2nd February 2011

Catching Up On The Indie Scene

drinkbox studiosCo-op PlayStation®Network platformer Tales from Space: About a Blob is now available to North About A BlobAmerican PlayStation®Plus members! Developer DrinkBox Studios has also confirmed that the European release of the game will occur on February 9th – the same week the title will be made generally available to North American PlayStation®Store users.

DrinkBox CEO Ryan MacLean had this to say about the company’s release plans: “We’re very excited that the game is finally coming out! The release is definitely a big milestone for our studio. After two-plus years of development we’re ready to sit back and watch OTHER people have fun with the game!”

Tales from Space: About a Blob is a side-scrolling action-platformer about alien Blobs that land on an Earth-like planet and begin eating everything around them. The game features local co-op play, puzzles, special Blob powers and a healthy dose of humour.

Rusty Axe GamesRusty Axe Games is proud to announce the first playable demo of Dungeon BrawlDungeon Brawl, a free, retro arcade-style RPG. This demo features the first 5 of 9 game levels, with the other levels are expected to be released in early March. Travel back in time with the studio’s free 80’s style arcade RPG dungeon romp, a browser based ode to the great games of our youth. No download is required, you can just click and play.

Wild Games StudioWild Games Studio, creators of Dhaila’s Adventure, has released a trailer for its upcoming game Qwon Tribe, which is expected to be launched for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in March. This energetic game is addictive and will come loaded full of surprises for players. The ultimate goal in latest mobile title is to survive through forty levels of high resolution game play to save the tribe Qwon.

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Just in time for all of the political fun going on in BC, D2D Campaign Solutions would like you to know about their online, mobile, d2d campaign solutionsvolunteer management solution that provides election campaign managers unprecedented power in mobilizing door-to-door campaign volunteers, identifying vote-swinging issues, and growing candidate support at the grass roots level like never before.

Use D2D Campaign Solutions to unlock new voter power, make use of the latest mobile technology, and win your election. Central to differentiating the product are engaging more volunteers into the campaign and enabling real-time geographic and trend analysis allowing you to respond quickly with precision. D2D was founded by Julian Haigh and Andrei Iancu, is based in Vancouver and will soon be launching an app called Canvass2Go.Battlegoat Studios

RTS game Battlegoat Studios has released a ten page PDF version of their comments and thoughts in regards to the Canadian copyright reform progress. The report looks at what the government has said, as well as what is right and what is wrong with the future of Canadian copyright initiatives.

Single Digit LabsNew Vancouver studio Single Digit Labs has released Dog Booth, an iPhone app that puts dog faces on people’s bodies. dog boothSome dogs are funny, some are cute and some look mean. You can say endless things with this app.

According to the app’s description, it only takes seconds to take a picture, have the app find all the faces for you and put 3D dog heads on them. Editing an image is simple and fun, sharing it with everyone you know is extremely fast. Amaze your friends, show them what they don’t expect and make them laugh out loud.

DreamCatcherToronto’s DreamCatcher Games and parent company JoWooD Entertainment have officially announced the launch of ‘Painkiller – Redemption’, the newest addition to the Painkiller Universe. The player will continue the story of Daniel and Belial as they join forces for the first time to end the bloody conflict between heaven and hell. You will discover all new maps, fight off literally thousands of demonic fiends, and lose yourself in the intense gameplay rounded off with an absorbing heavy metal soundtrack.

Reinhard Pollice, Producer at JoWooD is looking forward to the release:”The newest addon brings the Painkiller franchise back to its roots. Breathtaking action, thousands of monsters and exotic weapons are a solid foundation for a Painkiller game! With Painkiller: Redemption we deliver 6 new, thrilling levels for an unbeatable price!”Painkiller Redemption

The game also features a tactical component! While reaching your objectives in each level, you unlock Tarot Cards, which will soon prove to be very helpful! In additional to that, collecting souls of fallen enemies will temporarily transform you into a mighty demon!


· 7 to 10 hours of playtime
· Collect souls to transform into a demon
· Better graphics with detailed ambience
· Over 6000 enemies, more than any previous PK game!
· Equip yourself with powerful tarot cards which can be found in secret rooms
· Up to 1000 monsters per map to ensure an intense battle with the army of hell
· Two heroes – play as the characters Belial and Daniel
· Better AI – there is nowhere to hide! Enemies will get you

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posted in Action Adventure, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Platform, Shooters, Social Media, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

2nd February 2011

Three Different Kinds of Fight From Electronic Arts

EA SportsIf you’ve been itching for a good fight, you’ll be pleased to know that the Fight Night Champion demo from EA Sports is now available on Xbox LIVE™ and the PlayStation®Network. The demo features four of the biggest names from boxing’s past and present and will be the first demo in EA Sports™ history to include head-to-head online play.

In the Fight Night Champion demo, players can jump into the ring for three rounds of action at the famed Boardwalk Hall boxing venue with heavyweight legends, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, or three rounds of welterweight action with current boxing stars, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.

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As the first EA Sports title with head-to-head online play included in the demo, players will also be able to take the four boxers online and showcase their skills to the world before the game is released on March 1, 2011.

Fight Night Champion, which is rated M for Mature by the ESRB, introduces a host of gameplay improvements to the long running, critically acclaimed franchise. The refined punching system, dubbed “Full Spectrum Punch Control”, brings the most accessible and responsive controls ever to a Fight Night title. A new anaerobic stamina system tracks individual muscle groups separately, punishing a player’s over-dependence on a single punch and encourages combination punching and diligent stamina management. In addition, improved visuals, multiple control schemes, realistic damage, boxer-specific animations and multiple stun states round out the key gameplay improvements players will experience in the demo.

BiowareBioware has released a trailer for Dragon Age Legends, which according to the game’s information,  takes place thirteen years after a group of warriors led by the Templar Ravi banded together to prevent an abomination from destroying the Free Marcher city of Kaiten in a hedonistic orgy of narcissism and opulence.

The former Viscount Khedra spent most of his life as a venerated ruler, celebrated for his wisdom. Late in life, he started to change, beginning with the construction of a great coliseum where nobles’ chosen champions competed for pride and glory. What began as games of entertainment quickly devolved into great spectacles of carnage punctuated by outlandish pageantry. The lesser nobles of Kaiten no longer settled their disputes in court, instead grievances big and small were decided by sword for the pleasure of an increasingly bloodthirsty populace.

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The Viscount’s nephew, Ravi, and his allies discovered the source of Khedra’s odd behavior: Khedra was possessed by a powerful Pride demon and was now an abomination. These heroes were able to defeat the demon in a fearsome confrontation, and mysteriously, you were there to aid them.

Now, Ravi is the Viscount of Kaiten and you are one of his most trusted allies. When a mysterious set of circumstances begin to form around his son Eiton, you are the only one he trusts to save his son. Biwaore invites you to return to Thedas in Dragon Age Legends with your friends on Facebook, where you can battle demons and darkspawn in preparation for the launch of Dragon Age II next month.

FIFA 10 UltimateTeamEA Sports has also announced a major new update for FIFA 11 Ultimate Team, the new way to play FIFA 11 via downloadable game modes for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. The update, which includes new features Play A Friend Challenge and Friends Leaderboards plus over 50 improvements, will be live on February 17th. This is the first time major new features for FIFA Ultimate Team have been developed after the game mode released, as the FIFA franchise continues to lead the way in digital experiences for EA Sports.

“We have a thriving global community of over two million fans playing FIFA 11 Ultimate Team,” said Kaz Makita, Executive Producer for FIFA. “Our commitment to these fans is that we will continue to listen to their feedback to improve and enhance their experience year round. Play A Friend Challenge and Friends Leaderboards are both new innovations and features requested by the fans, and will enable players to better connect and compete with friends while playing FIFA 11 Ultimate Team.”

FIFA 11 Ultimate Team is a free-to-play, massively multiplayer trading and team building football game . Gamers and football fans are challenged to build a squad of the world’s best players by earning, buying, selling and even trading players with other FIFA 11 Ultimate Team gamers. Players can take their strategically crafted squads onto the pitch to compete in online and single-player tournaments which are updated weekly. FIFA 11 Ultimate Team gamers can access their console experience from the web for full auction and trading systems.

After only three months, FIFA 11 Ultimate Team continues to grow due to constantly updated weekly tournaments and daily item promotions. According to internal EA date, the game now boasts more than 65 million game sessions played, 171 million trades made, and 275 billion coins spent in the auction house. FIFA 11 Ultimate Team is available for free (restrictions and conditions apply, please see back of pack for details) and can be downloaded through the main menu in FIFA Soccer 11 on any connected PlayStation3 and Xbox 360.

The update also includes over 50 additional refinements that were included based on the feedback from the FIFA community. Some of the additional changes include updates to the auctions to make it easier to track auctions or repost expired items, Power Passing assistance is switched off by default in online matches, and a number of general stability improvements as well as the following:

Play A Friend Challenge

* Play A Friend Challenge enables you to test your skills against your friend’s Ultimate Team, even when your friend isn’t online. Take on your friend’s squad whenever you like with the CPU controlling your friend’s squad. Results are recorded and presented to your friend the next time they log on to their console. Now you can prove who has the best Ultimate Team whenever you are ready to play. Plus, when you return to your console, you can see who played your squad, left you a message, and challenge them to a rematch when you want to play.

