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Industry and Education


If it's related to the games industry or education, it goes in here!

Short Courses

does anyone know any good 3D short courses in Victoria.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 11/12/03 - 2:23 PMPermalink

Not really, but check through Digital Media World at your local newsagent and you should find a few advertised in there. No idea if they're good or not though [:)]

Advice on game idea publishing

This is a message sent to me through the Sumea feedback form. I have replied, but unforunately the email address supplied bounced back. I'm hoping Dug finds this thread and gets the advice he needs...

quote:I have a need to understand how to engage the game industry.

You may feel this is a bit of an odd request but here goes anyway......

My 9 year old daughter has just come up with an incredibly marketable idea for a traditional board game which is applicable to families and children from about 5 years old and upwards. She has already drawn up the first "version" - (a budding game developer??)

The idea is marketable to practically all children in the world and has a specific differentiator from all other games currently marketed.

There is a specific element related to the distribution channel of the game which also makes it particulary easy to market/sell.

In this day and age I expect the game could have an electronic, computer based version.

I need guidance on how one would engage particpants in your industry without the idea being simply taken and developed and marketed without some sort of editorial and financial control.

Can you or your members help?



Sounds like a promising idea. If you have any solutions or advice, please post it in here. My suggestion was that if he was in Melbourne, he could perhaps look into Film Victoria's Digital Media Fund Game Content Development....

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 08/12/03 - 11:28 PMPermalink

Best bet would be to fund, develop and market it through your own means... Government R&D grants, venture capital, business angels etc.
Unfortunately games publishers generally won't accept a game design on an idea alone and usually won't talk about specifics until an NDA is signed. Often you'll find there'll be a clause stating they might already be working on a very similar idea to yours.

Incubators and funding

Hi, about 2 years ago I remember reading an article on the Victorian government's game development plans. There was something about a game development incubator that they were putting some money towards.
Does anyone know what became of that?

Also interested in other incubators or possible sources of funding that I might be able to approach about a game I'm working on.



photos from the AGDC

hi all...

just wondering, who are the Sumeans in the first photo titled 'Sumeans' on Kevin Burfitts AGDC 2003 photo gallery?

hopefully i will get some money together and go to next years, so i can meet some of you!

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 26/11/03 - 9:40 AMPermalink

The first photo from left to right:

AndrewM (on chat he goes by Burga)
Daniel (not on forums but sometimes goes by Fred in chat)

The Gun Photo from left to right:

Submitted by J I Styles on Wed, 26/11/03 - 10:06 AMPermalink

I think that's gotta be one, if not the most worst pics of me ever - I think it's brilliant! [:D]

I swear we all look like primary school kiddies with those toys and looks of young excited rapture - even including mark in his business suit and stern look of concentration [:)]

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Wed, 26/11/03 - 11:03 AMPermalink

'I shot you'
'no you didn't'
'uh huh I did!!'
'nu uh!!'

Submitted by Aven on Thu, 27/11/03 - 3:58 AMPermalink

Hey J.I., how many 'hairs' were snagged just before that photo was taken? You look to be in a lot of pain.

Submitted by J I Styles on Thu, 27/11/03 - 7:19 AMPermalink


I don't know what's going on in that pic - I'm kind of sure it's just before I'm hit with a full magazine of nerf though [:)]

Jac's uploading her pics as I type this, which should have a few... err... "normal"(?) shots with me in it [:D]

Submitted by Aven on Thu, 27/11/03 - 6:52 PMPermalink

Awww. the links is done busted Jacana :( I guess I will just have to try it tonight when I get home from work.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 27/11/03 - 7:03 PMPermalink

Busted? Works fine for me.... hmmmm. Worked ok for others, too.

Maybe you just need to reboot? ;)

Submitted by Aven on Thu, 27/11/03 - 7:46 PMPermalink

Nah works good now. Yahoo must have just been doing.... something.... um yeah.

Ah you all look like a bunch of friendly guys and er gal. Just a quickie though. No photos of the big man himself (Souri)? And why the hell do you always look either in pain or so smug JI? Makes me laugh though.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 27/11/03 - 7:48 PMPermalink

Souri didn't come down to AGDC - thus no pictures.

And even if he were down I think all you'd get is a picture of a plastic bag over his head ;)

Submitted by J I Styles on Thu, 27/11/03 - 10:22 PMPermalink

in pain or smug... humm... well, I'm a very happy person so I've no idea [:)]

Camera's don't like me [:)]

Submitted by redwyre on Fri, 28/11/03 - 1:13 AMPermalink

Heh, and I don't like cameras :)

Luckily I have a +5 resistance against cameras!

Submitted by souri on Fri, 28/11/03 - 2:16 AMPermalink

Hey, that's pretty cool. [:)]

Reznor, did you go to the conference this year? Your article on your trip to the AGDC last year was the funniest and most entertaining article I've read in a long time, so I was hoping for a sequel [:)]

Submitted by Jacana on Fri, 28/11/03 - 2:48 AMPermalink

I have a picture of Redwyre trying to commit suicide with a nerf guy.....!

Submitted by rezn0r on Fri, 28/11/03 - 2:58 AMPermalink


Sadly I didn't go this year. Had I known you guys liked my article so much I would have asked you to "sponsor" me!


Submitted by redwyre on Fri, 28/11/03 - 3:06 AMPermalink

...and still the image is of bad quality and won't hold up in a court of law.

I think that's still a win!

Submitted by souri on Fri, 28/11/03 - 3:09 AMPermalink

That could've been possible actually if someone organised you a Sumea press pass! [:)]. Your article detailed the sessions you went to pretty well, and I'm sure did some good promo for the AGDC in return. Definately could have used you this year! What would be great if we could get two Sumean press passes next year for two people to cover the programmer and artists related sessions..

Submitted by Jacana on Fri, 28/11/03 - 3:15 AMPermalink

Sign me up Souri :) You know I said I would!

Joel and I will collaborate and write up something early next week - but to give rezn0r credit I am sure it will not be as funny!

Submitted by rezn0r on Fri, 28/11/03 - 3:18 AMPermalink


Consider me sumeas roving reporter from now on and give me those press passes!


Submitted by MoonUnit on Tue, 02/12/03 - 9:52 PMPermalink

id put up some pics but ive only got some of laura fryer and the latrobe theater from the last day thing. (i went as a writer for , so press pass)

Submitted by 5 Lives Studios on Mon, 08/12/03 - 3:08 AMPermalink

Hey I saw some of Zaphs pics and I've ben caught in the photo lens crossfire.

Only met one of you sumeans out there though[V]

Edge #131 (UK) - Transformers Armada

Transformers Armada in Edge #131, including the front and back covers, the inside cover and an eight page article with heaps of images.

Here's a shot of the cover, from the Edge publishers website:

Submitted by Aven on Tue, 25/11/03 - 8:24 PMPermalink

I will of course get it, but Armada is the worst version of Transformers :( Give me G1 any day :)

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Tue, 25/11/03 - 10:20 PMPermalink

This game looks so good, shame I dont have a ps2 otherwise I'd snap it up in a second. I can only hope it comes to GC or PC in the future.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 26/11/03 - 12:20 AMPermalink

Yeh, I did manage to catch one episode of Armada one Saturday morning, and I can understand why a lot of G1 transformer fans (who are all grown up now) hate it.. too flashy and pokemon like.

The games however - the G1 Transformers game made by developers in Japan has been written off as pretty darn crappy, while Melbourne House's Armada game was described as the best in Atari's line up of new games. [:)] Oh, and that magazine shot looks awesome! Optimus looks pretty gritty. He needs some turtle wax! [:)]

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 26/11/03 - 1:33 AMPermalink

Wow that's a great looking render, extremely realistic looking metal texturing :)

Sorry to go O/T here, but speaking of Edge magazine, does anyone know if the Edge 'Equip' magazines are available in Australia? The issue I'm after is 'The insiders Guide to the future of Xbox'. I emailed the publisher a few weeks ago but have unfortunately had no response... I've been told this issue features some of my work so I'm quite eager to get my hands on a copy.

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Wed, 26/11/03 - 2:04 AMPermalink

I've got it - it's pretty good. If you can get it in NZ, you'll be able to get it in Aussie.

Submitted by Aven on Wed, 26/11/03 - 2:06 AMPermalink

They had them all down here in Canberra. I only bought the PC one though as that was the only one i was interested. The Civic Bus Interchange newsagent also had the Arcade Edge issues, but they sold out VERY quick. It's just a pity that IDN isn't as easy to get here in Canberra :(

Submitted by souri on Wed, 26/11/03 - 2:31 AMPermalink

iDN = International Designers Network magazine?

Submitted by Aven on Wed, 26/11/03 - 3:08 AMPermalink

That be the one Souri. I have only found one newsagent in Canberra who stocks it and they only do so every 6 months or so. Although there isn't a lot to the mag, it is great for showcasing up and coming artists/companies.

