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Her Majesty Spiffing launched on Steam and XBOX One

Wednesday 7th December, Belfast, UK: In a year when the United Kingdom has decided to “take back control” from those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels (preferring it be led by some equally pesky bureaucrats in Westminster, instead), what better time to gaze into the not-so-distant future and see just what the world has in store for Brexit Britain?

If Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is anything to go by, Britain’s future involves embarking on a journey to the stars (in whatever tin-pot craft we cans get our hands on). Yes, in the years ahead, SPIFFING predicts the UK will set out to conquer planet after planet in a bid to establish a new galactic empire, all the while subtly undermining the French at every turn.

Well, assuming there’s plenty of time to sup on cups of tea along the way, that is.

Coming to Xbox One and Steam on December 7th (and PlayStation 4 on December 13th), Her Majesty’s SPIFFING (that’s the Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies, if you wondering) sees you slip into the space boots of Captain Frank Lee English, a quintessential Englishman sporting impeccable manners, a taste for Earl Grey and an unwavering love for Britannia.

Accompanied by Sub-Lieutenant Aled Jones you’ll take to the galaxy on board the HMSS Imperialise in this modern interpretation of a classic point-and-click adventure where puzzle solving is intermingled with some hilarious wit and sharp one liners. Well, they made us laugh in the office, though that could be down to a complete lack of sleep over the last few years.

Taking direct control of English with a gamepad in place of directing with a mouse, SPIFFING features a mixture of physical and mental puzzles and often somewhat self-deprecating humour (blatantly plagiarised from/paying homage to everything from Monty Python to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). In short, it’s about as British as a game can be, in that it deftly undermines everything we hold dear about coming from this damp collection of islands in the darkest corner of Europe from start to finish.

 “We’ve been working on Her Majesty’s SPIFFING for the past three years with the intent of bringing the spirit of a classic point-and-click adventure to the modern era,” says Will Barr, Director at the Belfast-based studio behind the game, Billy Goat Entertainment.

“We wanted to make the genre a bit more current, taking a type of game typically tied to keyboard and mouse and bring it to the masses, turn it into a real mainstream hit. That’s what we told our bank manager at least and he bought it. That and, during these times of uncertainty, I believe SPIFFING goes some way to quell people’s fears in a post-Brexit Britain. I mean, the pollsters didn’t think we’d ever leave the EU, so who’s to say the Queen won’t return the UK to an autocratic government and commission an intergalactic space organisation tasked with establishing a Galactic British Empire? Stranger things have happened.”

Billy Goat Entertainment began life as a commercial animations studio, working on adverts for Irish television.

Work on Her Majesty’s SPIFFING has dominated the studio’s time in recent years, however, with the game already attracting praise ahead of release, with Digital Spy describing it as an adventure that “oozes British tongue-in-cheek charm, sarcasm and a whole lot of tea” –http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/feature/a787132/5-xbox-one-indie-games-that-are-better-than-the-big-boys/

 Her Majesty’s SPIFFING will be available as a digital download on Xbox One and Steam worldwide on Wednesday December 7th, PlayStation 4 on Tuesday December 13th. 

Xbox One Download

Steam Download

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Boomdash Digital launch ‘Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare’

Developed by Dream Country Limited, Inlifesize Ltd, the official mobile game of the chilling remake of one of horror’s most iconic movies debuts on the Apple App Store today.

Boomdash Digital, the UK mobile publisher, have released on iOS and Google Play the official Evil Dead mobile game, based on the terrifying re-imagining of the horror masterpiece.

A secluded cabin. An ancient curse. An unrelenting evil. All you have to do is survive!

Based on what is widely regarded as ‘the most terrifying movie you will ever see’, Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare is an action-packed first person runner. Players get to experience, for the first time, familiar locations and characters from the movie, in a game packed with psychological terror, movie audio and cinema realistic graphics.

Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare sees players run from cinema’s most iconic cabin, where they must then survive the Deadite infested woods, avoid deadly obstacles and select the right weapons to take down the bloodthirsty Deadites, whilst completing increasingly challenging missions.

