Cobra Mobile has just released their exciting, all-new puzzle matching and sorting game Pocket Garden 
for iPhone and iPad. Get it here - http://bit.ly/19FjPlm

Lovingly hand-made for iOS, Pocket Garden offers a unique, addictive mix of puzzle matching and sorting
fused with the fun of creating, building and maintaining your very own garden in your pocket.

Check out Pocket Garden on YouTube - http://youtu.be/HkzNTgjN50M

Pocket Garden is Cobra's most exciting product to date. The simple mix of a highly addictive puzzle matching
and sorting game combined with longer term building and town based quests really makes Pocket Garden a
must play title on mobile and tablet. Now you really can simply touch, tap and swipe your way to the garden
you've always wanted.

Pocket Garden is available now and is  Free-to-Play, so what can you grow today?

What the previews said;
- "I'm impressed with Pocket Garden"
- "it's got the warm and friendly trappings of a casual game"
- "there's genuine skill involved in its puzzle action"
- "once Pocket Garden's seed is planted, it can be hard to remove"

Posted on: Friday, 1 November, 2013 - 10:14

The internet in Scotland is to become faster and more efficient thanks to the launch of the country's dedicated internet exchange point (IXP) - IXScotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, announced the new IXP, which will go live this week, during the Convention of the Highlands and Islands conference yesterday (October 28).

The new IXP will mean that it will be easier and quicker for Internet Service Providers in Scotland to pass traffic to each other and could reduce internet 'lag' time by up to 75 per cent.

Currently the vast majority of Scotland’s internet traffic goes through London, which can result in delays for people and businesses.  Most internet traffic to/from and within Scotland goes through one of three UK Internet Exchange Points (in London, Manchester or Leeds). The biggest of these is LINX (the London Internet Exchange), which is spread over several data centres in the London Docklands area.

The dedicated Scottish internet exchange point, based at the Pulsant data centre in Edinburgh, has also been set-up by LINX.

Mr Swinney said:

"We are delighted to welcome the establishment of a dedicated Internet Exchange Point for Scotland which will speed up internet access for businesses and individuals.

"This industry-led IXP will allow internet service providers to securely pass traffic to each other in Scotland, enhancing the digital offering both within and outside of Scotland.

"I also want to recognise the key contribution of LINX, who have worked with the industry and Scottish Government to make this happen.

"Along with our investment in next generation broadband and measures to increase digital participation, this investment represents a further step on Scotland's journey to becoming a world leading digital nation by 2020.

"Central to this will be development of future-proofed infrastructure that supports high quality connectivity on any device, anywhere, at any time. To achieve this we are investing over £240 million to extend next generation broadband access to 95 per cent of premises in Scotland by 2017/18."

John Souter, CEO of LINX, which established the Scottish internet exchange point – IXScotland, said:

"IXScotland is a real step forward for the internet community in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

"The exchange will allow networks to stop 'tromboning' traffic to London and back again, and will help increase resilience by creating a new centre for interconnection in the UK.

"We are grateful to Pulsant for hosting the exchange."

The second annual digital strategy progress report and update 2013 has also been released today at www.scotlandsdigitalfuture.org

The report is presented as a microsite with information on progress made in the last year across all four main strands of the digital strategy.

The microsite contains more information on the establishment of the Internet Exchange Point for Scotland and provides an update on progress towards transforming Scotland into a world leading digital nation by 2020.

Posted on: Tuesday, 29 October, 2013 - 11:54

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK Games industry, today announced the launch of its 24-hour TIGA GameHack event in Scotland on 16 and 17 November 2013. The event will be held at, and in partnership with Abertay University in Dundee.
 
In the run up to the TIGA GameHack, TIGA and Abertay University will also be hosting a series of game development webinars which participants will be invited to attend.
 
The event will challenge the best and brightest of the Scottish games development industry and academic community to come together for a truly unique creative experience, with participants given the opportunity to develop a game from scratch in just 24 hours.
 
Quickfire inspiration and team work are the order of the day with the chance to win some amazing prizes across these categories:
 
·         Best Game, sponsored by ARM and PlayJam
·         Best 'Endless Runner' Game, sponsored by BlackBerry
·         Most Awesome Game, sponsored by Centroid 3D
·         Most Innovative Idea, sponsored by TIGA
·         The Hacktackular Award
·         The Community Spirit Award
 
For ARM’s and Playjam’s category, participants will be provided with Unity for Android and ARM tools including emulators. They will also receive help and support throughout the event, learning cutting edge tricks of the trade for maximising the graphical performance of portable gaming devices.
 
TIGA GameHack is supported by Gold sponsors ARM and PlayJam, Bronze sponsor BlackBerry, snacks sponsor Unity Technologies and prize sponsor Centroid. The event is also supporting SpecialEffect, a UK based charity which uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities.
 
