30th April 2010

Viva La FIFA

freelance camp VancouverAttention Vancouver-area freelancers – there is a full day event planned just for you on Saturday May 29th from 9:00am – 4:00pm at The Network Hub. Freelance Camp Vancouver is an opportunity for freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent business owners and individuals to come together to learn from one another, connect with opportunities by expanding their network, and finding answers to some of the questions enabling them to expand their business, start their business or develop additional income streams. Tickets are only $11. 24 including the paypal fee (all going to charity) and are available online until May 26th.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterThere are still some tickets left for the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed 2. This session will take place on the evening of May 18th at the VanCity Theatre. If you’ve never attended one of our local SIGGRAPH events, you don’t know what you’re missing. Tickets are $15.00 for members and $20.00 for non-members. Annual membership is $35.00 ($25.00 for students), with the immediate benefit of lower ticket prices and cool networking opportunities.FIFA World Cup 2010 for iPhone

EA Sports2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is in stores now with eight new celebrations for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system. The videogame is also available on Wii™, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable), iPod® touch and iPhone®.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa videogame will feature all the emotion and passion of the fiercest national rivalries battling on the world’s biggest stage, with all 199 national teams that took part in qualification and all 10 official stadiums to be used in South Africa. Gamers will be able to play as their home nation from qualification right through to a virtual rFIFA World Cup 2010 for iPhoneeproduction of the FIFA World Cup Final™ and feel what it is like to score the goal that lifts a nation.

Fans can unlock the new celebrations through EA Sports and Coca-Cola™ channels in participating countries. After unlocking each celebration, fans can score a goal, use the controller to activate the celebrations and admire the performance via a new dynamic camera angle that delivers the emotion of each goal scored. Consumers can also admire their celebration and share with fans online by uploading to EA Sports Football World.

In addition, to honor the legacy of the FIFA World Cup™, EA Sports unveiled its Classic 11 team that features 35 legendary players from past tournaments, including star striker Roger Milla of FIFA World Cup Player StatsCameroon, who scored four goals in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and in 1994, at the age of 42, became the oldest player to play in the tournament. Fans who carry the hopes and dreams of a nation into battle against fans from rival countries and win the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM will unlock the Classic 11 squad.

New players to the FIFA franchise can also compete for the 2010 FIFA World Cup utilizing new Two-Button controls designed to enable new gamers to pass and shoot with an accessible control scheme that utilizes just two buttons. The game is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB

Celsius Game StudioSt. John’s-based Celsius Game Studios is proud to present Chromodyne Lite, the free version of its unique and exciting match-3 puzzle game, Chromodyne! Chromodyne Lite is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, on the Apple App Store.Chromodyne

Chromodyne Lite features a brand new 5 chapter story introducing the player to the Chromodyne as they work their way through the Chromodynamic Academy’s accredited Accelerated Chromodyne Operator’s Course. Through this program, you too can learn the skills necessary to save the world from impending doom from outer space!

Well, you might expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars and rack up years of crushing student debt at some “university” to learn how to save the world. Not so at the Chromodynamic Academy. No, you too can learn all this today for the low, low price of FREE! Read the rest of this entry »

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29th April 2010

Events and Programmes For an Educated and Interactive Canada

GDC Canada 2010GDC Canada has revealed a new set of sessions and networking opportunities tailored to game developers managing established franchises, developing new global titles, and looking to take advantage of new distribution models. GDC Canada 2010 will also present content for professionals looking to develop successful franchises for consoles, iPhone and digitally distributed platforms. The second annual conference is returning to the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC from May 6-7, 2010 and kicks off with the official opening night party at 8pm on May 5, which is being sponsored by Epic.

The newly-announced sessions from the 2010 GDC Canada are geared towards established studio as well as first time publishers who are grappling with legal and business development strategies needed to identify commercially successful projects in emerging game spaces.

