Wednesday, August 30, 2006



-- My teacher in sculpture has suddenly passed away --

By now, most of you will have heard the desperately sad news that Paul Carter died in a car accident near Gosford House on Saturday afternoon.

Paul was a highly respected and dearly loved member of staff in the School of Sculpture where he operated as a most inspirational catalyst at all levels. Many generations of students were attracted to Sculpture through Paul’s enthusiasm and passionate interest in them and their individuality. Paul’s teaching versatility, commitment to sculpture and his unique ability to inspire all he encountered irrespective of level, is a huge loss to eca.

I’m sure that like me, you will all feel deeply for Paul’s wife Kate and his three very young boys, Blake, Oscar and Logan.

Paul Carter 4.3.1970 - 12.8.2006

Dear Friends,

You are warmly invited to attend a service to celebrate Paul's life

at St Phillips Church
Joppa Rd

on Friday 25th August at 10.30 am

and to continue on to the Hall for a toast to Paul and refreshments until 1 pm

please pass on this invitation

Jake Harvey,
Edinburgh College of Art

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Awards for SPACEPORT

Awards for SPACEPORT

Little needs to be said... read it all in today's Dundee Courier Newspaper!

Click to enlarge: SPACEPORT by Phaigo Interactive

In all we thus won three prizes:

Dave and the rest of the team - Best Screenwriting
Jason - Best Artist
Nick - Best Virtuoso

Phaigo Interactive, makers of SPACEPORT the game (left to right: Jason, Nick, Peter, Mark, Dave, below: Willem)

Hooray... leaving Dundee and heading down to Edinburgh.

On Wednesday 23rd my two Brave Heart Brothers will join me on the Tour through Scotland. See

Thank you for following the SPACEPORT tales over the last 10 weeks of development and I hope one day you will have the chance of playing this interactive game ;o)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Judgement DARE Day

Judgement DARE Day

Yesterday we had the jury for DareToBeDigital seated at our 'stand' and play our SPACEPORT computer game.

Afterwards, whilst well received, the team showed their lack of sleep but kept the humour going.

Peter playing SPACEPORT... NOW!

Mark (back) and Peter (front)... smiling faces.

Dave (left) and Jason (right) after an exhausting 10 weeks competition.

Nick (center) tapping away in front of the audience (Keith and Jason).

The Awards are next....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We are Dare

We are Dare...

As I am writing this web log entry, our team is putting posters on the walls of our freshly created computer game SPACEPORT.

But first let me introduce myself..

Click to enlarge: SPACEPORT business card

In addition to you as a new Space station manager having to deal with your 'personnel' and 'guests', technology is helping you out too.

Fact is, you have a 'mobile office' to your disposal, that let's you manage your affaires.

SPACEPORT Mobile Office

This computer screen-spanning 'interface' has onboard 'CCTV', radio broadcasting, and the latest news. All to support you in operating the Space station. A manager's dream come true ;o)

So before we meet with the DareToBeDigital jury in 11 hours time from now, can I invite you for a little game....?

SPACEPORT, it's not just about making money...

Sky Boxing Day

Sky Boxing Day

Yet another part of Game development... the outer world!

To have our Space station float in well... the sky, we had to design a starfield with planets (such as Earth) and build a box from them.

Sky box with space-like starfields

Next is to 'fold' this box around our Space station in the Game engine (called Ogre). So we can have a look out of the station's windows and see Earth.

Click to enlarge: View from the SPACEPORT lounge (left is the docking corridor, right is planet Earth)

And on a romatic evening at the Space station SPACEPORT, its inhabitants might be singing...

