MARCH 7th, 2011
Update: The situation is fluid...
I am quite busy at the moment; co-founding Fluid Software. At Fluid Software we are leveraging the power of HTML5 to provide high quality and unique mobile prototyping tools for Android and iPhone. We are currently at alpha stage, and aim to launch early 2011. More news on this in the coming weeks and months. Keep up-to-date with our progress here.
Sept 6th, 2010
Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (The RSA)
This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.
August 6th, 2010
Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
August 6th, 2010
David Merrill demos Siftables
See how David Merrill replaces traditional building blocks with electronic tiles that can add, subtract, compose and create. A definite trend is emerging here and it seems to support Jessie Shell's theory about games "breaking out" into the real world
June 30th, 2010
Well this is most likely how the solar sail will work from now on - an excellent example of lateral thinking here. "Researchers have created flat sheets of composite material that can fold themselves into toy boats, tents, and even paper airplanes. Based on the ancient art of origami, the sheets are edged by foil actuators--thin, solid-state motors--that contract or expand when they receive an electric current from flexible electronic circuits embedded in the sheets. After they achieve their preprogrammed shape, the sheets are held in place by tiny magnets on the edges of the fold joints. Researchers say the technology, described online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be scaled up to create ultra-portable tripods or even cups that automatically adjust to the size of liquid being poured into them." - Laboratory of Robert Wood/Harvard University
June 29th, 2010
Seems like they have done it again! - "thatgamecompany, best known for flOw and Flower, has rather covertly announced another PSN exclusive. Journey follows the footsteps of its predecessors, offering "simple gameplay and accessible controls." Unlike thatgamecompany's previous offerings, however, Journey is an "online adventure experience" that has players encountering strangers. According to the press release, traveling with others will "re-shape the experience -- creating authentic moments that they will remember and discuss with others."
June 11th, 2010
HTML 5 "Canvas" Tag
I've been doing a little research into HTML5 and in particular the "canvas" tag. Mainly standards, tutorials, live demos & games. I happened upon some very interesting examples - such as Bomomo (pictured below) - it's a nice toy / application that really shows off the capabilities of the HTML5 "canvas" tag and well worth checking out. See below for links to more impressive examples of the Canvas tag in action. This was very worthwhile research indeed.
Try Bomomo here (Chrome, Opera, Firefox or Safari required)
HTML 5 "Canvas" Tag Particles Demo (Chrome, Opera, Firefox or Safari required)
Chrome Experiments Google Chrome experiments using the canvas tag
Harmony Harmony (Excellent drawing / painting application)
HTML5 Canvas Demos A dedicated web site (includes game demos)
Quake 2 (Jake2) running in HTML5 - again, using the canvas tag. More info here
MAY 30TH, 2010
UDK: Scaleform GFx Bundled with May Release
"Scaleform GFx has long been integrated with the award-winning Unreal Engine, although both middleware technologies were previously sold separately. The new partnership between Epic Games and Scaleform will ensure that all versions of Unreal Engine 3 will include Scaleform GFx and its many groundbreaking features without any additional work or licensing fees. The partnership will also ensure that fans of Epic Games' titles will experience the latest in immersive UI design, including Scaleform's new 3Di rendering and stereoscopic 3D interfaces, high performance heads-up displays (HUDs) and richly animated menus." Click play below for a quick video demonstration:
Read the full press release here on: www.scaleform.com
MAY 23RD, 2010
Revolution not Evolution!
In a follow-up to his, now legendary 2006 TED talk about schools and their relationship to creativity - Sir Ken Robinson calls for revolution over evolution when it comes to how we educate children. "In this poignant, funny follow-up to his 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning."
TED is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in Technology, Entertainment or Design as the name would suggest - visit the site: www.ted.com but be warned, you might easily lose several hours there.
May 21St, 2010
Shiny new slowrocket.com
Thanks for dropping by! You may have noticed that I have moved a few things around, added some rooms, given the place a lick of paint and now we are all done and ready to go again - slowrocket 2.0 you could say. So as promised, the game design section in particular has had a major revamp with my game and level designs for Rebellion and Nephin Games along with some of my indie projects now available for your browsing pleasure - I hope you like them. I have also "ported" the news section from the original site, a selection of these original posts can be seen below along with some new additions.
Please note: The Interaction, Product and Graphic sections will be on-line at a later date.
May 12th, 2010
I am now living in beautiful Berlin, Germany. Although at present I am busily beavering away on a significant update to my portfolio web site which should be online within the coming days. I am, of course, very interested in hearing about game / level design positions with developers based in the Berlin and Hamburg areas. More updates to follow.
May 11th, 2010
Moving on up!
I have finished my time with Rebellion. I was very fortunate to make some great friends in my near three years there. Working on Aliens Vs Predator was a great way to wrap things up too. I have been a fan of the AvP series since way back when and I am very proud of the contribution that I made to the latest installment - particularly, designing for the Xenomorph campaign was a genuine boyhood dream come true.
