Friday 29 December 2017

Dhana Frerichs PhD completion

It was great to see Dhana Frerichs, one of the doctorate students I was supervising here (supported by the Centre for Digital Entertainment and Ninja Theory) at Bournemouth University, both successfully defend her thesis back in September but also more recently submit the corrections required.

The thesis is titled "Computer Graphics Simulation of Post-Mortem Optical and Morphological Appearance Changes"; Dhana will be graduating in the next Bournemouth University ceremony.

SEGA retro consoles?

Similar to the SNES Classic Mini blog post below; could we soon be seeing efforts like this only for SEGA consoles this time? According to this recent announcement here by Retro-Bit they have struck a deal with SEGA and they specifically mention the MegaDrive but also the Saturn and Dreamcast too (both very underrated consoles).

More will emerge in the new year I am sure; here's to hoping this transpires to be a re-release of one (or all) of the aforementioned classic consoles.

TIGA nomination for Best Educational Institution

It's a few weeks now that this has taken place but it's worth reporting that Bournemouth University was once again this year nominated at the annual TIGA awards for the Best Educational Institution award.

This was something we won last year and it was great to make the shortlist once again (plus it was a very nice evening, with the event itself taking place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London). 

The TIGA awards themselves are an excellent opportunity for the domestic games industry to celebrate achievements of the year past and it's always an event in the calendar I am looking forward to.

Final open day at Bournemouth University

There is one final open day for prospective applicants before the close of the UCAS deadline here at Bournemouth University; to take place on 10/01/18. 

You can hear about a variety of courses during this visit; including of course the Creative Technology ones here at the Faculty of Science and Technology. If you wish to register for this see here.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Timebreaker game

This was released a few months ago granted but still, I wanted to blog about it as it is a great game and also the creation of several students from the games dev courses here at Bournemouth University (and the Creative Technology Department).

Timebreaker by Obverse Studios is a mobile game for Android and also iOS mobile devices with a strong platformer element and great art which would in fact be very fun to play in the last few remaining days of the festive break. 

More on the game (and also Obverse Studios) here on their official site.

British Games Institute

An initiative which has gathered momentum this year is the British Games Institute (or BGI); you can find out more about them here on their official website.

With computer and video games development in the UK being at the forefront of the creative industries sector it is very encouraging indeed to see a push for the medium to receive both recognition but also active support in the immediate future.

VS Games 2018 IPC

VS Games (a conference we hosted here at Bournemouth University back in 2013, soon to be five years in fact from when that happened which shows all too well how quickly time flies) is to take place in Wurzburg, Germany in September for its 2018 outing. 

I have been invited to be on its International Program Committee; the full name of the conference is is Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications and is well worth attending/monitoring in terms of proceedings if you are doing work in areas such as serious games.

CHME 2018 Conference Scientific Committee

Another conference I am helping out with in terms of participating in its scientific committee is CHME 2018, which in fact takes place here in Bournemouth this May. 

CHME stands for Council for Hospitality Management Education (and there is a Technology and Innovation in Hospitality strand/theme).

You can find out more on the event here on the official site of this annual conference.

Edutainment 2018 Program Committee

I have been invited to participate in the Edutainment 2018 Program Committee; the conference took place here at Bournemouth, UK last year and is now moving to China for its 12th outing, in late June (hosted by the Xian University of Technology).

More on the official site of the conference here.

Edutainment 2017 proceedings

The Springer proceedings for the recent Edutainment 2017 conference we held here at Bournemouth University earlier this summer are now released. I am one of the editors for this.

You can find them at Amazon here or directly on Springer's site here.

Article in Springer's Transactions on Computational Science

An extended version of the recent Cyberworlds conference article from September (for which I blogged about this earlier in the year) I am one of the co-authors on has now been accepted for Springer's Transactions on Computational Science (after an additional reviewing process).

I will blog again once this is published; the article is titled OpenGL|D - An Alternative Approach to Multi-user Architecture.

Unreal sees year out with version 4.18

Unless there's an update in the next few days Unreal engine will see the year out with version 4.18 which has been out now for a few weeks. 

You can read about this version's improvements/fixes/unique offerings here on the official site Epic Games has for it, suffice it to say that improving key tools like the Sequencer (just to name one area which stands out for me at least) is very useful. 

Version 4.19 is one would imagine due to arrive (very) soon and it will indeed be a great way to welcome 2018 by Epic.

SNES Classic Mini

With the year almost out and with a recent blog post on the Ataribox I had to (also) mention the SNES Classic Mini too; which is a great addition to anyone's collection if they're into retrogaming (and do not want to track the original console down plus would prefer something smaller for the cramped space under their TV).

I would have probably picked a different game or two from the ones Nintendo chose to equip the console with but this is still a great -if admittedly very nostalgic- piece of hardware for gamers who remember the 16-bit era fondly.

The end of the road for Microsoft's Kinect

This is something that has been long predicted but a few weeks back Microsoft formally announced that they will no longer making the Kinect device. The device dates back to 2010 and the previous generation of Xbox consoles (the 360) and held much potential which was sadly never really realised commercially.

Still, as there are many researchers in games tech (but also many other domains too) who used it or still use it this is a piece of news which has significant importance.

The good news is that the spirit of Kinect lives on in the Hololens Microsoft now offer (albeit it in a very different packaging/approach) so anyone missing the now discontinued device could do a lot worse than looking into acquiring one of those.

A new Atari console?

Details on this appear to be sketchy at the moment but it appears the classic name Atari is to be branded on a new console in 2018. 

This is to be called the Ataribox and it is great to see the exterior appearance resembling the evergreen 2600 a little bit.

You can read a recent Techradar piece on this here, clearly there are many details to emerge on this yet so I will blog again about it when it becomes clear on what the console is targeted towards.

Lecturer position (Games Technology) at Bournemouth University

We have a position available, fixed term and for twelve months, here at the Creative Technology Department in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, for a Lecturer in Games Technology.

More on this here, the deadline for applications is next week on 03/01.

Monday 31 July 2017

Night Trap, 25th anniversary release

A game that for many sealed the fate of full motion video (FMV) games is now seeing a release as a 25th anniversary version according to the Eurogamer site (see here).

This is Night Trap (many gamers of a certain vintage age like myself will of course recognise the name immediately) and you will be able to play this on a PS4 or PC (via Steam).

Worth a cursory glance to see why FMV defined, for a while at least, an era of gaming in the 1990s. 

A game going on a music tour?

I thought this was a very different piece of news; according to the Develop article here, the soundtrack of the seminal Dear Esther game is now going on a live tour in the UK, with the music performed live but also the game itself participating in the performance.

The performances are from late fall this year till Feb 18 and well worth going to if you are a fan of this now classic game and soundtrack.

Unfortunately Fortunate Organisms game

If you're looking for a great casual game on Steam this summer I'd really recommend UFO (Unfortunately Fortunate Organisms) which is a game that has come out of a games jam competition here at Bournemouth University, by Rebourne Studios. 

The studio includes BU BSc Games Technology graduates (who by the way are working on their Rite of Life game currently, I believe I have blogged on this before).

The game can be found here and is excellent fun and very modestly priced too; I'd wholeheartedly suggest you give it a shot if you're on Steam.

Upcoming open days at Bournemouth University

We have three upcoming open days (21st and 28th of October plus 18th of November) at Bournemouth University (for our music and games degrees at the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Creative Technology Department but also generally for all other degrees too); for this (and booking on them) see here.

This is a great opportunity to visit us but also hear more on details about the variety of undergraduate courses we run here at the Department and University.