Star Cave Studios. Galway, hosted the event, which was specifically designed to promote game development in Galway and throughout Ireland in general. The event boasted a rich array of speakers. Keith Killilea of Starcave kicked things off when he presented a video of Starcave’s latest project “Camelot Galway – City of The Tribes”. This video can now be downloaded from the following location: video.zip video.zip (41 MB .zip file)
The team behind the project was then introduced. Ray Montey an artist at Starcave demonstrated the process used to create characters and other world objects from concept art to finished 3D. Programmer Pearse Fitzpatrick provided details of the team’s experience working with the Torque Engine, from Garage Games, and the methods used to integrate content into the engine.
Alan Duggan of Nephin Games then took to the podium and introduced his upcoming mobile game Kick Boxing Network – KBN. Alan also spoke about how the majority of phone owners have similar phone models and the necessity to build games for that market. Alan also pointed out that thirty something females are the biggest market demographic when it comes to downloadable mobile games. Claire Fitch, sitting in the audience looked suitably relieved. Alan went on to speak about his experience of the recent trade mission to Korea and offered encouragement to budding mobile game designers in the audience by stating that Ireland was not as far behind Korea, technologically, as one might think.
Next there was an energetic presentation from Hewlett Packard that looked at how different individual marketing trends merge to create new trends and patterns such as infotainment. Game developers were urged to focus on niche markets and praise was given to Starcave Studios for pursuing tourism and educational markets.
Then came the big surprise of the day when the deputy Mayor of Galway exposed himself to be an avid gamer with a lack of free-time…but the shocks didn’t stop there. The deputy mayor went on to reveal that he was once a former game developer, having successfully developed a Commodore 64 game that he later went on to sell, although the deputy mayor would not say for how much.
Michael Kenna from Enterprise Ireland gave a positive overview of the recent Trade Mission to Korea. He highlighted the differences between the Irish and Korean games industries including that fact that Ireland has 21 known game developers in Ireland while Korea has 2,500. Michael also talked about the popularity of online gaming in the region. In addition, Michael discussed the need to set up clusters of talent here and for game development studios to work together.
Jackey O’Dwyer, an investor from Galway, talked briefly about her role in the funding of the development of Camelot Galway and also on the importance of putting a games-centric investor forum together. NUIG presented a virtual space for the students including a study space, message boards and social / recreational areas.
Finally, Neil Leyden, Chairman of the Digital Media Forum rounded up proceedings nicely with a well-crafted and entertaining presentation on the crossovers between the film and the games industries in Ireland. He also discussed section 481 and suggested ways that the games industry might go about obtaining it. Also in attendance were representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland and Ireland West Tourism.