3rd February 2011

New And Noteworthy

Relic EntertainmentCongratulations to the team at Relic Entertainment for cracking the Top Ten of 2010 sales list on Steam with almost $11 million dollars US with Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, published by THQ, who yesterday announced that they have put the brakes on releasing Company of Heroes Online, citing a “reevaluation of its strategy of adapting certain Western content for free-to-play online games in Asian markets.”Hothead Games

There’s a new installment of the Dr. Mike tutorial video series about dealing with Swarmites. Watch closely and listen carefully as Dr. Mike teaches you how to score with a Swarmite in this upcoming action platformer from Hothead Games.

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For those unfamiliar with the game’s premise, you will 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.Garage Inc

Transgaming Studios has announced that the first update to the recently launched Garage Inc. is now live on the iPhone app store. This update includes Game Centre integration, Achievements and the ability to replay any completed day via a handy calendar. A second update is already in progress, which will include an Endless Day mode, which has been the most requested feature by both the press and gamers. The planned timeframe for the release of the second update is within the next 30 days.

psychicparrot gamesPsychic Parrot Games has released a new title on Kongregate. Built with Unity, MudFire is a 4×4 racing game that you can control with either your keyboard or USB Xbox gamepad. The game features options for setting the graphics and audio to your liking (or your computer’s specs) and starts you off in the 4×4 mudfireWander vehicle. Once you get into the winner’s circle, you can unlock the 4×4 Wander Paws, 4×4 Fire, the green Team Parrot 4×4, the Pink 4×4, Red Leader 4×4 and the Super Pickup 4×4. Recent improvements to MudFire include better in-vehicle cams and better vehicle handling.

Speaking of Unity, the Unity team has announced the continued Unityexpansion of its Asset Store. Announced at Unite 2010, the Unity Asset Store is a digital marketplace where developers can share and sell assets to each other to accelerate their workflows. It’s immediately accessible in the Unity editor under the Window > Asset Store menu so assets are at developers’ fingertips when they most need them.

Over the last two months, the Unity Asset Store catalogue has grown to more than 200 new items including a variety of assets such as free tutorials, open-source libraries, art packs and advanced script libraries. The majority of these assets have been produced by the Unity development community – who individually are bringing in revenues of thousands of dollars each month monetizing their assets. January’s top seller brought in more than $4,000. Top selling assets include:

· Unisky by Six Times Nothing
· GUIKit001 by Blackish
· EZ GUI by AB Software
· Sprite Manager by AB Software
· Shader Fusion by Kurt Loeffler

The Unity Asset Store features free assets that range from sophisticated terrain road and river tools to complete packages with learning materials. A popular release, C# Game Examples by Mark Hergaarden, includes five simple, but essential game examples to learn from and modify. Developers can spend hours programming obstacles to animate, swing, thump, follow paths and generally move around or accomplish the same thing in a matter of minutes with one of the top-downloaded free items, iTween, which brings intuitive and easy-to-use tweening animation to Unity.

“We’re getting great feedback from developers and it’s exciting to see content creators monetizing their assets and making thousands of dollars every month,” said Caitlyn Meeks, Asset Store Content Manager. “Our Asset Store user base has grown to more than 10,000 users in less than three months, and it’s quickly becoming the #1 marketplace of choice for Unity developers.”

Meeks continued, “An exciting growth area of the Asset Store can be found in the Editor Extensions category. The Unity editor is surprisingly extensible with editor classes so that the actual development environment itself can be customised to a degree that one would think only possible with source-level modification, including vehicle wizards, procedural sky systems, UI toolbars and added functionality to the workspace.”

Absolute SoftwareAbsolute® Software Corporation has launched a closed beta of Computrace® Mobile for the Android platform. This new solution will deliver asset administration, data protection and geolocation tracking for the popular Android line of devices, which generally includes tablets and smartphones.

Computrace Mobile for the Android platform will deliver:

* Reduced operational costs associated with managing mobile devices by leveraging the Computrace platform’s integrated Customer Center reporting for hardware, software and user information.
* An additional layer of data protection and increased compliance with government data breach laws through remote Data Delete capabilities.
* The ability to geolocate a device and display it on an internet map including current and historical locations (only performed with the prior consent of the device owner on corporate liable devices).

During the beta testing period, some of Absolute’s current commercial customers have privileged, pre-release access to Computrace Mobile for Android at no additional cost. Interested journalists and product reviewers may also request a demonstration of the solution prior to its general availability.

Computrace Mobile is supported on the following platforms: Windows Mobile® 5, 6, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.5 handheld devices; Symbian – S60 Third Edition and later releases; and BlackBerry® Mobile Versions 4.5 and later. Absolute Manage Mobile Device Management allows organizations to manage the Apple® iOS devices (iPad™, iPhone®, iPod touch®) in their deployment.

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27th January 2011

Step Into the Creatisphere

There is a ton of news coming out of the Canadian Creatisphere today. Grab a coffee and let’s take a look at what’s going on so far. Congratulations to the team over at Capcom Studios Vancouver whose Dead Rising 2: Case Zero game was the top selling title last year on XBLA with 689 000 units downloaded to Xboxes around the world. Congratulations also to the Assassin’s Creed team over at Ubisoft Montreal for being named as the Guinness world record holder with Assassin’s Creed II being featured on 127 international publications between April 2009 and April 2010.

The BallsA free version of The Balls! Extreme Sports Ball Busting has been released by Savant Inc. The Balls game is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; the paid version is listed at 99 cents USD. The free version offers OpenFeint and the same great graphics, audio, and frantic gameplay as the paid version, with a teaser for another mode coming in the future.

