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Industry and Education

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

3D Studio Max lectures in Melbourne & Adelaide

Sourced from http://www.maxunderground.com/mu/news.php3?mode=read&key=3036

U.S. author and animator Michele Bousquet is coming to Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia in January 2003 to present a one-day class in each city in the essentials of low-poly modeling and animation. This class will focus on the tools you need to know to create and animate characters quickly and easily. Some models are easier to animate than others: this class will cover how to create models that are easy to skin and animate, avoiding difficulties with hips and shoulders that are so common with low-poly models. You'll also learn to model low-poly clothing, faces and hair with these same techniques.

Then Michele will demonstrate how to create a simple character rig for your model, which you'll use to make the character walk and move around. After that, she'll show you how to make a more complex rig that takes longer to set up, but makes character animation fast and easy.

This class will use Michele's book Little Book of Low Poly Modeling as the curriculum. This book is included in the cost of the class.

This is an advanced class that will move quickly. Some experience with 3ds max 4 or 5 is required. The class is taught with 3ds max 5. Most of the techniques you'll learn in the class can also be used with 3ds max 4.

Michele Bousquet is an experienced instructor with several years of 3ds max training behind her. She has authored several books on 3ds max, including Mastering the Art of Production with 3ds max 4 and Harnessing 3D Studio MAX R3. Students and readers have often commented on her clear, easy-to-follow style that teaches the essentials without confusing with complexities. Michele is currently a technical writer for Discreet.

ADELAIDE
Date of class: Tuesday, January 14, 2003, 9:00am - 5:30pm
Location: Mad Academy, Studio 1, Greater Union Centre, 128 Hindley Street
Cost: AUS $450
To Register: Contact Mad Academy, 08 8221 5816 or michael@truelife.com.au

MELBOURNE
Date of class: Saturday, January 18, 2003, 9:30am - 6:00pm
Location: Swinburne University, John St., Hawthorn
Cost: AUS $450
To Register: Contact Multi-CAD Magazine, 07 3801 2408 or info@multi-cad.com

Submitted by Daemin on Mon, 30/12/02 - 9:20 AM Permalink

Adelaide on my birthday, although I'm not even an artist... oh well.

Submitted by Caol on Mon, 13/01/03 - 4:40 AM Permalink

y is it $450????????
i dont have that kind of money... just get a good tutorial

Submitted by souri on Tue, 14/01/03 - 9:55 AM Permalink

You *DO* get a book with that.. [;)] Actually, I wonder what type of people would pay for an expensive tutorial like that too. Students are poor, and modellers in the industry would know their stuff already... maybe those level designers in the biz want to broaden their horizons, perhaps? [:)]

Small Grand Prix Challenge review

Ok, as I mentioned on the front page, I did manage to get a chance to play Infogrames Melbourne House's Grand Prix Challenge!! GPC is out already in Europe, and I think it comes out in Australia in March 2003.
First off, I had a fair few races in the 'quick race' mode, so unfortunately I can't tell you anything about the career or other game play modes (so yes, this can be hardly called a 'review' of what the game has to offer..). 'Quick race' lets you jump right into the game, and since I didn't want to totally get left behind by the AI drivers, I chose to play as a beginner as well. With these options chosen, I can bump off walls/other vehicles and not get any damage. [:)]
I played a fair few of the tracks (around half of them are locked), and if I were a grand prix freak, I would be able to vouch for their authenticity in terms of looks etc, but I can't because I'm not.. [:)] The first thing that struck me were the formula 1 vehicle models - they looked *GREAT*!!.. The GPC website mention that there are "more than 17,000 polygons per car", and seeing how rounded, smooth, and detailed they looked, it's hard to imagine if they would look any better if another 1000 polygons were available. There sure were a lot of them on screen at tims as well... the website also has the blurb which says "Uparalleled next-generation graphics running 22 cars at a constant 60 frames per second.", and I can certainly vouch for that. There were no slow downs at all, even when things were pretty hectic with the number of cars on screen, with rain, and on some of the more detailed tracks.
Ok, on my first turn, I went in too fast, and slided in the grass. (I come from a history of 8-bit and 16 bit racing games like Pitstop, and Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, and Arcade games like Outrun, where game usually lets you do the turn without braking [:)]). After a fair few goes of some serious sliding and wall crashing, I got the hang of how to handle the car, and yes, once you get used to it, the game is extremely fun to play [:)].. I did think that the analog joystick option was too senstive (I'm not sure if you can change this in the settings or not), so I prefered to control the car with the buttons instead. Eventually, I won a few of the races and managed to unlock a few tracks, like Monaco..
Now, I wanted to tell you about Monaco. It's a street track with the city of Monaco as the backdrop, and it looks damn nice too. It's a very impressive looking track, with lots and lots of buildings and details, with no noticable slow downs either.
Overall, I thought the art in Grand Prix Challenge was very good. I know there are two other Grand Prix type games on the market - Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4, and Electronic Art's F1 2002... Graphically, GPC floors F1 2002, and is up there or even better than Grand Prix 4 in terms of looks. There are few screenshots of the infamous Monaco u-turn from F1 2002 here... http://www.gamespy.com/asp/image.asp?platform=PC&genre=sports&image=/re… .. I'd love to find a screen shot of Melbourne House's game at the exact same turn so you can compare it, but I can tell you now that GPC looks a hundred times better. Incidently, for the rest of the screenshots and article on F1 2002, go here http://www.gamespy.com/reviews/december02/f12002pc/index2.shtml .
Oh, one final thing I can comment about were the rain effects.. GPC does them nicely. You get the barrage of rain falling on the track of course, and also rain drops appearing on your screen. It would have been nicer if the rain drops dripped down or something similar to Metal Gear Solid 2 where Snake submerges from water, but I guess you DO want to see where you're going. [;)] The vehicles bring up a spray of water, although someone mentioned they looked a bit too much like white clouds. Also when the cars are reflected on the road, it was also noted that sometimes the reflection seemed a bit lower than it should be - giving the impression that the car was floating a little.
When it isn't raining however, the road lightens upon reflection of the sun which most of you would have seen from games like Gran Turismo.. it's a nice effect.
Because I played only in beginners mode, I can't say anything about the AI (although I did manage to crash into a wall, with the other cars getting stuck into me from behind, so I was neither able to drive forward and out of the crash, or go in reverse), and I'm not sure what else to add, other than the art was very nice, and the game was very enjoyable to play.. I had fun! [:I]

