Developing your Business Ideas


If you want to find out more about starting your own business and how to develop ideas, then you should come along to the Rather Useful Seminar on Wednesday this week. Liz Johnson of the university Knowledge Exchange will be giving tips on product development and business formation.

If you’ve got some applications out there, or an idea for a product, or are looking for a way to get started, then you will find the presentation extremely valuable. Especially if you are thinking of setting something up over the summer break.

The session is on Wednesday 24th April at the usual Rather Useful Seminar time, 1:15 pm, in the usual place, Robert Blackburn Building LTD.

Software War Stories from Black Marble


If you’ve ever wondered what software development is really all about then you should come along to our next “Rather Useful Seminar” on Wednesday this week. Robert Hogg and Steve Spencer of Black Marble, a local software company which works closely with the Department and has recruited many of our graduates, are giving a seminar on Wednesday 17 April where they will be sharing their experiences of software engineering in the real world.

Robert and Steve are entertaining speakers and have a great deal of experience of real-world software development and running a software business. The presentation will be at 14:15 in RB-LTA. This is a slightly different time and venue from previous seminars. All are welcome, particularly Year 1 and Year 2 students.

"Life after Uni and being a Boss Alien"


Lindsay Cox is coming to see us on Wednesday 6th of March and give a Rather Useful Seminar. You might remember Lindsay from the odd Three Thing Game, in fact he and his teams produced some memorable stuff over the years. Lindsay is going to talk about his experiences since graduation. The seminar is at 2:30 pm  on Wednesday 6th of March in Lecture Theatre D (LTD) in the Robert Blackburn Building.

Please note the slightly later start.

February 6th PEGI Session


We will be having the first in the Semester 2 series of Rather Useful Seminars on Wednesday 6th of February in the usual place (LTD in the Robert Blackburn Building) at the usual time (1:15 pm)

The subject will be of interest to anyone who is distributing creating games that they have made. PEGI (Pan European Game Information) will be here to talk about game ratings and how they are derived. If you are putting games out there for people to play then you should know what content fits into what rating category, and this session will show you how the process works.

January 24th Global Gamejam Briefing


As a way of preparing you for Global Gamejam Hull (you have signed up haven’t you) we’ve got an extra special Rather Useful Game Development Briefing next week.

  • Louis Deane will be talking about Unity development.
  • Simon Grey will be talking about making 3D spritesheets with dynamic lighting effects by using shaders
  • Rob Miles will be talking.

(actually I’ll be talking about creating XNA games for Windows 8 using the Monogame framework)

The briefing session will be on the afternoon of Thursday 24th of January from 1:30pm to 3:30 in Lecture Theatre D, the home of the “Rather Useful” brand. You don’t have to sign up for GlobalGameJam in order to come along, but those who have signed up will be allowed to sit at the front.

November 21st the Unity Game Engine


The Unity Game Engine helps you create great looking games that can run on a variety of platforms. It is especially interesting to those of us in Hull as the behaviour of the objects in the game can be controlled by scripts written using the C# language.

In this session Simon Grey will present an overview of Unity and give insights into how it can be used to create games.

November 14th Creating Embedded Applications


The next Rather Useful Seminar will be describing how you can use your C# and Visual Studio smarts to create embedded gadgets using the .NET Gadgeteer system. The presentation features demos where we are going to create a digital camera and also show the 'Q' style set of interfaces that you can use to create amazing devices.

November 7th Presentation Skills


There will be a seminar on Presentation Skills on Wednesday 7th November at 1:15 pm in Lecture Theatre D (LTD) in the Robert Blackburn Building. Rob Miles and David Grey will try to tell you how you can hone your presentation skills to win over an audience, or interview.

October 31st Publishing and Legality


We will be doing our next Rather Useful Seminar on the 31st of October on the subject of publishing and legality. Rob Singh from the University Knowledge Exchange and Rob Penrose from Andrew Jacksons Solicitors will be joining me, Rob Miles in the Robert Blackburn Building. (Can you see a pattern forming here?)

More Robs than you can shake a stick at will be talking about the nature of copyright, steps you can take to help make sure that what you thought of stays yours, and Rather Useful things to consider when you get together, form a little group (which is probably really a company) and start selling your wares via App Store or Marketplace.

The session will be at the usual time and place, 1:15 pm in Lecture Theatre D in the Robert Blackburn Building. Teams from Three Thing Game who are thinking about selling what they have made are strongly advised to come along and take part.

October 24th Game Creation with XNA


The opposite of inspiration...

We did a Rather Useful Seminar today on XNA and creating game assets. Simon did some presentations on asset creation and repositories and I shows off some XNA development stuff. These are the links that Simon mentioned:

Note that the SVN notes are only available via the campus SharePoint site. I did some demonstrations with the amazing “Bread and Cheese” game. You can find the code for this here.

October 10th Getting Started with Kinect

Kinect Book Cover

Gratuitous Book Plug

We will be having our second "Rather Useful Seminar" on Wednesday 10th of October at the usual time of 1:15 pm in Lecture Theatre D. The session will cover the Kinect sensor, how it works and how it can be used in your programs. We'll look at the camera and the depth sensor, and also how to use skeleton tracking. Should be fun.

As an addtional incentive to turn up, a free copy of the book above will be available to one lucky person.

October 3rd: Imagine Cup Introduction

In this seminar we are going to take a look at the Microsoft Imagine Cup and how you can get involved. The University of Hull has the best record in the competiton of any UK university. We have made the UK Finals very many times and Hull students have been to world finals in Spain, Brazil, India and Korea. 

The competition this year is going to be very interesting with a new category, Innovation.

Find out more about the Hull story, and how you can take part in the competition, by coming along to the seminar. 

Rather Useful Seminars

Welcome to the Microsite for the Rather Useful Seminars that we will be running at Hull University. They will all take place at 1:15 pm on a Wednesday afternoon in Lecture Theatre D in the Robart Blackburn Building. They are open to Hull students from all years. After the session we might all go and play some Team Fortress 2, which could be fun.


This is the programme for the First Semester. There will be further sessions in the New Year.

Week 02

October 3rd

Launch Seminar – Imagine Cup Intro

Week 03

October 10th

Getting Started with Kinect

Week 04

October 17th

An Overview of 3D Printing

Week 05

October 24th

Creating Gameplay using XNA

Week 06

October 31st

Publishing and Legality

Week 07

November 7th

Presentation Skills

Week 08

November 14th

Creating Embedded Applications

Week 09

November 21st

An Overview of the Unity Game Creation Framework

Week 10

November 28th

Imagine Cup Entry Preparation


 Keep up to date with what is going on by using the Twitter hashtag #ratherusefulseminars