Riese Battle for EleysiaRiese: The Battle for Eleysia by Genius Factor Games has had an update to its features, along with a bug fix. Add features include the addition of Head-to-Head Multiplayer (via local wifi), stability improvements and aforementioned bug fixes, along with updates to the battle screens, How To Play help and screen-flow for editing decks. Riese: The Battle for Eleysia sells in the iTunes App Store for $2.99 USD.

Drift ManiaDrift Mania Championship is now available worldwide on the Mac AppStore for $2.99. This new high-resolution version includes all the in-app purchase items that are available as options in the iOS version. As with all previous platform versions, the Mac AppStore version is loaded with new features like real drifting, as well as the ability to compete with users who are on other iOS or Android devices. Experience longer burnouts, taking 11 different vehicles through 3 levels of difficulty on 8 tracks as you compete to take over the global leaderboards.

ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver has just announced its latest event, which will be held on February 8th in the Djavad Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterMowafaghian Cinema at the SFU Woodward’s campus on West Hastings. Tron – Cult Favourite to Franchise will feature two presentations that will take a look at this convergence of  Vancouver film and game development teams. The first presentation will cover the visual effects used in the making of TRON and TRON: Legacy. This session will be presented by TRON animator and programmer Frank Vitz and Darren Poe, Digital Supervisor at Digital Domain Vancouver.  In the second presentation, former Propaganda Games Technical Art Director Gary Snyder and Art Director David Patch will share their experiences working with the TRON: Legacy film team to recreate the TRON assets and storyline in the video game TRON: Evolution. Tickets for this event are $25.00 for non-SIGGRAPH members or $15.00 for members and include a pre-event social mixer.

Hothead GamesHothead Games has released part two of the Ask Dr. Mike video series with Dr. Mike Hayward. Watch this intense and dramatic documentary which studies the habits of Swarmites as they weave their way through diabolical and unrelenting gauntlets of death and destruction, attempting to be the last pudgy blue moron still standing. It is highly recommended that those who are planning to take over their own Swarm colonies study the video series closely, so that you will be prepared for any situation into which your Swarmites will undoubtedly  place themselves. If you have the opportunity to practice herding cats, I suggest you take advantage of the experience.

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As part of the PlayStation®Network “11 for 11” sale, players can grab Big Sandwich’s thrilling dragon-themed game Big Sandwich GamesHOARD™ for half-price until January 31st. With game play for 1 to 4 players, HOARD™ combines action and strategy elements to create an innovative gameplay mix unlike anything else on the store. The game features over 35 levels, 4 game modes, 100+ badges to earn, trophy support, leaderboards, and anyHoard-Screenshot combination of couch and online players. Best of all, HOARD™ puts the dragon in the hero’s role, where he must strive against cruel knights, fierce wizards, conniving burglars, and even rampaging giants.

Critics and consumers alike have appreciated HOARD’s unique design. IGN recently honored HOARD™ with the “Best Quick Fix” Best of 2010 award, and the game was also nominated in the “Best Competitive Multiplayer” category. Joystiq says “HOARD’s gameplay shines,” and 1UP reports “the game hides a surprising layer of complexity and strategy.”

“If you’ve been keeping an eye on HOARD™ but have been waiting for the right time to try it, now’s officially that time,” says Glenn Barnes, Big Sandwich’s Creative Director. “For less than 8 bucks you get a proven, acclaimed game Technology Impact Awardswith over 20 hours of gameplay. It’s a no-brainer.”

Don’t forget to get your nominations in for The Technology Impact Awards. The BCTIA will be accepting submissions for BC’s top technology innovations, companies and individuals from all sectors until March 11th. The TIAs will be held on the evening of June 9th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Award categories are as follows:

Technology Awards: Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology, Excellence in Product Innovation and Best Application of Technology

Company Awards: Most Promising Start-up, Emerging Company of the Year and Company of the Year

Personal Recognition Awards: Team of the Year, Community Engagement and Person of the Year

Canadian Marketing AssociationThe Canadian Marketing Association invites you to attend the 2nd Annual CMA Awards Case Study event, where attendees will join Master of Ceremonies Aldo Cundari in a close-up look at some of today’s top creative works and better understand how they came to be CMA Award winners. The Case Study event will be held in the Victoria Room at  Toronto’s Metropolitan Hotel on February 2nd from 3:30 – 5:30pm, with a networking social immediately following the session. All-inclusive tickets are $75.00 each for CMA members or $95.00 earch for non-members. Tickets for the cocktail party only are $25.00 each for CMA members or $30.00 each for non-members.

merging media conferenceMerging+Media has announced that there will be a Spring session featuring Anita Ondine-Smith, who will present an exclusive Transmedia Seminar + Lab on April 28th and 29th at the VanCity Theatre in Vancouver. The focus of this session will be a 1/2 day Seminar with a 1 ½ day hands-on in-depth lab on the full cycle of Transmedia development, writing, production and distribution from Conception to Consumption. Event participants will obtain a framework for production as well as Creative Toolkit and Business Strategies for Transmedia production. This Transmedia theory, Case studies and architectural workshop is designed to provide tools to create successful transmedia productions. The seminar portion of the event will be open to 100-150 people, while 20-24 producers, writers, broadcasters, commissioning editors will be selected to take part in the workshop.

Merging+Media has also confirmed that the next full conference and master class will be returning in October. Like the first conference held last fall, this event will feature world class speakers and experts who will present “Best in Class” case studies and high calibre discussions on the business of cross-media production. The two day programme will include a Masterclass + Conference, International B2B Matchmaking, Networking receptions, M+M Socializer + Digital Gallery to showcase our latest local technology. The Merging+Media 2011 Masterclass will include the Merging+Media Pitch and Development Prize. Keep an eye on the Merging+Media site for confirmed dates and speakers.