With the help of the Book of the Dead and an arsenal of signature weapons, including the trusty boxcutter, chainsaw and shotgun, players must fight for their survival, running through the woods to complete missions, collect blood droplets, unlock bonuses, upgrade weapons and ultimately prepare themselves to battle against the Evil Witch!

Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare is now available to play on iOS and GooglePlay:

Download on Google Play

Download on iOS

Features:

  • Spine chilling, 1st person POV, puts players at the centre of the Evil Dead universe
  • Record times, distances and Deadite-killing achievements to beat your friends
  • Cause carnage with an array of murderous weapons including the boxcutter, chainsaw and shotgun.
  • Run deeper into the woods to unlock new missions straight out of the Book Of The Dead
  • Realistic 3D graphics and camerawork recreate the look and feel of the movie set

Game Info:

Title: Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare
Publisher: Boomdash Digital Limited
Developer: Dream Country Limited, Inlifesize Ltd
Category: 3D Endless Runner
Monetisation: Free with In App Purchase
Age: 17+   

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Developer News

Q&A with Whitepot Studios

In a new series of interviews with local Northern Irish developers, we met with Adam and Vicky from recent start up Whitepot Studios;

Hi – Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Adam:
I’m Adam Whiteside, and I graduated from Computer Games Development at Queen’s last year. After graduation, I helped found IVEA labs (along with fellow Whitepot founder, Vicky, and two other classmates).

After a year of doing interactive experiences at museums, we all decided it wasn’t what we wanted to be doing with our lives, so Vicky and I started up Whitepot Studios! We now make games and offer development services to people who want a game made, we’ll also make you a website if you ask nicely (gotta pay the bills some how!)

Vicky: 
I’m Vicky Potts, and I graduated from Computer Science at Queen’s last year. In the past I’ve worked at Civica Ireland as a Software Engineer placement student, and then helped co-found a startup, IVEA labs, straight after graduation.

I’ve now setup Whitepot Studios to make games with Adam, which I am really excited about! Getting to be creative and make games is something I am really passionate about, so this is my dream job. If I’m not doing Whitepot things, you can (probably) find me tweeting about wrestling in the middle of the night.

Can you tell us a bit more about Whitepot Studios and why you’ve started creating your own video games?

Adam:
I just really want to make games – games that I enjoy making, and enjoy playing. A game that a million people want to play. That’s my goal with Whitepot Studios. After a year of working on IVEA labs, the team realised that none of us really wanted to be in the interactive exhibit start-up space, and we each decided to go our own way.

Vicky and I wanted to keep doing a startup, but doing something we were really passionate about – and I had always wanted to wanted to go into the games industry (see my degree). Given what I had learned from founding IVEA labs, and seeing the energy of the NI Game Dev community, I thought now would be a great time to start up my own indie studio – and luckily for me Vicky was also thinking the same thing!

Vicky: 

We were developing beacon technology for museums and had the opportunity to travel around the UK and Ireland, and while it was an amazing learning experience, we were ready to move onto something else – because businesses have to be passion-driven to succeed, there’s no question about it. 

As Adam said, I wanted to carry on with the start-up way of life. I’ll be honest – I am not cut out for a 9-5 office environment! When the opportunity arose to make games with a) someone I knew and b) who has a similar style of working as me, I jumped at the chance. So that’s how we arrived at Whitepot Studios and making our own games. For now we are focusing on using Unity to develop iOS and Android app games, and we’ll see where we go from there. In a year’s time, I would love to ask the average person on the street if they’ve heard of one of our games and have the answer be “yes” (akin to popularity of Angry Birds).

 Screenshot of Tube In Progress (Working Title)
Screenshot of Tube In Progress (Working Title)

Who’s on the team?

Adam:
It’s just myself and Vicky for now but we hope to get in an artist once we’ve got the ball rolling a bit, as neither of us have a thorough background in this area. While we are kind of doing the standard start-up approach of, “there’s only two of us, so everyone does everything”, we do have certain roles laid out.

I’m in charge of game design and development as well as long term strategy and decision making for the studio. Vicky handles a lot of the day to day stuff, such as marketing and a load of the public facing stuff (our Twitter and Facebook pages are pretty much run exclusively by her). She’s also a wizard when it comes to web stuff.