Friends Leaderboards

* Compare your progress in FIFA 11 Ultimate Team against friends automatically with personalized leaderboards. Regardless of how you choose to play, you can now compete and compare your progress whether you are a trader, expert team builder, top entrepreneur in the auctions, or simply want to compare the value of your club.

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2nd February 2011

Coke Wants Happiness While CERIC Study Says We Are

cokeWhether you’re heading to the rink for the first hockey game of the season, or grabbing an ice-cold Coca-Cola on the local patio with friends, the moments that make Canadians happy vary from coast to coast. Coca-Cola, one of the original purveyors of happiness, is celebrating its 125th anniversary by finding out what makes Canadians smile.

To mark the occasion, Coca-Cola Canada is sponsoring a comprehensive study that will examine the idea of happiness across the country. The study will explore what generates the feeling and where best to find it, whether it’s spending time with family, working out, volunteering or enjoying a moment of peace and quiet.

“We have been bringing people together and sharing happiness for 125 years,” said Bobby Brittain, Vice President, Marketing with Coca-Cola Canada. “As we look forward we want to capture through this research those hopeful and optimistic moments, be they random or planned, and share them with Canadians.”

In addition to the study, Coca-Cola Canada is expanding the dialogue on happiness by encouraging Canadians to visit iCoke.ca to voice their support for a Gross National Happiness (GNH) indicator. GNH, the concept of monitoring social well-being and happiness as a supplement to pure economic indicators, has been gaining ground in countries like the United Kingdom and France.

The premise behind GNH suggests that leading a happy life has a direct impact on all kinds of critically important individual and collective standard of living issues — from health and wellness to productivity. GNH has become a frequent topic in the Canadian media following the release of Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, which gathers data on social trends related to the living conditions and well-being of Canadians.

“We are inviting Canadians to share their opinion on happiness and whether as a country we should monitor just how happy we are,” said Brittain. “In the year ahead and beyond, we are committed to shaping a better future for the customers and communities we serve and the consumers we refresh.”

Later this year, Coca-Cola Canada will release the results of its national study on happiness. The report will delve into specifics about what makes Canadians happy; where and when they are the happiest; the role of demographics, lifestyle and geography on happiness; and, the simple day-to-day things that put smiles on their faces — everything from sports and popular culture to family milestones to food and beverages. The main purpose of the study, which will be released in phases over the course of 2011, is to help Canadians individually and collectively celebrate and share the things that make us happy and positive – ultimately helping to advance Canada’s social and economic well-being.

cericIt seems Coke won’t have too much of a task ahead of it, because in spite of having just come through a tough economic year, the majority of Canadians are generally happy with their jobs and like the people they work with. Despite job satisfaction, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for their work efforts according to a new survey released today by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). The on-line survey of just over 1200 Canadians, recently conducted by Environics Research, provides insight into Canadians’ perceptions of their workplaces and approaches to their career development.

“As Canadians, we value our connection to our work and to each other. The majority of working Canadians is satisfied with their jobs, like their colleagues and believe their workplace is inclusive. Our findings suggest that, while important, money isn’t always the determining factor in job satisfaction,” said Nancy Schaefer, CERIC Board President and President of Youth Employment Services (YES), a centre of excellence for youth employment and empowerment.

CERIC’s Key Survey Findings

* In spite of having just come through a tough economic year, the majority of Canadians are generally happy and satisfied with their jobs (81%) and like the people they work with (88%).

* Satisfied workplaces are inclusive workplaces. Overall, the Canadian workplace is seen as inclusive and free from discrimination, although visible minority Canadians are less convinced than their non-visible minority colleagues –only 28% describe their workplace as very inclusive compared to 41% of non-visible minority workers.

* Despite high job satisfaction numbers, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for a job well done.

* In today’s active “hidden” or unadvertised job market, Canadians are most likely to turn to their colleagues and co-workers (68%) as well as friends and neighbours (65%) for career advice. When looking for a job, Canadians are most likely to turn to on-line services and company websites for job opportunities (48%), though few use social media or social networking sites to advance their career goals (12% use social networking sites like Facebook; 9% use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn). In general, regardless of the tools chosen to look for a new job, Canadians are fairly optimistic about their ability to meet their future career goals.

