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  • Ian James Corlett Announces New Animation Property

11th September 2009

Ian James Corlett Announces New Animation Property

VS WerksVancouverIan James Corlett, Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group and Atomic Cartoons have teamed up to develop the new animation property, Elliott & Lucy for a major Canadian broadcaster.

Ian James Corlett

Ian James Corlett

“Creating an animated property is a little like giving birth. I’m thrilled to have Atomic Cartoons and Skywriter right there beside me as midwives!” said series creator and executive producer Corlett. “This project and my latest characters, Elliott & Lucy, are very near and dear to me so choosing the right partners was essential. Skywriter, Atomic Cartoons, our broadcaster and Elliott & Lucy are all “family” now.”

Elliott and Lucy is based on the characters created by Corlett in his book, E Is for Ethics: How to Teach Kids About Morals, Values and What Matters Most. Set for release by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books this December, Elliott & Lucy follows the adventures of a young brother and sister as they learn the universal principles and values needed to cope with life while having fun in the process.

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11th September 2009

Greedy Productions Unveils New Site

Greedy ProductionsVancouver – It is safe to say, I believe, that every Canadian gamer is very familiar with Greedy Productions, the company behind the very popular TV shows Electric Playground and Reviews On The Run. It is also safe to say that everyone knows the face behind the studio – Victor Lucas. But what many may not know is that Greedy Productions is also responsible for many of the “Behind The Scenes” extra features available on game discs.

Greedy Productions has created and produced documentaries for such games as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots, Batman Arkham Asylum, The House Of The Dead: Overkill, Iron Man and more. Now Greedy Productions is giving fans and future clients the opportunity to look at all of their their “Behind the Scenes” documentaries in one place with the launch of their new site, Greedy Docs. Visitors to the site can also get the lowdown on many of the key people who work on the front lines at Greedy Productions. We have visited the Vancouver studio, and we can safely say that Greedy Productions is staffed with some great people – it’s no wonder that they continually produce awesome shows, including the longest running video game review show in the world.

Behind the Scenes documentaries are more than just a chance to learn more about the development of a game; they also offer excellent insight into the industry itself and the motivations behind a game’s development. Greedy Docs also serves to show yet another aspect of game production work which could be a career choice for those who want to work in the game industry but are not artists, designers or programmers. To everyone at Greedy Productions, congratulations on the new site!

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10th September 2009

News From Wired Woman

Wired WomanVancouverWired Woman is pleased to present a series of four Professional Development Workshops featuring Heather White. These seminars are designed to assist you with such areas as assigning action steps to goals, defining the skills that will set you apart, gain a clear vision about your professional reputation and understand the power of a professional network. Tickets to the entire series are currently available for the special rate of $50.00 each for members and $65.00 for non-members. Members can also save even more with a four-for-three package at a cost of $150.00.  The seminars will be held at Campo Verde, 1600 Cypress Street in Vancouver.  Seating is limited, so register soon.

Seminar Topics:

Personal Professional Goal Setting – Tuesday, October 6th 2009 6:00 pm
Building a Powerful Professional Network – Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 6:00 pm
Developing a Specialized Skill Set – Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 6:00 pm
Developing a Bullet Proof Reputation – Tuesday, December 1st, 2009, 6:00 pm

Wired Woman also held its Annual General Meeting on August 31, and the Network is pleased to announce the addition of five new directors to our National Board:

– Maureen McKinnon
– Doneen Swart
– Mojgan Fay
– Dina Grskovich
– Karen Olsson

Membership for Wired Woman is free, and with so many great events such as the Professional Development Series, it makes sense to join the network and meet some really great women while having fun, socializing and learning. To learn more about Wired Woman, please visit their web site.

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10th September 2009

Need For Speed SHIFT Soundtrack List Released

BurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. today announced the track list that will propel players to the finish line in Need for Speed™ SHIFT when it hits retail stores in North America on September 15 (in stores across Europe on September 17, 2009). The SHIFT soundtrack features some of today’s most influential hip hop and rock artists including Kanye West, The Prodigy, Kasabian, and MSTRKRFT. Each song was hand selected to provide a pounding score that matches the intensity and bone-crushing power of this year’s Need for Speed.

