Entrepreneurs looking to launch a new digital company or develop a new game or software product can now apply for up to £25,000 from the University of Abertay Dundee’s Prototype Fund.

Applications to this fourth funding round should be made at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

The Prototype Fund model has already proved a success, with one initial £25,000 investment attracting an extra £800,000 of private funding to bring a game to market.

A small initial investment bridges the extremely difficult financial gap that stops great teams with great ideas: without funding to develop a working prototype it can be impossible to attract further investment to build a sustainable business.

Tom Naylor, Director of Two Monocle Games, said: “The Prototype Fund has given me the resources and help I need to make ‘Cult Leader’ a reality. It provided me with talented students, enough funds to support my team during production, and software, hardware and office space that would otherwise be a massive drain on company resources.

“The Prototype Fund can provide a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to start out on their own. If you dream of independence or the chance to make your idea a reality then you should definitely apply. This is the chance to take the best game concept you ever had and start building it.”

Facebook game ‘Cult Leader’ is due for release soon, and is a satirical social game in which you build a cult from your online friends. Like the company’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TwoMonocleGames to hear when the game is released.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “The Abertay University Prototype Fund has received over 150 applications to date, showing that the UK is struggling to finance creative start-up companies.

“This market failure has real implications for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, but initiatives like the Prototype Fund are helping to unlock this trapped value in the economy.”

He added: “We’re looking for talented teams with commercially strong ideas. Successful applicants to date have developed prototypes of social and mobile games, and software products for analytics and project management.

“And all successful applicants have the opportunity to work within Abertay University, right at the heart of the growing Dundee computer games cluster, with access to some of the most talented games graduates anywhere in the world.”

The Prototype Fund is backed by investment from Abertay University, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Scottish Government through the European Regional Development Fund.

Applications to the fourth funding round close at 12pm on Friday 13 April. All applications must be accompanied by a short YouTube video.

For full details, and to apply, please visit http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

Posted on: Monday, 12 March, 2012 - 11:26

The Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont MSP today gave her support to Dundee’s growing computer games cluster during a visit to the University of Abertay Dundee.

During the visit, Ms Lamont saw the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, met students on Abertay’s world-renowned courses and saw games they have developed.

Dundee MP Jim McGovern, North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra and Glasgow East MP Margaret Curran also saw toured the university as part of their visit to Dundee for the Scottish Labour conference.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont MSP said: "I am delighted to be in Dundee and delighted to be at Abertay University.

"The success of this university has always been based around an understanding of the needs of its students.

"Its determination to remain cutting-edge is admirable and widely recognised not just in Scotland but much further afield.

"Scotland's universities must remain world-class, able to provide not just sound education and research, but play a role in driving the economy and creating growth and opportunities for the next generation.

"That is certainly something Abertay provides and its computer game programming courses are world-famous and support a whole creative industry in Dundee."

Dr Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “We are delighted to welcome Johann Lamont MSP to Abertay University to see how we are producing the next generation of computer games programmers, artists and entrepreneurs.

“Dundee’s computer games cluster is developing widespread recognition as a sector with huge economic potential for the future.

“Through our Prototype Fund for investing in new companies, and local initiatives like the proposed flexible offices for start-ups built from shipping containers, we are seeing a growing enterprising, entrepreneurial culture in the city.

“There is a lot of hard work to come, but the future for games in Dundee is very promising indeed.”

Ms Lamont met students who have come to Dundee from across the world for Abertay University’s courses, many of whom look to stay for further study, work and to form new businesses.

The student computer games on show included new work on major consoles like the Sony PlayStation, as well as smaller games created for mobile phones and the iPad.

Posted on: Monday, 5 March, 2012 - 11:59

Dundee based Brightsolid have announced a 75% growth in turnover for the year up to March 2011 with turnover up from £16.2m to £28.4m. Brightsolid who specialise in online publishing and technology, owned by DC Thomson, have said that this growth is due to two main focussed areas: secure business services online and internet publishing.

In November 2011 Brightsolid launched the British Newspaper Archive which gives access to 4 million pages from 200 newspapers across Britain from the 18th and 19th Centuries. This project will continue with more content added to the archive over the next decade.