We both work on actually making the games and its assets, and we both handle the so-called boring business bits too. We actually don’t mind this too much, since we’ve just come from a “high potential” start-up that involved a lot of that kind of thing, and have been on business incubators in the past.

Some companies work in an office, some work remotely – what works best for your team and why?

Vicky: 
Well, as I said, and it’ll come as no surprise – I’m not cut out for a 9-5 office environment. Adam isn’t too fond of that rigid approach either. At the minute it’s just the two of us, so we are working from the computer room in our flat in South Belfast!

We’ve had some very talented requests come in for work experience so far but unfortunately have been unable to accommodate them – so we’re looking into space for collaboration sooner rather than later so we can begin to expand our team, especially if we want to bring an artist on-board.

I really love Facepunch’s approach to recruiting their team (and if we can make something half as successful as Rust, I’d be pretty happy), so I’d like to borrow their mantra:

“If you work best by starting at 2AM then you can work at 2AM. If you work best from home, then work from home. This only works out if you’re self motivated. No-one is going to tell you to work differently, it’s up to you to find how you’re most effective.”

What’s been your most interesting or exciting project to work on?

Adam:
We just set up at the end of August so the most interesting and exciting things so far has been setting everything up, getting the wheels in motion and meeting with other local developers and seeing what everyone’s doing! 

Vicky: 
Like Adam said, we’ve just been working on getting things off the ground, which is really exciting within itself. The first thing we did when we decided we would commit to Whitepot Studios was Ludum Dare 36 – can we pump out a game over a weekend, under pressure, and not kill each other? The answer was yes! The end result was ‘Why Am I In The Past? Who Cares! Shoot The Romans.” Not a bad start. 

 Paper prototyping ideas at early stage development
Paper prototyping ideas at early stage development

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming game? 

Adam:
We’re currently working on our first game, “Tube in Progress” (working title). It’s a Tempest-style endless runner, in a big tube. It has been called “horribly addictive” by someone who played it #PlayMyDemo – so that’s good! 

You are a small spaceship, zooming your way forward through an ominous tube – a tube filled with obstacles! This is a fast-paced, Unity-made game. 

We’ve undertaken paper prototyping for this and began implementing some basic mechanics, including the mobile touch controls and rocket movement. It’ll be free to play and we’re releasing in the next couple of months, so you can follow along with it’s development on our twitter (@Whitepot) and facebook page (@WhitepotStudios). 

And finally – what are your top 5 games?

Adam:
In no particular order: Crysis, S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl (honorable mention to Call of Pripyat as well), GTA Online, Shadow of the Colossus, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. 

All those games have captured my imagination and inspired me as to what a game can really be.

Vicky: 
In no order – Rust, GTA V, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, MapleStory, and Petz 3/4/5.

Hear me out before you judge that last choice – Petz was the reason I was using hex editors at age 10, making websites from 11, and made some great internet friends across the globe that I’m still in touch with today. I was modding before I knew what modding was. This article explains it better than I ever can, I cannot explain how much that community influenced me and shaped my career choices without me even realising. Judge the second-last choice all you want.

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Italic Pig Nominated for 5 Games Connection Development Awards

Northern Ireland game development studio Italic Pig have been nominated for five awards at Game Connection’s 2016 Development Awards for its latest project Mona Lisa. The award ceremony will take place during this year’s conference in in Paris from October 26th – 28th.

Mona Lisa, created by Italic Pig’s Kevin Beimers, is a stealth & forgery adventure that sees Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous creation brought to life as Renaissance Italy’s greatest art thief. The project received funding from Northern Ireland Screen via Invest NI.

Having picked up a number of awards and nominations for his last production Schrödinger’s Cat And The Raiders Of The Lost Quark, including Best Game Script nominations from both Writers’ Guilds of Great Britain and Ireland, Kevin continues to push the company’s impressive storytelling record by securing Mona Lisa nominations for Best Casual Game, Best Story/Storytelling, Most Creative/Original Game, Best Quality of Art and Best Indie Game. Italic Pig is the only member of the UK games industry to receive nominations at the event.

“The Game Connection Development Awards program is designed to shed light on the most innovative and creative projects that we can find and offers additional exposure to those developers who are constantly pushing the industry forward,” said Pierre Carde, CEO of Game Connection. “We are very excited for the Game Connection Development Awards to spotlight and award more projects than ever and we look forward to seeing what the newest crop of nominees will bring.”

