19th August 2010

Canada Is Eventful

Microsoft CanadaA quick reminder that Microsoft Tech Days will be touring across the country beginning next month. You may still have time to get in on the Early Bird pricing if you act fast. Early Bird prices close six weeks prior to tour arrival dates.

Vancouver: September 14-15
Edmonton: October 05-06
Toronto: October 27-28
Halifax: November 02-03
Ottawa: November 09-10
Montreal: November 23-24
Winnipeg: December 07-08
Calgary: December 14-15

whedon festIf you are a Joss Whedon fan, then you will want to be spending some time at Whedon Fest, a 3 day unofficial convention to celebrate all that is Whedon. The convention will feature guests and events from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse. Organizers and fans will be celebrating the Joss ‘verse from Friday October, 1st to Sunday October, 3rd 2010 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada. The unofficial Whedon Fest convention will comprise of guest talks, autograph and photograph sessions, charity auction, a Saturday night masquerade and dance, contests, and more.

Battlegoat StudiosBattleGoat Studios and Paradox Interactive are pleased to announce that Supreme Ruler Cold War, the next title in the Supreme Ruler series, is scheduled for release in Q2 2011. Building on Supreme Ruler 2010 and 2020, BattleGoat Studios invites you to relive the tension and uncertainty of the Cold War. As the 1950’s approach, the Korean War looms, the Arms Race intensifies, the Berlin Crisis leads to the formation of NATO, and the world anticipates a new World War.

As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct Economic, Diplomatic, Domestic and Military decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era and increase your nation’s Sphere of Influence on the world stage.Supreme Ruler Cold War

Features

- Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
– Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
– Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
– Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
– Grow and Modernize your Economy
– Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
– And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces!
– Enhanced Graphics and Sound including New 3D Terrain
– Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
– Up to 16 players in Multiplayer over local network or InternetSoliScare

apezoneApeZone has released a free version of SoliScare for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, letting you take a free peak at their whimsical card game, specifically designed for the iPhone’s touch screen. The free version lets you play though ten ghost levels, where you will use your astral weapons of everyday objects to beat down ghosts. Drawing a club, gives you a golf club, a spade gives you a shovel, and so on. As you make longer runs of cards, you’ll capture ghosts and place them in your jailhouse. Try to capture all 13 ghosts. Collect coins as you clear cards and buy game perks to help you out.

kerberos productionsParadox Interactive and Vancouver’s Kerberos Productions have released new screenshots and gameplay scenes from Sword of the Stars II, the sequel to the hit 4X franchise, Sword of the Stars. Sword of the Stars 2Scheduled for release in Q2 2011, Sword of the Stars II will feature the six races from SotS and its expansions, as well as revealing the dark, running secret of the original series, the Suul’ka – an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with other races in the Sword of the Stars universe.

“We’re really excited to have the Sword of the Stars II as a part of our lineup at Gamescom” Says Executive Producer Mattias Lilja at Paradox Interactive. “PC gamers have a lot of love for the genre and we’re no exception. The game looks and plays great already and we’re really looking forwarding to showing off the game.”

nGen, Niagara’s Interactive Media Generator is pleased to announce the opening of its $3 million, state of the art facility designed for digital interactive media advancement. Funded by the Community Adjustment Fund, a government fund established as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to address the short-term economic needs of Canadian communities impacted by the global recession. The new facility houses cutting edge digital interactive media technologies and will undoubtedly increase Niagara’s already growing reputation as a hub for digital interactive media. The expanded facility has been branded the Generator at one. Located at one St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines the facility has the capacity to enable entire media projects to be created at one location. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th July 2010

Telefilm Canada Launches Mentor Program

Ph03nix New MediaHere are a few more details about Solitaire and the City from Ph03nix New Media and TRZZonline which was released on Facebook last Friday. This latest social media app fuses the classic solitaire card game with a ‘beat the clock’ type of time management that has never been done for this type of game. “Solitaire and the City”was developed exclusively for Facebook®, and has already started gaining a small following of solitaire fanatics.Solitaire and the City

