is not a requirement of this project, though some experience of using games is desirable.

To apply, please email patricia.rochford@itcarlow.ie with the title of the project in the subject line, a CV and a statement (c.500 words) of why this project is of interest to you.

Deadline for applications: August 16 2018.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Niamh McCrea, at niamh.mccrea@itcarlow.ie.

[sorry for the short timeline – blame the holidays!]

IMIRT Board Elections – call for nominees

The 2018 Board elections for Imirt will happen in September. There will be three seats available for nominees to fill (it was four last year). Being on the board of Imirt means you steer the agenda and implement the goals of the organisation.

As a volunteer-run organisation we look forward to welcoming new faces to the board every year and would like to encourage anyone in the Irish games community to consider running.

To become a nominee you simply need to be a member of Imirt and e-mail contact@imirt.ie expressing an interest (i.e. you self nominate) by August 31st. We will then ask for your bio, goals, and optional photo to put on the Imirt website in the run up to the elections.


Imirt Irish Game Makers is a Company Limited By Guarantee (CLG) that represents game developers in the Republic of Ireland. We promote, mentor, and improve the game making environment for those developing games here.

[cross posted from http://www.imirt.ie/news/]

New Head at Screen Training Ireland

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board announced recently that they had appointed Gareth Lee to the role of Manager of Screen Training Ireland.  Gareth will be responsible for the roll out of a new plan of action for the development of skills across the whole screen sector being Film, TV Drama, Animation, Television production, VFX, Games and VR / AR.  Gareth will also work with the skills sub-committee of the Irish Film Board with regard to the roll out of the recent Crowe Horwath report on the Audiovisual Sector.

Gd.ie readers will know Gareth from his work at Ballyfermot College of Further Education where he ran the Animation degree programme and most recently the diploma programme in 3D & Visual Effects.  Gareth was also central in the Animation Skillnet which included placing graduates with games companies.

Good luck in your new role!

iOS Game Developer, TCD (Dublin)


iOS Game Developer for Psychology/Neuroscience Research Project

Trinity College Dublin is recruiting for an iOS software developer with previous experience of smartphone app & game development for a high-impact research project. The positions starts as soon as possible and runs for one year.

The research project involves developing a gamified cognitive test, in the form of an app, to detect risk for Alzheimer’s Disease in healthy individuals, around the world and at scale.

Duties and responsibilities:

*Software development of a smartphone app for longitudinal cognitive neuroscience research in brain health
*‘Gamification’ of well validated cognitive tests
*Work collaboratively as part of an academic team


*Applicants should have a minimum of 3 years’ industry experience in iOS app development, preferably having worked on at least one game. *Note that candidates with 2 years’ experience may also be considered, but they must have demonstrate extremely high performance during that time.

Skills, Competencies, & Experience

*The candidate must be proficient in iOS development (Essential)
*React Native – experience building mobile apps using Javascript and React and/or Android development experience (Highly Desirable)
*Experience with large datasets, analytics and logistically complex projects (Desirable)
*The ideal candidate will have an active interest in cognition and brain health (Desirable)
*The ideal candidate will be reliable, highly motivated and productive, and enjoy working collaboratively (Essential)

Essential Info:

Contract: Fixed term contract – 1 year full time
Start date: as soon as possible.
Location: TCD, Dublin, Ireland.
Salary: Appointment will be made on the Level 2 Research Fellow salary scale at point 8 (€44,643 per annum), which is in line with
Government Pay Policy
Deadline: apply as soon as possible

Further information on the role can be found by accessing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pcqrKa_F3ZUVnbqhYV4Oo1dcrTun0pNw/view?usp=sharing


To apply please send a cover letter with a brief description of past accomplishments as well as future research interests and career goals together with a full curriculum vitae (CV) to include the names and contact details of 2 referees (email addresses if possible) to:
Dr. Andrew Pringle, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Gillan Lab, email: pringlea@tcd.ie

Posted: 16th April, 2018.

