Grand Prize Draw: One (1) Grand Prize draw will be made at 1 pm on Friday September 2, 2011. The Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected among the entries and the name of each winning entry will be declared the potential winner.
Bi-Weekly Prize Draws: Nine (9) Weekly Prize draws will be made every second Friday starting May 6th, 2011. Each of the Weekly Prize winners will be randomly selected among the entries and the name of each winning entry will be declared the potential winner.
All you have to do to win is talk about Tiga Talk by using the form or links on the Contest Info Page to share Tiga Talk with your friends on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, or show them your own Tiga Talk blog, YouTube video or other way you are spreading the good word about Tiga Talk. Please refer to the Contest Rules for full entry and prize details.
Tiga Talk, the companion game to APTN’s television show by the same name, is currently on sale for $1.99 USD in the iTunes App Store, and was developed with licensed speech and language pathologists. Tiga Talk is a fun way for children to develop speech sounds through playful voice-controlled games that can improve speech clarity, articulation, and instill confidence. The app is for parents and speech therapists working with toddlers and children with language delays, as well as any parent looking to give their child a head start in early language development.
Children learn fundamental phonetic sounds, that are the building blocks of language, as they play 23 fun voice controlled games on an imaginative adventure with Tiga and friends. Game play rewards are based entirely on participation, not accuracy, so the child is constantly getting positive feedback as long as they are trying to make sounds.
Game activities include piloting a boat, helicopter, hot air balloon, race car, train, submarine, and even flying a rocket ship to visit the moon. Players can pop balloons to reveal clues to guide them on their adventure as well as knock over obstacles that lay in their path, including towers of tires, ice blocks, hay bales, crates, logs or even moon rocks.
Before each game children are introduced to a new phonetic sound by game characters. They are shown a cartoon image representing the sound and are encouraged to try saying the sound aloud. The app listens to make sure they’re verbally participating and congratulates them if they are and showers them with friendly encouragement if they aren’t.
Tiga Talk’s other features include:
Voice controlled games encourage kids to speak clearly
Game play based on actual speech therapy sessions
Beautifully vibrant graphics and a variety fun learning games designed to engage young children
Entertaining cartoon characters deliver lots of positive feedback
An exciting interactive story adventure
Licensed speech therapists selected the apps 23 core phonetic sounds
Audio and video hints help demonstrate the correct way to make language sounds
A sound meter to measure voice volume levels
Track progress and earn gold stars the more you play
Children are able to practice specific sounds and games
So easy to play young children can even use it by themselves
Here are just some of the benefits to be gained with Tiga Talk:
A great way for all kids to get a head start on language development
Kids learn to pronounce sounds more accurately including syllables, letters, and letter combinations
Help your child improve coordination and strength of speech muscles
Children learn through sound repetition and imitation
Children differentiate between sounds they hear and create a broader base vocabulary
Improve communication between the child’s brain and the body through visual and auditory aids
Improve childhood communication with peers and adults
Instill a sense of pride and confidence in your child
Tiga Talk is rated 4+ and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th gen) and iPad. It requires iOS 4.1 or later. Tiga Talk is developed with the financial support of the Bell Fund.
Fisher-Price Canada has launched Fisher Price Play, a site where moms and gift-givers can easily find the right toy that matches the recipients’ developmental milestone. Also on the site is a Fisher-Price Play Panel, comprised of eight Canadian moms from various locales across Canada who test Fisher-Price toys with their little ones and will blog and tweet about their experiences. Canadians can “meet the moms” virtually on the site by reading their bios and reviewing their posts. Fisher-Price encourages all Canadian moms to join in on the conversation and register on-line to receive play-time tips as well as special offers from Fisher-Price Canada.
“Being a Fisher-Price Canada Mom Ambassador was an easy fit for me, given Fisher-Price is a brand I have used with my kids for many years,” said Tammi, Fisher-Price Mom Ambassador and mother of three young children from Red Deer, Alberta. “I look forward to sharing the experiences me and my kids have with the products to other moms around the country.”
With Mother’s Day just around the corner,Fisher-Price wants to celebrate moms and their tots with its new Celebrating Milestones contest. Canadian moms and caregivers are invited to register information about themselves and their children on fisherpriceplay.ca for a chance to win a “Celebrating Milestones” prize pack of Fisher-Price toys valued at $200, plus a spa gift card valued at $200 for mom to get pampered for all of her efforts. One prize pack will be given away each month for a total of six months. Winners will be drawn on the last day of each month, starting on May 31 until October 31, 2011. Winners will be contacted directly by email, and may be asked to share a special milestone story at that time.
“As a leader in the toy category, Fisher-Price recognizes what moms want for their babies and toddlers when it comes to playtime and helping them grow and develop through play,” said Riza Javellana, mother of two young children and Manager – Marketing for Fisher-Price. “This year, with the Celebrating Milestones contest, Fisher-Price not only recognizes what moms want for their children when it comes to play, but rewards the special milestone moments moms and their little ones share and discover together that contribute to their child’s overall growth and development.”
To help launch the milestone program across the country, Fisher-Price has developed special PlayCentral kiosks that will be set up during special events and in malls across Canada from March to November 2011 that give mall-goers access to a fun-filled space where children can play with the latest and greatest Fisher-Price toys while moms can receive information on the latest products through catalogues and by using the Fisher-Price touch-screen Toy Selectors.
Here are some recent and new releases from a few of our fine Canadian studios:
SkyModo has released free and paid versions of Dog Pile on the iTunes App Store and Android Market. The free version gives a bonus of 50 dog bones for the customization of your dog pack and comes with the Easter Pack that is also available in the full 99 cent version. The paid version of Dog Pile starts gamers off with a 250 dog bone bonus. Players can spend the dog bones in the store, purchasing items with which to dress up your Dog. I have not yet played this game, but it appears to use a combination of tilt physics, pachinko-styled levels and power-ups to match your Dog to the ones in the pile – in a match 3+ kind of way. Dog Pile is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. I have downloaded the free version of Dog Pile, but it will not load on my 2nd gen iPod touch, so I’ll have to get Scott to try it on his iPhone.
Chicken Balls (99 cents USD) by Endloop Systems has taken to the skies. You play as Crash, the bravest chicken this side of New Mexico. It’s the summer of 1947, you’ve just come back from the war and had hoped to hang up your flight cap for good. When a UFO crash lands just outside the nearby town of Roswell you knew you’d have to take to the skies – one more time. At launch, Chicken Balls features 50 levels of physics puzzles, with more levels in coming updates. The game makes use of an innovative mix of slingshot physics destruction and pachinko/breakout styled play, with the Farmaggedon power-up achieved by collecting all of the eggs on each level. Crash can also harness the power of alien technology to make himself bigger, faster and stronger. Chicken Balls is OpenFeint and GameCentre enabled. Future updates will offer more levels, more power-ups and more unlockable animals. Chicken Balls is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
Loud Crow Interactive has a new children’s book out on the market. The studio has released its second Sandra Boynton book, Moo Baa La La La to the iTunes Store. This interactive version of Ms. Boynton’s best selling book “will intrigue and amuse little kids and big people alike, and perhaps even elicit an appreciative snort from the occasional uninvited rhinoceros.”