Solitaire and the City is a unique blend of the classic solitaire card game mixed with the type of speed that will test anyone’s hand-eye coordination. Gamers have 45 seconds to clear as many cards as they can off of the board in order to earn points. The points earned daily go toward unlocking cool items in the gamers’ fashionable closet. Users can also ‘gift’ items to their friends and try to collect every item available. For the competitive gamer, badges are earned for hitting high scores that are displayed on a profile tab, enabling users to show their friends where they stand in the rankings.

If you haven’t noticed by now, the title and fashion infusion are definitely a direct ‘ode to’ the popular “Sex and the City” series and movies. The user gets to fill up their walk-in closets with some of today’s hottest fashion and accessories from Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo and more. As the user clicks on the cards, the on-screen martini glass fills up with a New York Cosmopolitan drink! Competing against friends to earn a high score has never been so fashionably fun.

Relic EntertainmentIn news that is going to make the CaveChild salivate, THQ and Relic Entertainment have announced that Warhammer® 40,000®: Space Marine®, will be shipping for the Windows PC in addition to the Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 in early 2011.
Space Marine
Jonathan Dowdeswell, General Manager of Relic Entertainment commented: “The loyal PC audience is incredibly important to us here at Relic so we are delighted to be able to announce the PC version of the game.”

Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Relic’s 3rd Person Action-Shooter Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.

Travis Plane, Vice President of Global Brand Management commented: “Delivering great content the fans want to play is the key goal in the core games division at THQ so we are pulling out all of the stops to make this the best possible game for PC and console audiences alike.”

Telefilm CanadaTelefilm Canada is today unveiling its brand-new online directory of mentors and scriptwriting consultants, which includes the names of more than 100 experts, that creators working in Canada’s film industry will be able to access via Telefilm’s website. New applications for mentors and consultants will now be accepted on an ongoing basis and the directory will be updated regularly.

“Telefilm Canada is dedicated to supporting all links in the Canadian film industry value chain,” stated Sheila de La Varende, Telefilm Canada’s Director of National and International Business Development. “Canadian filmmakers are bursting with talent, and we are committed to meeting their needs and supporting their growth and development-which, at the end of the line, will result in the creation of high-quality feature films that will appeal to their target audiences. We are very enthusiastic about the potential of the new online directory of mentors and scriptwriting consultants that we’re unveiling today, which enables Telefilm to act as a catalyst for the industry’s success.”

“When I started my career, I was very lucky to benefit from the patient advice I received from such industry professionals as Michael Miner (Anaconda, Robocop), the wonderful writer and film editor,” said Vancouver writer Michael Giampa, who is included in the directory as a scriptwriting consultant. “Having a mentor who can answer your questions and provide encouragement makes all the difference when you’re starting out in the business. I hope that this directory will foster these kinds of relationships and that it becomes a key tool in the development of a mentoring philosophy within Canada’s movie industry, one that will hep nurture Canadian talent.”

The new online directory of mentors and scriptwriting consultants will enable emerging writers and producers to make contact with industry mentors and veterans, offering them the possibility of developing their skills or finding specific expertise for a given project. All the producer-mentors and writers included in the online directory were chosen by Telefilm following a call for candidates issued in May, and all have agreed to makes themselves available to offer professional advice, coaching and know-how, and thereby help foster the development of talent and projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2010

Great Things In Store From The Indie Dev Sector

indie fundAttention Indie Developers – the Indie Fund has just announced that it is now open for business. Get yourself over to their website (after you finish reading today’s news) and check out what is required of you and your project in order to apply for funding from this great group of people who would like to see you succeed. The Indie Fund was created by successful indie developers Jonathan Blow, Kellee Santiago, Ron Carmel, Kyle Gabler, Aaron Isaksen, Nathan Vella and Matthew Wagner. According to the Fund’s web site,  it was established as a serious alternative to the traditional publisher funding model. Our aim is to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get (and stay) financially independent.