Diversity in Games Workshops (April/Galway)

We are going on tour with our Network in Play Workshops!

In April 2018 Network in Play and our partners are running three workshops for beginners in Galway which are female friendly and inclusive. This follows on from our diversity workshops in Dublin in the summer of 2016.

This is part of the ReFig: Network in Play project that Aphra Kerr and Vicky Twomey-Lee are involved in – http://gamedevelopers.ie/diversity/

When: Sat Apr 7/14/28 2018

Duration: 11-4 with lunch provided.

Where: PorterShed (1st two workshops, 7 & 14 April) / (note change of venue) Galway Technology Centre, Galway (3rd workshop, 28th April).

The three workshops are:-

***Apr 7 – Charlene Putney – an interactive fiction/game narrative workshop

***Apr 14 – Robin O’Keefe – a board-game design workshop

***Apr 28 – Tracey McCabe – an intro to games development with Unity3D

Level: These workshops are aimed at over 18s who are complete beginners with no prior experience of game development.  We are particularly keen to attract women, people from diverse creative backgrounds, people who are unemployed and people of colour.

Price of workshops start from €10 (incl. lunch), with deductions for unemployed, students and attendance at more than one workshop.

Any left over proceeds will be donated to COPE Galway.

All materials and technology provided. Just bring yourselves.

To sign up go to to https://ti.to/refig-nip/galway-diversity-in-games-workshop/

Safer Space Polices and Codes of Conduct

We have developed our own Code of Conduct within inputs from our network partners. See here. Comments and suggestions welcome. This is a work in progress.

Our colleagues in our ‘parent’ Refiguring Innovation in Games Network have developed a Safer Space policy. We will be adopting this also for our events. See here.

Our partners include the people from Coding Grace who have a lot of experience running diversity friendly events in Ireland. Their Code of Conduct can be found here.

Want to let us know about other useful approaches, codes and policies?

Drop us an email here.

Call for Papers: IEEE Games & Entertainment Conf (Galway)

IEEE Games Entertainment & Media conference, will be held in Galway, Ireland 15th-17th August. The IEEE GEM 2018 conference aims to bring together researchers, developers,industry & government partners working on gaming technologies, entertainment, multimedia, Virtual & Augmented reality,IoT, Artificial intelligence & interdisciplinary areas.

GEM encompasses all aspects of gaming and interactive digital media ranging from theoretical advances in algorithmic and mathematical techniques, to new enabling technologies, advanced consumer electronics systems, novel sensing technologies, to socio-economic impacts and unique and original uses and applications of these technologies.

GEM is for scientists, engineers, psychologists, sociologists, mathematicians, programmers and games researchers of all disciplines, united in their interest and enthusiasm for digital games, interactive entertainment & media and the significant uses and impacts these technologies have on our lives.

GEM delegates are encouraged to submit original research works on the above areas. The submission deadline is the 31st of March and this article covers some of the main technology tracks for presenting your research work at the conference.

Track 02 – Mobile& Wearable Technologies: This track has a focus on new mobile & wearable technologies. There have been some really interesting developments in this sector, especially with some of the efforts to develop low-cost augmented reality support for today’s smartphones from DIY cardboard mounting systems to advanced Augmented Reality development frameworks. And we also had killer gaming experiences such as Pokemon-Go which redefined the nature of mobile gaming!

But this track is broader in scope as it encompasses all of the new technologies that are rapidly evolving in the smartphone and wearable sectors, including advanced motion sensing, camera and connectivity technologies. Research into new gaming related applications and use cases are also encouraged.

Have you been developing some research using one of these technologies – please consider sharing your experience with us at IEEE GEM 2018.

Track 03 – Augmented& Virtual Reality: This is a field were exciting new technologies are beginning to democratise the adoption of AR/VR and most recently mixed-reality where a combination of sound, visual cues, haptics and other sensory stimulations are combined to create new compelling gaming experiences.

