2003 – 2005 / DA Group (Yomego)

Thursday, 02. 9. 2012

Character building in Glasgow
When looking for a move back to Scotland from London I couldn’t have wished for a better opportunity than DA Group. The AIM listed company achieved a degree of notoriety for creating ‘Ananova‘ the first ‘virtual newscaster’, and went on to develop a range of multi platform character based software and messaging solutions. Not long before I joined, the company led by Mike Antliff had merged with leading Glasgow based web agency Black ID, providing them with a strong web development capability. In fact, it’s probably the best web team I’ve worked with.

ANANOVA

DA mobile
 
I was fortunate in that DA Group production process involved pretty much everything I’d been involved with career wise up to that point. The modellers and animators used Lightwave which was familiar from the Virtuality days. The web technologies were not a million miles from earlier versions used by Oyster which had evolved into standardised tools and methodologies used by the digital team at Crown. Software wise, DA were particularly clever. A real time rendering engine sat at the core of all the solutions and platforms which included mobile integration, kiosk web and SDK.

As Operations Manager I was interested in how the processes which were emerging organically through the convergence of ‘web development’ and ‘software engineering’ could work alongside defined and recognised methodologies such as Prince2. Applying business process within a ‘creative’ environment isn’t necessarily straight forward. It’s something which still interests me, and something I intend to cover more on this blog. Hopefully.

If Scottish football teams took the same approach to signing talent as Mike did, then we might be watching European football in this country after Christmas. It’s not an exaggeration to say that across all the creative channels within the business; 3D modelling, animation, software development, web development and audio production, was some truly world class talent. The showreel, which is around 10 years old, still looks great.

Scotland needs more companies like DA Group who are not afraid to take risks and do something genuinely innovative and groundbreaking.

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