May Newsletter from Bristol Games Hub – News! Opportunities! Power-ups!

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Below is news from the growing Bristol & South West games development scene. You find news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers then jobs, opportunities & events. We’ve had a bit of a re-organise at the Hub, moving desks around to make better use of the space and the ongoing building refurbishments are making the place look good!

Bristol Games Hub is a non-profit space for games and play. We run this news letter, host events and also rent desk space at a cost price with no strings attached so you can get on and create amazing games. Contact debbie at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us news for the next one by 15th June please!

Next Games Hub Anti-Social: Thursday 29th May, 7.30pm

Talk – 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.

So join us on the 29th May at 7.30pm – all welcome! Ring Tom on 07974793227 if you have trouble finding your way in! Map is here. Note: we’re having a new door fitted so entry might be via DHS Heating on that night!

Games Hub News: Get More Ca$h for Games Dev from Tax Breaks!

Just prior to the anti-social, 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)

Shader talk at the Unity Developers Meetup

Now with our own meetup page! The monthly unity meetup is back and we now have a shiny new meetup group as well. The next talk will be an introduction to shaders. Shaders are small programs that run on the graphics card and instruct it how the geometry and surfaces in the game should look like. They can be used to add a lot of flavor and uniqueness to games so they are a handy tool to know about. We will assume that the audience has a basic understanding of Unity but knowledge of shaders is not required. The talk will take about an hour and the remaining time will be used to answer questions and showcase demos, jam games and other cool stuff you want feedback on. After the Games Hub closes at 10 we are always a couple that heads to the nearest pub so you are also more than welcome to join us there. Sign up for the talk here:

Dev Scene News

Shaun’s Game Academy: teaching kids how to make sweet games!

Aardman have a launched a new project to try and get 8 -12 year olds making games using the drag-and-drop coding tool Scratch. Hoping to inspire a new generation of hot-shot game developers, Shaun’s Game Academy provides learning resources not just about coding but also game design theory, a pack of Shaun the Sheep assets to be used in the games, and also a competition that kids (or anyone) can enter their final games into. Go check it out here: www.shaunsgameacademy.co.uk

Demon Apathy – Jetpack Bull in a China Shop

If you like smashing plates OR delivering them intact to the valuable customer, Jetpack Bull in a China Shop is the game for you. As the Distribution and Logistics Co-ordinator (a.k.a. shopkeeper) at the local china shop you’re not only tasked with satisfying customers’ china needs, but bulls’ worldwide reputation depends on you as well! Of course having a jetpack rarely helps a bull in a china shop, but it’s store policy to have one. But don’t worry, you can actually be a bull in a china shop and smash everything in Smash mode if you so desire!
Trailer: http://youtu.be/LQSpwd8DAVA
Android: http://ow.ly/wfb6z
iOS: http://ow.ly/wmMhv

Auroch Digital

Auroch Digital was invited to open the first ever European Newsgame Hack event in Cologne, Germany. There’s a good write-up of the event in The Guardian and more links here.

Introducing Creative Territories

There is a DCRC research project, partners with Bristol Games Hub, looking at how co-working spaces such as the hub are created and can thrive. Check out the project site here and join them on twitter here.

Jobs & Opportunities

Aardman’s Digital

Aardman’s Digital team are looking for a Game Developer Intern to join them on a 3 month placement over the summer. This is an amazing opportunity for a budding game developer to get their foot in the door in the industry working on some exciting projects with high profile clients. See:
http://www.aardman.com/about-us/jobs/game-developer-internship-2/ for more details.

Eagle Transporter

Contract 3D Modeller/s Required; We are looking for an experienced 3D Modeller to create some 3D models for our website and forums www.eagletransporter.com on a per model freelance basis. 2D reference material and dimensions will be provided and resulting 3D models must be supplied in a file format agreed between us. If interested please contact chris@eagletransporter.com enclosing your CV, Linkedin profile and examples of work for more details.

Lofi Games

We are looking for an additional experienced C++ programmer to work on Kenshi (www.lofigames.com). It’s full-time employment, working in Bristol. You need to be awesome and somehow able to demonstrate this. Preferably with either industry experience or a degree in something like computer science. The job will likely involve a mix of both gameplay programming and low-level technical stuff. Email them at “contact at lofigames.com” with your CV and stuff if interested.

Games Lab £10K Fund

Creative England has another funding opportunity, this time there are £5-10K pots for new games project. Deadline is 1st June. For more info see here.


Can you help the PM Studio host the ‘Young Rewired State Festival of Code’?

The Pervasive Media Studio would like to host a Young Rewired State Festival of Code at Watershed from Monday 28th to Thursday 31st July 2014. In order to be able to collaborate with Young Rewired State on their great programme we are looking for volunteer mentors. Do you have some time to support the next generation of coders? Do you know someone who might? The Festival of Code is an annual celebration of everything code for those aged 18 and under. It occurs in regional centres all over the UK and this year ends with a long weekend in partnership with i-DAT at Plymouth University, where everybody comes together and showcases their achievements. If you are interested in this, please email:Jess.hoare@watershed.co.uk by 21th May 2014 with  a brief summary of your skills and the dates you are available. More info is here.

Games Research Network Launches in UK

The UK Chapter of DiGRA will be launching on 17th June at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of West England. 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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pervasive-provocations-the-state-of-games-in-the-uk-tickets-11446255057

Meet this Year’s UWE Graduates!

With the end of the academic year approaching, we are very proud to be launching yet another Games Technology graduate cohort into industry next month. Whether you are currently hiring, or just interested to see what and who we teach – why not come meet them and see what we have been up to?

Formally: Our students will be exhibiting final year individual and group projects at the Faculty of Environment and Technology Degree Show, on the evening of the 5th of June, Frenchay Campus.
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fet-computer-science-and-creative-technologies-degree-show-tickets-11644363605?ref=estw

Informally: Join graduates from the range of Creative Technologies award for a social event / mixer at the Big Chill, Small Street, Bristol, on the evening of the 3rd of June.
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-informal-evening-with-staff-and-students-of-creative-technology-tickets-11618652703

Quick Links

Thanks all!

DiGRA Launches UK Chapter in Bristol!

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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.

Popathon! – A one day hack jam presented by Mozilla & i-Docs/DCRC – PM Studio 22.3

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There is a new opportunity for hacking!

Popathon! – A one day hack jam presented by Mozilla & i-Docs/DCRC – PM Studio 22.3

Calling all JavaScript coders/hackers & Graphic/UI designers!
Popathon – Saturday, March 22
PM Studio 
10:00 – 17:00
£5 (to cover all day refreshments)
On Saturday, March 22nd Bristol’s first Popathon will take place at the PM Studio. A day-long creative hack-jam giving participants hands-on experience creating interactive stories on the web. Visual storytellers, JavaScript coders and Graphic & UI Designers get together to exchange skills and collaborate on real-world projects.
We’ll introduce open source tools like Popcorn.js, a JavaScript library that integrates the web into media production. You team up to design interfaces, create new open-source code and demo prototypes of your own interactive web-native stories.
Teams compete against the clock, not against each other. The hack jam is a great opportunity to learn about new tools and tricks by creative collaboration.
The event will be run by Philo Van Kemenade and Gilles Pradeau – who present the FridayLunchtime talk at PM Studio on March 21st.
To find out more and sign up for spot, visit: http://bit.ly/1i3sFh2
Please feel free to circulate at will – this is an open call to participation.