Congratulations to the teams of Assassin’s Creed 2 and FIFA 10 for making the shortlist in the BAFTA Game of the Year nominations. The public are invited to vote in this category, so I hope you’ll head over to the vote page and support our Canadian products. The Awards ceremony will take place on March 19th at the London Hilton.
Vancouver – IUGO‘s fantastical and ridiculously fun dual stick shooter, Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet is now available in the App Store for the introductory price of $1.99 USD. Daisy Mae’s peaceful, simple life in her little desert trailer park will never be the same. A full scale alien attack on earth has begun and Daisy becomes the unlikely heroine outta nowhere. Take hold of the steering wheel and help Daisy Mae shoot and blast her way to victory in this fun and quirky dual stick shooter. Aliens: you have been served!
* More aliens than you can shake a stick at!
* The baddest selection of weapons known to folks ’round these here parts
* Purty graphics and fancy sounds effects
* Sassy costumes to unlock for Daisy Mae’s alien hoedown
* Daisy Mae “taunt” moves to kill the aliens dead in their tracks
* Control options to suit every varmint’s needs
* VIP points to be earned towards an additional costume
* Global leaderboards
* Auto save
Toronto – The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) proudly announces that it has invested $2.9 M in funding support through its Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund (PDF) to leverage an additional $7.1 M from 94 partners to support 17 innovative projects.
The Partnerships Fund was designed to help Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries invest in smart ways to grow and increase their competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The industries eligible for funding include book and magazine publishing, music, film, television, interactive digital media and commercial theatre.
The entire entertainment and creative cluster produces $15 billion in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing $12.7 billion to the province’s GDP. These industries all experienced growth in 2009. Started in 2006, the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund has provided $9.7 M in support to 60 projects involving 379 partners and leveraging $23 M.
Oakville – Sheridan College, a leader in digital media, has created the first ever real-time auto-stereoscopic 3D game that does not require 3D glasses. The game, called “IC3D”, is a showpiece at the Ontario House Pavilion at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and will be used to introduce some of Ontario’s most well-known tourist attractions to the world-wide audience in Vancouver.
Developed in collaboration with Toronto-based company Spatial View, the Sheridan IC3D Game is an interactive real-time application where players use BlackBerry® smartphones as game controllers to assemble puzzles featuring some of Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors to the Ontario House Pavilion will play the puzzle game featuring 20 of Ontario’s landmark attractions, displayed as ‘icicons’,* on 46” Spatial View auto-stereoscopic 3D screens. The pieces of each attraction, or ‘icicon’, appear scattered on a frozen 3D landscape. Up to five players work collaboratively to assemble the ‘icicons’, each using a BlackBerry smartphone. Once complete, a multimedia presentation of the attraction is displayed on each player’s device.
“The cutting edge technology of Sheridan’s 3D Game showcases our province’s tourism icons like never before. The world will see in a unique and innovative way that there truly is no place like Ontario to live, visit and invest,” said Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture.
“The project is a great example of how Sheridan’s expertise in applied research can seamlessly combine multiple disciplines as diverse as art and information technology. Sheridan’s long experience in digital media made collaborating with Spatial View on a 3D gaming and visualization project an ideal partnership,” said Jill Birch, Sheridan’s Vice President of Business Development. “This unique and innovative collaboration not only demonstrates the Province’s commitment to innovation in technology, but we think it has been a model for how technology companies and educational institutions with expertise in applied research can partner to create technological breakthroughs.”
“We are excited to be working on such an innovative project with one of North America’s premier Visual Design educational institutions,” says Beat Raemy, CEO of Spatial View. “The combination of Spatial View’s technology and Sheridan’s creative software development skills has resulted in a truly amazing glasses-free 3D experience.”
The Sheridan 3D Game was created by Sheridan’s Visualization Design Institute (VDI), an applied research unit with established expertise in the field of computer visualization and specializing in deploying game technologies in 3D environments. A team of students from the college’s Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences School worked with VDI staff to take this application from concept to finished product.
*Icicons is a term created by Sheridan’s Visualization Design Institute to refer to iconic images of popular tourist destinations and feature attractions in Ontario.
Montreal – Ekomini.com, the world’s first and only interactive web-enabled piggy bank that helps teach children about saving money, today officially launched across the United States after a very successful 2009 launch in Canada.
The Ekomini piggy bank and online financial game allows children ages six to 12 to play and learn about saving money through a dynamic next generation money box that connects to their computer via USB. Ekomini teaches children the fundamentals of spending, saving, sharing, and investing. The electronic piggy bank scans and counts money that is deposited so children can track how much money they have and use online tools to learn and plan how to budget. Ekomini has found a fun, interactive way to help kids build a strong financial foundation so this generation can break this costly cycle of financial illiteracy and grow up with budgeting and money management skills.
“We want to teach children at a young age the importance of saving and investing and let them have fun at the same time,” said Ekomini Founder Phillipe Racine. “Ekomini also emphasizes the importance of sharing by teaching kids to budget a portion of their savings for good causes.”
Ekomini piggy bank owners have unlimited access to EkominiVille, an interactive, educational web-based savings platform where children play games, track their savings and learn how to earn, set goals, spend, share and invest. Ekomini’s objective is to improve the financial literacy of the world’s youth and equip this generation of kids with financial skills as they grow into adulthood.
Toronto – Syncapse Corp., a global leader in social technology, announced the availability of SocialTALK, a software-based solution that improves workflow, enhances productivity and measures results for companies with social media programs that require posting materials on multiple online spaces.
According to a recent survey (Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, “Social Software in Business,” September 8, 2009) of professionals from various industries, 86 per cent have adopted some form of social media presence. At the same time, 84 per cent do not currently measure the return on investment of their social media programs.
“More and more companies are using social media to promote their businesses. Often, managing social media strategy can be a fragmented, all-consuming experience,” said Michael Scissons, President and CEO, Syncapse Corp. “SocialTALK simplifies the process of managing business presence on multiple social media platforms while keeping senior stakeholders informed. The measurement features turn social media presence into tangible results.”
SocialTALK helps companies control their online presence, reduce marketing and operational costs, and streamline the approval process among all departments. SocialTALK measures social media’s return on investment by providing real-time results that enable marketers to gain valuable insights into how conversations are shaping their brands.
SocialTALK currently operates on Facebook, Twitter, MoveableType.org and WordPress, with plans to expand platform offerings in the near future.
Richmond Hill – Dacris Software has just released the final version of Dacris Benchmarks 8.0, a popular computer benchmarking tool, allowing users to test the performance of their PCs. The main focus with version 8.0 has been to bring massive tangible benefits to end users while maintaining the simplicity that made Dacris Benchmarks 5.0 a stellar product.
New features in Dacris Benchmarks 8.0 include: multi-core CPU support, a new 3D game test built with XNA, CPU/RAM usage logging, and a unique new performance prediction algorithm known as System Grade. Also, Dacris Benchmarks 8.0 brings with it state-of-the-art rich reporting features based on XML, XSL, and WPF (XAML). Dacris Benchmarks 8.0 runs on Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1, and Windows 7, plus Windows Server 2003/2008. It does not require elevated privileges for any benchmark tests or system information. There is also a ZIP version available for download which can be run without installation, on machines on which the user may not have administrative privileges.