Members of the public across Scotland are invited to take part in a national Inquiry into the changing role of digital technology, hosted by The Royal Society of Edinburgh

 

The Inquiry will explore how digital technologies and the Internet (including the World Wide Web, mobile devices, mobile apps, email and social networking sites) are used by the public, businesses, government and charities on a day-to-day basis.

It will examine what information, services and opportunities digital technologies can offer, and seek to understand how the benefits can be shared by all.

Consultation workshops will be held in Dundee on Tuesday 2nd July 2013, at Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee, DD1 1DB

To book a place at one of these workshops please contact Elizabeth Hemsley, 0131 240 2789 ehemsley@royalsoced.org.uk

 

Workshops for the day are as follows:

 

11am – 12.30pm Consultation with representatives from the statutory and voluntary sectors, including health, education, local councils, support providers and housing associations. (Lunch provided)

2.30pm – 4.30pm Members of the public are encouraged to drop in and contribute to discussions about their own use of digital technologies and the internet. (Refreshments available)

5.30pm – 7.30pm Local business and enterprise organisations are invited to discuss how digital technologies are currently used and any barriers they face. (Refreshments available)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh invites individuals and organisations from all sectors to give evidence as part of the Inquiry and to bring it to the attention of others for wider circulation.

About the Inquiry

The Internet has opened up access to innovative and exciting means of communication. It allows new ways of collecting, processing and accessing information through a range of digital tools. It enables new forms of business innovation, enterprise and collaboration, and offers improvements in the delivery of a range of services.

However, the Internet can pose both real and perceived threats to our privacy, personal lives and social values. Whilst the use of digital technology is increasing, there are still many who see no reason to go online and feel no motivation to engage with digital media. This inquiry is keen to explore individual motivations for using the internet, including why many still opt out of internet use, and what might be required in the form of guidance and protection to support confident digital engagement.

An earlier Digital Scotland inquiry examined internet connectivity and the median connection speeds across Scotland, and made a series of recommendations to improve connectivity. Following on from this, the current inquiry will examine how the benefits of internet access and digital media can be shared across all sectors of society, so that access to the internet narrows, rather than widens, social divides. A particular focus will be on how Scotland can ensure that everyone is able to participate in, and benefit from, improved access to digital technologies in the future.

The inquiry will examine the individual skills and motivation required for people to engage with digital technologies, as well as looking at the potential benefits of digital participation for different communities and groups. The inquiry will also explore the barriers to, and risks of, digital participation experienced by different groups. The aim of the inquiry is to understand the different ways in which organisations and individuals can use the internet and digital technologies for wider social, economic and cultural benefits. We hope to address a wide range of issues and welcome all responses.

Our final report will make recommendations on public policy for Spreading the Benefits of a Digital Scotland.

The key research areas of the Inquiry are

  • Identifying the benefits of digital participation and how they might be spread;
  • Understanding the obstacles and risks that may limit digital participation; and
  • Identifying what motivates people to go online.

 

 

Responses to all or some of these areas are welcome – the more information available to the inquiry, the better informed our recommendations will be.

We welcome examples of good practice, (what works well, where and why?) and practical ideas of how digital media can be used to solve problems or meet currently unmet needs.

Can’t attend the event?

Submissions in a range of formats are welcome; they can be submitted online, by email or post.

Online: http://digiscot.net

Email: digiscot@royalsoced.org.uk

Post: The Digital Inquiry, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ

Posted on: Wednesday, 19 June, 2013 - 16:03

Blue Square will merge with Avian with immediate effect to form Avian Communications Network.

This new enlarged group, immediately ranked in the top ten creative agencies in Scotland, will operate with two divisional companies - Avian Communications and Blue2 Digital.

Avian Communications and Blue Square had congruent skill sets and client bases. Avian's core business is brand development, graphic design, marketing literature, exhibitions and advertising, which complements the Blue Square services.

Both companies had plans for further growth and expansion, and with little overlap in our client base it is a natural fit for us to team up as one new company with an enhanced service proposition for current and new clients.

Jim Patrick, Managing Director says, "I am very excited about working with the new team at Avian House, and look forward to developing further highly creative, effective work for our clients and to building a significant agency in terms of reputation, scale, areas of operation and global reach."

