As with any good event there were not enough chairs in the Digital Hub for the number of people who turned up last Friday night for the second birthday of <br /><br />The evening kicked off about 7pm with a welcome from myself followed by a few words from Eddie Dowse, content manager for games with 02 Ireland. Eddie talked about meeting Jab at the birthday event last year and the work that Jab was now doing for 02. He also talked about a new developer programme which 02 is developing to assist companies to develop games and sell them into the mobile market. <br /><br />When it comes to new companies Ireland has quite a few of them at the moment. Some have been going for a while and are now expanding. Some are about to make fairly large announcements and of course there are high profile companies opening branches of their companies in Ireland. <br /><br />On the night we had presentations from Michael El Baki (Bomberman) from Bit Rabbit in Dublin and Tony Kelly, (Idora) from Torc Interactive in Donegal. Bit Rabbit are very new (2004) while Torc have been working away for a few years but it seems there are a few announcements forthcoming over the next few months. <br /><br />Michael talked about the difficulties involved in getting a publishing deal in the mainstream channels and showed us some great screenshots from finished and current projects, particularly for symbian phones. Tony told us that the Dreadnought demo they developed for AMD is being launched at WinHEC in Seattle on April 22nd and will involve another first for the Irish games industry. Torc’s Instinct engine will also be launched shortly. Finally, Torc are also currently recruiting for a games studio which will be established shortly in the North West. Unfortunately Tony couldn’t elaborate any further than that on the games studio due to ongoing funding negotiations. <br /><br />Next up was Ciaran Vipond who presented the project ‘BlowAway: The Winds of Therslow’ which was originally a final year thesis project in DCU. The project was selected to represent Ireland at the European Multimedia Prix in Vienna last year and this year for the Wired ‘Nextfest’ in Chicago in June. Blowaway has a physical interface and was designed to be immersive for all age groups and to be gender neutral. The group are currently trying to put funding in place to travel to the US and to further develop the project. <br /><br />These talks were followed by the awards. As most readers of already know, the categories and nominations for the awards are made through the forums on and include four awards to people involved in and one more general award to recognize the contribution of an individual or group to developing the gamedevelopers community in Ireland. <br /><br />This winners this year were:<br />1. Newbie – Stéphane Ambrosini (steph) <br />2. Stamina – Damian Furlong (Omen) with a special runners up award to Ronny Southwood (ronny)<br />3. Salmon of Knowledge – Tony Kelly (Idora)<br />4. Humour – Peter McNally (Pete) or his Hoffness..<br />5. group of the year 05 – IGDA Ireland committee.<br /><br />The awards were followed by the unveiling, to applause, of the new design for by Dave Kearney (skyclad) and Ian Hannigan. Dave and Ian have worked tirelessly over the past month to implement a new design and to address feedback from users of John Lynch (johnnyslim) has been assisting on porting over the forums. The new look will go live shortly and all users will get a chance to peruse it and test it then. <br /><br />The event ended around 8.30pm with people staying to have a glass of wine and food and then retiring to McGruders beer garden and on later to Handel’s of Fishamble Street where Dancing Dave was given a run for his money by Nooptical. <br /><br />I would just like to thank the Digital Hub for helping us to organize the event and for sponsoring the refreshments. Thanks also to 02 for sponsoring the awards themselves and to everyone who turned up.<br /> <br />