Moo Baa La La La is narrated by Keith Boynton and includes Country Air, an original instrumental soundtrack composed by Michael Ford. Each of the illustrations, which have been redrawn and recoloured by Ms. Boynton allows young readers to interact with the animals through touch and sound. This young reader app also features “The Big Guy Reads It” with word highlighting to help improve reading skills or the “I want to read it myself” mode which allows children to hear individual words pronounced with the tap of a finger. Moo Baa La La La is $1.99 USD for the iPhone or iPod Touch version while the iPad version is $2.99 USD. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
The debut title from Silicon Sisters Interactive, School 26, is available now for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. School 26 takes a less-trodden path in game play and is aimed at the female tween market, although some older gamers may find this title engaging as well. I do have a copy of the game and will be sharing my thoughts on this new title with you over the weekend.
School 26 follows the efforts of a female student named Kate, who, due to having nomadic parents, is now in her 26th school. Her parents have struck a deal with her, and if she can forge new and lasting friendships with people at the school, they won’t move. School 26 makes use of conversation, mini-games, puzzles and choosing the correct most appropriate emotional responses in advancing players through the game.
The iPad version is $4.99 USD while the iPhone version is $2.99 USD. School 26 requires iOS 3.1.3 or later and does have a content warning with a 12+ age rating for:
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Gamerizon’s newest title is Chop Chop Rocket, a 99 cent (USD) game that features the adventures of lost space explorer Alexis Rocket. This fast-paced one finger tilt and play game features 18 achievements to unlock with GameCentre and OpenFeint leaderboards on which to compete for space supremacy. Chop Chop Rocket is rated 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. This colourful, cartoon-styled game is the 8th title in Gamerizon’s Chop Chop franchise and requires some pretty fast reflexes to use the power-ups, change your speed and navigate through space to make it through the game.
The IGDA has put out a Call for Speakers for its two Leadership Forums. Qualified individuals are being sought who can provide insightful leadership and production-related sessions for the 5th Annual IGDA Leadership Forum US and new this year, the First Annual IGDA Leadership Forum EU, focused on advancing the state of the art in game production and management. Both forums will take place this fall, with the European forum being held in Copenhagen on October 20th and 21st. IGDA Leadership Forum US is taking place at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles on October 27th and 28th.
Toon Boom Animation Inc. has release of its initial line up of fun apps for the Apple community, from mobile devices to Mac computers. Each app has several entertaining features, these vary depending on the app and device used. The Mac AppStore now offers Flip Boom Cartoon and Flip Boom Doodle which are available internationally.
“A natural synergy exists between Apple and Toon Boom Animation, as our award-winning applications are used by the largest animation studios in the world, while Apple products are the most popular devices in the world,” said Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toon Boom Animation. “Toon Boom is an amazing example of the potential that can be unlocked by applications that can run smoothly on any Apple platform.”
Vancouver-based JAH App Development is pleased to announce the release of the fun, interactive Kids Anatomy Puzzle iPhone App is available through iTunes App Store. The Kids Anatomy Puzzle is a series (16 in Total) of body part puzzles with easy tap and swipe controls that lets your child learn the anatomy of his or her body by building each puzzle. Upon completion of each puzzle your child will see and hear the body part they have just completed.
Starting with a basic Boy or Girl head, kids can can choose a part of the face and create a puzzle to complete the face. There are audio and visual rewards upon completion of each puzzle. This game is recommended for kids aged 2 – 10.
IGDA Members: Today is the last day of voting for your Board Members. If you have not yet done so, please check your email for the Election Notification and voting link. We are very close to a quorum, please make sure you cast your vote before 11:59PM tonight. I’ve done my part and voted – now it’s your turn. Please pass along the word to other IGDA members, let’s get this election into the Tasks Successfully Done column. If you did not receive the email or are having problems please contact Ryan Arndt via email at firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
SIGGRAPH 2011 Tickets Now Available For Purchase. Early Bird pricing is in effect until June 17th. Member, non-member and student prices are available for all categories: full conference, full conference single day, basic conference, basic conference single day, computer animation festival. Please see the ticket information page for full details on categories and pricing.
SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver – Make It Home
Congratulations to onX Enterprise Solutions, who has received two Cisco Partner Summit regional awards for Canadian Managed Cloud Partner of the Year and Canadian Borderless Network Partner of the Year.
Don’t forget that nominations are open for the 2011 VIATeC Awards. A little saddened that VIATeC is using the current tide of attention being paid to that recently fired TV personality as part of their promotional efforts, but here are the categories open to Vancouver Island technology companies:
Technology Company of the Year
Emerging Technology Company of the Year
Employer of the Year – can only be nominated by staff
Online Strategy of the Year
Executive of the Year
Employee/Team of the Year
Product of the Year
Member’s Choice for Service Provider of the Year – can only be nominated by a technology company.
The Awards ceremony will take place in Carson Hall at the Victoria Conference Centre on June 2nd. Tickets are $150.00 for VIATeC members and $200.00 for non-members.
Here is the launch trailer for Hothead Games‘ latest entry into the digital download realm. Swarm is scheduled for release on PSN March 22nd (March 30th in Europe) and XBLA worldwide on March 23rd. This is definitely one game I’m looking forward to getting my hands on – I’ve been hoarding most of the MS Points I was given for Christmas just so I can see how many ways there are to squish and dismember these little blue guys.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will already know that Swarm is an action-platformer that allows you take control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and drive them through an intense, entertaining and often suicidal battle of survival. Run, bash, huddle, boost, stack, jump, push and throw your way through gauntlets of death and destruction in an attempt to collect valuable DNA and ensure that at least one Swarmite survives.
Atari has released the second developer diary from its upcoming XBLA, PSN and PC download top-down arcade shooter Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, which was developed at Behaviour Interactive. Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is out on XBLA and PC download on March 23rd and will launch on PSN on March 30th (even though the dev diary says it’s available now).
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a four player, ghost-busting adventure that will take players on a brand new paranormal experience. Players will suit up with their proton packs and assume the role of a rookie hired by the Ghostbusters to save New York City from a disaster of ghoulish proportions.
The action-packed gameplay progresses as players complete jobs as fearless rookies who explore a series of haunted environments that must be cleared of any ectoplasmic threats. The gripping adventure rages on as players encounter gigantic bosses that require a concentrated effort to defeat using a medley of highly destructive weapons including the Proton Stream, Plasma Inductor, and the Fermion Shock. Rookie Ghostbusters will face the dangers of the eerie world alone or with a ghostbusting team of friends both locally or online through the game’s multiplayer capability.
Big Blue Bubble’sBurn The Rope is bigger and better than ever with a version for the iPad launching today! Now is the time to join in the flame-lighting fun with bigger graphics, brighter fire, and Wickman as you’ve never seen him before! Burn the Rope HD also features an innovative new touch control scheme exclusive to the iPad that lets players rotate the puzzle onscreen.
Burn the Rope is a casual puzzle title that was originally released on the iPhone in December 2010. The goal of the game is to burn as much rope as possible on each level – which is not as easy as it may sound. The fire only burns upwards, so the player must rotate the rope to keep the flame going – once all the flames are out, it’s game over! With clever, hard to master puzzle designs for each level and some insects that add to the gameplay in unique and interesting ways, Burn the Rope been one of the hottest apps in the App Store for the past several months.
With 116 exciting levels (and more on the way), Burn the Rope is incredibly fun and addictive, and the new features in Burn the Rope HD for iPad let players experience the game in a whole new way
Additional HD Features Include:
• Apple Game Center support with 30 achievements and iTunes library support
• All-new Bug-Blasting Bonus Rounds!
• Lights Out! Mode – light the way as you burn!
BioWare will be releasing Mass Effect: Arrival, the thrilling final mission for Mass Effect 2 on March 29th. This conclusion to Mass Effect 2 and preamble to Mass Effect 3, Arrival will also include three new achievements (or trophies) for the Xbox 360®, PC and PlayStation®3. The PDLC pack will be available for 560 MS Points on Xbox 360, $6.99USD on PlayStation Network and also available for PC for 560 BioWare Points.
In Mass Effect: Arrival, Commander Shepard is sent to the edge of the galaxy to rescue an undercover operative who may have evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion that has been looming since the very beginning of the series. Returning and playing a prominent role in Mass Effect: Arrival is fan favorite Admiral Hackett, who is voiced by legendary science-fiction actor Lance Henriksen (Alien, Terminator).
“All year, we have been extremely honored and humbled by the reception we have received for Mass Effect 2 from players around the world, including our post release DLC”, said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer, Mass Effect series. “Mass Effect: Arrival is an exciting extension to Mass Effect 2 and will show players just how close the Reapers are to returning and completing their deadly harvest.”
Only two weeks after launching, TVO’s new applications for BlackBerry® smartphones for early learners and school aged-kids, have been downloaded from BlackBerry App World™ over 250,000 times.
Flower Frenzy and Polka Dot Shorts support learning objectives from the Ontario school curriculum and are teacher and classroom tested. Both are designed for BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0 and higher. Polka Dot Shorts is a sequence matching game for kids aged 2-5 that supports the early-learning and kindergarten math curriculum. Flower Frenzy is an entertaining and educational game with three levels of progressive difficulty that uses pictures of flowers to help kids ages 6-11 learn to create sequences.
Both apps teach kids pre-cursors to patterning skills which help build the foundational knowledge required for mathematics in later years. Each app also has a safety feature to prevent young users from making phone calls or sending emails.
“We’re really excited that so many kids are embracing TVO’s latest digital media offerings,” says CEO Lisa de Wilde. “There is a real need for digital content that will engage kids in learning that complements what happens in the classroom environment. We’re happy to help fill the gap.”
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today simplified the process for Canadians who want to change providers for their television, home telephone, wireless or Internet services. Consumers will now be able to switch service providers with only one phone call. Once it has obtained the proper consent, the new provider will make all the arrangements on behalf of consumers to have the services transferred over. The CRTC requires that customer transfers be completed within two business days, except for wireless service where transfers must be completed within 2.5 hours.
“In a competitive marketplace, consumers are always encouraged to explore different options for their broadcasting and telecommunications services,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “The new rules will make the transfer process a seamless and convenient experience, while enabling Canadians to benefit from receiving retention offers from their current providers.”
If they prefer, consumers can also cancel their services by contacting their service provider directly, which can make them offers to retain their business. The CRTC reminds consumers that, when switching to a new service provider, they are still responsible for any termination penalties or other terms associated with their existing contract. Additionally, the CRTC has established safeguards to prevent service providers from sharing confidential customer information with their internal sales and marketing groups during the transfer process.
Following today’s decision, the CRTC has also launched a new proceeding seeking views on whether these safeguards are still in the best interests of consumers and whether they limit a consumer’s ability to receive offers from a service provider. Interested parties may submit their comments by April 18, 2011. They may do so by completing the online form, by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or by fax at 819-994-0218.
Nominations are now open for the Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship, which is presented to the woman who has shown the most outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership — leadership that has significantly expanded the frontiers of Canada’s advanced technology industry. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and create positive role models for women. The Sara Kirke Award for outstanding woman in technology innovation and corporate leadership for 2010 was awarded to Carol Leaman, CEO of PostRank Inc.
Sara Kirke is considered by many to be North America’s first entrepreneur. She arrived in Newfoundland in 1638 with her husband David Kirke, who was soon recalled to England. Sara, however, continued to reside in Avalon, and conducted business as usual from the Pool Plantation. Lady Kirke was a remarkable individual as she managed affairs at the Pool Plantation and became one of the most successful merchants on the English Shore — and was almost certainly North America’s first and foremost woman entrepreneur.
The BCIC-New Ventures Competition: 2011 is now open for applications until April 18 at midnight, with the first seminar in the new nine seminar series taking place on April 4th. The competition dates and seminar schedule have been officially set and now it’s up to the competitors to invest $200 in their technology business idea and learn how to develop it into a profitable company.
As one of North America’s largest technology business idea competitions, BCIC-New Ventures attracts applicants from a wide range of industries including cleantech, media, Internet, information technology and life sciences. BCIC and the New Ventures BC Society invite BC entrepreneurs to submit their ideas to the 11th annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition offering the chance to win a share of the more than $360,000 in prizes.
Added to the mix of prizes to be won this year are the $15,000 Vancity Social Venture Prize and two prizes for Agricultural technologies, valued at $30,000 and $20,000. The competition has also launched a separate stream for Agritech competitors, with events starting March 30.
The competition is open to any BC person, resident or business with a technology-focused idea that has not yet secured significant financing from external investors (i.e. investors other than friends, family and company founders).
The series of nine business education seminars, open to both the public and competition applicants, will take place in Vancouver at the SFU Beedie School of Business beginning April 4, 2011. Students with valid ID can register to attend these seminars at no cost.
Learn from some of BC’s top business experts at our business-education seminars
Network with top professionals in business, law, finance, government and academia
Improve your business and strategies during each round of competition
Receive advice and insight from mentors In Round 3
Present your condensed business plan to a panel of ‘angel’ investors, venture capitalists and industry experts in Round 4
Now in its eleventh year, the main BCIC-New Ventures Competition attracts applicants from a wide range of industries. This year we’re launching a new stream of the competition focused on Agritech ventures in the categories of: primary production, food, and bioenergy/bioproducts (for or from agriculture).
This new program is funded through Growing Forward, a federal/provincial agreement between the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to support agri-food technology innovation and commercialization.
There will be two specific prizes – a $30,000 first prize and $20,000 second prize for Innovation in Agricultural Technology – plus specific events for Agritech competitors who proceed through the four rounds of the business competition. Applicants who register will also be placed into the larger competition with the chance to compete for more than $300,000 in additional prizes.
AOL Canada is proud to sponsor the Interactive Category of the 2011 National Advertising Awards (NAA) that celebrates and rewards outstanding Canadian advertising creativity, delivering fresh new ideas to Canada’s leading brands. In addition to the recognition they receive with the award, category winners will attend the 58th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival June 19 to 25, 2011 in France.
“Sponsoring the interactive competition aligns with our commitment to high-value, premium quality and creativity online,” says Graham Moysey, AOL Canada General Manager, “At AOL, it’s all about creating a vastly improved online consumer experience – what better way than to get Canada’s best and brightest creatives engaged?”