Several of our keynotes will address related topics, but we also want to gain insights from your research and application experiences with these new technologies.

Have you developed some cool new applications or use cases for the Hollolens? Or perhaps you’ve been working on a new immersive VR simulation? Do consider sharing your work and experiences with us in Galway this Summer.

Track 06 – Emerging Technologies: This track encompasses a broad range of technologies that provide potential gateways to new gaming experiences. New user interface techniques and technologies will fit into this track as can motion or location-sensing and location aware technologies or use cases.

Techniques and applications involving touch & haptics or advances optical displays or sensing methods and advanced motion capture or body-aware technologies are also relevant. In fact any technology that can enable or enhance the gaming or media experience for the user is of interest. We need your contributions at IEEE GEM.

Track 10 – Augmented Spaces: This track takes its lead from our conference theme: “Augmented Spaces and Virtual Worlds”. As consumer electronics technologies continue to evolve with smart speakers moving into our homes, OLED TV panels creating dynamic, photorealistic viewing experiences and advanced soundbars bringing immersive surround sound our living room is turning into an augmented entertainment space. But it can become more – a gateway into new, Virtual Worlds with associated entertainment & gaming experiences that we have yet to imagine.

GEM isn’t limited to technology tracks, and more information is coming on other conference tracks, from societal impacts, to serious gaming and esports.

You can find information on all of the conference tracks here or liaise with individual track chairs here, and if you are ready to submit a paper via EDAS you can go here.

Countdown to the deadline of the 31st of March.



Animation MasterClasses in Dingle

As if you need another excuse to go to Dingle! Sign up by Fri. 16th of March.

Animation Skillnet are teaming up with Animation Dingle to offer the master classes outlined below at Animation Dingle 2018 (with support from Skillnets, Screen Training Ireland and the BAI).

Please note that places on each of these master classes are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To enable the maximum number of people to attend at least one master class please select the one master class from the three advertised that you’d most like to attend when registering. If we can’t register you for your chosen masterclass we’ll aim to register you for one of the other masterclasses.

Registration for these master classes is only open to those who have already bought Animation Dingle festival passes.

Please register here: http://animationskillnet.ie/event-registration/?ee=183

The deadline for registrations is Friday 16th March.


Masterclass 1 – Dan Katcher – Friday 23rd March 10am-12.30pm – Beehive Theatre

Biography: Dan Katcher is a renowned Los Angeles-based creature designer for television, games, and film. He is best known for his design of the dragons on HBO’s hit, Game of Thrones, which earned him Emmy recognition for three straight seasons. In addition to Game of Thrones, Dan is currently at work on creatures for a number of DC Comic productions, including The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. See more here: https://www.dankatcher.com/

Master Class Title: Making Monsters in Zbrush (How to Make a Dragon – An Anatomical Approach). Dan will talk through the importance of understanding of physiology and anatomy while creating creatures using Zbrush.



Masterclass 2 – Ryan Woodward – Saturday 24th March 10am-12.30pm – Beehive Theatre

Biography: Ryan Woodward has worked in the film, animation and gaming industry in various roles such as animator, storyboard artist and director for 23 years. He began his career in 1995 as an animator on the film Space Jam. Since then, he has gone on to work on the following films: The Iron Giant, Spider-Man 2 and 3, Cowboys and Aliens, Where The Wild Things Are, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Avengers and many more. He currently works at Riot Games on the development of future projects. See more here: http://ryanwoodwardart.com/

Master Class Title: 2D Animation – Ugly Drawings Moving Beautifully. Ryan will go through his theories and approach to animation and the value of understanding the depth of characters and story structure.


