Sunday, 15 June 2014

Reviewer for ACE 2014

I have been invited to review papers for ACE 2014. This is the 11th conference in Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology and is to take place in Funchal, Madeira in mid-November 2014.


More information on the official site of the conference which can be found here.

VS Games 2015 Technical Program Committee

I have been invited to be a part of the Technical Program Committee for VS Games 2015 (the Seventh International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications). 

This is to take place in Skövde, Sweden in mid-September 2015.


The offical site of the conference can be found here.

IEEE GEM 2014 PC

I have been invited to be a member of the Program Committee for IEEE GEM 2014, the IEEE Games, Entertainment, & Media conference. This is to take place in Toronto in late October 2014. 


More information about the conference here.

Grim Fandango to be remastered

Amongst the many announcements at the recent E3 this one stood out for me personally; the legendary Grim Fandango adventure game (from 1998) is to be remastered for the Sony PS4 and Vita platforms.


This is great news and it seems other platforms may also follow later on; the title came towards the end of the adventure game genre mainstream popularity but is still hailed as one of its best examples.

PhD post at Bournemouth University

I will be involved with the supervision of this fully funded doctorate (see here).  


Titled "Investigating the enhanced rehabilitation of the upper limb following stroke by the combined use of virtual reality and FES" this PhD post would be very suitable for a candidate interested in VR and gaming technologies.

The closing deadline for applications is 30/07/2014.

TIGA Games Tax Relief event at Bournemouth University on 27/06

There is a TIGA event on Games Tax Relief hosted at Bournemouth University, at the Executive Business Centre on the 27th of June at 18:00. 

We are hosting this in our capacity as members of TIGA; the event's purpose is to inform local developers on the ins and outs of the scheme recently announced in George Osborne's budget.


The event is free and you can read more about this (and also register) here.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Altergaze, an alternative to the Rift?

With the Oculus Rift making headlines almost every day I thought it would be interesting to also look at other VR alternatives. One of these is Altergaze, which has already managed a successful Kickstarter campaign. What is very interesting about this (amongst many other things), as opposed to something like the Oculus Rift, is that it is 3D printed and not a headset per se as you can move it next and away from the eyes very easily, thus going in and out of VR in a quick fashion.


More on the official site here.

Unreal 4.1 released

The new version of the Unreal engine has now received a substantial update bringing it up to version 4.1. Notable changes include the support of XBox One, PS4, SteamOS and Linux.


You can read the full list of the many other changes/upgrades here

Atari's E.T. cartridges now unearthed

The legendary story of Atari's 1982 E.T. game comes to a close (almost), as the urban myth of the disastrous game's cartridges (today considered widely as one of the worst games of all time) being buried in the desert is now proven true. As part of a documentary, a team has now unearthed a number of cartridges in the New Mexico desert and provided pictures of the event as proof.


The pictures show a number of cartridges but noone really knows how many cartridges were buried, with rumours still ranging all the way up to millions. 

Read more about this here

The story of the UK games tax breaks

As I blogged before the games tax break for UK devs is now a reality; recently I came across a very interesting article in Develop magazine which details, from TIGA founder's Fred Hasson's point of view, how this came about, all the obstacles faced and the journey of the idea/campaign through the last ~15 years. 


This is a very interesting read and can be found here.

New Unreal Tournament game in the works

Epic Games has announced they will be working on a brand new Unreal Tournament game, using the new, 4th version of their Unreal engine. This will be the first Unreal Tournament game since 2007 (when Unreal 3 Tournament 3 was released) and is as such very eagerly awaited.


More information about this can be found here.

Springer book chapter publication

A Springer book chapter publication I co-authored is now available, as is the book containing it, "Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1". This has the chapter I have worked on with another two Bournemouth University colleagues titled "A State of the Art Survey in the Use of Video Games for Upper Limb Stroke Rehabilitation".


For accessing both the book and chapter see the official Springer site here.

NET 2014 publication accepted

A conference paper I have co-authored with colleagues from Bournemouth University has been accepted for the NET 2014 (Networking for Education in Healthcare) conference. The paper is titled "An approach in teaching dementia care in higher education via the use of gaming technology". The conference is to take place in September 2014, at Cambridge, UK.


You can see the preliminary programme here.

GALA 2014 IPC

I have been added on the Program Committee for the GALA 2014 (the Games and Learning Alliance) conference, a conference with a strong focus on serious games. This is taking place in Bucharest, Romania between the 2nd and the 4th of July 2014.


More information here on the official site of the conference.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Lecturer job at Bournemouth University in Games Technology

The Department of Creative Technologies, within the Faculty of Science & Technology, at Bournemouth University where I am also based is seeking to appoint a talented, enthusiastic and motivated lecturer in the area of games programming/technology.


You will be qualified to Doctoral level or be able to demonstrate equivalent industrial experience in games programming/technology. You will be expected to have a strong understanding of C++ and C# programming (plus related paradigms such as object oriented programming) and also APIs such as OpenGL or DirectX. In addition, you will be expected to have familiarity with contemporary game engines such as Unreal, Unity or CryEngine. Industry experience in the form of published game titles would be advantageous.

More information here.

ICGIP 2014 Program Committee

I have been invited to be on the Program Committee of ICGIP 2014 (the 6th International Conference on Graphic and Image Processing), which is to take place in Beijing, China, between the 24th and the 26th of October this year.


You can find out more about the conference on its official site here.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Updates from the world of VR

I thought I would summarise some of the more recent updates from the seemingly revived VR area which seems to be all the rage in 2014. 

First of all, the biggest headline must be Facebook acquiring Oculus Rift, a piece of news which was everywhere (including mainstream press). This is certainly a very strong indication that contemporary VR hardware and its potential holds a significant amount of interest even for non-gaming tech companies.


During the recent GDC Sony launched its long-awaited answer to Oculus Rift, a headset called Project Morpheus. An interesting review of this can be found here.

Finally, Microsoft is reportedly and seemingly working behind the scenes with acquisitions and patents towards (partially at least) a potential VR solution. A Develop article outlines some of their more recent movements in this area (found here).

Gamification World Congress event and PC for gEducation

The Gamification World Congress event is to take place from the 22nd to the 24th of May 2014 in Barcelona and consists of a variety of talks and workshops aimed towards the discipline. 

I have been invited to be on the PC for the gEducation workshop.


For more detailed information on the event see here.

UK games industry tax break

A tax break which has been a long time in the works for the UK games development industry is now going ahead, this is after the final hurdle of the scheme being overcome via green lighting by the European Commission.


More details (and a quick history run through of the events leading to this) can be found in this short Develop magazine article here. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

CryEngine's change of business model

See previous blog post; Crytek has announced that from May this year (2014), indie developers will be able to use all of CryEngine's many features for a subscription costing 9.90 USD or EUR per user (and this is royalty free). The aforementioned cost is on a monthly basis.


This is a move which clearly rivals in cost the Epic Games announcement for UE4 and an interesting development for all game developers who are using a third-party engine. See here for more details.