More information on Avian Communications can be found at www.avian.co.uk

Posted on: Wednesday, 19 June, 2013 - 08:44

A new project to connect computer games students with business investors launches today (Wednesday 10 April) at the University of Abertay Dundee.
 
The Code Bar has been established with support from the Intellectual Property Office to provide the computer games industry one-click access to innovative projects created by students in the University.
 
Established game development studios can easily download games, check their potential to be developed into full titles, and then purchase all the rights for a one-off fee through a closed auction.
 
The Code Bar is intended to unlock valuable intellectual property created by students at Abertay University and on the world-leading game development competition Dare to be Digital.
 
Brian McNicoll, games industry consultant and co-founder of BAFTA-award winning Dynamo Games, worked with Abertay University staff and students, and the Intellectual Property Office, to deliver the project.
 
Brian McNicoll said: “The Code Bar takes a very different approach to bringing promising new student games out to the market. There are so many games created by students at Abertay University, and on Dare to be Digital, that could be developed further by the right company.
 
“We’re looking to unlock promising, hidden intellectual property – giving games companies new creative ideas to develop into full products, paying students for successful sales of their exceptional work, and hopefully bringing more innovative games to market.”
 
The students who have submitted work to the Code Bar will receive 60% on the successful completion of a sale of their game to an investor.
 
Rosa Wilkinson, Director of Innovation at the Intellectual Property Office, said: “The Intellectual Property Office is delighted to have been able to support this exciting initiative through its Fast Forward Competition. 
 
“The Code Bar is an excellent example of how the competition can support innovative approaches to knowledge exchange that benefit both businesses and students, leading to products and services that will help the UK economy to grow.”
 
Projects are available for educational use on an evaluation-only basis, allowing aspiring developers access to the games to understand how they were built.
 
The rights to each project can also be acquired by a developer or publisher who has the means to finish and release the game to market.
 
For more information, and to see the seven projects the Code Bar is launching with, please visit http://thecodebar.abertay.ac.uk/

Posted on: Wednesday, 10 April, 2013 - 09:44

A talented team of students from the University of Abertay Dundee will this week take part in the finals of Make Something Unreal Live at the Gadget Show Live.
 
Make Something Unreal Live is an international game development competition open to all students enrolled full-time at any European higher education establishment.
 
The Abertay finalists are Claudio Bozzotta, Vijay Kesiraju, Clement Marcou and Gaurav Pant, who are competing as Team Summit.
 
Team Summit’s game, Beings, is a colourful puzzle platformer based on the laws of genetics. The students designed the game to be suitable for children from the age of three, but challenging enough to appeal to older players as well.
 
Team Summit member Gaurav Pant said: “To reach the finals of Make Something Unreal Live is amazing. The team worked so hard to create a fun game about the laws of genetics, something that would appeal to children but also be an educational tool in disguise.
 
“We’re all really looking forward to demonstrating Beings at the Gadget Show Live twice a day, as we keep building and refining the game. It’ll be great to show our work to so many members of the public.
 
“The aim is to win the competition, then hopefully set up our own business so we can complete and release Beings. There’s definitely a market for fun, enjoyable games that are also educational, and we think our game could be a real success.”
 
Dr Iain Donald from Abertay University said: “Team Summit are a very talented group of students, and they’ve done exceptionally well to beat all the other entries to make it to the live finals in Birmingham.
 
“At Abertay we’re really keen for our students to apply the skills they learn to create games that are artistic and educational, as well as being entertaining. Computer games is such a rich creative field and it’s a delight to see students embracing this right at the start of their careers.”
 
In Beings the player plays the role of various cute creatures, on the pursuit to reach a peaceful, promised land.  They have to find a suitable partner, mate, and inherit the characteristics and abilities of their parents to overcome obstacles such as fire, high cliffs and poisonous plants.
 
More than 170 students across 22 teams submitted game pitches that play on the theme of ‘Mendelian inheritance: genetics and genomics’, spanning concepts such as variation, mutation and other behaviours of the human genome.
 
Make Something Unreal Live is taking part at the Gadget Show Live in the NEC Birmingham from today until Sunday 7 April.
 
The Gadget Show attracts around 2 million viewers per programme on Channel 5, and the Gadget Show Live is the UK’s biggest consumer electronics event.
 
The competition is in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, the charitable foundation that supports research and innovation in biomedical research and the medical humanities.