These featured sessions include:

Bringing Your Game to the Web – 73 Practical Tips with Bjarne Rene (Managing Director, Vostopia.com), Tore Birkeland (Technical Director, Vostopia.com)

Console Games – New Realities Require New Strategies to Win with Howard Donaldson (Vice President – Studio Operations, Disney Interactive), Kelly Zmak (Former GM, Radical Entertainment), Adel Chaveleh (TimeGate Studios, Inc.), Dan Tudge (VP and General Manager, Propaganda Games), Dan Winters (VP Developer Relations, Activision Blizzard)

Funding for Game Developers – Do’s and Don’ts with Glenn Entis (Founder and General Partner, Vanedge Capital)

One Year in the App Store: A Case Study of Backflip Studios with Julian Farrior (CEO / Founder, Backflip Studios)

Tax Credits: How Does This Affect My Decision on Where and How to Produce a Game? with Howard Donaldson (Vice President – Studio Operations, Disney Interactive)

In addition to the two days of sessions, GDC Canada offers the ideal venue for studio heads, developers and investors to come together and discuss business. Towards that end, GDC Canada 2010 is introducing the Business to Business Lounge, supported by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The lounge is a place for industry business development professionals, fellow developers and leading tool vendors to make deals and network. To help further initiate these important business connections, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service can facilitate introductions between investors and domestic and international developers.

Vancouver Innovation CampTomorrow is the last day to benefit from the Early Bird ticket price for the next Innovation Camp which takes place May 29th & 30th in Vancouver. Innovation Camp offers hands-on learning opportunities which engage learners through real life situations and challenges their assumptions, connects ideas, embraces failure and sees problems as opportunities for creative solutions in order to take any entrepreneurial venture to the next step.

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) is proud to support HotDocs 2010, and you are invited to join them at the festival on Monday, May 3rd at 4 p.m. ET for a micro session on CMF programs and funding with Policy Analyst Neal McDougall. The session will be held in Room 323 at Victoria College in Toronto from 4 – 5pm.

The CMF has also announced that the English POV Programme Application Form is now available for those who wish to apply for CMF funding, and an outreach session will be held in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13th from 1:00pm – 3:30pm to provide applicants with details regarding the 2010-2011 guidelines for funding and to answer questions.

The May 13th meeting will be led by Nathalie Clermont, Director, CMF Program Management, along with Roxane Girard, Director, CMF Program Administrator | Telefilm Canada, Francesca Accinelli, Director, English Market, and Stéphane Cosentino, Interim Director, French Market.

INplay 2010INPlay has announced two preschool-focused sessions for the May 18-19th conference. Joining the schedule is Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, whose topic Preschool Play and Games, will take attendees into the minds of pre-schoolers and show how to incorporate developmental psychology research into the games we build. This session will provide an overview on how preschoolers develop, why research is important when designing for this age group, and will give provide examples of how to design games for this age group.

Building Apps for Preschoolers: Case Study of Tickle Tap Apps, presented by Jason Krogh, Founder & Director, zinc Roe design will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Tickle Tap Apps – a series of iPhone apps designed for young children. Jason Krogh will share his studio’s experience diving into the world of iPhone development. The discussion will highlight of some of the challenges unique to working in this new and rapidly evolving space as well as some of their insights and refinements that came about through many hours of play testing with kids.

Don’t miss the next iteration of Mentor Speed Dating 2.0, which takes place on Friday, May 7th at 3:30pm. Check out the event’s info page for details on how to participate.

Canadian Film CentreThe Canadian Film Centre has several program application deadlines approaching. The five-month CBC Prime Time Television Program is open for applications until May 12th, and the TELUS Interactive Art and Entertainment Program application deadline is June 4th. Please check out the full list of available programs and deadlines at the Canadian Film Centre’s site. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th April 2010

How to make it in the gaming industry? A recruiter’s perspective…

Mario!It is a fact, recruitment processes can be quite confusing and look like a giant monster for a candidate. To apply for a job in the gaming industry, as for any job in any industry, is a stressful thing to do, since your profile will be viewed by recruiters, technical directors and experts. Many people tend to think that a recruitment process starts from the interview, and ignore that a lot of the work has to be done before that, even before you actually apply for a job! Here are the steps to follow to make sure you leave a good impression and you raise your chances of getting your dream job.

1- Resume preparation : The first impression you leave to an employer is your resume. It is mandatory that your resume represents you well and that is describes well what you have done in the past as well as what you are looking for. It is very important to have a very well structured, well written and clear resume. It is very important to describe your past responsibilities in your previous jobs, but many people tend to forget to put all the achievements, what YOU made that brought something to the company (you could include a special project you’ve worked on, a process you thought of, or a new idea you brought to the team).This may seem like a lot of work, but this process will actually give you a lot more to talk about in the interview!

