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15th October 2010

New Title And New Tournament From Canadian Publishers

Meridian4Montreal game publisher Meridian4 and European publisher Headup Games are pleased to announce that the unique parody/strategy/RPG – Grotesque Tactics – Evil Heroes is now available digitally for $19.99 on most digital portals and is currently on sale on Steam with a 20% discount for the first week.

Grotesque Tactics combines the features and clichés of Western and Asian console RPGs like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics and provides a highly addicting and entertaining change to the current, more serious role playing games. The game is focused on providing the fascination of the Strategy RPG genre, but also weaves a humorous storyline and plenty of amusing dialogue, poking fun at some of the most successful RPGs, such as Oblivion, Final Fantasy and Lord of the Rings. In chess, a Grotesque is a problem or endgame study which features a particularly unlikely initial position, especially one in which White fights with a very small force against a much larger black army. Grotesques are generally intended to be humorous.Grotesque Tactics

To protect the kingdom from the merciless cult “The Dark Church” which has murdered all of the kingdom’s heroes and knights, you will have to hire dubious soldiers and rescue jealous maidens who will follow you into combat as your groupies. Up to 10 heroes are deployed in tactical battles to take on the Dark Church with their mysterious special abilities.


· Turn based tactical battles with humorous animations not seen in any RPG
· Distinctive party members such as the arrogant Holy Avatar, the blood thirsty Vampire Solitaire, the sweet but hot-tempered Angel Angelina and many more
· Gorgeous village landscapes and dark, sinister dungeons
· Scantily dressed maidens to be freed from the grasp of merciless monsters
· Enormous, highly detailed and very angry end bosses
· Classical RPG elements: quests, treasures, trade, leveling up and out­fitting a party of unique heroes
· Enjoyable multiple choice dialogues and conversation puzzles in the style of classic adventures, such as Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion

Wicked InteractiveAs competitive FPS fans eagerly await the arrival of Clan Mode to Mission Against Terror next week, Wicked Interactive pulled out yet another surprise today when it announced a new 1v1 ladder for its popular free-to-play shooter M.A.T. that is chock-full of prizes and fun for gamers of every skill level, particularly those who enjoy their fragging with a healthy side order of competitive play. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th October 2010

New Games and Apps For Pirates Vampires Warriors and Flowers

IUGOCapcom® Mobile and Vancouver’s IUGO Mobile Entertainment have announced Lil’ Pirates, a brand new title that will be available for free on the App Store later this month. The development of more accessible general audience games is in line with Capcom Mobile’s strategy of reaching a more casual audience as powerful smartphones become more ubiquitous and mass market. Capcom Mobile also announced two other titles in development which will be released over the coming weeks.Capcom Mobile

“The release of these titles marks a new direction for the company as we complement our traditional premium pricing model with freemium social games for our customers,” said Midori Yuasa, President and COO, Capcom Interactive, Inc. “By creating a line of casual freemium games we can appeal to consumers not serviced by our more ‘hardcore’ IP and cast a much wider net over the burgeoning smartphone app marketplace.”lil pirates

In Lil’ Pirates the player recruits their own band of scurvy dogs and sets upon the high seas seeking, adventure, treasure and camaraderie. Starting with a small ship and a tiny crew of scallywags, players can upgrade their vessel and expand their crew by undertaking special missions and jobs. Once they start to amass resources and loot, players will be able to battle other vessels, play mini games with the crew and bury booty to increase its value. More than 100 premium content items including ship upgrades and custom gear will be available at launch as DLC.

The other two announced titles were Zombie Café and a third licensed title based off a children’s entertainment property. In Zombie Café, the player partners with an evil corporation to use zombies as free labor to build their café empire. To thrive, players must prepare food, direct their zombie staff and manage supplies. If the competition gets too fierce they can always direct their zombie workers to attack a neighboring café and steal their secret recipes. Zombie Café will be available for free on the Apple App store and is expected to release in November.

grower directThe floral experts at Grower Direct want to share their love of flowers with you in a brand new way: the Grower Direct iPhone App. This exciting and very practical application has been developed for iPhone users in the hopes that it will make everyday life a snap when it comes to researching, viewing, and ordering flowers from anywhere, at anytime. The Grower Direct iPhone App provides information on hundreds of topics about flowers and everything flower-related.