Posted on: Wednesday, 3 April, 2013 - 10:50

A new £1.7 million development to supportScotland’s growing creative industries sector is underway on Dundee’s waterfront.

Located at Seabraes Yard, the innovative development called District 10, will offer flexible office accommodation as well as meeting and networking space, constructed from recycled shipping containers.

Designed to meet the needs of Scotland’s early stage creative industries companies, the development is expected to support up to 38 new high value jobs and contribute up to £10 million to the Tayside economy over the next decade.

The project is being delivered by economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, as part of the ambitious Dundee Waterfront regeneration project which is expected to see in excess of £100 million of capital projects started or completed during 2013.

Scottish Enterprise director of business infrastructure, Allan McQuade, said, “District 10 is an exciting new development that will stimulate economic growth both for Tayside and the wider Scottish economy by further enhancing Dundee Waterfront’s reputation as a first class location for business.  

“The Creative Industries sector has long been an integral part of both the regional and national economy, with our Arts and Creative Industries companies contributing more than £3.2 billion to the Scottish economy. 

“Dundeealready has a fantastic reputation for creative companies developing innovative products, like the record-breaking Minecraft for XBox 360 from 4J Studios and Brightsolid’s work on findmypast.com, as well as being the birthplace of The Beano and Lemmings game.

“District 10 has been designed specifically to meet the needs of these early stage businesses in the sector that require flexible accommodation which will allow them to grow as part of a vibrant creative industries community.”

The project is joint funded by Scottish Enterprise, the European Regional Development Fund, Tayside charity Matthew Trust and received a financial boost from the Scottish Government’s capital investment in shovel ready projects.

Construction work at the site is being carried out by Maxi Construction and is expected to be complete by summer 2013.

Maxi Construction’s managing director, John Aitchison, welcomed the award of this contract, commenting, “Maxi Construction is looking forward to working with Scottish Enterprise and the District 10 project team in delivering a sustainable workplace for creative industries inDundee.”

The works include modular construction and prefabricated elements including a central core of offices created using recycled shipping containers.  The project will be delivered to ‘BREEAM Excellent’ standard and within the ethos of the Dundee Waterfront ‘BREEAM Sustainable Communities’ bid.  The project team includes Architect aim, Quantity Surveyor Christie & Partners, Structural Engineer Fairhurst and Service Engineers BBHP.

Posted on: Tuesday, 2 April, 2013 - 15:36

4CNW Talent is an exciting new fund which supports Scottish businesses in the Tourism,
Technology, Life Sciences and Agri-Food sectors to develop new products, services or
markets. The fund covers 50% of the cost of commissioning the creative expertise required
by the business to realise their project and applications can be made for €1000 to €5000.
Project examples include:
• A chocolate boutique and tea room working with graphic designer to develop the
brand and packaging for a new product range
• A seaweed farming company working with a film maker to develop training and
promotional materials to work across language barriers
• A medical device company working with a jeweller to enhance the usability and
aesthetic qualities of its products
Applications will be assessed by an expert panel with successful businesses required to
match their award, creating a commissioning pot of up to €10,000 per project. Online
applications are very simple and should be made on www.creativestatenorthwest.com by
4pm on Monday 18 February 2013.
Eligibility
To be eligible you must:
• Have a business address in Scotland
• Come from the Agri – Food, Life Sciences , Technology or Tourism sectors
• Be growing your business through the development of products, services or
marketing
• Have completed your first year of trading.

Posted on: Friday, 1 February, 2013 - 12:03

Tax breaks for the video games sector and wider creative sector (which also includes animation and television production) will come into effect from April 2013. This tax relief will lessen the financial risk of producing new games and enable games studios to invest in more staff. Reduced financial risk will also make it easier for games developers who are fresh out of university to start their own companies.

The new tax breaks will ensure that the UK continues to remain a world leader in the high technology video games development industry but with some bloggers asking if the new tax relief ‘cultural test’ will lead to ‘Grand Theft Coventry’ - are you ready for these new changes?  Steve Cartwright and Dougy Agnew from Henderson Loggie’s Video Games Group will take you through the qualifications for the tax breaks, the cultural test and some case study examples

Venue:  Hannah Maclure Centre – University of Abertay Dundee.

1730:  Registration and welcome drinks.

