The Pixel Mill Workshop – Q&A with a Publisher

The Pixel Mill is hosting a Q&A with a Publisher workshop with Secret Mode Director of Publishing James Schall on Thursday 30th September at 9:30am – 11am.

The workshop will be an opportunity for developers, new and experienced, to ask questions about video games publishing. James will cover topics ranging from how to pitch games, what publishers look at when considering a game as well as general game industry trends. There will be an option for companies to have one-on-one meetings with James to discuss projects after the Q&A.

James Schall is Head of Secret Mode at Sumo Group’s Publishing Division. He is a veteran of the UK games industry, spanning 30 years of experience at retail and publishing. James spent 8 years at working on their videogames offering and over 13 years at SEGA where he was VP of Global Digital business. James has extensive knowledge of Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and other online platforms and services and the magic and secrets of unlocking success in an ever-changing games market. He currently leads Secret Mode, the publishing division of Sumo Group.

The workshop will be held in-person at the Ormeau Baths (with a limited number of people and social distancing measures in place), however there will also be an option to join remotely. If you would like to attend the workshop please email Rory Clifford, Interactive Manager, Please include whether you would like to attend in person. Numbers will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Companies interested in taking part in the one-on-one meetings should let Rory know ahead of time. There is a limited number of sessions and will allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Animotive Shorts Scheme

We have launched an animation/VR pitching competition for entry level filmmakers currently working in the animation and interactive sector.

The competition will run in association with Retinize, the Belfast based immersive tech studio. The studio has developed and created Animotive, an innovative VR SaaS product set to disrupt the 3D animation production pipeline, making it completely intuitive.

Animotive is a professional 3D animation production tool that harnesses the power of off-the-shelf VR headsets, allowing users to create 3D animated content for any medium at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional workflows.

Users can use their own 3D assets, and scenes can be exported in real-time for film, TV, video, games, and VR/AR. Animotive can deliver huge real-world savings when compared with traditional 3D animation production workflows.

More information can be found on Animotive here.

We will be hosting a series of sessions as part of the pitching process. The sessions will take place over a block of four sessions in October 2021. Dates for the sessions will be confirmed with the participants on successful selection. A maximum of five applicants will be selected to participate in the seminar series.

Week 1

Applicants will have a demo of Animotive by Retinize.

Week 2

An animation producer will deliver a session on the pitching process for animation projects.

Week 3

Applicants will pitch their idea to a panel including a representative from Retinize, a locally based animation studio producer and our Interactive Manager, Rory Clifford.

Week 4

Applicants will receive feedback on their pitches and the winning pitch will be announced.

The winning pitch will receive a funding award of £7,500 to create a 3–5-minute short film using the Animotive tool. Retinize will be the facilitating production company for the selected short film.

This is an entry-level scheme. Eligible applicants will currently be working in a junior capacity on a freelance basis with either a local animation or interactive studio.

Applicants are asked to consider the feasibility of their project at application stage in relation to production logistics. Applicants should be mindful of the number of characters being featured and bespoke locations being used in their proposal.

The successful applicants will also be mentored by John Stevenson, director of KUNG FU PANDA during the programme.

To register your interest in taking part in the competition process, please email a summary of your pitch proposal (maximum 1 page) and your CV to by Friday 17th September at 5pm.

XRX development programme

XRX is a new programme aimed at supporting companies working on innovative ideas within the XR industry. The programme, which is being delivered in partnership by Northern Ireland Screen, Future Screens NI and Digital Catapult NI, is seeking 3 start-ups or established companies who have an ambition to make new innovative immersive content, products or services.

The programme will provide in-depth support and mentorship for companies that wish to secure seed investment or realise their ambitions to deploy new and emerging tech actively inside their business within the next 12-18 months.

The application is open to companies and organisations of all sizes.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 16th September.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Pixel Mill Workshop – Boosting Game Development through Production

The Pixel Mill is hosting a workshop on Boosting Game Development Through Production with Davy Johnstone, Senior Producer, CCP. The workshop will take place on Friday 3rd September from 1pm – 3pm and will be delivered online.

The workshop will focus on how studios can boost game development by improving their internal workflows and processes. Topics will cover designing new solutions for projects by evaluating existing systems/workflows and assessing defects & tech debt to create new features/systems. Participants will learn how to manage the scope of changes while balancing project’s needs, using a team centred approach to gather feedback to iterate and improve development.

Davy Johnston works for CCP, originally joining in 2009, and is currently the Senior Producer for Developer Tools and Game Services on EVE Online leading teams across a wide range of projects.

The workshop is open to anyone working within the Northern Ireland interactive sector, however spaces will be limited and administered on a first come/first serve basis. To book a space in the workshop email

The Pixel Mill Workshop – Game Design for Live Ops

The Pixel Mill is hosting a workshop on Game Design for Live Ops with Linzi Campbell, Senior Game Designer, CCP. The workshop will take place on Friday 3rd September from 10am-12 noon and will be delivered online.

The workshop will focus on Live Ops for video game development, taking lessons from a 15+ year old game (Eve Online). Topics will cover designing live events and content that continues to engage the community around a game, integrating user testing into live ops and reacting to feature feedback to focus development. There will be insight on how to develop a cohesive game design workflow within a team, as well as between teams, to guide the development of content as well as provide feedback for tools development.

Linzi Campbell works at CCP on Live Ops game design for Eve Online and has over a decade of experience working on the franchise from QA Tester to Game Designer through to current role as Senior Game Designer.

The workshop is open to anyone working within the Northern Ireland interactive sector, however spaces will be limited and administered on a first come/first serve basis. To book a space in the workshop email