Canadian Telecom SummitThe Canadian Telecom Summit has early bird pricing available until February 28th, which means you can save $200.00 off the regular registration price. The 10th annual Canadian Telecom Summit will be taking place in Toronto on May 31st through June 2nd and offers three days of discussion regarding the key issues and trends surrounding the Canadian Telecom industry.

swarmjamGroup buying site SwarmJam, which launched across all Postmedia Network properties in December has expanded to the Winnipeg area through a partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press. The promotion-based system uses a platform through which consumers are connected with local businesses. SwarmJam’s group buying service offers savings of 50% or better, which for some deals can actually grow progressively better as more people sign onl For “progressive deals”, when the offer closes, the number of cumulative purchases determines the actual discount. So, these deals become better as subscribers share the promotion with friends, family and people in their social network. Users of the service simply sign up for a free subscription to get the SwarmJam Winnipeg Daily Deal emailed directly to their inbox. They can then click on deals they like, pay online, print the certificate and visit the business to redeem it. There are currently thirteen major urban and suburban areas which offer SwarmJam deals.

Wicked InteractiveWicked Interactive, publisher of Mission Against Terror, has launched Occupation Mode with a twist. Alongside the hotly anticipated new game mode which brings hardcore, capture-the-flag-style gameplay comes the chance to win the most unique and priceless weapon so far seen in the popular, free-to-play shooter – the Golden AK-47.

“We have been saving this announcement for just the right moment,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “With the frenzy of excitement over Occupation Mode, it seemed like the perfect time to blow everyone’s minds with this news. The Golden AK-47 is the ultimate showpiece for the M.A.T. community.”Golden AK47

The Lottery System enables players to take a break from a raw competition of Occupation Mode. Just like any other lottery, players step up, lay down their ticket and spin an actual wheel that appears right in the middle of the screen. The Golden AK-47 is merely the ultimate prize; there are plenty more for those who are feeling lucky.

“There are a whole assortment of weapons that the Lottery System offers,” added Ho. “Many, like the Golden AK-47, are one-of-a-kind items that cannot be purchased. We hope the M.A.T. Community enjoys the new System. It’s our way of helping them forget the winter doldrums.

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20th January 2011

Six Canadian Game Franchises Receive Interactive Achievement Award Nominations

marblemediamarblemedia interactive and Teletoon have flipped the On skatoonyswitch 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.

aiasSeveral 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!

krangGAMESVancouver 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 GamesHothead 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.

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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 SportsEA 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.
virgin gaming
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.”

Wicked InteractiveWicked Interactive and Mission Against Terror (M.A.T.) today offered a first look at Occupation Mode, the eagerly anticipated update which brings hardcore, capture-the-flag-style competitive action to everyone’s favorite free-to-play shooter.

“Gamers have been extremely curious,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “Since there hasn’tMAT Occupation Mode 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.”

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30th December 2010

eBooks Games and Apps To Occupy Your New Year

Ripe AppsRipe Apps has two of their latest iPhone apps on sale. Get GPS and Location-based reminders with Geo Alerts, on sale now for 99 Cents USD. Need a simple to do list with reminders? Pick up Reminders! Simple ToDos and Alerts, which is on sale for $1.99 USD. You may also want to check out their other app, I’m Right Here, which allows you to let your friends know where you are by sending them an email with map image, or SMS a link to same. This app isn’t “on sale” but it is available for the regular low price of 99 Cents USD.tale of the madeus

Dark AcreVancouver developer Dark Acre has just launched a novella for Amazon Kindle titled Tale of the Madeus (The Solarus Cycle) in the first in a series, and is currently available via download for only $1.99 USD. Written in the style of a science fiction space opera, Tale of the Madeus takes place in the Far Vacuum of the Solarus system and follows a series of events which occur between the Oslean Stellar Trade League Transport Vessel ‘Madeus’ and the pirate vessel ‘Staine’, and was written as a supporting background piece for Dark Acre’s game Project Zero Zero, which is currently in development.

Indie developer Celsius Games has announced that there will soon be an update for its inertial survival shooter game Red Nova. It looks like players are in for at least one new mode of transport – or maybe a new enemy, as the image isred nova teaser Celsius Gamesonly showing up as a shadowy blip on the Village Gamer game spotter. Still available for the launch price of 99 Cents USD, Red Nova is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. As the person in control, you have been sent on a mission to test a number of prototype fighters which could be destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk. While voyaging across the galaxy in your carrier, the ECS Red Nova, you discover the dastardly deeds of a previously unknown alien fleet as they prepare to stage a sneak attack on Earth’s space colonies. Being the hero that you are, it’s up to you and your crew to save humanity from certain destruction at the hands of these alien foes.

If you want to see the Best of 2010’s Xbox Indie Games included on the dashboard, head over to this article written xona gamesby Matthew Doucette of Xona Games to find out how you can vote on this issue. As a supporter (and purchaser) of our Canadian indie dev-made products, I would like to see the indie games front and centre just like all of the big-budget (and sometimes nowhere near as fun) titles.

Bioware and i09 are offering a sneak preview at who the Illusive Man really is (surprise, he’s not really Martin Sheen). Bioware CorpThis brand new comic from Dark Horse will peel back the layers of secrecy we first got a glimpse at in Mass Effect 2.

According to the comic’s official description, “Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Mac Walters reveals the origin of our galaxy’s most mysterious powerbroker—The Illusive Man! With co—writer John Jackson Miller (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) and artist Omar Francia (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2), Walters chronicles humanity’s first deadly days on the galactic stage and uncovers the pivotal role The Illusive Man played in it all! Available only in comics, this essential piece of Mass Effect canon offers new insights for existing fans, while the focus on humanity’s first steps into the wider Mass Effect universe provides a riveting story of action and intrigue for sci-fi readers of all stripes!”