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 26/11/03 - 4:54 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by JonathanKerr

I've got it - it's pretty good. If you can get it in NZ, you'll be able to get it in Aussie.

Cool, I'll have a hunt around for it then... has it been out long?

Submitted by souri on Thu, 27/11/03 - 3:02 PMPermalink

I used to buy IDN magazine regularly, but after purchasing so many issues and finding nothing I'd consider relevant or even remotely interesting, I stopped buying it. They do try to cover all aspects of design like print, motion graphics, fine art, web, photography, 3d, short film etc so if you're not interested in every aspect of design (and it's a very large scope), you'll tend to skip a lot of pages..

Also, since it tries to cover the entire asia pacific area, there's often overseas student profiles (doing the same typography collages and stuff that I used to do when I was a student), design conferences in Asia, profiles of designers in, say, Shanghai etc most of which I don't really find that interesting..

Being a print magazine, they'd be a month or more behind on software reviews, trial software on the cd's etc. I think the breaking point came when I bought an issue strictly for the cd, but they had put the content in directories with "/" and other odd characters.. I'm guessing they compiled the cd on macs, and I'm sure you could view it fine on them, but it was impossible to retrieve anything on the cd with a PC.. so anyway, I sent a complaint off to their email address, and they sent some small design booklet as a form of compensation..

and that's my little rant on why I don't buy IDN magazine anymore in this Transformers Armada thread.. [:)]

Submitted by souri on Thu, 27/11/03 - 3:15 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Fluffy CatFood

This game looks so good, shame I dont have a ps2 otherwise I'd snap it up in a second. I can only hope it comes to GC or PC in the future.

Actually, that's an interesting question. Why doesn't Atari Melbourne House do ports of their titles, like Grand Prix Challenge and especially a title as popular as Transformers Armada is, over to other formats (PC, Gamecube, Xbox) ??
I know it's a numbers game with a multitude more PS2 units out there, but hey, if there's money to be made on other formats..

Submitted by Aven on Thu, 27/11/03 - 6:48 PMPermalink

Thanks for your view on iDN Souri. I have to admit that I never had any problem with their CDs, except for the fact that the movies were always horibly compressed :( I guess that I like design in most of it's forms, so the idea of a new angle for every issue didn't really bother me.

I have never understood the reason for having 'PS2 only' or 'Xbox exclusive'. My original idea was that they wanted exclusive titles to sell more of their console, but then I wondered why? If what I have learnt over the years is corect, then all of these big companies actually lose money off selling consoles and try to make it up with software. That is the reason why piracy is such a big issue and why games cost so much. So wouldn't you want to release games on other systems to help make more money off a game? If Sony just signed up say another new Capcom game, wouldn't they want to just try to become a publisher for it (even though Capcom are their own publisher), and publish it on all systems known?

Now back to Armada. I will pick up that EDGE the next time i see it (like I pick up most of their issues :P), and have a lookie at it. I love a lot of the transformers designs in it, its just that the cartoon is arse (although it may become better soon with Unicron appearing :D), and the toys are utter junk. Poor kids cartoons nowadays. They always seem to get the shaft somehow.

AGDC and the aftermath

Just wanted to say hello to the people I met at AGDC from Sumea over the weekend. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to you guys more. Specifically Joel :). But it was good to put some faces to the names.

What did other people think? Any funny stories? Interesting encounters?

Anyway take it easy - till the next meet :)


Submitted by rgreen on Tue, 25/11/03 - 5:57 AMPermalink

Teach me not to read other posts.. Zaph bet me to it!

Submitted by J I Styles on Tue, 25/11/03 - 9:46 AMPermalink

Hey Rod, just got back home; what a weekend :)
It was good to meet you - pity we didn't get much of a chance to chat, but I definitely agree, it's good to put faces to names. As conveniant and practical the internet/phone/mail is, meeting people face-to-face reminds you how impersonal these forms of communication can sometimes be.

all-in-all, a great weekend! Time to sleep though... meet and greets no matter how fun are just so draining :)

AGDC 2003 Awards Results

Anyone have them?

Submitted by Gazunta on Tue, 25/11/03 - 5:23 AMPermalink

Krome won Career Achievement award :)

Submitted by Zaph on Tue, 25/11/03 - 5:25 AMPermalink

Andrew Heath won the StairMaster award [:D]

Submitted by Ash on Tue, 25/11/03 - 12:05 PMPermalink

Blue Tongue won about 4 or 5. The guy Andrew was sitting behind me, Cam, and Bron with his baby who had to keep going down to get them. (cam thought about stealing one of the 3ds max 6 boxes, heh heh).

Submitted by MITA Studios on Thu, 27/11/03 - 9:33 PMPermalink

Unsigned Games (Indie) Runner Up - X-Fire (Uni. of Ballarat)
Unsigned Games (Indie) Winner - Frost (AIE)

Also, well done to all those guys who developed games individually for the unsigned games indie (i.e. knockoff, and the guy who gave us the free monitor!) I think they deserve a mention too, shows a great deal of self discipline and determination. Also well done to those guys who developed games outside their uni/college courses.

Enjoyed chatting to most of the guys around the unsigned games comp, and also the Australian Idol stlyeee Pitchin' Indies, just where was Dicko?



Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 27/11/03 - 9:50 PMPermalink

Unsigned Games (Pro) Runner Up - Halfbrick (forgot the title guys)
Unsigned Games (Pro) Winner - Ash by White Noise

Also Infinite Interactive won one award - was that for best PC game or something?

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 27/11/03 - 11:47 PMPermalink

Halfbrick did "Fuzz and Rocket", and oldschool platformer which looked and played damn well and old-school...

Submitted by J I Styles on Thu, 27/11/03 - 11:53 PMPermalink

wanted to say that the guys at White noise have the coolest dev toys! I want to use that level editor damn it! [:D]

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 28/11/03 - 9:28 AMPermalink

Yeah, I didn't have that great a look at their stuff, although it seemed really cool...

I wish them luck tho, and it would be cool if they came onto sumea every now and again.

Submitted by Pantmonger on Fri, 28/11/03 - 6:37 PMPermalink

quote:Halfbrick did "Fuzz and Rocket", and oldschool platformer which looked and played damn well and old-school...

Glad to hear it was liked, that was the first time Malus and myself worked on sprites.


Submitted by galdab on Tue, 02/12/03 - 2:49 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Daemin

Yeah, I didn't have that great a look at their stuff, although it seemed really cool...

I wish them luck tho, and it would be cool if they came onto sumea every now and again.

I'm a bit of a lurker so don't say anything too nasty :) Cheers for the support guys.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 02/12/03 - 3:24 AMPermalink

The AGDC website hasn't been updated yet with the 2003 results (they usually take their time), so if anyone else would like to fill in the blanks for the meantime, please do! As you can see, [url=""]there's plenty to fill[/url]!

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 03/12/03 - 11:01 AMPermalink

I thought John de Margheritti (sp) won the career achievment award?? or was that for outstanding industry contribution award...
I hope i get these right
Best game for PC was warlords 4 (Infinite Interactive),
Best game for next gen consoles was Jurassic Park,
Best game of 2003 was top gear rally (tantalus)
Best GBA (surprise) top gear rally
Outstanding innovation, Bigworld Tech. (MicroForte)
Best audio jurassic park,

I have a feeling most of the rest of the awards went to blue tongue, but not sure :P
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by MoonUnit on Wed, 03/12/03 - 10:58 PMPermalink

im missing one or two names for awards won by individuals but...

Career Acheivement - Chrome studios - Robert Walsh

Oustanding innovation - micro forte - bigworld tech.

Outstanding industry contribution - Micro Forte

Best game of 2003 - Tantalus - Top Gear Rally (GBA)

Best PC Game - Infinite Interactive - Warlords 4

Best Next Gen. Console Game - Jurrassic Park Operation Genesis (JPOG)

Best GBA Game - Tantalus - Top Gear Rally

Best Game Audio - Blue Tounge Software - JPOG

Best Level Design - Blue Tounge Software - JPOG

Programming Exellence - ATARI Melbourne House - Mathew Jones

Outstanding visual arts - Blue Tounge - JPOG


=runner up=
Half brick - fuzz and rocket
White noise games - Ash


=runner up=
University of Ballarat - X Fire
AIE - Frost

phew, i know ive probably spelt some thrings wrong and missed a name here and there but that covers most of it, i was jotting it down on a notepad as they were being announced

yeah blue tounge totally stole the show, good on em! :P

Submitted by souri on Fri, 05/12/03 - 10:52 PMPermalink

Excellant! Thanks for that.. were there any winners in the categories of:

Award for Best Game Design
Award for Best Original Character Design
Award for Best New Start-Up

?? And can someone check that what [url=""] I have in the list is correct[/url]? Maybe I should just email Pon. I want to get another article up with responses from the award winners like last year!

AGDC 2003 - What did you think?

