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There are two interesting articles over at The Age by Jason Hill about the growing popularity of retro gaming and the demise of arcade parlours...

"The ever-increasing power, popularity and affordability of home consoles decimated the coin-operated market. Now almost all of Australia's "pinnie parlours" have gone, unlikely ever to reclaim their popularity, despite the attempts of the coin-operated industry to create a family-friendly image.

But the games themselves are refusing to die. Those "wayward" teens who once fed the insatiable coin-operated cabinets are now well into their 20s and 30s, and their nostalgia is fuelling a retro gaming boom."

If you fall into those age brakets, I'm sure you'll find the articles very interesting. Also included in the retro gaming article are some quotes from some familair names on Sumea.

Why arcade parlours are scoring low Ply Again

News

Submitted by Luke Van Leuveren

PALGN Launches Smart PSP Formatting

Sydney, Australia, 10 September 2005 - The PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) has today launched its new technology, designed to detect and correctly render web pages viewed via the PSP browser.

James Gay, PALGN's Manager says: "Those of you who have tried out the PSP browser are likely to find the experience akin to browsing on an old 468 computer with a dialup connection. Typical load times for most sites range from 60 seconds, up to over 3 minuets. Once you actually get the page up and running you'll probably find yourself having to continuously scroll left and right in order to read each line of text which stretches past the edge of the screen."

"Surprisingly many gaming sites are not PSP friendly at the most basic functional level" said James. "The front page on IGN.com, for example, will not load completely (due to insufficient memory errors) and roadblock ads on GameSpot.com can't be passed using the PSP browser."

PALGN has solved these problems by becoming the first site in the world to automatically detect when it is being viewed on a PSP and adjust its design accordingly. The special PSP design rearranges content to make each page fit onto the PSP screen. A significant amount of non-essential code has also been removed to help speed up the processing time while the PSP renders each page.

The PALGN front page (http://palgn.com.au) will now completely load in under 10 seconds on a PSP with a typical Wi-Fi connection. Most other pages will completely load in under 15 seconds.

James says: "Those of you lucky enough to be in possession of a PSP with firmware 2.0 simply need to point your PSP browser to http://palgn.com.au to check out the design. Everyone else will simply have to dream of a time when toilet breaks while playing World of Warcraft become a chance to catch up on the latest PAL Gaming news."

About PALGN

The PAL Gaming Network is one of Australia's leading gaming media websites coving all major consoles (including handhelds) and PC. Founded in late 2001 as a community project designed to fill the void of non-American gaming press, it grew through many forms to establish itself in 2004 as one of the most comprehensible and comprehensive gaming resources for both hardcore and casual gamers living in Australia. With the recent addition of a European editor the company now has a dual focus, ensuring that content from all PAL regions is suitably covered. With several huge projects in the works PALGN is set to become as important for PAL gamers as IGN and GameSpot are for Americans.

For more information please call +61 (0) 415 400 707 or visit us at http://palgn.com.au or http://palgn.com.au

Contact:
Manager:
James Gay
+61 (0) 415 400 707
james@palgn.com.au

PR Director:
Luke Van Leuveren
+61 (0) 403 596 822
luke@palgn.com.au

News

Zibba

It's too soon to call it the Virtual Crash of '05, but new virtual economy site Game Money Price Research has an alarming set of charts up tracking the dive of almost all major MMORPG currencies against the U.S. dollar in the first half of this year. It may be made of pixels, but the sky certainly looks like it's falling.

While GMPR's methodology might be questionable, it seems there's a real trend being tracked here. What to ascribe it to is another question.

In plain numbers (calculated by the Walkering research staff, based on GMPR's charts), the first half of the year looks like this (compared to approximate age of world, in months):

Eq2 gold: down 89.58 % --23 months
Wow gold: down 83.33 % -- 8
Lineage 2 adena: down 64.91 % -- 36
Ffxi gil: down 52.94 % -- 40
Eve isk: down 51.51 % -- 28
Anarchy online credit: down 51.28 % -- 50
Daoc plat: down 50.00 % -- 48
Swg credit: down 38.09 % --26
UO gold: down 10.59 % -- 72
Second Life: down 4.19 % --28
Everquest Plat: down 3.0% -- 78
CoH Influence: up 9.0 % -- 15

The depreciation tracked by GMPR cuts across all ages of worlds and all population levels. With the exception of a few outliers, there does seem to be a slight correlation between age of world and fall in currency (i.e., most younger worlds have seen a bigger fall over the last six months than most older ones have), but I'm not handy enough with Excel to demonstrate that here. In any case, the two oldest worlds have the lowest recent depreciation, and two of the three youngest worlds have the highest.

