Category Archives: Games

How to Fail Your Research Degree

Interested in learning a little more about what it takes to succeed in post-graduate research? Then have a look at How to Fail Your Research Degree.

Developed by Daisy Abbott, Research Developer and Lecturer at the School of Simulation and Visualisation, this light-hearted game encourages a reflective engagement with the various academic skills and activities necessary to undertake post-graduate research and the risks and pitfalls that can affect a research degree.

Released in 2017, it is particularly suitable for taught master’s and MRes students and is currently being used world wide. It can be equally useful for students in the first year of a PhD, or even final year undergraduates who are undertaking independent research projects. The game can also be used to (re)familiarise early career researchers to the process of managing a research project, and has been shown to be useful in introducing the terminology of research to novice researchers or those with English as an additional language.

SimVis @ BBC Digital Cities Game Showcase

SimVis students Louise Dolan, Fraser Dougan (both MSc Serious Games & VR) and Sam Hollywood-Summer (MDes Sound for Moving Image) presented their Global Game Jam game “The Godyssey” at the Digital Cities Game Showcase last Wednesday (15/03/2017).

Glasgow Caledonian University, Creative Scotland and BAFTA Scotland welcomed creative professionals and students for a series of exciting panel debates looking at the state of the games industry in Scotland today. The talks and discussions at the event covered themes related to the state of play in The Scottish Game industry, Games, Art and Art at Play and Gender and Minorities representation in the Games industry. For more information on the event, visit Andrew Reid’s excellent summary of the day’s discussion.

Following on from Digital Cities- Games In Scotland, We Throw Switches and IGDA Scotland organised an evening reception showcase of Scottish-based games creators. The evening featured work created by talented teams and individuals across Scotland, including SimVis’ very own “The Godyssey” team, and presented participants with the opportunity to chat with board members from the Scottish chapter of the International Game Developers Association.

Both events were very successful and students thought it was interesting to get to hear from industry professionals with varying levels of experience in the games industry and to have them play their game. The feedback received was universally positive and a common response was for people to say how impressed they were that The Godyssey was created in a single weekend. Samuel Hollywood-Summers commented:

 “To have the first game I have worked on be played by seasoned game developers and members of the public and to receive positive feedback was encouraging. The talks earlier in the day were also insightful and inspiring, and I am planning a trip to Nottingham to visit the National Video Game Arcade there, after hearing about it during Iain Simons’ talk”.

SimVis Game Jam 2017

Fun was had last weekend as SimVis students put into practice their ability to collaborate in a creative environment by participating in our own SimVis Game Jam. Students from all postgraduate programmes (Sound, Medical, Heritage and Games & VR) joined forces and to create games over three days.

We experimented with a 24 hours jam spread over three days rather than the more common format of an intense 48 hours over two days. This allowed staff and students to jam at a more relaxed pace during the day and early evening, before going home to sleep – allowing some balance with other aspects of their lives whilst still actively participating in game development.

Each development team benefited from design and development input from multiple programmes – with Sound for the Moving Image students providing music and audio, Serious Games and VR students providing game development/programming and Medical Visualisation and International Heritage students producing most of the 3D and graphics art for the games. A few members of staff also took part, rounding out the teams.

The jam was also the opportunity to learn something new and push our own boundaries. This was illustrated in the diversity of the games developed.

A.L.T (Rory Peace, Fraser Dougan, Brian Loranger, Gavin Brown):

A.L.T is an inter dimensional shooter required the development of transition effects, advance texture animation and a spherical navigation mesh.

A.L.T – SimVis Game Jam 2017

Haptik (Quentin Bitran, Ruxanda Nechifor, Rory Peace, Max Syed-Tollan, Joe Calliga):

Haptik explored new avenues in gaming and adapted a haptic device as a controller input for gameplay as well as exploring new gameplay design ideas to make use of the device’s specificity.

Haptic – SimVis Game Jam 2017

The Deep (Martin Ross, Ross McMenemy, Max Syed-Tollan, Sandy Louchart, Jules Louchart):

The Deep investigated the concrete game adaptation of a short story and the exploration of a narrative space within ludic gaming activities.

The Deep – SimVis Game Jam 2017

We are hoping that the games will be further polished and presented to the rest of SimVis students later on in the academic year.

