Yarmouth NS – Xona Games announced this morning that the studio has advanced to Round Three in the InNOVAcorp 2009 I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition for Nova Scotian companies. Xona Games, owned by brothers Matthew and Jason Doucette, is a top 3 finalist competing for $100,000 and $40,000 first and second place award packages for the Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne counties. In each of the five geographic zones, three finalists will compete for first and second place award packages, worth $100,000 and $40,000 respectively, made up of cash and in-kind business building services. The companies will pitch their start-up business plans to the I-3 judging panels in mid January. Xona Games is the only game development studio in the competition, and in addition to winning the above prizes, the brothers are also hoping to be the over-all provincial winner which will be selected from the first place zone winners. The provincial award is a $100,000 HPi Microfund investment. Good luck to both of you on presentation day!
Victoria – ParetoLogic has set out to finally put to rest a problem that has plagued PC owners for years: files with unknown or unsupported extensions. Their latest program, FileCure, provides a straightforward way to identify unknown files and open them, as well as repair errors with file associations. Adrian Pereira, ParetoLogic’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, explained that “This software really came from our customers. They kept asking us – ‘do you have a program that does this?’ Now we do.”
From Word documents to Adobe PDFs, every file has an associated extension. However, often users will come across a file with an unknown extension, a file that has been associated with an incompatible program, or a file lacking the necessary software. Regardless of the cause, the effect is the same – the file does not open. “Most people don’t have the in-depth Windows knowledge necessary to fix all their file extension and association errors,” Pereira said. The ease of trading files in the 21st century, be it through email, USB keys, file-sharing software, or online downloads, has only exacerbated this problem.
FileCure combines sophisticated software with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Users can perform a full scan with FileCure or simply drag and drop a frustrating file onto the desktop icon. FileCure also scans automatically when a user attempts to open an unsupported file. FileCure then provides users with the two main items necessary to open a file: the type of the file and the program necessary to open it. The required program is delivered through online downloads, linked for easy access through the FileCure application itself. Pereira said of the software: “It’s a simple but important process. You need to know what the file is, and you need a program to open it. FileCure does it all for you.”
Toronto – I recently came across a programme called MeshMixer, which has been developed by Ryan Schmidt, a computer graphics researcher at the University of Toronto. The goal of MeshMixer is “to make it dead easy to compose new 3D models from existing meshes.” The programme is available free of charge, and Ryan is looking for feedback about it. I don’t have any experience with 3D programmes, so I can’t provide him with any type of useful feedback, but if any of you artists out there care to give MeshMixer a go, I’m sure Ryan would like to hear about your experiences with his programme.
Calgary – Digital Alberta and Banff New Media Institute have announced their first workshop of 2010 – Digital Tableau – The Art and Craft of Digital Media. This workshop will start with an evening reception at The Banff Centre Thursday, February 4 and will complete three days later on Sunday February 7 2010.
During the two and a half days of this workshop, studio time will be combined in the areas of illustration, sound, 3D animation techniques with classroom presentations on best practices, character and script development, etc. The first guest speaker that we are very pleased to confirm is Rich Mckain from Pixar Animation Studios who worked on Disney’s ‘Up’. Rich is a Calgary Native and is really looking forward to getting into peeling the layers of the 3D animation process. More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. Early registration is recommended, as seats are limited.
Digital Alberta is also subsidizing a delegation of Alberta gaming companies to attend GDC 2010 in San Francisco, California. If your company is interested in participating and receiving funding to do so, please contact Rene Smid to request an application form. While GDC 2010 does not take place until March 9 – 13, 2010, Digital Alberta is working closely with DFAIT now on matching our delegates with international buyers. Applications must be received no later than December 31, 2009.
Montreal – Ubisoft has announced their first patch for Assassin’s Creed 2. This patch will fix a few bugs and crash issues that players have experienced. The patch will be released today on Playstation 3 and on December 11th for the Xbox 360.