More at the following link...

News

Around late 2002, John Passfield made available some games he developed with Steve Stamatiadis back in 1999. As you'd know, John and Steve co-founded Krome Studios, currently Australia's largest game developer...

The two titles are "The Chronicles of Jaruu Tenk" and "Halloween Spirit Board". Both represent my foray into AI and living worlds and both were done completely out of love on a part time basis (ie. for a zero budget and with extremely limited resources - I did all the game coding, design and writing, while Steve Stamatiadis did all the graphics and Tony Ball did the 3D renderer). Looking back at them now I wonder what we could have done with a bigger budget, a proper schedule and a design that included actual gameplay.

They were freely available at John's website for quite a while, and have only just been put back up at www.passfieldgames.com. I highly recommend downloading them for a look if you haven't already. Be sure to give John some feedback at his Game Musings!!

News

Whilst on my usual wanderings around the internets, I happened to land on a site about an extraordinary guy called Matt...

Matt is a 28-year-old itinerant deadbeat from Connecticut. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia to go walk the Earth, like Caine from Kung Fu. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is in his travels. He realizes that Caine from Kung Fu probably wouldn't make a web site about walking the Earth, but he accepts that there are certain ways in which he and Caine differ.

Make sure you go to his download page where you can grab the video compilation of him dancing around the world!!!

What's this have to do with local game development, I hear you ask? Well, the job that Matt left from to do his worldwide dancing tour was at Pandemic Studios in Brisbane!!

Company
News

IGDA Brisbane Student Chapter Forum
The IGDA Brisbane Student Chapter is for students, ex-students, and other non-industry people who want to develop games and get into the games industry. There is currently a mailing list that involves chapter suggestions for setup, and general dev discussion. If you're interested in joining the list please send an email to Ash, Ein_Stein, or LiveWire. Also check out the new Sumea Forum. The chapter is being run by Matt (THQ), Travis (QUT), and Ben (Krome).

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/03/05 - 3:36 AM Permalink

  • 1. unit - Friday, March 04, 2005 - 3:35:04 AMgreat, i can see the group i was in, experience has been added. Thanks Peter! grant

Any of you old time Amiga owners would know what demos were all about. You could say they were the precursor to modding, where a group of talented programmers, artists and musicians worked together on various kinds of "demos" which often showed off ground breaking hardware-pushing routines accompanied with great presentation. Except there were no commercial engines to work with back then, and the tools were much more primitive :)

In fact, many crusty game developers around the world had their start making demos on the Amiga. Digital Illusions, more widely known now as DICE and the developers of Battlefield 1942, started as a demo group called The Silents.

Where am I going with all this? Well, Australia had a very active demo scene too! Peter from Hemiware has done a fantastic job at collecting, categorising, and archiving old demos from the Australian Amiga demo scene starting from around 15 years ago. Many of these demos would have simply disappeared from existence otherwise.

You will need to use an Amiga emulator to run these demos, which you can download at www.winuae.net. Check out the list of downloadable demos by clicking the following link to the Hemiware website. And hey, you might even spot my name in some of those demos ;)

Location
News

Submitted by Simon Castles - Castles Music Productions

The team at Castles Music Productions (http://www.castlesmusic.com/) has almost completed audio production and implementation on the strategy wargame World At War.

Due for release in late February 2005 on PC the game will feature over 500 original sound effects created exclusively for the project.

"In order to create a high level of realism we recorded authentic weapons like the M2 Machine Gun and the classic Garand semi-automatic rifle at a local firing range. The results really help set the game apart from other's in the genre" said Castles.

Also featured are 6 fully orchestrated original music tracks from talented composer Scott Cairns, a recent addition to the Castles Music team.

Developed by 2by3 Games and published by New York publisher Matrix Games. World at War is due for release at the end of February 2005. For more information visit the game's website at www.worldatwaronline.com.

News

(Posted from the forum by Damo...)

The Freehauler project requires a 3D modeller and texture artists/mapper to join our remote development team.

Freehauler is a commercial indie development project. Credit will be given for all work effort and monetary payment awarded based on the value each individual has added to the project, once a net profit from sales of the final product has been achieved.

The position will initially be on an as-needed basis and we are fully flexible in regards to scheduling work around other commitments.

For more details, please click on the following links...
Modeller details..
Texture Artists/Mapper details...

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