This year, thanks to event partner, Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, there will be a sister TIGA GameHack event taking place in England at the same time, with the same categories, and the same 24-hour creative pressure.
 
TIGA GameHack in Scotland is now open for registration for Abertay students and Scottish developers, both TIGA members and non-members alike. For more information visit: www.gamehack.co.ukTo register for the event, please visit www.tiga.org/events.
 
Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, commented:
“TIGA is focused on helping Scotland’s independent developers and digital publishers to succeed, and has long enjoyed good relationships with world-class educational institutions like Abertay University, as well as other key organisations like Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland.
 
“The TIGA GameHack in Scotland will provide the hugely important Scottish academic and game development community with the perfect opportunity to learn, experiment, network and collaborate creatively. We hope all our Scottish student, developer and digital publisher members will seize this chance to come together and create something truly special in just 24 hours.
 
“I'd like to thank our sponsors ARM, PlayJam, BlackBerry, Unity Technologies, Centroid 3D and Abertay University for enabling TIGA to deliver a GameHack event that will recognise achievements in innovation, mobile development and sheer 'awesome' games.
 
Ryan Locke, Lecturer in Media Design, University of Abertay Dundee, added:
“Both Abertay University and the city of Dundee are at the heart of the UK games industry and we’re enormously excited to be able to run GameHack in partnership with TIGA. This will give our students and Scottish developers the chance to experience a genuine thrill, as well as providing valuable networking opportunities and a creatively stimulating environment.”
 
Sameer R. Baroova, Head of Games, PlayJam, added:
"We are very excited to be a part of the TIGA GameHack. GameStick fits right in with the spirit of GameHack, offering a variety of ways to develop and innovate. I am looking forward to seeing some great teamwork and cool game concepts. This should be a lot of fun."
 
Nizar Romdhane, director of ecosystem, Media Processing Division, ARM and TIGA Board Member, commented:
"The gamification going on in the world today is hugely exciting and pretty much anyone with the right tools can innovate and create the next big thing. Our ARM Mali™ graphics processing technology is part of that opportunity – providing stunning user experiences and near-life gaming in a mobile handset. We are looking forward to an exciting event and to seeing how developers will push the limits of technology.”
 
Volker Hirsch, director, global head of business development - games at BlackBerry, said:
“BlackBerry is delighted to be part of the TIGA GameHack event, we’re fully committed to the UK's game developer community and this an enormously exciting way for people to come together and let creative sparks fly. Game developers are used to working in high tech, highly skilled and often high pressure environments, so I have every confidence they will rise to this challenge too.”

Posted on: Friday, 18 October, 2013 - 09:20

Scotland's video games industry, one of the most dynamic, diverse and pioneering in the world, was today transformed, with the launch of the Scottish Games Network, as the official industry body for the entire sector in Scotland.

The Scottish Games Network now offers a single unified and strategic contact point for Scotland's diverse games sector, as well as opening the sector up to the wider cultural and creative industries, both nationally and globally.

The Scottish Games Network is open to every company and organisation involved in the video games and interactive industries. Not simply developers, but technology companies, animation specialists, audio companies, publishers, retailers, media, freelance staff, contractors, academic institutions and the government.

The organisation pro-actively identifies new projects and opportunities to enable the games sector to grow, evolve and prosper, moving beyond advocacy and representation to pull together the individuals, companies and organisations across the country, providing strategic insight, research, create new opportunities and organise incredibly cool events...

The Scottish Games Network was established in 2005 as a grass roots sector-specific community. It has grown and evolved rapidly to become the recognised organisation and focal point for the country's video games industry, with over 90 game development studios, more than 130 games-related companies and around 5,000 individual members across multiple channels.

Scotland has a unique infrastructure, differing from the rest of the UK. There are over 35 commercial, cultural, educational and academic organisations across the public and private sectors in this country, which are actively involved in the games and interactive sector.

The Scottish Games Network is keen to work with all of these organisations and companies, building greater collaboration, communication, understanding and opportunities for Scotland as a whole. The SGN will also work closely with the existing video games industry bodies, creating links, affiliations and memberships, sharing information and ensuring collaboration wherever possible.

Scotland's games industry has been a pioneer since the late 1980s, when it boasted six studios producing titles including Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, HEDZ, Formula 1, Braveheart, Midnight Pool, Harry Potter Quidditch and many more.

Since then the industry has grown to nearly 100 independent studios, producing titles for every platform and device from smartphones and tablets to the next generation of games consoles. This includes, Rockstar North, the creator of GTA V, the largest entertainment product in the world, which generated over $1Bn in sales in its first three days on sale in September 2013. In 2012 the was at least one game released every week by development studios in Scotland – and that number is growing.

Founded by Brian Baglow, the network is now an officially incorporated organisation, with Brian as Director. Brian has worked in the games industry in Scotland since 1994, has been a constant advocate and media presence in the sector, and has worked with almost each and every company, organisation, educational institution and industry-relevant event in the country.

Baglow says, “The original Scottishgames.net was founded as a community to enable the growing games industry in Scotland to ask questions, discuss the industry and meet peers and colleagues. It has grown since then to become the focal point for the industry as a whole.”

We are now in the position where there are multiple organisations interacting with the games sector, from government, parliament and the public sector, to the wider digital, screen and creative industries. To enable and support this, the Scottish Games Network has become an official and committed full-time company.”

Our goal is, very simply, to help the country's games industry grow and prosper. We will be working with government, the public sector and other trade bodies to provide data, expertise and insight into the games industry, as well as helping the industry open itself up to the wider creative world, fostering new partnerships, collaboration, diversity, funding; and encouraging entirely new experiences.”

Posted on: Monday, 7 October, 2013 - 08:42

Grand Theft Auto 5 has passed another sales milestone after shifting £1bn worth of copies across the world in just three days – making it the fastest ever entertainment product to reach the magic sum.

The game had already smashing record sales, selling 1.57m units in the UK alone and setting new records in game sales here.

However a statement released by Take Two Interactive Software, who released the game, said that its enormous popularity had led to the even greater achievement.

‘Grand Theft Auto V, the critically acclaimed latest release from the iconic interactive entertainment series, has achieved worldwide retail sales of more than one billion dollars during its first three days on sale, according to company estimates,’ the company said.

We believe this marks the fastest that any entertainment property, including video games and feature films, has reached this significant milestone.’

Take Two’s chairman Strauss Zelnick described the game as a ‘cultural phenomenon’, adding: ‘We are incredibly proud of the extraordinary critical and commercial response to Grand Theft Auto V.’

GTA 5, which was developed by Edinburgh-based Rockstar North and is available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, has been five years in the making and reportedly cost around £170m.

Fans queued across the UK in a bid to be among the first to get their hands on a copy of the game, with stores staying open late for the launch at midnight on Tuesday.

Posted on: Monday, 23 September, 2013 - 08:43

£264 million investment for high speed broadband

Hundreds of thousands of households and businesses across Scotland are set to reap the rewards of high-speed fibre broadband thanks to a £264 million investment announced today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The project will be delivered by BT, which is investing £106.7m in the partnership, and is being led by the Scottish Government working together with local authorities and Broadband Delivery UK in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Together with a £146 million partnership announced earlier this year to bring faster broadband to the Highlands and Islands and commercial investment plans by the private sector, the new project will ensure that 85 per cent of Scottish properties have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017.

Initial priority will be given to rural small and medium sized businesses to encourage economic growth in hard to reach areas.

Speaking during a visit to a BT exchange building in Pitt Street, Glasgow, where the contract for the project was signed with BT, Ms Sturgeon said:

“Today's announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe. It will connect communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration.

"Next generation broadband enables businesses to compete on the international stage. It has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children, provide health and social care and deliver our public services. It provides Scotland with a platform upon which we can build and sustain a world class digital country.

“Using the Scottish model of procurement, we have worked with local authorities, CoSLA, BDUK and BT to agree this contract and will continue to work in partnership to deliver real benefits to local people and businesses. Both national and local government recognise that digital connectivity is vital to future economic prosperity and the success of our partnership is testament to our shared ambition to ensure that Scottish business and communities realise the benefits of the digital age.”

Bill Murphy, BT managing director of Next Generation Access, said:

“Having invested significantly in our own commercial project to build a fibre network covering almost 1.5 million premises in Scotland, we’re incredibly excited to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and local authorities to extend the technology into those mainly rural and remote parts of Scotland that the market alone could not reach.

“We believe that access to a reliable, high-speed broadband service can shape lives for the better, and so this is an important moment in the evolution of Scotland’s communications story. We’ll create a platform to support Scotland’s economic and social prosperity well into the future. It will stimulate growth in its thriving small business and social enterprise culture, helping the country compete in an increasingly digital world.

“We bring the benefits of economies of scale driving value for money, huge experience in deployment and working in partnership with publicly funded projects, and building open networks which offer internet users an array of choice in service providers and costs.

“Bringing fibre broadband to another 600,000-plus Scottish homes and businesses is a huge civil engineering challenge. We’re looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and starting work straight away to deliver an outstanding, transformational project.”

Councillor David ONeill, President of COSLA said:

"We welcome the signing of the contract with BT that will enable the delivery of significant improvement in the speed of broadband service to many more households than would have been possible without the partnership funding from Scottish Councils and the Scottish Government.

"Local Communities especially in rural areas have been uniformly clear across Scotland that better accessibility to higher speed broadband services was a top priority and for that reason all 32 Scottish Councils agreed to pool over £90m to deliver this project alongside European Union funding of over £20 million.