Please visit the i09 site for a look at the 5 page Mass Effect Evolution preview.

doritos unlock xboxDoritos®, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the winner of its Unlock Xbox competition, with Crash Course taking first place. Crash Course was developed by Behaviour Interactive’s Chile studio Wanako from a concept by North Carolinian Jill Robertson. Her game concept was inspired by one of her favourite shows, Wipe Out – and is loads of fun. As the winner, Jill was awarded a $50 000.00 USD game consulting gig with Doritos, but in an unprecedented move, Doritos also awarded $50 000.00 to second place contestant Justin Carpenter of Ogden, Utah. His game concept, Harm’s Way, was also extremely well received – both titles had well over Xblox Live Arcade 2 million downloads between them – and they are both well worth the effort, offering tons of replayability and gaming fun. Both titles are still available for download, and at free, you certainly can’t scoff at the price for so much fun.

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20th December 2010

Gaming On The Go

TransGamingTransgaming Studios and Breakthrough Entertainment have released a fresh new teaser trailer for upcoming time management game, Garage Inc. Scheduled for a January 2011 release, the development team has been busy polishing up the hubcapsbreakthrough entertainment and cleaning out the garage, getting ready for Angelo Marito’s journey into the automobile service industry in 1920’s Chicago. Will recent immigrant Angelo’s seed money loan from cousin Sal come back to haunt him in a city rife with mafia activity? Angelo will depend on you to guide him as he struggles to balance fixing his customers’ cars, hire employees, grow his business and deal with the mob, all while keeping his eye on the elusive American dream.

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Digital LeisureDigital Leisure Inc. has launched Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, the follow up to arcade classics Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, designed exclusively for Nintendo’s DSiWare™ Dragons Lair II Timewarpservice and available now for 800 DSi Points. From legendary animator Don Bluth (‘An American Tail’, ‘The Land Before Time’) Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp allows you to play the heroic Dirk the Daring, who must stop the Evil Wizard Mordroc as he has kidnapped Princess Daphne and taken her through time! But you must hurry, for once the Casket of Doom has opened, Mordroc will place the Death Ring upon Daphne’s finger in marriage and she will be lost forever… in the Time Warp!

Sharpen your sword and get ready to guide Dirk the Daring as he races through time to save the beautiful Princess Daphne from the clutches of the Evil Wizard Mordroc in Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp. You’ll journey through time to rescue the beautiful Princess Daphne by using your Nintendo DSi™ to move and wield your sword.

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. is pleased to announce the release and immediate worldwide availability of Burn the Rope ($0.99 USD), their new original game for iOS devices. Winning the hearts of users with smash hit Thumpies – game that reinvented the rhythm genre – developers are intended to do it again by bringing to the App Store a unique game for all who are fascinated with flame and all kinds of fire effects.

Starting today users have the freedom to set fire without any fire hazard or need for a fire burn the ropeextinguisher. The game involves a mix of strategic planning, thinking ahead, coordination and the ability to stay in deep focus. Users have to feed the fire and burn as much rope as they can in each level to progress. The challenge is that fire only burns upwards, leaving players to tilt and turn their iPhones to keep the flame alive.

The game features 80 devilishly tricky levels with polished graphics and mesmerizing fire effects. Bugs that crawl along the rope spice things up demonstrating different reactions to the flame from level to level. Ants change the color of the flame so that users could burn different colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge providing access to the parts of the level that were beyond players’ reach before.

“Burn The Rope is our most innovative game initially prototyped with a string of rope and box of matches. It’s really easy to learn, but quite hard to master! That game was created with the whole family in mind and I’m sure that all family members will have enormous fun playing with fire.” – said Damir Slogar, CEO of Big Blue Bubble Inc.

playbrainsIn collaboration with OpenFeint’s Free Game of the Day, Zoo Toss from PlayBrains and Bytemark Games is free for today only. In Zoo Toss, the player is challenged through 20 levels to keep three zoo tosshungry animals happy and fed by flicking good food at them. Keep your vegan giraffes, carnivorous lions and garbage-can warthogs content, don’t feed them bad food and keep vitamins in stock for when they’re looking a bit sickly. Zoo Toss is OpenFeint-enabled with Game Center achievements and leaderboards.

TomKorpIndie game developer Tomkorp today announced that they will be offering their strategy/puzzle game Clones at 50% off over the holiday season. Tomkorp recently partnered with Get Games Go, the PC game distribution platform for Eurogamer. Clones is also available for purchase on Steam, Direct2Drive, and the official ClonesGame.com website.

An updated version of Clones was made public on Dec. 16th. “Since launch we’ve had relatively few technical problems. This maintenance release includes a few requested features and improvements suggested by our growing fan base.” said Tom Kaminski, co-founder.

Clones is winning the hearts of puzzle players from around the world. “We are thrilled with the number of positive reviews Clones has received” said Ryan Tomko, co-founder. One reviewer, James Allen of Out Of Eight PC Game Reviews, writes “While the single player content will last you a while, what sets Clones apart is the robust multiplayer action”, giving the game a “Buy It” rating of 7 / 8.

Clonecloness is a friendly, fun, and engaging evolution to the classic Lemmings puzzle genre that includes robust internet-multiplayer with team play, different game modes, powerups, and leaderboards. The built-in level editor was used to create the singleplayer campaign of over 150 clontastic puzzles spanning 11 CloneMaster bosses over 5 regions of the Clones Planet.