The game has already received several positive reviews including one from Official Xbox Magazine which referred to Need for Speed SHIFT as a “brilliant turn in a new direction” and “deep and addictive.”

“Intense music has always fueled the sound of Need For Speed,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “For SHIFT, we truly went underground to bring together some of the edgiest new tracks in electronic music, hip-hop and rock from around the world. These artists are the radical equivalents of real outlaw racing. The result is a white-knuckle soundtrack of pure global adrenaline.”

The complete soundtrack is listed below. To hear samplings of each song, please visit EA Trax.

Artist Song
Buraka Som Sistema feat. Pongolove Kalemba (Wegue-Wegue)
Chase And Status feat. Plan B Pieces
Deadmau5 Ghosts N Stuff
Eagles Of Death Metal Anything ‘Cept the Truth
Fort Knox 5 feat. Asheru Insight (The Nextmen Remix)
Gallows I Dread The Night
In Case Of Fire This Time We Stand
Jamal Pull Up
Kanye West Paranoid (Part 2)
Kasabian Underdog
The King Blues The Streets Are Ours
Mala Rodriguez Te Convierto
Mando Diao Mean Street
MSTRKRFT feat. E-40 Click Click
N.A.S.A. Whachadoin? Feat. Spank Rock, MIA, Santigold and Nick Zinner
The Prodigy Run With The Wolves
The Qemists feat Mike Patton Lost Weekend
Regular John Transmitter
Rootbeer Under Control
Shinichi Osawa Electro 411 (Lies In Disguise Mix)
Spoon Harris & Obernik Baditude
TOKIO Dogonim
Twisted Wheel Oh What Have You Done
Two Fingers feat. Sway High Life

Need for Speed SHIFT is the first racing game that accurately reproduces the intense physical and emotional experience of being behind the wheel of a race car. SHIFT’s true driver’s experience redefines the racing genre with the combination of real world physics and perception based G-forces including the brutal first person crash dynamic, to create a cockpit view that is easily the most realistic and intensive racing perspective ever.

Need for Speed SHIFT will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, PC and PSP® system and is rated “E” by the ESRB.

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10th September 2009

Digital Springboard Winners Announced

New Media BCVancouverNew Media BC has announced that the following 12 digital media companies were selected for the Digital Springboard Mentorship Program, a 4 month free advisory service for emerging companies facing technical and business challenges in their development (listed alphabetically):

  1. Arcana Studios
  2. Bradfield Productions
  3. Crazed Coders
  4. Ecobuddies Interactive
  5. Ethical Entertainment
  6. Firm Applications
  7. Foulplay Entertainment (Watershed Creative Inc)
  8. MotionSoup
  9. My Wedding Match
  10. Old Skool Studios
  11. Overinteractive Media Inc
  12. Tactica Interactive Communications

The pilot program that was introduced last year by the National Research Council IRAP and administered by New Media BC, was able to support twice the number of companies this year due to additional support provided by Telefilm Canada. The companies were chosen out of a total of 24 applications received. Mentee companies will be matched with Mentors based on their specific technical and business problems identified in their applications. The mentorship program will last from September 2009 to January 2010.

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10th September 2009

Shank, Thief and Supreme Commander 2020 News

Eidos MontrealFor those among us who are awaiting the release of Thief 4 which is currently under development at Eidos Montreal, Mastertronic has released Thief – The Complete Collection for PC, which contains all three Thief Complete Collectionoriginal Thief titles. Defining stealth adventures, including the ultra-rare Gold edition of the first Thief game, the Thief franchise puts the player in the silent shoes of acolyte Garrett as he prowls his way around the City, treating gamers to an astounding visual experience. Thief – The Complete Collection retails at £9.77 on Mastertronic’s retail site. I did check several Canadian game retail sites, but could not find any listings for this compilation for sale on this side of the Atlantic.

According to a statement on Eidos Montreal’s site, General Manager Stephane D’Astous says that, “Eidos Montreal is in the early development stages for Thief 4, but this is an incredibly ambitious project and a very exciting one. It’s too early for us to offer any specific game details, right now we are focused on recruiting the very best talent to join the core team at the studio and help us make, what we believe will be one of the most exciting games on the market.” To that end, there are several job openings listed on Eidos Montreal’s web site for both Thief 4 and Deus Ex 3.