It's all over for another year, just wondering what people thought of AGDC 2003 (assuming you attended)

Which were the best talks ?
What should you do differently next year ?
Did you win anything in the raffle ?

Zaph [B)]

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 24/11/03 - 4:32 AMPermalink

Tell us what you thought Zaph...

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Mon, 24/11/03 - 6:26 AMPermalink

Well I only got to see the expo, and quite frankly I got bored quickly, although I really liked watching that fly-through of STALKER: Oblivion Lost. I actually could have seen the talks because no-one was watching the doors, but I just got tired and left.
If I go again next year, I'm Drinking before I get there.

Submitted by Zaph on Mon, 24/11/03 - 8:50 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Red 5

Tell us what you thought...


Ok, Personal opinions follow.
I won't comment on the expo because it really wasn't intended for someone like me. The unsigned game competition was good though, I enjoyed quite a few of the games.

Some of the talks I attended:

Hybrid Engines - Mixing C++ and Python to build efficient game engines.
This one scared me and everyone I talked to away from using Python in a game :-) A great talk that showed just how hard it really is, letting you weigh up the pro's and con's of doing it - I felt like the con's won.

Monkey Madness [B)] It seemed to work from my side of the microphone :-)

Iterative Process in Game Development (Ian Fischer, Keynote)
Wow... best talk I attended, I'm off to checking out more information about this - it is pretty similar to the way we currently work at AMH but I never realised it was a well documented and proven method of development, this talk will have the biggest effect on the way I work of all the talks I attended

Gender Inclusive Game Design
Excellent information about making games for both males and females (and non-gamers). Some obvious stuff, some interesting info I'd never heard, some contentious moral issues there too. This talk will have some impact on the way I work.

Creating AI that people want.
This was OK, nothing I didn't already know though so it's hard to judge. A few neat things mentioned in there though.

Our Gameplay is in another castle (Panel)
this one got the people going. A great audience participation argument/discussion of several related topics, showing how little we know about the industry that we work in at times, and how moral issues differ between people and countries. I don't know if anyone left 'changed' but at least people thought about the issues being talked about.

Mobile Games Overview: Whats new in business/tech/design
This was interesting, I have a personal interest in mobile games and it was interesting to see where things are going and where they have come from. The differences between the USA and the rest of the world were good to hear (USA is behind the rest of the world in general)

Aside from the talks I had a great time at the parties, and met quite a few Sumeans too!

Submitted by Makk on Mon, 24/11/03 - 9:02 AMPermalink

I think they needed more beer..........wait, I wasnt even there!

Submitted by Zaph on Mon, 24/11/03 - 9:08 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Red 5

quote:Originally posted by Red 5

Tell us what you thought Zaph... was it worth the $800-$900?

First, thats not a quote, you didn't ask that the first time. [:)] I'll assume that was an editing error and you weren't trying to make it look like I didn't answer it the first time.

Was it worth the money..? thats a very hard question to answer because sometimes the things you learn and the contacts you make are not able to be quantified and a dollar value put on them.

I didn't pay, my work paid for me - but I think it was worth it. I spent time talking with some very knowledgable people, attended a couple of talks that will easily be worth the money spent in the improvements they make to the way we work.
There were also a couple of sessions I wish I'd attended because they sounded very good from the people I spoke to.
I think it really depends on who you are and what you are trying to get out of it. If you are a senior programmer and you only attended the programming related talks then you'd be hearing stuff you already knew in many gases - but if you attended some design/process talks you'd have learnt a great deal. The same goes for artists/management - if you choose stuff that will broaden your knowledge then it can be invaluable. People who are new to the industry can get more out of it, but often they don't know where to look for it - a catch-22 situation.
The biggest value is always the people you meet and the contacts you make though.

Submitted by Zaph on Mon, 24/11/03 - 9:10 AMPermalink

Doh! Red5 deleted the post I was replying to :-)

Makk: There seemed to be plenty of booze at the Friday night party :-)

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Mon, 24/11/03 - 9:24 AMPermalink

I really wanted to go.. But was way out of my price range - Can't afford to spend close to $1.5k right now :(

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 24/11/03 - 8:25 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Zaph

Doh! Red5 deleted the post I was replying to :-)

Sorry about that Zaph, I thought it was a stupid question so I deleted it :) unfortunately just before you answered it.

Submitted by rgreen (not verified) on Tue, 25/11/03 - 8:24 AMPermalink

It was good fun, and DavidCoen deserves an award for the dancing he did on friday night, the mans a machine :D

Dave King did a great talk, really enthusiastic as usual, while Paul Steed seemed a bit out of it on the day. The best talk for my money was Bringing realism into games through studying life. He really made you look at it in a different way.

Submitted by smeg on Tue, 25/11/03 - 9:34 AMPermalink

I only really got a chance to read the confrence handbook after the event. I didn't have a chance to attend ANY sessions... i hope some transcripts surface (or similar) particularly some of those game design talks...

Good event. If you were there and NOT involved in the Queensland Government NERF battle, you missed out.


Submitted by J I Styles on Tue, 25/11/03 - 10:15 AMPermalink

Another year, another great event; apart from a few little niggles (hi-fi noise/smoke was especially annoying, but the night was still a lot of fun), my only regret is not being able to spend more time speaking with everyone. Met a lot of great people, and came away with a lot more of that elusive knowledge you don't get from books than when I went in [:)]

AGDC is very much about the people - the panels/sessions may give you things to take home and think about, but the people you meet, and the contacts you make are invaluable.

I missed your monkeys, but it was good to meet you Kevin :)

Submitted by davidcoen on Tue, 25/11/03 - 11:58 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Afro

It was good fun, and DavidCoen deserves an award for the dancing he did on friday night

well, after mistaking the guy who owned the pub we where in for Zaph (which took a few minutes of talking to him to figure out) and getting tired of talking to people over the loud music, getting some basic dancing practic in seemed like a good idea :) (forward basic, back basic, crossover, repeat) (getting involved in a fight in the nightclub we went to after the pub was less of a good idea though) the jumping castle boxing ring rocked, though have been in programming mode for the last month an not exercising/eating so could only last a few minutes....

the talks where interesting, but found it easier to talk to individuals last year (cough, got distracted by nividia stand 'bridgelt' demo, very evil and it works on my machine :) wanted to talk to microforte and perception people, but didn't suceed in hunting down any perception people down. (did managed to do a good 'shock and awe' portfolio demo to the microforte people though :) but then again i tend to be quite motivated after getting rejected in jobinterviews (tell me my textures are no good? well, cop this, hehehhe)

don't know if it would be a good idea to introduce a few talks on bridging the gap of tech and art (seems the general lack of teck skills in artist worries me~ less certain how to help artist by understanding art though~ even just some art tricks like having a frame of black to 'clean up' video cuts or postulating on how artist think...)

will definatly need to put one or more of the small project that i'm involved on on the 'unsigned games' ~ was not that impressed by frost, and the fighting game i am programming/creating content for is dangerously close to be better than it (got multiple characters working today, and fixed the 'fade manager' and a few other bugs. argh, had i just started it a month earlier (pardon complete lack of modesty, it is my defence agains self doubt)


Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 25/11/03 - 8:02 PMPermalink

Generally I thought that the attendance was down on last years conference, because the rooms seemed less packed. The giveaways by ATI and NVIDIA were good of course, even though I didn't manage to score a video card :~(

Yeah, David Coen gets the "dancing" award, however earlier in the night Blitz got the "wiping" award for his go on the Eye-toy window wiping game. And the party was alright because of the large amount of free alcohol that could be consumed, although the music was to loud, the speakers couldn't handle it that well.

Overall the talks were alright, the shader talks by both NVIDIA and ATI were good and very informative, Zaph's Monkey talk was entertaining, interesting, and I await the sequel next year ;-) I missed the starting bit of the hybrid engines talk, but it from my previous chats with people here and that talk I have to say that using hybrid engines is good for (a) tools and (b) game prototyping. The starting keynote by De Margharetti was good for being made probably in hurry, and the other three keynotes were also interesting and well worth it. The talks by intel were also good but not that many developers attended them, however I did learn not to be afraid of software processing in DirectX as a result.

But probably the best thing about attending the conference is the chat / speech that John De Margharetti gave us (Blitz and I plus some other guy) after the conference finished on sunday, and the gatecrashing that we did on monday after the conference. So if nothing else we got some good contacts and ideas out of the conference.

(Thanks Zaph :-)

Submitted by Aven on Tue, 25/11/03 - 8:14 PMPermalink

Sounded like you all had a great time there. Would have been fun to go. Please tell me that someone had a digi cam and took photos of all you guys acting like dicks :D

Also what happened to Jacana? Haven't seen her on here since the AGDC. Did she end up falling in the river or something?

Submitted by J I Styles on Tue, 25/11/03 - 8:29 PMPermalink

Jac' will be flying back home this afternoon today (Tuesday). Many photos where taken, and... a few may be shared if they're not too incriminating [;)]

People are still getting settled and rested after the event (myself included), so expect a bit more activity to come out over the next 2 or so days.

Submitted by redwyre on Tue, 25/11/03 - 11:45 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Zaph
Hybrid Engines - Mixing C++ and Python to build efficient game engines.
This one scared me and everyone I talked to away from using Python in a game :-) A great talk that showed just how hard it really is, letting you weigh up the pro's and con's of doing it - I felt like the con's won.

What other scripting language are you comparing it to? I've used Lua in my own stuff, and what he showed looks so nice and simple that I'm going to trash all my Lua interface code in favour of python!

for "Iterative Process in Game Development" and "Gender Inclusive Game Design", I have to agree with you Zaph, they were very good. The overall quality of the talks was good, although a few could have been better prepared.

I know I'll be comming again next year if I can :)

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Wed, 26/11/03 - 2:07 AMPermalink

Any one go to Sidhes 'starting your own business' talk? What was it like?

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 26/11/03 - 2:52 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by redwyre

quote:Originally posted by Zaph
Hybrid Engines - Mixing C++ and Python to build efficient game engines.
This one scared me and everyone I talked to away from using Python in a game :-) A great talk that showed just how hard it really is, letting you weigh up the pro's and con's of doing it - I felt like the con's won.

What other scripting language are you comparing it to? I've used Lua in my own stuff, and what he showed looks so nice and simple that I'm going to trash all my Lua interface code in favour of python!

for "Iterative Process in Game Development" and "Gender Inclusive Game Design", I have to agree with you Zaph, they were very good. The overall quality of the talks was good, although a few could have been better prepared.

I know I'll be comming again next year if I can :)

Submitted by Ninja on Wed, 26/11/03 - 6:44 AMPermalink

AGDC was great got to meet a lot of interesting people except u zaph [:(] Just like to thank Jacana for organizing blue train dinner [:)] hehehe there are so many programmers there it was unbeleivable !!! it seemed like artists were a dying breed... as far as i can recall it was me, the great joel styles and david coen that were artists from sumea..... i didnt get to meet smeg as well and anyone else i missed out[:(]

we had a lot of fun. [:D]

chris.. [:)]

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 26/11/03 - 6:47 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Ninja

AGDC was great got to meet a lot of interesting people except u zaph [:(]

I'm not interesting ?

oh, you mean you didn't get to meet me... or at least thats what I hope you meant [?]

Submitted by souri on Wed, 26/11/03 - 6:55 AMPermalink

Ahh.. it looks like the lady is a cardboard cut out as well [:)].. from the smaller picture, it looks like a real person. Zaph - the company paid your entry in to the AGDC? I thought speakers get a free pass?

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 26/11/03 - 7:03 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri

Ahh.. it looks like the lady is a cardboard cut out as well [:)].. from the smaller picture, it looks like a real person. Zaph - the company paid your entry in to the AGDC? I thought speakers get a free pass?

Ah, yeah, you are right - I got a free pass - free is free and I didn't really think about where it came from :-)

Submitted by Aven on Wed, 26/11/03 - 9:01 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Zaph

quote:Originally posted by Souri

What's that lady doing to that [url="…"]cardboard cut out[/url]!

Here's a 1:1 piece of the original image - does anyone recognise her ? [url="…"]creepy kiss[/url]! [:X]

Mu...Mum? What the hell is she doing there?

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 26/11/03 - 9:37 AMPermalink


I managed to make it back and in one piece - sorta *grin* Had a quick peek at the photos, talked a bit with Souri about the meeting etc...

Once I get some sleep and catch up on life I'll actually get something more worthwhile to say!

Love the pics Zaph - somehow I think I will never become a poster child for Women against Violence....

Submitted by davidcoen on Wed, 26/11/03 - 10:37 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by JonathanKerr

Any one go to Sidhes 'starting your own business' talk? What was it like?

i found it interesting, though i was starting to get some strange looks from people who knew i was an 'artist'

summary of Sidhes talk;- to plan ahead to the next projects, as it is easy for a company to die between projects.
;-have backup systems inplace, and use them
;-be flexible, show appreciation to employees
;-be prepaired to deal with employees that download 3gig of porn on company bandwidth

Tantalus Announces 3 Hit Holiday Titles

Tantalus Interactive today confirmed the release of three new titles, rounding out a stellar year for the company. Tantalus CEO Tom Crago chose the opening day of the annual Australian Game Developer?s Conference (AGDC) in Melbourne to make the announcement.

?Gamers will be well aware of all of these titles, but with the occasion of the AGDC it?s fitting to set these releases within the context of the Australian game development community,? Crago said. ?As an industry here we?ve gathered a lot of momentum in recent years, and at Tantalus we?re very proud of the contribution we?ve been able to make.?

The three Tantalus titles to hit the shelves this holidays are Unreal 2 on X-Box, Top Gear Rally on Game Boy Advance, and Monster Truck Madness, also on Game Boy Advance. Unreal 2, set for release late in 2003, will become the first ever online console game to be released by an Australian developer.

The game is based upon Legend Entertainment?s highly lauded PC title, and has been developed by Tantalus in collaboration with Legend, Epic Games, and publisher Atari. The game is one of the most highly anticipated console shooters of the year, and comes loaded with an all new teamoriented multiplayer mode, supported through X-Box Live.

Monster Truck Madness on Game Boy Advance enjoyed a recent high profile release courtesy of publisher THQ. Described by Game Spot as ?an arcade racing fan?s dream,? the game set a new graphical benchmark on the GBA.

That mark was promptly blown away by the release of the latest Tantalus GBA title, Top Gear Rally. In a first for an Australian developer, Top Gear Rally has been published worldwide by Nintendo. The game has been praised as the greatest ever handheld racer. GamePro called it ?the perfect racing game for the GBA.?

The release of these three titles sees Tantalus firmly ensconced at the forefront of game development in Australia, and as possibly the world?s leading developer for Nintendo?s Game Boy Advance. The recent announcement of a new multi-title development deal with THQ sees the company well placed to deliver more hit titles in 2004.

For information, screen shots, movies and more from all three titles, visit

* Note: ?Top Gear Rally? is known as ?TG Rally? in Australia and Europe.

Australian Animals in Games

Probably not much discussion forseable for this, but I thought I'd mention it. Any of you realised how popular Australian animals are in games? I'll probably make an article on it later on.. The stories that revolve around these characters are interesting.

Ty - Tasmanian Tiger, by Krome of course
Knuckles - Achidna (You might know him from Sonic the hedgehog)
Crash Bandicoot
Croc 1 & 2 - Crocodile (mostly found in Australia)
[url=""]Kao the Kangaroo[/url] 1 & 2 - Kangaroo, complete with boxing gloves
Tas - Tasmanian Devil, the Warber Bros cartoon character
Jak and Daxter - Daxter is some kind of marsupial

Anyone know any more?

Submitted by Kane on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:14 AMPermalink


a lot of sea critters in Finding Nemo are Australian!
could Slippy from Starfox be a Green Tree Frog?

Submitted by Kane on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:22 AMPermalink

the Kremlings (from the Donkey Kong Country series) of course are crocodiles and lizards...i think

Submitted by CombatWombat on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:58 AMPermalink

That's just silly using australian animal names in games!

Oh, wait a minute [;)]

Submitted by J I Styles on Tue, 18/11/03 - 2:25 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by CombatWombat

That's just silly using australian animal names in games!

Oh, wait a minute [;)]

So says the aggressively attacking stocky burrowing marsupial? [;)]

quote:Kao the Kangaroo 1 & 2 - Kangaroo, complete with boxing gloves

What suprised me to begin with, was that Krome wasn't developing it - but what -really- suprised me was it's being developed by a polish studio, Tate Interactive.

Submitted by Aven on Tue, 18/11/03 - 7:49 AMPermalink

Don't know if it counts, but Quake Rally had the final level where you had to kill lots of Duke Nukems and even a kangaroo.

Submitted by Major Clod on Tue, 18/11/03 - 10:22 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Aven

Don't know if it counts, but Quake Rally had the final level where you had to kill lots of Duke Nukems and even a kangaroo.

Ahh, memories!

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:00 PMPermalink

I'd hardly say that crocodiles and lizards are 'Australian' animals. They exist in Australia but not exclusively. Obviously.

Submitted by Kane on Tue, 18/11/03 - 7:56 PMPermalink

well, at least they had a moment there in the spotlight

MP Wants Ban on Project Gotham Racing 2

State Labor MP Paul Gibson, chairman of the Staysafe Committee, is taking action against the racing title "Project Gotham Racing 2" (due for release in 2 weeks), particularly since it contains a racing level which has Sydney as a track...

quote:"This game sends the wrong message to young people. It is actually glorifying speed and power," Mr Gibson said. "It is clearly an inappropriate depiction of speed behaviour. If I had my way I would ban it...

It's better to be safe than sorry.

Games like this and things like car-surfing in film clips and in movies are undoing a lot of the effort authorities are putting into road safety."