Chief Executive of Brightsolid Chris van der Kuyl said "It's been a great year for Brightsolid, with growth across all our business areas and we have invested real time and effort integrating the Friends Reunited Group into the business."

Posted on: Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 - 16:46

Applications have opened for the game design competition Dare to be Digital 2012 and a chance to win a BAFTA 'Ones to Watch' Award
Run by The University of Abertay Dundee, hundreds of students are expected to compete for the chance to win industry attention, with three teams winning a BAFTA ÔÇÿOnes to Watch' Award.
Split into 15 teams, developers will have just nine weeks to build a working game prototype.
"Taking part in Dare to be Digital is a life-changing opportunity for many young game developers, giving them incredible experience and access to leading industry experts from companies like Rockstar and Sony," said Dare to be Digital project manager Elaine Russell.
"And the experience of seeing thousands of people play your game at the Dare ProtoPlay games festival at the end of the competition can be life-changing for students looking to enter the games industry.
"With the many innovative release channels available in the market, we are particularly keen to see how the students can use Dare to be Digital as a platform to launch commercially in the gaming market."
Applicants must submit a pitch for their game idea, which can be done in video form, which will then be looked at by a set of judges as they shortlist teams for interview.
For more information and to apply, visit the official website www.daretobedigital.com

Posted on: Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 - 15:34

Computer game developers have just one week left to enter the £100,000 TIGA Games Contest, which is funded and managed by the University of Abertay Dundee's Prototype Fund.

Four prizes are on offer across three categories: games on-the-move, games in-the-home and social web gaming. Two prizes are available for the social web gaming category.

To apply, please visit https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/tiga-games-contest

Successful applicants will receive up to £25,000 funding, free TIGA membership for six months, mentoring, and support from the technical teams at contest supporters Antix Labs or Turbulenz.

IC tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme, is running the contest and also providing access to online consumer test bed trials.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: "Getting funding for exciting new projects can be difficult, so we'd strongly encourage developers to apply for this exciting opportunity.

"As well as receiving £25,000, working with TIGA, Turbulenz and Antix for mentoring and support is a great opportunity for any company. We've seen strong interest so far in this contest, so are expecting some innovative responses to the challenges.

"The Abertay University Prototype Fund is all about creating these new opportunities, and we look forward to funding more fantastic game ideas with strong business potential."

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: "TIGA, the trade association of games developers and digital publishers, is determined to help more start-up studios and small games businesses prosper and grow.

"The TIGA Games Competition, run in conjunction with Abertay University, Antix Labs and Turbulenz, provides a wonderful opportunity for games developers and publishers: the winners receive prototype funding, mentoring and free TIGA membership for six months.

"I hope that all start-up and small UK games studios will enter this competition. There is only one week to go!"

The successful applicants will be judged on their market potential, having a commercially viable business model, and the fit with the category briefs.

Applications must be received by 12:00 noon on Thursday 26th January 2012.

To apply, register at https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/tiga-games-contest for the TIGA Games Challenge group.

For hints and tips from Antix and Turbulenz on how to apply, please refer to:

Games on the Move - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/tiga-games-contest/games-on-the-move

Games in the Home - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/tiga-games-contest/games-in-the-home

Social Web Gaming - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/tiga-games-contest/social-web-gaming

Posted on: Friday, 20 January, 2012 - 12:22

Get ready for a wonderful, magical adventure, from Cobra Mobile

Explore amazing, dream-like worlds. Solve puzzles, avoid pitfalls and beat the bad guys in this amazingly
imaginative and super fun physics-based platformer.

Storm in a Teacup has had amazing reviews and praise poured upon it and right now you can get this awesome game through STEAM for your PC and Mac. Storm in a Teacup is released in partnership with our great friends at Chillingo.

