June 20, 2003

BLOG: grandtextauto

New blog grandtextauto by the people behind the Fascade interactive narrative project due out later this year.

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June 12, 2003

Global Best Practice in Digital Game Publishing

The UK Department of Trade International Technology Service have just published a report into a game mission to North America and France in 2003. The mission summary is online.

Some massive points from the launch event at BAFTA last night:

  • Moral rights regimes, such as those in France, Japan, and Australia, prevent game creators from assigning over their moral rights. The UK moral rights regime is under review. Full moral rights regimes prevent any creator of content to re-assign them. This includes people who create game MODs using tools supplied by the games publisher.
  • Viewpoint from Atari (ex-Infogrames) -
    • Games need to reach a wider audience
    • Games need higher production values, better in every area
    • Game developers need to out-source
    • Games need to be shorter but better, providing a more intense experience
    • game companies will continue to need a mix of original and licensed titles
  • Online remains unprofitable and risky. Game company strategies view online in terms of the following, in increasing order of risk:
    • Online communities and registration
    • Online multi-player functionality on a title that also supports a single-player experience.
    • Online distribution of games
    • Massively multi-play online games (persistent worlds)
  • Valve, creators of Half-Life, are developing a broadband business platform for direct software deliver and content management called Steam. "At its core, Steam is a distributed file system and shared set of technology components that can be implemented into any software application."

  • EA and THQ want to invest in more 3d party original licenses.

  • Licensed games seen as an opportunity to improve a film franchise. A suggestion that the game Goldeneye and related James Bond titles, revived interest in the movie franchise.
  • Development costs are roughly one third the overall cost of titles released by major publishers.

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Every game, every mod, nothing more nothing less - modDB.com. Kind of like Slashdot for game MOD people.

Posted by .M. at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 09, 2003

Sing-a-long at the Prince Charles

It's amazing how useful the old adage "Keep it simple stupid" is. One of the most entertaining interactive movie experiences I've ever encountered has to be the (very offline) Sing-along Sound of Music, the karaoke print of the film/variety show regularily held at the Prince Charles Cinema in London.

Singalonga.com must be doing something right. They've just released their fourth film - Singalonga Annie.

"Expect all the Singalong regulars – free goody bag, magic moments, fancy dress competition and the chance to cheer, boo and hiss to your heart’s content. And, if you can’t get your costume together, remember, it’s what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe that maaaatters..."

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Webby Awards 2003 winners

The Webbys Awards will never win any prizes for unbiased judging, this is a US event covering the US web (with a sprinkling of UK sites) but what it does it does well. The Webby Awards: 2003 winners and nominations is a worthwhile snapshot of the web. MovableType, the engine behind thequality.com blogs won the Best Practice category.

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June 06, 2003

La Cuisine shake their booties

The Sound Designers from "La Cuisine" shake their booties !!!, more kookiness from the Paris sound design team who did the soundtrack for my Horses for Courses film.

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Dyne:bolic Linux for PC and XBox

Now this is a cool freebie - Dyne:bolic make available a live bootable Linux CDROM for PC and XBox containing a bunch of GNU audio/visual tools for "media activists, artists and teachers". And it works! Download, burn and boot into Linux the easy way.

Personal highlights of the distribution: ye ole GIMP, HasciiCam (video to ascii converter), FreeJ, Blender and MuSE.

Posted by .M. at 10:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 03, 2003

Will Wright goes linear

Hah! I knew it! Speaking at SIGGRAPH 2001, Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, spoke at length about his approach to game design and dynamic story representation. His terms possibility space and meta-game may not have been wholly original (to all those computer game academics graduating in droves) but it turned my thinking around on computer games and made me think that perhaps the industry was not as tangential to my interests as I'd thought.

Anyway, funny to note that the same Mr. Wright has now inked a deal with Fox for (wait for it!) passive linear entertainment. To use another of Will's terms I dutifully wrote down in Texas, nothing more than "a ride on rails". Seriously, anything this guy does is worth taking a look at. Like it or not, he made a connection with The Sims.

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June 02, 2003

Dude! Ask Crush!

Finding Nemo -- The Official Website is out. For low-bandwidth fun, the Ask Crush is pretty neat. It's good to see voice actors being used on a site.

Posted by .M. at 04:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Flash movie on clean energy

Activist eye candy. A contradiction in terms?A clean and simple campaign to the Australian Federal Government requesting that 10% of Australia's power come from new renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar in 2010. help make a difference

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