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Nodus Editor Extensions/Visual Scripting by Noel Watters Released

Nodus has just been released by Noel Watters from Nothern Ireland. 

Nodus is a Visual Programming Language for Unity, designed to replace the need for having to constantly tweak scripts and dig through code to debug. 

This extension can be used by anyone, whether it’s experienced programmers, or artists and animators. 
Some knowledge of how to program in C# goes a long way however, as that is the language Nodus is based off of, and uses the standard aspects of the language. 

The main purpose of this system is to allow you to create MonoBehaviour components without ever having to look at a single line of code. 

What you get: 
– Works on Unity Pro and Free! 
– Simple, yet useful UI
– Uses all of the basic principles of C# 
– Create custom functions within the editor and save them for later
– Real Time Debugging
– Full Undo/Redo Features
– Full ‘behind the scenes’, customisable Metadata system for node names and descriptions
– Reflective precompile of the entire assembly creates over 100,000 node by default, and 1000’s more can be added with a click. 

This asset includes: 
– Nodus Editor
– Full Source Code
– Reflective C# precompiler which builds the Node library, which is excluded from built games. 
– Demo Top Down Shooter Game, built entirely with Nodus. 

Noel began his career attempting to start his own company, but not knowing the difficulties that lay ahead, ended up having to give it up.  But the things he learned allowed him to work efficiently as a programmer in InLifeSize StudiosItalic Pig Ltd, and BlackStaff Games.  His latest venture is founding Figment Works.

Having 6 years in the game development industry has allowed him to work with artists of all trades, to find out what is missing for them in the current game engines available today.  Building utilities that makes their lives easier is his main goal, outside of developing fun games for others to play.

We interviewed Noel on his work: 

What made you decide to begin this project? 

I come from a background in Unreal Engine 3 (UDK), and then UE4.  Both of these had great visual programming tools built in as standard.

First Kismet and then Blueprint, belonging to UE3 and UE4 respectively.  These are excellent tools and were a major part of my prototyping pipeline.
When I moved to Unity to work more with local developers, I found nothing like it came as standard, and anything similar was at a massive price.

So began the creation of Nodus.

Who do you think would benefit most from this package? 

Those who would benefit most would be the artists and animators that wish to avoid programming.

The non code savvy can get pushed away from game development because of the syntax, learning curves, and general difficulty that comes with being a good programmer.  So Nodus is there to allow them to create the flow of their game logic, in a visual aspect, and show them in real time where something may be going wrong.

Alternatively, seasoned programmers can use Nodus as a precise tool for quick prototyping, debugging and general testing.

What advice would you have for a non coder using the package?

This system is designed for them, to make their lives easier, but as with anything, it’s new and has a learning curve.  So visit the forums, ask for help, watch the videos as they come out, and along the way, make a great game!

Nodus can be purchased here

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Misc. News

Kitty Crawford (Blackstaff Games) Nominated for Women in Games Award 2017

Congratulations to our own Kitty Crawford in her nomination for the Women in Games Awards 2017, in the RISING STAR category!

The RISING STAR category recognises a leading up-and-coming talent working in the business/commercial side of the games industry. 

Kitty had this to say on her nomination: 

‘I’m delighted by this nomination and thrilled to be able to represent the Northern Irish industry at the event. The more local talent is recognised nationally and internationally the more awareness there will be of the great work happening here right now and that can only lead to great things.’

The awards will take place on Friday 19th May at the Cavendish Conference Centre, London.

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Misc. News

Hyper Spacetime Out Now on Itch.io

Hyper Spacetime

A crazy hard platform game that will test the player’s reflexes, patience and sanity. Players will have to make their way through a strange little world to unravel a bizarre story.

Players will have to jump between light and dark versions of the world, hop in and out of portals, flip gravity, dodge enemies and gather all the cubes if they want to fix reality.

‘Hyper Spacetime will come after you from the get go, but pushing through it and beating the challenges will give you a real sense of reward’ – Ben Leggett, The Machine Ltd director

Out now on Itch.io!

You can get your hands on Hyper Spacetime right now, only on Itch.io! Follow the link below and enjoy!

https://bdleggett.itch.io/hyper-spacetime

About the developer

Hyper Spacetime was developed by the Northern Irish company The Machine Lt. The Machine Ltd is made up of two people:

Ben Leggett – A game developer who loves retro games and has released numerous front-page featured games on large portals like Newgrounds and Itch.io.

Dara Flanagan – A music man with a background in audio-visual design and a love for indie games.

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Misc. News

Lifespeed from Wee Man Studios out now on Nintendo 3DS

Belfast based Wee Man Studios launched Lifespeed for the New Nintendo 3DS is out now. 

Lifespeed is the ultimate race for survival with players battling galactic opponents while flying at high speed through exciting tunnels. Lifespeed received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI.

One thousand years ago a Great War threatened to engulf the galaxy. The United Government was formed to stop the impending Armageddon. Now there is a new genocide called Lifespeed. Instead of war, disputes about resources and survival are settled on the track. Each rider is forced to compete for their planet’s survival and for the chance to become Archon. You are Cypher Reid the mysterious but enigmatic mercenary.