AOL is also working with agencies that are submitting entries to consider using AOL’s award-winning HD content delivery platform, Pictela, now available in Canada. Pictela provides agencies with a broad and highly unique canvas for demonstrating their creativity.
In the Interactive Category, participants are challenged with a brief from Biotherm to recruit new users to their BioLab Skin Solutions. All category briefs were made available on March 2 and the deadline for creative submissions is March 31. Winners will be announced at the National Advertising Awards Gala on May 5 in Toronto.
“Participating in the National Advertising Awards Interactive Category is a fantastic opportunity to submit the challenge of taking our BioLab recruitment animation to the next level to the best Canadian creative minds,” said Bradley Smith, Biotherm Marketing Director. “I can’t wait to see how they’ll translate Biotherm’s biological expertise and its strong Canadian heritage into a complete interactive brand experience that will attract new consumers to the brand.”
“The National Advertising Awards are unique because they are North America’s only major brief-based competition,” says Cam Gardner, President, Adcam Media Group, Owner of The National Advertising Awards. “It’s always a thrill to see the results of unleashed creative thinking against the needs of major Canadian brands. We’re grateful for the support of sponsors like AOL Canada who help make the awards possible.”
Congratulations are due to the Ubisoft Montreal Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood team, who picked up the BAFTA in the UK last night for top Action Game and to the Bioware team who garnered the Best Game award for Mass Effect 2.
I keep forgetting to tell you all about the huge Book Drive that’s been going on in BC, so I left the page open to the site to remind myself because I tend to be forgetful. The next big event is this weekend, March 19 & 20th, at the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters located at 3833 Henning Drive in Burnaby. Drawing directly from the information on the Book Drive site:
“The Big Book Drive is a two-day event aimed to help the less-fortunate and low-income families so that they may gain a better education in the future. Oftentimes after we’ve read a book, we leave it lying around without touching it for years. This is wasteful of Earth’s resources, and it does not have to be so. These books can be used to help others, so make The Big Book Drive your way of giving back to the community. Our goal is to collect as many books as possible. The books will either be sold at used bookstores to generate proceeds, donated to the charities we’re working with, or recycled to be remade into new books. Either way, 100% of the proceeds will be donated, because we want to help others just as much as you do!“
I hope that if you are able to help out, you can. The organization is looking for textbooks, journals, comic books, novels, children’s books, magazines and catalogues. No adult material, newspapers or eBooks on CD/DVD, though.
Students in need of software should check out Microsoft initiative DreamSpark. Verified students can gain access to licensed Microsoft products, including XNA Studio 4, Visual Studio, Expression, Robotics Developer and more. You now have fewer reasons to not get out there and create something. Go, go, go!
Microsoft Canada also offers assistance to small-medium businesses with volume licensing programs designed to save money and get companies creating. It’s worth your time to check out what is available for you.
On Saturday March 19th, let the games begin as YTV WOW! Let it rip with non-stop action and adventure with Hasbro’s Beyblade: Metal Fusion Battle Zone. Beyblade fans can come out to the Real Canadian Superstore at 51 Gerry Fitzgerald Drive in Toronto and battle it out for prizes and gift packs from 10am until 4pm.
Speaking of availability, the Government of Canada has launched its Open Data Pilot Project, which is designed to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data. This project could go a long way towards helping businesses gain access to research data they may require for such activities as market research or even finding new business partners.
As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians, the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway launched the pilot project for an online Open Data Portal following public consultations on the digital economy strategy which saw Canadians asking for open data to be made available in more usable and accessible formats.
“The Government of Canada is launching its Open Data Portal to make a large amount of data accessible through a single window,” said Minister Day. “With this portal, application developers can reuse data for commercial or research purposes to benefit all Canadians in a variety of ways. We want to continue to make Canada one of the best places to do business by ensuring that Canadian entrepreneurs, researchers, academics and voluntary organizations have access to government data in useful formats to help foster innovation, job creation and community services for Canadians.”
This pilot portal will make more than 260,000 datasets from the following ten participating departments available to all Canadians: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Environment Canada; Department of Finance Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Library and Archives Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Statistics Canada; Transport Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat. The pilot phase will take place over a 12-month period, during which the government will continue to increase the number of datasets available to users.
I just found out about this service today, when the company began following me on Twitter, so I haven’t really had a chance to look very deep into the site and get all of the details, but Get George, which is based in Vancouver, looks like it may be a program that is advantageous to smartphone users. Get George is a free download in the iTunes and Android shops, and looks like it could end up saving people some serious money – but as I don’t have a smartphone, and haven’t yet investigated the services offered, please be sure to read the application’s FAQs and service conditions before use.
With the August 23rd release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution drawing nearer every day, Square Enix is looking for a location to open another Canadian studio. Personally I’m rooting for Vancouver, but Toronto and a second Montreal location are also in the running. I imagine that the publisher will be looking closely at incentives offered by each province, and while another studio in Montreal would be convenient for the Eidos Montreal crew, I’m hoping that the proximity of Vancouver to the Square Enix headquarters in Tokyo will give the city an edge in the running. The time line for the new studio looks to be for a 2012 opening, with an initial staff of 100.
Big Blue Bubble’s original, award winning and massively fun rhythm game Thumpies is now available in Apple’s Mac App Store. Now Mac owners can test their skills in correctly matching the beat of bouncing Thumpies, and those with the beat skills can progress through songs and the current 15 game levels, unlocking new Thumpies along the way. Suitable for all ages and already available in the iTunes App store, Thumpies uses a mechanic of bouncing in time instead of just a series of notes. The game features a quirky art design accompanied by a unique musical score composed by award winning industry veteran David Kerr sets Thumpies in a genre all its own.
Hoard™ from Big Sandwich Games will release via Steam for your PC and Mac on April 4th, and will retail for $9.99USD. Pre-sales will begin on March 21st with a limited time “fire-sale” discount of 25%. In addition, sharing with your friends is rewarded, as a 4-pack of HOARD™ can be purchased for the low price of $28.00. Steam Play is supported, meaning Steam users who own both a PC and a Mac only need buy the game once.
The Steam version includes the same fire-breathing fun as the PS3 console release plus some brand new features. The game has 4 modes, over 35 levels, leaderboards, full multiplayer suites (4-player co-op and competitive), and 100+ Steam achievements. In addition, never seen-before features such as Night Mode (for vibrant fiery goodness), a Winter tile set, and new maps are added as a reward for PC and Mac fans’ patience. Finally, cross-play allows PC and Mac users to compete or cooperate in their quests for gold.
zinc Roe’s latest release is now live. Created for the Family Channel, Hot Ticket is a game of musical and economic strategy. Players drag and drop locations onto a map to create “Famburg”, a rocking little town that plays host to shows by a wide variety of fictional acts. “The Temper Tantrums”, “Vagablonde”, and “The Jazz Hands”, are among dozens of hilarious characters created to animate locations like “The Golden Cocoon Mall”, The Hideaway” and “Das Beats Dance Club”. The game features colourful artwork, catchy melodies and an appropriate level of economic complexity for school-aged children. There is a demo version available to try out, and if you like the game, you can register to play the full version. Judging from comments posted on the game’s page, Hot Ticket is on its way to becoming a hit casual title.
