Vancouver – Over the past two weeks I haven’t had as much time as usual to search out the news from Canada’s digital media industry, so I’m taking a different angle tonight to catch up on a few things. One of the reasons for the busy schedule on our end was a visit to Vancouver by representatives of World Cyber Games, Inc. They have been visiting cities around the world scouting possible future locations for a variety of World Cyber Games events. During their visit, the representatives had a chance to tour Relic Entertainment, EA Burnaby, the Great Northern Way Campus, the Electric Playground studio, then attended a small reception hosted by Radical Entertainment and the SIGGRAPH presentation of Modern Princesses given by Ubisoft Montreal – but more on that later in this post. Thank you to everyone who took part in the tours and events.
The month began in the best way possible with the Game Design Expo presented by Vancouver Film School. This two day expo which features the top guest speakers is one of the consistently best-run events around. Every seminar and panel topic was relevant to today’s game development industry, and it’s small wonder why GDX sells out every year. Over the next short time, I will be posting articles about the seminars – and hopefully once you’ve read them, if you weren’t at GDX this year, you’ll make a note to attend next year. Aside from the myriad of topics and opportunities to learn, the biggest announcement at this year’s event was the estalishment of the Women In Games International $30 000.00 – $47 000.00 full scholarship. This scholarship will provide full tuition for a female game design student to attend the VFS Game Design Programme. Other scholarships announced range from $2000.00 to $7000.00, and are sponsored by G4techTV, EA, Big Fish Games, Annex Pro, Obsidian Entertainment, and Radical Entertainment.
Next up on the event schedule was our local ACM-SIGGRAPH chapter’s monthly seminar. Attendees were treated to Modern Princesses – Bringing Elika To Life, presented by Ubisoft Montreal. The seminar, which was presented by Producer Ben Mattes and Team Leader Matthew Clark. From concept to console, Ben and Matt led the audience through the entire and very interesting development process for Elika in Ubisoft’s new release, The Prince of Persia. We were also given a brief look at some of the pre-vis work and research done for the Prince of Persia – I personally enjoy getting a chance to look at the concept art for almost all games; being able to compare the concept work to the finished work always seems to add an extra dimension to the games themselves.
Capcom Entertainment has also announced that Vancouver studio Blue Castle Games will be developing Dead Rising™ 2 for three different gaming platforms: the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. The sequel to the 1.5 million-plus selling Dead Rising™, Dead Rising 2 will take the franchise to a new level of zombie-killing fun with tens of thousands of zombies, the all new gambling paradise of Fortune City to explore and conquer plus a host of new in-game objects that can all be used as deadly weapons to stave off the zombie assault.
Dead Rising 2 is set several years after the infamous zombie invasion of Willamette. Unfortunately, the zombie virus was not contained at the conclusion of Dead Rising, spreading unchecked throughout the United States and Dead Rising 2 depicts a country where zombie outbreaks continue to strike. A number of members from the original Dead Rising team will be working alongside Blue Castle Games throughout the development process, including Capcom’s global head of research and development, Keiji Inafune, who as the game’s Producer will play an active role in the project.
In other news, Village Gamer would like to extend congratulations to two recently engaged couples, both well-known in our local gaming community – best wishes to Jason & Su and Dave & Penny – much happiness to all of you. =)