Fixed: Situation specific bugs
Glyph – After the player has resolved a glyph (when the unlock code message appears), if the player presses A and B (for 360, X and O on PS3) repeatedly and quickly, the video will appear in full screen, and he will get stuck in “the truth menu”.
Fast Travel – Some feedback states that Ezio loses the ability to interact with the fast travel stations.
Free roaming/Parkour – In extremely rare occasions a bug allows Ezio to walk on air.
Auditore Cape – When first equipping or re-equipping the Auditore cape, users in the Villa become notorious even if the cape description says otherwise.
Altaïr’s armour – While wearing Altair’s armour the game crashes when performing multiple consecutive double assassinations.
Toscana – The game occasionally crashes if the player dies in Toscana, the player is stuck in the animus loading screen.
Water – Ezio and NPCs may get stuck beneath map if pushed in water.
Animus Loading Screen – There were reports of the game crashing while the player is in the Animus loading screen
Fixed: Mission specific issues
Sequence 05 Mission 01 – The game froze after completing the mission and following certain steps.
Sequence 06 Mission 02 – An extremely rare issue could make the game freeze while Ezio is fighting the guards.
Sequence 07 Mission 02 – Sometimes the civilians knocked down by Rosa could “float”.
Sequence 07 Mission 07 – When the user is in an open conflict, under specific situations the game crashed.
Sequence 08 “Venezia” – If a player desynchronises during the flying machine sequence, the player sometimes spawned near Leo’s workshop and not on the tower.
Secret Location: “Vizitatione” – The user remains stuck after locking onto the agile guard with the gun.
Sequence 11 Mission 05 – The user cannot continue gameplay after quitting and loading the game. They are stuck in the hideout.
Sequence 14 Mission 02 – The user falls through the texture if he is hit with rocks by the guards while climbing
Sound enhancement: 5.1 LPCM support
Montreal – QA International presents a new downloadable version of the celebrated Visual Dictionary: The Visual Multimedia 4th Edition. An online store was launched this fall to allow for the secure purchase and download of the two versions of the Visual Multimedia 4th Edition, making it possible to obtain the Visual without leaving the comfort of one’s home, and without shipping and handling fees.
“The sheer success of our site, the Visual Dictionary Online, since its launch in the fall of 2007 and the enthusiasm of its users around the world have clearly shown us that the Web is a powerful medium for distributing the Visual. We intend to continue focusing on new technologies to help increase distribution of this superb reference tool entirely designed and produced in Quebec,” says QA International vice-president and publisher Caroline Fortin.
Illustrated thematic content as diversified as the world around us
Whether you’re looking for the name of the small missing part in your dishwasher or the English term for clé à tuyau, or if you want to associate an image with an unknown word, the Visual Multimedia 4th Edition gives you the answer with a simple click, thanks to its unique navigation mode.
Two methods of exploration make the Visual Multimedia 4th Edition a user-friendly reference tool. The exploration can be started by entering a term in the search engine, or through the thematic structure, which goes from the general idea to the precise notion. Users of all ages will easily find the illustrations relating to their search topic, with the illustrations in turn providing access to connected terms and their definitions.
The Visual Multimedia 4th Edition includes some 6,000 hyper-realist illustrations and 20,000 defined terms covering almost 800 topics. These are grouped into 17 themes that present every aspect of everyday life, from sports, astronomy, the human body and the arts to cooking, gardening and the animal kingdom. This diversity makes it ideal for acquiring vocabulary according to one’s fields of interest, and in several languages. The software allows one to listen to the pronunciation of each term in every language of the edition and to personalize the main language displayed. It also offers five different games that measure the knowledge of the user in each subject.
· Downloadable from the all-new Visual Dictionary online store
· Available in a trilingual version (including terminology in English, French and Spanish) and in a multilingual version (including terminology in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German).
· Multilingual interface (can display up to five languages at a time)
· Definitions in English and French
· Trilingual version: terms written and pronounced in English, French and Spanish
· Multilingual version: terms written and pronounced in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German