Big Blue Bubble Inc. announced today that their in-studio Rapid Game Development Competition games have arrived on Apple’s mobile platforms, the iPhone and iPod Touch. The internal competition held by the studio provided teams with complete creative control to make a game in 72 hours or less. The games were developed for the Apple iPhone 3G/3Gs, iPod Touch. First two games launched on iTunes are:
Aaah! Chompsters! – The Chompsters are here and they’re hungry, so it’s up to you to make sure they get fed! Use the explosive power of your touch to blow smaller monsters into the gaping mouths of the Chompsters. Aaah! Chompsters! is an explosive physics-based title with 60 levels and 4 worlds to complete and lots of replay value to keep you coming back for more. Aaah! Chompsters is available in the App Store for 99 cents (USD).
An action packed alien shooting arcade game for your iPhone, Invaders from Uranus is available now on iTunes as well, also for only 99 cents (USD). The player simply touches the screen to shoot the enemies and tries to last as long as they can while trying to obtain a new high score. With a super fantastic and original sound track, spectacular 100% organic, homemade sound effects, big explosions and a huge variety of enemies to destroy, Invaders from Uranus will keep you coming back for more.
Bioware has introduced another new Dragon Age 2 character. According to her bio, Aveline is a soldier, a master of sword and shield, and up to a point, a tireless guardian. She is the daughter of an exiled chevalier, and not the knight her father wished her to be. “Although fully trained in chivalrous combat, she was raised in the shadow of a lost life and will not lose another for the sake of honor. Protecting her adopted home of Kirkwall becomes a chosen duty, not a privileged calling. The people she stands for will not be wasted on lost causes or protecting the foolish from themselves. Pride can be bandaged like any other wound—when threats are dead and everyone is safely home.”
The studio has also unveiled The Gallows, a courtyard in Kirkland which stands as testimony to the city’s ghastly past. Adorned with statues, this courtyard is not meant to pay homage, the statues are not monuments to the suffering of slaves. Every inch and angle of the courtyard was designed by magisters bent on breaking the spirit of newcomers. Executions in The Gallows courtyard took place daily, sometimes hourly, and corpses were hung from gibbets throughout the yard. New slaves trudging in from the docks saw what fate had in store for them, and they were not greeted with a friendly smile.
From November 26th to 28th, Canadian writer MCM (Michael Milligan) is writing a full-length novel live on the internet, using suggestions from his audience to help craft a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Creator of the award-winning animated series “RollBots”, MCM pioneered the livewriting format in 2009 with the sci fi thriller “Typhoon“, mixing a virtual concert-like atmosphere with the written word.
This time around for the sequel, “Polarity“, 1889 Labs tapping into the social networking power of Twitter, Facebook and Ustream to provide a richer experience for readers. Suggestions submitted by the audience are picked at random and integrated into the storyline, adding an unpredictable twist to an already exciting endeavour. During “Typhoon”, a major plot point was interrupted when the question “stop or go?” was answered the wrong way, altering events all through the series.
“Polarity” follows a group of mercenaries called dustrunners, tasked with shepherding contraband mineral shipments back from the asteroid belt in the year 2038, but ruthlessly hunted by law enforcement at home. Kani, a Canadian teenager pulled into this world against her will in “Typhoon”, now finds herself in deeper trouble than before, as allies turn against each other and a maniacal undercover cop aims to clean up the mess he’s created for himself.
Because of the real-time nature of livewritten books, the events of the story can better reflect the events of the day, as they happen. Kani must contend with invasive security theatre in airports, protests against G-20 meetings that turn violent, a draining American occupation of war-torn Mexico, and a crippling world economic depression that shows no signs of abating. “Ripped from the headlines” has never been so immediate. “Polarity” is a live performance, free for all, and starts November 26, running until very late on November 28.
Gil Moore, drummer in the band Triumph, and owner of the renowned Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, has joined Balanced Copyright for Canada (BCFC) in support of efforts to advocate for strong copyright laws that reflect the reality of today’s digital environment.
“The scale of piracy is simply off the charts and it’s had a dramatic impact on every aspect of the music industry,” explains Gil Moore. “We can, and have, diversified our product lines but the speed and volume at which creative products are being taken without permission, is simply too high to be ignored. The government has a responsibility to ensure laws reflective of the digital environment are in place in order to protect intellectual property.”
“The progression of Bill C-32 through the legislative process is a welcome sign that all the federal parties agree that our copyright laws must be amended with urgency,” adds Moore. “I hope, in the weeks that follow, that the bill will be reviewed and passed in a way that best supports jobs in the creative sector.”