apezoneAfter eleven years of making PC games, Quebec-based ApeZone has released its first iPhone game, SoliScare. Use the solitaire skills you’ve honed while killing time at work on SoliScareyour Windows PC to whack Zombies, smack Ghosts, and mash Monsters on your iPhone. As you work your way through the game, you will travel to graveyards, haunted castles, and other spooky locations. Put the beat down on things that go bump in the night, collecting all 37 ghosts, zombies, and classic movie monsters by making extraordinary card runs. As your skill level increases, you can unlock 100 unique, hand-crafted levels and use coins to purchase in-game enhancements, giving you a new experience each time you play. SoliScare is available in the iTunes App Store for 99 cents.

frima studioFrima Studio announced today that the Summer of the PlayStation Mini is officially here with the arrival of Widgets Odyssey on the PlayStation Store in North America for only $1.99 USD. As a PlayStation Mini title, playable on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Widgets Odyssey takes players on the first of two interstellar puzzle-platforming adventures that will continue in Widgets Odyssey 2, also releasing later this summer.Widgets Odyssey

“The launch of Widgets Odyssey marks an exciting day for puzzle-platforming fans everywhere, and we’re also happy to be kicking off a series of summer releases for the PlayStation Minis platform from Frima,” said Steve Couture, CEO and co-founder of Frima Studio. “The Minis platform has allowed us to deliver our proudest creations to players on both the PSP and PS3 without them having to break the bank. We couldn’t be happier to continue the tradition this summer with both installments of Widgets Odyssey, as well as our upcoming action-epic, Young Thor.”

In Widgets Odyssey, five robots aboard their space vessel have just one simple mission: to save the universe from the tyrannical Yagor and his evil henchmen! Armed with the abilities of Spad, Cosmo, Bruce, Helmut, and Monk, players will guide each robot along their exciting adventures filled with puzzles, mazes and minigames. Players can also look forward to the continuing adventures of the ‘S-Space’ crew in Widgets Odyssey 2 when it launches later this summer.

RatRod StudioRatrod Studio Inc. is proudly announcing their latest iPhone game title “Drift Mania Championship” which has been developed in collaboration with the official Drift Mania Canadian Championship league (DMCC). This exciting video game will be available worldwide in mid July 2010 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game is rated 4+ (for everyone) and can be purchased on the Apple App Store. Drift Mania

Already entering its 5th season, DMCC is the only professional drifting series and sanctioning body in Canada developing over 600 drivers, hosting 10 competitions from Vancouver to Quebec and capturing hundreds of thousands of fans every year. Like real drifting, the Drift Mania Championship video game is a combination of driving skills, style and showmanship. It’s all about loss of the rear wheel traction while keeping the race car in total control.

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1st February 2010

New Titles From Digital Leisure and Slick Entertainment

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure’s 5 in 1 Solitaire game for the Nintendo DSi is available today for 200 Nintendo DSi Points. 5 in 1 Solitaire features the always-popular Klondike, Spider and FreeCell games as well as the unique Golf and Gaps versions of solitaire. Each of these versions has a unique style of play that’s easy enough for novice players to enjoy but will also challenge experts. You can also view tutorials for each game, track your scores and view gaming stats to see your progress.

Slick EntertainmentVancouverSlick Entertainment has announced that their latest title, Scrap MetalScrap Metal, has passed certification at Microsoft, and will be released on Xbox Live Arcade this Spring. Scrap Metal had a great showing at this year’s CES, where attendees had the opportunity to check out this new fast-paced, top-down racer. Players can drift around corners with guns blazing fight their way through explosive, action-packed missions and defeat cunning bosses to win their vehicles. Customize newly-acquired cars and return to the track to blast through more enemies. Then, jump online with Xbox LIVE® to race against friends and crush their cars with the wheels of a massive monster truck in pulse-pounding online multiplayer matches.

