Sunday, 31 March 2013

Gamasutra piece, Level Design in a Day

There is a great article/piece for students (and educators) of modern game level design on the Gamasutra website. This is titled "Level Design in a Day: Your Questions, Answered" and is essentially a panel interview with 6 industry level design experts. The questions are very insightful and cover topics such as game engine limitations and the evolution of level design (amongst others). 

The piece can be found in full here.

Bristol Games Hub

There is a great new initiative taking place in Bristol (I was lucky enough to have visited it a couple of weeks ago or so) called the Bristol Games Hub. This is essentially a shared office space which houses independent game developers and studios, operating on a non-profit and collaborative model.
You can read more about the Hub in their work in progress website below, this is well worth looking into for anybody in the South West/Bristol area who fits the bill described above.

Member of International Program Committee for GALA 2013

I have been invited to sit on the International Program Committee for the GALA 2013 (Games and Learning Alliance) conference. The conference has a firm focus on serious games and takes place between the 23rd and the 25th of October 2013 in Paris, France.
More information about GALA 2013 here

Member of the International Program Committee for ACE 2013

I have been invited again this year to sit on the International Program Committee for ACE 2013 (Advances in Computer Entertainment). This year the conference is back in Europe and the Netherlands, taking place at the University of Twente between the 13th and the 15th of November.
More information about ACE 2013 can be found here.

Deadline extension for all submissions for VS Games 2013, 08/04/2013

The fifth outing of the International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (for which I have posted about before) will be hosted at Bournemouth University, UK between the 11th and the 13th of September 2013.
With the conference organized in previous years at locations such as Coventry (UK), Braga (Portugal), Athens (Greece) and Genoa (Italy), it will take place, for 2013, at the state of the art Kimmeridge House building of Bournemouth University, situated at the main Talbot campus of the institution.

Please note that the deadline for all submissions has now been extended to Monday the 8th of April.

More information can be found at

Keynote for VS Games 2013, Professor Anthony Steed

The VS Games 2013 conference I have posted in the past about will have two keynotes; one is from Anthony Steed, Professor of Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics, University College London, UK. This keynote is titled "What Will Virtual Reality Do For Games?". 

The abstract, taken from the website of the conference is the following; "In the 1990s, the vision of virtual reality was that in the next generation of human-computer interaction, users would see, hear and touch computer-generated sensory information. It was argued that key to virtual reality was that users were immersed into the virtual world, and that the virtual world surround them. The vision required the use of head-mounted displays or CAVE systems, surround audio and a range of user sensing systems. Needless to say, this vision didn't radically change most users' experience of HCI: the technology was too expensive, too cumbersome and just not easy to access. The use of virtual reality has been confined to a small number of niche high-value applications. Having said that, over the past couple of years, all the component parts for a virtual reality system have become available in consumer form: position tracking technologies, fast stereo projectors, new head-mounted displays, etc. New opportunities for all forms of HCI, including games, will emerge. In this talk I will present an argument for how understanding the impact of immersion can inform the design of content for this upcoming wave of virtual reality systems. I will explain some of the recent advances in our understanding about why virtual reality works, and some interesting system decision choices that we have investigated."
More information about VS Games 2013, which takes place between the 11th and the 13th of September in Bournemouth, UK, can be found here here.

Keynote for VS Games 2013, Professor Adrian David Cheok

The VS Games 2013 conference I have posted in the past about will have two keynotes; one is from Adrian David Cheok, Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design, Japan. This is titled "Multisensory Feeling Communication in the Hyperconnected Era".

The abstract, taken from the website of the conference is the following; "This talk outlines new facilities that are arising in the hyperconnected internet era within human media spaces. This allows new embodied interaction between humans, species, and computation both socially and physically, with the aim of novel interactive communication and entertainment. Humans can develop new types of communication environments using all the senses, including touch, taste, and smell, which can increase support for multi-person multi-modal interaction and remote presence. In this talk, we present an alternative ubiquitous computing environment and space based on an integrated design of real and virtual worlds. We discuss some different research prototype systems for interactive communication, culture, and play."
More information about VS Games 2013, which takes place between the 11th and the 13th of September in Bournemouth, UK, can be found here here.

Lecturer in Games Programming/Games Technology post at Bournemouth University, UK

A Lecturer position in the area of games programming/technology has become available in the Creative Technology Group (which I am part of) in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing at Bournemouth University, UK.

You should have a doctoral qualification or equivalent and expertise in games programming/technology is essential. 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 to this, you will be expected to have familiarity with contemporary game engines such as Unreal, game modification and applied maths and physics for games development. Industry experience in the form of published game titles would be advantageous. A strong research profile in a related area, evidence of successful bids for funding and experience in supervising postgraduate students would also be desirable.
The closing date is (midnight) Wednesday 10th of April 2013.

A detailed job description and person specification are available from our website together with an online application form.

Edge Get Into Games Unity game development competition

Bournemouth University (and the Games Technology course which is part of the School of Design, Engineering and Computing Creative Technology framework of courses) is sponsoring an Edge magazine competition called Get Into Games. The competition focuses on game creation with the Unity engine and closes in April 15th.
The winner the two runner-ups will pick up a Unity Pro license with iOS Pro, Android Pro, Flash Pro and Team License add-ons. Additionally, the winner will also win expenses coverage for a trip for the annual Unity conference Unite in August 2013.

More information about the competition here.

Edge magazine online piece about MSUL competition Bournemouth University students

Edge magazine recently uploaded an online piece on the Bournemouth University student team (from the Games Technology and Music and Audio Technology courses at the School of Design, Engineering and Computing) which has reached the finals for the Epic Games' Make Something Unreal Live 2013 competition.
The team is called Static Games and their game Mendel's Farm. This particular article focuses on the work the team has been carrying out in the run-up to the finals which start in a few days time in Birmingham, their collaboration with the mentor company assigned to them, Portsmouth-based Climax Studios, and, finally, their aspirations to turn Mendel's Farm in a PS4 game should they win the competition and obtain the full license for Unreal engine version 4 (the prize of the competition). It also includes some quotes from myself too in my Bournemouth University framework leader for the Creative Technology courses capacity. 
The article can be found in full here.