Tantalus AGDC 2002 Press Release

Media Release: AGDC 6 December 2002
For Immediate Release:

Tantalus Announces Game Boy Advance Line-Up

Melbourne based video game developer Tantalus Interactive today announced an exciting line-up of four new titles for Nintendo?s Game Boy Advance (GBA). Established in 1994, Tantalus has released over fifteen games, and is regarded as one of Australia?s leading developers.

Tantalus CEO Tom Crago said today, ?we?re delighted to be able to confirm that early next year with our publishers Kemco we will be releasing Top Gear Rally on Game Boy Advance. The ?Top Gear? brand is well revered and it?s a great coup that we?ve landed this deal. Our aim is to make it the best game in its genre on the GBA? Last month Tantalus released another GBA title with Japan based Kemco. Woody Woodpecker in Crazy Castle 5, utilizing another high profile license, has sold strongly in both Europe and Japan. The game is released in America in the New Year and is notable for its massive scope and gameplay variety.

Along with Top Gear Rally, Tantalus also plans to ship The Flintstones: Dino to the Rescue some time early in 2003. A groundbreaking platformer, Dino will be published in partnership with German company Swing. Add to the list the 2002 GBA release of ATV Quad Power Racing, and it?s easy to see why Crago claims that Tantalus is one of Australia?s most prolific development studios.

?I really believe that our GBA technology is among the best in the world. Our CRIS 3D engine provides lifelike environments and an incredible feature set. What we?re seeing is PlayStation quality on a handheld. I don?t think anyone could have predicted this when the GBA was first launched, and to see such world class technology developed here in Australia is obviously fantastic stuff.?

Crago was particularly enthusiastic about two original Tantalus GBA games, slated for release late in 2003. Anaka and Trick-Star are titles wholly conceived and developed by Tantalus. ?Every developer wants to create their own intellectual property,? said Crago, ?and with these titles we hope to launch two major brands on a gaming audience we feel is ready and willing to embrace this kind of new content. We want to establish a name for ourselves as a developer of original titles of the highest quality.?

Tantalus has also recently completed Men in Black 2: Alien Escape on Game Cube, and is in development on Tread Marks on PlayStation2.

Contact Information:

Tantalus Interactive
Tom Crago
www.tantalus.com.au
tom@tantalus.com.au
Ph: +61 9 9674 5979

AIMIA -

Okay the question is up in the air.

does anybody in the games industry know we exist ?

www.aimia.com.au

Austalian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association

Founded in 1992, AIMIA represents the views and needs of Australia's interactive media industry.

The actions of governments and consumer organisations can have a tremendous positive or negative effect on the environment in which your business operates.

There is strength and credibility in numbers. By being part of your industry association you help to make AIMIA a strong and credible force, able to make a positive impact for members at Government and industry levels.

Our strength has resulted in AIMIA being invited to advise governments on industry needs, and we have seen substantial results in the form of programs to stimulate supply and demand for interactive multimedia in Australia.

These programs have included federal and state funding to put AIMIA executive officers on the ground in four states, AusTrade subsidies for members to attend overseas trade fairs, the establishment of Australian Multimedia Enterprise (AME) which has invested in Australian multimedia projects, and the establishment of Cooperative Multimedia Centres (CMC's) to support multimedia education, research, and sharing of resources in five states.
----------------------

____________________
Andrew Fitzsimon

Submitted by Meatex Salami on Wed, 18/12/02 - 7:06 PM Permalink

it depends what you mean by that exactly.
We do have a few members that works for houses like microforte and some others. (Souri would be able to answer this Q a lot better than me me)

It is infact ants who are the true rulers of this world!!!

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 18/12/02 - 9:55 PM Permalink

This is the first i've heard.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by souri on Thu, 19/12/02 - 12:10 AM Permalink

I've been a web designer/developer for years, and I have to admit that I didn't even know AIMIA existed [:)].. 'Interactive Multimedia' is a very, very broad term, and it yes, you can stretch game developement under that as well. However, looking at the AIMIA memberlist and website, it feels like the organisation is more focused towards design studios/internet developement and that industry.. There aren't any game studios in that memberlist either, except for Eyecon (who also do web developement), so I guess it would be a rather safe bet that not a lot of the students/developers/visitors on this site would know of AIMIA. A post at australianinfront.com.au is propbably more appropriate than a place like this, but if the AIMIA are planning to broaden their scope to cover game developement more, then I'd like to hear more [:)]

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 19/12/02 - 12:27 AM Permalink

Never heard of it before.

Submitted by Brain on Thu, 19/12/02 - 3:10 AM Permalink

Yep, know of AIMIA. Hosted a few conferences and such up Brisbane way (like the 3DSMAX 4 launch). Was considering joining up, but the rest of life took over.

I heard of it via QANTM. If I remember correctly, we had a fair few employment opportunities passed on to us via you.

Chris Bowden
http://brain.gamekey.com/

Submitted by AndyFitz on Thu, 19/12/02 - 7:38 AM Permalink

I agree with you interactive multimedia is a broad term, In-fact at one stage there were considerations to shift AIMIA?s approach to solely web developers.

However most of the members and industry authorities within AIMIA work with as many, if not more software development companies than they do animation and graphic design studios.

Krome and Auran are a long standing corporate members of AIMIA and continue to work with AIMIA to cross promote their work as well as the industry itself.