D-Box has announced yet another expansion for this week, citing a new agreement with Germany-based FTT (the company’s first European distributor for its commercial theatre expansion) for two new theatres with Netherlands-based Jogchem’s Theatres known in the market as JT Bioscopen. JT Hoogezand and JT Arnhem will each equip its theatres with respectively 20 and 21 D-BOX MFX Seats. With the introduction of D-BOX at these newest locations, Jogchem’s Theatres will have a total of four movie theatres that offer D-BOX’s motion experience. In addition to the sale of these systems, this deal will also generate licensing fees payable to D-BOX in accordance with the systems’ utilization.
Conservatory Canada invites piano students from across Canada to put their compositional skills to the test for the first annual Creative Composer’s Competition. Launched as a partnership between Conservatory Canada, Mayfair Music Publishing and Long & McQuade Music Stores, the contest is a unique opportunity for budding composers of all ages to let their talent shine, says Conservatory Canada national executive director, Victoria Warwick.
“There are many students across Canada who love to compose music in all styles,” says Warwick. “We hope this competition will inspire and encourage them in this creative pursuit.”
Piano students of all ages have until May 31 to submit entries through the Conservatory Canada website. Submissions should be written in a contemporary musical style – Jazz, Country, Latin, and Broadway – as included in Conservatory Canada’s Contemporary Idioms Syllabus for Piano.
All submissions will be reviewed by Conservatory Canada examiners with compositional skills, Warwick says. Winners will be announced at Conservatory Canada’s national convocation ceremony in November, and winning compositions will be included in a new Mayfair Music Publication.
“Composition is a natural part of our Contemporary Idioms program,” notes Warwick. “The Creative Composer’s Competition will allow students to showcase their fine work, and by compiling the best-of-the-best in a new publication, teachers and students across Canada will be able to enjoy them.”
Vancouver’s Slick Entertainment has launched the next iteration of Scrap Metal™, this time to the iTunes App Store. Scrap Metal for iPad, iPad 2, iPhone and iPod Touch, is due for release on March 11th, 2011 for $2.99.
Drift around corners with guns blazing and take out legendary competitors in the fast-paced, top-down racer, Scrap Metal™! Fight your way through four different game modes filled with explosive, action-packed missions, and compete with your friends on the Game Center leaderboards. Amazing graphics combined with a completely new super intuitive input method makes this a game you can’t afford to miss!
We will (hopefully) be taking it iOS version of Scrap Metal for a spin around the track this weekend to see how it translates to the small screen, if updates to Scott’s iPhone go well. The game is not compatible with 2nd generation iPod Touches, so I can’t play it, and Scott can’t risk updating his iPhone during the week, just in case the update doesn’t go well, and we all know that OS updates can sometimes go sideways. Scrap Metal does support the following hardware: all OpenGL ES2 devices: iPad, iPad2, iPhone (3GS and better), iPod 3rd gen. (32Mb or more) and iPod 4th generation. Retina display and Game Center supported.
Scrap Metal is also available on Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 points and is rated E10+ by the ESRB, with Mild Violence, Mild Suggestive Scenes, Alcohol and Tobacco Reference. There is a demo available for the 360, so if you haven’t yet, I recommend trying the game, it’s a load of fun to play.
Nickelodeon and Budge Studios present Dora’s Ballet Adventures, an Application based on the primetime musical special of the same name, premiering Monday, March 14, 8-8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.
Available on iTunes today, Dora’s Ballet Adventures will be available for the iPhone, iPod Touch ($1.99usd) and in HD for the iPad ($3.99usd). This App contains activities specifically designed for preschoolers including: helping Dora dance with simple finger swipes and gestures, matching animals while using the built in microphone to make animal sounds, and playing songs while learning about different musical instruments. In addition, the App also teaches reading and allows preschoolers to follow along with Dora’s voice, read by themselves, or have the story read to them, all while learning Spanish words and phrases.
In the primetime special, “Dora’s Ballet Adventure,” Dora’s dance class is having a big show for all of their friends and family. Dora is opening the show and can’t wait for her family to see her dance! She just needs her dance slippers, but the delivery duck gives her scuba flippers instead. It’s a dance-filled adventure as Dora and Boots play “follow-the-bunny” to make their way through Bunny Hop Hill, dance in the animal hoedown across Benny’s barn and rush to the show aboard the dancing train.
In 2010, Dora the Explorer celebrated its 10th anniversary and remains one of the top preschool shows on television. Dora the Explorer, which can be seen in 151 markets and is translated into 30 languages, has been honored with awards including the Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Imagen, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, Parents’ Choice Award, the Television Critics Association Award and has received 16 Daytime Emmy nominations.
Zincroe’s will be launching their latest app, a Stella and Sam adventure, in the iTunes store on March 10th. Into The Snow We Go revolves around a missing toboggan and young readers will have to help Stella and Sam solve a series of quests to find it. The activities featured in this tale include Pictures in the Snow, Snowman and Under the Snow.
Based on the children’s books by Canadian author Marie-Louise Gay, The Stella and Sam Adventures for the iPad are a wonderful way for families with small children to enjoy and experience the same playful world of Stella and her little brother Sam as seen in the animated TV series.
Each adventure takes preschoolers on a quest and features:
* Four original animated story chapters
* Three open-ended, age-appropriate games
* Ten minutes of continuous storytelling
* Game replay
* Quick navigation by chapter and game
marblemedia interactive and Teletoon have flipped the On switch for Skatoony’s web page, which is filled with games, show information, downloadable craft projects and videos. Skatoony is a combined live action and animation quiz show for kids. Each week the two hosts, Chudd Chudders and The Earl pit 3 animated characters against real kids who hope to survive the show’s shenanigans, temperamental producer and environmental challenges to be declared victorious.
Several Canadian titles have been named as finalists for the AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards which will be presented at DICE Las Vegas this coming February 10th. The dev teams from EA Canada will be competing against each other in the Sports Game of the Year category with both FIFA Soccer 11 and NHL 11 receiving nominations. The debut title for United Front Games, ModNation Racers, has been named to the Racing Game of the Year category.
Relic Entertainment’s Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising has been nominated in the Strategy Game of the Year category, while Ubisoft Montreal action title Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction is competing in the Achievements in Animation category. Bioware has been named to the Outstanding Character Performance category for Mass Effect 2 – Male Shepard, while Mass Effect 2 was given the nod for both the Outstanding Achievement in Story, Role-Playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year and Game of the Year categories.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has been nominated for an Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Award as well as Adventure Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play. The Ubisoft Montreal blockbuster will also be going head to head with Bioware’s blockbuster Mass Effect 2 as they compete in the Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction category. Best of luck to all of our Canadian nominees!
Vancouver Film School graduate Nicholas Yonge has officially launched his indie game development studio krangGAMES, which will initially be focusing on flash games with an eye to expanding its products to other platforms in the future. The studio is currently developing DotGuy vs The Galaxy, which is an action-puzzle game where the player must successfully guide DotGuy out of a damaged spaceship. According to the game’s description, DotGuy vs The Galaxy will feature a campaign mode, unlockable modes of play, multiple playable characters, and user-made content via the Assembly Level Editor. krangGAMES also developed a game named Prior, which was created for the Ludum Dare Competition #19. Prior is a msyterious 2D platformer that was built in Adobe Flash, and in following with the LD19 theme of Discovery, players must navigate through a dark facility in an effort to figure out who they are, what has happened, where they are, and why they are there, developing their story piece by piece.
Hothead Games has brought Swarm creator, Dr. Mike Hayward, out of his dark and windowless office for a few short minutes to explain how players can control their “Swarm” in this first edition of “Ask Dr. Mike.”
Since Dr. Mike tends to speak in programming code without even realizing it, Hothead brought in “man of the people” and “regular guy”, Lead Designer, Pete Low, to bridge the gap and explain to us laypeople the unique and fun way to control your Swarm. Swarm is the upcoming and ultra addictive action game from UTV Ignition and Hothead Games set to release early this year. Dr. Mike did his PhD research in the field of artificial intelligence, and while his research didn’t directly relate to causing the horrific deaths of little cute and pudgy blue creatures, he has harnessed his work to realize that vision in Swarm. In the newly released video, Dr. Mike shows us everything from how to jump, group up, huddle and even stack and bash your Swarmites.
Swarm gives players control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and drives them through an intense and often suicidal battle of survival. Swarm is the first game to feature mass character control, where players move all the Swarmites at once. Steer the flock of pudgy, clueless little blue morons through the game and they naturally flock and flow around obstacles. Creatively combine swarm moves to work your way through a relentlessly dangerous and hilariously brutal environment. Compete against friends to get the high score by deftly moving through the world and cleverly solving puzzles the game throws your way. Swarm is rated T for Teen by the ESRB
EA SPORTS™ and Virgin Gaming™ have penned a new agreement which names Virgin Gaming as the official worldwide provider of online tournaments for EA SPORTS. The agreement covers all head-to-head competitive play, pay-to-enter and sponsored tournaments for select EA SPORTS console video games.
As part of the agreement, the Virgin Gaming tournament platform will integrate directly with select EA SPORTS titles offering seamless web functionality and enhanced community tools for competitive gaming across Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 consoles. The first tournaments will begin early 2011, with details to be announced in the near future.
“EA SPORTS is the leading sports video game brand and publisher in the world, and we are thrilled to offer our members the opportunities to compete in some of their very best multiplayer sports games,” said Rob Segal, CEO of Virgin Gaming. “Virgin Gaming is a unique convergence of competitive gaming, video games and social/community networking, and we are excited that EA SPORTS shares our vision for the platform and its potential.”
“Competitive online gaming is an increasingly popular component of our industry and a great way for EA SPORTS and Virgin Gaming to help connect gamers around the world through the global language of sports,” said Peter Moore, President of EA SPORTS. “Virgin Gaming demonstrates the system-wide integrity we desire, and this is a great opportunity for EA SPORTS fans to experience secure and impeccably managed online tournaments for some of our top titles.”
“Gamers have been extremely curious,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “Since there hasn’t been an Old School hardcore competitive title in quite some time, gamers seem like they can’t wait to get their hands on Occupation Mode. We hope that these screenshots hold them over until Occupation Mode goes live, which, we promise, will be very soon.”
What’s New in Occupation Mode:
· New maps
· Territory capture and control – the two essential ingredients of a competitive title
· New team-based action and coordination
· Ability to set time-challenges – game creators determine how long one team has to hold all points on map for the win
· Opportunity to test out recently purchased or unlocked weapons in new, challenging environments
“With Occupation Mode, we offer players a great mix of flexibility and raw competition,” added Ho. “Some players want an experience that is nothing less than a fight to the death, with matches lasting countless rounds until one team finally emerges victorious from the firefight. For others, it’s about light, scrimmage with friends. We are proud to serve both communities of gamers with this latest update to M.A.T.”
Mobile IT management solution provider Rove has announced the rapidly growing adoption of its award-winning solution, Rove Mobile Admin, a secure smartphone- and tablet-enabled IT management solution giving IT staff unprecedented mobile access to incident detection, diagnosis, triage and resolution.
Spurring the surge of interest and uptake has been Rove’s Dashboard, functionality that aggregates alerts, alarms, notifications and tickets from IT monitors and incident management systems, presents them to IT administrators directly on their mobile device’s screen, and makes it possible to drill down quickly into problem details to identify the cause and implement a fix.
“We use Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager to monitor a wide variety of security and server health issues,” said Jeff Rountree, Global Network Manager for Dover’s Pump Solutions Group (PSG), a world-leading manufacturer of industrial pumps and compressors. “While email alerts for warnings and errors are available to us, setting them up takes a number of steps and our time. With the Rove Mobile Admin Dashboard my team can view alerts directly, without the need for any email escalations. The added value is being able to receive alerts regarding our Exchange and/or Blackberry servers even if they’re offline – as long we have network connectivity we can get the Rove Dashboard alerts and begin taking corrective action.”
“There is a growing awareness within IT organizations that robust, proven mobile solutions are required to effectively manage their networks and infrastructure,” said Russell Ure, President and COO, Rove. “Rove Mobile Admin is increasingly seen as the preferred solution to address these needs.”
Endloop X has announced their game Please Stay Calm, and the studio claims that you have not played this type of game before. Not only will it amuse you and your online friends, it will also help prepare you for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Well, if not apocalypse, then at least a mild case of zombies.
If this sounds like your cup of tea and you have an iOS device for the initial roll-out, feel free to here sign up here as Endloop X is taking applications for early access.
Here’s a sneak peak of some of the unique features we are building for Please Stay Calm:
* Innovative co-operative gameplay
* Unique location based exploration that lets you play on-site as well as remotely
* Immersive alternate reality
The team will be rolling out the title city by city, as well as platform by platform. On a side note, Endloop X is looking for a PHP developer to fill a contract position. Know anybody?
Hoping to show that not all robots are purely cold and mechanical, Thandros Media presents “Fun With Thandros,” a playful new iPhone app featuring a fun-loving robot who is sure to thrill little ones and big kids alike. This delightful app features four classic games: Play, Maze Quest, Stories, and Twins.
Jeffrey Pierson, the creator of the characters featured in the app, worked with the programmers at Thandros Media and author Mike Jackson. The team understood that children love digital gaming and grasp it at a faster rate than anyone else, but for their first app wanted to incorporate a classic style and varied gameplay mode that many apps seemed to be lacking – and thus, “Fun With Thandros” was born.
“I first drew Thandros for my nephew,” says Pierson, “and he really liked him, so I started to think about what he would act like, and who some of his friends could be. It was a lot of fun to come up with this world, and I’m looking forward to adding to it in the future.”
The new app introduces kids and their parents to Thandros, a happy, friendly robot who loves to go on adventures and isn’t afraid to undertake a quest or a challenge. Toddlers can enjoy meeting Thandros in the “Play” mode, where they can tap on the robot and see how he reacts. The preschool set and older can choose “Stories,” with their choices throughout the course of the tale affecting its ultimate outcome, or “Twins,” a matching game that reinforces memory skills. Finally, big kids are sure to love “Maze Quest,” which takes Thandros on a journey through simple to complex mazes in his efforts to halt the evil Professor Stouch’s dastardly plans.
