28th September 2008

Belief & Betrayal Review

Format: PC
Publisher: Lighthouse Interactive – North America, UK, Benelux, Scandinavia
Publisher: dtp entertainment AG
Developer: Artematica
Genre: Conspiracy Adventure
SRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

OS: Windows® 2000 / XP / Vista™
CPU: 1 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor or AMD® Athlon™ processor
RAM: 512 MB (1 GB recommended for Windows® Vista™)
Video: 64 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible or better video card
PC CD-ROM: 4x (or PC DVD-ROM drive)
Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
Available Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
DirectX®: 9.0c
Other: Mouse, Keyboard and Speakers

Belief & Betrayal is a point and click third person adventure puzzle game. While outside of my usual gaming comfort zone, I was intrigued by the premise of the title. As anyone who knows me is aware, I am a research addict, and historic mysteries are one of my favourite research topics.

The storyline opens with our main character, journalist Jonathan Danter preparing for a trip to Florida, where he will be interviewing Cardinal Gregorio, a seemingly questionable representative of the Vatican. While preparing for the trip, Jonathan receives a disturbing call from Scotland Yard. The caller, an Inspector Twining, tells Jonathan that his uncle has been murdered and that he is afraid Jonathan’s life may be in danger. Jonathan argues with the officer, stating that his uncle had died ten years previous, but the Inspector insists that Jonathan come immediately to London. Almost as soon as he arrives in England our young hero is thrust into the secret world of ancient societies and intrigue.

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26th September 2008

Autodesk Pro Entertainment Seminar This Fall

Autodesk M&E Events are presenting their Dream, Dare Deliver seminar on November 4th at the ScotiaBank Theatre on Burrard Street. Register for this event and learn all about the versatility of the Autodesk family of creative design products. The first portion of the seminar will cover 3ds Max, Mudbox and MotionBuilder. The second portion of the seminar will cover Toxik, MotionBuilder and Maya. Following the seminars, there will be an informational session regarding product subscriptions and then a question and answer period. A product raffle and reception will round out the afternoon.

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26th September 2008

New Partnership Creates Opportunity For BC’s Digital Media Community

Press Release: Vancouver, BC – On a day when Canada’s new media community is celebrating its inaugural National Digital Media Day, New Media BC (NMBC), the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), Bell and Wavefront today announced a new partnership that will create opportunities for British Columbia’s (BC’s) digital media companies to play a key role in the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad’s suite of digital programs, known as CODE (Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition).

“New Media BC is delighted to be a key member of this partnership, which represents a great opportunity for BC digital media companies to showcase their outstanding creativity and talent and to be part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad,” said Kenton Low, president, New Media BC.

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25th September 2008

New Media BC Welcomes 2008 Board of Directors

New Media BC’s members celebrated the first Canadian National Digital Media Day by holding their 10th Annual Annual General Meeting at Radical Entertainment’s Terminal Avenue studio.

Radical President Kelly Zmak Welcomes NMBC members

After a welcome greeting from Radical President Kelly Zmak, New Media BC President Kenton Low opened the AGM with a quick recap of 2007’s events and milestones, along with a look into the future plans and how New Media BC will move our west coast digital media forward. With a growing membership base, a good financial position, an expanding list of programmes and a higher level of political awareness, the future does indeed look bright for the New Media BC Association.

Brief reports were filed in regards to Opportunity Alert, Mobile Muse and The Fusion Forum. NMBC members also received a progress report on the Board’s lobbying efforts with the Provincial and Federal Governments in hopes of improving the economic outlook for the digital media industry in British Columbia. Of course the most exciting announcement of the night was the fact that Vancouver will be home to GDC Canada, which will take place during Vancouver Digital Week in May of 2009.

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25th September 2008

New Media BC Announces Vancouver Digital Week 2009

Press Release – VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – New Media BC announced today new partnerships and enhanced programming for the second annual Vancouver Digital Week to run May 11-15, 2009 on Granville Island in Vancouver.

Vancouver Digital Week 2009 includes the following events:

• Vancouver International Digital Festival (VIDFEST)
• Game Developers Conference Canada (GDC Canada)
• Convergence 2009 Digital Marketing & Communications Forum
• The International Partnering Forum
• New Media BC’s Digital Media Awards Show and Gala

Vancouver Digital Week is an immersive week of innovative programming and partnership opportunities for the digital media industry that features top minds and deal makers from around the globe. Participants gain access to international business match-making, ‘big picture’ conference sessions on the latest trends and markets in digital media, high-level seminars for creators, designers, and producers, and vibrant networking parties.

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22nd September 2008

Dawn of War 2 Cinematic Trailer Debuts

Australia’s Plastic Wax has unveiled their collaboration with leading Vancouver developer Relic to produce the first Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II trailer, which recently debuted. The trailer can be seen now on the official Dawn of War II web site.

