14th February 2011

Trailers For Your Valentine

Reminder: There are 15 days left to get your nominations in for the Canadian Video Game Awards.
Reminder: There are 15 days left to submit entries for the 2011 Design Edge Canada Regional Design Awardsubisoft
Reminder: Digital Media practitioners, don’t forget to fill in the industry survey over at Pixel to Product.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed in today’s conference call to investors that there will be a new Assassin’s Creed infinite ammo game this year, however we will all have to wait until May for more details.

Winnipeg studio Infinite Ammo, the co-developer of Aquaria, has posted a dev diary update for Marian and the Fantastic World of Dreams, and the game thus far looks great. In this very detailed dev diary you read about the process of meshing 2D with 3D and the trials the team has experienced thus far as the game unfolds. You can also hear a sampling of the game’s soundtrack as you read the diary post.

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If you are unfamiliar with Infinite Ammo’s project, the game’s main character is Marian, a beautifully carved marionette who rips her strings from the grasp of ‘The Narrator’ and to become her own master. She becomes caught in the dream world between life and death, learning to her own puppet strings as a tool in her quest to Rocket 5 Studiosdiscover her true identity, and in fitting with today’s universal Valentine’s Day theme, she may even find true love.

Rocket5 Studios has released the first teaser trailer for that studio’s upcoming iOS game XS Force, which the creators will be demoing at GDC 2011. XS Force is an explosive arcade shooter starring characters inspired by some of the biggest action movie stars of the 1980?s, and this trailer lets you get a glimpse of one of the XS Force heroes.

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Rocket5’s previous titles for the iPhone and iPod Touch include Giant Moto and Holeshot Drag Racing as well as amusement apps Alien Booth and iSpoof Walken.

source studioSource Studio has announced new DLC for the recently updated Proto Galaxy. Proto Defense, the first DLC release for Proto Galaxy, will soon be available for free via the game’s Steam page. Check out what’s coming in this expansion:

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Released in October 2010, Proto Galaxy is a turrent defense game that allows up to four players to team up and save the galaxy from an alien force determined to enslave humanity. As Earth’s last line of defense, you must put an end to the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

distribution360Distribution360 has acquired rights to distribute the Cartoon Network U.K. version of Skatoony to French and German-speaking Europe as well as Spain. The company will also distribute the North American version of Skatoony—produced by marblemedia—to the same territories. Skatoony (U.K.) airs on Cartoon Network U.K.; Skatoony (North America) was commissioned by TELETOON, and premiered on the Canadian kids network in English and French this past October. Skatoony is the first animated/live-action quiz show adventure that pits tweens and ‘toons against each other in four frantic, trivia-based rounds. Set in a fantastical television studio in the fictional town of Showtown, the series is anchored by the cartoon duo of hostskatoony Chudd Chudders and his lounge-singing sidekick, The Earl. Each week, they attempt to put together another show, while all manner of mad happenings occur around them. Skatoony Interactive features the “Skatoony Home Game,” a multi-player game where kids play Skatoony in real-time against other kids online.

“We’re excited to be distributing both versions of Skatoony to international markets,” says Stéphanie Röckmann-Portier, Managing Director/Head of Sales, Distribution360. “We’re looking forward to offering broadcasters a library of versioned episodes in order to identify content that best suits their needs.”

“Working with Distribution360 gives us the opportunity to exploit new territories for Skatoony,” says Michael Carrington, Chief Content Officer, Turner Broadcasting. “It’s a fantastic fast-paced game show which is sure to delight new audiences across Europe.”

In addition to Skatoony, D360’s kids slate also includes Splatalot, Ambition Skatecamp, This is Daniel Cook, and This is Emily Yeung for distribution to international markets.

communitechCommunitech’s annual Tech Leadership Conference on March 2, 2011 is the place to be for anyone in high-tech — to hear keynote speakers author Geoffrey Moore and futurist Watts Wacker, share views with journalist and author Scott Berkun, and gain insights from a high-tech power panel moderated by former Global national news anchor Kevin Newman. More than 500 people are expected to attend the largest such one-day event in Southwestern Ontario.

“It’s an action-packed day that will focus on the new fundamentals of business in an era where the power of the crowd shapes everything from marketing practices to purchase consideration, and leading-edge innovation continues to drive rapid change,” said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech.

The Tech Leadership Conference will feature a ‘BIG Conversation’ between Canadian industry leaders — MKS CEO Philip Deck, Sr. VP OSI John Ruffolo, and CTO OpenText Eugene Roman with Geoffrey Moore and moderated by Kevin Newman — addressing the major shifts occurring in the tech industry. Startup companies will also pull back the curtain on latest innovations moving from stealth mode to commercialization in the annual Tech Expo staged at the conference.

Geoffrey Moore is best known as the author of the ground-breaking book “Crossing the Chasm” and is a managing director at TCG Advisors and a venture partner at MDV. Tech leadership attendees will hear from Moore how disruptive innovation can have a positive impact on their business plans. Lecturer, best-selling author, political commentator and social critic Watts Wacker will bring a futurist’s perspective to the Tech Leadership Conference, focusing on navigating the sea of change in business.

Scott Berkun — author of three best-selling books, contributor to publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, and a blogger for Harvard Business and BusinessWeek — will investigate the myths of innovation.

Breakout sessions at the Tech Leadership Conference include the following topics and leaders:

* Myths of Innovation: Scott Berkun
* Developing Your Digital Roadmap: Dan Christian, DanoDigital
* Recruiting Trends: Sharon Rudy, SpencerStuart
* Under Construction: The Sales and Marketing Organization of the Future: John Neeson, Sirius Decisions
* Life After Exit Leadership Panel: Steve Woods, Google; Yvan Couture, Primal; Ron Neumann, Dejero Labs; moderated by Greg Barratt, Communitech.

secure keyCongratulations to Toronto-based SecureKey Technologies Inc., who has received an investment from Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization. SecureKey designs hardware and software solutions to enable the strong cryptographic capabilities of debit, credit and identity smartcards including those within NFC based phones to be used for online authentication and online purchases. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

canonCanon Canada is launching a national print and broadcast campaign, developed with JWT Canada that is uniquely Canadian – for Canadians by Canadians. The campaign, with additional online elements to be incorporated in the next several months, aims to deepen Canon Canada’s emotional connection with its consumers through the telling of important shared moments in life.

JWT Canada undertook strategic sessions with the various business units, which resulted in the notion that people need and want Canon imaging products when the output really counts; be that a photo of your child’s graduation, a retina camera that can detect early warning signs of diabetes or print-outs for an important client presentation. The campaign takes the focus off the product attributes and shines a light on the people who use Canon products.

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14th February 2011

Pikachu Makes Rare Appearance At Metropolis

Pikachu Gets A HugLast Saturday we ventured to the Grand Court at Metrotown in Burnaby to meet up with Pikachu, who was at the mall to celebrate the upcoming release of Pokémon Black and Pokémon White editions with Nintendo Canada – and the five million copies that have already sold in Japan since the game’s launch in that country two months ago. Hundreds of Pokémon fans young and old were given the opportunity to experience the game at the Nintendo DS display, where other activities included free face painting and a colouring page station.

It would seem that the Pokémon tribe has many loyal followers, as evidenced by one young lady who showed up in her own Pikachu attire, spending a good part of the afternoon at the colouring station. Eighteen year old Andrew spent quite some time exploring the game, and stated that he’s been playing since he got his first Pokemon game when he was seven. To date his favourite iteration of the franchise is Pokémon Gold. Kaitlin and Emma

Sisters Emma (12) and Kaitlin (9) were visiting from Kelowna, and between the two of them own ten Pokémon titles for both the DS and Wii. Their Dad will most likely be purchasing both the White and Black editions for his gaming gals, who also have many Pokémon cards that they like to read and organize.

Pokémon Black and White versions offer two different worlds, the Black City and the White Forest, with each game offering locales unique to its environment. Players will be introduced to 150 new Pokémon, Andrew is a long-time Pokemon fanand throughout the RPG style of the game will find new areas and experiences which only become available as the seasons change in the storyline. It is these new features that keep players coming back for more according to Nintendo representative Julie Gagnon, and she confirmed that she’s met many young parents who are now introducing their own children to the world and wonders of Pokémon.

The Black and White editions introduce the Unova region, which is located far away from the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh regions – and will appear differently depending on which game edition you own. Unova is a forested region, dotted with modern cities. People in the Unova region live in harmony with many previously unseen Pokémon, and as most of the Pokémon from other regions don’t appear in the Unova region, visitors are guaranteed to meet many new and interesting characters – some of whom also differ between the two editions. In the Black edition, you will encounter Reshiram, while in Pokémon White edition you will meet Zekrom. You will also find the dastardly Team Plasma, who want to steal all of the Pokémon and aren’t very nice characters at all.

According to Nintendo, when these new game editions launch on March 6th, players Ayahcan get a head start in collecting every Pokémon in the Unova region when they receive the Liberty Pass. The Liberty Pass is an item that is used in-game to hop aboard a ship and sail to a secret location the Mythical Pokémon Victini can be captured.

Victini is a Fire- and Psychic-type Pokémon—the first of its kind. And Victini has the Victory Star Ability, which raises Pikachu Admirerthe accuracy of all Pokémon in battle, so it’s the perfect Pokémon for the new Double Battles and Triple Battles that are introduced to game play with these new chapters in the Pokémon story. Also new is the ability for Random Matchups, where players can battle others around the globe without needing Friend Codes – however a wireless broadband Internet connection and Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection are required to battle others around the globe.

In the Black and White editions you’ll also be able to feel the beat in the Pokémon Musical! Dress Up your Pokémon with various Props, then watch it dance to the music. You can even play the Pokémon Musical with your friends! Just get up to four players together, each with their own Nintendo DS system and copy of Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version.

Both Pokémon Black and White editions are available for pre-order at retail outlets including GameStop Canada, Future Shop and Best Buy, and is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

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