Masterclass 3 – Keith Sintay – Saturday 24th March 2pm-4.30pm – Beehive Theatre

Biography: Keith Sintay has been a professional animator for over 23 years. Having worked as a traditional paper and pencil animator, an all-digital character animator to VFX blockbuster animator and supervisor, he offers a unique perspective on the industry. He began his career at Disney Feature Animation in Florida as a traditional animation artist on the Disney film Pocahontas and from there worked on such films as: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, and Sinbad (Dreamworks). …After working for 10 years in Feature Animation, he made the transition into VFX animation while still at Sony, and went on to work on I Am Legend.  … He is currently working as Animation Supervisor for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on the Warner Brother’s CW network. See more here: http://www.animationmentor.com/mentors/keith-sintay/

Master Class Title: Tips and Tricks for Character Animation and VFX Animation. In his Master Class Keith will be discussing his methodology and workflow that has allowed him to be successful and efficient throughout his digital career. He will offer Tips and Tricks for approaching both VFX Animation and Character Animation.

Games Blockchain Unity Developer (Intern/Dub)

Job title: Games Blockchain Unity Developer
Term: Paid 3 month internship

Location: The Digital Hub, Dublin 8, Ireland


Bitcoin Marketing Team is a successful and Irish owned cryptocurrency marketing agency. We will be putting together a series of events over the coming year, and we have a once in a lifetime opportunity for a video game development student with an interest in blockchain to join the team on a paid 3 month internship in our Dublin 8 offices.

The quest, if you choose to accept it, is to help us build out some underlying functions between Unity and a number of blockchain API’s, and using them as some of the trigger points in unity. This will require a knowledge of Unity, and API’s, and connecting the two via Javascript and JSON, API’s etc.

Once complete, the role will then include building out some rudimentary game prototypes as a proof of concept, which can then be used as a basis for a series of Games Blockchain Hackajam’s to be hosted in Dublin in June or July.

You can register your interest by emailing blockchaingameshackajam@bitcoinmarketingteam.com and there will be approximately €1,000 worth of bitcoin in prizes split three ways.

An example of our starting point can be seen here – https://dailyblockchain.github.io (open the page, zoom out with ctrl+ your mousewheel, change to another tab for about 2 minutes, and then come back to the screen).

So if you’ve an interest in blockchain, can work your way through API documentation and code it to work, and then feed the information into Unity, and build some basic gameplay with leaderboards around them, get in touch today with a CV and cover letter/audio message/video message at collegeplacements@bitcoinmarketingteam.com

Call for participation: Game-Based Learning Conf (Cork)

The call for participation to the 8th Irish Conference on Game-Based learning (iGBL2018) is now open.

iGBL2018 will be held on 28th and 29th June 2018 in Cork City (Ireland), and welcomes abstracts from developers, instructors and researchers for game demos, presentations or workshops on the themes of games for learning, motivation and change.

If you have used or conducted research on digital or non-digital games to support change, learning and motivation, and you would like to share your experience with like-minded researchers and practitioners, you may consider presenting at iGBL2018 and submit your abstract by 22nd January 2018.

Authors who submit their abstract(s) by 22nd January will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd February.

Authors who submit their abstract(s) by 22nd February will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd March.

Galway Games Gathering 17 – a roundup

The inaugural Galway Games Gathering took place on the 15th and 16th September at the wonderfully designed Galway, Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Galway (see pic above), featuring a series of 20 presentations from speakers in the Irish and International games communities and an expo of Irish indie games.

The event opened early Saturday with John Romero of Romero Games, who spoke about his life in games, telling the story of the industry through his own story as a developer. His presentation covered his well-known accomplishments such as Commander Keen and Doom, as well as lesser known periods of his life, such as his exposure to games as a child visiting Sierra College near to where he grew up, or his co-founding Loot Drop. At each phase, John spoke about his work within the larger context of what was happening in the games industry as a whole at the time, and closed by drawing our attention to some patters he has seen in the industry, including a return to digital distribution originally seen in the era of early BBS, and a resurgence of e-sports, which have transitioned from arcade championships to large-scale stadium events.

Colm Larkin, creator of Guild of Dungeoneering, was up next. He spoke about the positive impact that sharing an “embarrassingly early” version of his game had on the development process. In particular, he advised developers to not let the fear of their ideas being stolen stop them from sharing, saying that the idea itself isn’t what’s special, it’s the iterations on it that make it so.

