Ottawa startup GlitchSoft Corporation  has launched their first title for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch platforms. BarStar  is a casual, time management, bartending game similar in gameplay style to Sally’s Spa and Diner Dash, that allows the user to enter the world of owning their own bar.
The goal of the game is to quickly serve as many customers and collect tips and bonus points in each of the 35 timed levels. Using the bonus points earned from each level, players are able to purchase items to upgrade the bar and their bartending skills. By the end of 35 levels, the small, one roomed bar the game starts with will be transformed into a full fledged bar. Featuring an original score, stunning graphics and a deep story line, BarStar is an immediately addictive and engaging game.
“The gameplay is obviously something we have strived to keep engaging and entertaining throughout the entire experience,” says Wes Tam, founder and CEO of GlitchSoft. “Our biggest accomplishment was the innovative, multi-touch approach to mixing drinks that brings you deeper into the game.”
– 35 levels of frantic bartending gameplay
– Mix drinks using our innovative multi-touch system. Drinks include beer and wine in the early levels and cocktails including Screwdriver, Caesar and Strawberry Daiquiri in the advanced levels.
– 12 unique customers and 4 secret guest stars with different styles and tastes
– Bar and skill upgrades based on performance with over 200 upgrades (??)
– Made especially for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
BarStar is available internationally , and is currently on sale at an introductory price from the App store for $2.99.
Today at E3, Ontario game developer Silicon Knights  announced its exciting collaboration with McMaster University , the Art Gallery of Hamilton  (AGH) and Mohawk College . The partners will work to create a new research institute around interactive digital media that will pioneer and shape cutting-edge advances in the interactive entertainment arena. The initiative, called “Eight: The Hamilton Institute for Interactive Digital Media,” will be located at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton and will debut in 2011.
The joint venture centers on the development of the “8th Art,” art that develops technology and creativity beyond the moving image, i.e. film, and adds interactivity. The Institute’s focus will be on the creation and integration of new technologies, new design and innovative artistic concepts for digital media applications. “Eight” will provide a nucleus where staff of Silicon Knights and the AGH and faculty and students at Master University and Mohawk College can move seamlessly between organizations on shared research projects and digital media development. Staff of Silicon Knights and AGH could participate in research, course development and teaching at the new Institute.
“By adding interactivity to moving images such as film (the ‘7th art), we are creating what Silicon Knights’ has dubbed for many years as the ‘8th Art’,” said Silicon Knights President Denis Dyack. “We have been promoting the ‘8th Art’ for many years, and are beyond excited to have aligned with three outstanding partners – McMaster University, AGH and Mohawk College – that share the same vision, and understand the need to grow the talent and resources in this arena.
The partnership brings together several prominent groups whose talents and synergies will result in a groundbreaking initiative. Silicon Knights brings its development and creative expertise, which complements the talented faculty at McMaster, a leading research-intensive university with a track record of world-class research and education capabilities. AGH, a leading public art gallery that positions digital art as one of its key artistic activities through research exhibition and education, has a solid track record of engaging, stimulating and enriching the community through art, and this expertise will be compounded by talented faculty and staff at Mohawk College, with its keen focus on and responsiveness to industry and market trends.
McMaster University’s President, Peter George, believes the partnership will be a catalyst in developing a critical mass of expertise in digital media. “We want to be known as the “8th Art” university, but to achieve that distinction will depend on effective collaboration with great partners,” he said. “Capitalizing on one another’s strengths will create unlimited opportunities for research commercialization, education and training, and economic development and job creation for our region.”
The council of Canadian Academies has identified new media as having the greatest momentum and the highest growth prospects of Canada. Worldwide the digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the knowledge economy, projected to be valued at US $2.2. trillion over the next five years. This program will help grow the innovation and commercialization efforts in this key strategic sector of the new knowledge and creative economy.
“Mohawk College is pleased to be a part of this exciting new initiative that will bring together the best and brightest in the field of digital media,” says Mohawk College president, Rob MacIsaac. “It’s an initiative that will build on Mohawk’s long-standing partnership with McMaster University, draw on our college’s strengths in applied learning and research and leverage our ability to stay responsive to employer needs and industry trends.”
“Many innovative art forms today already incorporate practices and techniques from other disciplines, said Louise Dompierre, president and CEO of AGH. “A key difference here is this partnership extends to the entire process from research, production, dissemination, training and marketing of the end product. It will be most enriching for artists, students and the community to have the opportunity to work closely with world renowned researchers in science and technology and for the AGH to present their accomplishments as it proceeds in the context of an art gallery.”
CreativeMix  is offering the chance for you to promote your creative project or venture this November 4th at CreativeEX, the exhibition at CreativeMIX – Vancouver’s annual ideation and creative collaboration conference.
They are looking for proposals from creative people who want to showcase their creativity and innovation in an engaging and interactive environment. If selected, you will get to use one of ten 10‘x10’ display walls, and will be given two conference passes, a dedicated page on the conference website, a special feature on both the blog and e-mail newsletter, and be interviewed on the main stage. This exhibition package is valued at $800. I like the whole offering – except for that “interview on the main stage” part…
The conference has also put out a challenge to graphic designers  for confidential design submissions:
“Design our poster and you could win $250 plus a whole bunch of promo-love. This September we’ll be distributing 400 posters around Vancouver and we’re looking for a fresh take on this year’s design. If you’re a graphic designer and have been looking for a new way to market your talent then here’s a great way to spread the word. Winning this contest would be a great addition to any designers portfolio because the competition will be tough and we’ll be promoting the winning design (and designer) through our social networks (aka brag). If you’re already totally awesome then why don’t you prove it; we dare you.” 
Next week Canadians will find out if their city has made it onto the new MONOPOLY: Canada game board. Before the online voting was blacked out a few months ago, do you remember where your Canadian city ranked on the leaderboard?
Mr. Monopoly and the Hasbro team will reveal the 22 Canadian cities that were voted onto the new Monopoly: Canada game board in a live event  from Ottawa on June 22nd, beginning at 11a.m. ET.
The BCTIA  has sent out a request for input  in regards to the formal submission the Association is developing for the federal government’s Digital Economy  initiative. This submission, which is due on July 9th, will build on previous position papers that the BCTIA has developed with input from its members, including excerpts from the Advanced Technology paper, prepared as part of the Business Council of BC Outlook 2020 Discussions, and their recent TechTalentBC labour demand study.
In preparation for the consultations, the federal government has drafted a very good discussion paper  that is split into 5 sections; each section asking very pointed discussion questions. The BCTIA submission will focus on two key sections: Growing the information and communication technology industry, and building digital skills for tomorrow. Your input is requested to develop this paper. The BCTIA needs you to help fine-tune the recommendations and add real-world experience and evidence that will support the claims and recommendations outlined in the BCTIA paper.
Tecmo Koei Canada Inc.  has announced Warriors: Legends of Troy, a tactical action game where two great armies clash not over home and country, but for the love of a single woman. The fates of these civilizations now stand upon the razor’s edge.
3000 years ago, a poet sang of heroes strong enough to stand alone against an army.
In the age when Zeus Almighty ruled over immortals and men, what begins as a truce between two cities quickly erupts into a massive war that will shake the very foundations of Olympus.
* Choose Sides: Do battle as the Trojans or the Greeks. With two unique storylines, players will see the war from two unique perspectives.
* Epic Battlefields: Clash with legions of soldiers on glorious battlegrounds that reach for miles throughout the ancient world.
* Strategic Carnage: Do anything to survive. Grab a sword from a fallen enemy and hurl it at a soldier bearing down on you. Smash an opponent with shields, and then run your spear through him. Or just throttle them with your bare hands.
* Legendary Battles: Battle larger-than-life heroes and even confront mythical creatures sent by the gods themselves.
* Brutal History: Among the inspirations for the game are The Iliad, Homer’s epic poem from the 9th century BC, and in-depth research of the ancient battlefields of the Trojan War.
* Ancient Heroes: Play as infamous heroes such as Achillies and Odysseus from Greece, as well as Hektor and Paris from Troy.
Warriors: Legends of Troy will be available this fall for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
Easy Projects .NET  announced today a comprehensive update to its web-based project management and collaboration suite, Easy Projects .NET Version 7.0. Designed and developed with extensive user feedback, this new version of Easy Projects .NET focuses on delivering an improved web-based project and resource management functionality. The update introduces several new features aimed at optimizing the end-user experience and efficiency. Easy Projects .NET Version 7.0 represents the company’s dedication to its clients by delivering software built to suit the needs of businesses and organizations world-wide.
New features include:
• Improved user experience – usability improvements to the interface, built-in video tutorials, shortcuts and contextual menus make end-user workflow easier and more efficient.
• Resource workload display during activity assignments – provides project managers a visual representation of how the particular user is utilized over the current month on all projects.
• Weekly View grid for Time Logs – allows users to quickly add billable and non-billable time log entries for the entire week.
• Improved batch operations – quickly select and un-select all projects/activities when performing batch operations such as delete or copy activities.
• Changing user roles for all projects
• Polish translation
• Optimized activity and project progress – provides project managers accurate, up to the second information on their on-going activities and projects.
“It is our fundamental belief that listening to your client’s feedback is crucial in creating effective and successful software.” says Vadim Katcherovski, CEO and founder of Easy Projects .NET. “In developing this new version, our goal was to analyze and improve on the existing functionality of Easy Projects .NET. The feedback we gathered from our users over the course of last year has tremendously helped us in achieving that goal.”
Easy Projects .NET Version 7.0 is available as a hosted or in-house solution  starting at $24.99/month per user or less – with a Free Trial sign-up available.
Cross Media Toronto  has revealed a stellar line-up of industry executives and technology experts who will be speaking at its event this July 21st. In partnership with NATPE, the MaRS Discovery District , and the CFC Media Lab , headline speakers include SVP Director Digital for Random House of Canada Lisa Charters, Head of Agency Relations for Google Canada Sabrina Geremia, Senior Business Development Manager for RIM Pete Watson and CBC’s Director of Digital Music Steve Pratt. Other special guests include Akamai’s Chief Strategist Chris Van Noy, and Transmedia Consultant Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn.
Senior Vice President for Random House of Canada Limited, Lisa Charters is responsible for the development of new ebusiness initiatives and digital strategies, as well as overseeing online sales and promotional efforts to continually enhance value and expand the company’s relationship with readers. Random House of Canada Limited is a division of Bertelsmann AG’s Random House, the world’s largest publisher of fiction and nonfiction for all ages, in a full range of formats that include hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, audio, electronic and digital.
Sabrina Geremia is Head of Agency Relations for Google Canada. She is an international marketer, sales leader and integrated communications specialist. She joined Google in the UK in 2006 to set up the UK Consumer Products and Healthcare sales team. After returning to Canada in 2007, she began working with a wider range of customers spanning from CPG and Finance to Media and Entertainment. In 2009 Sabrina built the Canadian Agency Relations strategy and team. This team works with large media and creative agencies to help them make the most out of their relationship with Google.
In addition, Steve Pratt, Director of Digital Music at CBC and the director of CBC Radio 3, will be speaking at Cross Media Toronto’s event. Radio 3 is a multi-platform unit of Canada’s public broadcaster that focuses on emerging Canadian music.
These featured heavyweight media industry executives and technology experts will discuss specific ways their respective media sectors can begin to collaborate with one another. Cross Media Toronto is designed to give attendees an opportunity to network with other media sectors as well as learn how the other sectors function in order to foster cross media collaboration in the emerging digital landscape.
”We want the gaming people to meet the TV people, the publishing people to meet the web video people, and everyone to meet the advertising people, but let’s be honest, in the end, it’s all about the money,” says conference founder, Gavin McGarry, a veteran digital media executive. He was part of the global content team at the web video start up JOOST, and former head of Cross Platform Business Development for ENDEMOL. Currently McGarry runs Jumpwire Media, a cross media agency that helps companies profit from the emerging digital platforms.
Conference co-founder Jennifer Harkness has been in the media and event business for over 20 years. Jennifer was the Executive Director of the Banff World TV Festival and is currently Head of Development, Factual and Reality, at Temple Street Productions and has advised on international events such as NATPE and KidScreen .