Developed in conjunction with crazedCoders of Edmonton, the free app will answer questions such as:

* How old the world’s oldest rose bush?
* How do flowers affect people’s moods?
* Which flower is associated with a 25th Anniversary? Read the rest of this entry »

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posted in Action Adventure, Business News, Digital Products, Education, Educational, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

14th October 2010

New Canadian Research Shows Online Video Is Promising Channel for Marketers and Content Producers

M ConsultingThe first-ever study on Canadians’ viewing habits of online video conducted by Ipsos Reid and M Consulting finds 80 per cent of all Canadians indicate watching some video content online. Among those that have watched video online 41 per cent watch more online video content than they did last year. A growing audience means a bigger business opportunity for brand marketers and the Canadian film community to produce original online video content.

“A loyalty of sorts is being developed for online video,” says Bill Mohri, president of M Consulting who commissioned the study, which will be unveiled in full at the MergeMedia: Online Branded Entertainment Conference on October 22 at the MaRS Discovery Centre in Toronto. “There is the potential that a critical mass of Canadians could be watching more online video than TV much sooner than experts predicted.”MergeMedia Conference

While males between the ages of 18 to 24 comprise the biggest, most frequent audience, 41 per cent of all Canadians say they watch online video at least a few times per week. And the study found that people who view online video at least once per day are more receptive to branded entertainment, with 18 per cent indicating positive purchase intent for brands that have developed entertaining content online.

“It’s clear that brands have an impact with more frequent viewers of online video. It’s a more engaging, interactive medium,” says Bill Mohri. “Brand marketers and content producers need to pay attention to this growth area because it’s much less expensive than TV advertising and has real potential to reach consumers more effectively than TV.”

More research highlights include the following:

* Almost 100 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 to 24 watch some video content online, with 76 per cent watching at least a few times per week.
* Even though the incidence of viewership declines with age, fully 68 per cent of Canadians over the age of 55 indicate watching some video content online.
* 49 per cent of respondents cited poor production quality as a main downside to watching videos online compared to TV.
* Comedy is the most popular online video genre, with 65 per cent of respondents who already watch video on the internet say they watch this genre most often.

The MergeMedia Conference will showcase full results of this benchmark study and explore implications through an interactive presentation by Ray Kong, senior vice president at Ipsos Reid, which includes a group of actual respondents who participated in the study that will be on-hand to answer audience questions about individual online video viewing habits.

The full-day conference will also bring together leading marketers and content producers to provide insights on online branded entertainment. The roster is long and includes Canadian producer Fred Fuchs, actress Illeana Douglas who created and stars in IKEA’s hit series Easy to Assemble, Alison Leung, marketing director, hair care and deodorants at Unilever Canada and Joe LaMuraglia, social media manager at General Motors.

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14th October 2010

Quebec Technology Association Offers 33 Free Memberships To Assist Start-Ups

Quebec Technology AssociationThe Quebec Technology Association (AQT) has issued an invitation to all leaders and partners in the information and communications technology sector to recommend candidates for the second edition of its 1-2-3 GO! program. Each year, this program allows 33 start-ups to receive a free membership in the Association, which includes a targeted support program and substantial savings on registration fees for other networking and development opportunities available through the AQT Accelerator.

“We give out 33 free memberships per year, each worth $350, based on the recommendations of our members who are eager to see new companies have the opportunity to learn from experienced leaders. This helps recipients avoid potentially costly errors along the way, particularly during their growth stages”, explained Nicole Martel, Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Technology Association.

