17th July 2009

Coffee Break News Friday Edition

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal is looking for programmers for its Thi4f development team and also has a few other job openings. Interested? Apply online.

Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Creative Artists Agency. “The CAA Klei Entertainmentare quite selective in their clients, so I’m happy that they’ve agreed to represent us,” says Jamie Cheng, CEO of Klei Entertainment. “Klei is known to create great original properties, and the CAA will help spread that love around.” Creative Artists Agency also represents such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg and has offices around the world, with a Canadian location in Calgary.

For Cheng, their partnership with CAA signals how within the gaming industry, the importance of creative talent is becoming more important. “It’s inspiring to see the industry grow as a creative medium and this is another step in the right direction,” continues Cheng. “And with their experience and backing during negotiation, we are able to focus on building the best creative studio possible, which of course is what Klei is all about.”

Longueil’s D-BOX Technologies has announced that the next movie title to feature its immersive motion technology will be Focus Features’ new film, “9” debuting on Sept. 9, 2009. “We are proud to announce our D-Boxfirst agreement with Focus Features and the fourth movie title to feature D-BOX Motion Code™,” said President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master. “Since unveiling D-BOX motion technology in movie theatres in April, we have continued to experience steady growth and enter new markets in the U.S. and Canada. This latest film will Prototypebe the first animated film to feature D-BOX’s innovative motion technology and we look forward to announcing additional movie titles and theatre locations in the near future.”

The NPD group has released stats that show EA Sports Active finished in the Number 3 spot for games, with more than 289,000 units sold in the USA last month, while Radical Entertainment’s PROTOTYPE finished in top spot for console titles.

The report continues with other important sales stats: Nintendo’s consoles and handhelds still EA Sports Activeown the markets in United States – despite reports of console and game sales falling by 31% in June. According to their figures, Americans purchased more than 424,000 Nintendo DSi systems and more than 342,000 Nintendo DS, more than all current-generation consoles combined. The Wii™ marked its 21st consecutive month as the top-selling U.S. home console, with nearly 362,000 finding new homes in America – all while experiencing a 45% sales drop. Even with the Wii’s sales figures falling and with sales increases for the Xbox 360, Microsoft still could not break Nintendo’s stranglehold on the top console spot. The Sony PS3 experienced a 59% drop in sales, once again leaving it in the dust of the other consoles. We have considered several times purchasing one, but until the price comes down, we simply can’t justify buying one just for the few PS3 exclusive titles we may or may not play.

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17th July 2009

Village Gamer Gets An iPhone

iphone_3gsSo, on a whim (well, not so much, as I had been eyeing them up since the first generation was released), Tami and I headed into Abbotsford to visit James Kavin at the Rogers store (at Sevenoaks Mall, great service) and see about getting the new iPhone 3Gs.  After much discussion with the service representative about various methods to have the phone added to my account, we figured out a way to make it work well for both myself and Mike (who will soon be inheriting a new-ish HTC Touch Diamond).

Opening the box and turning it on for the first time, I was somewhat surprised by the speed.  Mind you, I have not had an older-gen iPhone to compare it to, but having come from a Motorola RAZR3, then to a Blackberry Pearl 8100, then to an HTC Touch Diamond, the 3GS was (to borrow from Rogers motto) Rocket fast.  Thus far, on initial testing the only problems I have encountered have been (and I will try to go into some detail as to why they are problems to me): Read the rest of this entry »

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17th July 2009

The Power of Impossible Thinking

The Power of Impossible Thinking
Authors: Jerry Wind, Colin Crook and Robert Gunther
Hardcover: 336 pages
Wharton School Publishing July 2004
Paperback: 352 pages
Wharton School Publishing February 2006

If ever there was a knockout book about changing your life in a positive, measurable way, The Power of Impossible Thinking is it – or at least at the top of the heap of self-help tomes. This book is filled with examples of society’s collective thought patterns and expectations, and ways to change them in your own life. If you are a businessperson trying to find original ways to grow your business, you’ll know that almost everything’s already been tried at least once. If you want to circle around the herd and forge your own path, read this book. Don’t just look at all the angles, look for the angles that don’t show. If you want to change the way your life is going, this book is for you-because it’s all in the way you think; afterall, the way you think about your reality is your reality, and only you can change it-with a little help from Mr. Wind and Mr. Crook.

The first page of this book lists a few simple questions followed by a simple statement that maybe changing the way you think will give you the answers to the preceding questions. This is followed by a promise from the authors that this book will show you how, and true to their word-they do. The authors delve into the world of neuroscience in a detailed manner, but they do it without causing you to reach for the nearest dictionary or making you fall asleep. Their approach is quite the contrary-they make you want to keep reading; simply because what they are saying makes so much sense. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th July 2009

Facebook Games – Farmville

FarmVille logo
Ever had dreams of quiting your job and moving out to a farm to try your hand at growing crops or animals?

Well now you don’t have to thanks to Zynga’s new game for the Facebook platform called FarmVille, which was released to the general public this year.

FarmVille puts you directly on the farm with a nice piece of land to call your own. You start the game by customizing your farmer’s look from suspenders to glasses. As soon as you get your virtual farmer looking snazzy you’re taken to your farm where your job is to plow some land and plant some seeds. Zynga must have spent some time thinking of this concept because it’s really quite unique.I know comparisons can be made to the other farm games on Facebook or other systems, but we’re here to look at FarmVille itself.

This game is identical to farming and because it’s played in real time and mimics the pains/pleasures of farming. Once you have farmed some plots of land you’re asked what kind of plants/trees or animals you would like to grow and are only limited by the amount of coins in your virtual account. Each type of plant/animal has a certain amount of grow and harvest time. Strawberries grow in 4 hours so you’ll find that if you plant these, you will have to come back to your farm so you can cash in your crop. If you don’t, they will wither and die. This is a unique mechanic because it makes you think how farming fits in your schedule like a real farm. You can’t just plant and walk away, this game requires a little attention each day since each crop of produce is different. With this mechanic Zynga has been able to increase their ADU (Average daily users), but at the same time it is strangely satisfying when you are harvesting and thinking what to grow next.
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