“It’s Xbox day! Almost exactly 8 years after the announcement of the Xbox 360, Microsoft is back with another one.We’re live on the ground at Microsoft’s Xbox campus in Redmond, where the company is about to show its next-generation console for the very first time. We’ll be bringing you the news as it breaks with our up-to-the-second liveblog. Join us, won’t you?The event is scheduled to start at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern), but be sure to tune in a bit early — lets say… 9:30 am? Connectivity allowing, we’ll be bringing you photos and commentary fresh from the scene.”
AnyoneGame raises $1 million for Just Sing It By Matthew Handrahan
“In an interview with TechCrunch at the time of the game’s launch, Anyone Game’s CEO Alec Andronikov outlined his plan to surpass the success of existing Karaoke apps by introducing mechanics from social gaming. Just Sing It’s structure is similar to that of Draw Something, with competing players attempting to guess the song the other is singing.”
The 12 Types of People Who Use Social Networks by
“The infographic, created by First Direct Bank, shows 12 distinct different personalities: Ultras, Dippers, Deniers, Virgins, Lurkers, Peacocks, Ranters, Changelings, Ghosts, Informers, Quizzers and Approval Seekers.”
High Heavens Board Game Pits Norse Gods vs. Greek Gods
by Ryan Carlson
“Want to play a strategy board game that lets you pit the classic Greek pantheon versus the Norse pantheon for control of earth? For the love of Odin and Zeus, get yourself over to the High Heavens board game Kickstarter page and make sure that it gets funded and printed. (It only has one week left on the Kickstarter at the time of this post and is not yet funded.)”
Obviously, games are more than just “3D fighting”…
Lindsay Holloway (left), Noreen Mir, Melissa Kronenberger
You might need the QuickTime components for Windows to listen to this talk http://www.apple.com/quicktime/resources/components.html
You are invited to join our SCAD Open Day on Saturday, Apr.20, 12PM-4PM to explore SCAD’s outstanding facilities, experience SCAD student life, meet with admission staff, faculty. Register for SCAD Day at www.scad.edu/scadday or +852. 2253 8000.
誠邀各位參與我們於4月20日（週六）下午十二時至下午四時的SCAD薩凡納藝術設計大學開放日！歡迎各位前來參觀體驗SCAD的校園設施，請登入http://www.scad.edu/scadday 或致電 +852. 2253 8000 登記。
Ronald Grover and Malathi Nayak wrote:
“Walt Disney Co plans to shut the 30-year-old LucasArts studio it inherited with the acquisition of George Lucas’ film company last year, and focus on licensing its “Star Wars” brand externally, a spokesman said on Wednesday.”
“ The decision to shutter LucasArts comes as the developer and publisher, once known for humor-tinged adventure games like ‘Secret of Monkey Island’, has struggled in recent years to produce a hit in an industry increasingly dominated by action-oriented games.”
See the article at:
From our perspective: Once more, the lessons learned from 1983 apply, focus on quality of the user experience and the market. This is easier written than done. Game design is about psychology, behaviour economics, and business strategy as fundamental disciplines to deliver a user experience of value, not about character design, story development, or even gameplay in isolation.
Christie and Mark
Feedback from Adam for the group
Christina talking to Ian; Adam and William providing feedback to Melissa and Tap
Lindsay and Thomas receiving feedback from Tem
Christie and Mark receiving feedback from Michael
Thomas, Lindsay, Melissa
Congratulations to Game Designers, Thomas, Lindsay, and Melissa for the successful completion of their MFA Candidacy Review. Proud of you!
The Masters of Fine Arts is the top degree in the design profession and you guys are up to positively impact industry, society, and academia with your research, design philosophy and production work.
Aaron (Riot Games, League of Legends), William (systems designer), Paul, Slimane (PandaBlocs designer), Ian, Christie
With Paul, Zein (CWS), Ian, Christie
The SCAD Rally Team
The Game Winners
End of Game
With Marco, Ian, Christie, Paul
Players in the Magic Circle
SCAD Game Players and SCAD Game Designer
Solving the game level
Ian, Game Community Manger (with the hat), SCAD Game Designers observing gameplay
Christie, The Game Master
Paul, Game Promoter
Mark, Game Organizer
Let’s go for it!
Yes, we are!
Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream
“In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.
Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time.
That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support.
My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).
This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.
Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.
The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’
And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.
Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’
And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.
You see, I have this never-ending dream.”
(Following Ang Lee’s second Best Directing win at the Academy Awards last night, this beautiful essay resurfaced. Here is my translation of Ang Lee’s words, written in 2006 (post-Oscar win). Please credit the translation to Irene Shih (and to this blog), thank you!)