In Clones, the player controls cute alien “clones” by telling them when to morph their bodies in order to overcome obstacles in the landscape and complete the level objective. This can include beaming up a minimum number of clones, leading a special clone to an exit, or reducing all opponent clones to bits. Each puzzle has a leaderboard on the ClonesGame.com website that ranks all solutions based on stats like the number of morphs used, and the time to complete the level. Clones is rated E for Everyoneby the ESRB.

EA MobileEA Sports and EA Mobile bring you FIFA 11 for the iPad. The fifa 11 for ipadlarger Multi-Touch screen on iPad delivers an incredible measure of visual excellence – and sets the stage for a total soccer experience like you’ve never seen before. Featuring authentic teams, superstar players, and precision controls, FIFA 11 on iPad truly kicks it to the next level!

Take the field with superstars like Real Madrid’s Kaka and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Match up more than 500 teams from real leagues around the world while quality graphics make every detail on the field spring to life. Team colors are ultra vibrant. The green of the grass is even more glorious. Capture the passion and power of the world’s favorite sport with an unprecedented level of visual clarity that you can only get with iPad. The new D-pad and button layout options provide more gameplay sophistication for veterans and simplicity for casual players. Control the ball and the action with 360° player movement and gesture-driven skill moves. Swipe a player to make an attacking run! Control of the action is even more precise and responsive on iPad.

frima studioTraveling through space. Mowing down hordes of evil aliens. Upgrading your ship into the most lethal killing force the universe has ever seen. What could be better? How about getting to do all of the above for a measly two bucks! Frima Studio is pleased to unveil the brand new, never-before-seen trailer for its latest release, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! As a PlayStation Mini title, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! will be playable on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and will be blasting off Tuesday, December 21 for the insanely low price of – yep, you guessed it – $1.99.

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Since time immemorial, through eons of time and dozens of game consoles, one thing has remained true: humans love hopping into a spaceship to shoot up hordes of alien invaders! In A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! (a game with perhaps the most straight-forward title in history) you get to do just that. Take control of Commander P. Jefferson and go on an intergalactic shooting spree, hopping from galaxy to galaxy in your attempts to wipe out hordes of swarming alien baddies. With over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek humor from the game’s wide cast of colorful characters (all of which are fully voiced-over) and loads of bodacious power-ups to ensure your ship has a fighting chance against the sea of enemy ships and bullets, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! gives gamers everything they could ask for in a space shooter! A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! is rated T for Teen for mild fantasy violence, mild language, suggestive themes and use of tobacco.

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17th December 2010

An EA Kind of Morning

EA Black BoxNeed for Speed™ World, the Play4Free™ online PC action racing game from EA Black Box, has now eclipsed three million registered users. With numerous hours of high-speed, high-stakes Need for Speed multiplayer action, Need for Speed World is one of the world’s most popular, free to play racing games. Today EA builds on the game by adding an all-new dynamic day/night cycle and an advanced vehicle performance customization tuning system. Players can go under the hood to upgrade and tune their vehicle with an extensive list of car parts ranging from tuned engines to top-tier suspension systems to create a high-performance race machine. Need For Speed World

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience for the PC. Players can compete against their friends and family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits. Gamers race the way they want in an ever expanding world that continues to grow with a constant stream of new content, cars, and features.

In addition to English and German, Need for Speed World has now been localized for France, Russia, Spain and Poland markets. Players worldwide can feel the rush of illicit street racing as they speed their way through a white-knuckle socially-connected Need for Speed experience. They will also be able to purchase SpeedBoost which they can use to acquire in-game items such as Booster Packs, Power-ups, XP accelerators and even exclusive exotic cars via the in-game store using a variety of local payment options including credit cards and SMS billing.

The EA PWNED_ team stopped in at the EA Sports campus in Burnaby during their recent globetrotting visits to various EA studios around the world. Watch Matt Cuttle and Sian Welby as they join World Heavyweight Champion David Haye as his famous ‘Hayemaker’ and a range of other equally devastating blows are captured for Fight Night Champion. Appearing in the game and on the box the champ is heavily involved in EA Canada’s latest game but who would he like to play as in Fight Night Champion? Tune in to find out.

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In other developments, EA sent out a press release announcing an “Epic Promotion” for the upcoming Bulletstorm, developed by Epic’s People Can Fly studio over in Poland. Normally I wouldn’t carry the news about this promotion because the games involved are not developed in Canada. That said, the fine print at the end of the press release somewhat irked me. Maybe it’s because my morning caffeine level has not yet reached a safe level, maybe because it looks like EA is leaving an out for itself while sucking gamers into pre-ordering Bulletstorm on the promise of getting in on a beta for Gears of War 3, a title that has been delayed at least a couple of times now – and was supposed to be a part of the recent Spike Video Game Awards but was a no-show (just like the awards show itself, in terms of quality). This has not pleased the hardcore Marcus Fenix fans, and perhaps Epic and EA are teaming up to try to appease them, dangling the slim promise of a beta play in front of them.

Why do I think this promotion sounds somewhat hinky? Well, the press release started off great – then I noticed the * in a sentence: Players that purchase the Epic Edition are guaranteed early access to the Gears of War 3 beta*. Pre-order now to reserve a copy of the Epic Edition which will be available on Feb. 22, 2011 for MSRP $59.99 ($69.99 in Canada, which doesn’t make sense given the strength of our dollar), only for the Xbox 360® while supplies last.