* On the career front, younger Canadians appreciate the help and support of their boomer parents. Canadians with and without children agree that parents can help their children’s career development most by encouraging experiences where kids succeed and fail.

What Canadians Said:

In spite of having just come through a tough economic year, Canadians overall are generally happy with their jobs and like the people they work with. From executives to front-line service workers, and across occupations;

* 86% like the work they do
* 88% like the people they work with
* 62% are generally content with their job, with no plans to move on.
* For the 33% who hope to land a new position, it is for one of two reasons—either they are not happy with their compensation or are under 30 and looking for a new job with more responsibility or closer to their field of interest

Even with high job satisfaction numbers, nearly half of Canadians doubt they are being sufficiently rewarded for their work efforts.

* Four in ten (39%) do not feel they are paid a fair amount for the work they do, and
* Visible minority workers are not convinced about the financial recognition they receive when they do a good job — 47% agree they receive the recognition they should vs. 59% of non-visible minority Canadians.

Overall, the Canadian work place is seen as inclusive and free from discrimination. And if a workplace is viewed as inclusive, workers tend to be more satisfied with their jobs overall.

* A majority of Canadians (82%) describe their workplace as either very (39%) or somewhat (43%) inclusive.
* But, visible minority workers are less convinced. Only 28% of visible minority Canadians describe their workplace as very inclusive compared to 41% of non-visible minority Canadians.

The unadvertised or hidden job market is very active. Canadians turn first to their co-workers and friends. Newer internet tools are surprisingly lower on the list of how we find new opportunities.
We first turn to colleagues (68%), friends and neighbours (65%) for guidance and information, followed by:

* Newspapers 62%
* Parents 61%
* Internet 58%
* Mentors 58%
* Government and community employment centres 53%
* Community-based employment agencies 43%
* Teachers or professors 40%
* Career specialists or counsellors 37%

Regardless of the tools chosen to look for a new job, three-quarters of Canadians are optimistic about their career goals in spite of recent tough economic times.

On the career front, younger Canadians appreciate the help and support of their boomer parents. Canadians with and without children agree that parents can help their children’s career development by offering a wide range of opportunities and experience.

* More than half of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 typically characterized their boomer parents as wonderfully supportive (54%); relatively few (5%) characterize their parents as overbearing.

Many Canadians say parents can help their children’s career development by providing them with a range of opportunities and experiences including

* Encouraging them to learn from their experiences (by succeeding or failing) 56%
* Exposure to a range of character-building experiences such as sports and hobbies 51%
* Helping them develop career-related skills 39%
* Encouraging children to volunteer in a variety of places 32%
* Talking to children about career choices 31%
* Exposing them to a wide variety of careers 28%

The Survey was also co-sponsored by TD Bank. The complete report is available on line as a PDF.

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) is a charitable organization dedicated to promoting career counselling related research and professional development opportunities across Canada.

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2nd February 2011

marblemedia Announces New Series For Kids

marblemediamarblemedia and Skatoony creators James Fox and Richard Brookes from UK-based Whole Hog Creations, today announced a partnership to develop Chugga Chugga Wow, an original live-action/animated hybrid television series (52 x 11 minutes) and website for preschoolers. The series is in development with Kids’ CBC.

“We’re really looking forward to developing Chugga Chugga Wow with the creators of Skatoony,” says Mark Bishop, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia. “Through our combined experience with children’s cross-platform properties, we feel this is a great opportunity for both companies to create something entertaining and educational for pre-schoolers.” chugga chugga wow

Chugga Chugga Wow is an educational adventure, where real kids board an animated train and embark on a journey through a cartoon world. At each stop, they interact with characters, and help them solve problems through fun, learning-based activities.

“Chugga Chugga Wow is a hugely exciting concept,” says James Fox, Co-Founder, Whole Hog Creations. “It’s the perfect mix of live-action kids and magical cartoon characters, plus it’s as funny as it is educational. We have developed a strong creative relationship with marblemedia; they are fantastically imaginative and great fun to work with. Chugga Chugga Wow is the perfect project on which to blend our expertise and enthusiasm.”

The Chugga Chugga Wow experience transitions seamlessly online, where kids get to take the journey themselves. marblemedia is developing an interactive world where kids can meet and interact with their favourite characters as well as sing songs and play games from the television show.

Kim Wilson, Creative Head for Children’s & Youth Programming at CBC says, “We’re really excited to be working on this project. The idea of doing an age-appropriate game show for preschoolers is extremely distribution360appealing.”

International distribution and format sales for Chugga Chugga Wow will be handled by marblemedia’s distribution arm, Distribution360.

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