1800:  Welcome from Professor Louis Natanson, University of Abertay Dundee.

1805:  Steve Cartwright, Head of Henderson Loggie’s Video Games Group and Dougy Agnew, Tax Partner discuss the new video games tax breaks.

1830:  Panel Q&A

  • Professor Louis Natanson, University of Abertay Dundee
  • Colin Anderson, Managing Director, Denki
  • Steve Cartwright, Head of Henderson Loggie’s Video Games Group
  • Dougy Agnew, Tax Partner, Henderson Loggie.

1845:  Buffet and drinks.

Exhibition:  You will also have the chance to view the paintings of prolific Dundee artist Vincent Rattray, who was influenced by cubism, surrealism and expressionism in his images of Dundee's people and buildings.

Cost:  FREE to attend.

Posted on: Monday, 21 January, 2013 - 16:30

BBC is on the hunt for small businesses to feature in new advice show

If you are the owner of a small business which is facing challenges in today’s turbulent and competitive market then the BBC wants to talk to you.

If you would like to improve your business and revenue then BBC Worldwide channels are making a documentary series about small businesses in the UK and could help.

If you run a business and think you could benefit from professional advice about how you could expand, improve your brand, use marketing strategies or deal with staffing issues…

For more details about the programme please contact business@outlineproductions.co.uk 020 7424 7627

Posted on: Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 - 15:47

How can computer games technology help discover new drugs to treat cancer? This surprising step forward for science will be revealed at a free public lecture at the University of Abertay Dundee this Wednesday at 6pm (17 October).
 
More than one in three people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Professor Jim Bown and colleagues at Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh and Dundee Universities combine biomedical science, complex computing and interactive animations to create better models for predicting cancer and drug behaviour.
 
His work creates interactive models that show cell signalling pathways and biomolecular species levels, allowing the impact of changing of doses of different combinations of drugs to be predicted.
 
The interactive models function like a living map, letting mathematicians and biologists work more closely together. Any drug interventions show system-scale, knock-on effects – just as if a line was closed on the London Tube, re-routing passengers on to other lines.
 
Professor Bown said: “We’re trying to provide an intuitive, interactive games-based platform to promote effective communication among experts in maths, biology and physics – all working on different areas of cancer – but different disciplines have difficulties interacting with each other’s research. Often even communicating between the languages of the different disciplines is very hard.
 
“By visualising what cancer cell pathways look like, and predicting how they interact with different drugs in real time, we hope to improve this area of crucial scientific research.”
 
The next step for Professor Bown and his team – who include academic specialists in computer games programming, parallel computing, applied mathematics and biomedical science – is to create an interactive tool to simulate 1 million biologically plausible cells (a virtual tissue) and its evolution over a six month period.
 
The aim of the Abertay University experts is to create six months of data in just one week’s intensive computer processing.
 
He added: “Simulating cell growth over many months is incredibly difficult on many different levels, but the potential impact on cancer research and clinical treatment could be incredible. We believe we have the right mix of skills, models and experimental systems to do something unique in cancer systems biology.
 
“What we’re talking about is harnessing the power of parallel hardware in computer clusters, all to inform how we can create new targeted treatments to overcome cancer resistance to existing drugs and increase survival rates.”
 
The free lecture is at 6pm on Wednesday 17 October in the Main Lecture Theatre in Abertay’s Kydd Building.
 
It is open to the public and everyone is welcome. To reserve seats, please contact abertayevents@abertay.ac.uk

Posted on: Monday, 15 October, 2012 - 15:30

Digital Spark Industry Keynote Announcement

 

Digital Spark is thrilled to announce that Dr Jo Twist will be the industry keynote speaker on 5th September.  Dr Jo Twist has been the CEO of UKIE since January 2012, prior to this she was at Channel 4 as Commissioning Editor for Education where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, a stable of games, and social media projects. 

Dr Jo Twist said of her talk, "my keynote will focus on the exciting emerging ecosystem for our industry, including new routes to finance, new tax production credits for games as well as the UK's indie resurgence that has seen many micro studios and developers find success as they self-publish and bring their own product to new audiences."

UKIE members will receive a 15% discount (£173.04) by registering using promo code ukie_disc  

Digital Conference Sparks off New Working Relations

 

The Digital Spark conference will have not one but two networking events, both will take place on the evening of 5th September in the centre of Dundee. These events will help delegates to build those precious working relationships.