“We’re thrilled to have Gil’s support in our efforts to ensure Bill C-32 is passed in such a way as to support jobs and investment in Canada’s creative industries,” says Randy Bachman, a member of the BCFC Advisory Board. “Gil has enormous respect in the industry. He’s one of the few who has transitioned from a successful career as an artist into an award-winning studio business, a school and a live production company, that together produce some of Canada’s greatest talents and best trained professionals.”
Bill Baker, who has helped business leaders of organizations such as Relais & Châteaux, Johnson & Johnson and Dubai Holdings as well as the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and others advance their brands, businesses and people through strategic storytelling, has started a new firm, Bill Baker &Co. Previously, Baker was Chief Strategic Officer of Vancouver-based branding agency Envisioning + Storytelling (E+S).
“While there is a ton of talent and creativity in branding, too often what’s missing is meaning. Strategic storytelling creates meaning, connecting people to ideas, to a vision of the future and to each other. BB&Co will focus on helping leaders use strategic storytelling to position their brands, transform their businesses and, perhaps most importantly, engage and align employees around a vision that they can not only see, but see themselves in,” says Baker.
A recognized expert on the strategic storytelling process and an engaging speaker, Baker has appeared at The Canadian Sponsorship Forum, Canadian Coaching Association Conference and the Relais & Châteaux Congress and is a sought after speaker. Through his “Leadership Through Storytelling” course, Baker teaches top executives of Fortune 500 companies how to use storytelling to be better communicators and, as a result, better leaders. He also writes and blogs frequently on strategic storytelling and related topics.
Baker says, “There are a lot of gaps between what top executives envision for their brands and business, what employees experience in their jobs and what consumers experience in the marketplace. Strategic storytelling can bridge those gaps, reaching beyond dry facts and information to help everyone understand not only what they’re doing, but why. For thousands of years, leaders have used storytelling to get people to see and work towards a future that has yet to unfold. That same strategy can be used by business leaders to advance their organizations today.”
Mob4Hire has announced that it has expanded its line of crowd-sourced mobile testing, usability and market research products in order to help Brands create engaging mobile experiences leading to increased customer loyalty.
Mob4Hire’s announcement of its Version 4.5 platform today includes the enhancement of MobExperience as well as new products (* denotes new product):
1) Mobile Usability Testing and Certification: MobExperience, MobAccelerator and MobStar Certified*.
2) Mobile Functional Testing: MobTest, MobSIMTest*, MobSMSTest*
3) Mob4Hire Mobile Usability Products: MobSurvey, MobA/BTest*
4) Mobile Jobs: MobTasks*
The product expansion adds tools for companies across the mobile ecosystem, including mobile developers, market researchers, product managers, network operators, handset manufacturers, mobile operating system platforms, developer networks and app stores.
All Mob4Hire projects now include a dedicated Project Manager who is an expert in both executing projects and managing the crowd, so developers will be able to leverage that experience to get projects completed faster and at a lower cost. Customers can choose to use Mob4Hire on a project-by-project basis, or retain Mob4Hire’s ongoing MobTestSuite services for end to end mobile functional and usability testing.
In reaction to the rapid increase in the number of testing and market research projects in its system, Mob4Hire has added a live chat support / sales instant messaging window to ensure quick customer response. Version 4.5 also finishes the migration of the Mob4Hire platform to the Amazon AWS services using the Scalr.net cluster for managing growth with a much better fault-tolerant and scalable system.
Users of the new Kobo Wireless eReader now have even more opportunities to experience the joy of reading as Kobo, a global eReading service, today announced that Canadian Kobo Wireless eReader customers now enjoy free, unlimited access to Bell’s Wi-Fi network at any one of Bell’s over 800 Wi-Fi network hotspot locations across Canada.
Canadian Kobo Wireless eReaders are pre-configured and ready to go on the Bell Wi-Fi network, and once at a Bell Wi-Fi network hotspot location, customers simply visit the Kobo Store area on their Kobo Wireless eReader and they will be seamlessly connected and able to browse, download and buy eBooks, magazines and newspapers from the Kobo store – and start reading instantly.
“At Kobo we’re passionate about delivering customers the best possible reading experience. We’re thrilled to partner with Bell to enhance the reading experience for Canadian Kobo Wireless eReader users providing free, unlimited access to Canada’s largest Wi-Fi network,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “Our customers love reading and now they can easily shop our collection of over 2.2 million books – including over 1 million engaging free classics – from their favorite Bell hotspot locations.”