After the success of this, small, jam we are already working on ideas and plans for expanding on this – bringing in students from across The Glasgow School of Art and perhaps beyond.

SimVis goes Global (GameJam)

It was an exciting time for SimVis student and lecturers over weekend of the 21st of January, as staff and students took part in this year’s Global Game Jam (http://globalgamejam.org/). The weekend was an intensive 48 hours of game design, programming, artwork, and sound creation, with participants tasked to make a new game using the theme of ‘waves’.

screenshot_2017-01-21_23-14-59_0
Escape from BottleTree Island

Split into two different teams, each was successful in creating something unique and interesting, with one of our teams being awarded audience choice for best game art at the event. To learn more about the game’s that were created, check out The Godyssey Game (http://globalgamejam.org/2017/games/godyssey) and Escape from Bottle Tree Island (http://globalgamejam.org/2017/games/escape-bottletree-island).

Team Godyssey (left), Team Escape from BottleTree Island (right)
Team Godyssey (left), Team Escape from BottleTree Island (right)

GSA and the DDS at XpoNorth

A very belated post!

The Glasgow School of Art and Digital Design Studio had lots to show off this year for XPoNorth in Inverness, participating in several panels and and hosting an evening of drinks with friends and colleagues.

Some of this year’s best work was on display, including heritage, serious games, and medical projects from the student body, as well as additional projects by the Design students at the nearby Forres campus. The evening was capped off with a great slide presentation and fashion show displaying some recent pieces from GSA Textile Design students . All in all, a great event.

You can see videos and photos from the event here: https://xponorth.co.uk/ 

Tech Meetups and Events in Glasgow

I was putting together a list of lists of tech meetups and events in Glasgow for DDS students… and thought I’d share it here instead.

There are a wide range of meetup and events occurring in and around Glasgow on a wide range of topics – many of which are relevant to topics studied at the DDS.

General Event Listings

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/events/
http://www.meetup.com/

Arts and Culture Event Listings

The List is Glasgow’s (and Edinburgh’s) original arts and culture magazine. Their listings are here:
https://www.list.co.uk/events/what:Glasgow/

Also see:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/film-and-media–events/
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/music–events/
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/arts–events/

Tech Events and Listings

Techmeetup is a regular meetup event. Most events have a web dev focus – http://techmeetup.co.uk/
http://www.meetup.com/Glasgow-Digital-Media-Meetup/
http://www.meetup.com/Health-2-0-Edinburgh-Scotland/

And general listings:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/science-and-tech–events/
The OpenTech Calendar listings tend to favour open source meetups and related – https://opentechcalendar.co.uk/area/65-glasgow/

Digital & Board Games Events and Listings

BertWednesdays is an informal pub meetup for people in (or interested in) game development – http://bertwednesdays.com/

The International Game Developers Association has an active Scottish chapter, which meets most months, rotating through Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – https://igdascotland.org/

A group for people interested in creating board games – https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlasgowGameLab/

A group for people interested in playing board games – http://unpluggedgames.co.uk/unplugged-games-club/

A group that organises digital game pub nights and events – https://www.facebook.com/glesgames

Writing

General – http://www.meetup.com/GlasgowWriters/
Science Fiction – https://gsfwc.wordpress.com/

Filmmaking

http://scottishscreenwriters.ning.com/

Stories from the Game Jam

The last post reported on the DDS experience at this year’s Global Game Jam. Today we have stories from two of the students who took part…

Sophie’s Story

Sophie is a student enrolled on the MSc Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy

For me this was the first global game jam I’ve been to, so I completely had no expectations –it was even the first time I’ve heard of it And because I wanted to feel really nerdy for 48 hours, I talked to some of my student colleagues and four of us decided to participate. And although we had mixed feelings when we received the time schedule, we persuaded ourselves to show up on Friday

It turned out to be a lot of fun! We had quite a big group  which meant: a lot of ideas, a lot of brainstorming, and a lot of jokes in between which freshened up our minds. But lots of people also meant a need for good management. Fortunately one of us, Daniel, kept it organized and called us to regular meetings inside our „Thinking Pad“ which basically was a green Little hut where all the inspirational discussion-magic happened 😀

Besides living the nerdy dream, I wanted to strengthen my coding skills, which I was able to do, because we had a programmer, Victor, on board who answered all of my annoying questions And since game does not just consist of coding, but as well of other very important tasks, I was able to watch all the team members contributing to our game with their special skill. So by watching and talking I got insight into the various areas such as game design, where Sandy was our group pioneer, and graphics, where our great designer Jen showed us some tricks in Illustrator. So these sleepless nights actually broadened my gaming horizon quite a lot!

