Our ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver chapter will be presenting Designing Assassin’s Creed 2 on May 18th. Tickets will be on sale next week for this session. And speaking of Assassin’s Creed 2, Ubisoft® has received confirmation from Guinness World Records that Assassin’s Creed II now holds the Gamer’s Edition Guinness World Record for being the most cover-featured video game. Assassin’s Creed II was used as a lead cover story on 127 different publications in 32 countries, between April 2009 and April 2010.
“Assassin’s Creed is one of our most well-loved brands,” said Alain Corre managing director EMEA at Ubisoft. “The worldwide interest for the brand, coupled with the energy and creativity of our press team made for a winning combination and I am proud of receiving this Guinness World Record.”
Gaz Deaves, Editor of Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, said: “The evidence submitted by Ubisoft was extremely thorough, with full details of every publication that featured the game. It’s been a pleasure researching this category and we were pleasantly surprised that Assassin’s Creed II took the record – I’m sure plenty of commentators (including myself) would have predicted another well-known game winning the title instead, and this achievement is even more impressive in view of the other 2009 releases that Assassin’s Creed II was able to beat”.
Assassin’s Creed II also leads DigiBC’s upcoming Canadian Video Game Awards with seven nominations – and members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite title in the Game of the Year category.
“The lineup of finalists is a stunning collection of global blockbusters,” said Victor Lucas, host of Electric Playground and one of the award show’s producers. “These are among the biggest games in the world and they represent the best in this country’s innovation and creativity.”
The Canadian Video Game Awards (CVAs) will be held just prior to the second annual Game Developers Conference (GDC Canada) in Vancouver this May 5th and will feature musical entertainment by the internationally renowned Video Games Live. Tickets start at $22 and are on sale now at the event web site. The show will also be broadcast across the country on G4 Canada through the Rogers Network, and are sponsored by G4, XBOX 360, Sony PlayStation and the Canadian Studios of Electronic Arts.
“These awards recognize the significant contribution of BC and other Canadian companies to the global videogame industry,” said DigiBC president Michael Bidu. “DigiBC’s mandate is to promote the success and sustainability of BC’s digital media and wireless industry and to elevate worldwide awareness of our sector. These Canadian Videogame Awards will attract a lot of attention, both inside and outside of Canada. Ultimately, our industry will grow by attracting talented people, and we’ll do that by telling the world about Vancouver’s strong creative class and BC and Canada’s competitive tax environment and friendly business climate.”
“I’m delighted that DigiBC is onboard with us for the launch of these awards,” said Greg Spievak, founder and principal of Reboot Communications, co-producer of the CVAs. “They have a strong vision for the industry and a successful track record for producing exciting events, such as VX Showcase, their 2010 Winter Olympics event, as well as their upcoming VIDWeek 2010.”
The Skate™ 3 demo is now available on XBox Live, with both a single and multi-player experience. Learn the ins and outs of skating with the all-new Skate School or team up and throw down in co-op or competitive gameplay. Featuring new challenge types like Own The Lot and Domination, the ability to save and upload clips using the Replay Editor, and to drop objects to personalize your demo experience, the Skate 3 demo has a little something for everyone.
Did you get the chance to see Malcolm Gladwell speak at F5 Expo on April 7th? Did you like what he had to say? Many people, including F5 Expo’s own TechLinz, disagreed with Gladwell’s perspective on social media. His mile wide and inch deep philosophy may be accurate, but he failed to look at the benefits of a mile wide network for business transactions. Stressing the need for deep relationships, Gladwell feels these are essential for revolutions, but building a business isn’t necessarily about a revolution.
There will be a screening of Malcolm Gladwell’s F5 Expo presentation on Thursday, April 29th at Ceilis Irish Pub, followed by an interactive debate/discussion on the future of social media and what it means to business. Tickets for this event are $20.00 and include light appetizers and drink.
The SMART Learner Conference: C3 – Connect, Collaborate and Create is a new conference taking place in Calgary on May 15-17, 2010. The purpose of this conference is to immerse participants in a rich, multifaceted learning experience by combining training, guest speakers, product demonstrations, and free events and workshops.
Montreal – Tungle Corp., the company that makes scheduling meetings easy, announced today that its Tungle.me personal scheduling application is available in the Google Apps Marketplace for domain administrators. The Google Apps Marketplace™ offers products and services designed for Google users, including applications such as Tungle.me that can be easily installed and provisioned across the organization.
“Google Marketplace is all about providing users with tools and services that will make it easier for them to conduct business in today’s hyper connected, always on world,” says Don Dodge, Google Developer Advocate. “We are excited to see Tungle.me available for enterprise deployment in the Google Apps Marketplace.”
Tungle.me makes it easy for people to schedule meetings across organizations, calendar systems and time zones by eliminating costly double bookings and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet. In addition to synchronization with Google Calendar™, Tungle.me supports all major calendar systems including Microsoft Outlook, iCal, Entourage, and Lotus Notes, and is also available on the iPhone. Tungle.me can be found under Calendar & Scheduling apps in the Google Apps Marketplace.
“By making Tungle.me available in the Google Apps Marketplace, we’ve made it even easier for companies to setup and integrate Tungle.me with its employees’ Google Calendars,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and Founder of Tungle Corp. “Being one of the top calendar and scheduling applications in the marketplace increases our exposure to small-to-medium and even large businesses running Google Apps and has already driven an increase in our new user signups.”
Toronto – LCAmobile has launched a new mobile App for BlackBerry SmartPhones called “Guitar Studio”. This feature rich Mobile Application allows Guitar Enthusiasts to take their music with them, so they can enjoy playing and creating music while on the go.
Guitar Studio is easy to use and has features that both beginners and advanced Guitar Players will enjoy. The App supports unlimited Tab and Chordpro music files and reduces paper waste by eliminating the need to print out songs. Players can transfer existing tab songs to Guitar Studio from their Computer, or use a Web Browser to search online for new songs. Once the music files are on the device they simply appear as selections in the song library.
The App has a hands free scrolling feature that automatically advances the music displayed at a rate that is set by the user to match their playing skill. Need to look up a chord in a song? Simply highlight the chord and view it instantly in the 30,000+ Chord Library that displays numerous chord variations and fingerings.
Guitar Studio also features the ability to view Tabular music as a single seamless horizontal line that scrolls automatically across the screen. Tabs can also be displayed while listening to the audio version of the song using the built in music player.
When it comes time for learning a new song, Guitar Studio not only shows you how to play the chords, it also allows the user to setup up loops by marking start and end points within a Tab and audio file for synchronized repeated practice of song sections.
Other features include a tone based Guitar tuner, MP3 player, Audio Recorder and the ability to compose music on the go using a built in Tab and Lyric/Chord editor. A fully operational trial version can be downloaded from LCAmobile, BlackBerry App World or Mobihand.
York – The York Technology Association (YTA) is accelerating the ability for Canadian tech companies to transform their websites into their # 1 lead-generation tool. The Association is holding a Web Analytics Marketing Boot Camp on April 29, 2010 where tech companies will help tech companies in gaining the traction needed to turn browsers into customers.
The Bootcamp consists of practical, hands-on sessions that will help tech company CEO’s, Marketers, PR managers and business owners turn their web presence into an active marketing asset for their business.
“Turn the web into your number one lead-generation tool,” challenges Marie Wiese of Marketing CoPilot, the event sponsor and Co-Chair of the YTA. “You may sell down the street or around the globe, but either way 87% of searches for you or your product start on the internet. Your website absolutely must engage your prospects and improve the way each potential customer is introduced to the buying process with your company.”
The half-day interactive workshop session will reveal the key elements of building and sustaining an accessible and credible web presence for tech companies in order to improve the way people find products and commit to the buying process.
The Bootcamp sessions will be facilitated by tech leaders who have earned their stripes, including marketing innovators Chris Adams and Jeff Jones of gShift Labs. Jeff and Chris are experts in web presence optimization and will focus their presentation on the importance of keywords, meta tags, analytics and an integrated web presence that will drive the right leads to your company’s website.
“There are four billion Google searches every day and 70% of search engine users click on organic results versus paid results,” said Chris Adams, Co-Founder of gShift Labs, developer of the newest web presence optimization software tool. “Simply put, improving your organic search results improves your visibility with 70% of the market. Who doesn’t want a piece of that?”
Case studies from several YTA member companies including Camilion Solutions, Doxim, and Insiteful Solutions, will be profiled as marketers from these organizations describe the successes and shortcomings of the programs they ran with over the past year.
Toronto – The number of Canadians purchasing smartphones may be rising, but an overwhelming number of Canadians continue to use their mobile devices for the most basic functions – texting and taking pictures, according to Delvinia Dig, a quarterly report on the digital behaviours and attitudes of Canadian consumers.
In fact, according to Managing the Hype: The reality of mobile in Canada, the most mobile savvy group – NetGeneration (18-30), do not fully leverage mobile applications including Facebook mobile (22%), GPS/mapping services (21%) and Twitter (6%). Even Canadians with smartphone devices (Blackberry, iPhone and others) keep it simple when it comes to features and functionality.
“While the number of smartphone users in Canada is exploding, an astounding number of Canadians continue to rely on the more traditional features of their mobile device,” said Adam Froman, CEO of Delvinia. “Mobile is definitely an emerging platform, but before it can be fully leveraged, it’s imperative to understand how Canadians are using their devices before building applications and mobile campaigns.”
Marketers hoping to reach a wide audience with new mobile campaigns should take a closer look at their target audiences beforehand or they could be very disappointed, as a large number of Canadians don’t use more than basic functions like sending and receiving text messages and taking photos.
Delvinia’s 2009-2010 study of Canadian mobile behaviours conducted through AskingCanadians™ revealed a number of insights companies should consider before falling victim to the mobile hype.
GPS awareness and usage on smartphones is still relatively low among Canadians and across generations:
* Some 38% of NGen don’t know or aren’t sure whether their smartphones are GPS-equipped.
* 41% of NGen and 52% of GenX have never used the GPS feature at all.
Responses from those surveyed seem to indicate confusion over what a mobile application is:
* 50% of those surveyed never downloaded a mobile application; even among the highest app users – Ngen and GenX – over 30% had never downloaded a mobile application.
* Among those that are downloading apps, Canadians prefer fun and relatively basic experiences as identified by their top application types – gaming (32%), social networking/instant messaging (22%), music (21%) and entertainment (21%).
Well-used by all Canadians the mobile camera is a straight-forward, easy-to-use feature used often by consumers. Interestingly, while the majority of smartphone owners are taking pictures with their mobile devices, most are not using the more complicated functionality for sharing the pictures they take.
* A very small number of Canadians use MMS (18%), Facebook (15%) and Twitter (1%) to share mobile photos.
* 60% show their mobile pictures to others in person, while 30% don’t share the images at all.
* The majority of smartphone owners (70%) do not consider the camera on their mobile device as their primary camera.
Primarily adopted by younger Canadians, mobile gaming is especially prevalent with NGen and GenX groups who grew up with video games. And while there are opportunities for companies to create augmented-reality or location-based games, Canadian users may not be ready:
* 65% NGen and 54% GenX play mobile games alone.
* Only 2% NGen and 1% of GenX play networked games with other users.
“The insight uncovered in Managing the Hype: The reality of mobile, is just one example of the commitment we have to thought leadership at Delvinia, ” added Froman. “Our unwavering dedication to and direct access to Canadians through our proprietary tools is what sets us apart from other digital agencies and can give a company an edge over their competitors in today’s challenging economy.”