"Scottish Councils and Scottish Government via the creation of a joint funding scheme along with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are helping to ensure the delivery of Scotland's digital strategy has the biggest economic, social and environment impact possible on local communities. The contract outcomes will promote local economic development through greater digital access to markets, enable communities to access vital services remotely rather than needing to travel and as a result reduce their impact on the environment.

"The partnership approach to this project with the Scottish Government and BDUK has provided the best value contract for the public purse, delivered national outcomes whilst being responsive to local needs, allowing all councils involved, where technically feasible to secure at least three-quarters coverage of enhanced broadband services for their local communities and in some cases significantly more through additional funding."

UK Government Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:

“The complex and remote landscape of much of Scotland makes this one of the largest and most challenging projects in our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband. This contract, signed today, marks the beginning of a transformation of broadband services for the population of southern and mid Scotland. Together with the already agreed Highlands and Islands project, it will be instrumental in driving growth and boosting local economies throughout the country, giving 90% coverage by late 2016 and helping achieve the UK government’s objective of reaching 95% of UK premises by 2017.”

Posted on: Tuesday, 17 September, 2013 - 08:14

The Digital Innovation Contest - Games is being run by IC tomorrow with support from our challenge partners Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Crytek UK, Intel, Google Chrome ODEON Cinemas and Pinewood Studios. We are offering up to five businesses up to £25,000 (excluding VAT) each in funding for the development of innovative commercial prototypes. We are looking for applications across five challenges focusing on different areas of the games industry.

 

The challenges

  • one award of up to £25,000* for the development of a prototype service or application in the ‘second-screen use in a game' challenge area supported by the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE)Read more.
  • one award of up to £25,000* for the development of a prototype service or application in the 'open street map data' challenge area supported by Crytek UKRead more. 
  • one award of up to £25,000* for the development of a prototype service or application in the ‘new markets and perceptual computing' challenge area supported by Intel. Read more. 
  • one award of up to £25,000* for the development of a prototype service or application in the ‘wider games distribution on mobile web' challenge area supported by Google Chrome. Read more. 
  • one award of up to £25,000* for the development of a prototype service or application in the ‘games and cinema' challenge area supported by ODEON Cinemas and Pinewood Studios. Read more. 

*Individual awards will be a maximum of £25,000* each, excluding VAT.

Benefits

The successful applicants will benefit from:

  • £25,000* funding to produce their commercial prototype
  •  exposure to a range of leading sector partners
  • trialling their proposed application or service with leading sector partners
  • promotion for their prototype solution via the IC tomorrow programme
  • retain their intellectual property

 

Briefing Event

We are holding a briefing event in London on Thursday 19 September, to book your place please click here. There will also be a live webinar for those who can't make it to London, find out more details here.

 

Apply

To apply for the contest you must read the guidance document which contains the full outline of the challenges and then fill out an online application form available here. 

Key Dates

Contest Opens
Monday 2 September

Briefing event
Thursday 19 September

Application deadline
Noon, Wednesday 16 October

Finalists notified  
Friday 1 November

Final Panel Session
Wednesday 13 November

 

Key Documents

Contest Brief

The contest brief will give you an overview of the contest and the challenges

Guidance Document

You must log in and join this group to download this document. The guidance document will give you a more detailed description of the challenges including some essential information to ensure your submission fits the challenge. It also contains a question by question run down on how to complete the application form.

Posted on: Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 - 10:17

TIGA, the network of developers and digital publishers, said today that now is the time for the UK Government and local governments to promote high technology clusters around the UK.  
 
The trade association representing the UK videogames industry made the comments following the news that the combined business activity of England’s regions rose last month at the quickest pace for over a decade.
 
According to the Lloyds Bank regional purchasing managers’ index, expansion was fastest in northwest England, followed by the southeast, southwest and London. All 12 UK regions registered growth, with business activity being driven by increased consumer demand and higher investment spending among public and private sector clients.
 
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
 
“Since the onset of the recession there has been a general recognition that the UK economy needs to be rebalanced, with growth coming from exports and business investment and with more activity from the regions outside of London. Lloyds Bank’s research shows encouraging signs, with all 12 UK regions reported growth.
 
“Now is an opportune time for policy makers to promote the development of high technology clusters as part of a process of ensuring that economic growth benefits all parts of the UK. There are concentrations of games studios in areas including Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, and Sheffield.
 
“Policy makers can support these clusters and boost start-ups by establishing additional business incubators, fostering local industry and university links, strengthening connections with finance providers and promoting mentoring services for businesses. Now is the time to capitalise on the growing regional recovery and invest in high technology businesses.”

Posted on: Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 - 10:57

Outplay Entertainment announced that a Korean version of Bubble Blaze, the highly-addictive bubble-popping game, will launch on iOS and Android mobile platforms on September 3rd 2013. 