So…having a rabid Gears of War fan living in the cave upstairs, I checked the disclaimer indicated by the * before telling him of this “Epic Promotion” …and the * indicates that Conditions and restrictions apply. See back of pack for details if and when available. Okay, so this is normal, conditions often apply when EA sends out a press release, but it’s usually the requirement of an EA Account and an internet connection, and this is where the promotion doesn’t sit quite right with me. EA and Epic want gamers to pre-order one game, for the promise of getting in on the beta for the game that they really want, but there are conditions that you, the gamer, won’t know about until you get your hands on Bulletstorm. Now, the “if and when available” part is not very clear – what is EA defining as “if and when available” – Bulletstorm or the beta – and if they know these conditions are going to apply, why aren’t they releasing the details now?

I can pretty well guarantee that if I walk into the EB Games we normally shop at later today, they will not have this Epic Promotion pre-order in their system, and probably won’t for at least a week – unless it’s automatically included in a regular pre-order. It took almost a month for Dragon Age 2 to show up for pre-order, and Guild Wars 2 CE only became available a few weeks ago. Now, does this “limited quantity” mean that because EB Games Canada – or GameStop if you prefer – is slow to add titles and offers to their system, the Cavechild could miss out on his chance to get in the Gears of War 3 beta or will our store be allotted a set number of Epic Promotion pre-orders? I just checked the EA Store, and they don’t have the “Epic Promotion” advertised yet either, so perhaps a phone call will be in order once the stores open.

I just hope that EA and Epic aren’t using the promise of Gears of War 3 to artificially attract gamers to Bulletstorm with a thin promise that will then get yanked out from under them due to something like “time constraints to meet deadlines” or some other lame excuse, and then appease the gamers by tossing extra special DLC items at them.

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14th December 2010

New Release From Celsius Game Studio

Celsius GamesNew in the iTunes App Store today is Red Nova, an inertial survival shooter for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Created by Celsius Game Studio, Red Nova is available now for the introductory price of 99 cents.

Game Description:Red Nova

While on a routine mission to test a number of prototype fighters destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk, the ECS Red Nova, your carrier, comes across an unknown alien fleet preparing to stage a sneak attack on the human colonies!

In order to give the Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet you have volunteered to attack the aliens head-on. With a choice of any of the fighters on deck, you have to use your wits, your guns, and your ample supply of homing missiles to survive for as long as you can!

Game Features

* Universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPadChoose Your Ship
* Game Center leaderboards
* Retina Display graphics
* 3 scaling difficulty levels
* 3 playable ships
* 4 power-ups
* 7 different enemies
* Dynamic camera zooms in when things get intense
* iOS Controller: use an iPhone or iPod Touch to control Red Nova on an iPad wirelessly
* Dynamic touch controls for faster reaction times; no more hunting for fixed virtual buttons when it counts

Future episodes of Red Nova will be released as free updates, adding different game modes and missions to the game.

All Seeing Eye GamesDrum Studio: Platinum Edition from Vancouver developer All Seeing Eye Games is now available on  Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 MS Points. This follow-up to the award-winning Drum Studio allows players to record, layer, & edit their own drum songs on virtual drums customizable from a collection of over 320 drum sounds.

Drum Studio: Platinum Edition is a virtual drum recording tool that gives players the ability to build their own drum beats using their Xbox 360 drum kits or controllers.  Players can then go online to share their songs with friends, listen to each other play, and even jam together in real-time.

Lead Programmer Darren Joe says, “Music has always been about sharing. Drum Studio put music creation in the Drum Studio Platinumplayer’s hands. Now, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition allows players to share their music with each other and the world.”

It is no secret that the music game genre is in steep decline. Whereas the big names have rehashed the same gameplay mechanics a dozen times over and then some, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition pushes the genre forward with a music creation & sharing experience unlike anything any other title has to offer.

In addition to its extensive online features, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition also expands upon the award-winning original with all new art by graphic artist Terry Wong (Cirque Du Soleil, National Geographic, Electronic Gaming Monthly) and full Xbox 360 Avatar support, allowing players to turn their Xbox 360 Avatars into full-fledged animated virtual drummers.

Sherwood DungeonMaid Marian Entertainment Inc. and Gene Endrody, sole creator of the indie hit MMORPG, Sherwood Dungeon has announced the arrival of, two new allies just in time for the holidays – the Shadowfey Knight and Priestess.shadowfey priestess

The Shadowfey are lost descendants of the Picts, an ancient Celtic tribe. Possessing ominous white skin and a dark mysterious gaze, this race of warriors will battle alongside players as they crawl through Sherwood’s perilous dungeons.

An additional feature for those who purchase pets in Sherwood is the ability for players to transform their characters into the form of their pets. Explore the world and fight monsters while transformed into a Dragon, Unicorn, Spider, Shadowfey, and more. If that wasn’t enough, the Wolf and Lion pets can now be ridden as mounts. Along with the Horse and Unicorn mounts, players now have plenty of options for striking fear into Sherwood’s minions while leading the charge mounted on these ferocious beasts.

You are cordially invited to check out the new allies and features, or just play in the snow at the holiday themed Sherwood Castle, head over to – no sign-up or download is required. With the addition of the new Zong SMS Mobile Phone Payment system, players all over the world can easily purchase premium companions for their enjoyment, without the need of Paypal or a credit card.

Cookie JarCookie Jar Entertainment has announced long-term deals with Netflix, allowing consumers in the U.S. and Canada to instantly enjoy selected titles from Cookie Jar’s extensive library of animated and live-action programming. Terms of the agreements are confidential.

In the U.S., Netflix members now have instant access to four of Cookie Jar Entertainment’s most Cookie Jar Charactersrecognizable television series – Busytown, Johnny Test, Metajets and Strawberry Shortcake – for a total of almost 200 half-hours of children’s entertainment.