May 6th, 2010
DICE 2010: Jesse Schell’s game-changing talk "Design Outside the Box"
I can't recommend this talk from Jesse Schell highly enough. What happens when game reward systems break out of traditional "games" and into the real world? Also, if you haven't already checked out his book -The Art of Game Design: A book of Lens, then do!
March 9TH, 2010
Aliens Vs Predator Released
Aliens Vs Predator has finally hit the stores seems to be doing well so far.
Developed at Rebellion by the team responsible for the original 1999 PC classic, the all-new Aliens vs. Predator allows players to take the role of three infamous species: Colonial Marines, Predators and Aliens. The game features a unique three-way online multi-player experience, allowing gamers to battle for survival and the right to be crowned the deadliest species in the galaxy. Each race will also have its own distinct action-packed single-player campaign mode, with a storyline that cleverly interweaves with the other two species' paths. Set on planet BG-386; a human colonist mining group discovers an ancient pyramid containing a dark and horrible secret. Across the galaxy, a race of warriors is alerted to the discovery of their pyramid and a hunting party is dispatched to ensure that it remains sealed at all costs. Deep inside the ruined pyramid meanwhile, nature's deadliest species awakes from centuries of hibernation intent on finding new prey.
Also you can check out the recent IGN review of the game here
April 12th, 2009
Interactive Entertainment Technology Seminar: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
I spoke about non-gaming technologies and their potential uses within games development. We also looked more closely at why world editors play such a vital role in the game development cycle. More generally I discussed the role technology teams play in the game development process and how great tools contribute to innovation in game design.
Update:I have been invited back to speak again this year by the good folks at Trinity College Dublin - so expect more updates on that later in 2010.
For more information on the IET Seminar at Trinity College please click here
March 15th, 2008
This is a re-post of my original review of REZ to coincide with the recent release of REZ HD.
Definitions of any kind don't rest easy with a game like Rez and according to Robert Pirsig that is the hallmark of quality itself. High design and games meet in this rhythmic ultra-stylish shooter. The design concept behind Rez is rooted in the sensory assault and the player's freedom to appreciate it. The resulting genre now referred to as Synaesthesia.
Employing simple game-play and control systems (you are basically pushed along rails and forced to shoot at anything that passes by), stunning graphics and level design and excellent use of an interactive trance soundtrack, Rez is executed with masterful technical wizardry. It can still however be easy to forget the immense complexity of the level design and programming involved, mainly because of the games simplistic nature, caused by a rigidly linear game-play, throwaway storyline and the fact that most of the games complexity is 'below the line'. Contributing to a largely passive gaming experience with subnormal levels of interaction, but a truly amazing spectacle Rez certainly is. The game is really doing all the work here but in a more deliberate way than we normally see, even the world around you pulsates to the rhythm of the beats.
Rez is high tech and futuristic yet simultaneously and strangely retro. The art direction and game play draw heavily on influences like Tron, Wipeout, 'Star Wars - Death Star' and many early vector-graphic based games. The levels are built up of layers of quasi wire frame resembling major architectural styles from around the world and beyond, with varying transparencies and superb lighting effects.
You are traveling into the cyberspace of the Project-K network on a mission to reawaken Eden. Who's Eden? Don't ask, I'll need another 500 words! Your floating character can evolve into six different levels, these are not permanent and when hit by an enemy your level will devolve. It is possible to lock-on to eight enemies at any one time by holding down the X button and firing by releasing X again.
The game has no difficulty settings per se but does get more difficult as it progresses. For example providing an option to reduce the size of the target area would increase the difficulty level and add to the replay value.
In the main game mode, each of the five areas grows in complexity, visual detail and difficulty as you move through its 10 layers. Complex bosses are presented on Layer 10 in each area. The Running man boss on level four is my personal favourite.
Is Rez to games what Fantasia was to animated film? An original, thought provoking and innovative title or superficial chaff? Rez is not perfect, Instead it bravely aspires to push the envelope of what's possible, accepted and understood in the context of games and I for one will always support that.
The world of games is certainly a richer and more colourful place with Rez in it.
July 16th, 2006
Do Schools kill Creativity?
Ken Robinson seems to think so! Take a look at this TED talk where Robinson argues the case - having worked in third level education myself I can relate to a lot of what he says - but best to leave it to you to make up your own mind! Watch this funny and sometimes emotional talk below.
TED is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in Technology, Entertainment or Design as the name would suggest - visit the site: www.ted.com but be warned, you might easily lose several hours on this site.
March 29th, 2005
By Ian Hannigan
GDC 2005 Review - Future Visions
San Francisco’s Moscone Centre hosted the 19th annual Game Developers Conference from the 7th to the 11th of March last. Ian Hannigan was there and compiled this report.
It’s been 19 years since Chris Crawford gathered some game developer friends at his home to sit in a circle to discuss making games and inadvertently give rise to the GDC. These modest beginnings seem all the more surreal when one considers the scale and diversity of the event today. GDC has come a long way in those 19 years but this year’s conference was not about the past; it was very much about the future.Download GDC 2005 Review PDF Document (239 KB)
View the abridged article "The Future of Gaming" on Silicon Republic View the full article here…
Full article on Game Developers Ireland View the full article here…