2- Artistic demo : many artists/animators have to apply with a demo. You are lucky if you have the time and knowledge to have your own website, but sometimes a simple link with files is more than enough. Many artists make the big mistake to put ALL the material they have, which is a huge mistake. What you have to include in your demo is your BEST material, what you say is impecable, flawless! Remember that your demo will be viewed byt a technical director that will see your good work, but he will also remember your ”less good” work if you put everything that you have on there. Keep a clean, easy to ready, efficient demo that will show your excellent work.

3- Send your resume : A few click and your done, but many mistakes are often made by candidates. First, make sure you read the job description, and make sure your resume reflect the seniority level if the position. For example, a graduating student applying for a senior / director position will lose a lot of credibility.  Apply on what you think suits you best, and avoid applying for every position. Being referred internally by a current employee is also a great way to apply, since you have a reference that is stating that you are worth hiring.

4-The interview : THE stressful event in the process. I have 3 advices for you : preparation, preparation, and preparation! Read your resume, and try to find concrete examples of what you state in it. It will help you give more details to the interviewers, and it will reduce the chances of getting questions you might not find the answer right away. The interviewer will probably welcome you with a handshake, demonstrate a good confident posture, a solid handshake  and make sure you keep an eye contact as you speak to them. Also, sometimes people can perceive silence as a bad thing, it is not! It is good to actually stop and take a minute to think about what you will answer, it demonstrates that you analyze things.

5- The job offer : After all these steps, the job offer comes. It is sometimes very tempting to accept right away, but there are a few details you might want to look at when you make your decision : is this a reasonable offer? What are the social benefits? Is there an intellectual property clause in the contract? Make sure you ask the right questions, and do not be shy to do it, companies have excellent human resources councelors that are there to answer your questions. It is better to ask the questions before, so you don’t have any bad surprises once you start your job.

Please remember that looking for a job is not a full time job, so the more effort you put in it, the better the chances of getting exactly what you are looking for! Be prepared, confident, and talk to you network of friends to know what could be out there for you!!!

Pierre-Luc Labbee, recruiter at 3pod

Do not hesitate to get in touch with me on :

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/3podjobs

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/pllabbee3pod

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27th April 2010

Showcasing Canadian Talent and Innovation On All Levels

VFS Impact AwardsVancouver Film School will be holding the VFS Impact Awards at the Biltmore Ballmore on the evening of May 3rd. For the very affordable ticket price of $10.00, attendees will receive a buffet-style dinner, be entertained by performances of international artistry from greener grass gamesFlamenco to Electric Violin & DJ and share in the celebration as awards are handed out to some very talented students.

If you have some extra time slots to fill, check out I Am The Night, a free Unity-built browser game from Greener Grass Games. It’s an easy-to-play cute game, and comes complete with a comedic twist at the end.

Canadian Video Game AwardsDo you want to win two tickets to the Canadian Videogame Awards? Make a crazy fan video, upload it to the CVA FaceBook page, cross your fingers! Check out all the details here from that crazy social media guy Ryan (aka @CertainlySocial). The Canadian Videogame Awards take place in Vancouver on the evening of May 5th and feature a performance by Video Games Live. By the way, Ryan…we need to have a talk about stuff in your video clip backgrounds…

CATAPlease take a few minutes to cast your votes for the CATAAlliance Innovation and Leadership Awards. The CATAAlliance will tabulate the results from Canada’s high tech sector and the winners will be announced at the CATAAlliance Innovation Awards Dinner on May 19, 2010 at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

Banff World Television Festival has released more information about the Kids and Animation portion of this year’s Festival. BANFF Kids and Animation will feature invaluable sessions such as “View from the Top”, “Co-Ventures in Kids TV” and “The Anatomy of a Successful Kids Franchise” plus meetings and networking opportunities where you will have the chance to meet with – and learn from – the most influential industry leaders in kids & animation. Attracting the industry’s most highly renowned executives, producers and broadcasters from Canada and across the globe to discuss the newest programming trends and developing international and multi-platform markets, Banff Kids and Animation is the place to be for those in kid’s programming.

Confirmed speakers thus far include:

* David Levine, VP, Worldwide Programming Strategy, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Disney Channels Worldwide
* Vince Commisso, President & CEO, 9 Story Entertainment
* Joe Godwin, Director, BBC ChildrenScrap Metal Game

Slick EntertainmentCongratulations to the dev team over at Slick Entertainment! During the recent XBLA Block Party Games promotion, their massively fun title, Scrap Metal sold 15000 units during the event. If you haven’t checked out Scrap Metal yet, you definitely need to do so, particularly if you like to race, crash, drift and generally blow a few things up. If you have a 360 and an Xbox LIVE® Silver or Gold membership, add this title to your download queue – it’s only 1200 MS Points and it delivers on the fun factor.