I wouldn?t say AIMIA is totally game focused due to the majority of its members being in e-commerce e-learning etc.

The closest buzz is our interest in web based gaming. ( director, flash, java etc )
That?s something I?d like to keep an eye on because of its potential to be one of the only game?orientated platforms that will produce reasonable returns independently within the Australian economy

____________________
Andrew Fitzsimon

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution

So who exactly is Camille Wall, the person who won this award at the Australian Games Developer Conference? I know she's the Executive Assistant at Infogrames Melbourne House, but what things has she done? (I'm not debating her winning the category, I'm just very curious to find out more [:)])

Submitted by myrddian on Wed, 18/12/02 - 2:09 AM Permalink

She organised the PS2 devkit program, among one of the first things that came to my mind. I think she does another thing as well, her major stuff has been mostly the aid of several programs organised by the GDAA/V

I played poker with a Tarot deck the other night. I got a full house and four people died.

--Steven Wright.

Submitted by Gazunta on Wed, 18/12/02 - 9:41 AM Permalink

She also worked at Melbourne House / Beam Software well before it got bought out by Infogrames. Nice person by all accounts (she worked in the same office as the one I telecommuted to every day) :)

The Business of Being a Startup

Responses and thoughts about this article here! http://www.sumea.com.au/sart2StartupAGDC.asp

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Tue, 17/12/02 - 11:35 PM Permalink

That article was a good read. It seems a rather daunting task to start your own dev company, but if thats what you want to do its certainly helpful to know what youll be getting yourself into. Its good to know you can get support from the government.

Lead paint: delicious but deadly!

GDAA Student Membership

Just to let everyone know that the GDAA is now taking student members.
It's $11 a year for students. An application came in each bag at the GDC. I have looked at their website and can not find an application form. Might be worth an email if your interested.

http://www.gdaa.asn.au/

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by souri on Thu, 12/12/02 - 7:27 AM Permalink

Can you type up some more info about this from the application? I'd like to post this on the main page (or you can do it if you like).. the GDAA website has nothing on it, unfortunately..

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 12/12/02 - 7:50 AM Permalink

I would... but I sent off my application *grin*
I couldn't pass up the $11 membership fee.

I know there are a few others out there who might be able to supply you with more details.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 12/12/02 - 9:00 AM Permalink

I think you can always join the GDAA, its just that they put in the applications into each satchel just in case. Somehow I don't think the GDAA website is very well updated / maintained.

Damnit I need more cash to join all these organisations etc.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 12/12/02 - 9:13 AM Permalink

AFAIK the student membership is fairly new.

My understanding what that IGDA was trying to pull in some of the Aussie studios but they were not keen on jumping into the IGDA. So there was talks earlier this year about trying to open up the GDAA to students.

It is good to see that they have. Now to find out what it is that they can help students with :)

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 12/12/02 - 9:29 AM Permalink

Let's hope it makes us more employable :-)

That would almost be enough, and if not that then to allow us to start another indie studio, as that would give back to them when we have to pay the full price :-)

Tito at AGDC 2002

I noticed in one of the pictures it has David Coen in it :)

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by souri on Thu, 12/12/02 - 1:03 AM Permalink

Which one was he in? [:)]

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 12/12/02 - 1:50 AM Permalink

Its the third picture down - ADGC Best Unsigned Games
Facing toward the camera - he's on the left at the front pc

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Chat about the AGDC here

Just a sticky thread for those who have been to the AGDC to chat and tell us all about it!!

Submitted by souri on Fri, 06/12/02 - 12:04 PM Permalink

Oh, and I'm curious as to what Auran's announcement is as well, so if any of you find out, post it in here too please. [8D]

Submitted by Jacana on Sat, 07/12/02 - 9:45 AM Permalink

Hey :)

Day one has finished and what a blast! Managed to meet up with some of the Sumea people today!
So far we all look to be having a great time. The talks have been wonderful.
Ray Muzyka had a great presentation for NWN as well as Adam Lancman with "Lessons I have Learnt"

The party went well - too bad the weather did not decide to follow.

-Jacana

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Submitted by Jacana on Sun, 08/12/02 - 7:40 AM Permalink

Today was a blast :) Too bad most people were hungover from last night and missed the first talk of the morning. Battlefield 1942. Today seemed to spread people out a bit more then yesterday (interest areas).

We caught up with Blitz today - and I didn't get a picture! Sorry Blitz!

Today was a great learning day for me. Talking with people and asking questions about what they look for in hiring people, about how to approach people, and other little tidbits.

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Submitted by Blitz on Sun, 08/12/02 - 10:19 AM Permalink

Today (the only day i can afford) was great. Starting with the talk about how refraction games and then DICE have evolved, and some of the issues getting a publisher, meeting milestones, etc. was great. There was some very fun movies in there that had most of the audience laughing heartily.

Afterwards i went to the "How to get into the game industry" talk, which ended up being pretty much a promotional for the AIE's Cert4 3D/animation course. Talked about the assignments completed throughout the year, goals of the course etc. Not so interesting for me from a programming POV :)

After that i meant to go to the MMOG design talk, but got my numbers mixed up and wandered into the Flexible Game Engine talk instead, which was quite packed. It was a really good overview of whys, and a few hows, you should implement an engine that will be easily exchangeable between various platforms (he mainly compared consoles). Also talked about certain differences/constraints between consoles that have affected their development.

Lunch time, wandered round the expo, checked out some of the unsigned games although didn't really get a chance to play them. Wandered over to the auran booth to find out what their "big announcement" was. Check http://www.nextyearsgame.com for the answer. Played some xbox, then back to the talks.

Tales from the frontline was changed to Designing for a License at the last minute, quite interesting, advantages and disadvantages of designing for a license. Oh, and we got minties!