Storm in A Teacup - Game features
- 40 awesome levels with hours and hours of fun
- 10 Bonus levels (unlock these as you play!)
- Survival mode, how long can you really survive?
- Challenge mode, for the player who wants a whole new added challenge to their game!
- Customize mode (create your own Storm character with all sorts of hair, hats, clothes & teacups)

On Facebook? Why not visit Storm's page to find out the latest news, you can find Storm here -
http://www.facebook.com/StorminaTeacuptheGame

Want to discover other exciting and fantastic games by Cobra Mobile? Simply visit www.cobramobile.com to
get all the latest news on Cobra and to see all our other exciting games you can play right now. Or visit Cobra on Facebook at - www.facebook.com/CobraMobile

Posted on: Friday, 20 January, 2012 - 11:39

A new group to enable politicians and professions involved in the computer games sector in Scotland to collaborate more closely on key issues of concern was established last night at Holyrood in a meeting attended by MSPs from all parties.
Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick was elected Convenor of the Group and said that he hoped the new group would enable better development of policy, improve communications within all parts of the sector and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges facing the sector.
In the initial meeting, officers were elected and both TIGA (the trade association representing the UK's games industry) and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, technology and the Arts) have said that they will be collaborating with the new group.
Speaking after the meeting, Joe FitzPatrick said: "I am pleased that the group has been established. The main aim is for developers and those key stakeholders at Universities and Colleges to get their message across to MSPs and keep the sector and politicians involved and informed.
"The next stage is to register the new group with Parliamentary Standards and get on with organising a first full meeting.
"It is hoped that the group will organise fact-finding visits to companies, educational institutions and key parts of the computer games sector.
"The industry currently faces a number of difficulties in securing finance for projects, which is inhibiting growth in the sector here in Dundee and across Scotland. With that in mind, we intend to examine whether a targeted tax relief, which would have to be introduced by the UK Government, or a Creative Content Fund as proposed by TIGA could alleviate some of the difficulties being faced by developers.
"While not all of these issues are within the remit of the Scottish Parliament, we hope this new Cross Party Group will create a stronger voice for the key partners in the industry in Scotland and more influence in policy-making to enable the sector to flourish, develop and expand, bringing high-quality jobs to Dundee and Scotland."

Posted on: Monday, 21 November, 2011 - 10:38

Dundee based Denki are celebrating this week after their word puzzle game ÔÇÿQuarrel' scooped the top prize for video gaming at the Scottish Baftas last Sunday. Denki have released over 180 individual games throughout their 11 years in operation.

Congratulations to the Denki team on this fantastic allocate. We look forward to the next installment from the Studio

Dundee's Cobra Mobile and Cohort Studios who were also shortlisted in this category.

Posted on: Friday, 18 November, 2011 - 11:13

Tagplay launched the studio's first free-to-play social mobile title, Funpark Friends - allowing users around the world to build and run their very own theme parks on their iPods and iPhones! Available via the Apple App Store and sporting dozens and dozens of gorgeous, fully-animated theme park attractions, extensive social gameplay, and an update plan as long as your arm, first impressions are that Tagplay have pulled no punches in taking on the big boys of social gaming. Watch out Zynga, Ngmoco and Team Lava!

After being presented with a vast, expandable park area, players of Funpark Friends will very quickly find the game full of fully animated theme park goodies. There are over 70 rides, decorations, shops, games and attractions included on launch, allowing players to build huge, bustling parks from the get go. From classic carnival skeeball games to sprawling, looping, twisting roller coasters, players will enjoy unlocking new features for their park's visitors to enjoy. What's more, for those who love absolute customisation in their social games, Funpark Friends will support specialised classic, pirate, medieval and space theme sets on launch, allowing for the creation unique and attractive parks!

Tagplay have also attempted to tackle many of the issues commonly found in mobile social-sim titles with Funpark Friends. Funpark Friends will support an ÔÇÿoffline' play mode allowing players to build and enjoy their parks anywhere, and it will also support a truly engaging cast of characters who will lead players through an extensive quest system - creating the best theme park simulation game available on mobile today!

The launch version of Funpark Friends will keep players busy for weeks, however and extensive update schedule is planned, adding group-to-player social interactivity, truckloads of new content in the form of theme sets, features, rides and attractions, and many new gameplay elements. This support for Funpark Friends can only be seen as demonstrating Tagplay's commitment to collecting player feedback and to truly allowing that feedback to mould the studio's titles.