Paul Gibson intends to take the matter up with the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

This has got to be the most absurd knee-jerk reaction I've seen in a long time!! PGR2 is as harmless as they come for a racing game, but this MP wants it banned because it "glorifies speed and power" ?! With that warped view, ALL forms of racing games are evil... even Mario Kart :) It'd be a sad precedent if this MP actually manages to affect the rating of this title or even get it banned..

But hey, "It's better to be safe than sorry." !! [;)]

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Tue, 18/11/03 - 12:26 AMPermalink

Yet another moron politician unwittingly giving free publicity to a game.

It'll sell twice as many copies now.

Submitted by Red 5 on Tue, 18/11/03 - 12:34 AMPermalink

The sad thing is, these politicians have absolutely no statistcs to base their beliefs on, they don't have a clue about the target market for games or know the motivation behind the people who buy them... they simply want to make a name for themselves.

I wonder why he hasn't gone for Need for Speed Underground, (which is due around the same time as PGR2) and deals with illegal street racing, shit he might as well just say 'let's ban all games that permit the player to drive faster than our road laws allow'
The thing that baffles me is why he hasn't targeted the movie industry as well and tried to have movies like 'The fast and the furious' and it's sequel banned...

Submitted by Brain on Tue, 18/11/03 - 12:43 AMPermalink

"This game sends the wrong message to young people"

Yeah, to people who aren't old enough to drive. @:-)

"The thing that baffles me is why he hasn't targeted the movie industry as well and tried to have movies like 'The fast and the furious' and it's sequel banned..."

Cuz they weren't on Sydney streets. Maybe he should boycott Mission Impossible 2. It was based in Australia. Mad Max aswell.

We should send him a copy of Postal 2. Just for kicks.

Submitted by CombatWombat on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:07 AMPermalink

Yay, yet another MP who doesn't understand the distinction between reality and fantasy :-(

But even assuming for a moment that reality and fantasy are the same, games are hardly the biggest contributer to the glorification of speed and power in australian culture. For example, the glorification of speed and power in advertising cars.

I think he's honestly trying to address some real problems in our society (rather than making a name for himself), but he's just having issues convincing his stem cells to turn themselves into neurons [;)]

Submitted by souri on Tue, 18/11/03 - 1:26 AMPermalink

"Games like this and things like car-surfing in film clips and in movies are undoing a lot of the effort authorities are putting into road safety"

The only movie I recall that had any kind of car surfing in it was Teen Wolf, which is from almost two decades ago! And that's not something I'd really want to admit to seeing in a public forum either [;)] But seriously, racing games (along with platform games) are really one of those really harmless genres where you don't see any blood or casualties, so it seems such a stretch that they would pull their 'bad influence' tag it. It's just absurd! As absurd as Mario encouraging young kids to headbutt brick walls and eat mushrooms (like what Malus jokingly said earlier somewhere). I guess they're tired of going after the Grand Theft Auto's and other FPS's.. if they had it their way, all we'd have left to play is Tetris and Pong!

Submitted by J I Styles on Tue, 18/11/03 - 2:10 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri
if they had it their way, all we'd have left to play is Tetris and Pong!

And encourage a generation of youths to pursue brick-laying and international tabble tennis careers? Well I'm afraid that clashes with our international image of being intelligent, tech savvy, go-getter, underdog, Aussie battlers - so they'd also have to go. Sorry.

Submitted by Malus on Tue, 18/11/03 - 5:56 AMPermalink

Maybe we should make a game that has you play as a politician, you could get caught doing insider trading, spend a few weeks in the minimum security "hilton" prison then write your biography and retire to say..Monaco or Paris. [:P]

Why is it that they think games are evil because 1 out of every 600 million people think quake is real life and strap a rocket launcher to there neighbours cat?

Maybe if we make gaming an organised religion we'd get cut some slack, I mean certain religions have been responsible for millions of deaths over their history and they tend to have an unhealthy fondness for children but hey they mean well so they get a second chance..err is that 3rd I've lost count, how many kids make it a crime again?!.

Oh and vilonce on TV/film is fine btw, because its not interactive..meh, kill Bill is some much better for kids than Mario. >:|

Submitted by Aven on Tue, 18/11/03 - 7:54 AMPermalink

I own PGR1, and unless I have missed the point entirely, I thought that they rewarded you for safe driving. That means that if you crash, you can fail all out. Maybe if the moron actually played it instead of seeing it he may know.

I would be more inclined to ban Fast And The Furious just so that it doesn't turn the viewers of it into brain dead rice rocket driving idiots :P

Meh. He'll get shot down in a flaming ball of wankerage. Like he deserves :D

Submitted by Blitz on Tue, 18/11/03 - 9:56 AMPermalink

Perhaps they should ban races, car expo's (for lack of a better word, summerNats etc.), magazines that tell you how to increase your cars engine power etc., tv shows about racing and cars, ban the sale of turbo chargers, blowers and bonnet scoops and ban the sale of any car that can achieve speeds above the speed limit.
THEN think about banning games that depict car racing.
It's really very similar to people who complain about games causing people to go out and shoot other people. If the guns weren't available in the first place it just couldn't happen. If fast cars are not available then people couldn't race either!!!
Of course it's easioer to find a scape goat in games than to take away my shiny new BMW.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Happy Camper on Tue, 18/11/03 - 11:07 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Malus

Why is it that they think games are evil because 1 out of every 600 million people think quake is real life and strap a rocket launcher to there neighbours cat?

So thats what happened to my cat...

quote:Originally posted by Aven

I would be more inclined to ban Fast And The Furious just so that it doesn't turn the viewers of it into brain dead rice rocket driving idiots :P

Screw you Aven[:p]. I'm not brain dead.

Submitted by Aven on Wed, 19/11/03 - 5:26 AMPermalink

You should be :D I couldn't even sit down and watch number 1, let alone number 2. I meant that comment based on the 'story'. Er there actually was one. Right?.....

Each to their own though :D

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 19/11/03 - 7:53 AMPermalink

Well this story seems to have made it to practically every gaming news site on the web... I wonder if Mr. Paul Gibson had any idea he'd be aiding the publicity of PGR2 when he made his comments, second thoughts he probably (secretly) works for the PR dept at MS ;-)

Submitted by Maitrek on Wed, 19/11/03 - 12:26 PMPermalink

I have a feeling I won't be getting a response to my email to that guy.

Being a motorsport fan, and a sometimes rally competitor, it pisses me off to no end when a politician claims that everyone is at least as stupid as they are and promotes the most fucking retarded solution to the problem that even an 80 y.o. alzheimers sufferer on meth could better.

Submitted by Makk on Mon, 24/11/03 - 9:07 AMPermalink

oh dear........I mean really, what an idiot.

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 24/11/03 - 8:18 PMPermalink

He obviously hasn't gotten his way... Australian EB stores already have it on sale a week early.

Micro Forte planning on MMOG's for Mobile Phones!

From the job details Micro Forte posted for a [url=""]Lead Game Programmer[/url], you get a glimpse on what Micro Forte are planning in the future..

quote:Micro Forte is a world leader in the creation of massively multiplayer games, working with Microsoft to create the first ever MMOG on Xbox. The company is now looking to extend this expertise into the wireless space and become one of the first and best creators of massively multiplayer mobile phone games. Developers who are bored with the relentless grind of three year development schedules will welcome the chance to work on a new game every three months. Reduced costs offer the chance to create truly innovative games in a completely new area.

MMOG's on mobile phones! Is it practical? Will mobile phone calls ever be cheap enough so that you could spend hours and hours of play on them? (if it were, then I think internet browsing on mobiles would really take off).. The payment scheme might hurt - a monthly charge, and on top of that, a hefty phone bill? :) Actually, will mobile phone batteries last for hours and hours of gameplay?! And a new game every three months!!

Submitted by davidcoen on Sat, 15/11/03 - 11:13 PMPermalink

thought this was already quite sucessfull in japan, where moblie phone internet access is way easier/cheaper than phone internet access (they stuffed up there telecomunication infulstructure...) but yeah, might be practicle, but in australia at least, even with 3d it would be a bit expencive.... but people seem to like to play phone games on the train at least...

Submitted by Blitz on Sat, 15/11/03 - 11:14 PMPermalink

There was a news article about this about a month or so ago, which i could have sworn i got from this site...
But anyway, afaik the main idea is that the mobile phone bits would only be used for simple things like buying/trading items and stuff, you wouldn't really actively wander around the world or anything. Not yet anyway :P
CYer, Blitz
PS. I thought the most interesting thing about those job ads was that in the 3D modeler ad, they refer to the upcoming MMOG as 'Citizen Zero' for the first time in quite a while from what i know. A good-ish sign perhaps :P


Yo guys,

Could you tell me about AGDC, could you provide the info on were it is, (time and stuff like that), also do i need any requirments like ticket or projects stuff like that.
Thankaz for your time.

