Brighton Polygons

3 07 2007

We’re doing a Never Mind the Polygons in Brighton on the last day of Deveop. It will be at Koba on the 26th of July, with Dan Marchant, Nick Burton, Rusalka Clarke and Ange Fenge.

The pixel-horse’s mouth is here so to speak, and you can find Develop coverage here as well as a piece here.

Games: Good for Kids

3 07 2007

The pro side of the to and fro over the effects of games just got a shot in the arm from Brunel University. The Scotsman reports:

Researchers from Brunel University spent three years studying 13-16-year-olds who play a leading web-based game.

And far from becoming pale prisoners of their own bedrooms, regular players were found to enhance rather than restrict their imagination, the study found.

Because the game allows them to meet other role-playing gamers, many youngsters also get the chance to find out about different nationalities and races they would not normally come into contact with.

Multi-player online games give children a freedom to explore but without their parents worrying about where they are in an age when, in real life, they are not allowed out by themselves because of safety fears, said Nic Crowe and Dr Simon Bradford of Brunel’s School of Sport and Education.

Here’s the page of the Doctor responsible, and I believe this is the reference:

Crowe, N., and Bradford, S., (2007, in press), ‘Identity in On-Line Gaming: young people’s symbolic and virtual extensions of self’, in Hodkinson, P., and Bennett, A., (eds), Scenes, Subcultures and Tribes, Routledge.

Kuju: Chemistry

3 07 2007

Following on from the rebranding of Kuju Brighton as Zoe Mode, Kuju Sheffield has now been rebranded as Chemistry. The studio is set to be an Unreal Engine 3 specialist.

We blogged about Zoe Mode when it happened, indeed it’s such an unusual move that it often gets mentioned in in pieces about *other* rebranding exercises.

The approach has certainly paid off well for Blitz, who now have imprints working on everything from traditional videogames to simulation and heritage. At best, these kind of brands do communicate niche specialties rather than corporate blandness. It seems like a savvy approach to a new medium set amidst splintering tastes, and I hope it works for Kuju too.

Goldsmiths MSc in Games and Entertainment

3 07 2007

Geared to start the September, Goldsmiths University of London are offering an MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment.

This degree offers a unique curriculum for graduates and professionals from various fields who either want to enter the computer games and entertainment industries, or want to upgrade their present knowledge and skills on the basis of their experience in such industries.

The MSc is focused on advanced programming in C++, team work, new technologies (procedural procession, multicore platforms, and artificial intelligence in games, for example). It is directed and taught by experts in the games and entertainment industries (many faculty members have either run, funded companies, or worked in them), in research and development (in graphics, geometry, AI, hard-core processing), and visiting tutors who are actively involved in these industries. The programme integrates state-of-the-art technologies in its lab and course work (games engine and consoles, for example).

Looming Maples

3 07 2007

David Gardner was recently awarded an OBE for promoting the UK for game development.

Is the business really going to stay here though? Canada has already siphoned away a good deal of French game development, and if the tax credits are really that good it could pose a similar risk to English-speaking development communities.

Shaun Woodward highlights it while repeating the call for a UK games academy:

Woodward spoke specifically of the importance of the UK’s video game industry, while warning of the dangers of becoming complacent. “The importance of the creative industries has not yet received the recognition it should have done,” he said.

“Video games have become an incredibly important industry, but our superiority in this sector cannot be taken for granted.

In the last six months the UK has slipped from the third largest manufacturer to the fourth – behind Canada. We need a games academy for graduate studies. We need to attract the right talent and fund and support the industry.”