Note: this is not an official UK Games Fund event, nor will anyone from the fund be present.
The UK Games Fund is a newly established grant from UK Games Talent and Finance CIC with the aim of helping to develop the UK games development industry, particularly those in the early stages.
Grants of up to £25,000 will be awarded to help new and young development businesses create working prototype games. If you have a project which is further along the development process which needs support, they are also going to be awarding a limited number of grants for up to £50,000 and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
To support this, Bristol Games Hub is running a one off workshop for applicants and those interested in applying.
UK Games Fund Workshop – Monday 11th April, 7pm
The UK Games Fund recently held a series of workshops in Edinburgh, London, and Manchester, James Parker of Ground Shatter and the Bristol Games Hub was able to go along and hear in more detail the assessment criteria for applications. With the cooperation of the UK Games Fund itself, he has been able to get hold of the slides from the presentation and will be doing a “bootleg” version of the workshop at the Bristol Games Hub. If you are applying or thinking or applying, then this is an ideal opportunity to ideal more about how best of focus your time and effort when it comes to making your application.
If you are planning to attend, please familiarize yourself with the details of the fund and how to apply the link below first. We will be looking more closely at the assessment criteria and rather than covering the publicly available information here, so an understanding of what is required before attending the presentation is essential:
If you have any questions please bring them along with you and James will do his best to answer them.
For more information or to RSVP go to the Meetup Page.
This is a great opportunity peeps! Need to email them by the 31st March if interested!
THE WELLCOME TRUST AND EPIC GAMES LAUNCH: THE BIG DATA VR CHALLENGE
The Evolution of Data Visualisation – Taking Research to the Next Level
Tuesday, March 24th 2015 – For many, the collision of the video games world with the serious business of biomedical and humanities research seems like an unlikely event, but that’s exactly what the Big Data VR Challenge is designed to facilitate.
By harnessing some of the brightest minds in interactive entertainment, the Challenge is attempting to solve an ever-present problem in research – how to sift through huge data sets to find connections, trends and solutions in order to unlock hidden meanings.
The Challenge is a joint initiative from the Wellcome Trust and Epic Games, and today marks the call for submissions. At stake is a $20,000 prize for the winning team, whilst all six participating teams will each receive $5,000 to cover out of pocket expenses. The selected teams will be invited to participate in the first workshop at the Wellcome Trust on Thursday 9th April when three research topics will be unveiled.
Dr. John Williams, Head of Science Strategy, Performance and Impact at the Wellcome Trust, said: “We are lucky to live in a world where we are surrounded by an astonishing amount of data in all its various, sometimes nebulous, forms. Researchers need to be able to handle data better – to follow threads, play with connections and immerse themselves – without feeling overwhelmed. This is where the skills of the games industry can really help. The Big Data VR Challenge has the potential to convert that information into knowledge for the wider benefit of the research community, and that is hugely exciting.”
The highly immersive nature of virtual reality provides the best format in which to explore the potential threads and connections that may present themselves within huge data sets. The Challenge will explore how skills like intuitive UI development, management and manipulation
of large data sets and the creation of immersive, inherently understandable worlds can be usefully applied to the scientific community. Game developers are familiar with working with large data sets.
A modern open world game, for example, is built from a huge amount of data, combining massive geometry, textures and sounds and a lot of effort goes into building processes to transform, load and validate all of that data.
The Challenge will also explore how entertainment-focused game design skills can impact the handling of big scientific data sets which are not necessarily innately engaging, easily understandable, or traditionally entertaining.
“Year on year, the games industry continues to improve the science behind these amazing pieces of entertainment. The calculations required to recreate a lifelike environment are enormous. Our latest demo enables a player to explore more than 250 square kilometers of open terrain which is all generated in real time, something that would have been unthinkable as little as two years ago. Game developers are continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible, which in a way gives them a strong affinity with science researchers who are trying to define the unknown,” commented Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager, Epic Games.
Teams with an interest in creating immersive VR experiences are invited to apply to take part in the Big Data VR Challenge, which will be run with peer review during the development stage, and a jury to determine the overall outcome. The Challenge will culminate at this year’s Develop Conference in Brighton. In the first instance, studios should register an interest in participating by sending an email to bigdataVR@bastion.co.uk. Applications to participate will close at midnight on Tuesday 31st March.
About Unreal Engine
Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for bringing high-fidelity experiences to PC, console, mobile, Web and VR. Unreal Engine accelerates the creation of games, applications, simulations, visualizations and cinematic content. Download Unreal Engine for free at unrealengine.com, and follow @UnrealEngine for updates.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
A couple more bits of news! First is this…
Helping you to raise finance for your creative business
Turning a bright idea into a commercial success can be a challenge, especially for a creative business. Creative England and the Creative Industries Council are running a free event to help you learn how to access different forms of finance and grow your company.
The event features:
Revolution Software’s Charles Cecil MBE. Find out how he raised £100,000s through crowd funding.
- Panellists include:
Phil Geraghty – MD, Crowdfunder – Crowdfunder has raised £1.5m for campaigns since launching, and has the potential to help you too.
- Darren Westlake – CEO, Crowdcube – With Crowdcube, Darren is determined to solve the lack of financing options for small businesses. He started his first company aged 26 and has since successful built and sold two companies
- Jenny Tooth – CEO, of the UK Business Angels Association. Jenny has over 20 years’ experience in helping SMEs access investment.
- Irene Graham – MD of the British Banking Association. Irene works specifically with SMEs to help them navigate the financial landscape.
- Caroline Norbury MBE – CEO of Creative England, an organisation that has invested over £14,400,000 into the games, TV, film and digital media industries.
- Sarah Thirtle – Head of Business and lending programmes for Creative United, specialist in finance for the creative industry.
Taking place at Facebook, London, on March 19th. Click here to see the full schedule and to book your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/finance-your-creative-business-tickets-15974293542
Bristol Media have a survey up – help them out if you can by completing it! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BristolMediaBarometer
Hi all, a couple of bits of news you might be interested in…
Firstly: Creative England are looking for a person/organisation to deliver services to the SW games development community. Deadline is 13th March to submit a tender. Full info and contact for questions is in the PDF here.
Second: Invest Bristol+Bath (IBB) in partnership with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have got a survey for freelancers and companies in the region. Please help them by filling it out!
PS. Board games night tonight at the hub, 7.30pm for all us GDC no-gos.
PPS. News update from GDC yesterday is here.
Just giving y’all a heads up on the next event which will feature:
Dan Pope: Calling Cthulhu
A study of the sound design process for the video game Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. Dan will talk, and play audio examples, covering his experience in providing the music and sound design for this game. How do you create antique artillery noises without shooting people? How do you create an atmosphere of spiralling insanity? What sound does “The Spider of Leng” make? Find out the answers to all these questions and more. More about the game can be found here and the music is here.
The development of Woopaloo, a music based platform game
Note – this bit of the talk will now be postponed at request of the speaker… Thanks.
Plus! Video Games Tax Breaks – Just before the social! (Thursday, 29 May 2014 from 17:00 to 19:30) – come a find out how you can put more of your cash into development…
UKIE are putting on a workshop for tax breaks in games ahead of the next social at the Bristol Games Hub. If you are building games on yourself or have a company (or commission games) you will find it very worthwhile.
Sign up here! (FREE! But limited places) https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-get-your-uk-games-production-tax-credit-bristol-tickets-11315140891
More news coming soon!
Some great news from the Digital Cultures Research Centre and DiGRA!
We are delighted to announce the UK Chapter of DiGRA will be launching on 17th June at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of West England. The Chapter covers all of the UK, and we have a series of events planned already after two successful preliminary events earlier this year at the London Knowledge Lab, IoE and the Update Show at MediaCity, Manchester.
