19th April 2010

Busy Business People and Earth Day Happenings

CATA-WITJoin the CATA WIT BC Breakfast club in Vancouver for a session about building your personal brand in an online world. To be held at the Segal Graduate School of Business on May 5th, Jennifer Barron from High Road Communications will discuss the ins and outs of using social media-including best practices as well as pitfalls to avoid-as a way to build a personal brand that best promotes you. Tickets for this event are $15.00 and include a continental breakfast.

Province of BCI’m sure that many of you App developers out there are already aware of this, but the Province of BC is holding a contest challenging software developers to create web and mobile applications that build awareness and inspire action to reduce carbon pollution, announced Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap.

“Bringing together British Columbia’s data resources and the creativity of the software community opens up the potential for people to see climate change in entirely new ways,” said Yap. “The great prizes and support of our sponsors will give us web and mobiles apps that educate people about climate change and help motivate them to reduce their own carbon footprint.”

The launch of the “Apps4Climate Action” contest coincides with the creation of the Climate Change Data Catalogue, a data warehouse populated with provincial climate change data. The catalogue will house climate change data sources in a centralized location, giving software developers a one-stop access point to over 500 data sets and supporting documents to brainstorm, design and populate their applications.

“This is a terrific opportunity for us to take a new approach and use new technologies to engage citizens and help increase British Columbians’ awareness about climate change,” said Citizens’ Services Minister Ben Stewart.

The contest has more than $40,000 in cash and prizes spread across five categories: best mobile app, best web app, people’s choice, best of B.C. and overall best app. The submission deadline for the “Apps4Climate Action” contest is July 15, 2010, and the public is encouraged to register to vote for the People’s Choice award for their favourite app until Aug. 20, 2010. Contest winners will be announced mid-September 2010.

“SAP is proud to be a gold sponsor of the Apps4Climate action contest,” said Kirsten Sutton, managing director of SAP Labs Vancouver. “We believe we have a dual role with sustainability, as exemplar and as enabler. Internally, we have set our own aggressive goals to reduce SAP’s carbon footprint, and we also believe that our solutions can help identify real opportunities for positive climate action.”

Contest sponsors include: Microsoft Canada Inc, SAP Canada Inc., Analytic Design Group, David Eaves Inc., Netscribe Communications, TELUS Corporation, Harbour Air Ltd. and Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

“At Microsoft we’re committed to developing technology that helps consumers and businesses reduce their environmental footprints,” said Barb Berg, director of the western public sector of Microsoft Canada Inc. “We are delighted to participate in the B.C. government Apps4Climate action contest, a very innovative contest to help encourage developers to create new green software applications and solutions for B.C. citizens.”

Ben & Jerry's Ice CreamFor a contest of a different flavour, Ben & Jerry’s is holding a Canada-only competition to name their newest offering. A combination of vanilla ice cream, fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a fudge swirl, the flavour has been temporarily named We are Waffling, until Canadians share the humour and wit they’re known for.

“We are excited to see some amazing suggestions,” says Shoshana Price, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Manager. “We want to empower our fans and give them the opportunity to show their creativity and wit, as well as their good taste.”We Are Waffling

Starting April 19th, Canadians can serve up their own name on a virtual pint on the “Ben & Jerry’s Canada” Fan Page. Ben & Jerry’s fans can view and vote on their favourites at a gallery of pre-selected pints on the “Ben & Jerry’s Canada” Fan Page between July 2nd to July 16th, 2010. The winner, to be announced in late July, will win a year’s supply of the soon to be re-named We are Waffling ice cream, enjoy the thrill of seeing their name on pints of Ben & Jerry’s across Canada and earn eternal bragging rights among friends and acquaintances.

Ben & Jerry’s We are Waffling in most grocery, drug and convenience stores across the country now. The winning name will start replacing We are Waffling on Ben & Jerry’s pints in the Fall of 2010. Plus, in order to ensure that Canadians have an opportunity to taste We are Waffling and make an informed name nomination, Ben & Jerry’s teams will be sampling the flavour in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal throughout the month of May.

