Game Prototype Challenge has announced its Version 2 themes – Immortality and Thin Ice. For this second round, developers have until 11:59pm on December 20th, 2010 to submit their games by posting a link to it on Twitter with the hashtag #GPCv2. Web deploy-able games are preferred but not required, simply provide a download link if your game is run as an executable. Please see the Game Prototype Challenge blog for complete details on how to participate.
A quick message from Capcom has alerted me to the approaching availability of Dead Rising 2: Case West. Developed exclusively for the Xbox 360, zombie fans will be able to purchase this chapter for 800 MS Points on December 27th. Case West will see the two Dead Rising heroes unite to battle back the hoards of walking dead, infiltrating the Phenotrans Facility in an attempt to uncover the company’s murky dealings.
With all new content, new combo weapons to create, new enemies to test them on and the return of the ability to capture those magic moments on camera, Dead Rising 2: Case West continues the Dead Rising 2 experience in both single and co-op play. You do not need to own Dead Rising or Dead Rising 2 in order to play this DLC.
For those constantly on the go, Dead Rising for the iPhone and iPod touch shambles onto the App Store, just in time for the holiday shopping season with a limited-time launch price of $4.99 USD. In the game players must fight their way through a shopping mall that’s been overrun with an army of the undead utilizing anything they can to fight off the flesh-hungry mob.
Like the console games of the same name, users play as Frank West, a freelance photojournalist on the hunt for the scoop of a lifetime. Utilizing makeshift weapons scavenged from the stores and displays, players battle against waves of zombies in the hopes of surviving and making their way to freedom. Items like samurai swords, chainsaws and shotguns will help the player sow a path of destruction through the undead menace. More ordinary items like bowling balls and manikins can also be used to keep zombies at bay.
Zombie hunters the world over know that nothing gives you the munchies like fighting off a flesh-starved undead maw. “Dead Rising” therefore includes a game mechanic that requires the player to scavenge for mall food to stay alive. Finally, just because it’s a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you can’t be social. When a player dies in the game they’ll have the opportunity to send out a distress call via Facebook or Twitter to their friends. If the player is revived, the player and their friend will receive a bonus. However, if the player is allowed to die, they’ll rise as a powerful zombie in their friend’s game.
Social media gurus, if you aren’t busy on February 26th & 27th, then you might want to check out PodCamp Toronto, a free “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts.
A reminder from DFAIT: To ensure that your company is included in the Trade Commissioners Service (TCS) international match-making at GDC 2011, make sure you have your application filled out and sent in to your DFAIT representative by December 15th (that’s the day after tomorrow, btw). Trade Commissioners are actively seeking match-making opportunities for Canadian companies at GDC 2011 in San Francisco with publishers such as CapCom, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Activision Blizzaard, PlayFish, Bandai Namco and Zynga among others. If you are selected for a meeting, a Trade Commissioner will contact you in the weeks immediately before GDC 2011. Meetings will be scheduled at the venue of the buyer’s choice.
Please note the following initiatives planned by the TCS and partners for GDC 2011.
GDC 2011 Prep Camp Webinar – January 11 and 12 (date TBC)
Telefilm is organising a pre-GDC 2011 webinar in co-operation with the Trade Commissioners Service. Canadian companies will have the option of attending on two different dates to receive practical information and advice on best international business development practices when attending GDC – Game Connection.
Canada Business Lounge at the W Hotel – March 1, 2 and 3
The Trade Commissioners Service is pleased to announce that the Canada Business Lounge will be at the W Hotel during GDC 2011. The Canada Business Lounge includes 2 private meeting rooms and an open-concept lounge that will be exclusive to Canadian companies and their clients for meetings. Your local Regional Office will be in touch in January 2011 with more details when the schedule is released.
Canada Networking Event – March 2
Please reserve Wednesday, March 2 in your calendar for the annual Canada Networking Event at Jillians. Registration information will be sent closer to GDC 2011.
Fans of Club Penguin can rally together this holiday season to help provide children around the world safe places to live, learn and play as part of the fourth annual Coins for Change event, allowsing the children who visit the snow-covered virtual world of Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games online to real world causes that matter to them.
Players can direct their virtual donations to provide medical help, build safe places and protect the earth. At the end of the event, which runs from December 17 to 27, 2010, the players’ virtual donations will serve as votes to determine how a $1M contribution from Disney Online Studios will be divided among pre-selected charitable projects aimed at helping children, families and the planet.
“It’s incredible to witness the passion our players have for making a difference in the lives of others, and we love being able to empower them through Coins for Change,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “The kids who play Club Penguin have already helped more than two million people get medical care, enabled 200,000 children to go to school and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats, and we’re confident they’ll rise to the challenge again this year.”
Club Penguin is one of the largest virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Millions of children and families in more than 190 countries play Club Penguin in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Word filters and live moderators monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.
Club Penguin is free to play, however special features such as front-of-the-line access to game features, exclusive parties and opportunities to customize your penguin and igloo require a membership. A portion of the proceeds from each membership purchased supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. The results of Coins for Change 2010 will be announced on January 4, 2011.
Online retail platform Shopify has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures, enabling the company to continue providing advanced commerce functionality to businesses of all sizes.
Shopify, which features a groundbreaking “app store” to help run your shop, will use the proceeds to invest in the growth of the company, including product development and international expansion. Shopify already serves customers in over 60 countries. The company also plans to invest in its technology, infrastructure and developer tools. Shopify is committed to attracting the best app developers to its platform, giving them access to thousands of retailers.
