- This topic has 8 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 4 months ago by Anonymous.
August 7, 2007 at 11:16 pm #6175AnonymousInactive
August 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm #37955AnonymousInactive
I’m a long time lurker and someone whos been a bit disappointed with the state of games development in Ireland for the last few years as I’m sure most people are.
I’m not really looking to have a go at this project and its great to see people trying to get stuff off the ground, I know its just research and hopefully something will come of it but from what I’ve seen of game deveopment in Ireland I don’t hold much hope
Without referring to any projects at all, I think it’s a tough call to have very industry focussed research in Ireland, relating to the game industry. What is required is:
– companies in the space with time and budget to spend engaging with R&D (this largely speaking has not existed in ireland)
– research programme managers with industry experience to vet projects and help direct the research goals as appropriate (more appropriate for near to market research which is in Enterprise Ireland’s space). It’s hard to find such people with experience from the games space.
– research leaders in the universities with enough understanding of the industry who are willing to work on near-to-market research, and more importantly are prepared to see the research through to product development.
With the scale of the industry in Ireland these are very tough calls indeed. with no significant local industry, it’s difficult to immerse research students in an industrial environment. It’s also hard to whittle away less relevant projects from the potential gems, because there’s no-one with the experience to truly assess the projects.
But that’s where we are. Despite all this though, it has happened. Witness Demonware, Havok, Torc (focusing on the tech / middleware space). So until we’ve built up the momentum in the industry to address the blockages we have to trust to ingenuity, perseverance and luck.
…and while I’m at it, can I say that we need to applaud the efforts of folks like Hugh out in Blanch who are fighting against the odds to build something like this.
August 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm #37959AnonymousInactive
K, i’m not very good with hyperbole and have a very short attention span for this kind of thing but honestly is this going to be another government funded money pit with "I’ve no idea what your developing but it looks dead good and techie and we can bring a few ppl around every once in a while to look at it "or are there real aims to it. Have the developers been talking to other developers who want this? Is there a demand for this kind of stuff? Are there any deals signed? [/quote:8d2f4aa8cb]
Excellent ! :) :)
August 8, 2007 at 4:17 pm #37960AnonymousInactive
Great post btw Phil.
I have to agree about the 2 year funding to "investigate the use of Virtual Cinematography in the context of a procedurally generated urban environment"
That does sound awfully wanky to me, I’d rather they gave them money to fund one person for two years on a game prototype >_<
I mean it is "The graphics and gaming group"….
Does "Automatic Building Generation" need to be researched?
Nope, it would take a programmer here where I work a week to get something basic up and running. Once you specify the seeds and criteria for the building generation its not that difficult to get working….
This is a 2 year project!!
August 8, 2007 at 5:56 pm #37961AnonymousInactive
There are some very valid points made in all the above posts.
While some debate surrounds the title of the research project out in BIT, it is very good for the people out there that they were able to get funding in the first place and congratulations to those who got the funding. The fact that it is happening in Ireland is a massive leap in itself and I hope something very fruitful can come out of it for the people involved and I wish them the very best of luck with their project.
Can it be used in games? I severely doubt it, due to the reason that you gave yourself but you certainly can’t discount it.
Generally they just end up with an army of modellers\texture kids to model a city around a game spec, mostly because there is a lot of tweaking of the envirnoments to suit the ongoing/changing game design and generally games are very linear anyway.
But on a more positive light, it’s all about building the Irish game industry’s profile as a whole and having 3rd level institutions researching possible games related technologies can only enhance that profile internationally.
But onto a slightly different matter of where will the programmers go once they have finished that research is a bone of contention with me. I worked as a programmer for a couple of years (6+) within the games industry and have also had to work abroad, and as you mentioned, have met some very talented Irish people who work abroad and if I wasn’t talking to them, I was certainly hearing about them from their colleagues so there’s plenty of Irish out there, no mistaking that. There are already a number of Irish people on these boards who are working on AAA rated titles all with companies based outside of Ireland.
I was recently talking about this ‘export industry’ to a friend of mine, especially in relation to TCD starting up their MSc course in games. Here is a scenario where we will be producing very highly skilled programmers, whereby at the end of the course, they will most likely have to emigrate.
I can only laugh at what them clowns in the Government/ Enterprise Ireland are doing to try and promote the games industry in this country. For an industry that could create so much employment in the high skills section and such a talented workforce with a very favourable corporate tax regime you really have to wonder why so little activity is taking place.
But let’s not try to be too despondent. There are companies based in Ireland who are doing very well for themselves. Again they are also adding to Ireland’s profile internationally and with the passage of time, hopefully our profile will be raised enough to make the CEOs of the development houses take notice and setup shop here and create an environment whereby industry and academia will be able to work together in deciding research projects and also creating a highly skilled talent pool that can see great career progression within the games industry in Ireland.
Let hope that day comes about sooner rather than later.
August 9, 2007 at 3:54 pm #37975AnonymousInactive
…maybe just one more note on this in respect of the context in which research like this takes place.
You’ve got to bear in mind that we’re still dealing with the educational system, whose primary goal is the creation of graduates, with the secondary goal of creating IP – and these goals can sometimes conflict.
I’m involved in a number of "research" projects at University level. On one such project which is aiming at potentially commercial spinoffs we have 3 engineers working on the project. There are no students. But in this instance we have no educational goals on the project, we only have commercialisation goals. The majority of research projects are not like this and are as much about providing a space for training and an opportunity for discovery.
I personally wouldn’t expect a recently graduated Computer Science student pursuing a PhD in game related area to operate at the same level of speed or productivity as an experienced game engineer with 10 years under their belts. So in many instances of course R&D like this, and like projects I’m involved with, will happen faster in industry.
The big role that Universities can perform is providing the opportunity to do actual research i.e. work on topics that might be considered too long term, off the beaten track or perhaps even downright crazy. It’s only by challenging our assumptions about what is useful / productive / the right way to do something that we often find the new breakthroughs.
August 10, 2007 at 12:28 am #37979AnonymousInactive
Steve, I think using the Blanchardstown project as the header and starting point of my rant was bad. I looked at the two videos and read the blurb and I thought, heres a money pit. I have never been involved in such projects, know nothing of whats involved and I shouldn’t really be commenting on it.
I hope its a success and as Jay said(is that Jay Dowling BTW?)
it is very good for the people out there that they were able to get funding in the first place and congratulations to those who got the funding. The fact that it is happening in Ireland is a massive leap in itself and I hope something very fruitful can come out of it for the people involved and I wish them the very best of luck with their project
Though i would remove those videos till the project is further in development they really do look dated, especially the first. Its not what I was expecting to see given the nice verbage that came with it.
My main bone of contention is with actual game development\funding and lack of here in Ireland. Especially now as the economy is on a downturn and the likelyhood of anything happening gets thinner.
I can only laugh at what them clowns in the Government/ Enterprise Ireland are doing to try and promote the games industry in this country. For an industry that could create so much employment in the high skills section and such a talented workforce with a very favourable corporate tax regime you really have to wonder why so little activity is taking place.[/quote:dcd93ba99c]
Jay, this is my feeling also. Has Enterprise Ireland and the IDA been doing anything to kickstart the industry. Anyone got any info? Its all very well having games related courses but no industry around it, wtf?
Maybe we need someone communicating between the colleges, game related development, game developers and putting pressure on Enterprise Ireland and the IDA for funding, Is there such a body?
The chances of full blown development is gonna be slim but what with the rise in outsourcing work to small development groups I think this would be an ideal way to get some startups going.
That does sound awfully wanky to me, I’d rather they gave them money to fund one person for two years on a game prototype >_<[/quote:dcd93ba99c]
Kyotokid, I think a lot of projects/games are way over ambitious/ overhyped and a waste of funding.
I think the big problem is nievity. Bunch of people get together and wanna make the cool original game, Yah, its gonna be the best! with all the latest gadgets and tech, wohoo!! . Games half finished and the funding dries up, game canned and people emigrate or get real jobs. If only we would try do things in small safe steps. Get some funding and a bunch of competent people together and make some Conversions\Licenced\IP games. Sure they arent the coolest but whats wrong with making like a simple racing game! Get a couple under yer belt and in the mean time if someone has a good idea work on it on the side and get it up to a decent playable state. Anyways, this is all very obvious to most people but I constsntly see people take the hard route.
You only have to take a look at Kapooki, From what I’ve read and from talking to some people was that ever gonna really happen? Was an "origional" idea for a board game on the PC by an inexperienced group of developers ever really gonna happen. I’m sure they worked themselves into the ground trying to make it happen and it doesn’t matter how talented they were, these kind of sucesses are VERY rare. The same happened at the first company i worked for, Gremlin Ireland. Some very good people working on something that was never gonna be released but we didn’t know any better.
blah, I’m starting to ramble on, sorry :)
August 10, 2007 at 9:02 am #37984AnonymousInactive
Has Enterprise Ireland and the IDA been doing anything to kickstart the industry. Anyone got any info? Its all very well having games related courses but no industry around it, wtf? [/quote:3cdf635825]
From what I’ve heard, they have been trying. There have been several rumours of things happening but in the end, something went wrong and the company hasn’t set up in Ireland for whatever reason. They seem to be trying, don’t know how hard, but trying none the less, but its got to be difficult to try entice the first company in.
I’ve been saying the same thing for months about the amount of courses in the country. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the number of courses in the country last september. Its just insane that they are educating people to emigrate due to lack of any sizeable recruitment ground
August 10, 2007 at 10:50 am #37987AnonymousInactive
EI and IDA hve been doing something but obvious none of this information can be related to the general public until stuff is fully signed off on. Go to shindigs or talk to people within the industry and you’ll hear chinese whispers. I’ve heard alot of late (last 12 months) and i’m over hear. :)
Besides generating a bunch load of grads is’nt going to help the industry they need to bring the experienced people over home. Only thing that will do that is good studios working on AAA titles, with publisher backing, good salaries, good bonuses and generally good standard of living. Just like everywhere else is offering. Canada is a major leader in this, amount of people i’ve known from around here (midlands uk) that have gone to Canada to EA, Radical, Ubisoft, Rockstar Vancouver as well as various start ups with ex-members of these companies etc i’ve lost count. Their tax incentives over there is what is getting the companies to invest. Sure ubi\EA and the likes have invested so much in their companies there, if they were to move out their company would fall apart.
An example of a similar situation at home is intel.. How much have they invested in ireland, only thing that would moved them out now is if they folder up 100% and that aint likely :) They’ve invested way way to much and got way way too much incentives.. conclusion incentives good, none is bad… two cent’s spent :)
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