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal currently has several career positions which the studio needs to fill. With a recently hinted-at project, the studio now has three titles in various stages of development, including Thi4f and the long-awaited Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

The chance for everyone to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ became a reality today after Electronic Arts announced that EA SPORTS™ 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is in stores now throughout North America with eight new celebrations for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system. It will be available throughout Asia and Europe beginning April 30, 2010 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June. The videogame is also available on Wii™, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable), iPod® touch and iPhone® and is rated as “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa videogame will feature all the emotion and passion of the fiercest national rivalries battling on the world’s biggest stage, with all 199 national teams that took part in qualification and all 10 official stadiums to be used in South Africa. Gamers will be able to play as their home nation from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the FIFA World Cup Final™ and feel what it is like to score the goal that lifts a nation. New players to the FIFA Soccer franchise can also compete for the 2010 FIFA World Cup utilizing new Two-Button controls designed to enable new gamers to pass and shoot with an accessible control scheme that utilizes just two buttons. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th April 2010

Canada 3.0 Has A Timely Face Off Announcement Not Related to Hockey

siggraph 2010SIGGRAPH 2010 has put out a call for cutting-edge examples of video games and real-time simulations and graphics in several categories: commercial video games, experimental or prototypes games, software applications, interactive data visualizations, and information aesthetics, among others. All content that is interactively controlled and rendered in real-time, and can be repeated in front of a live audience, will be considered.

“Over the past several years, the role and impact of interactive and real-time graphics have grown substantially to affect SIGGRAPH attendees from film production to academia,” says Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH 2010 Real-Time Rendering Chair and Creative Director for THQ. “Building on the debut of Real-Time Rendering at the 2009 Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2010 is continuing this new and exciting addition to the conference. This focus allows creators of games and real time graphics to highlight their cutting edge work on the same level as the linear work that has made the Computer Animation Theater legendary.”

Accepted work will be demonstrated live, in real time on a PC, Macintosh, or game console. While expectations are that many entries will be games released in 2010, submissions of non-commercial projects are also encouraged including:

* Game explorations
* Student game projects
* Mathematical or other industrial simulations
* Research projects
* Real-time art explorations
* New uses of pioneering technology
* Scientific visualizations: medical science, astrophysics, astronomy, physical science
* Interactive data visualization and/or interactive information aesthetics

Canada 3.0 2010Start-up companies at Canada 3.0 2010 will Face Off with a panel of business experts and angel financiers to address their top business challenges and improve their go-to-market approach. That’s just one of the innovations at this year’s Canada 3.0 forum, Canada’s premier digital media forum slated for May 10-11 in Stratford.

“We have a strong focus on small business innovation at this year’s event, given that the entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of new business development in Canada,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, which is organizing Canada 3.0 2010 with the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

The Face Off sessions, inspired by CBC’s popular “Dragon’s Den”, will enable small business owners to present to a panel comprised of business leaders including senior executives running their own businesses; mentors from Venture Services from across the country; and angel financiers. The early-stage companies will outline their top three challenges for the expert panel and will leave with insight to apply to their businesses following the Canada 3.0 forum. Attendees will be able to watch the sessions and learn from the experiences of the start-up participants.

Several of the forum’s keynote speakers are from start-up companies including: Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO of entrepreneurship company Sprouter.com; and Joseph Iuso, CEO, & Brian Crozier, Global Business Development, at UseMyBank, a company that rejected $1 million in Dragon’s Den funding and has gone on to be a successful venture.

Another innovation for Canada 3.0 2010 is the Soap Box whereby companies can book short presentation slots to ‘pitch’ the value of their company to forum attendees.

“This exercise encourages each presenter to distill the value of their company into an ‘elevator pitch’ that they can use when presenting to other audiences. And it means a lot of smaller companies will be better-known by the end of Canada 3.0,” explained Tuer.

A Digital Showcase occupying a full hockey arena-sized area at the Rotary Centre in Stratford, will be dedicated to displays by more than 50 digital media-related companies. Forum attendees, including students and the general public, will have the opportunity to tour the showcase and see digital technology innovation at work.

“This is a great opportunity for companies like ours to showcase their offerings and increase awareness with an audience that includes leaders from business, government and academia,” said Stephen Bacso, CEO of Waterloo collaborative search start-up company DossierView.

Space in the Digital Showcase sold out well in advance of the forum, demonstrating the keen interest this year in Canada 3.0, Tuer said. Last year’s forum attracted close to 1,500 people and the 2010 version is expected to be a strong magnet for all those interested in digital media.

Tungle.meToronto’s Tungle Corp. and San Francisco based Plancast have announced a new partnership to bring together calendar broadcasting with meeting planning. Through this partnership, Plancast has integrated Tungle.me into its users’ profiles, allowing users of both services to share their plans and easily schedule meetings.

“This partnership is an important step in the evolution of the social calendar and business networking ecosystem,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and founder of Tungle. “With the integration of Tungle.me into Plancast, we are facilitating the last mile by marrying intent based platforms, with the ease of scheduling meetings between like minded individuals. The Community has been asking for this integration for some time, so this relationship is in direct response to feedback from users of both applications.” Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd April 2010

BC Early Stagers WaveFront AC Has A Programme For You

A reminder that there is a number of upcoming Autodesk events across the country. First up is “Seize the Opportunity” with Autodesk 2011 Digital Entertainment Creation Software for Games and Post Production presented on April 27th by our friends over at AnnexPro. There are three additional events being hosted by 3vis. Their P.I.M.P. My Pipeline events will be held in Toronto (May 11), Montreal (May 13) and Krabbit OnlineVancouver on May 4th.

Congratulations to KrabbitSoft Studios for their signing with Mac Games France, who will be distributing Krabbit World Origins to European Mac gamers. It’s always good to hear about the successes of our small indie studios – keep up the awesome work!IAB Canada

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada has released a paper on their views in regards to online advertising tracking practices and the PIPEDA. The Bureau raises several points in this 10 page PDF, and I feel it is well worth the read as Canada moves forward in dealing with many of the important issues surrounding technology, content, access and privacy in today’s technological society.

DreamCatcherToronto’s DreamCatcher Games and JoWooD Entertainment have released new screenshots from the up-coming RPG Adventure “ArcaniA: Gothic 4” which will be ArcaniAreleased on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The latest installment in the renowned Gothic series is set about 12 years after the events shown in “Gothic 3”, and again invites the player to a fantastic journey through a war-torn world. The ancient, nameless hero, who by now has been crowned King Robar the Third, commands a rigorous regiment over Myrtana and the Southern Islands. Luckily, not all subordinates live in fear and submission to the King and a new hero emerges, with the intention to settle an old score: A seemingly unimposing shepherd from the Isle of Feshyr sets out on the long and perilous journey to the King’s Palace.

wavefrontIf you are a wireless or new media early stage or start-up in the Vancouver area, you will be interested on two offerings from WaveFront AC – With financial contribution support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Wavefront is able to provide a program that offers cost-effective access to the following Wavefront wireless commercialization services:

Strategic Assessment: Utilize experienced wireless experts to assess and refine business strategy and determine actions for market entry

Technical Preparation and Consulting: Prepare and confirm mobile application/technology is commercially ready utilizing Wavefront’s testing resources (usability testing, handset rentals) and test engineers

Business Development Support: Foster company growth and global expansion by leveraging Wavefront’s existing mobile ecosystem connections and distribution channels

Each company will have different requirements depending on their product, distribution channels, funding, business maturity and business strategy. We encourage you to come in for an introductory meeting to customize your personal “Wavefront Accelerated Program”. If you qualify, NRC-IRAP will provide funds to support 50% of the program cost.

Wavefront also offers a unique wireless incubator environment where you have the opportunity to collaborate, learn and grow with other mobile developer entrepreneurs. Going beyond standard office space, Wavefront provides easy on-site access to a suite of services and shared resources that are critical to accelerating the development of your mobile applications, devices and content, including:

Advisory services from seasoned industry experts
Handset library containing 300+ phones for application testing
Fully equipped demo meeting rooms and usability test lab
Carrier-grade 3G network test bed and advanced test equipment
Global connections to key mobile ecosystem stakeholders
Waveguide executive and technical training sessions

Currently available are a variety of rental packages ranging from shared desk space ($350/month) to private offices for 4-5 people. We’re looking for the best and brightest new wireless companies to join our in-house community.