Mona Lisa’s game concept pitch was a recipient of a prestigious development award from Creative Europe’s MEDIA sub-programme, which, along with support from Northern Ireland Screen, has been used to fund the development process over the last year, utilising local homegrown talent to create a game with huge international appeal, whilst also helping to bolster the burgeoning games industry in the country.

The ambitious game sees you playing as Mona Lisa, a Renaissance robot of Da Vinci’s own design and a graceful and gadget-filled marvel of engineering perfection. When Mona is not busy breaking into 15th century strongholds and forging some of the greatest works of art that mankind has ever created, she is exploring the streets of Italy trying to solve a mystery that even Robert Langdon would struggle to make sense of.

“It’s an over the top mash-up of Dan Brown, Terry Pratchett and ‘springpunk’” describes Kevin Beimers, Mona Lisa creator, “Mona herself is a charming mix of Lara Croft and Inspector Gadget, clad in a modest floor-length dress. Leonardo, on the other hand, falls somewhere between Doc Brown and Peter Capaldi – amazed not so much by his own genius as by other’s stupidity. They make a great team to write for.”

The writer, director, programmer, artist and animator will attend the awards and the conference at the end of October hoping to not only secure more kudos for his company but also with a view to attracting further interest in Mona Lisa and exploring potential opportunities with publishers and distributors. Whilst the game will not be officially launched until 2017, Kevin will be showcasing exclusive first-look content from the game at the conference. For those familiar with the high-quality, narrative-driven games that he has been involved with in the past, Mona Lisa is sure to thrill.

For a full list of nominations visit the Game Connection website.

View the trailer for Mona Lisa below. 

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Developer News Industry News

Northern Ireland talent among TIGA Awards nominations

Northern Ireland talent is among the nominations for the 2016 TIGA Awards which will take place on the 10th November at the Christ Church Spitalfield in London.

Three games developed in Northern Ireland have been nominated in three separate categories. Blackstaff Games’ Safari Slides is nominated in the Puzzle Game Category, Iglu Media’s E1027 is nominated in the Educational Game category and Outsider Games’ Wailing Heights is nominated in the Visual Design category. Italic Pig’s Kevin Beimers is also part of the team behind The Bunker which is nominated in two categories.

Safari Slides is a mobile puzzle game where players follow the adventures of the Safari families as they cruise their way around the world hitting every water park as they go! At each park they attend it’s your job to get them from the top of the park to the bottom, unscrambling the slides as you go.

In E1027 players explore the home of renowned architect Eileen Gray, E1027, regarded as a 20th century architectural masterpiece. Players are tasked with restoring the building to its old glory and uncovering the secrets within it.

Wailing Heights is a coffin-rocking, body-hopping, musical adventure PC game, set in a village which is home to vegan werewolves, hipster vampires and soulful zombies. Play as music band manger Frances Finklestein who arrives in Wailing Heights and is charged with the crime of being alive.

Kevin Beimers is a Northern Ireland based video game developer who was a writer on The Bunker. Kevin is currently working on his own project Mona Lisa, a stealth adventure game were players play as a Renaissance robot who is also the 16th century’s greatest art thief.

For the full list of nominees visit the TIGA website. 

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Developer News

Successful Assembler participants announced

Northern Ireland Screen has announced the decision for their Assembler Programme.

The Assembler Programme is aimed at the early stage development of 6 games with the aim of one of the selected projects going into production in 2017-18. Projects will go through 3 stages of development. Publishers and distribution partners will be invited to each stage of the process to select projects that they see potential in and to feedback to developers

The 6 projects selected for the Assembler Programme have been awarded Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through Northern Ireland Screen.

Dog Gunnit – Toll Inc

Dog Gunnit is a ‘90s style arcade driver and shooter where 2 players take control of a man and his dog in a buddy-cop tale where they must overcome an initial dislike of each other to take out the bad guys.

Terranaughts – Outsider Games

A side-scrolling, turn-based action role playing game set on the planets of Farset 13, the furthest human-colonised solar system, humans walk among an often-dangerous civilisation of dinosaur like alien species. With no plant life to replenish the Oxygen humans consume, it becomes a limited natural resource, and the few human inhabitants of Farset 13 are taxed heavily on the air they breathe, with the threat of armed bounty-hunting tax collectors looming, should they fall into debt. Play as one of these bounty hunters, with an initial goal to combat and capture anyone with tax debt. 

Journey Sauvage – Boom Clap Games & Blackstaff Games

Journey Sauvage is set in a fictional and fantastic galaxy with central characters loosely based on Phileas Fogg and Passepartout’s “Around the World in 80 days.” As the player, it is your task to guide the protagonist and your trusty assistant through a series of planets featuring exotic landscapes, alien civilisations, robots and bandits via an array of intergalactic vehicles.

Juiced – Match Head Games

Juiced is a 3rd person action platformer where players chase and capture fruit and veg creatures, known as “Crops”, in order to make the smoothies. Each crop has their own unique way of moving, and some have special abilities that make them unpredictable when first encountered. Players must learn their behaviour or risk being caught in sticky strawberry jam, burned by citric acid or crushed by a swarm of angry grapes.

Children of Geometry – Enter Yes

Children of Geometry is a story-driven third-person hack-and-slash game set amidst the streets of Carrickmass; an urban wasteland run amok with delinquent hoodies who lurk amongst the digitally augmented nightmares. Micky and his closest friends must make their way through Carrickmass on their journey to Blackspoint – a costal viewpoint – where Micky’s older brother took his own life; but not before leaving a geo-tagged suicide note. The journey to Blackspoint isn’t safe.

How to Kill Monsters – Coffee Box Games

A 2D Strategy role playing game (RPG) where the player fights off monsters with giant mechs. The player commands an isolated society in a post-apocalyptic world of colossal monsters, where they have to balance combat with resource management and faction politics.

 

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Q&A with Prism Studios

In a new series of interviews with local Northern Irish developers, we met with Stephen and Anna from the newly established Prism Studios. 

Hi guys, why don’t you start by telling us a bit about who you are and what you do?
Stephen – Hey, I’m Stephen Ferguson, from Northern Ireland and I am a game/level designer. I am a huge gamer, it occupies most of my time and I love analysing games after I have finished them. I want to create awesome content for people to enjoy. Having something that starts as just an idea I visualise in my head and can then craft that into something that someone else can enjoy and explore is great fun.

Anna – Hey! My name is Annemieke Eerkes (just call me Anna), I’m from the Netherlands and I’m a programmer/level designer. I absolutely love puzzles, and programming has always felt like some sort of Lego, where the only limits are your own imagination. Setting up our own game studio is a really exciting opportunity to get to do what I love!

Your first released project was Portal Stories: MEL – What got you into making mods?
Stephen – I have always enjoyed using level editors in games, the first level editor that I really remember enjoying messing about with was for Advance Wars for the GBA. I would set up all sorts of scenarios to see how the AI would react to given situations.

Obviously Portal was a huge game for me, it was incredible, and the sole reason I got my first gaming PC so I could finally run it. Portal 2 was even cooler and when it was announced they were releasing a level editor for it I was very excited. Of course, as is typical with Valve it took ages for it to come out and I didn’t want to wait anymore. They had already released their Authoring tools, which is the very un user friendly editor they use in house called Hammer. I started watching some tutorials on how to use hammer and just went from there.

I submitted my first map to a website called Thinking with Portals, which had a summer mapping contest, think I am came about 17th out of about 30 people. I kept working on custom maps by myself and learning from the feedback, there is a lot to learn when it comes to Hammer and level design and I had my own series of custom maps called Dilapidation, which got spotlighted by PC Gamer.  It wasn’t long before I met Anna who invited me on to the project which at the time only really consisted of the two of us and things just went from there.

Anna – I really loved the Portal games and I simply wanted more, the best way to get more is to actually make more! By working on mods you learn to analyze the entire game and you’ll get a much better understanding of all the mechanics and how they all interact. All the feedback that I’ve received on my work really inspired me to continue making more, improve my skills and surprise people with new stuff. Eventually I decided that I wanted to create a full campaign. This project grew over the years into a bigger and bigger project with more and more incredibly talented people on the team!

How successful was that mod?
Stephen – It’s been downloaded almost 800,000 times in slightly over a year, it has a Steam rating of over 94% at the moment and we won a Game Award for the best fan creation! We also won the “Best Singleplayer Experience” Editors Choice for ModDB and came 10th in the public vote for ModDB Mod of the year.

You followed up with Portal Stories: VR – how was working in VR and how this received?
Stephen – Originally it didn’t even start as a game and was just a VR showcase of one of our favourite levels from Mel. After the Lab came out and introduced the teleportation system for movement I was inspired to actually utilise that as a gameplay mechanic, rather than just a system of movement. I also made a second device which let you grab objects from far away and we incorporated them both into some existing portal mechanics and made some of our own. It was just a short little experience and me and Harry wrote the script for it in a single night, though as it often does when in a skype call with Harry, that meant 5am! It has been very well received and we even got some feedback from some developers at Valve and it has been downloaded over 60,000 times with a 95% positive review rating.

Anna – For me Portal Stories: VR was a whole new challenge. With Portal Stories: Mel we were quite constrained from a technical perspective. Since we were just modding we didn’t have access to the source code, and for some of the more advanced features we’d had to actually change hexadecimal values in encrypted files to get stuff working.
With Portal Stories: VR we couldn’t use the Source engine, since it doesn’t have support for VR. So we had to switch to a whole different engine and we chose Unreal Engine 4. This meant that we had to re-program all the game mechanics. It was incredibly fun to reverse engineer a variety of game mechanics whilst also adding our own. The funniest thing to me was actually accidentally recreating some of the same bugs in a whole different engine!

You’ve now started your own company with your own ip – Tell us a bit about how that’s happened
We’ve received so much great feedback on our previous games, and people telling us that they love what we’ve created. By going full-time with a whole new game we can invest much more time into it. That way we can create better and bigger experiences at a faster pace. By creating a proper company we can actually hire some very talented people to make even better games.

Can you tell us about the rest of your team?
At the moment we’ve got 4 people: the two of us, Ethan McLean and Harry Callaghan.

We’ve worked with Harry on both Portal Stories games, and he’s a very creative guy. He has his own YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers (Harry101UK) the skills he uses in his videos are also very useful in our games. He’s great with sound, both soundtrack and sound effects, modeling, some texturing and producing trailers and stuff.
Ethan is a 2D artist who has worked with various companies on a variety of projects, his concept art is incredibly inspiring and makes me super excited to see this all come together in the end!

Your team work remotely – how does that work for your company?
Good communication is obviously the key to success, and this is harder to do with a remote team. By constantly posting our work to each other, show what we’re up to and  providing feedback we stay in close communication. We also make sure that we do fun stuff together, instead of hanging around the coffee machine for a bit we hang out in a game of Left4Dead! We also make sure to have regular calls with the entire team just to make sure everyone knows exactly what’s going on and what’s expected of them.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming game?

Our next game is called DR01D, we’re still very early in production so we don’t want to give away too much yet, and things are subject to change, but DR01D is a VR first person puzzle game with a strong narrative, based around solving puzzles simultaneously alongside robot companions who you direct about the map to help you complete tasks, retrieve objects etc. The game takes place in the future, you are part of an advanced AI tasked with fixing your space station after it suffered damage during a meteor storm that has wiped out life on Earth. You will do training puzzles before going down to Earth to salvage equipment to upgrade your robots and fix the station.

And finally, what’s you favourite games?

Stephen – Portal 2, The Witcher 3, Left 4 Dead, Spacechem, Metroid Prime would be my top 5

Anna – Bioshock 1 or Infinite, Portal 2, SpaceChem, League of Legends and DarkSouls III would probably be my top 5!

You can keep up to date with Prism Studios on:

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Of Kings and Man Early Access

Green Man Gaming Publishing, Northern Ireland Screen and Donkey Crew are pleased to announce that Of Kings And Men will be coming to Early Access on Thursday 25th August 2016.

Of Kings And Men is being created by Donkey Crew, previously know for their popular “cRPG’ modification for Mount & Blade: Warband. Having previously worked remotely around the world, the team are now based in Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen via Invest NI.