Funpark Friends is poised to storm the world of mobile social games! A high definition iPad version and a HTML5 mobile web browser version will be available by the end of October. Other platforms, including Android, will be supported by the end of the year.

Come ride with us!

Download Link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/funpark-friends/id444438531?mt=8

Posted on: Tuesday, 4 October, 2011 - 13:21

The University of Dundee will this week play host to around 200 computing experts from around the world when it hosts the British Machine Vision Conference 2011.

Researchers and academics from 25 countries will descend on the University from Tuesday, 30th August until Thursday, 1st September. The conference is being hosted by the University's School of Computing.

Professor Stephen McKenna and Professor Manuel Trucci of the School's Computer Vision and Image Processing Group will chair the event, along with Dr Jesse Hoey, a former Dundee academic now based at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Computer vision aims to equip computers and robots with the ability to understand images. Two well-known everyday examples are bar codes and the Kinect video game system, developed by UK computer vision researchers at Microsoft.

Professor McKenna said he was delighted to be welcoming colleagues from around the world to one of the foremost academic conferences on computer vision.

"The British Machine Vision Conference is now in its 22nd year, and has grown into a truly international event," he said. "This reflects the success and impact of UK computer vision research and we are delighted to have attracted this conference to Dundee .

"Computer vision means enabling machines to recognise people and actions in videos, identify and measure organs or disease signs in biomedical images, or retrieve images similar to example ones from large repositories. These are all applications researched at the University of Dundee."

Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, will open the conference, which is taking place at the Dalhousie Building.

Lord Provost John Letford will host a civic reception for delegates at Discovery Point on Tuesday evening. The conference will be followed by a workshop for UK research students on Friday at the Queen Mother Building, chaired by Dr Jianguo Zhang of the School of Computing .

Further information about the conference is available at: www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/bmvc2011/

Posted on: Monday, 29 August, 2011 - 15:30

IC tomorrow has teamed up with University of Abertay Dundee to bring you the £100k Future Games Contest.

Future Games aims to find budding developers who have innovative ideas and projects relating to gaming technology. Abertay was the first university in the UK to offer a degree focusing on video games. Their experience in this field along with IC tomorrow's expertise getting new apps off the ground makes them the perfect team to help push forward innovation in gaming.

The contest aims to find four innovative ideas which focus on the following areas:

  • Use of games technology in a non-gaming context - supported by IPC Media
  • Gaming ideas using digital creative content e.g. Film and TV, Ebook/Epublishing, images - supported by National Geographic
  • Social games using existing networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter - supported by Tate
  • Music games application - supported by EMI

Our supporters will be taking part in final judging panel who will recommend which apps they think are the best to Abertay and will be providing any relevant content for the chosen applications. You can find a copy of the breifs each contenet supplier has set out under the challenges section. Remember to check these out before submitting your application as the content providers will be helping Abertay make the final decison. Also, keep checking back here as we will be uploading videos from the content providers in the next few weeks with some more tips.

For now we are looking for applications which:

  • Apply to a range of content providers
  • Illustrate the greatest market potential
  • Include a lead consumer facing application on any technology platform e.g. web, mobile
  • Will be ready for full consumer trial stage in early 2012
  • Have a commercial business model

The chosen ideas will be given up to £25,000 in grant funding (for more information see here)from Abertay University and will have access to support by the IC tomorrow team in getting the app trialled. All of the other projects which are not funded will also be given the opportunity to take advantage of support from IC tomorrow and the platform.

To enter you will need to fill out the online application form and produce a video of no more than two minutes in length by 12:00 noon 15th of September. Be sure to read the guidance notes first though so you know exactly how to impress us. These will only become available once you join the group.

Up to Twelve applicants will then be chosen to progress to the next round. These applicants will have to undergo a financial assesment to check if they are entitled to a funding grant and will then be invited to London to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges. The winners will be announced in mid October and trials are expected to start on the IC Tomorrow digital test bed in early 2012.