With its colorful, hand-drawn graphics, cheerful music, and exciting sound effects, “Fun With Thandros” is sure to provide hours of entertainment for children of all ages, while teaching them important lessons about sharing, hard-work, and determination. Fun With Thandros 1.0 is $0.99 USD and available worldwide exclusively through the iTunes App Store in the Games – Kid’s section.
Ubisoft announced today that the Animus Project Update 2.0 downloadable content (DLC) for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system is now available on XBOX LIVE® and PlayStation® Network for download for free.
The Animus Project Update 2.0 includes a brand-new game mode and brand new map for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer. The Pienza Map provides the perfect free-running playground where predators and targets can blend and disappear.
In the new Chest Capture Multiplayer Mode, two teams, comprised of three players each, partner with fellow Templars to either defend or capture Chests. The “Capturers” must use their HUDs to locate and capture the chests, while “Defenders” must use their skills and quick reflexes to track down their foes and protect the chests.
Also included in Animus Project Update 2.0 is the new “Templar Score” feature. To achieve order and maintain competition, Abstergo created the Templar Grade. Updated weekly and based on the users scores of the previous four weeks, the Templar Grade splits recruits in 10 specific slices – each representing part of the hierarchy of the community. The goal is to reward diligent work by Abstergo recruits. Assassins’ Creed Brotherhood is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.
BioWare™ and Electronic Arts Inc. announced today that Mass Effect™ 2 is now available on the PlayStation 3 for $59.99 in North America at retail and on PlayStation® Network*. The PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2, which received a perfect 10 out of 10 score from PlayStation: The Official Magazine, will include six hours of bonus content, including ” Kasumi – Stolen Memories”, “Overlord” and the award-winning “Lair of the Shadow Broker”.
“The PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2 offers gamers a great entry point to the Mass Effect experience,” said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect franchise. “We’re extremely excited and proud to now bring PlayStation 3 owners the opportunity to explore the rich and tumultuous universe of Mass Effect and shape the story and events within it by the individual choices they make.”
Mass Effect Genesis, an interactive comic from Dark Horse Comics and BioWare, will also be available today exclusively on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, giving players a high-level overview of the events of the original Mass Effect. The interactive comic offers players the chance to make critical choices that will affect their storyline in Mass Effect 2 and beyond. Mass Effect Genesis is included in the Cerberus Pack, a downloadable content pack included for first time purchasers of Mass Effect 2 on PlayStation 3. Players who do not have original access to the Cerberus Pack can purchase it for $14.99 on the PlayStation Network. Mass Effect 2 on the PlayStation 3 has a MSRP of $59.99 in North America and is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.
International publisher 505 Games and Ontario developer Reverie World Studios have penned a publishing deal for the studio’s upcoming massively multiplayer online real time strategy (MMORTS) title Dawn of Fantasy. Set in the massively multiplayer fantasy world of
Mythador which supports its own living economic, trading, development and diplomacy systems, players will be given the opportunity to leave their mark on the land’s already war torn history when Dawn of Fantasy for PC is launched on June 3rd, 2011.
Offering a fresh perspective on the fantasy RTS genre, Dawn of Fantasy will deliver a persistent world war experience like none before.Thousands of Players living, building, exploring and fighting together to crush with AI controlled strongholds and empires, in a rich tapestry of story-driven encounters that help to build upon the already weighty single player campaign experience. In a world that continues to trade and evolve even after logging off, Players will also be able to test their armies’ constitution in matched head-to-head, multiplayer encounters on their road to becoming the biggest city-state in Mythador.
Each of the three different races available to players – elves, men and orcs – offer a radically different playing style based on a carefully balanced system of strengths and weaknesses. With an in-game narrative driven by a dramatic historical background, Dawn of Fantasy will combine rich storytelling with compelling gameplay to provide a strategy experience to appeal to MMO and RTS fans alike.
“Dawn of Fantasy is nothing short of the next step in the genre, highlighting the best elements that MMORTS games have to offer with just the right level of considered innovation,” commented Ralph Pitt-Stanley, 505 Games. “In what we feel is an underrepresented genre, we’re confident that Dawn of Fantasy will have what it takes to stay in the hearts of MMO, RTS and fantasy fans for a long time to come.”
“As we catch a glimpse of the finish line after many years of development, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with 505 Games,” said Konstantin Fomenko, Reverie World CEO.“Their dedication, ambition, and extensive history in the strategy genre will prove indispensable as we work toward completing our upcoming MMORTS, Dawn of Fantasy.”
Designed with low system requirements in mind, the Dawn of Fantasy engine will nonetheless render armies of thousands of units and hundreds of terrain objects on screen for epic battle encounters. Once the dust settles on the in game campaigns, players can try exploring their creative side by using the powerful map editor to design the fantasy encounters of their dreams.
Garage Inc., TransGaming Studio’s latest title, which launched to critical acclaim last week, is now available for the PC. The strategic time management game can be purchased at GamersGate for $9.99 USD. Now PC gamers can experience the challenge of operating an auto repair shop as Italian immigrant Angelo while dealing with finances, prohibition and the mob in 1920’s era Chicago. Earn money and live the American dream while keeping your customers happy, hiring new automotive specialists and dealing with special jobs for the local Mafioso.
Bioware has released information on another region in the Dragon Age 2 world. Sundermount is the highest mountain the range surrounding Kirkwall, and folklore gives the mountain a fearsome reputation. Legend says that Sundermount was the site of a vicious battle where both sides unleashed horrors into the waking world, and unholy creatures prowl the heights to this very day, unaware that the war for which they were summoned is long since over.
bnotions is inviting people to sign up for the beta of their upcoming location-based squad espionage game Urban Ops. According to the game’s blog, bnotions is hoping for a Toronto launch around February 15th, when they hope to add some fun for the users of FourSquare and other location-based services. The premise behind Urb-Ops is to turn your city into a game board complete with teams, upgrades, competitions and prizes. The company also states that they have some cool long term plans built around: real-time, augmented reality, minigames, sponsorships, playing cards, social media integration.
Developers are invited to enter the Content 360 Digital Creativity Festival Competitive Showcase to pitch your newest concepts in audience engagement to the global TV & media industry at MIPTV 2011 in Cannes, France this April 4th – 7th. The competition features four categories and offers your company the unique opportunity to win international recognition, meet new business partners and secure development contracts from prestigious media groups. Entries will be accepted until February 14th 2011
Interactive & Cross-Media Digital Entertainment Formats: FremantleMedia and RTL Group are looking for ideas that are strongly anchored in the digital space and fully adapted to the all-digital, all-connected world of today. Ideas should go beyond a TV experience with an online extension, focusing on multi-platform implementation and transmedia consumption. Submissions can include online apps, mobile apps, social media and gaming concepts.The winner of this category will be awarded €10,000 (approximately $13 000.00 CAD) in funding to further development and jointly exploit the winning idea.
