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students and courses at the University of Huddersfield
“The first stand I went and had a look at was a company called Orbirama. They specialise in making panoramic videos into orbiramic videos, this meaning they can view and manipulate live events from its orbit. At first I thought it was a really good idea, all they had to do was aim their camera at a woman on a business card/magazine and she became 3D.
“This amazed me at first but there were certain parts of it that needed working on and touching up, for example when they demonstrated it, it worked fine but when they tried to do it using a magazine and then attempted to rotate it, it decided to crash and break which was a shame. But all in all it was a very interesting product but I don’t think it has a very good purpose at the moment. The second company I decided to go and see was called SUBPAC tactile bass system.
“I did really like the Orbirama Vision technology we looked at first, the 360 degree vision centred on a focal point, it’s definitely going to increase the popularity of something like wrestling, having a fixed stage you can rotate your head around to see a different angle of the fight to someone else.
“I’m intrigued to see the applications it has for rehabilitation for those suffering from mental health issues or PTSD
The EEG mixed VIVE setup was interesting too, it attempted to track and tell me my emotions in the form of a few colours .This was a company that provided jackets and headphones that the user can wear which replicates the effect of being in a club where there is a lot of bass. I thought this would be a really good idea for when you are playing music games or when you are in a very loud battle on a different type of game. These were both shown in 2 different variations, one where you can stand up and use it, the other where you can sit down and use it.
“Monday morning and with a nip in the air I eagerly collected a mini-bus and made my way to the University entrance. All travellers were already waiting and eager, having sorted out seating arrangements we set off. Graham made sure we had the correct level and volumes of music. After a couple of hours, we stopped for a welcome coffee break.
“Getting down to London wasn’t an issue, but finding suitable car parking was. However, we did find a large space near the ‘Emirates stadium’, and various jokes were cracked about the Gunners. The journey on the tube didn’t take long, and in no time we were at Tech Expo 2016, 155 Bishopsgate London. A very grand marble clad building with impressive and ornate escalators into the exhibition area. The exhibitors were split into Creative, Finance and Analytics/Security. There are no prizes for correctly guessing where we headed for first: yes, the AR/VR stalls!
“We tried on various headsets, and were tested for our emotional states, as well as being enticed into playing the role of a variety of avatars such as Iron Man in virtual games.
“I was particularly impressed with the different styles, customisations, and applications each firm had made, all under the AR/VR banner.It did occur to me that AR firms are making life difficult, as each has an app to download that reads their specific code; as opposed to everyone using the same readers to access all of their AR/VR technologies.
“I think we all came away with a variety of leaflets, freebies, and business cards of exhibitors who expressed an interest in coming to our Showcase event. We were all aware of the aims of the products developed by the various stall-holders, and it appeared that Unity was the preferred 3D modelling software or most if not all the exhibitors. The stall holders weren’t too keen to give away any secrets about programming languages, and whether code was developed in house, or bought in. In addition, we were fortunate enough to look at the way exhibitors presented their products, stalls and ideas, and this provided insight into what works well/ and not so well to help with our Showcase event.
“The rest areas offered rich chocolate cake, macaroons, and almond slices as well as a variety of ‘mocktails’. All very delicious. Once we had exhausted the stands, and filled up on cake and refreshments, we made a decision, for the last hour and a half to do a whistle-stop tour by sight-seeing rather than get stuck in rush hour traffic. Tate modern was interesting, but needed more exhibits. We put our photography skills into great use by capturing pictures of St Pauls, London Bridge and a whole host of different architecture as well as the Golden Hind.
“We set off at 20:20 pm for home and arrived in Huddersfield around 00:15 – a little exhausted but nonetheless a whole lot wiser about Augmented Reality and its applications. Thank you so much for a pleasant day, and for the opportunity of keeping up to date with companies at the cutting edge of AR/VR and other technologies.
“The first stand that I went to was the SUBPAC Tactile Base System Inc. These SUBPAC kits was demonstrated in two variations, one was an actual vest that the user wears and one is a more discreet version that fits over the back of a chair. I gave the latter a go and all I had to do to use it was to sit down on the chair that has the vest fitted to it, connect a music source to the supplied headphones (my music choice was Mein Hers Brent by Rammstein).
The SUBPAC kits was created to replicate the deep bass soundwaves felt throughout the body by extremely powerful speakers (from, for example, a concert) at home.
“My experience of the SUBPAC kits was good. The vibrations that the device was extremely accurate (as in vibration strength with the sound I could hear) and in sync (as in when the vibration occurred with the sound I could hear) with producing the right vibrations strength of vibrations at the correct time. According to the reps, the synchronised vibrations produced by SUBPAC is more accurate than being at a live concert as when you are at a concert, the sound coming from the speakers need to travel through the air, with air being an unnecessary medium. Whilst there is much less air between the SUBPAC vest and the users body, the user will feel more accurate bass. I was slightly disappointed at the strength of the vibrations that the SUBPAC produced but I was informed that when I tried it out, the vibration strength was set at around 25%.