PS: sign up and get a free pc game, i got mine yesterday, also Commados3 game moive is on the disk, looks so fucken good.

going to the agdc?

Hey anyone here going to the agdc?

I'm going to be going from sydney, and was wondering if anyone else is driving down?

Mobile Entertainment Site Launch:

Hi all,

Just for all those interested in learning more about Mobile Entertainment Development/Industry or Market around the APAC region, I have just launched my site [url][/url].

At the moment there's a few interesting interviews I took with some mobile gaming friends from Tokyo (Sega, Namco, and more). More interviews from other regional people to follow.

I've got a forum up and running, needs a bit of a kick start so feel free to post some topics. If anyone is interested in anything to do with Mobile Games development/distribution etc. Just give me a buzz.

-Alex Young /

Sony AGDC2003 interview questions

Jacana's got a great opportunity to interview [url="…"]Phil Harrisson[/url] at the AGDC for Sumea!! Phil is Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe..

If you have any questions you're dying to know from Sony (general or developer related), please post them here, and I'm sure Jacana will put it on her list!

It would be nice to have a range of questions which would be otherwise pretty hard to find answers for elsewhere [:)]

Submitted by CombatWombat on Wed, 12/11/03 - 5:28 AMPermalink

Some opening questions:

Tell us about your first computer
What's your favourite game/genre?
Have you ever thought about buying an x-box? ;->

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 12/11/03 - 9:17 AMPermalink

FYI - Here is the bio I was sent by Sony on Phil Harrison.


Phil Harrison, Executive Vice President, Development

Phil Harrison brings more than 15 years of video game industry experience to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
After 4 years in the US as Vice President, 3rd Party and R&D for Sony Computer Entertainment America, Harrison returned to Europe in November 2000 to head up SCEE?s development organisation. He is responsible for the 5 internal studios and the international network of external developers creating PlayStation and PlayStation 2 products for SCEE. In addition, Harrison is leading the organisation through change as we enter into the broadband network era.
As Vice President, 3rd Party and R&D for SCEA, Harrison was responsible for the day-to-day management of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.?s extensive third party program ? licensee relations, product planning and strategic relationships. He was also responsible for establishing and running the R&D department that is researching advanced software technologies in the fields of graphics rendering, AI and digital media interfaces.
Prior to this position, Harrison was a director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, based in London and a member of the senior management team that launched PlayStation to the European market in 1995.
Mr. Harrison began his tenure with Sony in 1992 as director, product development, Sony Electronic Publishing Ltd. and the first European-based employee. In 1993 he was assigned to start the PlayStation third party and software development division for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, based in London.
Prior to Sony, Mr. Harrison served as head of product development, Mindscape International Ltd. from 1989-1992. He had started his own company in 1986, acting as a consultant for various software developers and publishers in the United Kingdom.

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 12/11/03 - 9:20 AMPermalink


Taken from an earlier discussion with Souri I had about questions -

[14:39] I thought maybe questions about the psp would be useful
[14:39] what sort of games/market they are targeting for
[14:39] yeh, for sure!
[14:39] plans to port games vs new content for it
[14:39] maybe get into what sony europe does exactly
[14:40] and ask a bit about his background :)
[14:40] about the psp -
[14:41] also I just figured - let him know that hes got a better idea of how interviews work then I do and if theres anything in particular he wants to talk about to go for it :)
[14:41] one of the things - I hope you dont mind - that I am kinda keen to ask about
[14:42] is gender issues taken into account with development on ps games
[14:42] becuase a lot of the games tend to not focus on gender
[14:42] thus have a more mass market appeal

Also if their dept is doing R&D on new techs may be worth asking what areas they are looking at at the moment.

My question of choice would be - How many beers will it take you to ride the bull at the party? (theres a mechanical bull at the friday night party)


Just an idea here...

I realise quite a few people on the list are not going to make it to AGDC this year but still have questions they'd like to ask the attending speakers...

I thought if people wanted to post questions and the guests they want to have answer the questions I could track them down during AGDC and see what I can get answered :)

I though it would be a fun Sumea article to put up post AGDC.

Sumea's Recommended AGDC 2003 sessions!

[url=""]The AGDC is on in about 3 weeks[/url]!! This is a list of Sumea Schedule Recommendations, and so are worth pushing each other over to get in to [;)]. This list is geared towards artists, btw! If someone wants to post a programmer schedule, go nuts!

The Artists Schedule!

Friday 21 November 2003

[B]1100 hours[/B] Art and Development Dave Campbell & David King, Discreet Session Chair: Paul Steed, Microsoft - Xbox Evolve to the next Level*
[I]Paul Steed is the man![/I]

[B]1300 hours[/B] General Design Steve Fawkner, Infinite Interactive 20 Things I have Learned in 20 Years of Creating Games

Saturday 22 November 2003

[B]1030 hours[/B] Art and Development* Paul Steed, Microsoft - Xbox Building a Digital Goddess*
[I]It's Paul Steed again![/I]

[B]1135 hours[/B] Education Facilitator: Ross Symons (Bullant Studios) Panelists: Chen-Po Sun (University of Melbourne), Matthew Riggall (University of Melbourne), Adam Matera (Qantm) & Cheryl Kiraly (Academy of Interactive Entertainment)
[I]You have to visit this one! This was organised by Jacana, and has some Sumean regulars onboard![/I]

[B]1135 hours[/B] Art and Development* Aladar Apponyi (Micro Fort�) & Jason Morris (Micro Fort�) 3D Trickery - from Polygon to Texture *

[B]1335 hours[/B] Art and Development* Mike Hollands, Act 3 Animation The Future of Game Cinematics. Pre-Rendered Versus In-Game.*

[B]1440 hours[/B] Art and Development* Mark Terrano, Microsoft - Xbox Lessons from Life: Designing More Immersive Games*

[B]1730 hours[/B] PlayStation 2 Cocktail Party

Sunday 23 November 2003

[B]1030 hours[/B] Art and Development* John Sheils, Sidhe Interactive Cheap Tricks and Graphics Hacks to Improve Productivity*

[B]1135 hours[/B] Keynote Laura Fryer - Director Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Microsoft - Xbox Nowhere But Up: Life and the Future of Videogames

[B]1235 hours[/B] Award Presentation - Australian Game Developer (AGD) Awards Ceremony

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Tue, 04/11/03 - 1:38 AMPermalink

You know, someone does a '10/20 things I learned about game design' every year and every year it's just about got the same material. Although, I did always enjoy Mark Morrison's talks -- he's a good speaker and keeps his audiences attention.

Submitted by smeg on Tue, 04/11/03 - 7:51 AMPermalink

quote:Building a Digital Goddess*

*snort* Thats the only thing Paul Steed ever does...

Submitted by Malus on Tue, 04/11/03 - 8:52 PMPermalink

Steed has a lot to answer for, damn big breasted women with chunky boots!! argh!! The industry is now flooded with them.

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 05/11/03 - 12:29 AMPermalink

Ahh well, I hope to catch him sometime so he can sign my friends book...

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Fri, 14/11/03 - 1:07 AMPermalink

What's gonna happen with Seamus Blackley's KEYNOTE speech now?

From Gamasutra:

quote:November 12, 2003

Xbox Creator?s Company Disbanded
Capital Entertainment Group, the production company established by Xbox founders Seamus Blackley and Kevin Bachus, along with Eugene Mauro and J. Mark Hood, has disbanded.

Intended to act as a middleman between publishers and developers, the company closed its doors after failing to raise enough money to keep operations running.

Keeping the Dream Alive? Not so sure about that.


i'm planning or rather hoping to become an animator, like in cartoons and to work for a studio like that of disney in Sydney. i'm not to big on games and stuff but i'd like to make movies or feature films or whatever u call em. problem is i don't know how to get started. i'm a year out of high school and i don't know what to start studying, weather to do graphic design or some relevent course at tafe or if i'm supposed to go to an actual school that specializes in animation and that sort of stuff. i was born here but i was living overseas while in highschool, finaly came back last year but am completely clueless as to where to go from here. at this point i'm so desperate i'd sell my soul for a little help or directions to someone who could advise me.
p.s. i live shellharbour so something around wollongong or maybe sydney would be good.

Submitted by Aven on Wed, 22/10/03 - 4:41 AMPermalink

there are multiple schools that teach 3D animation for the film industry. the only problem is that they are VERY expensive. this is mainly due to the fact that you would most probably be using Maya (maybe 3DS Max though), and a liscence to it is not cheap. put i decent computer system on top of that and then the price of an artist who would usually earn 60k+ a year for teaching and you are looking at a lot of money. i haven't looked in a while, but NSW tafe did have a course that was worth 16k a year, and it was a two year course. most places are that price. the AIE in Canberra was quite a bit cheaper than most schools, but their prices are going up to match others. plus it may not be good for you as it is in Canberra. i know this probably doesn't help you a great deal, but it is a bit of a start. just have a look around internet search engines though, and see what schools are around.