Firstly there will be a drinks reception from 6pm at the McManus Art Gallery where delegates will have a unique private viewing of priceless Leonardo da Vinci sketches from the Royal Collection, currently touring the UK as part of the Diamond Jubilee.  Drinks and food will be served from 6pm – 8pm and the event will be sponsored by Thorntons Solictors.

This will be followed by at networking party held at Dukes  from 8pm for all delegates and local games developers and sponsored by Tag Games. 

Tag Games are based in Dundee and are a renowned social mobile games development company who support the local games community actively.

Register HERE today for the Digital Spark conference and don’t miss out.  www.digitalspark.abertay.ac.uk

Posted on: Wednesday, 22 August, 2012 - 09:15

Dare is calling for independent developers or studios to take part in the first Dare Indie Fest, presented by Abertay University Prototype Fund, held alongside Dare ProtoPlay. It is designed for helping indies to become more successful in their pursuit for a career in making games. There are two elements in the Dare Indie Fest: a showcase of your game and a conference with an amazing line-up of speakers. Dare Indie Fest is sponsored by UKIE, Dundee City Council, Interactive Tayside.

Posted on: Monday, 23 July, 2012 - 14:42

The world-leading student computer game design competition Dare to be Digital will be bigger than ever before this year, with the launch of the new Dare Indie Fest sharing the secrets for games industry success.

The three-day event on 10th-12th August will be presented by the Abertay University Prototype Fund and will have a strong focus on bringing independent developers together with publishers, funders and commissioners. Visitors will get to make serious contacts and discuss new business opportunities.

"The Prototype Fund has received applications for funding from over 250 companies since it was launched and we have already funded 35 indie developers," said Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University.

"Presenting Dare Indie Fest at Dare ProtoPlay is a part of our wider support for the companies we've already invested in and the young, promising businesses we will support in the future." 

Speakers include the Games Commissioner at Channel 4; the Executive Producer of Gaming at BBC Worldwide; CCP, the Icelandic creators of the world's largest game universe EVE Online; online game network Turbulenz; data experts Games Analytics and many, many more to be announced soon.

BAFTA, long-time partners with Dare to be Digital's exclusive ‘Ones to Watch' BAFTA award, will also bring its hugely popular BAFTA Games Question Time to Dare Indie Fest.

Dare Indie Fest is part of Dare ProtoPlay, the games festival where all 15 of the brand new Dare to be Digital games go on show to the public. It will be held in Dundee's Caird Hall on 10th-12th August.

Gregor White, Director of Dare to be Digital, said "Dare Indie Fest will be a fantastic opportunity for independent companies to come to Dundee and make the contacts they need to find new opportunities and secure new business.

"We're delighted to welcome the commissioners from BBC Worldwide and Channel 4, who are responsible for commissioning new games to support their world-class broadcasting, as well a host of publishers and internationally successful games companies.

"Dare Indie Fest will help independent game developers learn how to build their business and promises to be a very exciting weekend indeed."

The sessions include: Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, Chief Executive of CCP, will reveal (some!) of the secrets behind the success of EVE Online, Colin Macdonald, Commissioning Editor for Games at Channel 4, and Simon Harris, Executive Producer, Digital Entertainment & Gaming at BBC Worldwide, will both discuss the opportunities for games companies to work with major broadcasters, Chris Wright, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Games Analytics, will talk about how game analytics affect game concept development
 
Game developers can apply for space to exhibit their games to industry experts and thousands of members of the public at Dare Indie Fest for FREE.

All companies interested in exhibiting should apply at http://www.daretobedigital.com/128_Dare-Indie-Fest-Dare-ProtoPlay.html

Last year, the Dare ProtoPlay attracted over 9,000 visitors in three days. This year, the venue will be almost twice the size - with a massive marquee taking over Dundee's City Square, adding to the space inside the Caird Hall.

http://www.dareprotoplay.com/

Posted on: Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 13:32

Today Dundee United announced a new sponsorship agreement with Dundee based independent games development studio Digital Goldfish. The deal sees the mobile platform game developer's name and logo adorn the home and away shorts of the first team in 2012-13. The distinctive Digital Goldfish logo has been recreated in Dundee United colours to tie in with the overall look of the new kit. The logo appears on the right leg above the Club crest.

