US Game Design Scholarships

13 02 2008

Carnegie Mellon

AIAS have announced $2500 scholarships for game design students:

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has announced the creation of the Dr. Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund, established to support students pursuing careers in game design, development and production.

The fund, honoring Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design Dr. Randy Pausch, will provide four USD 2,500 scholarships to students attending accredited universities.

Creative commons image from brunkfordbraun’s Flickr.


13 02 2008


There they go, chipping away a little more at the uncanny valley. Not long now until we start climbing the other side, but all those photo-real, ersatz humans are going to act in a downright spooky way unless we can bootstrap AI to match the standards of their appearance.

GTA IV Wanted Posters

13 02 2008

GTA IV Poster

Bruce Everiss points out a viral campaign for GTA IV, and several reasons why it’s a well orchestrated one. The comments are a bit of a standoff over old media and new media, and the GTA IV campaign is an example of both working together.

I really wouldn’t like to look like Nico (The character on the poster) and live in the US right now, because most people will only register the word “wanted” and the face 🙂

3rd Dimension, 6 Figures.

13 02 2008

3rd Dimension

This is a pretty amazing story: 3 years ago, 2 graduates from Teeside University set up 3rd Dimension Creations because they couldn’t get jobs at existing studios. After a while doing outsourcing work, they have now been commissioned by Blitz to create an XBLA title for, apparently, six figures.

Boom Blox

13 02 2008

Boom blox

On show at GDC next week, Boom Blox is a newly revealed collaboration with Steven Spielberg. There’s also a small screenshot gallery here.

Destiny of Post-Production

13 02 2008


Good post on the Skillset blog about post-production, with this part applicable to game development:

<blockquote>Now, we need to forget the demarcations of “post”, “tv”, “animation” etc, and start instilling the concept that where ever you sit in the industry, you are part of a value-added chain: the ‘creatives’ come up with the concept, the ‘production staff’ make it a (in some cases, virtual) reality, and perhaps the role of our future “First Post” stars is to maximise the opportunities for generating revenue from that content – as Adobe now say, “from screen to screen” – getting the content from tv to phone, from cinema to game, from blog to e-zine.  But what is also lacking in the industry is the entreprenurial management and leadership skills to spot these new opportunities and exploit them.

So, any answers?</blockquote>

Management and leadership skills? There’s not really much codified yet. For instance, the current writer’s strike in the US is a baby step on the way to dealing with the new environment. It’s going to take quite a while for any adequate methods of dealing with this to filter up and become routine, and even then, games won’t necessarily be out of the woods: While plenty of people have been talking up a storm about the running of UK game development studios for the past six years or so, even non-media companies in well established industries have difficulty recruiting good management.

M Rated Games in Decline

7 02 2008

ELSPA Ratings 2007

ELSPA have put out a breakdown of the ratings assigned to games in 2007, and found that games rated M are declining:

The E category saw the largest increase over last year, accounting for nearly 60% of ratings assigned overall. The M (Mature 17+) category represented 6% of the overall ratings assigned, down from 8% in 2006 and 12% in 2005.

It’s often been said that M games are a minority of those released, and it sits interestingly with the amount of attention and criticism game get on the basis of them, even from game developers. I guess sales might tell a slightly different story to ELSPA’s ratings pie, but nonetheless, it really shouldn’t take much more than this to create a deafening silence from unfair media outlets.

Also, where’s Adults Only in the breakdown? Has it almost entirely disappeared due to large US retailers refusing to stock it?