Lastly i went to the making of hail. Reasonable presentation on what went into the game, although it was a bit unorganised :) (Due to spending time on Hail instead of the presentation). Well done to the guys and girls who worked on that.

The arvo keynote was interestingly a rallying cry to the world of game development. It's hard to expand on that, but basically the talk was about differences between games and other entertainment media, why games aren't as popular etc.

All in all a great day. Hope to be there again next year!
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Jacana on Mon, 09/12/02 - 12:59 PM Permalink

I did not keep a list so I am going off memory!

Career Achievement Award -
Adam Lancman

Award for Outstanding Innovation -
Micro Forte Big World Technology

Award for Best New Start-Up -
Evolution Games (released Rocket Power: Beach Bandits for the Gamecube - Sept 02)

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution -
Camille Wall

Award for Best Game of 2002 -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for PC -
Freedom Force (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Game for Next Generation Consoles -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for Game Boy Advance -
Duke Nukem Advance (Torus)

Award for Best Character Design -
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Audio -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game Design -
Freedom Force (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Level Design -
Hotwheels Bash Arena (Micro Forte)

Award for Best Unsigned Game -
Wicked Witch (did not get game title)

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Submitted by Daemin on Mon, 09/12/02 - 8:21 PM Permalink

Erg, its too early in the morning to talk about how good the conference was, I am just back in Adelaide now and trying to recover after 5 days of very little sleep.

Jacana should be able to post some interesting pictures of the people that we met, and when I get the roll of film finished I will travel up to a friends place and get them scanned in as well.

Meanwhile I'll just sit here idly thinking about stuff, trying to remmeber more stuff, and thinking about what kind of articles I should write. I've already written up a summary on paper of the stuff that I did during the three days, but I don't know if that interesting enough to put up here. What do you think Souri and Jacana (Or should I call you Cheryl ?)

Submitted by Jacana on Mon, 09/12/02 - 8:43 PM Permalink

Actually a fair amount of my pics came out blurry :(
I was told that I should not need the flash inside the lighted areas but really needed it.

Most of the keynote speaches were over exposed and blurry :( As well as a few "fun" pictures.

One of the two pics I took of the group with Lars and Ray came out while the pics of me with them did not.

We need to work out how to consolidate all the pictures :)

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Submitted by Daemin on Mon, 09/12/02 - 10:13 PM Permalink

Heh, let's hope we can use enough of the Photoshop "Sharpen" filter to fix those pictures. And I hope mine did not turn out blurry either.

Hrm, need sleep...

Also just like to mention the people that I saw there on at least one day from the site at least:

Me(Daemin)
Jacana
Blitz
BradB (Tycom)
AndrewM (Tycom)
David Coen

Also a bunch of guys from Melbourne Uni, and also a bunch of Guiys from the AIE.

BTW Congrats Jacana and (possibly) Blitz on getting into 2nd year of the AIE course next year :-), there's better be some damn cool games created.

Submitted by Jacana on Tue, 10/12/02 - 1:51 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Daemin

Heh, let's hope we can use enough of the Photoshop "Sharpen" filter to fix those pictures. And I hope mine did not turn out blurry either.

BTW Congrats Jacana and (possibly) Blitz on getting into 2nd year of the AIE course next year :-), there's better be some damn cool games created.

I will get the photos up soon. I have been a total bum today! Sleep is good :)

I was actually accepted into 1st year of the course (not 2nd). I have only programming with C++ for about two weeks now, so there is still a lot left to learn.

*update* Here are some photos:
http://au.photos.yahoo.com/jacana_s

Those were the best looking ones of the lot :) Most were blurry!!

"Yes I Code"

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 10/12/02 - 3:43 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana
"Yes I Code"

That's a classic :-)

Yeah, I've just woken up again for the second time today (not counting the numerous times on the train).

quote:Originally posted by Jacana
I was actually accepted into 1st year of the course (not 2nd). I have only programming with C++ for about two weeks now, so there is still a lot left to learn.

Ahh, well then, we may see each other again in another year's time if I end up going to the AIE. Still, you got in, and that's what counts in a way.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 10/12/02 - 5:51 AM Permalink

Actually, Jacana, were you the female programmer who requested a journal a while ago?.. I've had a couple of requests for a Programmer section (like the modeller, 2d artist, mapper sections), so I might put one up if there is a demand for it.

Submitted by Jacana on Tue, 10/12/02 - 6:43 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri

Actually, Jacana, were you the female programmer who requested a journal a while ago?.. I've had a couple of requests for a Programmer section (like the modeller, 2d artist, mapper sections), so I might put one up if there is a demand for it.

Yup :) That was me. I totally forgot about that.... :) I think it was more that I thought maybe there was super special "hidden" areas of the site that I needed to login to view...

A side note - The shirt I picked up on Sunday was just fine :) (you'll know what I mean)

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 10/12/02 - 9:22 AM Permalink

Hrm, yeah, I would also like to see a programmer section to be added to the existing Art-Heavy secitons. I'm sure some of us can contribute articles and such to it.

(Jacana - hehe now you can just walk into their offices and into the lead programmers room and ask for a job :-)

Submitted by Blitz on Tue, 10/12/02 - 12:09 PM Permalink

I wouldn't mind seeing a section where programmers could post .plan files and stuff like that...
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by souri on Tue, 10/12/02 - 12:36 PM Permalink

Ok, I'll put up a programmers section in a couple of days.. I hope some of you guys will help out with the links and programmer related news there sometimes.. [:)]
Curious - what were Ratbag up to? Did anyone get to see anything of Ikon or Ratbags other secret titles? (they're very quiet!).. thanks for the AGDC awards results Jacana.. I've chucked them up on the Sumea Developer Awards page... if anyone knows what the Wicked Witch game was, let me know!... and hey, didn't Grand Prix Challenge really clean up there [:)]...