Contact

If you need more help contact the IC tomorrow team:

Helpline: 0300 321 4358 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Email: support@ICtomorrow.co.uk

Key Dates

11/8/11 - Contest opens at 12:00

15/09/11 - Deadline for first round applications 12:00

Week commencing 3rd October - Practice pitches

Week commencing 10th October - Final panel pitches

31/3/2012 - Deadline for consumer trials

Privacy

IC tomorrow would like to use some of the information in your application form and video for marketing purposes. We'll make sure we credit you so you get some free publicity too but if you would rather we didn't let us know using the support details above.

Posted on: Friday, 26 August, 2011 - 09:41

Rise of the planet of VFX in Scotland

Brian Cox is back in Scotland to open a new post-production facility at the University of Dundee.
A legendary actor, he's most recently starred in "Rise of the Plant of the Apes" and "Ironclad".

Part of the EU funded North Sea Screen Partners, the lab has been created to produce cutting edge visual effects and is also the focus for the new Visual Effects Research Network.

The Ôé¼6 million project aims to help companies produce, shoot, post and learn across all media and the partners had Oscar success this year with "In a Better World" supported by Film Fyn in Denmark. Dundee itself is already a hub for the games industry. The Lab offers companies the chance to work with the latest technology and the network is helping post-production companies to network and collaborate so they can get involved in bigger projects.

There's more on NSSP at their website www.northseascreen.eu

Councillor Will Dawson, convenor of the City Development Department at lead partner, Dundee City Council says: [We're delighted that the Lab has been developed in Dundee and adds to the city's growing reputation in games and digital media."]

Director is Peter Richardson. He started directing music videos in 1990 with the first ever Blur video and went on to bands such as 808 State, The Stranglers and the Happy Mondays. He's also directed commercials including global campaigns for Proctor and Gamble, Chrysler Jeep and Pepe jeans. His latest projects include a commercial for Nike, documentaries for UK broadcaster, Channel 4, and Fox Sports.

The NSSP project is funded by the EU's North Sea Interreg Programme IVb.

Photography: Images to be supplied on Monday, 29th August 2011

Note to Editors:

NSSP is led by Dundee City Council's City Development Department and is coordinated by their screen office, TayScreen.

TayScreen markets direct to the global advertising, film and TV sectors and helps projects find locations, facilities and crew to attract production, post-production and animation to the region.
Media production is a significant earner for the Scottish and UK economies and has brought over £1.2 million of spending to the Fife and Tayside region in the last year. Recent production has featured Hollywood movie, "Captain America" due to be released this year.

Julie Craik, Project Manager of FifeScreen and TayScreen says "the region offers such amazing locations and we're delighted that so many great projects have chosen to film here over the last twelve months. Producers consistently let us know that they have a great time working in the area. It's a pleasure to be working with our inspirational North Sea Screen Partners."

www.tayscreen.com

Posted on: Friday, 26 August, 2011 - 09:35

Games industry legend David Braben to open Dare ProtoPlay festival

A living legend of the computer games industry will open the Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival (Friday 12th August) and give a public talk about the creation of his groundbreaking game ÔÇÿElite' and life as an independent games developer.

David Braben, the founder of Frontier Developments, is recognised worldwide as one of the leading innovators in videogame development technology and design. He co-created Elite, the first true 3D game, with Ian Bell in 1982. The space-trading simulator amazed sci-fi fans with its interstellar missions presented with wireframe 3D graphics, eight galaxies to explore, and thousands of procedurally generated planets. At the talk, David will discuss the genesis of the space-trading sim that went on to inspire titles like Eve Online, Freelancer, Wing Commander: Privateer, and many other sci-fi games. Frontier has since created a wide range of successful titles including ÔÇÿKinectimals', ÔÇÿRoller Coaster Tycoon' and ÔÇÿLost Winds.'

As well as an enviable position at the forefront of the computer games industry for almost 30 years, David Braben is also behind the pioneering Raspberry Pi Foundation to bring affordable USB-sized computers to schools across Britain.

This ambitious project is motivated by David's passionate commitment to give school children a chance to learn computer programming in a fun way at a young age - something he believes is essential for the UK to remain a leader in high-tech industries.

David said: "I have always been impressed by the standard of the Dare to be Digital games. I presented the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award to the Dare winning team in 2009. Now I am delighted to have the first chance to look at this year's Dare games and share my experience with other developers at Dare ProtoPlay."

The talk, presented by Dare Protoplay and North Sea screen project takes place at the Caird Hall in Dundee on Friday 12th August 2-3pm. Entry is free and tickets can be booked online at http://www.daretobedigital.com/protoplay/

Dare ProtoPlay, a three-day computer games extravaganza, is Scotland's biggest computer games festival and this year it is coming home to Dundee. Entry is completely free. Other free industry talks are also available. Check out on http://www.daretobedigital.com/protoplay/2011talks.php

Dare ProtoPlay is the climax of the international computer game design competition Dare to be Digital, which is hosted and run by the University of Abertay Dundee. Over just nine weeks student teams from around the world compete to build a new game - and win a BAFTA. The 15 brand new games are open to the public to judge.

The festival is being hosted in Dundee's Caird Hall on Friday 12-Sunday 14 August, 10am-6pm.

There will also be a professional gamer tournament run on high-end Intel machines, game jams with professionals and kids building new games from scratch, games industry talks, and a showcase of the latest games from Crytek, Digital Goldfish, Tag, Cobra Mobile, Outplay Entertainment plus a games fair in the City Square of Dundee.

For more details please visit http://www.dareprotoplay.com

Posted on: Wednesday, 3 August, 2011 - 09:54

Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick today responded to a reply he has received from the Treasury which shows that the UK Coalition's main plan to stimulate industry including computer games industry is based almost exclusively on lowering the rate of corporation tax.

Joe FitzPatrick said: "It plans to have the main rate reduced to 23% by 2014, which it claims will be the lowest rate in the G7 and will therefore, it claims, keep the UK internationally competitive for business.

"I'm certainly in favour of using varying of corporation tax to stimulate growth - in fact we want Scotland to have those very powers, similar to what Northern Ireland is to be granted, and if Scotland did have those powers we would certainly use them to provide incentives for business investment.

"We would look into setting up a Creative Content Fund to finance new development and enhance access to finance and marketing.

"But the problem with the answer I have received from the Treasury Minister is it continues to reject the idea of any specific targeted tax relief for the computer games industry alongside the ÔÇÿblunt instrument' measure of corporation tax.

"We should be doing both. Why can't the Treasury use all the levers at its disposal, continue lowering the corporation main rate but also introduce specific tax relief now? That would pay off with a greater tax take as the industry expands to fill the opportunities of the expanding market.

"The increasing number of countries offering specific tax support to their computer games sector is providing evidence that the increasing growth in the sector worldwide will be taken up by competitors like the United States of America, Canada and South Korea on the back of funding and support by their governments.

"What we're calling for is not about giving away tax money to the computer games industry, it is an investment decision and as such it makes clear sense. It would be highly targeted and would offer best value for money.

"TIGA, the games industry body, has been able to demonstrate with strong research and data that any specific tax relief given would more than pay for itself in a short time span. The Treasury would get back more than it invested.

"It's a measure that has had the apparent support of a number of leading figures within the three main UK parties. Tories and Lib Dems pledged to introduce it if elected but have reneged on their promise.

"This is not just an obscure financial wrangle. The creative industries and digital publishing sector employs up to 3,000 in Dundee and it is vital that we do not lose out on increasing our market share as the market expands ÔÇö or fail to benefit from creative work done in Dundee when new products are brought to the global market."

Posted on: Tuesday, 12 July, 2011 - 14:57

Dundee secondary pupils have been taking on a digital challenge for the future of computer games.

The Dare Schools Team Challenge is an opportunity for young people to get an insight into the skills that are involved in making interactive entertainment.

Now in its eighth year, the initiative is aimed at S5 pupils who are studying subjects like art & design, music and computing.

Based at computer labs within the University of Abertay Dundee for the week-long challenge, the 26 pupils have been working in teams to devise the best web-based 2D single player game using Adobe Flash programming.