Chairman Stephen Thompson stated: "Digital Goldfish are a young and highly motivated company with a determination to provide the highest quality games across several platforms in a thriving business environment. We are thrilled that they have chosen Dundee United's first team shorts as their platform to enhance brand awareness."

Digital Goldfish, established in 2005, were formed in order to create original content across iOS, iPad, Android, Sony PSP, Nintendo DSi, Windows Phone 7 and mobile J2ME platforms.

Barry Petrie, Studio Director of Digital Goldfish, said: "As lifelong fans of Dundee United it is a great honour to sponsor the Club. This deal provides nationwide exposure for Digital Goldfish and will help us to establish our business within the local community. We are excited by the current squad and can't wait to see what Peter and the boys produce next season."

The launch of Dundee United's new home kit for season 2012-13 will take place on Friday 8 June 2012 and this will be the first opportunity to see the new logo on the home shorts.

Posted on: Tuesday, 5 June, 2012 - 15:07

E3, which officially opens Today, is a three-day celebration of gaming featuring computer and video game companies, business partners and industry analysts from more than 100 countries.

Most of the focus will be on Nintendo's new console the Wii U ---- and a number of high-profile franchices Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassins Creed III and Halo 4.

"Whether you hate it or love it, there's no denying that this is one of the most talked-about gaming events of the year both on a national and international scale," said Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Arts and Interactive Sciences.

"The gaming community comes to E3 to be inspired," Rae said. "What is announced and shown can really shape what's next in the gaming industry." 

Despite rumors to the contrary, Microsoft and Sony have confirmed they will not be announcing new consoles at this year's show. Only Nintendo appears ready to show off its new console. The Wii U will feature a tablet-like game pad and a new social network ---- 'MiiVerse.' The last time Nintendo debuted a home console was in 2006 with the Wii, which jump-started a four-year increase in sales growth.

But the popularity of motion-controlled gaming has waned. According to IGN's "Great Gaming Survey," only 40 percent of the 62,000 respondents expressed interest in purchasing the Wii U. More than 60 percent admitted owning a Wii, but just 25 percent said they had used it in the last six months.

The shift to mobile and social gaming has forever altered the video game landscape. Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game publishers, showcased a number of social and mobile features during its pre-E3 news conference on Monday.

"It's notable that companies like Zynga and Gree will be (at E3) to show product and conduct business," Rae said. "Many, many deals are made at E3, and it's a testament to the rapid growth and the size of the social and mobile segments of the business that we will have these companies there in a big way."

Overall attendance at E3 is expected to be at or slightly higher than 2011's 46,800, which was up from 2010's 45,600. The numbers are down significantly from the show's peak of 70,000 in 2005. The expo is not open to the public.

The future of E3 in Los Angeles is up in the air, though. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Entertainment Software Association, which owns E3, is anxious about the proposed construction of Farmers Field.

Farmers Field is a sports and event stadium that is planned to be built in downtown Los Angeles. The project, spearheaded by Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke and former Los Angeles Avengers owner Casey Wasserman, is to be adjacent to the Staples Center.

"We're still in discussions with the city of Los Angeles," ESA President Michael Gallagher told the Times, "but we have a number of issues that still need to be resolved. If we can't resolve them, we are preparing to go elsewhere."

Posted on: Tuesday, 5 June, 2012 - 14:45

YoYo Games Announces GameMaker: Studio Partnership with Award-Winning Development Studio HandyGames
Leading Mobile Development Studio Leverages GameMaker: Studio to Create High Quality Games and Publish to Multiple “App Stores” Fast

Dundee, Scotland – May 22, 2012 – In conjunction with today’s launch of GameMaker: Studio, YoYo Games announces a licensing partnership with award-winning German games development studio HandyGames. HandyGames uses GameMaker: Studio to create high-quality games in a single code base and then export and run them natively on multiple formats including HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Symbian, Windows and OSX.

HandyGames developers participated in the recent GameMaker: Studio beta program and already have one major project underway – a role playing game that introduces an innovative new approach to the genre.

“We have known about GameMaker for years, but once we heard about a cross platform GameMaker product, we knew we needed to be involved right away,” said Markus Kassulke, chief executive officer of HandyGames. “Our experience with the beta convinced us the tool was extremely efficient and powerful. We also met with the team at YoYo Games to discuss GameMaker: Studio and the future product vision and we very much like where it is headed.”