Colm Larkin in his speaking jacket!. Photo by Jacinta Moore

Anna Jenelius from Stockholm Sweden founded her own company, Talecore Studios, in 2015. She spoke about our responsibility to do something positive with our games, noting that while there is nothing wrong with mainstream games, we can do much more with the stories that we tell and the players that we reach. [See her Gamastura posts and her own website].

Paul Conway of Spooky Doorway gave a Post-Mortem of ‘The Darkside Detective‘, walking attendees through the 2.5 year process of creating and releasing a successful indie title with a team of five people and no budget.

Neil Homes spoke about self-publishing and presented ID@Xbox as an platform for indie publishers, specifically highlighting the importance of timing the release of an indie game to not be overshadowed by AAA titles. Om Tandon, UX director at Digit Games in Dublin, spoke about how applying the correct UX methodology to a F2P app increased participation in events by 300%.

John Romero introduces Om Tandon. Photo by Jacinta Moore

Elaine Reynolds started out as an intern at Starcave in Galway. Today she has her own company, Simteractive, based in Dublin, and she spoke about how she has used psychology in game development, while Dario D’Ambra presented the work he has been undertaking in working on the game “Don’t Make Love”, exploring romance through meaningful conversations in which the player is a participant. Afterward, Liz Mercuri explained the use of Unity to create procedural camera rigs and gameplay cutscenes.

Elaine Reynolds, GGG 2017. Photo by Aphra Kerr

Brett Douville, the lead programmer on Skyrim and Fallout 4, made his first trip to Ireland to give Saturday’s final presentation. Brett spoke about useful tensions in game development, outlining ways in which project managers can subtly shape productive tensions within or between teams, such as by occasionally pushing individuals slightly beyond the limits of what they think they can accomplish, by pitting teams against one another in friendly implied competition, or even by intentionally delaying a feature to force the team to develop creative solutions. Brett also warned against unhealthy tensions, such as long hours and work crunches, and highlighted the importance of a manager’s awareness of the physical, mental, and emotional health of members of a team. [See his games blog and see an interview here.]


Following a reception in the city on Sat. evening everyone was back out nice and early for a full day of talks on Sunday.

Sunday was kicked off by Stephen O’Callaghan, the head of Sound, Tools, and Technology at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, who spoke about unlocking the creative potential of teams and individuals. He illuminated some of the ways in which Sony’s Creative Services Group emphasise and explore creativity, noting that an environment of creativity requires three things: building connections, facilitating discovery, and nurturing curiosity.

Stephen O’Callaghan (Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe) : Photo by Jacinta Moore

Elisabeth Sampat spoke about her ethical free-to-play philosophy, highlighting four emotions that monetise: Curiosity, Frustration, Amusement, and Desire. Most important of all, however, Elisabeth noted, is generosity: transactions should be designed for value, not addiction. [See her GDC 2017 talk here and her 2017 book Empathy Engines: Design Games that are Personal Political and Profound]

Gd.ie’s own Aphra Kerr spoke of how gamedevelopers.ie emerged at the same time as Nokia’s N-Gage mobile device and then looked at some early games developed in Ireland. Bringing things right up to date she introduced her new book, Global Games, and drew attention to some recurring patterns —such as the return to small development teams—and the emergence of new game making locations, including China, Finland, Sweden, and Poland. This point to lots of potential for indie game devs based in Ireland.

Keith O’Connor, the CTO at Romero games, presented a Junior Coder Survival Guide, emphasising that good code is simple, maintainable, debuggable, and stable, after which Pete McNally, the Technical Art Lead at Havok, showed how to perform 3D Scanning for Games on a Budget.

Keith O’Connor (Romero Games) – Photo by Jacinta Moore.

Craig Stuart Garfinkle spoke about writing memorable game music, stating that the secret is a balance between novelty and familiarity. He demonstrated some using his current composing setup: an octave-and-a-half keyboard, his laptop, and a 13TB HDD of samples.