I found this comment at Slashdot from the AGDC topic.. http://slashdot.org/articles/02/12/09/0126222.shtml?tid=127 .. pretty interesting.. [:)]

quote:The most striking fact from the conference was examining the behaviour of different programming houses. Infogrammes (Melbourne House) were so big, that they didn't care about anyone else, so they always clustered together. It took a bit of effort to isolate a few of their developers to have a serious 1-1 talk. Ratbag developers seemed like the most compotent of the lot - they know their stuff, and are hungry for success. Watch out for these guys. MicroForte were the loudest at the party, they know how to have a good time. I felt sorry for one of the houses (who I will not name), they were like 'we will code games for food, give us a project, any project'.
Submitted by Jacana on Tue, 10/12/02 - 8:15 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri

Ok, I'll put up a programmers section in a couple of days.. I hope some of you guys will help out with the links and programmer related news there sometimes.. [:)]

I have a fair few links :) Would be happy to supply you with a very long list.

quote: Curious - what were Ratbag up to? Did anyone get to see anything of Ikon or Ratbags other secret titles? (they're very quiet!)..

I did not talk to too many local devs (see response later) but I know Dave talked with Ratbag and sat with them for the Alien Infestation dinner.

quote:thanks for the AGDC awards results Jacana.. I've chucked them up on the Sumea Developer Awards page... if anyone knows what the Wicked Witch game was, let me know!... and hey, didn't Grand Prix Challenge really clean up there [:)]...

No problem :) I hope I got them all correct *grin* Infogrames did very well this year. There was a short demo of the game in one of the talks and it looked good. They have a title to be proud of.

quote:I found this comment at Slashdot from the AGDC topic.. http://slashdot.org/articles/02/12/09/0126222.shtml?tid=127 .. pretty interesting.. [:)]

Interesting you should notice that Souri. I made a similar comment in an email to you.
I honestly found most of the international speakers easier to talk to the those already involved in the Australian community. I found a fair few studios were keeping into groups of their own house - and that?s a bit intimidating to break into a group of six or so people.

When you keep to your own you miss a lot. There was a wealth of knowledge there over the weekend and I tried to take in as much of it as I could. Not just from the talks but from the people. I really apprecaited that after the last talk of the conference Derek from Mirco Forte (Xbox project) talked with a few of us for good hour. He missed the closing keynote as did we. But in that hour there was a lot of knowledge to be had.

Also when you keep to your own you can miss out on a lot of experiences. I ended up in a talk sitting next to Lars Gustavsson. I had talked to him earlier that day about a few topics and I guess that made me a familiar face in the crowd. So when he walked into the room he then saw a familiar face. While that may not be a big thing to others as a student I apprecaited that. I took that as a sign that I had not made a total fool out of myself :)

With the experience I had this year I would be more inclined to talk with international dev's and give them my work. The down side of this would mean that local talent would then be going overseas to work.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 10/12/02 - 10:51 PM Permalink

Erm, well from what I know only a small contingent from Ratbag were at the conference, and that was due to the other team (s?) having a milestone that they had to get done. Ikon as so far as I know is a game where you drive around and shoot things, sor of in that Genre, but they have not released anything yet. (Maybe they don't want to pull something like Duke Nukem Forever has done). Also the Ratbag guys were the most drunk on the friday night party I'd say, they partied a lot, I heard that they were at the Barcode club till 2am on saturday night after the dinner. ;-)

As for the Indie Game that won it was "Melodie Mars", a music shooter I believe it was described. So you could score points by shooting, and also by doing something with music (although I didn't have my headphones on etc), you could also walk on any surface and fly etc so it was quite innovative. There were some other interesting games there, I think Pax Galactica has some merit, and could be a great game but it still needs some work on it to get the interface and the "World" integrated into one application. Pyzzle was a myst clone using python as the programming language, which I think is a good idea instead of just using C/C++ constantly, since it didn't need super fast anything it was a good use of available resources by that team.

With the programming site I'm sure we can provide enough links for you, I would also like ot request a plan file thingo too.

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 11/12/02 - 6:18 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana

I honestly found most of the international speakers easier to talk to the those already involved in the Australian community. I found a fair few studios were keeping into groups of their own house - and that?s a bit intimidating to break into a group of six or so people.

I agree, but I think it can be addressed to some degree. At the GDC in the USA they usually have very large round tables around the conference (for sitting at between sessions and while eating lunch). These seat 12 people (approx) which means that you end up with a mix of people from multiple studios (and students, etc)
Perhaps the organisers need to do more to encourage mingling - some three-legged races [:D] or maybe the cocktail party should encourage more mixing?

I had the chance to speak to some great people at the conference from all over the place (Sony/Xbox/AIE/Students/etc) but I could see the problems with the larger studios grouping together (technically it was probably friends grouping together, but its the same thing). IMH suffered from the problem that it accounted for more than 10% of the crowd (probably closer to 20% if you include all the people who had worked there at some time in the past!)

I'm really impressed that they keep getting big names to come in from overseas, I had a chance to talk to Ray Muyzka which was very cool, and I loved the guy from Sweden (or somewhere like that) who talked about the game experiment crossed with reality that he ran at his Uni.
Unfortunately I missed the BF1942 talk - as did many others... holding a cool keynote at 9am isn't going to work [|)]

Zaph

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 11/12/02 - 6:55 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Zaph
I'm really impressed that they keep getting big names to come in from overseas, I had a chance to talk to Ray Muyzka which was very cool, and I loved the guy from Sweden (or somewhere like that) who talked about the game experiment crossed with reality that he ran at his Uni.
Unfortunately I missed the BF1942 talk - as did many others... holding a cool keynote at 9am isn't going to work [|)]

LOL! Most people were nursing hangovers at 9am.

The guy your talking about was Steffen from Playbe - German company. I had a talk with him during one of the breaks. I was very interested in that talk but it was too full to get in. He did mention that most of the information he gave on the speach can be found on their website.