“It was our mission to make sure gamers’ first impressions of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II was flawless,” said Owen Hurley, Director of Animations and Cinematics with Relic. “To give fans a taste of where Relic’s latest masterpiece is going, both in terms of action and visuals, we needed an extended cinematic that brought frenzied battles to life unlike anything that has ever been seen before. Plastic Wax delivered big time.”

Trailer Screenshot

Trailer Screenshot

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is set in the far distant future. The 41st millennium is a dark, forbidding place, ravaged by thousands of years of conflict. Across this gothic universe huge armies struggle for victory in a battle to the death. Visualizing action on this scale for two and half minutes required a depth of skill and resources rarely found at traditional animation houses.

“Bringing the amazing Warhammer 40,000 universe from Games Workshop to life was a huge honor for our studio,” said Nathan Maddams, Creative Director, Plastic Wax. “This project gave us a unique opportunity to partner with the talented folks at Relic to give gamers the first peek at what will be the premiere RTS game of the year.”

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22nd September 2008

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger Coming This October

Lighthouse Interactive and developer G5 Software have announced that WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger, their interactive and exhilarating tank simulation game for Windows®, will be available at GamersGate.com and Direct2Drive.com beginning October 17, 2008. Lighthouse aims to wow simulation fans with yet another high quality and genre-defining simulation game.

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger allows players to experience the power of some of the most advanced tank weaponry of its time, as German and Russian forces battle head on during critical World War 2 campaigns. Its historically accurate representations of environments and vehicles (interiors and exteriors), realistic physics, and Internet and LAN multiplayer gameplay for up to sixteen players, promises to engage simulation fans in true-to-life tank warfare.

GAME SUMMARY

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger takes place in Belarus during the summer of 1944, in which the Soviet Union launched ‘Operation Bagration’, the Belarusian offensive, against the retreating German Wehrmacht. After Kursk, this was the most significant struggle of the two tank armies that resulted in the complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre and the Soviet recapture of all territories within their 1941 borders.

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21st September 2008

Spore

Spore is the first of its kind for the simulation genre of video games. Playing this game takes you through the journey of being a small little cell fighting for survival slowly evolving into an actual creature that will allow you to create a tribe, civilization, and even as far as outreaching to space. I guess the sky isn’t the limit with this game.

The interface for Spore is very easy to use. A simple drag and drop interface is used for creating creatures and objects of all types. The possibilities are endless! When in a 3D world, normal WASD keys can be used to navigate as well as the mouse. The true test was to see if I could use WASD, Click-Navigation, and Mouse-Navigation — this game passes that test! You can use all 3 traditional navigation methods.

A big part of this game is the artificial intelligence. Your own creature has AI as well as your enemies and allies. One of the cool concepts I love about this game is your ability to make friends or foe. You can approach another creature that knows nothing about you. If you sing to it, you can make friends. If you bite it, it’s going to bite back and be a foe. So what if there’s a creature that you approach that already doesn’t like you? Simple! You can either be mean to it and kill it off or you could be the better creature and make friends with it. How cool is that?

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19th September 2008

DreamCatcher Signs War Leaders: Clash of Nations for Windows in North America

September 19, 2008 (Toronto, CANADA): DreamCatcher Games, a leading publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software, today announced they have signed one of the most complete World War II games ever, War Leaders: Clash of Nations for Windows® for release in North America in October, 2008 for a suggested retail price of $39.99USD.

War Leaders: Clash of Nations, developed by Enigma Software is a unique combination of turn-based global management and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) where players will assume the role of one of the seven most important characters of WWII and be granted the power to control and manage all the main aspects of a massive war effort.

“War Leaders: Clash of Nations does a fantastic job of a creating a historical accuracy of WWII,” said Brian Gladman, Global Product Manager at DreamCatcher Games. “Not only does this game provide a full representation of historic and prototype units for each country, but players get to dive right into the roles of real WWII personalities, such as Roosevelt, Mussolini, Hitler, and Churchill.”

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15th September 2008

SPARK Animation Fest Was A Treat

The first annual SPARK Animation Festival was held over the past five days in Vancouver. Organized by our local ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, the event experienced a steady, high attendance and great reviews from those who attended the various panels and screenings.

SPARK’s opening event was an informal question and answer session with Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, co-directors of the Dreamworks animated feature Kung Fu Panda. Through a series of questions led by moderator Glenn Entis, the directors divulged how the film’s artists created animation which not only respected the Chinese culture, it remained true to real-life Kung Fu. In order to help understand the discipline and movement of martial arts, the studio team was led through a grueling five hour instructional session by wushu instructor Eric Chen. Further insight was gained regarding the teamwork, development milestones and philosophies behind Kung Fu Panda were shared with the audience, making it an enjoyable learning experience for all who attended. The panel discussion was followed with a special screening of Kung Fu Panda, which turned out to be a very well-done animation with a simple message – it doesn’t matter who you are, you have it within you to become your own hero.

The entire SPARK Festival was filled with a great mixture of fun, education and social networking. Other

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