HumberHumber has partnered with the Toronto District School Board to lease the former Lakeshore Lions Arena for 20 years. The 53,000 square foot facility was renovated to house programs in the School of Creative & Performing Arts and the School of Media Studies & Information Technology, including the new four-year Film and Media Production bachelor’s degree program. Students will study in leading-edge studios centred by a “black box” theatre. The building will include acting, cabaret, dance, film, media and television studios, rehearsal rooms, technical labs, a scene shop, a carpentry shop, a lecture hall and offices. The facility will serve more than 700 students, and also includes a gymnasium, funded by Humber, which will be used by the college and the local community. Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd April 2010

Happy Earth Day Canada

Readers Digest Trusted Brands 2010Results of the annual Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Poll are out, and for the techno-Canadians, Duracell topped the Battery category, while Canon is the most trusted Digital Camera, Sony won the broad and vague Entertainment Equipment Manufacturer category; Blackberry is the most trusted Mobile Communications Device and Apple wins for Mobile Entertainment.

This year’s list of Canada’s Greenest Employers was announced this morning by the editors of the Canada’s Olympic Gaming MixerTop 100 Employers project. Fifty organizations across Canada were recognized on this year’s list.

There’s another fun gaming-related mixer coming up in Vancouver – check out the Olympic Gaming Mixer, which will be taking place on the evening of Friday, May 7, 2010 at the Century Restaurant and Bar on Richards. Check out the event’s FaceBook page for the list of challenges to be had at the Olympic Gaming Mixer.

Siggraph VancouverDon’t forget to buy your tickets for the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed II featuring Lead Game Designer Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft Montreal, which is generously sponsored in part by AnnexPro and 3vis. He will discuss the challenges faced by the dev team: an enormous scope, one of the biggest development teams ever assembled and a limited time frame. This talk is about sharing our best practices to ship high quality games through a focused and rigorous Design Process while maximizing the output of production. Tickets for this May 18th event at the VanCity Theatre are only $15.00 for SIGGRAPH members and $20.00 for non-members. Annual SIGGRAPH membership is only 35.00 – and gets you special pricing at all of our great chapter events. You should join today.

DigiBCDigiBC has put out a call for speakers for its Vancouver Digital Week 2010 event which takes place May 25-28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Please see their site for more details.

INplay 2010Interactive Ontario is pleased to welcome back Alexander Manu to give a keynote presentation at INPlay 2010. Manu, who delivered a keynote address at Interactive Ontario’s iSummit in 2006, is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author. For over 20 years Alexander has enabled global companies as diverse as Motorola, LEGO, Whirlpool, Nokia, Navteq and Unilever, to develop policies and strategies that Goldtooth Creativeaddress emerging issues through strategic foresight and pre-competitive business models.

Goldtooth Creative has once again shown their video magic – check out the Cover Reveal trailer for EA Sports’ Madden NFL 11, developed by Florida’s Tiburon Studio. Goldtooth’s incredibly talented teams have produced trailers and cinematics for many of today’s top titles. Need a production team for your project? We recommend them.

BC indie developer Krabbitsoft Studio has released new features and specs for their RPG Krabbit World Origins. Featuring some very unique creatures, Krabbit World Krabbit OnlineOrigins has a very strong player community, and allows for single or multi-player modes. This is a game we’re going to be taking a look at in the coming weeks – look for it to be featured in our review section later in May 2010.

Banff World Television Festival has just released a call for entrants for the nextMEDIA Digital Hot List. This is a competition open to developers, Banff World Television Festivalcontent producers, and digital superstars. This is your chance to showcase your new, innovative digital property and grab the attention of advertisers who are looking for exciting brand integration opportunities. There are four available categories for entry:

*  Media (Does your website stand out amongst the rest?)
* Talent (Are you a proven online superstar with millions of followers?)
* Content Proposal (Got the best new idea for online content and branded entertainment?)
* Technologies (Are you creating the coolest apps, games and digital ad solutions?)

This contest closes on May 3rd, so if you’re interested in entering, you’d better get a move on!

googlyNew children’s mobile application studio Googly was delighted to find its first app, Alphabets in the Zoo featured yesterday in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section, and amazed to see it reach number one on the education list.Alphabets In The Zoo

Alphabets in The Zoo features a charming new animated alphabet song and story to help children learn their letters as they look, listen, and sing-a-long. Children’s understanding of the alphabet is taught and reinforced as they enjoy Saad Rashid’s colorful animation, listen to the Fauzia Abbasi’s delightful lyrics, and enjoy Dave Klotz’s catchy tune. Googly plans to release an iPad version of Alphabets in The Zoo shortly, and three more original children’s apps in the next 30 days. Read the rest of this entry »

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21st April 2010

The Collective Interactivity and Networkability of Canada Is Amazing

GDC Canada has announced the addition of three more sessions: GDC Canada 2010

Concrete Practices to be a Better Leader with Brian Sharp (Bungie)
Bringing Dragon Age to Life – Digital Actors in an Epic RPG with Shane Hawco & Clove Roy (Bioware)
Funding for Game Developers – Do’s and Don’ts with Glenn Entis (Vanedge Capital)

If you missed the chance to see the Vancouver SIGGRAPH presentation of Bringing Dragon Age toShane and Clove Life, I highly recommend that you attend the GDC Canada presentation. While overlooking my huge bias as a Dragon Age player, Shane and Clove have put together a great discussion about the processes which Bioware’s dev team went through to get Dragon Age into the gaming universe. Please see the GDC Canada Conference Tracks for a complete list of all announced sessions.

Also announced are some of the official networking and socializing events surrounding GDC Canada:

GDC Canada Opening Night Party Sponsored by Epic – Wednesay, May 5th at 8PM
GDC Canada VIP Party Sponsored by BigPark & XBOX LIVE – Thursday, May 6th at 7PM
GDC Canada Expo Lounge Sponsored by BigPark & XBOX LIVE – May 6-7th (during expo hours)
Business to Business Lounge Supported By DFAIT – May 6-7th (during expo hours)

Canadian Video Game AwardsAnd don’t forget that the Canadian Videogame and Digital Arts Awards take place on May 5th at 7pm and will feature a performance by Video Games Live (we highly recommend this show); tickets are now on sale, and very reasonably priced. If you haven’t yet had your say for Game of the Year, what are you waiting for? I’ll tell you in advance though, it’s not really an easy choice to make.

EXPVancouver – Last Friday night we joined about 150 game enthusiasts from all walks of the local game development scene – fans, students and studio folk – at the VFS Cafe for EXP Gaming Night of Awesomean evening of pure game enjoyment. From Rockband on the main stage to a plethora of tournaments, Brian Vidovic, owner of EXP Gaming and his team of volunteers put on an excellent evening of socializing and entertainment for the over 19 gaming crowd. In addition to some of the latest games on next gen consoles, there was even fun to be had on the Super Nintendo.

EXP Gaming Night of AwesomeFriday night’s event also sparked the beginning of the Street Fighter IV tournament ladder and the Burnout Revenge team event. Sponsors for EXP Gaming Night of Awesome included VFS, SplitReason, Radical Entertainment, Knot Theory Ties and EA Canada.

Many thanks to Miko Wilson for the photos he has given Village Gamer permission to publish. Please check out Miko’s blog to see of his great photographic work.

EXP Gaming is teaming up with CGVA to present Overture 7 – SSFIV Tournament, which will takeOverture 7 place on May 1st out at UBC. According to the organizers, there are only two simple goals: get hype for SSFIV and welcome the re-birth of the competitive videogame scene. Game play will take place on 360s and PS3s, combatants must bring their own controllers, and the tournament will abide by Arcade Rules. Please see the event’s FaceBook page for complete information on how to participate.

Interactive OntarioTorontoInteractive Ontario has announced their iP3 forum, which will take place in June. The venue and registration information has not yet been finalized, but they will be putting out a call for speakers soon. If you’re an animator in the Toronto area, check out Animation Live Industry Night which happens tomorrow night at The Field House. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th April 2010

GDC Canada Offers Free Passes To Laid Off Industry Folk

GDC Canada 2010Vancouver – The organizers of next month’s GDC Canada event in Vancouver are offering free Main Conference passes to Canadian game developers laid off in the last twelve months to help them return to the game industry.

Continuing a similar program conducted during GDC Canada 2009, and recognizing the toll the recession has taken on elements of the mainstream video game industry, a special page on the GDC Canada website details the offer’s specifics.

To qualify, prospective attendees must have been laid off from a Canadian video game or creative/digital arts company within the past 12 months, not be currently full-time employed, and provide their Canadian Record of Employment document at GDC Canada onsite registration to validate your status.

They will also need to pre-register now for the May 6th-7th event at the Vancouver Convention Center by following the instructions on the GDC Canada page devoted to the subject. Only a limited amount of these passes are available.

The GDC Canada event itself has now confirmed much of its content, with a full schedule of announced lectures now available, and the Canadian Videogame Awards now confirmed for the night before the event.

Highlighted lectures for GDC Canada, which is presented by Reboot Communications and this website’s parent the UBM Techweb Game Network, include a FarmVille-related keynote plus talks from the Dead Rising 2 and Fallout: New Vegas creators.

The event will also host a Game Career Seminar on the Friday of the show, plus evening networking events, as well as an expo hall including a number of career booths from local Canadian companies hiring staff.

More information on the 2010 GDC Canada event, including pricing specifics, lectures announced to date and registration deadlines are available on the official GDC Canada website.

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20th April 2010

Teaching With Technology Winners Announced

CDW CanadaEtobicoke – CDW Canada has announced the 13 winners of its second annual Teaching With Technology™ Story and Sweepstakes Contest, which saw the number of entries doubled over last year’s competition, with winning submissions from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Six winners were chosen by a panel of judges to receive the grand prize packages in the Story Contest, along with five Sweepstakes winners, as picked by a random draw. New this year, two winners were selected from the Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest, which challenged educators to tweet about their submissions in no more than 140 characters.Teaching With Technology

“We are thrilled with the quantity and quality of this year’s submissions,” said Mary Ann Yule, General Manager, CDW Canada. “These teachers’ poignant stories contain some priceless kernels of wisdom around the use of technology to inspire and motivate students. It’s moving to read how students are truly thriving from different ways of learning. It’s even more invigorating to see how educators are tirelessly exploring new ways to engage students through the use of technology and customizing them to improve the learning process of each and every student.”

CDW Canada’s panel of IT experts picked six grand prize winners who described in 200-500 words how technology has improved or can enhance the learning experience in their classroom or school. Each prize bundle – ranging in value from approximately $2,300 to $3,600 – contains technology products that are useful in today’s classrooms, such as printers, projectors, personal computers, monitors, whiteboards, digital cameras, networking equipment and software.Teaching With Technology Winner #1 - 2010

Winner #1: Crystal Park School in Grande Prairie, Alta. – Gail Grant, teacher

Gail submitted a story about how she uses computers, digital cameras and printers to create images that replace the spoken word, empowering and helping her special education preschool students to communicate in a world full of complicated languages.

In Gail’s words, “Imagine a world where technology opens the world to those previously not able to participate in it. Imagine a world where a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Imagine a world where a boy with autism or Down Syndrome, a girl with cerebral palsy or Prader-Willi Syndrome, children with global developmental delays and those who love them can communicate. I do. I see it every day. That is why I embrace technology as part of my tool kit as a teacher.”

Winner #2: H.J. Cambie Secondary School in Richmond, B.C. – Grace Ho, teacherTeaching With Technology Winner #2 - 2010

Although Grace teaches in a portable classroom with very little access to technology, she explained how she incorporates the limited technology she has into her lesson plans by having students use iPods, digital cameras and home Internet access to create unique and interesting class projects.

Grace wrote, “For a long time, I felt like my hands were tied since I had no classroom computer … no projector … Then I realized that the classroom was bigger than the four walls of my portable. It included my home, my students’ homes and the whole virtual world. I love teaching with technology even when the technology is not in the classroom. Now imagine what we would be capable of if it were.”

Winner #3: Richmond Rose Public School in Richmond Hill, Ont. – Farhana Panju, teacher

Farhana’s entry told the story of how her students used technology to help their peers develop a sense of empathy for the people who were severely affected by the earthquake in Teaching With Technology Winner #3 - 2010Haiti. As a class, they used the Internet, Google Earth, a video camera and iMovie to create Public Service Announcements to raise awareness within the school.

“My class and I are extremely excited to receive the technology prize pack. The new equipment will provide greater opportunities for students to gather, analyze and share information in engaging and meaningful ways,” said Farhana. “With the increased accessibility of online resources, students will further be able to participate in authentic learning tasks which transcend the walls of the classroom and build awareness of the world around them. I look forward to continuing to explore new and creative ways of integrating technology to enhance the learning experience of my students.”

Winner #4: Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey, B.C. – Lee Ferrier, teacher

Lee told the story of John, a student in the Grade 12 remedial English class who had very little interest in learning or attending class. Through his exposure to his post-bachelor training, TLITE (Teaching and Learning in an IT Environment), Lee experimented with various technology tools to engage students. After several failed attempts, Lee used a wiki to transform John from a ‘sleeping guy at the back of the room’ to an active participant. John even assumed a peer-teacher role, showing other students how to create their own web pages. Lee wrote, “I was truly startled by the zeal John had when given the opportunity to learn through a medium with which he was comfortable.” Read the rest of this entry »

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