Shopify’s software-as-a-service offering can scale as customers grow: Shopify processes more than $100M in revenue for customers as diverse as General Electric, Tesla Motors, Amnesty International and the Foo Fighters. “Shopify has allowed us to focus on our product,” said Craig Dalton, president and co-founder of DODOcase. “We knew we wanted to have a powerful e-commerce system in the background, so we chose Shopify.”
At the same time, Shopify makes it simple for smaller sellers with little or no programming skills to set up an online shop in just a few minutes. Each Shopify storefront is customizable and gives the user control over a shop’s look and feel, in addition to setting up a streamlined checkout and the ability to easily integrate PayPal or a credit-card processor for payments. Shopify employs a dedicated team of security experts to ensure each storefront meets the highest possible security requirements. The Shopify App Store is a collection of Shopify apps that can extend the functionality of the online store, and has brand name apps such as Quickify, Chimpified, Hubspot, and Vurve.
LG Electronics Canada has named Brandon, Manitoba as the host city of the 2011 LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival. Residents of Brandon showed-off their hometown pride amassing the highest percentage of votes to have their city host the LG Ultimate Winter Festival featuring Hedley. On January 22, 2011, LG will melt away Brandon’s winter blues with a free concert from Hedley and the Plain White T’s, pro snowboarders and other amazing entertainment.
“We are thrilled to make life good for residents of Brandon. People all over Canada voted to win the LG Rocks Your City contest for their city, but the residents of Brandon truly showed their passion and enthusiasm with their votes,” said Colin Bettam, Vice-President of Marketing, LG Electronics Canada. “We look forward to rocking out in Manitoba at the LG Ultimate Winter Festival.”
The LG Winter Festival will feature performances by platinum selling, award winning rock group Hedley and the Grammy nominated Plain White T’s. The crowds in Brandon will also be treated to demonstrations by pro athletes in the LG Snowboard Rail Arena and tons of prizes from the LG street team.
The contest isn’t over yet though! From now until December 31st, 2010, Canadians can still become LG VIPs by purchasing any LG phone from TELUS. VIPs are eligible for daily and weekly prizes and are entered for the chance to win the VIP grand prize which includes:
* Round trip transportation to Brandon (flight, car, etc.) – departing Friday, January 21, 2011 and returning Sunday, January 23, 2011 – from the nearest major Canadian city to Brandon
* Two nights accommodation in Brandon
* VIP access at the LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival
* The opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet with Hedley
* $500 spending money for the winner and his/her guest
Netflix Canada has announced that some new titles are now available on its streaming video service, and others will be made available over the next few weeks. Among the highlights of new additions for Netflix members in Canada are seasons 1 and 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning television series “Weeds,” season 1 of Sony’s “The Big C,” and season 1 of Emmy-nominated television series “Undercover Boss.” Also coming to the service are seasons 1 through 4 of the epic and critically-acclaimed hit TV series “The Tudors,” season 1 of the popular “Men with Brooms,” and seasons 1 and 2 of “Republic of Doyle.” Season 2 of “Republic of Doyle” will be available from Netflix the day after episodes air on the CBC in Canada. “Best of” episodes and the last two complete seasons of “Saturday Night Live” and seasons 1 through 5 of “The Kids in the Hall” will be available, and seasons 1 and 2 of “Merlin” will be available in the first half of 2011. Seasons 1 and 2 of the popular comedy series “Pulling” will also be offered through Netflix.
And last but certainly not least, for those parents currently enveloped in the world of Barbie, to celebrate the recent collaboration between the Joe Fresh Style® brand and Barbie®, Mattel has created its first Canadian one-of-a-kind doll in the likeness of the larger than life fashion icon, Joseph Mimran. A specialist team of five Mattel designers, stylists and cosmeticians worked together over the span of three months, and brought the magic and authenticity of Joe Mimran’s individual style to life (in plastic) in the form of this unique doll.
“Barbie is thrilled to salute one of our great Canadian designers and add him to a very select group of celebrities in fashion, music and entertainment,” says Samantha Taylor, Senior Manager, Licensing, Mattel. “We are also very excited to partner with the Joe Fresh Style brand for a limited collection of vibrant apparel and encourage Barbie girls everywhere to dream big, continue to explore a world without limits, and do it all with great style this holiday season.”
The one-of-a-kind 11.5″ doll, which was presented to Mimran on Thursday, December 9, 2010, features his unique face-sculpt, skin-tone, hairstyle and clothing including a blazer, dark jeans, white dress shirt and his signature velvet loafer shoes. Mattel’s Tammy Abang, principal designer on this project, has created one-of-a-kind Barbie® dolls for celebrities and world-renowned designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Rachel Zoe, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Janet Jackson, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name a few. One of a kind Barbie® dolls are created in-house at Mattel’s head offices in El Segundo, California and are reserved only for high-profile celebrities and significant partnerships. Joe Mimran is the first Canadian celebrity to be awarded this exclusive gift and one of the few males to make the high-profile list.
“I am thrilled to be honoured by Barbie with my own look-a-like doll, says Joe Mimran of Joseph Mimran & Associates, Creative Director, Apparel, Home and Entertainment for Loblaw Companies Limited. “What a fun way to celebrate the BarbieTM Loves Joe Fresh® collection that brings Barbie’s playful spirit to life through stylish and affordable fashions, which is what Joe Fresh is all about.”
The limited-edition Barbie Loves Joe Fresh collection is comprised of items for women and girls including: sleepwear sets and separates as well as boyfriend-style underwear, all priced from $6 to $14 and in stores now. The collection also features a Barbie Loves Joe Fresh tote bag for $2. The colour palette combines light and dark pinks with white and black, and the designs feature cute animal graphics, argyle patterns, Barbie’s silhouette and the Barbie logo.