Contact NorthOntarioContact North has released an important new study and challenge paper titled Strategic Directions For e-Learning In Canada. In the paper’s introduction, Contact North President and CEO Maxim Jean-Louis states:

“One of the three components of Contact North | Contact Nord’s mandate is to support innovation in education and learning through testing and applied research of new modes of “delivery” using technology, and to share information in Northern Ontario, as well as nationally and internationally.

In keeping with our mandate, Contact North | Contact Nord developed this challenge paper, Strategic Directions for e-Learning in Canada, to encourage a thoughtful and intellectual discussion on the future role of technology in learning.

Our goal with this paper is to inform, to think about what the future will look like, and to see how we can best use technology to ensure Ontarians and Canadians have quality access to the education and training opportunities that are critical to our future prosperity.

We call it a ‘challenge paper’ because some of the ideas outlined here are challenging, both in terms of accomplishments in this field, as well as the challenges ahead. Again, our intention is to stimulate a conversation by exploring both the opportunities and acknowledging the challenges.”

Interested parties can view the full PDF report on Contact North’s web site.

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6th August 2009

Rise and Ruin Goes to Open Beta

veil entertainmentTorontoVeil Entertainment and Spore Productions are pleased to announce the Open Beta of Rise & Ruin, an online, card-based, fantasy combat game ready to play through PC web browsers.spore productions

Rise & Ruin is an entirely new twist on the trading card game (TCG) genre. Players level up their own ideal avatar while assembling decks from an ever-growing pool of powerful attack, defense, magic, and specialty cards. Thrilling, cinematic 3D battles take place directly in a web browser allowing for fast and accessible game play.

“We’re excited to get the Open Beta launched,” says Geoffrey MacDougall, CEO of Veil Entertainment. Rise and Ruin“We’ve worked hard to build an experience that combines the best of our favourite genres to provide character-driven, fast-paced game play. The guys on our live team are also eager to start implementing the storyline and tournaments they’ve developed over the last several months.”

“Now that we’re in open beta the team can start to focus on polish, reacting to the player experience, and implementing new features, ” says Joe Wagner, R&R’s Community Manager. “It’s great to be live. Players can also join us every Friday at 7:30 EST for Friday Night Fights where organized chaos reigns.”

Rise & Ruin gives players the unrestrictive option to play for free, for as long as they wish, with opportunities to win additional cards through community events. Similar to other TCGs, players can purchase credits to acquire new cards and access additional perks and content within the game.

Rise & Ruin is produced through the financial support of Telefilm Canada, Administrator of The Canada New Media Fund, funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada.

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19th June 2009

Herobits Collectible Card Game to Take the World by Storm

HerobitsLasalleHerobits Corp. is proud to announce the launch of its new collectible card game, Herobits, a sci-fi themed armored hero game for kids. Herobits will be available in your local game store starting on Sunday, June 21st. The Herobits card game permits friendly combat between two people, face to face, with the great personal interaction so rare in today’s world.

Herobits Series 1 consists of three complete 50 card collectible decks, each one featuring a single Herobitsarmored hero. This easy to learn and fast paced game is centered on a devastated future Earth where great wastelands have formed. Mechanical monsters called Reapers dig, drill, and blast to feed “the Machine”; but, inside Arcadia, one of the last remaining human enclaves, powerful armor and weaponry are being developed, and Arcadians known as Herobits are training to wield them. Working together, Herobits prepare to combat the Machine and restore the Earth.

Players can sit down, learn the rules, and be playing within 10 minutes right out of the box. There are no booster packs, eliminating the need to spend more money to truly enjoy the game. Game play requires just 2 players aged 8+, each with their own Herobits 50 card deck. New 3 character releases are scheduled at two to three-month intervals. Every new series will feature new artists and great new artistic styles. Providing entertaining games for kids and a collectible, Herobits is easy to learn, play, and enjoy for two players.
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