Submitted by kingofdaveness on Wed, 22/10/03 - 9:45 AMPermalink

Hmmm selling a soul huh? I have some people who can help you (evil grin).

If your really into working at large studios like Disney bear in mind that the work is very tedious and repetative for the first few years. I have lots of ex-disney friends who did their time and moved on. Take a look at other studios while your at it... one thing Australia has a lot of is small animation outfits!

While your thinking over which courses you want to do, make sure your studying drawing skills now. RIGHT NOW!!! Go get some life drawing classes and really get stuck into them... life drawing is the key to learning all animation skills. Its not just drawing people... its learning how to look properly. Anyway dude, hope it works out for ya.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 23/10/03 - 9:15 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by baba-ghranouge

i don't know what to start studying, weather to do graphic design or some relevent course at tafe or if i'm supposed to go to an actual school that specializes in animation and that sort of stuff.

If you're planning to do animation, don't do a graphic design course. You'll probably only get one subject on animation in one semester, and that'll be it. Graphic Design is a mish mash of different subjects (real life drawing, typography, photography, multimedia etc), most of which you barely touch the surface of. A graphic design course is a good course to do if you want to be a graphic designer.

Fuzzyeyes Studio - Anyone with Information?

Hi guys,

I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about Fuzzyeyes Studio, the game dev company in Brisbane. I'm going for an interview there this week and was hoping to get some more background information before the interview.



Submitted by souri on Thu, 30/10/03 - 12:11 AMPermalink

(I could've sworn I posted a reply to this before).. How did your interview go? I don't know much about Fuzzy apart from the press release that was sent to me, but if you have any information on them, feel free to post it [:)]

Submitted by Aven on Thu, 30/10/03 - 8:16 AMPermalink

you did post it before Souri. i read it last night. i think that a post from the gaming lawsuit post is missing as well.

Submitted by Major Clod (not verified) on Thu, 30/10/03 - 7:51 PMPermalink

Hi Souri,

Yeah, I got an email last night saying you had posted, but nothing was there [:)].

The interview went well. I have a follow up interview soon, so hopefully that will go well also. All I could find was what is on their website and that they are a part of the GDAA. I'm really hoping I can get the job as the projects they are working on sound great.


Submitted by souri on Fri, 14/11/03 - 10:03 AMPermalink

Hey, congrats on getting the job at Fuzzyeyes [:)]

Submitted by jacobt (not verified) on Fri, 14/11/03 - 11:31 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri

Hey, congrats on getting the job at Fuzzyeyes [:)]

Thanks Souri,

I'll keep you posted on how I get one, I am really looking forward to starting, only a few more days of business apps to go [:D].


AIT Presents: Motion Capture School Open

Digital Media Mag Nov 2003

Dear all gammer and pro,
We like you to come for our openday at 14th Jan 2004, to see our coolest motion capture performance and speakers from industry.
14th Jan 2004 is our open day for Mocap School at CBD Sydney.

Course offering includes:

Advanced Diploma of Multimedia (Game Design & Animation)
This course major in game design and 3d animation, develop your skills in the creative side of the game productions. Animation class will cover Motion Capture animation, to craft the soul of character animation and game production. Virtools Dev 3.0, 3DS MAX, SkechUp are the main software used to construct and build game environments

Advanced Diploma of Multimedia (Game Programming & Development)
This course major in programming and development side of game productions. C++, C# in 2D, C# for OpenGL. Student will also develop and construct a game using Virtools Dev 3.0-The best in game creations and AI engine.

Advanced Diploma of Multimedia (VFX & MoCap Animation)
This course focus in cinematography titles, VFX in 3DS MAX and Motion Capture animations. Creating opening animations like FinalFantasy using state-of-art mocap equipments to produce human-like animations. Title design for motion picture are also core of the subjects.

Professional skills development and Industrial training (VFX & Animation)
This course is design for people who desperate to get in to post-production house and found yourself a talented in production skills and like to be recognized from Australia's top post-production house. There are master class running 2 times per year. Speaker from Australia's top post-production companies. This place are strictly limited to 10 seats. Best 4 students will be selected to training in the industry. Main software used in this course are Adobe Aftereffects and 3DS MAX (Avid Express, Maya and combustion may introduce soon!). Project includes Title design and VFX motion titles.

Email us at [url=""][/url] or mail me for more info!


Accomodation near AIE

Once again, hello to all...

If anyone can help me in any way with this, it would be much appreciated...

Because I may be going to the AIE in Canberra next year, I am trying to look for a place to stay while I am studying. Does anyone know where or how I could find a good place to stay somewhere near the AIE?

As I said before, any help is appreciated...

Submitted by Aven on Mon, 20/10/03 - 7:34 PMPermalink

depends on how much you a willing to spend and how far you are willing to travel. a few people who have attended tha aie have always just gone into group housing around the Watson/Dickson/Ainslie area. not fantastic houses, but the prices are reasonable. otherwise, you could get a small appartment in Civic, and ctach one of a few buses to Watson. Civic is the centre of Canberra though, so prices range from reasonable to damn expensive. you could probably find some good real estate sites on the net, i have never looked though, so i cant really help you out there. other wise its just doing it the good old fashioned way and calling around.

Submitted by Kane on Mon, 20/10/03 - 10:32 PMPermalink

ok thanks for that...i think sharing a place with a few people would be the way to go...from the research I have done so far it is considerably cheaper

i have to find someone else who is going there and maybe I could organise something...

Submitted by Blitz on Tue, 21/10/03 - 4:42 AMPermalink

You should get in touch with the AIE, they may be able to help you out, give you some contacts of people who will be studying there next year etc.
I believe they also have some agreement with CIT for some limited accomodation.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Kane on Tue, 21/10/03 - 5:28 AMPermalink

alrite...thanks for that...i'll get onto them right now!

Fuzzyeyes implements NXN asset management system

Press release

Game Developer Fuzzyeyes Focuses on NXN alienbrain Studio?s Asset Management
Australian studio implements industry-leading asset management system for artists and programmers

London, 15. October 2003. Fuzzyeyes Studio, Queensland-based developer of PC games, has licensed NXN alienbrain Studio, the industry-leading asset management solution from NXN Software to securely version, track and store all the digital assets created over the course of their upcoming game: ?Project Hotdog?. By installing the software, the team intends to reduce the administrative overhead and enable the team to focus more on the development of high-quality, easy-to-play entertainment.

?NXN alienbrain Studio provides exactly the asset management capability we require for our complex projects and helps us centralize both art and development assets in a single location?, said Wesley Clarke, Technology Director at Fuzzyeyes Studio. ?The system impressed us with its ease of use: getting the software up and running takes a minimal amount of time and effort, and using the software is equally easy. This means we can spend more time on actual development.?

?I am delighted that Fuzzyeyes Studio has joined our growing customer base in Australia?, commented Steve Tyson, VP Sales UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand at NXN Software. ?Australia?s game development community is currently attracting first-class projects and we look forward to delivering more seats of our powerful asset management system to help complete these projects on time and within budget.?

Before installing NXN alienbrain Studio, the team leads at Fuzzyeyes organized and tracked the digital assets created by their teams manually. With NXN alienbrain Studio in place, all code and art files produced for ?Project Hotdog? are now tracked automatically on a central server. Thumbnails, previews and powerful search functionality enable every team member to find the right file fast, whereas the integrated reporting functionality provides team leads with an instant overview of the project?s progress.
NXN alienbrain Studio is the only asset management system to support programmers and artist within the same framework. Unlike traditional asset management systems that focus primarily on archiving completed assets, NXN alienbrain Studio manages all files of a project from concept to completion.

For screenshots or logos of NXN alienbrain Studio please go to For screenshots from Fuzzyeyes Studio?s project ?Hotdog?, simply reply to this mail.

About Fuzzyeyes Studio
Fuzzyeyes Studio (, located on the South side of Brisbane, Australia, is a multimedia software developing company, currently focusing on developing PC, PS2 and Xbox games. Fuzzyeyes aims to create easy-to-play, entertaining and stress-free PC games. The Studio is currently working on a number of exciting products including Aussie Adventure, OzFighter, Battle Wombat, Super Oz Kart, Crazy Fire Fighters, NHLA (New Human Livable Atmosphere).

About NXN Software
NXN Software ( is the leading supplier of asset management systems for the digital entertainment and computer graphics industries. NXN products provide designers, programmers and project managers with a powerful framework to manage all assets throughout the development process. Companies using NXN Software include many of the world's most renowned entertainment studios, such as Sony, Electronic Arts, LucasArts and Atari. NXN Software has offices in Los Angeles, Paris, London, Munich and Tokyo.