Oh, one bad thing: the Internet was not working well at all on our side of the hall, but there was a good thing about this: People actually TALKED to each other And also in the middle of the night, when I wanted to lie down on the couch, someone else was lying there and we actually started TALKING. So the game jam is not only about sitting in front of a screen. No, people in our group actually got to know each other, and there were lots of possiblities to talk to people from other groups and I have to say, the community was really chilled and  humble and nice.

When I came back home to my flatshare, the first thing I told my flatmates was: „I like nerds “ ..and they said: „Ok cool, Sophie, but how was the coding? „

Haha so yes, it is a lot about the project, but it is also about getting to know the people and the community and enjoying a weekend full of nerdiness and trying to get the most out of it.

I loved it! #greatexperience

Alim’s Story

Alim is enrolled on the MSc in Serious Games and Virtual Reality. His team’s game won ‘Best Gameplay’ from the Scottish Game Jam participants, plus public votes for best game at IGDA Scotland play parties in Edinburgh and Glasgow following the jam! More here.

Participating in the Global Game Jam for the first time, my main reason to participate in the Jam was to build up game making experience and push it to the limit. In the first day, Alex, Calum and me agreed to keep the team small, only three of us, and see if three Masters students of GSA’s Serious Games and Virtual Reality can take the challenge.

I was happy enough that our game was finally finished on Saturday night and readily playable, it turns out that the game surprised me more by making it to be awarded as Best Game Play.

Having said that, the best moment for me during the Jam was when Daniel’s daughter playtested our game by repeatedly playing level 1 of Curvish over and over again and she seemed to really enjoy it. Afterwards, I asked her about “how do you like the game so far?”, she replied “this is the most awesome game ever!” with sincere wide smile in her face. That moment made me feel good as the game at least gave one player a very joyful time.

After all, a game is just a box of happiness packed in many forms and being able to bring the happiness to player is a tremendous achievement.

Winning Gameplay – DDS at the Global Game Jam

A bunch of DDS staff and students took part in the recent Global Game Jam – an international weekend of mayhem as developers around the world get together to try to make a game in under 48 hours.

The local game jam was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University, under the leadership of our good friend Brian MacDonald. DDS staff and students formed two teams and produced two games over the weekend – Curvish by Serious Games & VR students Alex, Alim & Calum, and Cherry Bakewell’s House of Delight by staff (Daniel, Sandy, Victor) and students Jen, Sophie, Rebecca, Roxie – plus Alison who snuck in to help out, and Victoria from UWS. Great fun was had, cake was eaten, and two playable games were made.

Cake was eaten
Cake was eaten

Both games were inspired by the Game Jam theme of ‘Ritual’ – in Curvish this is manifested through the need to collect items in a specific predetermined order in a rotating platformer game.

For Cherry Bakewell, the group started with two different ideas of ritual – obsessive cleaning and Satanic rituals – and smashed these ideas together to create a game where the player is the new housekeeper for Cherry Bakewell. Cherry is the nation’s favourite baker, a household perfectionist and secret Satanist. Somewhat over-designed, this idea was based around a series of minigames that start out with cleaning Cherry’s bathroom, and which gradually take on darker themes.

Alex and Alim from Curvish
Alex and Alim working hard

Congratulations are in order to the Curvish team – who through playtesting at the event won the game jammers vote for game with best gameplay. This was followed up with being picked as best game at the follow on IGDA Play Parties in both Edinburgh and Glasgow – well done guys!

Open Evening: February 2016

Open Evening at Digital Design Studio, Wednesday 17 February 2016

An opportunity to visit the Digital Design Studio here at Pacific Quay, Glasgow and chat with the lecturers involved with our Masters programmes:

  • MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy
  • M.Des in Sound for the Moving Image
  • MSc in Visualisation (International Heritage)
  • MSc in Visualisation (Serious Games and Virtual Reality)

Academic Staff will be available from 1730hrs to 1930hrs that evening to meet with students interested in these programmes.  Additionally we will include a short demonstration of our 3D capability in our purpose-built laboratory early in the evening.

More information here.