Kevin Murphy presented some bold ideas for alternate payment models of the future, ranging from paid virtual experience to selling virtual real estate in games and monetising FPS games the way others monetise paintball: by selling the ammunition.

Mike Bithell, creator of ‘Thomas Was Alone’, gave an honest (and at times side-splittingly funny) list of 20 tricks that developers can do to improve their games, 10 for games that are already in development and 10 for projects that have not been started yet. Mike was followed by Denman Rooke, who hosted a live digital painting session while sharing some industry tips and techniques.

The final speaker of the event was composer and conductor Eimear Noone, who showcased some of her recent undertakings, and who highlighted the things that are possible when the community is engaged, such as the fan-created orchestra performance of “Malach: Angel Messenger” at iDiG 2017 and the recently released “The Celtic Link”, which is a collection of music from The Legend of Zelda series performed by the DIT Irish Traditional Music Ensemble. [Listen back to her talk from Inspirefest 2017 in Dublin earlier in the year.]

Along with the excellent set of speakers, the indie games expo showcased some of the exciting game development that is happening across Ireland.

Galway Games Gathering 17 Foyer of Games


Foyer in GMIT, GGG 2017. Photo by Aphra Kerr

Exhibitors were also judged by a panel selected from among the organisers and guests, and a number of awards were given:

Best Game: Final Horizon

Excellence in Design: Sub-Species

Excellence in Art: Jennifer Wilde

Excellence in Audio: Dark Side Detective

Excellence in Narrative: Dark Side Detective

Best Multiplayer Game: Trash Team Racing

Best Student Game: I Dare You

People’s Choice: Licky The Lucky Lizard

Overall, the first Galway Games Gathering was a rousing success. With so many events centred on Dublin, it is exciting to know that a new annual event on Ireland’s western coast has garnered so much attention and support. Here’s to next year’s Gathering!

Galway Games Gathering 17 organisers – glad it is all done!

L-r: John Romeo- Romero Games, Manus Burke – Howling Hamster Games, Geraldine McLoughlin – Western Development Commission, Patrick Tobin – GMIT.


Speaker Badge. Pic by Aphra Kerr


Write up: Joshua D Savage, PhD student, Maynooth University and Aphra Kerr, gd.ie & Maynooth University.

Photos: Mostly by Jacinta Moore unless noted as Aphra.

Thanks to Manus Burke, of Howling Hamster Games, for forwarding on the pics and all his work on the event.

See https://www.galwaygamesgathering.com/ 

Games to Inspire event (Cahir Castle, 23 & 24th Nov.)

“Games to Inspire in Youth Work and Development Education”
Cahir Castle  on  the 23rd and 24th of November

The conference is part of our exciting 2 year international project funded by ERASMUS on gaming and youth work, and, together with partners from UK and Greece we are hugely excited to host a range of international and Irish speakers to explore the potential of games to inspire, to motivate and to positively impact on the lives of young people.

To showcase and nurture the potential of games to inspire, to motivate and to positively impact on the lives of young people.

The conference will actively engage participants in creative collaboration and discussion on local and global development informed by youth work principles of equality, justice and social inclusion. The content and format of the conference will be particularly aimed at inspiring young people and at those working with young people aged between 12 and 25. The conference will have a strong emphasis on encouraging action on the issues highlighted as well as encouraging follow on and collaboration between participants.

To encourage and equip Youth Workers in the creative use of games in their youth work practice through presentations, demonstrations and workshops.

To give young people, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds, an opportunity to experience the transformative potential of games by playing with and speaking with games developers.

To inspire participants through experiencing games designed specifically to present, explore, and respond to contemporary issues facing young people.

To develop a community of practice in the use of games in Global youth work

DAY 1: Focusing on Youth Workers, Development Educators, Games Designers Academics and Educators

DAY 2: Focusing on Young people having the opportunity to meet games designers and explore and design games.