Submitted by CombatWombat on Thu, 16/10/03 - 5:44 PMPermalink

lol "Battle Wombat" - should I talk to lawyers about infinging on my nick? ;->

Sydney Workshop on Computer Games

We (a bunch of academics or is it a school of academic :-) are considering organising a one day research workshop on computer games in Sydney in February 2004. The workshop will have a computer science/artificial intelligence focus with topics ranging from using games in teaching, teaching games design and programming, new techniques that can be used in games, games as simulation environments, exploring interactivity in games, etc. The papers/talks will be similar to the 'AAAI Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Entertainment' series.

I am trying to gauge the level of interest for this workshop beyond the usual academic circle. Would you attend such a workshop and what would you like to get out of that experience? Would you be interested in submitting an abstract/writing a paper/making a presentation about your current "innovative" work?



What's the Australian indie scene like?

I know these forums are home to many aspiring game programmers/artists. As I speak, some of them are already at work at homebrew projects, stripping apart open source engines and mining voluntary talent from across the world. My question is: exactly how big is the independent games movement in Australia? Are there a lot of bedroom coders out there, anonymously plugging away at the Next Big Thing? Is it a subculture, bubbling beneath the mainstream or the past-time of a dedicated few?

This is the reason I ask: I am a journalist-in-training testing the possibility of a print magazine (quarterly or otherwise) that reports on the indie scene in Australia. Interviews, studio profiles, works in progress, thoughts for the future, etc. Currently, videogame magazines seem to channel the mainstream with no focus on smaller studios. If, in fact, an indie movement exists, I feel that journalistic coverage is appropriate in order to document the successes, failures and innovation it produces. Games are reaching a mid-life crisis: less companies, more money, higher stakes. Effectively, more sequels, more derivation and less innovation. Less creativity. I believe independent development can bring back these things. Journalistic coverage of the homebrew scene may encourage it to grow further.

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 01/10/03 - 9:23 PMPermalink

Great idea Drift, hopefully you'll get a lot of positive response so you can go ahead with this.

Submitted by CombatWombat on Wed, 01/10/03 - 10:01 PMPermalink

Good questions, those :) Their level of good-ness is well matched by a level of difficulty to answer, however :)

First some background: I recently went part-time from my day programming job in order to spend more time developing a game I'd been working on as a hobby. I'm hoping to make some money from it, but it just takes so long to get all the code written... And that's even to get something with enough gameplay to overcome my programmer art to get people interested in helping out!

I think it'll be hard to get numbers on how big the indie games movement in australia is - I think the best approximation is going to be having some kind of poll on Sumea (which as far as I am aware, is the only game development site specifically geared at game developers in OZ/NZ). You might also get some kind of figures from the GDAA ( but they are oriented towards dev companies that are up and running than independent/hobby programmers (eg the $800 entry fee to the game developer's conference puts it out of reach of most independent developers who aren't students)

As a "bedroom coder", I know of about 4 others in Melbourne with a similar interest, compared with perhaps about 40 programmers without an interest in game development that I've worked with over the years. Only one other of these game developers is actively working towards getting a game published. I guess that my gut feel would be that it's a relatively uncommon past-time rather than a subculture (although I'd be very pleased to find I was wrong on this ;-)

I think you'll also find a fair number of the bedroom-coders also work for games companies despite their IP contracts with their employers. These people would have a fair bit to lose by publicly declaring they're working on a game in their spare time. Having seen friends' contracts for two of the bigger game developers in Melbourne, I know that people at either of these companies would be breaking their IP agreement to distribute games or code they wrote in their spare time.

Other point I'd make is that it would probably be difficult to get good information on failures of BC's - IMHO it's a difficult for people to own up to failures (well, unless they get to claim the US$2000 author's fee at gamasutra too ;-)

I think you're right on target about the journalistic coverage possibly encourage the scene to grow.

A web site with journalistic coverage would be good - a print magazine even better (perhaps with a centerfold of a good game development rig? ;-)


CombatWombat (aka Mark)

Submitted by Drift on Thu, 02/10/03 - 8:45 PMPermalink

Cheers, Wombat. Yeah, I see a lot of street press for alternative music, dance, fashion, etc. but none for games. That's what gave me the idea. I'm shying away from the website idea, since Sumea does a pretty good job of it and moving towards a cheap, print magazine. Like all street press, it would be supported by ads and thus free. I would have it displayed at universities, I.T./design colleges (I hear one just opened in Victoria?) and maybe specialist game stores like Electronic Boutique, Game Keeper, etc.

It would be pointless to start one though, if there wasn't enough of a movement out there. I teamed up with a programmer friend once to create an RPG (I was the writer) but it fizzled before it left the design document! Like you said, it's an uncommon past-time so perhaps it's a little early to be considering something like this. But remember that I.T. boom a few years ago? It's levelled off but still going strong. Like many Western economies, Australia has invested in the information sector and embraced I.T. in a big way...we are training shitloads of programmers every year. So where are they all going? Designing database systems for fucking Telstra? Why don't they make some games? God knows we need more indie studios out there willing to take chances. Plus, it's probably more fun!

Nice to hear you're working on a game at the moment. Programming's a bitch, I know (I bombed Comp Sci before switching to journalism :) ) but all the best. Out of curiosity, are you coding your engine from scratch or tinkering with a free one?

Just as a parting note, I live in Sydney, which is not as sensitive towards the videogame movement as Melbourne (being the uncultured swines we are), so it's pretty hard to get an opinion on the indie scene. Anything to do with gaming always seems to pop up in Melbourne ie. Microsoft's homebrew scheme for the X-Box (only applicable to Victoria-based studios). Plus, most of the game festivals are held down there.

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 03/10/03 - 6:21 AMPermalink

One of the main reasons that melbourne gets the festivals, and is a fair "hub" of game development is due to government support. It might be worth getting in touch with...whoever is in charge of that stuff??? in the vic govt for some figures on independent developers in vic...
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by CombatWombat on Fri, 03/10/03 - 10:53 PMPermalink

Drift, my game engine/library started off as an accumulation of useful code
I'd written (like many hobby game programmers I've got a string of unfinished
projects that I took the good bits of the code from as I moved onto the
next project).

Submitted by Drift on Mon, 06/10/03 - 7:32 AMPermalink

Is there enough code hanging together for a decent preview? (screenshots, concept art, etc.)...if so, would you willing to have it featured in a magazine? I'll need to pitch this magazine idea to a publisher so I'm trying to gauge the amount of potential content out there.

Submitted by Jacana (not verified) on Thu, 09/10/03 - 1:56 AMPermalink


Sounds like a great idea! It may be easier in the beginning to start something online as you will then be able to judge how much interest there is in the subject and you wouldn't have to worry about a publisher for a while.

I agree with CombatWombat's comments about some people being restricted in what they want to say due to contracts, I had a clause in the contract at my last job which stated any work done outside of work hours was legally the company's. However I wouldn't let this deter you as I think there are still a lot of people that would be interested in both reading a magazine/website like this and also having their games on display.

I am in the same boat as CombatWombat in that I left my full-time programming job for a part-time one so I could spend more time programming my game at home. I would be more than happy to give you info on my game in the future when you start writing.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing how your idea turns out.


Submitted by Drift on Thu, 09/10/03 - 7:02 AMPermalink

Hey Doolwind. Yeah, I've realised that publishing costs are way over my head so I'm considering an online zine, updated quarterly.

I'm still toying with it though: it's really an issue of dedication and whether or not I'll persist with the idea. If so, I'll remember to give you a call about your game.

Submitted by fuzzmeister on Mon, 13/10/03 - 10:59 PMPermalink

I am working on a game demo and would be willing to participate... i have a long way to go however as i work alone (apart from some art that i have been given rights to utilise). Drop me a line if you wish to know more.

FYI: I am using my own engine that i have been working on for close to a year now. Also no plan to publish the game is planned.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 15/10/03 - 12:08 AMPermalink

There's a fair few initiatives for independant game developers, with kits and funding. It'll be interesting to fire off an email to the GDAA, Film Victoria on who's receiving the development kits or how many developers have appled for the Digital Media Fund for Game Content Development, just to see how many independant game developers signed up. I agree, it's hard to figure out how many independant game developers are making it out on their own. They've either never heard of this site, not feeling compelled to tell everyone about their project (until it's near completion), or perhaps there aren't many out there at all. I'm kinda thinking it's probably a bit of all of the above. I've met someone who's in the industry, and I would have never found out they were working on a game if I didn't kinda probe. I mean, did you know that I'm kinda working on something as well? [:)]

I should really compile some list of the available options, funding, kits that are available to independant game developers, and perhaps some tips on government support, which developers like [url=""]Dead Puppy[/url] or Justin Green from ex-Evolution Games might be willing to help out with.

As I said in other posts, I really think independant game developers are the future of the industry. It's hard to believe that the current crop of developers would be enough to sustain the kind of growth that some people estimate (such as the one below, taken from the [url=""]Xbox development kit press[/url])

quote:The growing Australian games industry currently employs around 600 full time artists, designers and producers in 40 games development firms and is estimated to be worth AUD $825 million per annum. Industry estimates predict employment figures may reach 2,000 within five years*.