6th May 2008

StoneLoops – One Great Game

Written By: Tami Quiring

This game is maddeningly addictive. I opened it up expecting to just take a quick tour, try a few levels to check out the game play, and here I am two hours later writing my review. I finally found the strength to end the game, even though I really wanted to unlock that last volcano level in Survival Mode.

StoneLoops, a game from Polish indie game developer Codeminion is a refreshingly new twist on the “match three or more” puzzle genre occupied by other casual games such as Luxor and Zuma. I found everything about the game to be pleasing – except the failing to clear a level part, that is. The graphics are very well done, with attention paid to detail, depth and colour. The audio soundtrack is a very nice tribal, monastic style combining orchestration with haunting vocals, matching the game atmosphere very well. The entire theme of the game has been carefully thought through, with bits of humour mixed in if you take the time to check trophy descriptions and other subtle graphics.

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6th May 2008

How to Use Technology to Better Prepare Students for the Workforce

By Tina O’Block

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday lives as well as the workforce.Recent studies predict that by the year 2010 almost every job in the American workplace will require some use of technology. This influx in technology has caused changes in the way the computer is being used in the workplace and in the way computer literacy needs to be taught in our schools.

When the personal computer was first introduced in the 1980’s, people had to learn how to operate it, program it, and utilize its basic functions. Today, people and businesses are becoming more familiar with technology and using it more as a tool for such things as information gathering, data analysis and interpretation, presenting information, problem solving, communication, etc. This technology is also continually being updated and changed to allow for more efficient and productive work, causing people to have to keep pace with this new information. In such a knowledge-based economy, knowing how to locate information quickly, evaluate this information for bias and accuracy, and synthesize and apply that information to solve problems will be needed and valued skills. Therefore, teaching students skills such as these will better prepare them for the workforce of the 21st century.

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6th May 2008

Breaking Into Gaming

By Tami Quiring

Written from notes on a lecture given by Vlad Ceraldi, President and Joint CEO of HotHead Games, Vancouver.

Vlad Ceraldi

Mr. Ceraldi began his lecture by asking attendees what they love most about gaming. The top four answers were story, action, interaction and environments. He next asked why they wanted to go into game development, and the top two responses were for the creativity and enjoyment of doing the work. He then held up the box for a PlayStation 3, and asked if given the choice, would they choose the console or having a job in the industry, and without hesitation the answer was having a job in the industry.

Throughout his lecture, Mr. Ceraldi was brutally honest with attendees. He did not paint a Hollywood fantasy picture of the game development industry, and I feel that because of his honesty, those looking for jobs in the industry have a much clearer idea of what it takes to enter such a competitive field. He stated that if you only wanted to become a game developer to get rich, you would be better off pursuing another career, because you would have to work just as hard in game development, if not harder, as you would to be successful in any other career.

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6th May 2008

Game Dev Student Checklist

This checklist was prepared by the Game Developers’ Association (Australia)

STUDENT CHECKLIST: Questions that every potential games student should ask

The following checklist has been prepared for students and parents to use when reviewing potential game courses and educational institutions.

What links does the course have with the games industry?

Is there anyone in the game industry that could be spoken to regarding the course?

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