They have attended learning sessions with academics and also enjoyed a masterclass workshop with Frank Arnot of 4J Studios.

An awards ceremony will take place at the Hannah Maclure Centre on Friday to reward the winning team and all the participants.

The Dare School Team Challenge was devised jointly by Abertay University and Dundee City Council's city development department and educational development service. The contest was inspired by the success of Abertay's world-famous Dare to be Digital competition for university students.

Each participant will receive a completion certificate and goodie bag, containing DCA Cinema tickets, Food vouchers, 2GB Memory stick (kindly sponsored by Disk Depot, Dundee).

Interactive Tayside and EA Electronic Arts have kindly sponsored the top prizes this year - the winning team will each receive £50 worth of games vouchers and the runners-up with each receive £25 worth of games vouchers.

Dundee City Council depute city development convener Cllr Dave Bowes said: "The local computer games industry has shown it can bounce back of late with some really positive news.

"I am really inspired to see the enthusiasm of these young people and they will have had a unique experience this week to see the skill and effort that goes into making a game.

"The challenge has given them a chance to speak to academics and top industry professionals and will help them to focus on their future career choices."

John Shearer, Dare Schools organiser and computing lecturer at Abertay University, said: "The Dare Schools Challenge is always a fantastic event and it's great to see the huge enthusiasm which the school pupils bring to the challenge.

"This year has been no exception, with some very talented young people from Dundee applying their art, computing and music skills to building an internet game.

"Dundee has a thriving local computer games industry, with Abertay University at its centre. We hope to see some of these school pupils moving on to degrees and jobs in the industry in the years to come!"

Posted on: Friday, 24 June, 2011 - 15:18

Dare Academy courses are being launched this year by the world-leading game design competition Dare to be Digital - to be held in the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education at the University of Abertay Dundee. The essential skills the Dare to be Digital teams learn each year while competing at the University of Abertay Dundee are now available to the public! Aimed at both games enthusiasts and professionals, the courses cover 3D modelling (Dare to Enter the Magical 3D World!), quality assurance and game testing (Dare to be a Game Tester), and games design and publishing (Dare to be a Game Maker). These short courses are the perfect step for anyone looking to take their passion for games further - or for continued professional development. The first course starts on 18 June.
For more information and to book, please see http://www.daretobedigital.com/dare-academy/DareAcademy.php

Posted on: Friday, 27 May, 2011 - 10:55

The investment fund run by University of Abertay Dundee for launching new computer game and digital media businesses Tuesday 12th April announced its first successful applications, which range from a Facebook game to a PC tool for game developers.

Following a tough industry assessment process, 57 applications from across the UK were whittled down to six successful projects which demonstrated exceptional business potential.

The companies benefiting from the first round of funding are: 14 Principles, Bookmarked Games, Dry Ice Studios, FluffyLogic, Setgo and Triple B Games.

All now receive £25,000, as well as business development support and access to the Prototype Fund's ÔÇÿtalent pool' of skilled students and graduates.

Budding digital entrepreneurs are also being strongly encouraged to apply for the second round of funding, which closes on Friday 29th April. All information about applying is available at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

Jeremiah Alexander of Bookmarked Games, which aims to help childhood development through imaginative play, said: "Abertay University's investment fund has made a critical difference. It means we can develop the game prototype to a point where we're in a much stronger position to secure further investment, negotiate a better deal for our company and our staff, and to maintain the vision for what we want our game to bring to children and their families.

"The fund also looks set to be a great launch pad for talented graduates to develop their skills and keep them in the UK. This is vital for the future of the country's games industry. We're taking on four graduates through the fund and so are fully committed to ensuring this project helps launch their careers in this sector."

Ana Kronschnabl of FluffyLogic, which is produced a social game based on growing, feeding and breeding animals in your own zoo, added: "We are really looking forward to having the chance to develop our own intellectual property.

"We believe ÔÇÿUr Zoo' will enable us to involve our fan-base in a way previously not possible, as well as allowing players to create some of the most unbelievable species so far undiscovered by mankind!"

