Monday, 30 November 2015

Chemistry via Minecraft?

The University of Hull has a very interesting project which uses the Minecraft game for the visualisation of molecular chemistry. 

The project (called MolCraft) has generated a lot of very positive press and can in fact be downloaded from the official University of Hull website here.

Another great example of how Minecraft and similar gaming technologies can be used for educational purposes on "serious" subjects".

Microsoft Hololens update

A much anticipated technology in the area of mixed reality is now closer; it appears now that according to Microsoft developers (who can already apply and potentially get accepted) in the US/Canada will be able to order the $3000 device from January 2016 and then have it delivered to them sometime in the first quarter of the new year.

This is outlined in more detail in the Microsoft official site here and understandably this made the news in a major way as soon as it was announced, which shows the heightened anticipation for this piece of technology.

Game Development Suite

The Game Development Suite (by MaxPlay) is a new game engine soon to be added in the very competitive market place of said technologies; its major selling point appears to be the ease of provision for collaborative work amongst developers (via a cloud approach).

You can read more about the Game Development Suite on its official website here.

More publicity for Rebourne and Rite of Life

Rebourne, a company which consists of a number of Bournemouth University Games Technology students is getting more press after their successful Kickstarter and Greenlight campaigns (for their Rite of Life game).

This includes an interview here, on the Indie Guardians website which also includes some nice concept artwork pictures from the upcoming game.

AIIP IV workshop abstract

I am the co-author for an extended abstract accepted at AIIP IV, which stands for the 4th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Law.

This is to take place on the 9th of December in Braga, Portugal (with the extended abstract to be presented titled "Human Aspects in Digital Rights Management: The Perspective of Content Developers").

SIGN Jagex afternoon at Portsmouth

SIGN (the Southern Independent Games Network initiative, that Bournemouth University is a part of) is organising a series of talks by Jagex at Portsmouth University on Wednesday the 2nd of December.

For more information on this event (which starts at 13:00) see here.

Develop magazine interview

Develop magazine published a short interview with me on the Bournemouth University games development courses. This is on the November 2015 issue (#166).

The short interview can be found on page 32.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

SURE conference 2016

I am part of the organising committee for a great initiative called SURE 2016 (Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence). It is a conference for Bournemouth University undergraduate students who want to experience submitting a research paper to a dedicated conference.

More information can be found here, this is in fact the second year the event is running.

Unreal 4.10 released

Unreal 4.10 has been released this month from Epic; another update for the popular engine which offers further (new) refinements and additions, including support for Visual Studio 2015, various Android device gamepad support etc.

The full list of updates can be found here and is worth delving into for people working with the engine.

Iron Maiden promo video showing the history of games

The British band Iron Maiden recently released a promo video for a song off their latest album; this focuses on the history of computer games (with the twist of having their mascot character across that).

The song is called Speed of Light and the video is worth a watch for a different take on the history of gaming.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Apple TV and games

Apple has recently made headlines once again (in the game development community) with the Apple TV announcement which included news which directly relate to both games developers and the relevant audience alike (such as a controller which uses touch and also motion sensing, pictured below).

With Apple being Apple this could have significant potential for the future, becoming (potentially) a very credible gaming platform that could be a major contender in the market place.

Epic's Bullet Train

Epic has recently showcased Bullet Train; a VR game using the Oculus Touch controller which is firmly in the area of expertise of the company, i.e. one of first person shooters.

The video above shows what can be achieved with the Oculus Touch in this genre, using also the Unreal engine too. It is quite impressive and hopefully could form the basis on which fuller titles could be built upon in the future.

Playstation VR

Project Morpheus, i.e. Sony's VR headset for the PS4, appears to now have a new name after trading under the old one for while; this is now Playstation VR.

This does sound like a better name though the Morpheus one had been around for a significant amount of time and did have a ring to it too; nevertheless, this appears to be the final name of the headset which is soon to be released and forms Sony's answer to technologies such as the Oculus one.

Angry Birds movie trailer

Angry Birds now has a movie trailer; for those who do not know about this the Rovio game is being turned into a movie to be released next year.

There have been other attempts in the past for games to be turned into movies and with mixed results it is hoped that Angry Birds will built on the incredibly successful game and stand on its own as a movie too.

Time will show if that will be the case but this is nonetheless eagerly anticipated.

Games Funding Forum event

A conference very useful potentially to indie studios is to take place, in half day form, in London on the 15th of October. This is The Games Funding Forum which, as the name suggests, covers, via a number of talks, different ways of obtaining funds for developing and launching a game.

More information about the conference on its official website here.

TIGA awards shortlisting

The upcoming TIGA awards shortlisting is now complete and it is great to see Bournemouth University but also the SIGN (Southern Independent Games Network initiative) in the running for awards.

More about the shortlisted nominations here.

Rite of Like Kickstarter campaign

An indie games dev studio, Rebourne, consisting of Bournemouth University students from the Games Technology course has recently launched their Kickstarter campaign for their game Rite of Life.

You can find more about the game and the campaign (which has exceeded the original goal and remains ongoing) here

Saturday, 19 September 2015


The BBC recently made an original TV movie called Gamechangers which focused on the controversy around the Grand Theft Auto games (this was around the San Andreas era of the series).

For those who have not watched here is the iPlayer link (you need to be UK based), the show is still available to watch and is well worth an hour and a half of watching time.

Epic Games makes UE4 content available for free

On more Unreal related news, Epic has over the last few days a significant amount of free content that one can download and use with UE4 (via their Marketplace). This is a) the Infiltrator tech demo (pictured below) b) Infinity Blade game assets and, finally, c) the Showdown VR demo.

This is a commendable practice and hopefully one that will be kept up as it offers the dedicated UE4 community both insight and content.

New version of the Unreal engine

Version 4.9 of the Unreal engine has recently been released (and is currently on 4.9.1 already). Fascinating to see how far the engine has come along since this version was (first) launched in spring 2014.

You can read the full features update on the official site here.