Four companies from the 2009 cohort became regular members of the AQT, while others have been advised of their continued participation in the program. There are still many spots open in the 2010 cohort. These spots will be given to start-ups that provide ICT solutions and/or services with no more than 3 employees, that have been in business less than 3 years, and that have demonstrated their enthusiasm for the program.

One of last year’s recipients whose company became a regular AQT member had high praise for the program. In summing up his experience, Jonathan Stoikovitch, President of Sosign Interactive, said “within a few short months, AQT became a driving force for me. Their advice helped me find the best resources. I was introduced to people who have a great deal more entrepreneurial experience. I have absolutely no doubt that I saved a lot of time.”

Start-ups have until October 29, 2010 to apply by filling in the form available on the Association’s Web site. Requests for information should be directed to Patrick Gouin at 514-874-2667 ext. 106.

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14th October 2010

Bioware Announces Dragon Age II Signature Edition

Bioware Corp

BioWare™ has just announced the Dragon Age™ II BioWare Signature Edition. This limited edition of the highly anticipated action RPG will be available at no extra cost for gamers who pre-order Dragon Age II before January 11, 2011. Featuring over $20 of additional content, the Dragon Age II BioWare Signature Edition includes the full version of Dragon Age II, along with a download code for an additional playable character and new missions, the Dragon Age II digital soundtrack, an exclusive in-game digital armory featuring a variety of weapons and other digital items. The Dragon Age II BioWare Signature Edition will only be available for pre-order and online purchase on or before January 11, 2011 – after the deadline, it will disappear from the market.
Dragon Age 2 Signature Edition
“Over the past 15 years, we’ve been privileged to have the support of a passionate community of fans, who continue to grow in number with every game we release,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts and co-founder and Group General Manager of BioWare. “The BioWare Signature Edition of Dragon Age II is a chance for us to reward loyal fans who pre-order the game by providing them with additional high-quality content for free.”

Dragon Age II is the sequel to the 2009’s “RPG of the Year,” featuring faster-paced action, striking new art direction and a gripping storytelling approach that allows gamers to experience the rise to power with the game’s key character, Hawke. A refugee who survives the destruction of his homeland, Hawke becomes the Champion of Kirkwall but the lore surrounding his rise to power is shrouded in myth and rumor. These mysteries are the driving force behind the all-new Dragon Age II story, which spans nearly 10 years in the Dragon Age universe. Players will experience how the legend unfolds by gathering the deadliest of allies, making tough moral choices, amassing fame and fortune and sealing their place in history.

Dragon Age II will be available on the PlayStation®3, Xbox 360® and PC in Canada on March 8, 2011. Dragon Age II, like Dragon Age, will most likely be rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

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14th October 2010

The Survey Says Ideas Are Easy But Financing Is A Challenge For Canadian Entrepreneurs

intuitFor most Canadians, coming up with an idea for a successful small business is the easy part. Finding the money to get started is what’s hard. Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians believe the idea is easy, but even more, 72 per cent, say they’re concerned about finding start up money.

These are among the findings of a second Canada-wide survey commissioned by Intuit Inc., maker of QuickBooks, to determine Canadians’ attitudes around entrepreneurship. The latest effort coincides with the start of Canada’s Small Business Week 2010.

Several key motivators were cited by poll respondents who were interested in starting a small business:

– A desire to no longer work for someone else (43 per cent)
– Control of their own destiny – (43 per cent)
– A means to a better quality of life – (35 per cent – up six points
from February)
– Starting something new – (33 per cent – up nine points from February)

But they’re concerned with the challenges of getting started. These include

– Finding the money for start-up costs – (72 per cent)
– Convincing lenders that they’re a good risk – (71 per cent)
– Navigating the tax and finance requirements – (61 per cent)

HST is also a big factor in Ontario and British Columbia. Half of those surveyed in those provinces believe it will do more to discourage people from starting a business, while only five per cent say it would have a positive impact. This may be why a slight majority of Canadians (51 per cent) believe it’s harder to start a business today compared to a decade ago.