Club PenguinKelownaClub Penguin and its millions of animated penguin inhabitants are going green. On April 22, 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the popular children’s virtual world will launch a special online party and new ways for its players to exercise their passion for making the world a better place. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Careers, Contests, Digital Products, Education, Events, Everyone, Government, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media By: | Print This Post Print This Post

16th April 2010

Spies Freelancers Awards and Great Canadian Events

Do you want to learn more about Deep Packet Inspection in Canada and who is using it? Deep Packet Inspection Canada is a website which is meant to be the largest repository of publicly accessible information concerning the use of deep packet inspection in Canada, so that Canadians gain insight into how the technology is used by Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and why they are using the technology. I recommend this site if you want to learn more about service throttling and the hot issues being discussed around it.

Breaking Into Freelance IllustrationLate last year, I was a participant in a conversation with game design students regarding freelance work. I came across a book today in my morning email travels which, while I haven’t read it (but I probably will), was written by Canadian freelance illustrator and author Holly DeWolf. While many students are lucky and easily find work at established studios, it has been a topic of conversation about how schools don’t really prepare their graduates for the freelance world.

Holly agrees with this line of thought, stating that “many institutions are not preparing students for the realities of the work world. It’s important for freelance creative types to see themselves as a business in order to make it. There is a real need for recent graduates, freelance illustrators and designers plus self-taught artists to have the proper resources they need to make it as a self-employed creative”.

To that end, Holly filled that need in the artistic community with her 2009 book, Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: The Guide For Artists Designers and Illustrators. This book helps readers to develop skills in the business side of artistic practice, addressing many questions which Holly found being asked throughout her many years as a post-NSAD graduate and mentor. This book has received some very good reviews on Amazon.ca, so I can feel confident in recommending this title even though I haven’t yet personally read it. I have a huge stack of books already waiting for my perusal, and I feel that this one needs to shared with students and grads now, not when I have time to finally buy it and read it – especially as someone else just recommended another title I should read.

Don’t forget that the Early Bird discount period for the Banff World Television Festival ends on April 20th – the Banff World Television Festivalfestival is about far more than just television – check it out. Dentyne Gum has launched their new interactive site with a new AR contest – you could win $25 000.00 with the symbol on the pack of Dentyne gum you’ve purchased. Canada 3.0 Forum has just announced that David Usher (ex-Moist) has joined the great line-up of speakers for this year’s event which will be MC’d by Global TV news anchor Kevin Newman. Taking place in Stratford on May 10 & 11, Canada 3.0 offers a unique opportunity to engage in seminars and discussions about Canada’s future in the tech industry.

DejeroCongratulations are due to Waterloo tech company Dejero – creator of the new Dejero LIVE Platform, the company has been awarded a Broadcast Engineering Pick Hit award at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) international tradeshow in Las Vegas. The Dejero LIVE Platform is a ground-breaking new way to broadcast live high-quality video without the high cost or complexity of satellite or microwave transmission. Dejero was selected from 1,500 companies that exhibited at NAB for their introduction of the Dejero LIVE Platform that is set to transform live television. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Awards, Books, Business News, Careers, Contests, Digital Products, Education, Events, Government, National News, Social Media By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th April 2010

Canadians Not Using Their Smartphones Smartly

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 confirmationEzio 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”.

Canadian Video Game AwardsAssassin’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 andGDC Canada 2010 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, Skate 3as 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.

F5 ExpoDid 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Awards, Business News, Digital Products, Education, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Government, Mature, National News, Research Studies, Social Media, Sports By: | Print This Post Print This Post

14th April 2010

ESA Canada Sends Recommendations To The Federal Government

esacESA Canada has submitted ten recommendations to Canada’s federal government for a national digital economy strategy in a paper entitled Game On, Canada! Playing to Win in the Digital Economy (PDF). This paper covers a number of issues critical to Canadian competitiveness. Taken together, these solutions would not only benefit the Canadian video game industry, but would position Canada as a more competitive jurisdiction in which to invest.ESAC Game On Canada 2010

This 22 page report outlines not only the importance of talent development and improving the digital literacy of current and future generations, it also speaks to the very important issue of access to capital and widening the scope of such areas as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development grants. The recommendations also include suggestions in regards to current copyright laws and access to affordable, high quality broadband nationwide. There are many excellent points raised in this ESAC paper, and is an excellent springboard for further discussion about the future of the interactive digital media industry in Canada.

Good luck to the three Canadian-developed games which were named to the 2010 Microsoft XNA Dream Build Play competition: The Shadows in the Underworld, DualityZF and Capsized. Finalists should be announced by Microsoft in the next few weeks. Congratulations to EA Sports’ FIFA 10 on being named to the World Cyber Games official tournament list for the 2010 season.

If you’re going to be in the Toronto area on June 4th, the Branded Content Summit is something you may want to Northern Voicelook at attending. The Branded Content Summit (BCS) will bring people together from marketing, advertising, content production and media to better understand trends, share ideas and learn how to profit from the shift towards branded content. Also of interest is Northern Voice, which will be held out here in Vancouver on May 7th & 8th. The Personal Blogging and Social Media Conference has released its schedule of speakers and registration is now open.

EXPIf you’re an over-19 gamer in the Vancouver area, check out EXP’s first big event this coming Friday night at the VFS Cafe. There will be several gaming stations set up and tournaments will abound. There will be some great prizes offered – but only those who RSVP via the event’s FaceBook page will gain admittance.+

IGLOO Online CommunitiesKitchenerIGLOO Software today announced the launch of the industry’s first Social Media Playbook. This free resource is an invaluable tool for anyone implementing social software solutions – inside the organization, to improve employee productivity, or outside, to enhance stakeholder engagement. The Playbook offers four core community building resources:Social Media PlayBook Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Associations, Business News, Careers, Contests, Digital Products, Education, Educational, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Government, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Research Studies, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Sports, Teen By: | Print This Post Print This Post

13th April 2010

Today in The Canadian Interactive World

IUGOVancouver – Get ready to chill out with IUGO’s latest iPhone/iPad title; ESCAPE: Norm’s World XL. Zone out on limitless Zen puzzles with Escape XL. Swipe to jump Norm from stone to stone to eliminate all and solve the puzzle. Norm's World Escape XL

Escape features endless levels and gameplay with 3 difficulty levels for replayability. An unlimited supply of easy puzzles are free, but a 99¢ upgrade will get you medium and hard levels, feeding the addiction you won’t even see coming. Escape also features simple controls for all ages with minimalist graphics, which give it a maximum appeal for all players. You can drive yourself crazy solving the puzzles with unique cerebral game play which is complimented by relaxing audio and visual effects.

ESCAPE XL designed exclusively for the iPad features:

· Versus mode: challenge a friend in a race to solve the puzzle (IAP)
· Co-op mode: Collaborate with a friend to solve the puzzle (IAP)
· 3D graphics!
· 2 camera angles to choose from (single player mode)
· 2 characters to choose from: play as Norm or Norma
· Enhanced UI for larger interface and multiplayer modes

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

ESCAPE: Norm’s World XL is FREE TO PLAY! Users may access unlimited puzzles with the Easy mode. For iPhone and iPad, Medium and Hard levels cost 99¢ as IAP. For the iPad, 2 player modes both Co-op and Versus can be purchased additionally for 99¢. ESCAPE: Norm’s World is IUGO’s 16th iPhone title and their 4th iPad title to launch on the App Store. ESCAPE is also available for BlackBerry devices!

cosmos interactiveVancouver Cosmos Interactive Inc. has released the long awaited game Babylonian Twins for the iPhone and iPad. The new game is based on the original never released Amiga version that was made in Iraq during the economic sanctions back in the early nineties. Since day one, the game hit the top-paid list in the puzzle category on the App Store and received five star ratings and reviews. The game is available now for download on iTunesBabylonian Twins