Source: Quaximodo WYe via Facebook
“Since 1987, John Hughes has led Rhythm & Hues Studios, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading producers of computer-generated animation and visual effects for entertainment and advertising. As the company’s president and founder, John is committed to providing a collaborative and supportive work environment for the hundreds of digital artists and staff who work in the studio’s facilities in Los Angeles, India and Malaysia.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, where he received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering, as well as a Bachelors in Economics – John was working at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, when he was invited by a friend to venture westward to Los Angeles to join the pioneering motion graphics firm Robert Abel and Associates. There, he designed and developed motion control camera systems, paving the way for some of the first use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in feature films and commercials.
Anticipating the wide acceptance of digitally created media, John and a small group of former Abel employees founded Rhythm & Hues Studios in 1987 in Los Angeles. They developed proprietary software that quickly established a high standard for both photo-real and stylized character animation and visual effects. Today, the studio is in its 24th year of continuous operation, with two Academy Awards for Achievement in Visual Effects (for “Babe,” 1995 and “The Golden Compass,” 2007). R& H has also received four Scientific and Technical Academy Awards.
In addition to his role at Rhythm & Hues, John is committed to improving education for California students. He currently serves as Chairman of the Education Committee for the Digital Coast Roundtable, and Chair of the Digital Coast Foundation. He also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Entertainment Economy Institute, a ten-year old initiative to respond to the current and future workforce needs of all segments of the entertainment industry, and the Workforce Investment Board, collaboration between government and private industry, which oversees all federal and state training funding for the City of Los Angeles. Previously, John was a member of the California Superintendent of School’s Task Force for the Visual and Performing Arts, and a Board Member of the California Alliance for Arts Education.
Under John’s guidance, Rhythm & Hues encourages future generations of artists, through apprenticeships to promising students and tours of the studio’s facilities, open to visitors from around the world.”
Rhythm and Hues Studios
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Rhythm & Hues Studios was established in Los Angeles, California in 1987 by former employees of Robert Abel and Associates (John Hughes, Pauline Ts’o, Keith Goldfarb, Cliff Boule, Frank Wuts and Charles Gibson). The company uses its own proprietary software for its photo-realistic character animation/visual effects—as well as for those that are more stylized. Rhythm & Hues Studios is a visual effects company whose corporate headquarters is in El Segundo, California. It has additional production facilities in India (the Mumbai suburb of Malad and HITEC City which is a part of Hyderabad), Malaysia (Cyberjaya just outside of Kuala Lumpur), Canada (Vancouver), and Taiwan (Kaohsiung).”
Visual Effects Oscar went to Rhythm & Hues for ‘Life of Pi,’ even though they recently filed for bankruptcy
Brian Watt | February 25th, 2013
One of the four Oscars won by director Ang Lee’s fantasy adventure film “Life of Pi” at Sunday’s Academy Awards show was for best visual effects. Turns out that much of the credit for the award goes to a visual effects company that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. “Life of Pi” was the third Academy Award-winning film featuring visual effects work by El Segundo-based Rhythm and Hues Studios. The company has provided Hollywood filmmakers with visual effects since 1987 and had more than 700 employees in Southern California. Two weeks ago, Rhythm and Hues filed for bankruptcy protection. More than 200 employees were laid off, many of whom worked for more than a year on “Life of Pi.”
Classical music has its roots in chambers as a medium of bringing interesting people together. Erica Lee and Maria Jee offered a unique opportunity for several of us from different disciplines to gather, greet, exchange ideas, and be inspired. Thank you to Sallie, Lisa, and the great team at SCAD for facilitating and making this event possible.
Violinist Erica Lee and Pianist Maria Jee
Erica Ye Byeol Lee made her solo debut at the age of eleven in Russia with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in Em Op 64. Ms. Lee has performed modern and classic compositions at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and other places around the world. She is a graduate of Julliard, Parsons, and Mannes. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Erica Lee at RTHK Kwok Talk on art education and its value and relevance for today’s youth (MacOS users might need to download the Windows Media components for QuickTime)
Maria Jee has performed to great acclaim both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist in her native Korea, the United States, and Hong Kong. In constant demand as a collaborative pianist, Jee has appeared in chamber music performances with a variety of artists including members of the San Francisco Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic. As a soloist, she performed at the invitation of the Polish Consulate to commemorate Chopin’s 200th Anniversary in Hong Kong in 2010.
Thank you to Prof. Benedict Cruft of the APA for his insightful advice and help.
SCAD graduate student Lindsay Holloway at the Barcamp in Hong Kong, February 24th, presenting about designing games for girls.
Photo by Simon Newstead, Frenzoo (thank you for sharing Simon!)
Paul, Ian, Mark, and Keiran at UXHK http://www.usability.com.hk
Thank you Daniel Szuc @uxhk for the reference!
Feb 6, 2013
4 Ways to Train Your Brain for Positivity
By Jessica Stillman
You know how when you play Tetris for awhile, even after you stop, you can still see those little falling blocks in your mind’s eye?