 

  • Play in story mode, try to keep your planet safe by staying alive and defeating the dreaded Huntar, the Archon’s loyal assassin.
  • Fly at extreme speeds down 8 different tracks in 4 worlds located across the galaxy
  • Battle against 9 other racers using your flying skills and a variety of weapons
  • Choose between 11 playable characters
  • Compete against Lifespeed racers across the world in online leader-boards
  • With 4 different difficulty levels from Rookie to Chosen One, this game is enjoyable for both casual and hard-core gamers
  • Available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish

 

Out now on the New Nintendo 3DS on Thursday 2nd February 2017 priced at £4.99, $5.99 and €5.99.

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Misc. News

Tranzfuser Opens today

Tranzfuser, the innovative new talent development programme from UK Games Talent and Finance CIC and funded by the UK government, launches today. 

Designed to provide a platform for creative leaders of the future, Tranzfuser is aimed at graduates looking to break into the games development industry, with a strong focus on getting their game to market. 

Lead applicants to Tranzfuser have an opportunity to project manage the teams that they form for the Tranzfuser journey and win funds from the UK Games Fund.

Successful applicants will be invited to develop their ideas into working prototypes over the summer in a competition that culminates in a nationally recognized showcase event.

Participants will have access to Regional Hubs and leading industry support where possible, providing the best knowledge-base and resources available across the UK. 

Graduates are invited to apply as:

 

  • Individuals looking to build their own team or
  • Individuals on behalf of their team 

Successful applicants will be awarded a £5,000 budget to allocate as they choose throughout the competition. At the showcase event in September 2016, selected teams will be invited to pitch for follow-on funding of up to £25k from the UK Games Fund to commercialise their game and launch a company.

 

“I’m delighted to have realised a long-time ambition of joining up early-stage talent recognition and showcasing with prototype funding” says Paul Durrant, pioneer and veteran of previously successful schemes in talent and funding “The way in which Tranzfuser will become a fresh talent pipeline for the UK Games Fund is a real first. Tranzfuser teams that win our funding will become the top tips for future success.”

 To find out more information or to apply visit the Tranzfuser website

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Misc. News

Uk Games Fund Briefing

Northern Ireland Screen will be hosting a briefing with Mike from UK Games Talent and Finance CIC (UKGTF) to discuss the UK Games Talent programme and the UK Games Fund on Thursday 24 March from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in The Mac, Belfast.   

UKGTF is a newly established community interest company that has been established to help develop the UK games development sector, particularly at the early stage. 

The UK Games Fund will provide grants up to £25,000 to help new games development businesses create working prototype games. 

Who should attend? 

Game development or animation students in their final year or who have recently graduated (up to two years) that are considering starting their own projects.  

Game producers, studio heads and developers that are thinking of applying to the UK Games Fund. 

Register via the Eventbrite link below or by visiting the Eventbrite page. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, please register early to avoid disappointment. 

For any further information please contact Donal@northernirelandscreen.co.uk

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ConceptNI game development seminar in Belfast

Northern Ireland Screen is hosting ConceptNI, a seminar that will shine a light on the creative and business aspects of game proposals, how developers and publishers evaluate early stage game concepts and how to make use of available platforms and services. The seminar will take place on Friday, 26th February, from 2pm to 6pm in The Factory at The Mac, Belfast.

We have a great list of speakers lined up who will be covering a wide range of topics.

Sessions will include:

1:30pm – 2:00pm – Registration, networking & refreshments

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Barry Meade – Fireproof games

3:00pm – 3:30pm – Colin Macdonald – All 4 Games

3:30pm – 3:45pm – Break

3:45pm – 4:15pm – Jamie O’ Flanagan – Gamesparks

4:15pm – 5:30pm – Working with Unity and Windows (speaker tbc)

Details subject to change.

Who should attend?

Game producers, studio heads and developers looking to take their content to market to find partners and promote their projects.

Students studying game development or animation may also find these sessions useful.

Secure your place now via Eventbrite (see below). Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, please RSVP early to avoid disappointment. Register now to secure your place.

Please let us know if you have any access or communication needs prior to attending this event and we will be happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that we can make to assist you.

For further information please contact Donal@northernirelandscreen.co.uk

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Misc. News

Microsoft and NI Screen launch Greenshoots Northern ireland programme

Northern Ireland Screen has today announced that it is partnering with Microsoft to deliver the Greenshoots Northern Ireland (NI) programme; a funding and technical support initiative for early stage start up game studios.

Greenshoots NI offers financial support of £20,000 each for 5 companies, to develop a game title for release on Xbox One, Windows PC and mobile platforms. With Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through Northern Ireland Screen, Greenshoots NI is open to all Limited companies based in Northern Ireland.

The Greenshoots NI programme will include a package of technical support and business expertise from Microsoft, Northern Ireland Screen and other industry partners which aims to support studios to develop new intellectual property (IP), reach a global audience and explore further export market opportunities. 

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “Working with Microsoft to bring Greenshoots to Northern Ireland is a great way for us to work directly with industry to help our local game developers reach their commercial and creative potential. Digital content is highlighted as a key priority in our latest strategy and we are committed to supporting the sector with funding and expertise, in order to create an ecosystem where the most innovative companies can flourish.” 

Michael Meagher, Partner Business Evangelist, Microsoft Ireland, said “Microsoft is delighted to support this great initiative. There is great talent and innovation in Northern Ireland and we are confident that the Greenshoots programme will help to foster and further encourage this talent. Gaming allows great creativity and we look forward to seeing the response to this great programme.”

Those interested in applying for the Greenshoots programme should visit the Northern Ireland Screen website