GameMaker: Studio offers a powerful, yet simple to use drag-and-drop integrated development environment with a built-in games-oriented scripting language that considerably increases games development productivity. GameMaker: Studio is a best-of-breed platform that caters to entry-level novices and seasoned game development professionals equally.

“YoYo Games is proud to have HandyGames on board using GameMaker: Studio for cross-platform games creation,” said Sandy Duncan, chief executive officer at YoYo Games. “In just a short matter of time we expect to start seeing innovative and successful new titles on worldwide “app stores,” on Facebook and across the Web, all created with GameMaker: Studio.”

For more information, please see today’s press release “YoYo Games Launches GameMaker: Studio for Fast and Easy Cross-Platform Games Development,” and visit www.yoyogames.com.

Posted on: Wednesday, 23 May, 2012 - 13:38

Serious Parody to establish office and create 18 new jobs in Scotland.

Scottish Development International has backed Serious Parody’s plans to spend
approximately one million pounds building out the company’s games portfolio. The
money raised largely through the company’s private investors along with £230,000
from Scottish Enterprise’s ‘Regional Selective Assistance’ grant, will go towards
establishing a Dundee based office and the creation of 18 new jobs.

The investment means the company has immediately opened up a number of
vacancies and is currently welcoming applicants to a number of positions, including
Software Engineers of all levels, Animators, and Artists.

C.E.O, Dan Hinkles, said of the investment “We need a number of highly skilled and
highly motivated games professionals to lead the company to success, and we’re
delighted that these investments allow us to make such hires.”

He added "The company has a very clear roadmap to success, taking advantage of
the transformational changes that have occurred with in the games industry of recent years. We have a number of highly ambitious new projects underway and we already have a ton of talent at the spine of the company with award winning artists and programmers on board. Now we’re looking for talented developers who can really help ‘raise the bar’ for the genre’s we’re working on."

Applicants to the new studio can submit their cv to careers@serious-parody.com

Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said: "The Scottish gaming
industry continues to be one of the most recognised in the world and is ranked
third in Europe's top 50 games developer locations. This announcement is very
encouraging and testament to our increasing reputation as the partner of choice in
major projects.

"Regional Selective Assistance is a key source of funding we use to assist home-
grown companies stay and grow in Scotland and equally, to help foreign investors
view Scotland as the ideal place to locate and expand their businesses. These new
jobs are a welcome boost for the local economy of Dundee and for the wider Scottish economy and we look forward to working with Serious Parody to help them realise their ambitious growth plans in Scotland."

Posted on: Friday, 18 May, 2012 - 11:17

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is launching BAFTA Young Game Designers 2012, a competition that aims to inspire the game designers and game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and create their own video game and develop it with industry professionals.

The competition is open to 11-16 year olds and has attracted hundreds of entries from across the UK every year since it began in 2010. This year, for the first time, young people have two ways to enter:

The Concept Award is for those who have an idea for a new game, and can describe the characters, the world of the game, and how it will be played.

The Game-making Award, presented by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), will suit young people who want to make their own games using game-making software or programming languages. This is their chance to show off their technical skills as well as their creativity.

Young people can enter one or both categories, either as an individual, as a pair or as a team of three. The top three entrants in both categories will be invited to the British Academy Children’s Awards in November, and the winners will have their game developed with experts from the University of Abertay Dundee, as well as visiting a leading games studio.

On Tuesday 1 May, BAFTA will launch this year’s competition at the Science Museum, London. Hollyoaks actress Anna Shaffer, who also played Romilda Vane in the Harry Potter films, and Newsround’s Ore Oduba will join pupils from Chelsea Academy, Hammersmith Academy, and Paddington Academy for a series of workshops where industry experts will reveal how commercial games are made. The event will be hosted by TV presenter Nigel Clarke, and speakers will include Mark Parry, Senior Designer at SCEE London Studio, Kristian Francis of BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ Award-winners Swallowtail, Mark Green, Games Specialist at the Science Museum Group, and Jamie Cason, Game Producer at Miniclip. The workshops begin at 09:00 in the Antenna Gallery on the ground floor of the museum, and end with an open after-school session for the public from 15:45 until 17:00. The event is free to attend but spaces are limited.

