19 February 2007, ITI Techmedia today announced the subject of its sponsored speaker session to be hosted by Paul Sheppard of ITI Techmedia and Andrew McLennan of Metaforic at this year's Game Developers' Conference (GDC) taking place in San Francisco from 5th to 9th March.
It will reveal a working notation for game design that will allow game play to be evaluated before the game goes into production. The application of such a methodology could save the games industry millions of dollars in development costs. The Scottish-based organisation has already announced an investment of over $10m to establish a world-class development platform to facilitate the efficient production and distribution of online PC, console and hand-held games.
In conjunction with its commercial partner, Metaforic Ltd, ITI Techmedia will illustrate how game play can be tested in a pre-production environment using a real-life example from Microsoft's 'Halo'. Introducing the concept of 'difficulty graphs' into game design, the session will show how difficulty levels can be identified and modified to ensure that games stay in the 'fun zone' - that critical state between frustration and boredom.
Commenting on this exciting new approach David Creed, CEO of ITI Techmedia, said: "When we initiated this R&D Programme we believed it was a great opportunity to create cutting-edge tools for the benefit of the global game development community. What we are showing at GDC demonstrates how research and development can address some of the key pain points in the game development process and as a result, can significantly reduce development cost and lead time."
Andrew McLennan, CEO of Metaforic, the organisation which intends to commercialise this technology, said: "The black art of Game Design is being able to make games that are fun and playable. This research is beginning to shed light on practical ways to understand if a design is likely to be good in a way that working game designers can use, tune and play with."
The session will be hosted by Paul Sheppard of ITI Techmedia, formerly Product Development Manager (New Media) with Eidos and co-founder of Eidos's New Media Division and Andrew McLennan of Metaforic. Andrew is a 14 year veteran game designer who now devotes his time to designing casual games, including the recent Vista Showcase title, Spinword. Following the presentation, a Q&A session will be chaired by William Latham.
ITI Techmedia's sponsored speaker session takes place on Wednesday 7 March at 4pm. Representatives from both ITI Techmedia and Metaforic can also be found at Meeting Room 6109 in the North Hall.
Notes to Editor
For further information, interviews or photography please contact:
Jessica Sealby / Jamie Henderson
0131 553 0150
About ITI Techmedia
ITI Techmedia is a member-based organisation that identifies, develops and manages commercially driven Intellectual Property for the benefit of Scotland. It acts as a catalyst to create world-class technology in the digital media and communication sectors. Working with its members and the technology community, ITI Techmedia commissions and funds R&D to the point of commercial viability.
Further information is available on the website: www.ititechmedia.com.
Metaforic is a developer of advanced applications for games, particularly in the Game Design and Development Productivity areas.
Further information is available on the website: www.metaforic.com
About William Latham
William was CEO of Computer Artworks Ltd from 1994-2003. Hit games produced included The THING, which was Number One in the UK and Germany. He is experienced in film rights negotiation, copyright, digital asset management and games technology development. He is widely recognised for his procedural/ mutation work and is co-author of the book 'Evolutionary Art and Computers' produced whilst at IBM. He is founder of Games Audit Ltd, Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds University and a visiting Senior Research Fellow of Goldsmiths College, London.
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