"I'm wishing on a star to follow where you are
I'm wishing on a dream to follow what it means
And I wish on all the rainbows that I see
I wish on all the people who really dream
And I'm wishing on tomorrow praying it will come
And I'm wishing on all the loving we've ever done"

- Lyrics by Rose Royce

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Game Marketing

Game Marketing

It's Not "Show Friends," It's "Show Business"

Wikipedia on SHOW BUSINESS:
"The entertainment industry consists of a large number
of sub-industries devoted to entertainment.However, the term is often used in the mass media
to describe the mass media companies
that control the distribution and manufacture
of mass media entertainment."The traditional live entertainment industryLive entertainment:Dance, Drama, Musical Theatre, Opera, Performance Art, Magic (illusion), Comedy, Sports, Concert
The Theater:Playwrights, Actors and Theater directors
The Music industry:Composers and Songwriters, Singers and Musicians, Orchestras, Concert halls and Opera housesThe Publishing industryAuthors, Journalists, Publishers, Printers, BooksellersExhibition EntertainmentMuseum, Amusement park, Trade show, Wax Museum, Fair, Themed Retail, BuskingThe 20th century mass media industryCinema:Film studios, Movie theaterBroadcasting:Television, Radio
Record industryTheme parks
DiscotequesElectronic entertainmentComputer games:SPACEPORT !Video gamesSMS contentWeb sites

NOTE: A computer game is a computer-controlled game. A video game is a computer game where a video display such as a monitor or television is the primary feedback device.

Coming near to the completion of the DareToBeDigital competition, we've designed a wonderful poster for our game SPACEPORT.

Poster: Carbrey, the SPACEPORT Customer Service Manager welcomes (!) you on board your new to be managed space station...

And along with the poster (A1 size!) comes the box, which contains this PC playable game... soon.

Have a look (still under severe construction) at the SPACEPORT web site in a few days time.

Next..... more coffee and on to designing the flyer!

Two sugars and milk, please ;o)

Sunday, August 13, 2006



In August, Edinburgh (Scotland) celebrates its Film Festival.

One of this year's attractions is the screening of a film called FRITZ, by producer and fellow film student Jamie Stone (not related to Oliver Stone as far as I know).

Homepage of Fritz, the movie (courtesy Jamie Stone)

The film tells about a German Second World War Soldier, named Fritz. He has grown old, almost 90 years of age and still lives in his bunker. To him the war is still on, and his devotion to the Great Cause forces him to report nightly about his findings to headquarters from behind the enemy borders.

(whilst morse-coding)
"Schuppen, Schuppen, der Lebkuchen Mann meldet sich..."

(Eng: "Dandruff, dandruff, the Gingerbread man reports...")

This dialogue in English was sent to one of my dear friends in Berlin, Nadja Kwass-Benkow, who joint by her husband Ralph translated it into proper German and included a few recordings with their own voices. Brilliant results...

Therefore the credits in the publication below should most of all go to Nadja and Ralph.

Credits of Fritz, the movie

For additional information on this film, visit

Friday, August 11, 2006

Almost Ready, Gamers

Almost Ready, Gamers

We - and all other six computer developing gamers - can be heard on the radio for Dare to be Digital!

Have a listen here for the report by Clark Boyd.

Now that we have been covered on print and pulse, time has come to look back on what we have been through to get to the completion of our game SPACEPORT.

CONCEPT PHASE (Weeks 0ne and Two)

The lead designer, in this case our team lead, in conjunction with my team member form China and myself (from Holland), conceives the game concept: What genre, characters (two in our case), and story line (managing a space station) will the game feature. Will it invent its own genre or fall into an established one?

We have tried to make a space game that doesn't look & feel at all like the Green Aliens ;o)


A prototype of the game is "built". This prototype will contain all of the key elements of core gameplay in a limited fashion but still give a sense of how the complete game will play and what it might look like.

* Customer Service Manager (CSM): Carbrey

* Engineer (ENG): Ena

In this phase, some of the key core design work on characters, environments, etc., will be executed, although it may be altered in the next phase.


Paper art and design process begins in earnest. Key art - a single large image encapsulating the look and feel of the game as a whole - may be created at this stage or in the prototype phase.

Key character sketches, environment sketches, and so on are begun, and the storyline, as well as any cinematic segment storyboards are created. Audio scoring is begun.

Ship approaching spaceport.

[CSM gulps]

What, But the station’s not ready!

I know. Everything’s a mess upstairs.
Come on, I need you [to player].

Wait a minute there Carby…

It’s Carbrey actually!

In addition, during this phase technical design issues are mapped out, such as what tools might be used to program the game, how control schemes might work, etc.

Finally, a single segment of the game is completed during this phase to serve as a model for the rest of the game.

Steam room

This segment may or may not be based on the prototype.

PRODUCTION PHASE (Weeks Six, Seven, and Eight)

Production begins in earnest. Characters and environments are translated into digital medium through a variety of methods and tools: for example, sculptures may be created by hand and then scanned into the computer as a basis for the three-dimensional computer model.

Textures - flat images that appear to contain shading as well as other details - are created for the characters and environments and then "wrapped" around the three-dimensional models.

A variety of software tools and programs are used for these processes. We used mostly Adobe Photoshop and Alias Maya. As different characters, environments, and so on are completed, they are put into motion, have sound and effects added, and begin their integration into the complete game.

Motion may involve motion capture technology for realism, sound may involve recording , and effects may include proprietary technologies used to make smoke, fire, water, changing light, and so on to look as real as possible.

As this process occurs, the programming of the gameplay that will finally bring all of these elements together is also executed. This includes such obstacles as ensuring that different object interact the way they are supposed to, the camera moves correctly around the action, and non-player characters behave intelligently.


In this phase, early "completed" versions of the game, known as "alpha", or "beta" "builds", are tested extensively to find faults that are corrected.

Click to enlarge: SPACEPORT outside

Other elements might also be tweaked such as musical cues, dialogue recording, or even specific textures. It is at the end of this phase that the game theoretically receives its ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating.


Final packaging and advertising are determined, and the game's finale marketing push begins.

Concept Logo design

This step can be as complex - and expensive - as the marketing of a major Hollywood film or CD release.


And this is what will happen on the Dare Awards ceremony day on Friday 18th August.


12 - 3pm Secondary schools from Tayside, Perth and Fife in playing your game demos - Blue area to left of Lounge Bar, level 1 of the Student Centre

3.30pm - 5pm Showing of film and award of prizes - Main Lecture Theatre (1516 / 2516), Main Building

5pm - 6pm Drinks reception and talent showcase (guests will be playing your game demos / viewing artwork etc). - Blue Area & Lounge Bar, Level 1 of the Student Centre

From 6pm onwards - Buffet and Party - Lounge Bar, Level 1 of the Student Centre

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Time to Celebrate

Time to Celebrate

And, yes, it is true, death is everyone's fate
But we've made it this far, it's time to celebrate.

- Lyrics by Zero 7

Friday, August 04, 2006



Our SPACEPORT in the game magazine DEVELOP.

Advert with our SPACEPORT room in DEVELOP magazine

Remember the start of modeling one of the rooms inside our spacegame...?

Concept drawing of SPACEPORT Power room

Well, now at the end of week 8 (two more to go) I have completed the modeling and texturizing, as shown below.

A parrot is printed on the lampions

The handle to power up is labeled 'Handle with Care' ;o)

The dial shows that the Station can power up far more..... TURBO POWER
[The Fleur-de-lise is an ode to my mother and her ancestors, the van der Lely's]

Although the 'lava' in the lemon is of a quite agreeable temperature.

With a green gloomy light charging the batteries with environment friendly juices.

And finally, do NOT drop your soap behind the reel. Just to let you know.

--- So far the modeling and rendering.

Then ... there is a magical tool at our disposal, called LIGHTS!

In the 3D computer environment lights can be included to 'lighten' up (or down) the scene. And that lights do count is evident from the underneath results:

Click to enlarge: Power room in the lights

Click to enlarge: Power room in the lights .. continued

Click to enlarge: Power room in the lights .. continued

That's it for today...

[will you please switch off the light on leaving]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Face It

Face It

We are in Week 8 of 10... almost at the end of what can be called a daring competition.

Goal: To make the greatest, most enjoyable, fun computer game.
Objective: To realize this in a team of 6 students over a 10 week period in the Summer.

Will we finally be able to show all the good stuff in our game: SPACEPORT?
Who knows...

If we'd asked it one of our lead characters, this is what he could say:

SPACEPORT's Customer Service Manager

You've guessed it... we are bringing in Facial Expressions to our game actors. And to show you which emotions I have designed so far, have a look at the following: