13th November 2010

Apply Now For Assistance in Attending GDC 2011

Bulletin from Telefilm Canada: Telefilm Canada

In line with its objectives of fostering international sales, promotion of Canadian talent and development of the interactive digital media industry, Telefilm Canada offers support to Canadian video game development companies conducting international business at the 25th edition of the Game Developers Conference and/or Game Connection America 2011.

Under certain conditions, financial assistance of up to $1,500 will be granted exclusively to Canadian game developers in support of their international sales activities at these events. The financial aid can be attributed to a maximum of 30 developers and is applicable to expenses related to international business development during the Game Developers Conference and/or Game Connection America 2011.

Held in San Francisco from February 28 to March 4, 2011, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest industry-only event dedicated to the advancement of interactive entertainment. In 2010, organizers announced an all-time record attendance of 18,250 game industry professionals including 140 Canadian companies.

Taking place during the Game Developers Conference, Game Connection America is an international marketplace for game developers, service providers and publishers looking to expand their network and find business partners. Game Connection America operates with an online meeting planning system that allows buyers and sellers to meet in a private meeting room or in shared facilities. Depending on each participant’s agenda and the chosen package, companies can book as many as 15 meetings a day.

Application deadline for this initiative : November 29, 2010

Information and registration process (PDF)
Registration form (word document)

For further information, please contact Isabelle Marazzani at 514 283-0838 or 1 800 567-0890.

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13th November 2010

Budge Studios To Produce Mobile iOS Titles For Nickelodeon

Budge StudiosBudge Studios and Nickelodeon have announced a partnership to develop and publish interactive story book iPhone and iPad applications based on some of the Nick’s most popular shows, including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. Dora the Explorer recently celebrated its landmark 10th anniversary and still ranks as one of the top preschool shows on TV. SpongeBob SquarePants has been the No. 1 animated program among kids ages 2 to 11 for more than seven consecutive years.

The first of several iPhone and iPad apps to be released through the partnership is Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure, which is based on the TV special. The app will feature a fun holiday-themed story, original Dora's Christmas Carol Adventuresongs, and interactive mini-games. It will also teach Spanish, colors, reading and the value of sharing. Both the iPhone and iPad versions of the app are scheduled to launch on December 1, 2010.

“Both Nickelodeon and Budge Studios are dedicated to creating family-friendly products that encourage imagination and education in children, so this partnership was a perfect match,” says Noemie Dupuy, a Partner at Budge Studios. “The captivating personalities of Nickelodeon’s beloved characters, give Budge Studios the inspiration to create highly innovative and entertaining mobile applications that will appeal to a large, diverse range of consumers.”

“This collaboration with Budge Studios is part of our ongoing mission to provide kids and families with entertainment using the most current technology and platforms,” said Steve Youngwood, Executive Vice President for Digital, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids & Family Group. “Kids are embracing the iPhone and iPad as much as their parents and these new apps will allow them to interact with their favorite Nick characters on portable devices they can take almost anywhere.”

Budge Studios also developed Mega BrandsMegaBloks Playground, which I have tried out on my iTouch. Being an adult with no toddlers handy to give this game some hands-on experience, I found it very difficult to view this title as a toddler would. MegaBloks Playground is not a game, per se, as there are no points, timers or achievements. It is an app to amuse young children, a purpose for which I think it would be successful.

MegaBloks Playground features a choice between two characters, a boy and a girl. Your toddler can make megabloks playgroundtheir character move around the playground by swiping their finger across the screen, leaving footprints in the sand as their character walks from feature to the next. One drawback to the iTouch version of the game is that the entire playground is not readily visible, which I think detracts a bit from the experience. Obviously this would probably not be an issue with the iPad version (I don’t own an iPad, so I can’t confirm this for certain). The game’s objects are all cleanly drawn and brightly coloured, with the animations running smoothly, which would appeal to toddlers and keep their attention on the game.

The music and sound effects which accompany the game are in no way jarring or irritating, which makes MegaBloks Playground Mapthe music especially quite pleasant to listen to. The playground itself is populated with items one would expect to find in a real playground, which means the majority of toddlers would know that by tapping on the slide, swings and teeter-totter would allow their character to interact with them and listen to the unique sound effects assigned to each activity. Characters can also go for a short balloon ride across the playground.

Scattered around the playground are small piles of blocks, which the characters use to build items like airplanes. One drawback, however, is that once the item is assembled, there is no way to interact with it, and it eventually disappears from the screen. I would like to see a few more activities built into the app, which would make it a little more educational, such as perhaps finding a way to build in shape recognition or colour-matching, along with a way for players to make their own creations to interact with. Overall, though, I think this is a well-designed app that will do what it’s intended t0 do – stimulate and amuse sensory perception in toddlers, and I would give it a rating of 4/5.

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13th November 2010

Transgaming and Rockstar Bring Grand Theft Auto To Mac

TransGamingRockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and TransGaming, Inc. have released the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto Trilogy for the Macintosh. The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy revisits the classic entries of the series and includes Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy is available via TransGaming’s GameTreeMac.com Mac gaming portal for 30 days starting today and at retailers across Europe. It will be available at retail in North America starting November 22.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto III introduced a 3-dimensional Liberty City and a completely open and interactive world, filled with hidden challenges and innovative 3D gameplay. The immense map offered players a scope and depth never before seen in games. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City took a trip back in time and revisited the 1980s, complete with the era’s unique fashion and classic pop music. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City follows Tommy Vercetti, as he attempts to navigate the city’s tropical environment rife with gangsters and other seedy citizens. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas introduced San Andreas, the largest map of the series, which boasts three enormous cities. The narrative explores the life of Carl Johnson as he returns home to San Andreas after learning of the mysterious events surrounding a death in the family.

All three games feature thrilling, deep narratives, acerbic and witty dialogue, a cast of superbly voiced characters, a fleet of vehicles, and hours of music through in-game radio stations ranging from reggae, 80s pop, disco and hip-hop.

“The Grand Theft Auto series has been one of the most highly demanded titles by the Mac community. The availability of this incredible franchise on the Mac underscores TransGaming’s role in transforming the overall Mac gaming market,” commented Vikas Gupta, President & CEO of TransGaming. “These games will be broadly available and will be a great catalyst to the increasing popularity of gaming on the Mac.”

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