I might be worth a suggestion to Pon about trying to mix up the attendes a bit more.

I am very interested in IMH as I am in the Melbourne area. There was a great talk about creating licenced content from one of the guys there.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 11/12/02 - 7:42 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana

The guy your talking about was Steffen from Playbe - German company. I had a talk with him during one of the breaks. I was very interested in that talk but it was too full to get in. He did mention that most of the information he gave on the speach can be found on their website.

Ahh, my notebook! (paper that is):
MadCountdown: http://www.madcountdown.com

and the Aussie link he mentioned:
ARQuake: http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/arquake/

quote:
I am very interested in IMH as I am in the Melbourne area. There was a great talk about creating licenced content from one of the guys there.

That was Mark Morrison - an excellent public speaker (and he had free minties!). I felt sorry for the guy in the audience who had actually shipped a Barbie(tm) game [:p]

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 11/12/02 - 7:50 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Zaph
That was Mark Morrison - an excellent public speaker (and he had free minties!). I felt sorry for the guy in the audience who had actually shipped a Barbie(tm) game [:p]

Thanks for the links! :)

Free minties is always a bonus! The guy who shipped the Barbie game works from Krome. I am sure he was very happy about that talk.

*edit*
Just had a look at your site. I went to the pictures page - are you the guy from IMH that had the big dreads?

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/12/02 - 8:11 AM Permalink

You know, Lars Gustavsson (Battlefild 1942) from DICE (which stands for Digital Illusions DC) ..

Some of us may remember Digital Illusions for their *INCREDIBLE* Pinball games on the Amiga.. Pinball Illusions, and my all time favourite, Pinball Fantasies!!! Lars wasn't on the team, (his AGDC details say he joined Refraction Games back in 1999 which later merged into Digital Illusions), but those games were *unreal*.. full screen, fast/smooth scrolling graphics on a crusty 7mhz Amiga 500.

Just a little trivia, I think Digital Illusions were started by a bunch of The Silents demo group people.. demo groups were like what mod groups of today, except the programmers did all of the code, and the 'product' was something akin to a video clip - with music, special effects, and art.

Anyway, Jacana if you're interviewing Lars later on, I have a few questions for him [;)]

Submitted by Zaph on Wed, 11/12/02 - 8:19 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana
Just had a look at your site. I went to the pictures page - are you the guy from IMH that had the big dreads?

No [:D] I can see the connection there though (I shaved the beard many years ago...) I do have long hair, but not in dreads, and Alex (the Dreads guy) is about a foot taller than me (well, it feels that way!)

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 11/12/02 - 9:26 AM Permalink

actually, lars showed off some very, very cool video's during his sat morning keynote, which included one that was like a video biography of refraction/DICE. I wonder if those vids are available on the net somewhere, they're definately worth watching :)
One thing i WOULD like to see at next years AGDC is more Game Dev's showing off the games they've released. Auran was the only Dev with a booth, and i'm guessing they had the booth mainly to show off Jet and nextyearsgame thing, rather than their actual games.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by davidcoen on Wed, 11/12/02 - 11:12 AM Permalink

some random quotes not in full context

John Passfield (krome) denied that they will be making a game called 'chooka the occa chook'

Graham Edelsten (CEO Auran) regets not getting to make darkreign2

Raymond Muzyka (bioware) is enjoying australia and does read www.megatokyo.com

John De Margheriti (Microforte) is very happy with 'bigworld' tech, and listed some interesting korean online games ;_;

and 'melodie mars' won the unsigned games (Wicked witch software). a music based FPS which also had surface dependant gravity (fly close enough to a wall and you would turn around to stand on it, makes for interesting levels)

_what, i should not have sugested the 'barbie game' in Mark Morrison talk? >:)

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 11/12/02 - 11:38 AM Permalink

I think I read it off a the Gamespy site, but Ray Muzyka is actually doing a driving holiday in Australia, and probably around South Australia by now.

Anyway, good quotes IMO :-)

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 11/12/02 - 8:45 PM Permalink

One lesson I learned over the weekend:
Have business cards! Even as a student.

You can get 100 of them made up very cheap - besides being a student I am not sure people expect amazing cards.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 11/12/02 - 10:45 PM Permalink

Yeah, that would be one of the things i'd prepare for next years conference - if I don't already have a job - the other thing would be to try and buy and bring the cd's of games that the international and national people have made for them to autograph them. (Like someone did this year :-)

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/12/02 - 11:22 PM Permalink

Auran was the only Australian developer showing off their game ?? Are you serious? There were so many Australian games released last year, I would have thought they'd all have a few computers/consoles in each of their booths running their games.. I know I would have loved to actually check out Ty, and Grand Prix Challenge and other titles myself..

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 11/12/02 - 11:52 PM Permalink

Well technically Auran weren't there to primarily show off their game, they got the booth to announce the "Next Years Game" competition thing. The independent games booth actually took up #6 and #7 which made it the largest booth there, and yeah. They had a few games showing off in the "viewing area" of the lanfest, which were the xbox titles.

Personally I don't think its worth it showing off a game at the expo, since there are demo's that you can make, and its rather expensive and there aren't that many publishers around either. We'll see how it goes next year.

New locally made game - Ryan Starr is Abducted !

Hey guys -

I haven't had a chance to post on the Sumea boards for a while...but now you know why :)

Introducing 'Ryan Starr Is Abducted', the first game from Brisbane games and animation group Insert Coin! We officially unvieled it at QANTM's Industry Night on Friday but now it's being released to the web.

http://gazunta.gadgetlife.com/ryan/RyanStarrAbducted.exe is where you'll find the game and http://www.insertcoin.iscool.net is where you'll find the team's web site!

The game as it stands now is a fully complete one level demo. I hope you like it! We'd be interested in hearing your feedback (just hit reply on the board). For the record I did the game design document and character animation for the main character (except his walk cycle) and the monkey. We had 4 animators and 1 very stressed programmer put this together in 4 months.