Younger Canadians seem more optimistic about starting a business. Forty-two per cent of respondents between the ages of 18-34 say it’s more difficult to start a business today compared to 61 per cent of Canadians age 55 and over.

Despite this, more than one third of all respondents say they are interested in starting their own business, and 43 per cent of those say they plan to do that within the next two years.

“There’s no shortage of reasons for Canadians to stifle entrepreneurial pursuits but, we’ve found that simply isn’t happening,” said Barb Anderson, Intuit’s product marketing leader for financial management software. “The market uncertainty, grim headlines and general anxiety of the past six months haven’t affected the entrepreneurial drive.” Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

Canada Media Fund Names 27 Projects For Production Funding

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) today announced the first round results of its Experimental Stream. Twenty-seven projects were approved for production funding in the form of CMF equity investment commitments for a total of $12.9 million. While the average commitment is $478,000, three requests received the maximum $1 million.

Twelve projects are in English, nine are French, six are bilingual and consist of twelve games, five websites, three mobile applications, three interactive web series, and four software applications. A total of $8.6 million and $4.3 million was committed to English and French production projects, respectively. Approved production applicants are based across Canada, with six from BC, one from Alberta, four from Toronto, one from Ontario excluding Toronto, twelve from Montréal, two from Quebec excluding Montréal, and one from PEI.

In addition, eleven projects were approved for development funding for a total of $1.6 million. The average commitment is $149,000. Four projects are in English, four in French, and three bilingual. Total English commitments are $1.1 million and total French are $540,000. Two of the successful development applicants are based in BC, six in Montréal, two in Quebec excluding Montreal, and one in Toronto. The types of projects include websites, games, and applications – please see the CMF decisions page for a full listing of successful applicants.

As well, seven projects were approved for marketing funding for a total of $1.6 million. The average commitment is $234,000. Five projects are in English, one in French, and one bilingual. Total English commitments are $1.1 million and total French are $540,000. Three projects are based in BC, one in Montréal, one in Quebec excluding Montreal, and two in Toronto. Projects to be marketed include games, websites, and an application.

Projects were assessed on the following factors: innovation (40%), production team (15%), business plan (30%), and distribution strategy (15%). For production projects, the innovation and production team factors, comprising a total of 55% of the assessment, were evaluated by a jury of Canadian and international industry experts (bios provided below). All remaining factors for production applications, plus all development and marketing applications, were assessed by CMF Program Administration analysts. Projects were assessed within categories based on the stage of the project, i.e. development, production, or marketing, to ensure similar projects competed against each other.

Of the $27 million in funding available through this stream, 60% is being disbursed in the first round and 40% in the second. Applications submitted for the first round vastly exceeded the $16.2 million available at this round. Over 250 applicants requested almost $90 million to support 120 production ($57 million requested), 112 development ($25 million requested), and 21 marketing ($8 million requested) projects. As a result of the high demand experienced in the first round, the second and final deadline for applications has been extended from October 4 to November 12, 2010. All decisions made by the CMF are considered final.

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13th October 2010

Canadian New Media Awards Announces 2010 Finalists

The Canadian New Media Awards have announced the full slate of finalists for the 2010 Canadian New Media Awards, which will be presented at a gala affair in Toronto on December 1st. Congratulations to all of these very talented developers, designers, teachers and leaders.

Company of the Year – Sponsored by Deloitte

* Frima Studio
* I Love Rewards
* Metroleap
* Syncapse Corp.
* Vision Critical

Promising New Company of the Year – Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

* Bitstrips Inc.
* Entrinsic
* Polar Mobile
* Trend Hunter

Best Branded Entertainment

* Cliff Your Ride | The Vacuum Design Inc.
* Pedigree Adoption Drive | Proximity Canada
* The Weak Shop | DDB Canada
* Urbania.ca | TOXA