The chapter has a mailing list, accessible by joining:
We encourage everyone to sign on and take part. We are currently also in the process of setting up a webpage on the main DiGRA site, which will reside here: http://www.digra.org/the-association/chapters/united-kingdom-digra-chapter/
The launch event, entitled ‘Pervasive Provocations: The State of Games in the UK’, at the DCRC at The University of West England, Bristol, will interrogate key issues in Games Studies in the UK. You are encouraged to come along with a short provocation and get involved. Pop-up speakers throughout the afternoon already include Greg Foster (Larking About), Dan Hett (BBC Children’s Gaming), Prof Tanya Kryzwinska (University of Falmouth), with others to be confirmed. The afternoon will be followed by a DiGRA inaugural meeting in the DCRC and a launch party in the Watershed. Please sign up for the event here as places are limited:
The second event will be a DiGRA games track at Fascinate 2014:
FASCINATE 2014 27th – 31st August is an annual conference staged at Falmouth University, Cornwall. It is an interdisciplinary conference investigating the current and future applications of ubiquitous computing technologies in visual and performance arts, games, architecture, craft, design and interactive media. There is a specialist games track focused on the application of art and craft in games (30th and 31st August). This includes a two-day game jam preceding the conference (28th and 29th August). Rex Crowle from Media Molecule and BAFTA winner for Tearaway and Dr Esther McCallum-Stewart will give keynotes for the conference’s Games track. For more details please go to http://www.fascinateconference.com/. There will be a DIGRA UK meeting on the evening of 29th August in the AIR sandpit on the Tremough Campus.
The third event will be held as part of the University of Bedfordshire’s annual Under the Mask conference in November 2014. This year’s conference will provide an opportunity for discussion of Game Policy, Game Regulation, Communities of Gaming and LARPing, amongst others. Details to be announced in June 2014.
We’d like to thank all who took part in our first ever Board Game Jam and the first game jam hosted at the Hub’s base in Stokes Croft. The event was a huge success with people traveling from far and wide to take part (kudos to those who traveled from Brighton and Cambridge to join in!). We have 5 team of developers who created 5 amazing games made on the theme of ‘Winter’ created and a huge amount of energy, creativity, meeples and sweets to go around. There are photos from the day on our Tumblr account.
We’d also like to thank our sponsors for the event:
- UK Trade & Investment (who supported the event!)
- Aardman (for help with refreshments!)
- Unity 3D (for the chairs in the event space!)
The consensus seems to be that the event went really well and more would be welcome so we’ll be looking to do another one – as well as the Global Game Jam in January – so watch this space!
Games industry legend Ian Livingstone was the guest of honour on Tuesday at the official opening of the new Bristol Games Hub. The newly launched non-profit organisation runs free networking and training events and affordable desk space for many of the cities thriving community of games developers. The event saw over 60 people from Bristol and the South West gather to hear Livingstone talk about his personal experience of video games, the changing face and importance of the industry to the UK at large.
Bristol Games Hub has grown through word of mouth with 23 developers signed up within 3 weeks. “The Directors have been running events and building the community in Bristol for the last 2 years, so it was a natural progression for us to develop a space where devs could also work together” said the Hub’s Director and coordinator Debbie Rawlings. “There is a real buzz for what we’re doing and all of our events, such as our monthly Unity group and the recent demo of the Oculus Rift, have been really well attended. New start-ups, young companies and freelancers need this kind of support to help them focus on creating and marketing their games and products so we wanted to create a vibrant, dynamic space to assist them.” Debbie is a co-founder of the Hub along with fellow Auroch Digital director Tomas Rawlings and Opposable Games’ Ben Trewhella. The Hub is supported by Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE, The Pervasive Media Studio and Watershed, Creative England and Aquarela Developments.
The Games Hub is home now to 30 local developers and freelancers from new start-ups to more established teams. As well as multi-screen specialists Opposable Games and Endgame:Syria creator Auroch Digital, the Hub is home to Demon Apathy, Force of Habit, Large Visible Machine, ldexterldesign and Lo-Fi Games as well as developers from Qube creators Toxic Games, popular casual game developers Geek Beach and some very talented freelance designers, artists and illustrators.
“I achieved more in my first day at the Hub than I did in 2 years working from home.” Peter Simon, Hub Resident
Bristol Games Hub is a non-profit organisation that runs shared office space in Bristol, where game development studios, freelancers and academics share resources, skills and expertise, while they create and study games.
We are based on an open and collaborative model of participation, which means residency in the Hub is about being part of the wider gaming community.
We run game-related events including game jams and hacks, socials, training and networking, talks, presentations and unconferences.
We have a large open studio at 77 Stokes Croft, Bristol, the home of a few Banksy’s and an open air street art gallery.
Desks are priced from £90 per month all inclusive. There are options available for hot-desking from day rates to a weekly or fortnighly basis. Contact us for prices.
If you would like to talk to us about commissioning games, running an event or any game-related activity, or to rent desk space, please contact Debbie Rawlings; debbie at aurochdigital dot com