So...any publishers out there interested? Any game development companies interested in hiring? :)

- Gazunta :)

Australian XBox Massive Bundle - $459

Massive Entertainment Pack
The Xbox Massive Entertainment Pack, which goes on sale on November 14, 2002 contains:

An Xbox, valued at $399
An Xbox DVD Remote Control, valued at $49.95
A copy of the award winning game, Halo?
A copy of the hottest racing title this Christmas, Sega GT 2002?
A copy of the popular inline-skating title, Jet Set Radio Future? (games all valued at $99.95 each)
All this for only $459 (inc. GST)

Pretty frickin' good deal if you ask me. I'll be picking one up when I come over next month for AGDC.

Speaking of AGDC, how is everyone's portfolios coming along. Mines gone a bit pear shaped with not having the stuff I was hoping for. Still, I hope to run into you all and looking forward to having a good time.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 12/11/02 - 9:35 PM Permalink

That is a pretty good deal. How much did an Xbox cost when it came out a year ago? about $700! What a difference a year of healthy competition makes! Unfortunately, I'm more of a PC nut, and any future purchase that I make would have to include a Geforce4 and a new CPU.. Doom 3, Silent Hill 2, and (hopefully real soon) Vice City have swayed me into upgrading my PC instead of buying a console - although I'm tempted to hire Vice City for the PS2 if I can get my hands on it at the video store.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 12/11/02 - 10:36 PM Permalink

Just to add to this, I think PC games are really starting to advance further away from the latest generation consoles in terms of eye candy / technology.. I know it's the gameplay that counts, but damnit, I wonder what those Geforce 5's are going to be able to do! 2x the speed of the 4ti was the blurb that was splashed about.. [8]

No R rating for games in Australia

So what does everyone think about the lack of an R rating in Australia? Do you mind that games rated higher than a MA15+ will remain banned here?

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 12/11/02 - 2:07 AM Permalink

There's always the grey market, and imports.

Well what I mean by that is if the game gets released anywhere at all it will find its way into Australia, either by people buying it overseas, or getting the Warez version, or by importing it in.

IMO refusing the R18 rating is a good idea because it will limit the potential risk of exposure to minors. Plus there's already enough p0rn on the net, and anything is acessible if you try hard enough.

"where there's a will, there's a way"

Submitted by Blitz on Tue, 12/11/02 - 5:27 AM Permalink

I think refusing the R rating is immature and just goes to show the lack of attention that the ministers etc. pay to the gaming industry. It's also a violation of the freedom we should have to view what we want.
It's also interesting to note the reasons why games are given an R rating (or censored/banned). In the case of bmx xxx it was apparently the topless bike riders (and not the stripper cutscenes etc.) that caused the problem. And if i remember, GTA3 was censored because it had prostitutes in the game. So, minimal sex (the sort of thing that would be probably OK in a M or MA rated movie) is considered R material in a game just because it's an interactive medium. On the other hand, games continue to become more violent, and, as graphics technology improves, are able to convey the violence much more realistically, yet these games receive an MA rating with no censorship. This sends either the message that sex is an inherently much worse thing than violence, or, using Daemin's theory "refusing the R18 rating is a good idea because it will limit the potential risk of exposure to minors" that if minors are more likely to be exposed to legal content, it is better for them to be exposed to extreme violence, than to some topless girl riding a bmx bike.

Of course, ultimately it comes down to parenting. If you're worried about your children being exposed to certain games, then simply supervise what games they do play etc.

Finally, i agree with what the game companies have said. The gaming industry has matured, and these ministers (or whatever) that opposed the change to an R rating are behind the times.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 12/11/02 - 8:35 AM Permalink

Still as game developers we need to show some respect and restraint, in addition to some common sense. Maybe if we have a game where there's mature R18 content but in a tasteful way, much like some european films, "tasteful artistic" films, then the games industry might get an R18 rating and be even more respected.

Submitted by Gazunta on Tue, 12/11/02 - 9:50 PM Permalink

The reason GTA3 was censored wasn't just that it had prostitutes - it was the fact that you could hit / kill them, too. Sex and violence by themselves are fine, but you can't combine the two in Australia. Hence the "Non-violent erotica" label on Australian porn nowdays (um, apparently).

The OFLC web site has a detailed explaination of why they ruled against GTA 3, and even includes a call for a R18 rating to be established. Very interesting reading.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 12/11/02 - 9:53 PM Permalink

An R classification for games in Australia is never going to happen when you get the people who make the decisions giving out comments like these..

quote:Mr. Williams? spokeswoman continued; ?It?s appropriate to have a stricter regime in relation to this area ? [as] the likelihood of children gaining access to adult computer games increases if the material is legally available.?

I can't begin to tell you how naive and backward a comment like that is. And it's a shame that people will have to resort to importing or piracy, as ultimately, it's the local game stores, and game developers that lose out.

And all this news comes on the heels of a stricter labelling system for music CD's - before hand, anyone could buy music, as long there was warning on the cover if the lyrics were deemed course, or sexually explicit. Now there is an R rated classification, so no under 18s can buy that stuff. Personally, I don't mind that at all, but I fail to see why games are so different. They claim that because it's interactive, it could cause greater harm - but I fail to see any studies or evidence of such.

At this moment, you could say it's not a big deal, but I'm sure when some great new game that DEPENDS on mature content (Duke Nukem Forever?), it'll be more trouble than its worth disabling the offensive material.. The trend seems to be heading towards mature content (although some of these developers tacking on nudy bits to sell more titles like BMX XXX will hopefully be a minority), and it kind of peeves me a bit when something like GTA3, and Vice City have to be changed to suit our crummy laws.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 13/11/02 - 10:23 AM Permalink

If they censor or anything DOAXBV at all, theres gonna be hell to pay!
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 13/11/02 - 11:41 AM Permalink

I don't think there's any sex in that, only implied nudity. So it'll pass, M15+.

Submitted by Meatex Salami on Wed, 13/11/02 - 11:50 PM Permalink

Well games are the current scape-goat for everything thats wrong with young kids so obviously they are going to be overly stict with cencorship.
It doesn't really matter that much cause like Daemin says, ppl will get it off the net.
Either an R rating or rating guys who aren't as closed minded about video games. We need ppl who understand games to rate them.

Bloody hell its a giant harmonica!

Submitted by souri on Thu, 14/11/02 - 3:01 PM Permalink

It's strange that violence isn't as censored as much.. you can see gibs and people writhing in agony in games like Soldier of Fortune in stores, but the minute some game shows topless nudity, it's an instant ban. That's all BMX XXX had, right? Topless nudity, and course language. I guess we're lucky somewhat that violent games aren't censored as much - I'd hate to play a modified game where the blood had to be changed to green and enemies were referred to as cyborgs. I think this happens in Germany with certain titles ?

Submitted by Blitz on Thu, 14/11/02 - 11:36 PM Permalink

BMX XXX features female bike riders with no tops, dogs having sex, and cut scenes featuring strippers, as well as the coarse language, but apparently it was the topless bike riders that caused them to ban it...which is just insane.
Germany also has the unfortunate problem of banning/censoring any game with any nazi related stuff in it. So they don't get RTCW, or a lot of WW2 based games.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 15/11/02 - 8:28 AM Permalink

And they had the wolfenstein logos instead of swastikas if I read correctly.

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Mon, 18/11/02 - 9:45 AM Permalink

I dont necessarily mind the "no sexual violence" rule, the minute that gets lifted somones going to make a game with rape in it that would be done for the sake of violence, not as say part of character development and story. Since a moronic friend of mine said that redfaction needs a rape button when you come across a cowering nurse it makes me worry that somone would actually try somthing pathetic like that. An R rating should have been out years ago though. Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions on what they want not what somone else thinks is best for the majority. I think a reason that this rating hasnt been made is because video games are still considered childish. People who dont play them assume that only kids and teenagers are into gaming, Which is miles from the truth.
I also believe bringing in an R rating will allow the developers a bit more room for creativity, it must be annoying to have to alter the project you worked so hard on just to meet some stupid guide line.

Lead paint: delicious but deadly!

Submitted by souri on Wed, 27/11/02 - 11:16 AM Permalink

quote:If they censor or anything DOAXBV at all, theres gonna be hell to pay!
CYer, Blitz

That game's just had a R18+ rating in Japan.. they don't show nudity in it at all, but I've read some of the posings may be a little too much. It would be a shame if a game like that is banned, as a few of the reviews I've read have given it a favourable thumbs up.

Submitted by Blitz on Sun, 01/12/02 - 10:00 AM Permalink

If they ban it they're gonna have a revolution on their hands!!!! :)
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by DG Music on Sun, 22/12/02 - 6:24 AM Permalink

*sigh* and i thought that i might actually get to buy postal 2 at a store next year, not gonna happen now. I guess i'll have to break the law and get it imported, the upside of that is more of my money goes right to the developer.

As an adult, i refuse to be told by the government what videogames i can and cannot play. I'm all for the R rating. Had there been an R rating when GTA3 was brought out it wouldn't have been nuetered, it would have been given an R rating and the 15 and over who are able to purchase and play it now wouldn't be able to.

Tito, Jaruu Tenk, and Halloween Spirit Board

Just posting my thoughts on some games that are available for download recently.

I've always been curious to what Dimsdale and Kreozot were doing with their Tito, the bouncing Alien title, so I was eager to have a look at the demo. The one playable level was very well designed, and whilst the gameplay is very simple, it's still quite fun to play. It's not going to break new grounds in any area, but it definately has a certain charm to it. I can imagine my nieces and nephews absolutely loving this game, so I can see it doing well for the 6 - 12yr old market.. and hey, it's fun for us older kids as well.

Also on the main news page, John Passfield made available two games on his website - Chronicles of Jaruu Tenk, and Halloween Spirit Board, both were made with art from Steve Stamatiadis.

Jaruu Tenk was influenced by Little Computer People on the Commodore 64 - it was a unique title where you had a view of your computer person perform daily tasks in his house.. he'd go watch tv, play piano, eat dinner, answer phones etc.. you were sorta like Big Brother. You could interact with him in certain ways such as writing him a letter. Anyway, Jaruu Tenk follows on that kind of idea. Jaruu is one of the characters you can focus on while he does his daily activities around his island. Some really fast and smooth 3d can be expected (this title was done in '99), and the camera angles were very cool. I really dig the music too [:)].. The 3d characters were very low polygon'd, but were created and animated very nicely by Steve. There are a few things you can do while Jaruu is doing his stuff, like water plants. I'm still trying to figure out some more things to do though. Definately worth checking out - I have it set as my screensaver. [:)]

Halloween Spirit Board is a program where you can type in questions, and the ouiji board will spell out answers for you. Something to freak out your younger sisters and brothers since it's Halloween and all [:)]

Jaruu, and Halloween Spirt Board can be downloaded at John Passfield's website at http://www.users.bigpond.com/jaruu/games .. Tito, the Bouncing Alien demo can be downloaded here at http://www.sumea.com.au/demos/Tito_Publisher_Wanted_Demo.exe

Submitted by Obsolete 386 on Thu, 07/11/02 - 1:28 AM Permalink

All sounds good [:)], but i bet [8D] you could have put more [:p] smileys in your post [:D] then you actually managed to[xx(]. But don't worry [;)], i'm sure most people have fallen [|)] after the first line of this post [:0]

100% chance of PAIN, in the GLAVEN

Submitted by souri on Thu, 07/11/02 - 6:41 PM Permalink

And I bet if a lot of people abuse the smiley system, I'll just disable it. [:)]