5th May 2011

Write The Wrong Youth Writing Competition

jhrJournalists for Human Rights (JHR), Canada’s largest media development organization, is teaming up with Maclean’s magazine in Write the Wrong, a national essay competition where students are asked to answer the question “What is the single largest problem that we face today and what do youth need to do to fix it?”

The winning essay will be published on Maclean’s website and the author will receive a Rogers Smart phone.  Five finalists will have their essay posted on the website and multimedia platform, CITIZENShift.

“Students are not the future, they are the present” says jhr’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, Ken Zolotar.  “Write the Wrong gives students the ability to share their views on global issues and Maclean’s gives them the platform to be listened to”.

jhr, a Toronto based organization, works to ensure international human rights standards are upheld by working with local media in Africa to educate and create widespread human rights awareness. Write the Wrong is a Canadian initiative that invites youth to engage in discussion about a human rights related issue, and in turn foster human rights awareness.

The winning essay will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges including CBC’s Adrian Harewood, the David Suzuki Foundation’s Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Maclean’s Cathrin Bradbury.

Submissions are currently being accepted. The deadline is May 13th, 2011.

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5th May 2011

Di-O-Matic Plug-ins Now Available

diomatic3D character animation solutions developer Di-O-Matic Inc has released its complete line of character animation plugins with support for the recently released Autodesk 2012 products. As an Autodesk Authorized Developer, Di-O-Matic has updated its complete plugins product line to be fully compatible with the newest offering from Autodesk and is happy to release these updates after the recent official Autodesk release.

The new Di-O-Matic plugins compatible with Autodesk 2012 products feature significant enhancements over previous versions as most plugins received significant updates in addition to now being compatible with the newest Autodesk 2012 releases.

Key updates include:

* Voice-O-Matic,

Di-O-Matic’s automatic lipsync solution plugin for any character rig in 3ds max, Maya and Softimage has received several updates and now offers significantly better results than before.

* Morph-O-Matic v2.4,

Di-O-Matic’s morphing solution for 3ds max featuring a new Game Engine Scripting API for easier integration with game engines via MAXScript.

* Character Pack v1.5,

From muscle simulation to automatic lip synchronization, this all in one suite gathers all of Di-O-Matic’s 3ds max plugins for only 999$, a saving of more than 1400$ if purchased separately.

All Di-O-Matic plugins are available for purchase directly from the Di-O-Matic online store or through any of Di-O-Matic’s authorized resellers worldwide. All Di-O-Matic commercial products come with floating licensing options and one year of premium support.

Registered users with an active support package can request the latest version of their plugins by filling the required form, while registered users with an expired support package can simply renew their support package to get the latest version.

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5th May 2011

Nintendo Canada Confirms Price Drops

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada is dropping the suggested retail price of its Wii™ system to $149.99 and including a Mario™ game with the Wii hardware. Starting May 15 at many stores across Canada, the newly priced Wii system will come in either black or white with the Mario Kart™ Wii game and a matching coloured Wii Wheel™ accessory, replacing the previously included Wii Sports™ and Wii Sports Resort™ games.

Also on May 15, Nintendo launches the new Nintendo® Selects collection of Wii games, a set of popular games that millions of people have already experienced, at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The four must-own games in this collection are The Legend of Zelda™: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing™: City Folk, Mario™ Super Sluggers and Wii Sports, which is available for the first time as a separate software purchase. Parents and video game fans can now easily expand their library of fun, family-friendly Wii games. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for any Canadian-made titles that are designated as Nintendo Selects – if you see any, let me know.

“From the day it launched, Wii has let players of all ages and experience levels have fun with one another,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “The new suggested retail pricing for both the hardware and select games will help create more of these magical moments for even greater numbers of people.”

With Mario Kart Wii now included with the Wii hardware, players will be able to enjoy fun go-kart racing with Mario and all his Mushroom Kingdom pals right out of the box. The Wii Remote™ Plus controller, Nunchuk™ controller and Wii Wheel included in the package will all match the hardware, meaning they will be either black or white. The new black Wii Wheel will also be available separately at a suggested retail price of $9.99.

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5th May 2011

Revelations About Revelations

ubisoftAfter teasing fans on its Facebook Fan Page, Ubisoft has released a few details about Assassin’s Creed® Revelations, the fourth installment in the critically acclaimed and immensely popular video game franchise. Developed and led by Ubisoft Montreal with the support and expertise of Ubisoft studios Annecy, Massive Entertainment, Quebec, Singapore and Bucharest, Assassin’s Creed Revelations presents the most immersive experience available in the series to date and the culmination of Ezio’s adventure. The game is set to release on the Xbox 360®, the PlayStation®3 and Windows PC this November.

In Assassin’s Creed Revelations, master assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of his legendary mentor, Altaïr, on a journey of discovery and revelation. It is a perilous path – one that will take Ezio to ConstantinopleAssassin's Creed Revelations, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilize the region.

In addition to Ezio’s award-winning story, the acclaimed online multiplayer experience returns, refined and expanded, with more modes, more maps and more characters that allow players to test their assassin skills against others from around the world. The latest chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga also includes revolutionary gameplay, allowing players to manipulate the construct of Desmond’s memories and the Animus to decipher the mysteries of his past and gain insight into the future.

“Delivering the final chapter of the Ezio trilogy is an important milestone in the Assassin’s Creed franchise for us and for our fans,” said Alexandre Amancio, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal. “Assassin’s Creed Revelations includes lots of new features and some significant surprises. We can’t wait to show our fans what we have in store at E3 this year.”

Initially launched in 2007, the first three Assassin’s Creed® games have sold more than 28 million units worldwide, and the franchise is now established as one of the best-selling series on next generation consoles. Recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry, Assassin’s Creed has transcended video games, branching out into other entertainment experiences such as comic books, Facebook, novels, short films and more. Additional details on Assassin’s Creed Revelations can be found in an exclusive feature in the June issue of Game Informer Magazine, available this month.

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5th May 2011

Frima Picks Up FITC Award

frima studioFrima Studios and Zombie Tycoon: Icefield Demo have won the FITC award for ‘Best 3D Flash’. Built using a combination of Adobe’s Molehill technology and Frima’s proprietary IceField 3D engine, Zombie Tycoon is one of the most advanced Flash games to be released. The honor was given at the FITC Awards in Toronto on May 3rd, 2011.
Zombie Tycoon Icefield Demo
“We’re thrilled to have been recognized for our achievements in 3D Flash,” said Steve Couture, CEO of Frima. “Luc Beaulieu, our CTO, and our entire R&D team did an exceptional job working with the 3D technology to create the Zombie Tycoon: Icefield Demo. Frima has always focused on new and cutting edge technology, and this award inspires us to continue to be a leading edge video game developer.”

In Zombie Tycoon, players control their very own horde of ravenous zombies! Developed in just a few months by Frima Studios’ R&D team, the Zombie Tycoon: IceField Demo offers three levels of zombie madness. Two game modes are available to try; mild, which offers players a chance to explore and conquer the game world, and chunky mode which offers players the chance to see the full power of the new technology with over a hundred zombies moving on the screen at the same time. Zombie Tycoon: IceField Demo was also nominated for the ‘Technical Excellence in Flash’ award.

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5th May 2011

Join The Undead in MicroVolts

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd is pleased to announce that its new Zombie Mode for the anime inspired,cartoon-style third person MMO shooter MicroVolts is now live…or … undead. The highly-anticipated new mode allows players to become “Zombified” and take on the role of a Zombie Toy in this popular third-person-shooter currently in open beta.  In addition, the company has launched a new trailer that depicts the new Zombie mode in action. microvolts

With the introduction of Zombie Mode even toys can become zombies as infected players take on the role of a Zombie Toy with unique abilities to hunt players with uninfected toys.  Uninfected players will have all weapons available but may not have as much ammo as they are accustomed to playing with which may leave them vulnerable to a “Zombie Toy.”

“The new Zombie mode is great because not only does it introduce zombies into gameplay, but it also forces uninfected players to strategize with new weapons and less ammo than they are used to,” said Howard He, President of Rock Hippo Productions. “As players dive into the new Zombie mode they should also keep an eye out for news of some exciting upcoming events we have this month in celebration of the addictive new mode!”

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In order to fight off the hordes of toy zombies, players will have access to special Zombie Mode weapons. These will come in drop boxes randomly in the middle of a match, so players need to make sure to be the first to get to the box! There will be 4 new Zombie Mode weapons in total, each with their own unique ability.  Two of the new weapons to make their debut include the Firestorm and Blizzard; which both live up to their names!  The Firestorm lights up the competition in a blazing storm of fire, burning pesky zombies to a fine ash and zombies will freeze in fear at the chilly cold whirlwind of ice that the Blizzard dishes out!Micro Volt Zombification

MicroVolts features fast paced, third person shooter action and pits players against each other in a secret battle that has been waged and going unnoticed right in our own backyard for years.  No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war but rumor has it that the uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts. Battle lines were drawn when Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P. -the prototypes A -were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in an all-out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World.  All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared!

With a ton of weapons, inventive character designs, and a huge list of customization features, MicroVolts is destined to invigorate and re-energize the Free2play space. Intuitive controls and a third person view make the game easy to play and fun for both newcomers and veterans of shooter games.  Game modes include the brand new Zombie Mode, Free for ALL, Team Deathmatch, Item Match, Capture the Battery, and many more featuring various maps designed by toy concept.

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