The persistence of Tetris isn’t simply an annoying effect of a cleverly designed game, according to scientists. Instead it’s a reflection of something deeply positive about our brains–their plasticity.
Young-ha Kim: Be an artist, right now!
Video Games Careers in Hong Kong?
By J.A. Rueda
Why would highly-educated intelligent people choose to spent their careers making video games?
Video games are supposed to be a distraction, a waste of time, bad for you. In the colloquial lingo, a video game is automatically associated with a negative force that compels people to be irresponsible, lazy, perhaps violent, and video games and the associated corporations are responsible for many of today’s global problems. So some say.
While having such thoughts, people still play. People play for passing the time alone (horse betting, card games such as solitaire) or in a group (Mahjong, basketball, poker), or as a personal challenge (golf), or for camaraderie at work (softball, touch rugby), or for competitive reasons (amateur or professional sports), or to stay sharp (crossword puzzles, Sudoku), or learning a new language (many young people in Hong Kong learn Japanese through video games), or for the love of art (playing the violin), or to try to earn money (casino style gambling), or to belong to a cool group (Halo on the Xbox), or because everyone else is playing (Minecraft), teasing friends, being playful during courtship (young and new couples are silly playful), or to teach skills to a child, or because they have a smart phone (Angry Birds), or because their Facebook friends are playing (Farmville), or to earn a price (promotion games in convenience stores), etcetera. The list goes on and on. There are hundreds of reasons to play. Even if we deny it know in front of our peers or children because games are supposed to be wasteful, at one point in our lives, we all played with cards, toys, stones, balls, and our friends. Albert Einstein once said that great things come from the necessary “waste of time”. In other words, play is part of human development and a necessary activity.
If play is in big demand, there must be an opportunity to supply play professionally. The core component of a game is play. So, there should be an opportunity to make and sell games. How compelling is the opportunity? How relevant it is to Hong Kong youth?
Continue on the PDF VideoGamesDec2012 (download)
This invited article follows the talk by Dr. Rueda on August 29 in which he introduced the medium of the video game from a business case perspective and as an academic subject leading to viable careers. He provided an overview of the industry, history, key figures and drivers, government strategic initiatives from around the world, and case studies.
by KIM-MAI CUTLER
“Nexon, the freemium gaming company that went public around the time that Zynga did, saw its fourth-quarter revenues jump 39 percent to 30.9 billion Japanese yen ($331.4 million).”
Here Are the 2012 Games That Developers Want to Give Awards to
By Evan Narcisse
From a game design perspective, why are the following games the top game designs of 2012:
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
The Best Animated Backgrounds Of 2D Fighting Games
This article at Kotaku has a nice collection of art used as backgrounds in some games. The article also reminds us that games are at the intersection of art and science. In games, art means visual arts, sound, music, photography, dance, literature but also the artistic nature of the creation and expression process. The science of games involves what everyone knows, computers, but in addition, psychology, sociology, physics, biology, anatomy, geography, geology, astronomy, mathematics, logic, and various more specialized areas including behaviour economics and political science. In the end, a game has the purpose of play and understanding play and the player is key for the art and science of games to work.
A History Of THQ, 1989-2013
By Luke Plunkett
One of the lessons learned from the history of THQ appears to be “set up your vision and stay on course” -easier said than done, but even students find it difficult to stay on their vision over a short two week assignment. Creative people are always tempted by new ideas and this needs to be balanced with business context, instinct, education, and heroism.
“As you might know, the Global Game Jam (GGJ) is an international game development event during which participants make games within a 48-hour time period. In 2012, GGJ had 242 locations in 47 countries and over created were 2000 games in one weekend, which became a Guinness World Record! GGJ was a project of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA.org) from 2009-2012. From this year GGJ 2013, the event is managed by Global Game Jam, Inc.”, Prof. Hanna Wirman
To register, follow this link: http://globalgamejam.org/user/register
The following are the key web links:
http://globalgamejam.org/about (About GGJ)
http://globalgamejam.org/sites/2013/hong-kong (About GGJ Hong Kong)
https://www.facebook.com/ggjhk2013 (Facebook page)
Date: January 25-27, 2013
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)
Core P, Room PQ002 (Basement)
Hung Hom MTR Exit A1.
Cross the bridge over the Cross-Harbour tunnel.
At PolyU, turn right and you will see Core P, it is the first circular structure.
There is also a map at the entrance of the PolyU.
The preliminary rundown is as follows:
Day 1 – Arrival (5-8pm)
Day 2 – Work (9am-8pm)
Day 3 – Work and presentations (9am-7pm)
Requirement: Bring your own computer, an open mind, and your risk-taking attitude as a designer. There will be a couple of lab computers, but it is much better if you bring your own.
Students: Consider participating. The outcome will generally look good in your CV and portfolio.
Thank you to our colleague Prof. Hanna Wirman of the PolyU for leading the organization of GGJ 2013 in Hong Kong!
Julian Tam visiting Hong Kong