You can be an expert or you can be a beginner but you will be prepared to explore the potential of games!

Closed – Lecturer and Assistant Lecturer in Game Art & Animation (Limerick)

Note: This position is now closed – please do not apply. This ad has been left here for information purposes only.

Limerick Institute of Technology is seeking to recruit a person(s) who will contribute to the teaching responsibility in the area of Game Art and Animation and will contribute to the continued development of the courses.

The person(s) appointed would be expected to teach across a range of years on the programmes as well as taking shared responsibility under the direction of the Head of Department for development and administration of the subjects generally.

To this end the successful applicant should have proven professional practice and have experience in the area of Game Art & Animation.

Further details at http://www.lit.ie/Vacancies/Documents/Post%2016%20Job%20Spec.pdf

[Edit: 15th Nov. 2017 – the deadline has now passed and the link above no longer operates.]

VR storytelling event (06/11- Dublin)

An event of interest from Animation Skillnet – Talk on VR Storytelling with Colum Slevin (Head of Experiences at Oculus VR)

Animation Skillnet with support from Animation Ireland, Screen Training Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are delighted to host a talk by Colum Slevin (Head of Experiences at Oculus VR) on VR Storytelling.

The talk will take place on Monday 6th November from 6.30pm-8pm in The Morrison Hotel, Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin.

Colum Slevin oversees the experiences group for the Oculus VR content team, helping a portfolio of third party developers making 360 video, narrative, and real-time experiences for Mobile VR and Rift. His early background in production for animated TV and features led him to Industrial Light + Magic, where he was Director of Computer Graphics, and later Vice President/Head of Studio Operations at Lucasfilm, where he was responsible for the animation division in California and Singapore. Colum joined Oculus in 2015 from Telltale Games, where he was Studio General Manager. He is obsessed with movies and, while he can never choose his favorite film, his current favorite quote is from Pulp Fiction: Mia asks “When in conversation, do you listen, or do you just wait to talk?” Vincent thinks about it and then responds, “I wait to talk, but I’m trying to listen.”

Please note that this talk is free but that places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

Registration here: http://animationskillnet.ie/event-registration/?ee=176




Unity3D environmental artist & 3D artists (Dub)


Award winning Pink Kong Studios creates branded entertainment for TV, Film, Games and Advertising Houses from our base in Dublin.

One of our most recent jobs was working alongside Variable State on their highly successful game Virginia. This was a fantastic team and project to work on and we want to recreate that team environment.

We have been awarded a fund from Audi Dublin International Film Festival (ADIFF) and Screen Training Ireland to create an immersive VR experience.

We are looking for an environmental artist to help bring this production to life. The art look will be guided by our highly experienced team creative team and we need someone who can help build that in a games engine.

We are on the lookout for a Unity3d environmental artist who’s a real wizz with lighting, materials, vfx, and particles to make the experience come together and pop.

We are also looking for 3D artists and animators to come on board as part of the project. An understanding of creating games ready assets is a massive bonus.

Looking for:

*Unity3d environmental artist
*3D Modeler/ Riggers (for both environments and characters)
*3D Animators

So if you want to do something really fun and engaging in VR contact job@pinkkongstudios.ie

Please put “Games Lighting” “Games Modeler” in the subject line

The experience will be part of the ADIFF in 2018!!

Unity Games Developers, Artists & Animators (Dub)


Award winning Pink Kong Studios creates branded entertainment for TV, Film, Games and Advertising Houses from our base in Dublin.

We have been awarded a fund from Audi Dublin International Film Festival (ADIFF) and Screen Training Ireland to create an immersive VR experience.

We are looking for Unity developers to help bring this production to life. The art look will be guided by our highly experienced team creative team and we need someone who can help build that in a games engine.

We are also happy to consider 3D artists and animators to come on board as part of the project.

So if you want to do something really fun and engaging in VR contact niamh@pinkkongstudios.ie

The experience will be part of the ADIFF in 2018!!



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