The Adelaide Game Developers Who Bring Childhood Dreams To Life

Mighty Kingdom create games for LEGO Friends, Shopkins and more.

It’d be an understatement to say we’re a fan of games here at Hybrid World Adelaide: the initial concepts, the process of development, and – of course – the finished product.

We talked to Mighty Kingdom, one of the companies leading the way in Australia’s game development scene. We visited them at Game Plus on Pirie Street in Adelaide, a co-working space for game developers and related tech start-ups. Check out the highlights below.


Do you have a game in development? Or a different tech idea altogether
? Apply to our #HWALAB for your chance to win a grant and make it a reality. More info can be found here.

 

Zombies, Fires and Surreal Cities: Adelaide’s First Virtual Reality Arcade Has Arrived

Gamers, rejoice: Adelaide’s first virtual reality arcade is here.

Untethered VR has opened on Gouger Street, and promises a range of VR experiences from flying and zombie-fighting to a magic elevator that opens up at the edge of a skyscraper. The only thing separating you from the streets below? A wooden plank. It all feels terrifying real.

Corporate groups are also encouraged to visit, with Untethered offering team-building exercises that bring people together through problem-solving. We checked out the arcade and spoke to founders Tom Berzins, Phillip Wu and Tom Baxter about transforming the space (“We had to YouTube ‘how to paint a wall,'” laughs Baxter), their passion for gaming and their earliest VR experiences. Here are some of the highlights from our visit.


This year’s #HybridWorldADL will take place in July in the city of Adelaide. For more info on the lab, and how to apply, click here.

Five Women On Our Doorstep Worth Celebrating for #IWD2018

March 8 is International Women’s Day and we’re celebrating by looking at the achievements of five innovative Adelaide women who are pioneers in their respective fields. Check them out.

Flavia Nardini

Flavia is a rocket scientist. She’s the co-founder of Fleet Space Technologies, a company that aims to connect the world’s devices – yes, all of them – in an efficient, more affordable manner than ever before. Fleet Space plans to do this using a collection of tiny satellites.

Dr. Kristin Alford

Kristin is the director of MOD., a future-focused museum for young adults that connects technology, art and science. She was also the founding director of foresight agency Bridge8., which focuses on facilitating nanotechnology, water sustainability, health and other futures for corporations, government and not-for-profit organisations.

Dr. Michelle Fraser and Dr. Melinda Jasper 

At science-tech company RHS, Michelle and Melinda make products for testing single cells to ensure they have the right amount of DNA in them. That way, it can be determined if the cells have a genetic fault that causes disease. RHS is currently developing software for applications like prenatal or cancer diagnosis.

“I think that it’s great there are a lot of role models for STEM that are female. We’ve got more women at RHS than men, and it’s not unusual to find a lot of women in the health space. There’s a lot of women CEOs of listed biotech companies, particularly in South Australia,” says Michelle.

“We’re ASX listed, so a lot of the people that we meet with about investment decisions are male. So I’d love to see some more women in that, covering the health stocks,” she says.

Professor Tanya Monro

Tanya is renowned is in the field of photonics, having a range of patents to her name and publishing more than 500 scientific papers. She focuses on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres. She is Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation; and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia.


This year’s #HybridWorldADL will take place in July in the city of Adelaide. For more details about the event, click here.

Four Iconic Game Consoles That Make Up “The Sixth Generation”

Eighteen years ago this Sunday, the eternally popular PlayStation2 console was launched in Japan. To celebrate, we’ve examined the gaming consoles that made up the “sixth generation”, what was special about each of them, and why they are remembered.

Sega Dreamcast

Ah, Sega Dreamcast. Despite the fact you ushered in this generation on November 27th 1998, you also died a sad and lonely death. We imagine you were thrown into the ocean from a bridge à la the kids from Jumanji, and made a watery grave for yourself surrounded by those weird human-fish things from Seaman.

The thing is, this sad end was entirely undeserved. The Dreamcast was, in a lot of ways, ahead of its time; it featured an in-built modem for online gaming, as well as a web browser, high quality ports, and its games library was huge, creative and especially innovative. Titles such as SilverRez, Shenmue and House of the Dead 2 showcased the immense originality and inventiveness of the library, but became overshadowed by the vastly more popular games available on other consoles.

How did it die? Well, we can chalk that one up to our much-lauded PlayStation 2, which had a huge amount of hype propelling it due to its backwards compatibility and built-in DVD player. Sega discontinued the console on March 31st 2001, having sold 9.13 million units.

PlayStation 2

Whether you were a softcore gamer who only bought console game adaptations of Harry Potter and The Sims (a ridiculously scaled down version of the real thing that just left you wondering why you’d bothered in the first place), or whether you devoted your weekends to scouring Whetstone for Bigfoot, the PlayStation 2 found a place in everyone’s home by sheer popularity.

And why wouldn’t it? PlayStation 2’s backwards compatibility meant that that previous console games would still be compatible with this one, ensuring the durability and attractiveness of the console. And what could’ve been more attractive than the range of games and series available? Kingdom Hearts. Grand Theft Auto. Metal Gear Solid. Even more esoteric titles like Bully and Shadow of the Colossus stand the test of time (two of my personal favourites).

In 2013, when the PlayStation 2 was finally put out to pasture after thirteen years, it had accumulated 3874 titles, sold over 1.5 billion copies of them, and easily become the best-selling video game console of all time. In 2011 Sony announced that it had sold over 150 million units worldwide, proving undeniably the staying power of the PlayStation 2.

Nintendo Gamecube

The Nintendo Gamecube is a funny one. Coming after the culturally iconic Nintendo 64, it didn’t nearly reach the hype that the former generated. It was something that a “friend of a friend” owned, and that you played sporadically if you happened upon one. It wasn’t exactly a console of firsts for Nintendo either; despite being the first console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium, these discs were in miniDVD format, so it was not compatible with standard DVDs and audio CDs, unlike PlayStation 2. It’s purple “box” design was not particularly memorable or attractive either.

But that isn’t to say it wasn’t good. The redesigned controller brought it in-line with Sony’s Dualshock gamepads (and improved upon it), and in 2002 Nintendo released the first wireless controller in the form of the Wavebird. The console also featured online gaming, and compatibility with the handheld devices in the Nintendo series. And the games had incredible replay value, like Luigi’s MansionSuper Mario Sunshine and the insanely good Super Smash Bros. Melee. When the console was retired in 2007 it had sold close to 22 million units, to be preceded and left behind by the Nintendo Wii.

Xbox

Whenever people think of “console wars”, it is usually the Xbox that comes up against the PlayStation. Microsoft’s response to Sony’s prevalent gaming console, the Xbox wasn’t even originally its name; included on a list of prospective names to show how awful it was, it ended up outperforming all the others in consumer testing and the Xbox was born.

Released on November 15th 2001, the first Xbox console was powerful in terms of its graphics and playability, and featured a standard PC 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor. It was the first console to feature an in-built hard disk drive, which eliminated the need for exterior memory cards and ensured players could download endless content from Xbox Live. This came with a price, as the Xbox was by far the heaviest and bulkiest console on the market.

With titles like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and, of course, Halo 2, it sold over 24 million units—surpassing the Gamecube to take 2nd Place in “the Sixth Generation”, and standing the test of time in the wake of PlayStation’s popularity.

And let’s not forget that memorable (read: terrible) ad.

This year’s #HybridWorldADL will take place in July in the city of Adelaide. For more details about the event, click here.