The Early Access version of the game will focus on combat, and allow matches of over 200 players to battle, capture strategic points, and learn your skills on the battlefield. The team have revealed an extensive roadmap of the games development, and plan to introduce faction management, a full open world, and a player run, persistent industry.

Of Kings And Men allows you to experience huge, player-driven battles like no other. Engage in massive combat with more than 200 players, capture territories, or practice your fighting skills in competitive matches with intuitive melee combat.

Throughout Early Access, Of Kings And Men will introduce strategic elements, allowing players to conquer and control the land by political, economic or military means. Send armies to protect your cities and invade enemy territories. Lead your troops into decisive orchestrated sieges against player-built fortifications that are fought with hundreds of friends and foes simultaneously. Every victory or defeat shapes history forever.

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Developer News Industry News Trade Missions

MIP Skills Development Programme

Northern Ireland Screen intends to run a skills development programme to attend MIPJUNIOR and MIPCOM in Cannes from 14 October to 19 October 2016.

***The deadline for applications has been extended to 12 noon on Friday 22nd July (if you have previously submitted an application there is no need to reapply)***

The programme will provide a training opportunity for three children’s content developers or equivalent to experience the markets at MIP for the first time in 2016.

The aim is to encourage greater cross-collaboration between television and digital content development teams and to increase their ability to deliver content suited to the increasingly platform agnostic marketplace.

The programme will pay for the participants’ travel, accommodation and accreditation costs across two days of MIPJUNIOR and two days of MIPCOM in October 2016.

MIPJUNIOR is the world’s leading showcase for children’s and youth programming and runs for two days before MIPCOM in October which is the greatest gathering in TV & Media. It’s where the industry makes deals that will shape the future, from inspiring new projects to buying next season’s hits. Together, the entertainment community creates bridges across the diverse and expanding industry, united by a passion for TV, making new connections and unlocking new business opportunities.

Further information can be found on the Northern Ireland Screen website 

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Developer News Education News

After Effects training course

Double Jump Studios will host a 4-day training course to suit beginners and self-taught users of After Effects from 8th-13th August. It is available for creatives working in screen-based industries who are looking to up skill their graphics, compositing, animation and visual effects skill set. The course will be delivered both in groups and on a one-to-one basis.

The course will be broad tour through all the features and toolsets of After Effects CC starting with the basics of animation through to more complex projects including particle systems and 3d camera tracking. Course notes and work files will be provided with practical examples to work through. The course will include broadcast level motion graphics and compositing. Students will also be tasked with learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop and illustrator. All training media and project files will be supplied to students for future reference.

Day One:

  • Preparing Assets using Photoshop
  • Compositing with Photoshop layers, selections and masks
  • Learning the After Effects interface
  • Animation using Effects and Presets
  • Using text effects
  • Exporting projects

Day Two:

  • Creating video compositions using assets
  • Create a campaign ad using Parenting, Track Mattes, Slideshows and Audio
  • Animating Photoshop Layers
  • Working with Masks
  • Compositing using Roto brushing, Puppet Tools and Custom Expressions 

Day Three:

  • Keying, Colour Correction and Clone Stamping
  • Creating a 3D Scene using 2d layers
  • Animating Cameras, Lights and Shadows
  • Tips and tricks using the curve editor.

Day Four:

  • Using the 3D Camera Tracker
  • Stabilising Footage and Multipoint Tracking
  • Using Mocha for Planar tracking
  • Getting started with Particle Systems
  • Integrating Cinema4D / Element3D 

How will this benefit your Career?

This course will give you the skills and tools to create broadcast standard motion graphics, animation and compositing and is ideal for those working in 2d/3d animation, visual effects, post-production or games development. After effects is the tool of choice for motion design and animation for broadcast. This course will instill best practice workflows and techniques that are used widely within the industry. An excellent opportunity for those looking to push their skill set further.

Price – the standard course cost is £1000 (excluding VAT)

Register your interest

To register your interest and reserve your space please email hello@doublejumpstudios.com

This course will only go ahead if there is sufficient interest.

Depending on your experience in the industry and the level of demand, you may be eligible for a Northern Ireland Screen Skills Bursary.

Closing date for submission is 25th July.