Monday, 28 October 2013

17th century London in the CryEngine

Crytek recently, with the help of the British Library and GameCity, run a competition called Off the Map. Essentially for this University and college students were asked to use British Library maps for the creation of urban environments with the company's CryEngine.
The winning entry above has recreated London around the time of the Great Fire (1666) and is a very impressive reminder of what game engines can achieve in 2013 in the urban modelling area.

Al Lowe's game design documents

I was today looking for some actual game design documents made freely available from developers of commercial games in order to show these as examples of good practice to my students and realised that Al Lowe, the creator of popular and much loved adventure games series such as Leisure Suit Larry, has made several of his available on his official site.
These include ones for four LSL games, the one for Freddy Pharkas and Torin's Passage. These can be found here and are great examples of what should go in a game design document for story-led games.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

TIGA GameHack event

TIGA GameHack is an overnight game jam, taking place at Pinewood Studios, and also an event open to students too (and one which I have encouraged my students at BU to attend and compete in).
This is the second event of this type TIGA is organising and offers a great opportunity to experience developing a game in a setting like this amongst other very enthusiastic and talented people.
The event takes place on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of November and the official site of the TIGA 2013 GameHack can be found here.

Edge magazine article on move towards photorealistic art styles in games

Picking up from the previous posts and also all other posts where I highlight non-photorealistic games, I have just come across an interesting short article from Edge magazine which discusses, with contributions coming from industry pros, the gradual move from cartoon characters to more realistic ones in gaming.
It is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in non-photorealistic rendering (particularly within gaming), the article can be found here.

The Wolf Among Us game

The Wolf Among us is another game (created by Telltale Games) which impresses because of its approach to visuals (it essentially adopts a comic book approach) and hand-drawn art style. Without focusing too much on the back story of the game (which is very interesting in itself and is based on popular fantasy/fable characters being part of the real world) this is another game which showcases what can be achieved without the strict adherence on a photorealistic style. 
 You can read more about the game on its official site here.

FPS Creator Reloaded

It looks like that there will soon be a new tool for first person shooter game developers working with PCs; called FPS Creator Reloaded. Developed by a UK indie called The Game Creators it promises, according to the its website, to be "an open world game creator that's easy to use and produces very high quality results in all areas; such as superior art & animation, smooth gameplay and top class audio".
More information on the official site of FPS Creator Reloaded which can be found here.

SimCity in classrooms

It appears that SimCity, Maxis' very popular title, is now soon to be introduced into US classrooms with the purpose of teaching pupils about pollution, using the game's familiar city-building mechanics as the medium.
Titled SimCityEdu: Pollution Challenge!, it is very interesting to see a commercial title like this appear in a special version for educational purposes. Hopefully this is a trend which will see other adopters too.
More information about this special version of SimCity can be found here.

VS Games 2013 proceedings now on IEEE Xplore

The VS Games 2013 conference proceedings are now on IEEE Xplore in full. It appears there is a problem with the associations to pdfs there which IEEE is aware of  and working on resolving as soon as possible but these can, for now and with the aforementioned issue, be viewed here.
I will report back when the problem with the pdf linkage is resolved.

TIGA awards 2013 nomination for Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University has been shortlisted for "Educational institute that is producing strong graduates to work in the games industry", i.e. the Best Educational Institution Category at the upcoming TIGA awards. We were also shortlisted last year (for a different category).
I will be attending the event in November at Pinewood Studios and (hopefully!) report back with any good news from the ceremony.

More information about the event can be found here.              

AICA 2014 International Program Committee Member

I have been invited to join the IPC for the Fourth International Workshop on the Application of Intelligent Context-Awareness (AICA 2014) taking place at Birmingham City University, Millennium Point, Birmingham, UK, 2-4 July (2014).

More information about the workshop, which is part of the CISIS 2014 conference, can be found here.

CISIS 2014 International Program Committee member

I have been invited to be an IPC member for the CISIS 2014 conference (on the Multimedia Systems and Virtual Reality track of this). The conference takes place between July 2nd and July 4th (2014) at Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK.
This is the 8th International Conference on Complex, Intelligent and Software Intensive Systems and more info can be found on the official site here.

One more Unreal 4 video

In anticipation of Unreal engine version 4 it is always exciting to see another tech video for it, particularly if it contains explanatory commentary (this time on VFX creation for the recent Infiltrator tech demo).

The video can be seen below and is indeed very impressive in terms of what UE4 can be seen to achieve.
The video has a Part 1 heading in its title so hopefully Epic Games will soon make a second part of this available.