In Canada, the agreement covers nine classic titles for a total of more than 500 half-hours and includes Bunch of Munsch, Caillou, Country Mouse City Mouse, Heathcliff, Horseland, Inspector Gadget, Paddington, Wimzie’s House and Zoboomafoo.

“Internet streaming offers tremendous opportunities for leveraging our catalogue of nearly 6,000 half-hour episodes of television series, the second JoyRide for Kinectlargest kid’s library in the world. With these ground-breaking agreements in hand, we are actively pursuing additional digital distribution deals worldwide,” said Michael Hirsh, CEO of Cookie Jar.

Those of you who own Joyride for Kinect will be able to download a Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette and Cruze for free on January 4, 2011. You can choose a color for your new cars or paint them using the Kinect sensor and then take them for a spin in any of “Kinect Joy Ride’s” six game modes. You can also use the cars in online races over Xbox LIVE. To unlock the new Chevrolet cars for Kinect Joy Ride simply select the Chevrolet ad in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace – keep your eye out for it – or you can unlock the Chevrolet cars by visiting Colin and Justin ChristmasXbox.com.

This video has absolutely nothing to do with gaming whatsoever, but it is a timely bit of cheer from interior designers Colin & Justin. The dynamic duo have put out three Christmas songs on iTunes, with all proceeds going to support Cash for Kids. While we do have a Cash For Kids charity here in Canada, I do believe that these songs are to benefit the UK Cash for Kids organization. Either way, enjoy the video, buy the songs (I did, and I’m not even a huge fan of the Christmas season), but most importantly, support the kids – and please remember your local toy, clothing and food drives, too.

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9th December 2010

A Whole Lotta Indie News

AnnexProLast evening we had the pleasure of attending Annex Pro’s Expo 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where we had a chance to catch up with a few friends Kerry Corlettas well as make new ones. The team at Annex Pro put together a great group of vendor booths – it’s a good thing that the CaveChild was not with us, or he would’ve tried to make off with the entire Avid Pro Tools display. As it was, I spent a fair bit of time talking with Bonnie from Wacom, and with a smoking hot sales deal from Annex Pro, my very dated Wacom Graphire 3 is now a medium-sized Intuos 4. Now I am just waiting on my registration emails from Wacom (how long does that take, anyway?) so that I can install the free software tools that purchasers of Wacom tablets receive, and then I can watch my Adobe PhotoShop Elements 4 upgrade to version 8 (oh wow, just learned that Adobe is now on version 9), and maybe in a few months’ time I can take advantage of the Wacom Buyer Privileges and upgrade my PhotoShop 7 to PhotoShop CS5 with the special purchase deal. Oh, and if you think my PhotoShop is outdated….I still use Bryce 5 and PaintShop Pro 8. I won a copy of Corel’s PaintIt on Twitter a few months ago, and have been playing a bit with it – watching the software’s conversion process is quite entertaining.

Annex Pro Expo SponsorsScott’s interest at the Annex Pro event was tweaked both by the keynote delivered by Technicolor Creative Services’ Tom Burns and by the offerings from Atempo, Aspera, Blue Arc, G-Tech, AJA and HP because he likes to geek out over the technical side of things, which are completely out of my realm. As long as our networks connect and the computers and server are working, I’m happy – although I do want the fancy computers & screens they have on CSI and Bones, just because they look cool.

I have always liked the software tools developed by Autodesk, who was also present at the expo, but as I can’t draw and haven’t even mastered Bryce 5, Maya and Max are far beyond my capabilities – I have a healthy respect for anyone who creates product with that software. Craft Animations was also displaying their wares, and I actually have one of their products, which I won at a previous Annex Pro event. Not a clue what to do with that, either. Perhaps we should come up with a contest and offer it as a prize; I’m sure there are some indie devs out there who would benefit greatly from having itGarage Inc.

Transgaming Studios has released the pre-game cinematic for their upcoming title Garage Inc on the game’s Facebook page. The cinematic introduces the player to the characters and sets the mood for this 1920’s Prohibition-era game. Watch as lead character Angelo talks with his cousin Sal during a family Christmas gathering about the garage he dreams of opening.

There are two new indie titles available today – Xona Games is burning up the dev pipe, releasing their second new title this week. Score Rush has Score Rushpassed Peer Review and is now out on Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 MS Points. Built on the Duality ZF engine, this 4-player shoot ’em up features overwhelming firepower, trailing options, full screen bombs, tons of enemies, an intimidating final boss and hundreds of crazy bullet patterns to survive. The 60 fps adrenaline-rush experience is complemented by a hard-rocking Dragon Music soundtrack.

Also out today is RatRod Studio’s Drift Mania Canadian Championship is now available in the Android Marketplace for 99 cents. Previously released in the iTunes App Store, Android users Drift Maniacan now get in on the racing action. Drift Mania Canadian Championships features Online Global Leaderboards with live events, variable throttle system and hydraulic handbrake with adjustable steering sensitivity, 7 uniquely spec’d vehicles, 5 different tracks, 2 acceleration modes and 3 levels of difficulty with 3 camera configurations. If you want to relive the moment, there is a highlights replay system, and you can also listen to either the included A Space Shootersoundtrack or your own music as you tear up the track.

A post made earlier today by Frima Studios‘ Executive Producer Martin Brouard on the official PlayStation blog announced that there will be a new title released by the studio on December 21st. A Space Shooter for Two Bucks will be available for free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers, and $1.99 for everyone else. According to the blog, A Space Shooter is of the classic arcade space shooting genre (in case you couldn’t guess that from the title), and “swarms of enemies filling the screens with hazardous bullets and missiles, heaps of upgrades for your ship and its arsenal, high-paced and constant action requiring deft reflexes, and hordes of alien baddies just waiting to be blown up by your superior space-faring skills.” Plus, to add to your gaming experience, there will be a myriad of interesting characters to encounter and in some cases control.

