Mental Health First Aid course

The Pixel Mill will be hosting a 2-day Mental Health First Aid Course for the interactive sector on the 25th and 26th April from 9:30am – 4:30pm at Ormeau Baths.

The two-day workshop will be delivered by Mind Fitness and will focus on best practice guidelines. This will provide the knowledge, confidence, and practical skills for delegates to be able to effectively set boundaries, provide non-clinical mental health support and know how to take care of their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of the colleagues they are responsible for leading and collaborating with. This course assembles current best practice around mental health first aid and applies these principles to the specific challenges that professionals in the videogames industry are sometimes presented with.

Outcomes for the course are:

  • Able to understand the primary goals of a Mental Health First Aider
  • Able to identify a range of common mental health challenges based on current best practice insights about how people may present whilst experiencing these common conditions
  • Able to apply the RESPOND framework to provide non-judgemental support to any person experiencing a mental health challenge
  • Able to confidently take care of one’s own wellbeing and mental health whilst working as a professional in any of the creative industries
  • Able to reflect on challenges and communicate with clarity and purpose to influence and direct positive outcomes for the people you manage and the colleagues you collaborate with

Mind Fitness specialises in mental health, wellbeing and personal effectiveness training. With a background in video games and the creative industries, it works extensively in the interactive entertainment industry.

There are limited number of spaces available for the workshop series and will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. In the event that the workshop series are oversubscribed we may limit the number of participants from individual companies.

If you would like to sign up to the workshops please email Rory Clifford, Interactive Manager,

People & Culture online learning sessions

The Pixel Mill is hosting a series of online learning sessions focused on People and Culture for the interactive sector during April and May.

The series of 6 x 2hr sessions will cover a range of topics around leading people and developing team culture within interactive studios. The first 3 sessions in series in April are:

  • Wednesday 5th April, 12noon-2pm – Developing Employer Value Proposition (EVP) – what does your brand really say about the people you work with
  • Wednesday 12th April, 12noon-2pm – How to recruit well! From ED&I to the does and don’ts of the process we’ll explore ways to attract and select the best talent for you
  • Wednesday 19th April, 12noon-2pm – Retention is more than your EVP but do you truly know what’s required to keep good people?

The workshops will be delivered by Sarah Brewster from Fresh Seed. Fresh Seed is a People and Culture consultancy for the creative industries providing revolutionary people management and organisational culture services to help the industry grow stronger. Their services range from HR retainer to a training and cultural deep dive, focusing on bringing positive transformation and happiness to the creative industries. Fresh Seed work with various studios within the industry including Safe In Our World and SpongeHammer.

Sarah has spent years in Organisation Design and Development, Operations Management and HR. Having mostly worked in SMEs, she is familiar with the challenges and opportunities that this brings. She doesn’t speak in corporate terms and feels there’s a complete disconnect between HR practices and people management so Fresh Seed was born to bridge that gap.

If you would like to attend the workshop please email to register.

People and Culture workshop at The Pixel Mill

The Pixel Mill will be hosting an Introduction People and Culture workshop for the interactive sector on Thursday 9th March from 9:30am-12:30pm at Ormeau Baths, Belfast.

The workshop will look at what ‘people and culture’ is and explain why it is an important function of a video game/immersive studio from established teams through to start-up studios. The interactive workshop will be followed by 1-2-1 sessions for studios that have specific questions they would like advice on themselves.

The workshop will be delivered by Sarah Brewster from Fresh Seed. Fresh Seed is a People and Culture consultancy for the creative industries providing revolutionary people management and organisational culture services to help the industry grow stronger. Their services range from HR retainer to a training and cultural deep dive, focusing on bringing positive transformation and happiness to the creative industries. Fresh Seed work with various studios within the industry including Safe In Our World and SpongeHammer.

Sarah has spent years in Organisation Design and Development, Operations Management and HR. Having mostly worked in SMEs, she is familiar with the challenges and opportunities that this brings. She doesn’t speak in corporate terms and feels there’s a complete disconnect between HR practices and people management so Fresh Seed was born to bridge that gap.

If you would like to attend the workshop please email to register. If you would like to book a 1-2-1 session with Sarah, please inform Rachel when registering. 1-2-1 sessions are booked on a first come first serve basis however if there is demand we will run 1-2-1 on Friday 10th March as well.

Platform is open for applications

Are you passionate about video games and motivated to establish/grow your studio? Do you have fresh ideas to develop a video game? If this sounds like you and your company, apply for our video game accelerator programme, Platform. Aimed at video game studios in Northern Ireland, this programme will support you in self-publishing a game based on an original IP within 12 months.

Based out of The Pixel Mill based at the Ormeau Baths in Belfast, Platform gives studios access to facilities, mentors, training and funding, as well as the opportunity to attend industry events to build your business network.

Up to four companies will be selected to develop their business and build their teams with a maximum fund of £60,000 to spend on development across each stage of the programme.

Interested companies will initially be invited to complete an online assessment. From there, shortlisted companies will be invited to attend an interview and pitch presentation.

For further information please click here.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 10th February.

Northern Ireland technology company set to revolutionise the art of goalkeeping

As the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, pioneering Belfast-based company, INCISIV, officially launch their virtual reality (VR) simulator to the global market.

For a goalkeeper, football is full of make-or-break moments. The euphoria of match-winning saves or the abject despair of letting teammates down. A local company specialising in virtual reality has created a new simulator called CleanSheet to support aspiring goalkeepers prepare for critical moments.

CleanSheet delivers a unique VR experience where goalkeepers can practice potential real-game scenarios again and again. Developed by local neuro-technology company INCISIV, CleanSheet has sold over 30,000 copies since launching on Meta Quest’s App Lab in February.

INCISIV’s technology evolves from goalkeeping research inspired by the famous “banana” kick scored by Brazil’s Roberto Carlos, against France, in 1997 and originally carried out by Cathy Craig Co-Founder & CEO of INCISIV and Professor of Experimental Psychology at Ulster University.

She commented: “Backed by decades of research into the science behind goalkeeping, our vision with CleanSheet is simple – improve performance, make a positive difference to people’s lives and above all have a lot of fun. With applications for both professionals and aspiring amateur goalies, we are hoping the next Thibaut Courtois or Mary Earps will be inspired by our VR software made here in Belfast.”

Following huge demand on TikTok, INCISIV have adapted their ground-breaking goalkeeping technology, originally designed for professionals, so anyone can test their reactions and goalkeeping skills from the comfort of their living room.

CleanSheet turns VR hand controllers into goalkeeping gloves, allowing players to punch, catch, and throw the ball – as they would in a real match. Opponents can launch headers, volleys and free kicks which they must save. Or they can be surrounded by portals, firing the ball as quickly as possible, testing reaction speed.

The INCISIV team will officially launch CleanSheet worldwide on the ByteDance-owned Pico Store later this month.

The development of CleanSheet, has been supported by funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Ireland Screen commented: “As part of Northern Ireland’s Screen’s new four year strategy, Stories, Skills and Sustainability, we are committed to supporting indigenous companies driving forward the local immersive sector. We were delighted to support the production and evolution of CleanSheet, a VR experience backed by decades of research into the art of goalkeeping. I commend the team at INCISIV for its agility reaching and engaging global audiences on social media and responding to customer demand to take their product to new markets and audiences.”

For more information, visit

Legal workshops at The Pixel Mill

The Pixel Mill is hosting two workshops covering legal for companies and legal for freelancers on Thursday 24th November with Simon Sellars.

The workshops will be run separately during the day however individuals are welcome to attend both. The workshops will be:

Legal for Companies – 10am-12noon – The workshop will cover best practice for companies, or for individuals thinking of starting their own company. Topics include IP, trademarks, commercial contracts and data protection. There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A.

Legal for Freelancers – 1pm-3pm – The workshop will cover best practice for freelancers. Those currently working as freelancers or have recently started working as a freelancer are welcome to attend. Topics to be covered will be legal basics covering ownership IP, re-use of existing material with different clients, exclusivity/non-compete restrictions, payment for work and ending contracts. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A.

Simon has over 15 years’ experience of providing intellectual property, data protection, and commercial legal advice. He trained at leading international law firm Baker McKenzie and qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2009. Before this, Simon had worked in the patent field since 2002. Simon has worked for both international and boutique IP-specialist law firms as a trademark attorney and as an in-house lawyer for a technology start-up and Oxford University Press.

The workshops will be delivered in-person at The Pixel Mill but will also be available to join online as well. There are limited spaces to join in person and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to attend either of the workshops please email Rachel, and state which workshop you would like to attend and whether you will attend online or in-person.

Interactive CINE vacancies

CINE is recruiting for a number of interactive vacancies, including:

  • Assistant Producer / Community Support
  • Interactive Scheme
  • Junior Games Programmer / Developer

Each role supports individuals development to progress in a career in the video games industry. We want people who are passionate about video games and who are interested to learn more about the skills required to have a career in the industry to apply.

For more information and to apply please click here.

Deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 25th November.

For more information on the CINE scheme please click here.

Outside Games’ Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries launched on Steam

Outsider Games have announced that their supernatural, globe-trotting point-and-click adventure, Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries, is now available on Steam. The game was developed with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

After her father dies in suspicious circumstances, Jennifer attempts to use her childhood gift for talking to ghosts to call his spirit back. Unwittingly, the ghost recalled is that of Oscar Wilde, famous Irish playwright, whose secret affair with Jennifer’s father has bound his ghost to the locket.

Set at the start of the Jazz Age, Jennifer and Oscar investigate an international mystery; discovering a trail of murder and revolution, that leads them into conflict with secret government organisations, a British occult spy network, and the Irish Revolutionary Army.

In a thrilling, witty and melancholic adventure, Jennifer and Oscar uncover dark secrets, deal with the loss of a shared love and develop a deep friendship along the way.

Unlikely Revolutionaries is based on the comic book series from Atomic Diner, Jennifer Wilde, created by Robert Curley. The game’s beautiful, hand-drawn graphics stay true to its comic book roots.

“I started turning the graphic novel I worked on into a game over 5 years ago and it’s finally finished!” says Outsider Games founderStephen Downey. “Even while drawing the first panel, I knew the murder mystery plotline and meloncholy story would make a perfect Point & Click adventure, and started the long process of adapting the story, with the goal of aligning investigative gameplay with the design language of comics.

Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionariefeatures:

  • A comicbook twist on the traditional Point & Click inventory – collect illustrated notes in your sketchbook and use them to confront characters, prompt their memories and link clues together
  • Ability to play as both Jennifer and Oscar, and use their special skills to solve dialogue and classic inventory puzzle
  • Dazzling dialogue worthy of Oscar Wilde by award-winning Irish author, Maura McHugh
  • Fully illustrated in black and white ink tones by comic artists, with gorgeous hand-drawn animation 

Users can play Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries on Steam now.

NI Student Game Jam

The NI Student Game Jam will take place from Monday 24th October at 9am to Wednesday 26th October at 12 noon. The NI Student Game Jam is aimed at students attending a Regional College or University within Northern Ireland who have a passion for making video games.

Teams will be given a theme to base their game idea around, with teams uploading their game to The Pixel Mill page. The game genre/platform is down to the teams to decide. Teams can use existing code/assets they already have or create something new from scratch, we just want to see new ideas. Throughout the two days teams will have an opportunity to speak to industry professionals for advice.

The NI Student Game Jam will be held remotely, but teams will be able to access facilities at their cooperating College or University. After games have been submitted teams will have an opportunity to present their game to the rest of the teams.

We encourage students who have an interest in video game but have never made a game before to take part. Students can form teams before the start of the Game Jam. However, if you do not have a team and would like to take please let us know and we will try to connect you with other individual participants or other teams at your Regional College or University.


Who can enter?
Students attending a Regional College or University in Northern Ireland. The participating Colleges and Universities are:

  • Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Northern Regional College
  • Southern Regional College
  • South-West Regional College
  • Ulster University, Belfast

How can I enter?
One person from each team should register their team using this form:

Please note teams’ size is 5 maximum

Once you have been registered, participating teams will be informed of their main point of contact at the College/University that they attend and where, if possible, they can gain access to PC equipment.

Zoom links for the start and end of the Game Jam will be sent to each of the teams prior to the start.

If you have yet to find a team, please contact and we will try to match you with others also looking a team, or connect you in with existing teams at your college or university.

What is the schedule?

Monday 24th October

  • 9am – Kick-Off and theme reveal

Tuesday 25th October

  • 10am – Check-ins

Wednesday 26th October

  • 12noon – Games submitted to The Pixel Mill page
  • 1pm – 3pm – Team presentations

What is the theme?
Theme will be revealed at 9am on Monday 24th October

What can I make my game in?
Anything. Project can be 2D or 3D. Work with what you are most comfortable using.

What assets can I use?
The game should be developed during the jam, but you may use pre-existing code and can use whatever art and audio assets you have the legal right to use.

When should I submit my game?
While the jam concludes at 12:00 BST, there will be an additional hour on the clock (until 13:00 BST) that is just for submitting your game. We recommend uploading something early, and updating as you go! Once this concludes, all submissions will be shut – with no opportunities for late submissions!

What do we need to present?
For teams that are comfortable presenting, they will have 5mins to talk through their idea. There is no need to create slides/presentation, teams can talk over gameplay or images of their game.

What type of games do you want made?
Any type of game but we enjoyment, creativity, and presentation.

Is there a Discord/Slack I can join?
Yes! Teams that are entering will be added to The Pixel Mill Slack where a channel will be set up so that teams can post questions as they are developing.

Belfast XR Festival Announces Line-Up

Belfast XR Festival, supported by Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen, has announced the complete line-up for its inaugural programme showcasing the best of local and international immersive technology content.

The festival takes place for one day on Wednesday 9th November at The Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast as part of the 22nd Belfast Film Festival running from 3rd – 12th November. Its goal is to create an unmissable annual XR gathering that inspires storytelling.

Programmed by Deepa Mann-Kler, Belfast XR Festival Director, this year’s programme showcases a rich selection of works from creators working at the forefront of emerging technologies, including interactive virtual reality and screen-based installations.

The festival brings together 10 projects from countries across the world (Ireland, Canada, Poland, UK, Germany, Switzerland). Three projects are from Northern Ireland, and eight have lead artists that identify as women or with mixed-gender production teams. This year’s programme also shines a light on some of the most urgent social and political issues of our time, with works exploring vital topics such as the climate emergency, loneliness, and estrangement during lockdown.

The festival is also proud to showcase work by the BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Antonin Niclass. In Midnight Story narrated by BAFTA award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes. Also included is Genesis, by German filmmakers Maria and Joerg Courtial, in which 4.7 billion years of evolution are condensed into an intense 24-hour journey.

Deepa Mann-Kler, Director, Belfast XR Festival says: “We are thrilled to present the inaugural Belfast XR Festival, featuring projects by creators from all over the world and a strong presence of excellent Northern Irish talent. Belfast XR Festival highlights the enormous diversity and vibrancy of the ever-growing international immersive and expanded realities scene, from high-profile international filmmakers who are experimenting with new technologies, to new works from some of the most exciting emerging talent in the field. This year’s programme considers pertinent issues of our time from a hugely diverse range of perspectives and art forms.”

Michele Devlin, Director, Belfast Film Festival says: “BXRF is such an exciting new development. This festival is packed with engaging, new, and innovative ways to experience storytelling. We’re blown away by the quality of work being made for immersive and expanded reality platforms in Northern Ireland right now. The BXRF programme highlights this work and will excite audiences of all ages.”

Hugh Odling-Smee, Project Manager, Film Hub NI says: “Film Hub NI are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Belfast XR Festival. Cinema has always been at the forefront of innovation in screen technology, and we’re delighted to share this opportunity for exhibitors to engage and understand what immersive art means for the cherished collective audience experience. The brilliant Belfast XR Festival programme that is emerging shows that the principles of high-quality storytelling, design, music, and production will apply to XR expansion, just as they have to cinema since the late 19th century.”

Professor Paul Moore, Director, Future Screens NI says: “Future Screens NI is delighted to be supporting the inaugural Belfast XR Festival. It is a critical component in supporting the immersive eco system. It is a platform for content creators to share their work publicly and a chance for young people and the public to access high quality immersive experiences. It is not often that one can stand in both the present and the future at the same moment.”

Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen says: “We are delighted to support the Belfast XR Festival as part of Belfast Film Festival. This is a fantastic platform for local talent to showcase immersive virtual and augmented projects to the public. This is an exciting time for the interactive sector in Northern Ireland and we welcome continued support in this growing economy.”