Klei EntertainmentBy all accounts, Klei Entertainment had a very successful presence at PAX 2009, thanks in part to the promotional efforts of Carolyn Carnes of Flash Fire Communications, who Shank Boss Battleconducted a unique and intriguing marketing campaign prior to the expo. There are few details being released about Klei’s upcoming game Shank, but we can tell you that it’s a 2D side-scrolling action adventure title featuring a hero named… Shank. It appears that there will be a wide variety of weaponry, moves and enemies in the game and it’s perhaps scheduled for release in 2010. Klei has not confirmed which platform or platforms the game is being developed for, but they did hint at a possible Mature rating due to levels of violence and splattering of blood which occurs during gameplay.

Battlegoat StudiosBattleGoat Studios has released a demo for its upcoming war strategy title, Supreme Ruler 2020 GOLD which will give players the opportunity to engage in three different scenarios including “California Dreaming”, “Ethiopian Empire”, and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Additionally, strategy fans will have the opportunity to play up to four in-game months at a time.

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10th September 2009

VFS Announces GDX 2010

VFSVancouverVancouver Film School has officially announced the dates for their very successful Game Design Expo. Version 4 of GDX will take place April 10 and 11, 2010.  GDX 2009GDX will again feature a day of industry sessions on April 10, followed by an open house and more sessions on the 11th at Vancouver Film School. Featuring guest speakers and panels with the leading minds in game design and development, representing some of the industry’s top companies, the Game Design Expo is a must-attend event. Last year’s sold-out event featured a very entertaining and informative keynote address given by Ubisoft Montreal’s Creative Director Clint Hocking. The entire expo is full of opportunities to learn from and meet with some of the top people in the game development industry, and GDX certainly tops our list of well-produced events.

VFS is now accepting submissions from game industry professionals wishing to present at Game Design Expo 2010, so if you have something to say and have a desire to share that knowledge with industry peers and up-and-coming talent, download this PDF form for more information.

GDX 2009 Women In Games PanelFor companies and individuals interested in becoming a sponsor of Game Design Expo 2010, please download the PDF sponsorship kit here. In my opinion, participating in the Game Design Expo as either a sponsor, speaker, volunteer or attendee is time and money well spent. GDX is an investment in the future of our game development industry, and the quality of the event’s speaker roster, topics and organization is reinforced by the fact that GDX has been completely sold out for each of its first three years.

Please contact Event Manager Shira Gordon at 604.630.3562 (local), or 1.800.661.4101 (toll-free in North America) for further information about Game Design Expo 2010.

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9th September 2009

FIFA 10 To Feature My Live Season Premium Service

EA SportsBurnabyEA Sports today announced that the Live Season premium service has been expanded into a new game mode for FIFA 10 enabling subscribers to feel the weekly pulse of football with dynamic updates of real-world information to make the game as close to real life as possible.FIFA 10

The new My Live Season premium service in FIFA 10 will feature weekly updates of player form, transfers, injuries, suspensions, fixtures, results and league standings, creating a mode that mirrors the real world, where gamers play their favourite real-world teams’ games in complete authenticity in any of the following leagues: Barclay’s Premier League, La Liga BBVA, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A and Mexican Primera Division. The game mode enables you to visually track your results against real life as you progress.

“Every Wednesday is Live Season day where dynamic real-world data and analytics will be updated in FIFA 10 to match the weekly rhythm of real-world football and subscribers will have the chance to rewrite their clubs’ history,” said David Rutter, producer of FIFA 10.

My Live Season is available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The service is valued at a recommended retail price of £3.99* for the ongoing season on PlayStation Network and 400 points on Xbox Live Marketplace for each individual league. A package of all leagues will be available for the recommended retail price £7.99* for the ongoing season on PlayStation Network and 800 points on Xbox Live Marketplace.

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8th September 2009

Hothead Games Releases DeathSpank Details

Hothead GamesVancouver – After a very busy and successful weekend at PAX 2009, independent developer DeathSpankHothead Games has officially released further details about their upcoming multi-platform RPG title, DeathSpank. Scheduled for release in 2010 and created by Ron Gilbert of LucasArts adventure game fame, DeathSpank will bring to life the hilarious adventures of the game’s titular hero. Set on a wrap-around world map with a unique art style utilizing 2D elements in a 3D world, DeathSpank will roam the world on his many varied quests without ever encountering a load screen.