Smart Phone App For Youth Engagement: The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is looking for apps to be developed as a companions or standalone products in relation to the NFB documentaries “Sexy Inc.” and “Staying Real,” which explore sexual stereotypes and hypersexualisation of preteens and teens in media. The winning app should demonstrate that smart phones and rich media tablets can be effective educational tools while being entertaining and engaging through the use of the latest digital technologies. The winner of this category will also receive a €12,000 (approximately $15 000.00 CAD) development contract.
Online & Social Game: Showcase your original social and online gaming ideas with innovative game design and similarly creative business models. Submissions should employ interactive features, social media elements and in-game revenue sources that engage the player community, such as play-along or pay-along content. Ideas can be based on a TV programme, film, toy character, or an original concept with a strong focus on a social, online or mobile experience.
Rich Media Tablet & Social TV Apps: Showcase the latest rich-media applications for smartphones or tablets that create deeper interaction with TV content through dual-screen viewing. These TV Apps can be downloadable on rich media tablets and smart phones or can be accessed online through web browsers. Concepts can be innovative new TV/Web interfaces, ideas and apps that create communities around TV programmes.
Loud Crow Interactive has announced that the studio has partnered with bestselling children’s author and illustrator Sandra Boynton to develop and publish digital interactive versions of Boynton’s popular children’s books. Boynton has written over fifty books including four that reached the New York Times best sellers list, and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
The partnership will see Loud Crow develop and publish interactive digital books under a new imprint, Boynton Moo Media. The digital books will be based on Boynton’s titles, which include the popular Moo Baa La La La, The Going To Bed Book, and Barnyard Dance. The book apps will be produced for a variety of devices such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Boynton is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter and record producer, with three gold record albums, and future plans also include musical apps that will feature Boynton’s well-known recordings.
Boynton Moo Media joins the PopOut! line of digital books including PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit which has earned industry awards for design and innovation. “As soon as I saw Loud Crow’s exquisite PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit, I knew I’d at last found the perfect collaborator for bringing my books into the digital realm, says Sandra Boynton. “It’s so exhilarating to work with Loud Crow’s elite team of wildly original developers. Plus they all have very cool Canadian accents.”
“Loud Crow has been seeking partnerships that would build upon the early success of our PopOut! brand of books. We’re extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sandy and her team to bring her line of popular children’s books to the digital medium. The Boynton Moo Media imprint allows Loud Crow to further diversify its catalog with quality interactive content that will provide a unique and rich reading experience to Sandy’s already wonderful books,” says Calvin Wang, Founder and President.
The first Boynton Moo Media title that will be produced is The Going To Bed Book which Publishers Weekly names as being one of the best selling children’s books of all time. The digital book will feature innovative interactive elements including touch and gesture-based animations, audio, and narration. Like all of Loud Crow’s books, The Going To Bed Book app will offer the educational read-to-me mode and word-repeat-by-touch functionality and will be narrated by British invasion singer, Billy J. Kramer. The Going to Bed Book app is currently scheduled for release in February of 2011.
The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) has announced that Chris Arsenault – Managing Partner at iNovia Capital Inc. – will become the third Co-Chair of Canada’s principal innovation conference. A veteran early-stage investor and technology entrepreneur, Mr. Arsenault will join standing Co-Chairs Rick Nathan and Robert Montgomery in overseeing the organization and execution of CIX.
“We are thrilled to welcome Chris Arsenault to our leadership team,” said Rick Nathan, Managing Director of Kensington Capital Partners Limited. “As an experienced technology investor and proven entrepreneurial success, as well as major figure in the Quebec innovation community, Chris brings an invaluable perspective and a wealth of expertise to CIX.”
“An active Advisory Board member for several years, Chris has already made a profound contribution to the success of CIX,” continued Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media Ltd. and First Maximilian Associates. “We’re looking forward to seeing Chris take an even more integral role in directing the conference. With his help, I am confident CIX will deliver an even greater value to the innovation community in the years to come.”
Chris Arsenault is Managing Partner at iNovia Capital and has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for seventeen years. In addition to CIX, Mr. Arsenault currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Airborne Technology Ventures, DFT Microsystems, Fixmo, Plastic Knowledge, Reflex Photonics, and Woozworld. Mr. Arsenault is an active board member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association and of the Silicon Valley-based C100 Organization (the Top Canadians in the Valley).
The FIFA President had the pleasure of welcoming a special guest to the Home of FIFA this week when Nenad Stojkovic, FIFA Interactive World Cup Champion 2010, joined Joseph S. Blatter to celebrate the tournament’s entry into the latest version of the Guinness Book of Records.
The FIFA Interactive World Cup is now officially the largest gaming tournament in the world, with 775,000 competitors taking part in the 2010 edition of the event. This event climaxed in Barcelona in May 2010 when Nenad was crowned champion after defeating all challengers at the Grand Final.
“The FIFA Interactive World Cup is of great importance to FIFA’s portfolio of events” said Mr Blatter, “the tournament gives us the opportunity to engage with a wider target audience through a platform which is of high relevance to the next generations of football fans”.
These words were echoed by the Chief Editor of the Guinness World Records, Gaz Deaves, who congratulated FIFA and its Partners EA SPORTS™ and Sony Playstation, saying “The strength of the FIFA Interactive World Cup is a hugely impressive achievement and its 775,000 participants are a testament not only to the popularity of sports videogames but also to the incredible effort it takes to organise the biggest gaming tournament in the world. We are pleased to award this record to FIFA and look forward to seeing it broken in 2011.”
This year’s edition of the FIFA Interactive World Cup now promises to be larger than ever, breaking its own record for the number of competitors. The tournament has a new format this year, with six online seasons making the event more accessible than ever. FIFA Interactive World Cup Champion Nenad has also committed himself to helping to improve the skills of fellow players all over the world. Every Friday a selection of Nenad’s favourite tips and tricks will be hosted on the FIFA Interactive World Cup section of the FIFA web site.
Pennsylvania-headquartered iPipeline®, a leader in on-demand software that supports marketing, selling, and processing solutions for the nation’s top insurance companies, has acquired the assets of Vancouver-based GaleForce® Solutions. GaleForce is a market leader in providing advanced CRM with client management, productivity, compliance and security tools, and industry-specific integrations to broker-dealers, banks, wealth management advisors, insurance agents, and other financial services professionals. The strategic acquisition establishes iPipeline’s immediate Canadian presence and brings additional key employees with CRM and related experience in financial services. iPipeline currently does business with a significant number of Canadian customers.
“The acquisition of GaleForce supports our strategy to establish a presence in Canada and penetrate the wealth management, banking and broker-dealer markets, while expanding our capabilities in the insurance industry. With diversified customers in Africa, Asia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Oceania, South America, and the US, we have taken the first step in creating a global footprint in the financial services industry,” said Tim Wallace, CEO, iPipeline. “GaleForce provides their target markets with comprehensive CRM solutions designed to enhance advisor and agent productivity, ensure regulatory compliance, and safeguard transactions, delivering a 360-degree view of all business activities with customers. GaleForce’s SaaS-based model and solutions portfolio mesh perfectly with iPipeline’s vision to transform ideas into solutions that revolutionize the financial services industry. The integration of their products with iPipeline’s Velocity platform will enable straight-through processing for Canadian as well as global financial services clients. We are thrilled to have the GaleForce team join the iPipeline family and are excited about expanding our solutions portfolio.”