Bubble Blaze has been extensively modified for the Korean market and features tight integration with Korea’s leading messaging app, KakaoTalk, which boasts a strong user base of over 100 million.

Outplay Entertainment is one of the first Western developers to have a game featured on KakaoTalk game platform and has worked closely with Kakao to ensure that “Bubble Blaze for Kakao”, or “버블블레이즈 for Kakao” as it’s known in Korea, appeals to Korean game players and enables avid KakaoTalk fans to enjoy the optimum Bubble Blaze experience with friends.

Bubble Blaze already boasts millions of downloads across the world, and has achieved an App Store number one spot in seven countries, including the US and UK, with players popping millions of bubbles every hour!

“We’re delighted with the success we’ve seen so far for Bubble Blaze and the opportunity to integrate it with KakaoTalk reflects its quality and universal appeal.  We think KakaoTalk’s huge and passionate audience will embrace Blaze’s bubble popping quest to defeat Sir Blackheart.”  Said Douglas Hare, CEO of Outplay Entertainment.

Bubble Blaze for Kakao is available free to download on iOS: http://bit.ly/17lXZ5g and Android: http://bit.ly/1dqcn0z

Posted on: Wednesday, 4 September, 2013 - 10:50

Dundee-based media company DC Thomson has appointed Annelies van den Belt as Chief Executive of its fast-growing brightsolid online publishing business (BSOP). Richard Higgs steps up to Chief Executive of brightsolid online technology (BSOT).
The appointments come as DC Thomson plans to split the brightsolid group in to two separate entities as it looks to build its position in the burgeoning genealogy and cloud computing sectors.  This means that brightsolid online publishing (BSOP) and brightsolid online technology (BSOT) will now function as autonomous businesses, reporting directly to the DC Thomson Board.

Chris van der Kuyl, who currently holds the position of Group CEO of brightsolid, will take on a new role as Strategic Adviser to the DC Thomson Board.

BSOP owns findmypast.co.uk and genesreunited.co.uk – two of the largest genealogy businesses in Europe – and recently launched in the lucrative US market. The company is a preferred private sector partner to a host of institutions that are digitising and making available online parts of their historical archives, including the Imperial War Museum and The British Library.

BSOP and BSOT Chairman Richard Hall said: “Splitting BSOP and BSOT in to separate divisions is the next natural next phase of DC Thomson’s growth strategy for the businesses and the move will allow management teams to fulfil the potential of each division.

“We are delighted to have Annelies join brightsolid.  She brings with her a wealth of knowledge in commercial online enterprise from a strong media background. We are also delighted Richard is stepping up to become CEO. Richard has been instrumental in building online technology into a major independent provider of hosted services and related IT consultancy.

“Chris van der Kuyl is an innovator who has made an immense contribution to brightsolid over the last six years. This change of role fits with Chris’ expanding business interests outside of brightsolid and DC Thomson looks forward to working with Chris in his new capacity.”

Chris van der Kuyl said: “This new role offers a great opportunity to work both in an advisory capacity to the DC Thomson Board whilst exploring other endeavours outside of the Group.”

Ms van den Belt said: “The opportunity at brightsolid to build a truly global digital family history business is an exciting one. brightsolid has the potential through its current assets and footprint in the English speaking markets to become a leading global player. Furthermore, being part of the DC Thomson Group is an exciting professional proposition and I look forward to working with the Board and to sharing my digital knowledge and experience going forward in developing and creating further digital products.”

Ms van den Belt joins BSOP from SUP Media, the leading digital publisher in Russia and the CIS which recently merged with Rambler, where she held the position of Group Chief Executive. She has exemplary experience managing online ventures and has previously worked for ITV, Telegraph Media Group and News International.

While at ITV, Ms van den Belt oversaw the launch of ITV.com and held the title of Managing Director of ITV Broadband.  Prior to this she was at News International as Director of Digital in charge of The Times online site before moving to the Telegraph Media Group as Director of New Media. She will formally step into her new role at BSOP next Monday.

Richard Higgs joined BSOT in 2010 as Managing Director and has been instrumental in making online technology a dynamic IT business specialising in the architecture and secure cloud delivery of critical infrastructures from its UK-based Tier 3+ data centres.

Previously Richard was Chief Executive of Active Risk Group PLC, a developer of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) applications which floated in 2005 and served the US and UK markets.

Posted on: Friday, 30 August, 2013 - 10:23

More than 400 artists, academics, and other practitioners from 31 countries will tomorrow descend upon the University of Dundee for the world’s largest and most prestigious printmaking conference.

The 8th biennial International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference (IMPACT 8) takes place at the University from Thursday 29th August to Sunday 1st September, the first time it has been held in Scotland. The conference delegates, world leaders in their field, will debate the latest research and developments in printmaking while also be joining thousands of visitors at the 40+ exhibitions, workshops, performances and other events organised around IMPACT 8.

The conference anchors the inaugural Print Festival Scotland (PFS), which takes place in Dundee and at satellite venues across the country until Sunday. The Festival aims to confirm the cultural diversity, historical significance and future potential of print, as artists and writers adjust to the digital age. Venues range from internationally recognised contemporary art galleries to local artist-run initiatives in alternative public spaces.

The term printmaking is generally used to refer to the process of using printing to make artworks but IMPACT will also explores the myriad ways in which print has contributed to social, economic, political and cultural change from the invention of the Guttenberg press through to the latest 3D printing technology.

The event is being organised by Professor Elaine Shemilt and Dr Paul Harrison from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University, who have presented regularly at the conference series since the inaugural IMPACT event in Bristol 14 years ago.

“It is an honour for Dundee to be hosting this prestigious conference, and it brings to the city a significant cultural and financial boost,” said Professor Shemilt

“This is the first time that this conference is to be held in Scotland, and we are looking forward to welcoming these world class practitioners from the field of printmaking here. Although the conference is being hosted by the University and Dundee Contemporary Arts, we wanted to work with other arts organisations to make it a national celebration of Scotland’s past, present and future contribution to print.

“This gave birth to Print Festival Scotland, and the thrilling series of events will cover commercial and digital printing, historical aspects of printmaking, avant garde print practices and contemporary research. We will also explore how new technology will bring new ideas, opportunities and challenges.

“It will cover commercial and digital printing, historical aspects of printmaking, research taking us right up to the contemporary with new technology. We will then explore what comes next and discuss computer art and how new technology bring both new opportunities and challenges that must be faced.”

Since the first IMPACT conference was hosted by University of West England, Bristol in 1999, the events have been held in seven countries and across three continents. What began as a 'one-off' event has become a biennial feature in the printmaking calendar, bringing together hundreds of delegates from around the world.

The Conference celebrates the international diversity of the printmaking discipline from its roots in industrial communication through traditional, fine art based processes, to the current cutting-edge technology and theoretical debates.

The diversity and quality of print and printmaking practices in Dundee, both currently and historically make it an ideal location for attracting the world’s leaders in this field. The fact there is a concentration of printmaking activity in the University area will contribute to a dynamic experience for the delegates visiting the city.

Taking ‘exploration’ as their theme, the joint programme of events will celebrate the multiple identities of print media, with a particular focus on Dundee – the City of Discovery – which has a rich tradition of print, printmaking and publishing, and is a hub of contemporary digital technology innovation.

Dr Harrison added, “The fact we were chosen to host IMPACT 8 is recognition of the work going on in Dundee, and our position internationally in the field of printmaking. It is a very prestigious conference and we will show why Dundee is worthy of hosting such an event, and how world-leading work is taking place here.

“Scotland itself has a proud tradition of public access to printmaking, and we will build on this when we host IMPACT 8 and Print Festival Scotland.”

The full programme for IMPACT 8 and Print Festival Scotland can be found at www.conf.dundee.ac.uk/impact8/exhibitions.

Posted on: Tuesday, 27 August, 2013 - 09:50

Digital pandas set loose at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo visitors were in for a surprise treat this weekend – with a visit from digital panda families, courtesy of the computer game Mr Shingu’s Paper Zoo.

The team from Stormcloud Games brought their family-friendly game to the zoo, helping families learn how to make their own origami animals with the app.

Mr Shingu’s Paper Zoo is described as “origami meets Tamagotchi” by its Dundee-based creators, who received support from the University of Abertay Dundee’s Prototype Fund for development of the game.

The game encourages children to fold and care for origami animals on an iPad, iPhone or Android phone or tablet, and by playing Paper Zoo they will learn how to make the animals in real life.

Frank Arnot from Stormcloud Games said: “With Paper Zoo we want to inspire children to learn how to make origami, and to create their own collections of paper animals at home.

“It’s wonderful to see young people learning to make their own animals through the game, and what better place to try panda origami than Edinburgh Zoo’s wonderful panda enclosure?

“Everyone’s very excited to see if the Edinburgh Zoo pandas have their first baby, and it’s been great to help families visiting the zoo to create their own digital panda families with our Paper Zoo app.”

Mr Shingu’s Paper Zoo is a fun, family-friendly game with accurate origami designs created by Japanese origami expert Mr Fumiaki Shingu.

The Abertay University Prototype Fund invests up to £25,000 in small companies based anywhere in the UK looking to create new games and build a sustainable business.

For more information about the game, please visit http://mrshingu.com/

Posted on: Monday, 26 August, 2013 - 13:44

There are still tender opportunities available for the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup 2014. Book into an event to run through the application process and explore how businesses can be more effective if they collaborate.

With less than a year to Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup 2014, there are still £50 million worth of tender opportunities available. A number of events are coming up that will explain the process and explore how businesses can be more effective if they collaborate.

To find out how to access these contracts, attend a Geared for Gold roadshow event in association with your local chamber of commerce.

  • Stirling - 22 August at STEP
  • Dumfries and Galloway - 29 August at Aston Hotel, Dumfries 
  • Aberdeen - 12 September at Palm Court Hotel 
  • Dundee - 19 September at Scottish Enterprise's office 
  • Perth - 26 September at McDermiad Park 
  • Edinburgh - 1 October at Scottish Enterprise's office

Register for interest below

http://gearedforgold2014-es2.eventbrite.co.uk/?rank=1

Posted on: Wednesday, 21 August, 2013 - 15:27

The three BAFTA-nominated games from Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital game design competition were announced tonight after a record-breaking weekend.
 
A record-breaking audience of over 13,000 people played the 15 games over four days at the free Dare ProtoPlay games festival in Dundee. An extra day was added this year due to the huge demand.
 
The three teams who now compete for the exclusive BAFTA Ones to Watch Award at the 2014 BAFTA Video Games Awards are:
 
- iKnow, with The Unknown for Android phone (Luyue Zhang, Zhaoxuan Li, Qiwei Feng, Chenying Wan and Neil Cullen)
 
- Mazhlele, with Project Heera for XBox360 & PC (Dhruv Dave, Neeraj Shastry, Shashank Dhongde, Tanmay Chinchkar and Shriram Srinivasan)
 
- Team DOS, with Size DOS Matter for iPad (Nick La Rooy, Trond Fasteraune, Silje Dahl, Mattis Delerud and Lars Andersen)
 
All three of the main awards were sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Posted on: Monday, 12 August, 2013 - 08:47

CANCER RESEARCH UK has hired games and software development agency Guerilla Tea to build the charity’s first mobile phone game to pinpoint new genetic causes of cancer – accelerating potential new cures.

 The agency will work closely with Cancer Research UK’s scientists to develop a game, working title GeneGame, that anyone with a smart phone and five minutes to spare can play to analyse Cancer Research UK’s gene data. The game will launch in the UK later this year.

Dundee-based Guerilla Tea creates mobile, handheld and online games. It was appointed by Cancer Research UK with help from games expert Channel 4’s games commissioner, Colin Macdonald. Cancer Research UK selected Guerilla Tea because it most closely fulfilled the brief to develop a game format that is both fun to play but simultaneously feeds highly accurate analysis of variations in gene data to Cancer Research UK’s scientists.

Guerilla Tea will consolidate the expertise and formats generated at Cancer Research UK’s GameJam event in March 2013. The event brought together the charity’s world-leading scientists alongside over fifty ‘hackers’ – computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists from Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google and games technology academics from City University London and Omnisoft.

Amy Carton, citizen science lead for Cancer Research UK, said: “We were very impressed by the initial format produced by Guerilla Tea and we’re excited about seeing the final result.

“We’re right at the start of a world-first initiative that will result in a game that we hope hundreds of thousands of people across the globe will want to play over and over again and, at the same time, generate robust scientific data analysis.

“Combining complicated cancer research data and gaming technology in this way has never been done before and it’s certainly no mean feat but we’re working with the best scientific and technology brains in the business, we’re ready for the challenge and believe the results will have global impact and speed up research.”

Mark Hastings, CEO of Guerilla Tea, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected by Cancer Research UK for this project. We’ve always believed games technology has the potential to provide huge benefits to other sectors and this project will be a wonderful example of that. We’re very excited to get started and through our work look forward to helping speed up discoveries that one day might lead to new cancer treatments.”

Cancer Research UK’s scientists are investigating new ways to treat patients in a more targeted way based on their genetic fingerprint – but this research produces terabytes upon petabytes of data requiring analysis. Advances in technology help our scientists identify new causes and drivers of cancer, but much of the data must be analysed by the human eye rather than machines – which can take years.

‘GeneGame’ is the charity’s second project set up to harness the power of the public to help analyse these colossal amounts of data, with the aim to drastically speed up research.

The first initiative, Cell SliderTM, launched in October 2012 and allows the public to classify archived breast cancer samples, helping Cancer Research UK scientists to better understand breast cancer risk and response to treatment.

Dr Joanna Reynolds, director of science information, Cancer Research UK, said “Over 200,000 people have already visited our CellSlider site, from over 100 countries, making more than 1.6 million classifications. In just three months, citizen scientists had analysed data that would typically take our scientists 18 months to do and early indications of the accuracy are promising. With GeneGame we are being bolder, braver and bigger and we hope that by the end of the year we’ll have a game that not only is fun to play but will play a crucial role in developing new cancer cures sooner – ultimately saving lives.”

Posted on: Wednesday, 31 July, 2013 - 13:10

One of Dundee's most famous exports, the lemmings have been immortalised next to the old DMA Design offices up from the Nethergate in Dundee's west end.

The Lemmings sculptures, featuring the popular gaming characters clambering over a stone pillar, appeared in Seabraes earlier this week, sparking a flurry of online excitement from locals and from fans of the legendary game across the world who have hailed them as “awesome”.

It has now been revealed that the Lemmings are a new public artwork by sculptor Alyson Conway. Lemmings, originally developed for the Amiga by Dundee-based DMA Design, was one of the UK’s first blockbuster titles, selling 55,000 copies on its first day, and eventually recording over 15 million sales. Many of the original design team are still working in the city and contribute to the cities digital economy.

Posted on: Monday, 29 July, 2013 - 13:49

TRAVELLERS on Dundee’s bus network are now only a few clicks away from constantly updated real time information about the next service.

A rolling introduction of “QR code” technology at bus stops across the city is almost complete and Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee has been out and about testing the tech.

He said: “These days almost all of us have a mobile device and if you use it to download a QR reader app you can get instant access to real time information on the next departures from the bus stop you are standing at.

“We have created a QR code using the unique reference number which relates to every bus stop/bus shelter shown on www.dundeetravelinfo.com together with the unique identifier of the stop’s location.”

The first QR codes appeared on timetables which were updated for service changes in May and following further service changes at the end of last month, the majority of timetables in Dundee now show each stop’s unique code.

Dundee City Council has invested more than £3000 in the new technology after passengers identified information about the next bus as one of their top priorities when using the city’s network.

Similar digital delivery of real time travel information has already proved popular in Edinburgh, the only other city in Scotland to use the scheme.

Posted on: Monday, 22 July, 2013 - 13:38

In and Article by Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO. Dundee has been mentioned as a major cluster in the UK. 

“It is great to see so many new firms, including games studios, springing up in London’s Silicon Roundabout. Clusters of geographically concentrated firms from the same sector or similar sectors that collaborate and compete with one another are good for the economy because they typically encourage knowledge transfer, promote business efficiencies and enhance skills.
 
“Yet we also need to promote the development of clusters throughout the UK. This is vital if we are to spread economic and employment opportunities beyond London. There are creative clusters of games studios across the United Kingdom including Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, and Sheffield.

We should strengthen these clusters and support start-ups through the provision of more business incubators, by strengthening local industry and university links, building connections with finance providers and through the provision of business mentoring. Investing in clusters is investing in success.”

Posted on: Friday, 19 July, 2013 - 10:49

Dare ProtoPlay games festival, Dundee
 
Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th August
 
The UK's biggest indie games festival is back this August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.
 
- Free entry
- Family friendly
- Play brand new games – and meet their creators
- Open 10am to 6pm (5pm Sunday)
 
Last year saw 10,000 people – from toddlers to grandparents – enjoy new games created by students and leading games companies. Due to the huge demand, this year’s event has added an extra, fourth day.
 
Dare ProtoPlay marks the end of Abertay University’s game design competition Dare to be Digital, with the student game creators battling for the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award. The event is sponsored by Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council and EventScotland.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/

Posted on: Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 - 10:09

Computer games companies based anywhere in the UK can access up to £25,000 in the latest round of the University of Abertay Dundee’s Prototype Fund.
 
The Prototype Fund has supported almost 70 companies based around Britain, as far afield as Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and Dundee.
 
The investment round closes on 17th July – applications are now open at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/.
 
This latest round of support is calling for applications from existing companies that have already completed and released games, but may be looking to develop a new intellectual property and need investment to reduce the business risk.
 
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “Britain’s computer games industry is exceptionally talented, but it can be difficult for companies to secure enough money to finance the development of new games.
 
“To build a successful, sustainable business it’s essential that teams can develop and release their own intellectual property, rather than relying on work-for-hire for larger companies or licensing brands from partners.
 
“Receiving up to £25,000 from the Abertay University Prototype Fund is a risk-free way of testing out a new idea, getting some initial feedback from customers and potential investors, before looking to scale up development to release a completed product.”
 
Interested applicants will also be able to meet members of Abertay’s Prototype Fund team at the Develop Conference in Brighton at a lunch on Tuesday 9th July for companies to learn more about making a successful application.
 
Interested parties should contact the Prototype Team on prototypefund@abertay.ac.uk to find out more.
 
As well as improving access to funding in an environment where bank loans can be very difficult for young companies to secure, funded companies have the option of studio space, high-end computers and industry-standard software in Abertay University.
 
The Abertay University Prototype Fund is supported by investment from the university, the European Regional Development Fund administered by the Scottish Government, and UK Government funding administered by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
 
For more details and to apply please visit http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

Posted on: Monday, 24 June, 2013 - 13:48