DeathSpankGameplay is divided between uncovering the story via conversations, solving complex puzzles, equipping your character to maximize his strengths and battling anything else that moves. The single-player quest allows players to explore the world, where they can get to know the many interesting characters who inhabit the game’s environment. They will also be able to battle a large variety of enemies, collect from over 100 different types of weapons and over 100 types of armour. As he conquers his enemies, DeathSpank will be able to level up, collect loot and acquire new abilities.

The development team has been creating a unique gaming experience by focusing on humour at every DeathSpankturn, perpetually fun and visceral combat as well as an engaging story with deep and complex puzzles. DeathSpank will feature witty dialogue, improbable scenarios, unexpected villains and a robust collecting system for weapons, armour, items and abilities. The action is easily accessible for short bursts of fun, but the story is revealed over more than 15 hours of gameplay. In addition, players can choose to search out rare items and tackle the game’s many hearty side quests and will also have a chance to co-op with sidekicks in single-machine multiplayer.

Key Features:

RPG Gameplay – Movement and combat is perpetually fun and visceral, making it easily approachable to many gamers. Combat stats are easy to understand and are influenced by different DeathSpankcollectible items and abilities earned by the player throughout the game. DeathSpank will battle a large world full of interesting and challenging enemies.
Adventure Quests – Help DeathSpank be a hero to the downtrodden. Players will enjoy deep and complex adventure game puzzle scenarios as they work to dispense justice and vanquish evil, as well as entertaining and informative dialog puzzles with the world’s many inhabitants.
Customization – Through collectible armor, weapons, and varying abilities, players can customize DeathSpank to their liking and to suit their style of play. They can also choose from several sidekicks that will be acquired while travelling around the world.
Charged With Humour – This game has humor everywhere. Hilarious quests, witty dialog, silly puzzles, ridiculous characters, visual gags, and over-the-top animations all contribute to the game’s humor. The elaborate storyline begins as DeathSpank searches for a mysterious artifact known as The Artifact.
Depth of Gameplay – DeathSpank keeps track of his adventures in a Quest Log, listing both ‘Important Things I Need To Do’ and ‘Unimportant Things I Need To Do.’ Players who have deathSpankcompleted the story mode can choose to play additional quests and will be rewarded with exclusive equipment.
Unique Art Style – The game’s eccentric personality extends to its art style, which uses charming 2D elements in an immersive 3D world. The different areas of DeathSpank’s world are laid out on a globe, and the character is shown at an angle which gives a rolling perspective as you move about. There is an expansive world to explore and there will be no load screens.

DeathSpank has not yet been rated by the ESRB, but its target rating will be T for Teen.

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8th September 2009

2009 Canadian New Media Awards Puts Out Call For Entries

Canadian New Media AwardsToronto – Whether pushing the envelope, or hoping to be named in one, digital media content developers across the country can now enter the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards competition.This year, the Canadian New Media Awards will take place during nextMEDIA, the new media and interactive content conference to be held in Toronto, November 30 – December 1, 2009.

“The Canadian New Media Awards have always reflected new trends in digital media,” said Mark Greenspan, Executive Producer of nextMEDIA. “And we feel that this year’s categories will reveal the very best the Canadian digital media industry has to offer, presenting Canada as a global leader in digital innovation.”

Companies and individuals across Canada can submit the names of friends, colleagues or themselves for recognition of outstanding achievements in the design, development or implementation of new media projects. A call for entries to the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards (CNMA) competition has been issued, and updated and re-energized categories for the competition have been unveiled by the event organizers.

Submissions to CNMA will be accepted online on the nextMEDIA website until October 2, 2009, with an early bird rate of $125 + GST per entry granted to those submitted prior to September 18, 2009 (Regular rate of $175 + GST for the final deadline of October 2, 2009).  Full information about Award Eligibility can also be found on the CNMA web site. Among the sponsors of this year’s event, Deloitte will sponsor the Company of the Year Award, with Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund sponsoring the Best Cross Platform Project Award.

2009 Canadian New Media Awards Categories:

Best Cross-Platform Project
Excellence in interactive enhancement of a television property on digital platforms. Eligible projects could include games, websites and/or mobile applications associated with a television program. Read the rest of this entry »

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