Sunday, 7 September 2014

SIGGRAPH Asia 2014 poster paper accepted for publication

A poster paper I am included as a co-author in has now been accepted for publication at SIGGRAPH Asia 2014. The poster paper is titled "Object Weathering Simulation Avoiding Texture Space Stretching and Discontinuities".

The event this year takes place in early December in Shenzhen, China.


More information about SIGGRAPH Asia 2014 on the official conference site here.

EU Erasmus+ bid successful

It's been confirmed that an EU Erasmus+ bid I am involved with as a co-investigator (led by Viden Djurs in Denmark and involving a number of other European partners from countries such as the Netherlands, Spain and Malta, 7 in total including Bournemouth University and the Danish PI) has been successful.


The project is called GameBiz and will be running from October 2014 onwards for 2 years. It has been funded under Key Action "Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices", Action "Strategic Partnerships" and Field "Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training" of the Erasmus+ scheme. 

The funding received is approximately 300,000 Euros in total.

I will post more about this next month once the project gets underway. More about Erasmus+ and Strategic Partnerships here.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Great Britain geology recreated in Minecraft

Around this time last year I did a blog post, found here, about Ordnance Survey recreating Great Britain using Minecraft. 

The British Geological Survey has now done something similar to this (and inspired by the original Ordnance Survey attempt), with the added distinction however that this also has geological information too below ground surface.


You can read more about the effort (and download it) here.

Samsung VR headset announced

Another contender enters the race of VR headsets, joining high-profile efforts like the one from Sony (Project Morpheus), clearly showing the potency and potential of this area. 

This time it is developed by Samsung and called Gear VR, with the device powered by the tech behind the Oculus Rift. There seems to be a strong mobile focus to this too, which is not surprising given Samsung's position in that marketplace.


More information about this, including a statement by Oculus' own John Carmack, here.

Unreal 4 Marketplace news

With the Unreal 4 community now growing (see previous blog post on the license fee waiver for academic use) Epic Games has also made a very recent announcement on the Marketplace functionality offered for the popular engine, which now includes the opportunity to buy and sell content for use within the tool.


You can read more about this here.

Unreal 4 now free for academic use

Unreal engine version 4 since its release this past spring has carried a small monthly price tag; this was waived the other day for the purposes of academic use.

 
 Taken directly from an official Epic Games blog the company mentions; "Unreal Engine 4 is now free for academic use, including personal copies for students enrolled in accredited video game development, computer science, art, architecture, simulation, and visualization programs! All educators can now have unrestricted access to the engine simply by contacting us at unrealengine.com/education."

You can read more about this here, this is indeed a very welcome move and bound to give the popular engine an even bigger boost and bigger user base.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Microsoft's DeLorean research

A recent technical report paper published by Microsoft has been making headlines in the relevant press; the work described in the paper is called -rather imaginatively- DeLorean and focuses on the production of a speculative cloud solution with the aim being that of reducing the impact of latency in games.


The full paper is very interesting can be found -and downloaded- here.

TIGA 2014 games industry awards

TIGA, the trade association for game developers in the UK, it has been announced is organising its annual awards do in London on November the 6th.


For more details on the event please check out the official website of the event here.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Minecraft used in STEM eduation

The great potential of the incredibly popular Minecraft game for education can be seen in the work of ThoughtSTEM who are in October releasing a programming mod call LearnToMod.


You can read a detailed Guardian article on this here whereas the company's site can be found here.

BFX Festival at Bournemouth University in September

Bournemouth University is running the second BFX festival this September; a festival lasting from the 22nd to the 28th of September dedicated to games, visual effects and animation.


More information and a full programme can be found on the official site of the event here.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Mendel's Farm downloadable beta

Static Games, a company set up by a number of Bournemouth University's Games Technology degree students whilst on their placement, has recently released a downloadable beta (version 2.0) of their game Mendel's Farm. They're very keen for people to report on bugs and issues and provide any feedback.


A lot of work has gone into the beta (a very early version of the game competed in Epic Games' Make Something Unreal 2013 competition) and it's a very impressive effort, it can be downloaded from here

New version of UE4

Unreal Engine version 4 is powering ahead with a new version released only a few days ago. This is now reaching version 4.4 (as of 14/08). This has, amongst others, a preview release of Unreal Motion Graphics, improvements to the Persona Animation Editor and Paper 2D and new Marketplace releases.


For a full list of updates, changes and improvements see the official Epic Games blog post here.

Sierra brand revived by Activision and new King's Quest game

Rumblings of the iconic Sierra brand revived by Activision started reaching a number of sites and recently it's been officially confirmed that indeed the name that arguably brought the adventure game genre to the mainstream is returning. Activision plans to use the brand for indie projects it appears.


Interestingly, one of the first titles planned is a King's Quest reboot (the classic adventure game that Sierra became known for in the 80s) though not much is known about it now other than it will indeed be an adventure game. Here's to hoping some more of the classic Sierra franchises also make an eventual return with quality reboots (such as Space Quest, Quest for Glory and many others).

Epic Games in the UK

Epic Games has recently announced a very important excursion towards expanding in the UK; Pitbull Studios in Sunderland has now been acquired by them and will now be leading the Epic Games UK initiative with more offices in Leamington Spa and also Guildford. 

This is great news for the UK industry indeed and a very exciting development combined with UE4 also being a (relatively) new offering too.


More detailed information can be found here on a relevant Develop magazine article from early August.

Springer acquires games development related academic journal

Springer, one of the largest academic publishers, has recently acquired an academic journal publication titled The Computer Games Journal. This is to come into effect in 2015 and is notably the first games development related academic journal that this particular publisher will be adding to its portfolio.


The original journal started running in 2012 and can be found here

PATTERNS 2015 member of TPC

I have been invited to be on the Technical Program Committee for the PATTERNS 2015 conference which is to take place in Nice, France in March 2015. 


The conference's full name is The Seventh International Conferences on Pervasive Patterns and Applications and its official site can be found here.

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.