Would I like one? Yes.
Would I buy one? No.
In this blog post, Hayley Georgie Parr tells us what it is like to win one of the three Sponsored Student places with the UK’s only Games trade body – UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie). Hayley got a prize job of helping out at the Gamescon 2016 show in Cologne.
Hayley worked hard for the privilege: she showed she could do the job at other events, networked well, asked the right questions of the right people and put herself forward… with enthusiasm. Hayley competed hard against 60 other UK Games students for 1 of 3 positions. Awesome!
Her reward was to have an expenses paid working trip to Germany at one of the world’s premiere Games shows, supporting the UK Games industry via Ukie.
Here’s Hayley’s account… (see a speeded-up time-lapse video version at the bottom)
“It was the 13th May, I’d just started eating my breakfast when I got the email to say I’d been chosen to go to Gamescom as a Ukie Sponsored Student. I couldn’t believe it! I was absolutely buzzing, the 16th of August could not come soon enough. I needed to make those three months go fast, and thankfully they did.
Hayley competed hard against 60 other UK Games students for 1 of 3 positions. Awesome!
“Sure enough August came around and it was time for me to head home to Manchester so I could see the family and get up at the crack of dawn to get my train to Heathrow. I arrived there at midday and met up with Zayaan and Charlotte, the fellow students I would share my Gamescom experience with. The flight to Cologne only took around 50 minutes, just enough time for us to get some food, talk games, and get to know each other. The train journey from the airport to the Koelnmesse did not take long and we were treated to lovely German sunshine making Cologne look super beautiful.
“On arrival the we were greeted by Sam Collins from Ukie who gave us our passes and took us straight to the stand where we met the rest of the Ukie crew, Jo Twist (Ukie CEO), Sophie Densham, Megan Rice, and Dan Wood. We all had a chat and introduced ourselves, drank a nice cold beer after our long day of travelling, and had a tour of where we would be working and calling home for the next four days.
“The Ukie stand was awesome, it was big enough to hold 66 companies, with around 50 small tables and then some separate rooms off from the sides that included tv screens and sofas for companies to demo their games. Companies on the stand included Team 17, 505 Games, Curve Digital, Autodesk, and Jagex to name but a few.
“The stand was themed as an English Tea Party so there were cupcake seats, massive teacups, fake grass and trees, and loads of bunting hanging up, it was kinda like being at a summer party back at home. With the rest of the Ukie crew we finished setting up the stand and at around 11pm left the Koelnmesse to locate our Air BnB.
“We stayed in Hansaring, an area within central Cologne, a two-minute train journey from Cologne Central Station, and a ten-minute journey from the Koelnmesse so it was dead easy to travel around on our own. We located the Air BnB, and pizza, then it was time to kip, ready to start work at 8am the next day.
“As soon as I shut my tired eyes my alarm seemed to go off, life can be cruel. The weather over the five days was straight-up sunshine, we were super-happy not having to carry around a hoody, waterproof, beanie, and umbrella with us, just a pair of sunglasses instead.
“When we arrived at the Ukie stand, we got straight to work completing the finishing touches to get everything sorted before the companies started to arrive ready for a long day of meetings. Our main duties over the course of three days were to take people arriving at the stand to pre-booked meetings with the companies, keep the stand clean and tidy, set up the Tea Party event at 3pm and assist with the Networking Drinks Reception from 6pm-8pm.
“I just want to make it clear that our job was not to be a bringer-of…tea, coffee, cake, or beer to people, but rather to assist in the running of the stand to keep it as efficient and awesome as possible! In fact, we were all so busy that the only time I got for taking pictures was before the public arrived.
“We were always insanely busy throughout the day but when companies had a gap between their meetings, Jo very lovingly but forcefully dragged us over to speak to them about our future plans. Liz Prince, Alan Dixon, and Stig Strand from Amiqus were particularly welcoming and we had a long chat about my career plans and were really helpful with advice. There were some familiar faces on the stand, such as Simon Barrat of Barog Game Labs, Gary Nichols of Atomicom, and some of the Team 17 crew, whom I know from attending Game Makers Yorkshire – Gamayo.
“During the second drinks reception on the Thursday, Jo introduced us to Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Kate was awesome to chat to and she was super tall so aside from having to really tilt my head back to look her in the eye, things were going better than I had dared to dream it would.
“On our breaks we were able to explore the main exhibition halls. Gamescom is easily the biggest games convention I’ve been to, think EGX and then times it by five, it’s absolutely HUGE. The three of us were like kids in a sweet shop not knowing what to go for first. The most impressive halls were Playstation and Blizzard, they were honestly mind-blowing. On the Friday morning before our shift we lucked out and were in the right place at the right time as the orchestra in the Blizzard Hall were rehearsing some music from WoW, I can’t explain how intense those five minutes were! It was truly a special moment.
Sadly, we had to cut it short as we needed to leg it back to the business hall at the opposite side of the Koelnmesse to start our last day of work!
“In the evenings we were taken out by the Ukie crew for nice meals in the city and went for drinks at the Corkonian, a pub where many games industry folk exhibiting games at Gamescom go after a long hard day of demoing their games. I met some awesome devs there and we chatted over many pints of German beer. Joe, Pete and Adam from Rare were particularly awesome and we were invited to visit the Sea of Thieves stand the next day to queue jump and get some nice piratey freebies. We also managed to swag a Gamescom limited edition Dishonored 2 bag from the Dishonored booth after sweet talking the staff, thanks to our ‘Gamescom Staff’ bond. Sorted.
Gamescom is easily the biggest games convention I’ve been to, think EGX and then times it by five, it’s absolutely HUGE.
“As much as I didn’t want it to, Friday came to an end and it was time to take down the stand. We were all packed up and sorted by 8pm but the lovely, darling lorry driver didn’t arrive until around 11pm so we were stuck in the exhibition hall surrounded by work crews dismantling all the stands. We somehow managed to snag a blow up football one company had been using for promo and wasted an hour or two playing footy with chair stacks as goal posts until a German fella took them away from us with no remorse. We finally left the Koelnmesse around midnight and hopped on a train straight back to the Air BnB with pizza to pack up our belongings to fly back to the UK on Saturday morning. What.a.trip.
The video evidence
Hayley’s timelapse video of Gamescon. Enjoy.
“Thank you to Jo, Sophie, Megan, Dan, Sam, Zayaan, and Charlotte for making my first trip to Gamescom one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life, all top people to work and hang out with. If you ever get the chance to work for Ukie I will shout at you to take it, I made some brilliant mates and some ridiculously good contacts which will no doubt help me in the future. It’s damn hard work but extremely rewarding. Load up on the free caffeine, pastries and cakes, and also take some super comfy shoes ‘cause you’ll be on your feet for around 18 hours a day!
“I also want to thank Michael O’Grady (Huddersfield Uni Subject Leader) for sorting out the Ukie membership super-quick for me in time to apply, and also Gary Nichols for sending me the Ukie application in the first place. Without him I wouldn’t have applied and missed the most worthwhile trip of my life so far!
Here is your chance to walk into a time machine and go into a 80’s style video games club that is packed with classics such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders. This arcade club has gained so much popularity that they have been forced to move to a bigger premises. Do you know what this means? More Games!
The new club on cork street opened last year is now home to well over 200 machines these include video and pinball machines, classic consoles and vintage computers. Here are a list of some of my favorites in their collection:
We hope to see all of you retro video game enthusiasts in the club and remember, the first rule of arcade club is ….. anyone can join arcade club!
The Arcade Club : http://www.arcadeclub.co.uk/
Date: November 18th
Time: Coach leaves University at 11:00, playing 12:00 – 17:00, coach should be back at University by about 18:00
Cost: £10 before we leave!
How: Give your £10 to Duke
FrankenJam is a free event running as part of the University of Huddersfield’s Open Day. A pizza lunch will be provided. If you wish to attend, please sign up on the eventbrite page Here.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
A new week has started at Canalside studios and the new games designers and developers have started. Do you know what this means? Canalside Studios First Games Jam!
After spending several hours crowded around a whiteboard, the team decided to build an endless runner mobile game.
After that the team had to decide on the core game’s gameplay. This would be centred on a sheep who, armed with a jetpack, would be attempting to reach the sun, avoiding obstacles along the way.
You know, ordinary sheep stuff. Fortunately for our woolly friend, the developers were kind enough to implement a couple of power-ups to help along the way, including speed boosts, double points and even a mini-gun!
All was well in the office. Programmers were programming, sheep were flying and I even helped out with the audio. Suddenly, a spanner in the works; the team were informed that the sheep wasn’t allowed to fly above 200m. As a result of this team were sent back to the drawing board!With the new height limit in place, the team decided to turn the game on its side. Instead of flying upwards, the sheep would fly forwards – still avoiding obstacles and wielding the occasional mini-gun. If the sheep couldn’t travel the stars, then it would instead travel the world! Our designers created four new locations for the sheep to explore: A forest, a desert, an ocean, and a city.
After five days of hard work, Jetpack Sheep was finally playable and the team could go home for the weekend knowing that they helped our sheepish hero almost achieve its’s dream…sort of.