Games Design open day at Ulster University

On Saturday 5th October, Ulster University is hosting an open day for the Games Design course at the Belfast Campus.

The open day allows prospective students the opportunity to experience life at Ulster by speaking to staff and students to find out more about the game design course, attend talks and workshops on various subject areas and check out what the campus has to offer.

The Games Design course focuses on the skills, knowledge and creativity for the design and development of games using specialised tools and practices.

The video games industry is the biggest entertainment market in the world. Game Designers are an integral part in the development of games and often develop the initial game ideas, structures, rules and gameplay features.

To attend the open day, register for talks and tours on the Ulster University website.

Italic Pig’s Infinite Hotel has been nominated for Raindance Film Festival Immersive Summit Award

Northern Ireland’s Italic Pig’s, The Infinite Hotel, game has been nominated for Best Immersive Game at the upcoming Raindance Film Festival.

The Infinite Hotel is a character-driven VR adventure that boasts “a grand scale adventure in a room scale space”. Set in a hotel with an infinite number of floors, the player takes on the role of elevator operator to the weird and quirky staff and patrons of the universe’s most luxurious holiday resort.

The first event of the Immersive Summit, an annual symposium of eye-opening talks and panel discussions, shining the spotlight on leading creators and emerging voices from around the world, will take place at Vue Piccadilly Cinema on 26th September between 10:30 – 5:30pm. As part of the Immersive Games Panel, Kevin Beimers will be talking about the creation of The Infinite Hotel and the challenges and opportunities that VR presents for storytellers.

Kevin Beimer, CEO of Italic Pig said: “What interests me in VR is that it hasn’t had its ‘Fruit Ninja’ moment yet. I’m not saying I’m looking for Fruit Ninja VR, but Fruit Ninja as a metaphor representing a new game mechanic that truly embraced and catered to touchscreen mobile. VR is still in its infancy, and as far as I can tell, people are still searching for the new mechanic that is ‘special’ to VR – not a port, not a reskinning, but a unique, purist experience for the medium. As someone who likes to mess with expectations and experimentally mash genres together, it’s the absence of hard rules that excites me most.”

The project originally entered development through the support of both the Creative Europe MEDIA Sub-Programme and Northern Ireland Screen, and has most recently been supported by Future Screens NI and HTC Viveport. Italic Pig is currently looking for adventurous partners to help fund and support the completion of The Infinite Hotel.

The Raindance Film Festival takes place from 19th to 26th September.

Hypixel’s Hytale nominated for Most Wanted Game Award

Hytale from Derry-based Hypixel Studios has been nominated in the Most Wanted Game category at the 37th Golden Joystick Awards. These are the world’s longest-running public-voted games awards and hold a special place in the gaming calendar.

Hytale is a blockgame built around three pillars: going on adventures in a procedurally-generated fantasy world, playing minigames with the community, and building and sharing mods and custom content using an accessible set of browser-based and in-game tools.

The Most Wanted Game category is all about the future: the games the public is most looking forward to in the coming years. Hytale is one of twelve games shortlisted in this category with Awards organisers commenting:

It’s unlikely we’ll ever get a Minecraft 2 in name, but Hytale is essentially that in nature. “The scope of a sandbox with the depth of an RPG”, Hytale has the familiar blocky aesthetic with so much freedom, the possibilities will be endless.

You can vote for Hytale here:

The Golden Joystick Awards take place in London’s Bloomsbury Big Top on 15th November and are hosted by comedian and Assassin’s Creed star Danny Wallace. The event will be livestreamed and viewers will get to enjoy the ceremony as well as interviews, trailers and more.

Surroundscapes – The Power of Immersive Sound

Digital Catapult NI’s Surroundscapes event is an opportunity to explore the importance of sound within immersive experiences, to learn from industry experts, and to hear from and experience immersive content from the showcase companies.

Sound is an integral part of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) experiences. Imagine the abrupt slamming of a door, the impending doom of an object coming towards you, or simply the way we naturally turn towards a sound in a dark corner. All of these sounds need to be seamlessly integrated into a VR, AR and MR experience.

This event will be showcasing companies across the UK currently creating tools and content that demonstrate the power of sound in immersive experiences and you will have a chance to experience their groundbreaking content. Companies include;

  •  Volta and their VR spatial audio production platform;
  • Darkfield who specialise in creating communal location-based immersive experiences inside shipping containers;
  • Multi award winning immersive sound specialists 1618digital; and
  • ZoneMe: ZONEME’s TRUE2LIFE™ object-based sound system provides a new way to control how audiences hear things by placing the sound at the point of origination.

There will also be input from NI speakers including the latest research in immersive sound production techniques from Ulster University and QUB’s Sonic Arts Research Centre .

To attend, book your place now.