The initiative has also been supported by actor/comedian Ricky Gervais, girl band The Saturdays and actor/presenter Tyger Drew-Honey who, together with Ore and Anna, have recorded a ‘call to action’ film to encourage entries.

The BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become the next generation of successful game designers. It aims to demystify the creative process of games development and highlight how key qualifications in areas such as maths, physics and computer science are essential for those wishing to enter the industry.

Harvey Elliott, games industry veteran and Chair of BAFTA’s Children’s Committee, said:

“We are delighted to be running BAFTA Young Game Designers again this year, particularly at a time when there has been much debate about how to re-energise the ICT curriculum and make it more relevant to future employment opportunities. Last year, we had some fantastic entries that showcased the skills and creativity of the UK’s young people and we are excited to build on this in 2012.

“We are also pleased that previous participants have already been inspired to pursue interesting and fulfilling careers that they may never have thought existed.”

In 2011 the competition was won by 15 year-olds Noah Shepherd, Louis Scantlebury and Nathaniel Weisberg for their game Rollin’ Scotch. The prototype of their game, re-named Stick ’Em Up, is available for free from the iTunes App Store and Android Market.

Nathaniel said:

“It was a great experience and really fun to do with friends. When you first get to see the prototype of your own game, it’s awesome!”

Dan Pearce, a member of the first winning team in 2010, is already planning to study Computer Games Development at university. He said:

“The opportunity given to me by BAFTA taught me a lot about game development from all walks of the industry.

“I'm working on three very different projects as a means of further studying the industry and I hope to see them all through within a year from now. I'm managing, I'm designing, and I'm programming. The experience given to me is allowing me to scale each project appropriately and I can't thank the people who've helped me on this journey enough.”

BAFTA has partnered with Abertay University and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) on the initiative. The launch event is also supported by games industry trade body UKIE.

The competition is open to all young people in the UK aged 11-16. The deadline for entries is 22 October 2012. Further details about how to enter, as well as teaching resources and details of workshops around the country, can be found at www.bafta.org/ygd.

Teachers and students are invited to log on to the site to view a live-streamed workshop from the National Media Museum at 13:00 on Thursday 17 May. An edited version of the workshop will be available after the event.

More information click here

Posted on: Tuesday, 1 May, 2012 - 10:34

Initiated in by Dundee City Council and other institutions in 2001, the Alt-w Fund is for practitioners based in Scotland to make and develop new artworks, devices and creative applications that challenge the notions of what new media creativity can be.
The fund supports artists to explore experimental and interactive practice, make use of technology as both platform and medium, and recognise the changing role that digital culture has in our society.
You can apply for up to £10,000 of production costs. Download the guidelines and application form below. Application surgeries will be available in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. Submission deadline is the 4th July
http://www.mediascot.org/ for further information.

Posted on: Tuesday, 1 May, 2012 - 10:16

 

Dundee social gaming outfit Outplay Entertainment is looking for a variety of summer interns. Covering roles from art and programming through to community management, marketing and data analysis http://www.outplayentertainment.com/

Posted on: Monday, 2 April, 2012 - 11:01

Passionate about gaming? Want to work in the games industry? Fancy yourself as a programmer, an animator, an artist, a tester or even a game designer? Then this event is for you. This FREE event gives YOU the chance to meet Scotland’s top games development studios and learn of the variety of jobs available in the Scottish Games Industry. Scotland is home to some of the world’s most successful games development studios creating top selling titles, notably smash hits the Grand Theft Auto franchises, State of Emergency, Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, Lemmings, Denki Blocks for the Sky TV Platform and Championship Manager for mobile and the multi-award winning Crackdown for XBox360. You will hear presentations from various games companies across Scotland - including console, mobile and interactive TV development studios - and from employees within these companies. Learn of the variety of excellent jobs available within this exciting industry from games design through to quality assurance. Also learn about ‘Dare to be Digital’ - a unique industry-backed video games development competition for teams of students studying at all universities and art colleges. The afternoon will consist of a series of informal, yet informative, presentations and allow plenty of opportunity for you to chat with Scotland’s games companies. Don’t forget to bring lots of copies of your CV - and even better - any demos you have, most of these games companies have positions to fill NOW and post graduation 2012!

Game In Scotland 2011 from Wangbar on Vimeo.

Posted on: Monday, 19 March, 2012 - 16:01