Kitchener-Waterloo developer Footloose Games has announced that they will be releasing a beta version of their Munchies LunchMunchies’ Lunch title on December 27th. Munchies’ Lunch is a fun adventure-puzzle PC-based game for the whole family. Simply download the game from the Footloose website to embark on an epic journey with the Munchie family as they say goodbye to their homeland and travel the world to find a peaceful place where they can settle down. Mr. & Mrs. Munchie will travel along with their children through far-away jungles, over steep mountains, and across the hot deserts in their journey. Along the way they’ll meet the ravenous Hungries, crafty bird-snakes and perhaps evNight Before Christmasen a tribal tiki or two.

Vancouver developer LoudCrow has released its latest iPad book. Available now, this pop-out version of The Night Before Christmas joins LoudCrow’s previous title, Pop-out Tales of Peter Rabbit in the iTunes store. In this new release, you can see William Denslow’s masterful illustrations brought to life with innovative pull-tabs, spin-wheels, and elements that bounce and spring with the touch a finger. Listen to “O Christmas Tree” beautifully performed on piano while you read and interact with each page of the book. Explore every scene and discover the many delightful life-like interactions at your fingertips.

Bioware has released the first in a series of “Making of” videos for Dragon Age 2. Here is Part One:

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koboKobo has launched Reading Life, an industry first social eReading experience. Readers can now track their personal reading history, check-in with characters and places inside books and earn achievements and awards for simply reading. Readers can also choose to share books, favourite passages, awards and more with their friends on Facebook. Kobo Reading Life is initially available on iPad, as a part of the latest iPad update in the iTunes store now.

Kobo Reading Life for iPad provides an unparalleled experience that enables users to engage in eReading in new ways, connect with friends, and earn awards just for reading: Read the rest of this entry »

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30th November 2010

Mega Brands To Develop Need For Speed Construction Toys

Mega BrandsMEGA Brands Inc. announced today that it has entered into a global multi-year licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. to develop construction toys based on Need for Speed™, the world’s best-selling racing video game franchise.

Mega Bloks Need for Speed construction toy sets will combine the engaging and immersive content of this award-winning franchise with the core play pattern of building vehicles. Launching Summer 2011, the Mega Bloks Need for Speed construction toy line will appeal to building fans and collectors alike with authentic vehicles and playsets that offer endless possibilities to build, race, customize and display.EA Games

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with EA to create the first construction toy line based on the Need for Speed franchise,” said Vic Bertrand, Chief Innovation Officer of MEGA Brands. “Whether it’s realistic driving games or over-the-top car pursuits, Need for Speed has attracted millions of followers worldwide. We look forward to bringing this world to life through Mega Bloks by offering fans an action-packed building experience.”

“For over 16 years, Need for Speed has been at the forefront of contemporary automotive culture. We are committed to delivering unique and fun experiences to our fans whether it’s feeling the rush of a cop pursuit at 200 mph or custom building your oNeed for Speed Worldwn race machine,” said Keith Munro, Vice President of Marketing, Need for Speed. “Now, through our partnership with Mega Bloks, everyone will be able to create their own customizable Need for Speed experience.”

Need for Speed is a global brand and with 17 titles and more than 110 million copies sold worldwide is the dominant racing video game franchise. Need for Speed is known for delivering unparalleled white-knuckle racing, creative customization and street style. The Need for Speed series has generated nearly $3B in life-to-date sales and has become a powerful pop culture phenomenon.

MEGA Brands will also be holding an Open House for designers this Thursday, December 2nd.  As one of the largest design centres in Quebec, MEGA Brands is always searching for new talent to design and conceptualize new construction toys and activities for their leading brands. MEGA Brands is presently seeking applicants who are creative, passionate and innovative for the following positions: Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Industrial Designers, Model Designers, and 3D Artists.

Designers will have an opportunity to learn more about this Montreal-based toy company and the exciting job opportunities they have to offer.

Date: Thursday, December 2
Time: 4 PM to 8 PM
Location: 4505 Hickmore, Montreal, QC H4T 1K4

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13th November 2010

Transgaming and Rockstar Bring Grand Theft Auto To Mac

TransGamingRockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and TransGaming, Inc. have released the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto Trilogy for the Macintosh. The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy revisits the classic entries of the series and includes Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy is available via TransGaming’s GameTreeMac.com Mac gaming portal for 30 days starting today and at retailers across Europe. It will be available at retail in North America starting November 22.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto III introduced a 3-dimensional Liberty City and a completely open and interactive world, filled with hidden challenges and innovative 3D gameplay. The immense map offered players a scope and depth never before seen in games. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City took a trip back in time and revisited the 1980s, complete with the era’s unique fashion and classic pop music. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City follows Tommy Vercetti, as he attempts to navigate the city’s tropical environment rife with gangsters and other seedy citizens. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas introduced San Andreas, the largest map of the series, which boasts three enormous cities. The narrative explores the life of Carl Johnson as he returns home to San Andreas after learning of the mysterious events surrounding a death in the family.

All three games feature thrilling, deep narratives, acerbic and witty dialogue, a cast of superbly voiced characters, a fleet of vehicles, and hours of music through in-game radio stations ranging from reggae, 80s pop, disco and hip-hop.

“The Grand Theft Auto series has been one of the most highly demanded titles by the Mac community. The availability of this incredible franchise on the Mac underscores TransGaming’s role in transforming the overall Mac gaming market,” commented Vikas Gupta, President & CEO of TransGaming. “These games will be broadly available and will be a great catalyst to the increasing popularity of gaming on the Mac.”

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