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: "There has been a very high level of interest in the Prototype Fund and the project has already been cited as an excellent example of targeted support in the recent Scottish Affairs Committee report on the games industry.

"As well as allowing young companies the opportunity to develop a working prototype to secure further investment, the fund will also provide a fantastic opportunity for students and graduates to develop their skills by working on the successful projects."

He added: "However, we still recognise there are many challenges facing games development start-ups, particularly with self-funded operations which may not have sufficient working capital to apply in the first place.

"We are continuing to work on a follow-on investment fund and are making good progress with that, as well as looking at ways to provide support to graduate start-up businesses pre-application."

Independent commercial analysis of the short-listed applications was conducted by Games Investor Consulting, an independent games research and strategy consulting business with over 15 years' industry experience.

Nick Gibson, founder and Director of Games Investor Consulting, said: "All investment decisions require a serious level of expert scrutiny to fully assess the chances of business success.

"Games industry entrepreneurs face tough challenges throughout every step of their projects' lives. Abertay University's Prototype Fund has therefore sought to evaluate not only the quality of the prototype proposals but also their long-term commercial potential as finished products and launched services."

He added: "The first round of funding produced a broad array of prototype proposals. We want to receive an even broader array for the second round and encourage new applicants to be bold and innovative, to think seriously about future technologies and market trends, and not simply propose their version of Angry Birds or CityVille.

"This industry is in a perpetual state of flux driven by a constant flow of innovation and new ideas. Abertay University's Prototype Fund is a fantastic opportunity for developers to try out new games product and service ideas that anticipate future market demand, or even look to create new niche markets that no one else has yet considered."

The Abertay University Prototype Fund is financially backed by three partners: the European Regional Development Fund, the UK Government (administered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), and Abertay University.

The fund is based at Abertay University and is open to applications from new and young small and medium-sized enterprises across Britain.

Posted on: Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 - 10:19

The UK games business could generate £1 billion more sales by 2014 if it can overcome a failing educational system and reach out to students and teachers currently ignorant of the real opportunities in videogame creation.

After talking at Neon digital Arts Festival Ian Livingstone has input to the report that was released to day. Showcasing Dundee, Abertay and Dare to be Digital within the report.

http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/Next_Gen_v31.pdf

Posted on: Tuesday, 1 February, 2011 - 15:19

The Visual Effect Research Lab, Dundee newest facility for digital media, film and screen is creating a lot of chatter. This week Dundee will host a seminar, for visual effect artists and producers from across Europe. This will include screen and digital companies from Denmark, Sweden in the city. This will showcase the cities facilities and help build relationships within the local digital artists.

Networking Opportunity

The Seminar is now full but, why not come and meet people within the digital industries, discuss issues and make contacts with your peers. This event will allow people to develop business, talk about collaborations and increase your knowledge and skills. Take this opportunity to come down, for a drink and some food to raise your business profile and create new business opportunities.

This event is free, but please let digital dundee know if you are thinking about attending, for catering purposes.

Contact Alan

Alan@dundeecity.gov.uk / 01382 434912

Posted on: Thursday, 2 December, 2010 - 16:16

Digital Media company Hound Dog Is Easy now GFI MAX is expanding its offices in Dundee to around eighty people. GFI provide single source software of web and mail security, archiving, backup and fax, networking and security software and hosted IT solutions for small to medium sized enterprises. http://www.gfi.com

Moving to new premises at the vision building at Seabreas, the company founded as hounddog technology was bought and re branded at GFI MAX.

This jobs boost for the city will provide high quality high skill employment to the city. Dr Forbes GFI Software general manager said, ÔÇÿWe have ambitious plans for this business. These plans continue with new offices and bringing in high quality jobs to the city, in software development, operational and customer support, sales and worldwide marketing roles. There is a great talent pool in the city led by two high quality universities, and we are in a great position to tap into this.

Earlier this year GFI MAX won the software vendor of the year awards at the CRN industry awards ahead of companies such ad IBM and Microsoft. So this is an exiting time for the company in Dundee.

Posted on: Thursday, 2 December, 2010 - 16:16