Best In Canadian Culture – Interactive

* Days of Remembrance | GlobalNews.ca
* Le Tapis Rose de Catherine | Les Productions Rose Nanan
* Redress Remix | Stitch Media
* Tourism Montreal | Sid Lee

Community Campaign of the Year

* It’s Time to Shout | Gravity Ltd.
* Love Letters to the Future | Xenophile Media
* Pocheville.ca – Motel Bigoudi | Inpix
* The NFB Test Tube with David Suzuki | National Film Board of Canada

Best Cross-Platform Project

* Inside Disaster | PTV Productions Inc.
* The Baxter Online Experience | Smokebomb Entertainment Inc.
* The NFB Test Tube with David Suzuki | The National Film Board of Canada
* The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games from Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium | CTV

Digital Media Technology of the Year

* dimeRocker | Overinteractive Media
* HootSuite | Hootsuite Media, Inc.
* Shiny Ads | Shiny Ads
* Voices.com | Voices.com Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

Clickbox Releases ilumii Social Learning Community and Marketplace

clickboxToronto-based start-up Clickbox Software has unveiled the full commercial release of ilumii.com, the world’s most complete Social Learning Community & Marketplace. ilumii.com allows individuals to take their knowledge and skills and teach them to people around the globe by offering live, online classes–for fun and for profit–and by connecting those who want to learn with those who want to teach.

Clickbox Software CEO, Daniel Del Mastro, says, “ilumii.com is a revolutionary concept because it completely reshapes who can deliver educational services, the earnings potential of teaching, and the breadth of topics a person can teach or learn online. ilumii.com is ushering in an era of collaborative learning that will forever change the face of education.”
ilumii.com gives individuals everything they need to make live, online teaching fun and simple: it lets users offer courses on any subject–ranging from academic tutoring, to language lessons, to hobbies and skills, to whatever else they can imagine. It allows instructors to easily schedule lessons, manage course enrollment, and securely accept payments from learners around the world. And, of course, it provides both learners and instructors with a state-of-the-art Live Learning Space with video and audio, an interactive whiteboard, presentation and file sharing, and other features that replicate the feeling of being in a real-world classroom like never before.

Clickbox Software’s Chief Digital Officer, Raquel Torres, says, “In a time when unemployment has affected millions of people, ilumii.com gives anyone with the ability to teach a channel to transform his or her intellectual capital into a new way to earn a living. Our goal with ilumii.com is to create a space where people can leverage technology to exchange knowledge and skills, and to be able to monetize their services.”

ilumii.com is powered by the concept of “Knowledge on Demand” – the idea that anyone around the world can find live, instructor-led classes on any topic imaginable through a single web destination. Users can sign-up for free at ilumii.com to be a part of the world’s best knowledge marketplace.

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13th October 2010

TechnoMontreal Names New General Manager

technomontrealYves Pelletier, M.Sc., CMC, FCMA, TechnoMontréal’s Chairman of the Board and Senior Vice President and Director of the Montreal office for DMR-Fujitsu, announced today the appointment of Mrs. Lidia Divry as General Manager to strengthen its mission of bringing together all players in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) of Greater Montreal, around common goals and concerted action in order to optimize the competitiveness of the industry worldwide.
Lidia Divry
“We are pleased with the arrival of Mrs. Divry, CMA, MBA, Ec.D. to the TechnoMontréal team,” said Mr. Pelletier. “Mrs. Divry’s experience in economic development and management, combined with her understanding of the issues associated with the competitiveness of the Information and Communications Technology sector and the marketing of innovative projects will help TechnoMontréal to address the major challenges in our industry,” added Mr. Pelletier.

The information and communications technology industry provides employment for more than 120,000 people in the metropolitan area and ranks among the most dynamic industries in the world, both in terms of creativity and technology. It is however at a crossroads and faces a new challenge: ensuring that future generations will have jobs while building on its worldwide success. It is within this context that TechnoMontréal reinforces its leadership and invites governments, entrepreneurs and creators to rally around major developmental projects and support the marketing of innovative products.

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