In 1993, Rabah Shihab, an engineering student at the university of Baghdad, and two of his colleagues defied the difficulties of the sanctions and built Babylonian Twins, a game with a unique theme inspired from authentic history books. Their goal was to promote a positive image about Iraq and its history. However, the game was never released due to the sanctions and demise of Commodore. In 2007, videos of Babylonian Twins were published for the first time on YouTube sparking huge positive reaction from the Amiga retro community. Since then Babylonian Twins received thousands of hits from over 85 countries. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Casual, Contests, Digital Products, Events, Everyone, National News, New Releases, Platform, Puzzle, Research Studies, Shooters, Social Media, Software, Teen By: | Print This Post Print This Post

12th April 2010

GDX 2010 Wraps and GDC Canada Ramps Up

Game Design Expo 2010Vancouver – Congratulations to the entire Vancouver Film School team for another successful and educational Game Design Expo, and thank you to all of the esteemed speakers for sharing their knowledge and experience with both current gen and next gen designers. The day featured insight into what has worked in game design, what hasn’t worked, and ideas for the future in the world of game development. I have a massive amount of mostly-deciphered notes from the expo, and I will be sharing them throughout the week, as there is simply too much information for just one wrap article.

The day was opened by William Ho from United Front Games, whose presentation was themed around the processes UFG went through in the development of ModNation Racers. This may be THE game which forces the purchase of a PS3 for the Village Gamer household, although it will require some very creative budgeting to do so.

Armando Troisi, Lead Cinematic Designer over at Bioware was next up, and he discussed how cinematics and gameplay were melded together in one of my favourite franchises, Mass Effect. As a non-designing gamer, it is always interesting to hear about how choices in regards to the user experience are made at the development level, and Armando’s session answered many questions I hadn’t even considered about the dialogue tree and character choices we as gamers make throughout the game.

Rounding out the morning session was Chris Whiteside, Design Director for Propaganda Games. Chris spoke about how teamwork is very important in today’s game design process as he expanded on the relationship of the “in the trenches” designer to other team members as well as to the studio, the stakeholders (money holders) and the end user market. He touched on how important it is to be in touch with your audience, and to make sure that the studio’s relationship with that audience is given voice as games go from concept to store shelf.

Josh Bridge and Jason Leigh from Blue Castle Games opened the afternoon with a perfect post-lunch topic – zombies and their return in Dead Rising 2. The CaveChild has been salivating over this game since its announcement, and all I can say is…combo weapons! Capcom generously permitted the screening of unannounced and non-public information about Dead Rising 2’s progress, and this session was very revealing about the care and attention being put into the Dead Rising sequel.

Obsidian Entertainment’s Lead Systems Designer Matt MacLean lead expo attendees through a session on Crafting the Perfect Challenge. I feel that this was one of the most valuable sessions in regards to getting into looking at the minute details which must be considered when developing a game concept. The goal of playing a game, at least for me, is overcoming the challenges thrown in my way as I journey to the game’s conclusion. Matt covered a variety of ways to craft those challenges in ways to both reward and engage your audience without alienating them.

The final single session of the afternoon was presented by Tyler Sigman, Design Director for Big Sandwich Games. Tyler’s topic was about game mechanics – another very important aspect of game crafting. The mechanics are what you as the developer put in place to both assist and challenge gamers as they try to win their way through your game’s environment. The proper balancing of these mechanics can often make or break a title’s appeal to the mass market, and is something that more than just a handful of studios need to revisit. Good game mechanics can make a player’s experience totally awesome or totally horrid. Which would you prefer – multiple play-throughs of your game, or multiple copies sitting unsold on the back shelf of a game store because gamers don’t like the mechanics?

Ending the day was a panel discussion of The Future of Gaming. Moderated by Reviews on the Run co-host Scott Jones, the panel featured Josh Bridge, Jason Leigh (both from Blue Castle), Ted Nugent (Genius Factor Games), Jay Balmer (Big Park), David Bowring (Volition) and Trent Shumay (FingerFood). This panel, as expected, was highly entertaining while still being highly informative. It’s always interesting to hear where our industry veterans feel the future will lead game design and distribution, and how technology is shaping what we play.

GDC Canada 2010Vancouver Foreign Affairs and International Trade has partnered with GDC Canada to provide a B2B Lounge at the upcoming May 6 & 7 conference here in Vancouver. The Lounge will provide an off-the-floor area to make deals and network with industry business development professionals, fellow developers and leading tool vendors. There is also space if you want to have a private lounge area at the show, details for the private rooms are available on the GDC Canada site.

GDC Canada has also revealed their line-up for the Game Career Seminar, and judging from this line-up, the Seminar, which is a one day event held on May 7th in conjunction with the main conference, this is a must-attend event for anyone trying to build a future for themselves in the game development industry. Tickets for the Game Career Seminar portion of GDC Canada are $149.00, with a limit of 125 seats available. Also added to the GDC Canada schedule is a Main Conference panel featuring Disney’s Howard Donaldson and ex-Radical head Kelly Zmak,on the harsh ‘new realities’ of making major console games. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Careers, Education, Events, Game Dev, Government, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

9th April 2010

E is For Ethics

E Is For Ethics

E Is For Ethics
Author: Ian James Corlett
Illustrator: R. A. Holt
Published: December 2009
Hardcover 106 pages
Interactive Companion Website: E is For Ethics

I recently came into possession of this book, and if I had to choose just one word to describe it, I’m not sure that I could pick a word which would completely do it justice. E Is For Ethics is certainly inspiring and timeless. While my kids are both long past the age of being read to, they aren’t too old for productive and ethical discussion or debate – something which we still engage in, particularly during our weekly Sunday night family dinners.

Elliott and Lucy

Elliott & Lucy

While there are many “self help” books about parenting on the market, I feel that Ian’s book is different because as he says in his introduction, his only qualification in writing this book is the fact that he is a parent. To me this speaks volumes, because it really doesn’t matter how many doctorates or letters you have after your name – nothing can prepare you for being a parent other than the moment you become one. Ian has created real situations involving his two lead characters, Lucy and Elliott, along with supporting family and general public characters put in real life situations to which children can easily relate.

Each of the 26 stories told in E is For Ethics leaves its ending unresolved, leading to multiple results and opening up the chance for discussion on how the story could go. Each chapter, from honesty to respect, offers discussion ideas and quotes from both the famous and the infamous. Ian has artfully found a way through his very short scenarios for parents to gauge how their children perceive the world in general and how these little people think about what is right and what is wrong.

The Old Code

When my kids were young, one of their favourite movies was DragonHeart. As they watched it obsessively, I took the opportunity to discuss The Old Code which Bowen tries to follow. They both knew it by heart, and I believe that they both still try to incorporate those words into their daily lives – although sometimes I do have to wonder at some of the things they say or do. The important thing is that they are free-thinkers, they definitely don’t follow the crowd, and they both have a social conciousness about them. While I certainly won’t take 100% of the credit for that, I know that I gave them a good foundation, and this is precisely the ongoing value of E is For Ethics.

Ethics are timeless, and should you find yourself faced with difficulties in teaching moral lessons to your children, E is For Ethics offers some great starting points, minus all of the psych-speak. Simplicity is often best – because complicated is, well, complicated and unclear. As Ian writes in his book’s conclusion, “…even if you think you know about something or how to do something, there is always a new twist or a new way to try it. And it’s the same way we learn about ethics. Every situation is different and so is how a family deals with it.” One point which I truly admire Ian for is the fact that he is not really telling you what to teach your children, he is simply giving you, as parents, a starting point and then leaves the rest up to you.

Much like The Old Code, E is For Ethics covers those areas which are important characteristics for an honourable, compassionate and productive member of society – many of which seem to have taken a back seat in terms of importance for many people today. For example, last week I was talking with a guy who grew up in the same neighbourhood I did, which was a tight-knit, mainly agricultural community. Our discussion revolved around how much our little town has changed, and how people in general don’t seem to be as honourable as they used to be. We are the current generation running long-time family businesses, and we would like to know what happened to the time when a handshake and your word was enough to honourably seal a deal. Your conduct in business was your reputation, and growing up in a small town meant that everyone knew whether or not you truly were as good as your word.

I feel that in many ways society has forgotten about many of those values, and Ian’s book is a great way to perhaps rediscover those values for ourselves as we discuss the scenarios with our children. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children as they grow up is time, and to borrow A & E TV’s slogan, reading and discussing E is For Ethics with our children is time well spent. I would be completely remiss in not giving this little book a huge recommendation to parents and grandparents everywhere. Even if you aren’t a parent yet, chances are you might become one – pick up E is For Ethics and keep it for the future. You’ll be glad you did. Ian definitely gets five stars from me for E is For Ethics.

* The Old Code from DragonHeart

A knight is sworn to valor, his heart knows only virtue, his blade defends the helpless, his might upholds the weak, his word speaks only truth, his wrath undoes the wicked.

The right can never die, if a man still remembers him. Words are not forgotten, if a voice pronounce them clearly, The Code always shines, if a heart preserves it brightly…

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Books, Editorials By: | Print This Post Print This Post

8th April 2010

Awards Shows Are The Topic of the Day

Canadian Video Game AwardsVancouver – The Canadian Video Game and Digital Arts Awards has released its list of finalists for the inaugural awards gala which will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre this coming May 5th in conjunction with GDC Canada, which will take place May 6th and 7th, also at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Game of the Year:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dawn of War 2 – Dragon Age: Origins – FIFA 10 and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes

Best Console Game:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dragon Age: Origins – FIFA 10 – NHL 10 and Prototype

Best Handheld Game:

Battle of Giants: Dragons – LEGO Battles – MySims Racing – Pandemica and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes

Best Downloadable Game:

Critter Crunch – Implode! – Osmos – Pandemica and Super Monkey Ball 2

Best Game Audio:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dawn of War 2 – Dragon Age: Origins – Skate 2 and WET

Best Game Design:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dawn of War 2 – Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes – NHL 10 and Prototype

Best Game Technology:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – FIFA 10 – Fight Night Round 4 – Prototype and Skate 2

Best Visual Arts:

Academy of Champions – Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dragon Age: Origins – Fight Night Round 4 and Punch-Out!

Best Writing:

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Dawn of War 2 – Dragon Age: Origins – Prototype and WET

Most Promising Game:

Dead Rising 2 – Deus Ex: Human Revolution – TRON: Evolution – ModNation Racers and Need for Speed: World

Best Animated Short:

EcoBuddies – Ormie – Splinter Cell: Conviction E3 2009 Trailer and The Oracle of Aveon

Visual Effects Movie:

Angels and Demons – Assassin’s Creed: Lineage – District 9 – Invictus and Watchmen

In-Game Cinematic:

LEGO Battles – Ghostbusters: The Video Game – NBA Live 10 and Prototype: Web of Intrigue

Voting for the awards is now open – these are going to be some very difficult choices for me to make, because almost all of my favourite Canadian-made games are on these lists. Decisions, decisions.

Georgia StraightSpeaking of awards, the Georgia Straight has published an article by journalist Blaine Kyllo about The Elans, an award show formerly held in Vancouver and now attempting to relocate to San Diego. This article is a must-read for anyone involved in the digital and interactive media industry.

Business In VancouverVancouver – Also in the awards category today, Cybele Negris, Co-Founder of webnames.ca, is one of six women to be honoured at BIV’s Influential Women in Business awards. This is the 11th year BC’s most influential business women have been honoured. Cybele, former president of Wired Woman Vancouver launched the successful mentorship program members have benefited greatly from. Hear from Cybele, along with 5 other honourees April 14 at the Fairmont Waterfront.

Being honoured on April 14 at the Fairmont Waterfront are:

Janet Austin, CEO, YWCA Vancouver
Ida Goodreau, Corporate Director and former CEO LifeLabs and Vancouver Coastal Health
Sarah Morgan-Silvester, Chancellor, University of British Columbia
Cybele Negris, Co-Founder, webnames.ca
Janine North, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
Lifetime Achievement Award – Julia Levy, Corporate Director and Co-Founder QLT Inc.

Event Details:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Fairmont Waterfront
Waterfront Ballroom
Reception: 11:30am
Awards Luncheon 12:00pm – 2:00pm
BIV Subscribers: $75, Non-subscribers $95

The Influential Women in Business Awards are presented by Business in Vancouver to recognize successful British Columbia business women in British Columbia. The honourees are selected based on their outstanding achievements in business, contribution to their industry, and influence in the local business community.

mob4hireCalgaryMob4Hire, the world’s largest mobile testing and market research community, today announced a significant new platform release. In development for a year, Mob4Hire Version 4.0 offers mobile functional and usability testing, as well as product and market research using it’s crowd of over 40,000 mobile users in 150 countries. This provides valuable opportunities for mobile app and website developers, advertising executives, product managers, market researchers, marketing teams and developer networks / app stores of handset and network operators to reach global users and include user feedback in the mobile development cycle. This results in a good user experience which in turn drives recommendations, top store rankings, discoverability, and ultimately, viral revenue growth.

Mob4Hire Version 4.0 replaces the old system that has been live since Autumn 2008. Since then, Mob4Hire’s crowd-sourced community of 40,000 mobile testers in 150 countries on 364 network operators, have been helping the almost 1,000 mobile developers registered from 81 countries make better mobile apps through functional testing. Testers (also known as “Mobsters”) have already made thousands of dollars for doing quality assurance work while at the same time helping mobile developers save up to 90% in traditional testing costs.

With this announcement, Mob4Hire is also introducing Basic, Premium and Managed Service pricing tiers to accommodate mobile firms of all shapes and size who need to create and run projects using its crowd-sourced methodologies. Managed Services offers efficient and cost-effective project management; using Mob4Hire’s community can save up to 65% in costs over traditional testing methods and has already been used to manage several multi-national and multi-device tests that would have been cost-prohibitive to run using traditional testing techniques.

netsweeperTorontoNetsweeper, a global provider of Internet Content Filtering and web threat management solutions, is excited to announce a series of core feature enhancements, uniquely designed to further protect children from inappropriate content and other web based threats. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Awards, Business News, Education, Events, National News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

7th April 2010

Time to Start Thinking About The Canary Derby

Canary DerbyThat’s right Vancouver and Victoria – Canary Derby time is fast approaching and those of you in the diverse technology and digital media industries need to get your cart on. The Canary Derby is a soapbox derby which is held annually to help raise funds for early cancer detection research.

The fifth annual Canary Derby once again brings together the technology and business 6S Marketing's Mario Kartcommunities of Victoria and Vancouver, Canary Foundation of Canada, and BC Cancer Foundation to help support early detection cancer research. Similar to last year’s event, the rivalry is twofold: the competitors within the individual Derbies and an overall competition between the Victoria Derby on June 12 and the Vancouver Derby on September 25.

Last year’s events were fun-filled and well attended – and who better than our innovative technology industry to design this year’s most imaginative and fastest carts while raising money for a great cause? This is your studio’s chance to participate in out-of-the-box team-building while racing a soapbox to victory. There are many awards up for grabs – top fundraiser, fastest cart, most stylish cart and of course the infamous bent wheel award.

Last year’s Vancouver teams included 6S Marketing, BCTIA, Wired Woman, Webnames.ca, Aquatic Informatics, Rogers Wireless, Cisco Human Network, finCAD and more. Check out the Village Gamer Canary Derby photos to see just how much fun can be had at this event. Even Princess Peach and Mario had a great time – and by the looks of it, several of them are already registered for the 2010 Great Race Event.

There will be a team get-together evening on Monday, April 26th for those interested in participating in the Vancouver leg of the derby. Canary founder Don Listwin will be present to give some background information about the Canary Foundation and the derby. This will be followed by information in regards to the fundraising tools which will be available to the teams as well as cart-building guidance and of course informal networking with your fellow racers. If you are – or think you might be – interested in participating, please contact Stephanie Price for details on the meeting.

What’s holding you back? Innovate – Create – Race!

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Events, fundraisers By: | Print This Post Print This Post

7th April 2010

Avoid Stress Play Games April is Stress Awareness Month

Hothead GamesIn today’s news leads, many of you probably already know that Ron Gilbert has left Hothead Games. On his blog, he stated that with DeathSpank‘s production winding down and heading for certification, his task is complete, although he will still be working closely with EA and Hothead to help promote the game. Ubisoft

Ubisoft Montreal will be holding a world exclusive autograph session with the Splinter Cell core team at the Montreal Future Shop on Ste Catherine Street next Tuesday, April 13th from 10am to Future Shop1pm.  Celebrating the release of Splinter Cell: Conviction, Alexandre Parisot (producer), Maxime Beland (creative director), Patrick Redding (game director/coop mode) and Steven Masters (lead game designer) will be present to meet the fans and autograph the games.

I played through the new DLC for Mass Effect 2 last evening – the availability of Kasumi – Stolen Memory was Kasumi Gotoplagued with server problems yesterday, which made for many unhappy ME2 players who were waiting to purchase the expansion. The new expansion, which adds Master Thief Kasumi Goto to the Normandy squad took me about an hour or so to play through, and while at first glance the 560 Microsoft Points price doesn’t really seem to give much value for the points, it’s important to remember that now an extra squad member and a new SMG will be available for subsequent re-plays of ME2. I guess that will even out the price and the shortness of the required missions. I would like to note, however, that there are areas where your character can (or in my case, will) get stuck. Without giving away the DLC plot – stay away from the chairs in a certain building during Kasumi’s loyalty mission. They act like a one way ramp and you’ll have to reload the game.

Burnaby – Turn up the music, raise your hands and voices and join the celebration! Electronic Arts today EA Sportsrevealed the 28 artists across 20 countries who will usher in the EA SPORTS™ 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with an international soundtrack that celebrates the cultural vibrancy of the first FIFA World Cup™ to be held in Africa.

EA SPORTS 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ captures the sounds and history of the musical landscape in Africa with a rhythmic, tribal blend of 28 songs that, through mass exposure to soccer, videogame and music fans, will become synonymous with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ worldwide. Somali-born poet, musician and rapper, K’NAAN, headlines the soundtrack with his song “Wavin’ Flag Coca-Cola Celebration Mix”.

EA Sports FIFA World CupA full playable demo of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will be available for download at the PLAYSTATION Store, and for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system on Xbox Live Marketplace, beginning April 8 worldwide. Play as Spain or Italy and discover a soccer experience that brings to life the passion and emotion of the actual tournament. New players to the FIFA Soccer franchise will be able to choose to play the demo utilizing new Two-Button controls designed to enable new gamers to pass, shoot and compete for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM with an accessible control scheme that utilizes just two buttons. In addition to playing a match soccer fans and gamers will be able to upload their replays from the demo to EA Football World for other fans to watch.

“2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is a landmark project in the evolution of world music and its African heritage,” says Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing at Electronic Arts. “We’ve brought together such legendary African artists as Nigerian drummer/activist Babatunde Olatunji, Senegal icon Baaba Maal, and ‘The Bob Marley of Ghana’ Rocky Dawuni, with global superstars like Sergio Mendes and Nas & Damian Marley. But we’re perhaps most proud of K’NAAN, the unsigned Somali artist we discovered in 2004 whose music has now appeared in five different EA SPORTS video games.” Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Awards, Business News, Digital Products, Education, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Mature, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Sports, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

  • Archives

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter


  • Select a list:

    Annex|Pro
  • GWEN Radio
  • Gamers Giving Back

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE