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UK Budget 2017: games fund extended, R&D credits boosted and better maths education

The UK government has announced its budget for the next year, including some good news for the video games industry.

Perhaps the most obvious announcement to benefit games firs is a further £1 million to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020, aiding access to finance and business support for early stage video game developers.

Developers should also be able to benefit from the promise of £2.3bn in extra expenditure for R&D. Tax credits in this area will rise from 11% to 12% starting from January 1st, 2018.

Further details about support for the UK’s creative and digital industries will be announced in the forthcoming Industrial Strategy White Paper, which will hopefully include more games-specific allocations of public funds.

More information as well as links to the full reports can be found here

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Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Wins ‘Creativity and Heritage’ TIGA Award

Congratulations to BillyGoat Entertainment!

Yesterday their 2016 title, Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, picked up a TIGA Games Industry Award in the Creativity and Heritage category, against 9 other nominated games. 

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is currently available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4

 

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Queens University and Ulster University are Collaborating on the Creative Industries Cluster Programme

Ulster University and Queen’s University are collaborating on an exciting new funding opportunity which could lead to the setting up of a Research and Development Partnership for the Creative Industries in Northern Ireland.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme, the Programme is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and aims to drive economic growth in the Creative Industries through the development of exciting new products, services and experiences.

The Creative Industries in Northern Ireland will be at the heart of the proposal and as such, we would like to invite you to join us on Friday 10 November at 9.45am in the Great Hall at Queen’s University where you will have the opportunity to tell us what you feel are the key challenges to growth for the industry and what your sector needs in terms of long-term support.

Contribution on the day has the potential to help shape the bid and the proposed work plan.

To register, please click here. Further information will be provided in advance of the consultation event.

If you would like to talk with a member of the team in advance of the event, please contact Frank Lyons at Ulster University or Kevin Fearon at Queen’s University.

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The Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Programme Awards 2017

The Royal Television Society, Northern Ireland (RTS NI) has announced the nominees for this year’s Programme Awards with new headline sponsor in Ka-Boom.

Among the nominees is Billy Goad Entertainment Ltd. in the Interactive content category or Her Majesty’s SPIFFING. 

The RTS NI Programme Awards 2017 are delivered in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Channel 4, and UTV. The Awards Ceremony will be held in The MAC, Belfast on Thursday 16th November, hosted by Irish presenter Angela Scanlon.

A full list of nominees as well as tickets for the event can be found here

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Jennifer Wilde Kickstarter Successful

Jennifer Wilde, from Outsider Games, has just passed its £11,000 funding goal on Kickstarter!

The goal was reached with 262 individual backers, with the most popular donation tier being in the £10 or more category at 102 backers.  

Last year the team at Outsider Games launched their first PC game, Wailing Heights, on Steam to positive reviews and several award nominations. Since then they’ve been working hard on developing Jennifer Wilde as their next big project. 

There’s 3 days left to go in the campaign. The team at Outsider have revealed stretch goals to aim for in that reminding time, including text localisation and console versions of the game. 

Jennifer Wilde is a Point & Click 2D adventure game with a unique comic book inventory design. As Jennifer discovers clues to her father’s death, she sketches illustrated notes in her book; which the player can study, rearrange and combine into a comic book-style story. Use this illustrated knowledge to confront characters, prompt their memories and link clues together as you discover more about Jennifer’s father’s hidden past, and the truth behind his death.
 

 

 

 

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Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Nominated for TIGA Award

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, from the Northern Ireland developer BillyGoat Entertainment, has been nominated for the TIGA Games Industry Awards 2017 in the Creativity and Heritage category.

The overall Game of the Year award is decided by a public online vote available here  with voting closing on the 29th October. 

In their latest Kickstarter Update, BillyGoat Entertainment described the nomination as “Ironic indeed, and obviously very flattering too.”

 TIGA award statues. 
TIGA award statues. 

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is currently available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4

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Outsider Games Launches Kickstarter for Jennifer Wilde

Outsider Games have launched a Kickstarter for their new project, Jennifer Wilde. 

At the start of the Jazz Age in Paris in 1921, young French artist Jennifer Chevalier becomes embroiled in death, espionage and revolution which takes her across the three nations of France, England and Ireland – ably assisted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde.   

Jennifer believes the recent death of her father was no ‘accident’. Finding a chained locket in her father’s hotel, Jennifer attempts to use her childhood gift for talking to ghosts to call his spirit back. Unwittingly, the ghost recalled is that of Oscar Wilde, famous Irish playwright, whose affair with Jennifer’s father has bound his ghost to the locket. 

Jennifer and Oscar find themselves involved in schemes of murder, ghosts and intrigue as they attempt to solve Jennifer’s father’s murder, and develop a deep friendship along the way… 

Based on the best-selling and award winning comic from Atomic Diner.

 

 

 

 

 

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Applications Open for NI Screen Games Development Scheme

Northern Ireland Screen intends to runs a skills development programme called Games Development 2017.  The programme will provide opportunities in a Game Development company for one person.

Games Development 2017 is a paid placement scheme (NMW/NLW), the placement will run from October 2017– 31st March 2017 and the participant will gain experience in a professional Game Development Company.

The scheme and placement will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and participants will be expected to base themselves in Northern Ireland for the duration of the scheme.

You are eligible to apply if you can answer YES to these two questions:

  • Are you a legal resident of Northern Ireland?
  • Are you available to participate in the scheme from October 2017 – 31st March 2017?

Further Information and Application Forms can be found here. 

 

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Her Majesty’s SPIFFING goes Mobile

Northern Ireland game developer Billy Goat Entertainment has released its celebrated space adventure game Her Majesty’s SPIFFING (that’s the Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies, if you’re wondering) on iOS and Android platforms today.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign Billy Goat Entertainment commenced development of Her Majesty’s SPIFFING in November 2014 with funding from Northern Ireland Screen via Invest NI.

Just like the console and PC versions, which were released last December, mobile gamers will now be able to take charge of Captain Frank Lee English as he (along with his insightful Welsh colleague, Aled) takes to the stars on-board the HMSS Imperialise in this modern interpretation of a classic point-and-click.

In Her Majesty’s SPIFFING players will be charged with solving both mental and physical based puzzles, all the while being rewarded with a sharp and witty script.

William Barr, Director, Billy Goat Entertainment Ltd “It takes cues from/ plagiarises 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 this damp collection of islands from beginning to end.”

Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is available now on  iOS and Android.

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Enter Yes Releases Beyond Hirieth

Enter Yes™ is proud to announce the launch of it’s maiden title, Beyond Hirieth.

Beyond Hirieth brings together award-winning graphics, exciting Sci-Fi shooter style gameplay and an emotionally driven narrative across VR and mobile platforms.

Marta seeks enlightenment from The Teacher who promises her eternal life and the opportunity to return to her most cherished memories. With _Starfox_ style gameplay and _12 Monkeys_ inspired narrative the player must pilot their ship through hostile environments and destroy targets to progress to the next level of enlightenment. Exciting gameplay is rewarded with innovative, immersive cut scenes that push the boundaries of visual storytelling.

The game can be purchased here: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enteryes.beyondhirieth