Kelowna-based iRok2 Media Inc. has announced the Playbook App release of its iRok2 Online social music game. iRok2 for BlackBerry PlayBook, a free app available on BlackBerry App World, provides users with a new rhythm music game customized and synchronized to a YouTube music video every day. As well, it serves as a gateway to the infinite choice of iRok2 Online – essentially all the world’s music, more than 16 million tracks. The game is quickly gathering user acceptance, already logging over a quarter million play sessions with users from North America, Asia and Europe. iRok2 is accessible from anywhere – home, office or remote connection and can be played through a computer keyboard or by plugging a Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar into your computer. Online play is free as well.
iRok2 CEO, Dr. Robert Arn, commented on the PlayBook introduction, “The unique rapid development capabilitities, high performance video streaming and support of Adobe Flash on the PlayBook platform have allowed us to create a Playbook App from elements of our online game – even before PlayBook hardware was available and our iRok2 Online game was still in Beta testing.” Dr. Arn added, “Such speed and flexibility allow us to experiment with building synergy between pad, mobile and computer game versions in a totally new way.”
iRok2 is based on new, patent-pending technology that automates the production of custom music games. iRok2 servers analyze music videos as they stream from YouTube and create a unique custom game for each video. If a user wants to play with a video that is not already in the catalog, it takes only a single click to request a new custom game which will appear in the catalog, available for everyone. Users have already built up the iRok2 catalog to over ten thousand custom games and there is no barrier to it growing to match the scale of the tens of millions of available YouTube music videos – including the new ones that appear every day. In play, the video streams to the player directly from YouTube and the custom game synchronizes to the video without storing or modifying the video or music in any way – in effect, an internet air guitar.
As well, iRok2 breaks down the barriers between players. iRok2 is a social game that allows players to connect to others of similar tastes around the world. Players can issue direct challenges to other players or join in real-time multi-user tournaments. A unique in-game scoring monitor allows players to directly see how their performance compares to others second-by-second, not just in final scores.
The IGDA has posted a response to Amazon’s clarification of seller terms for its digital marketplace, stating that the company’s policy is still unfair to developers and fails to fully address developer concerns. The article urges developers to join the conversation and let Amazon know that their policies need to be changed.
Big Blue Bubble’s Burn the Rope has ignited puzzle gaming on the iPhone and iPad, and will soon be doing the same for the Mac OS. Wickman has been looking to make his next move, and with brand new cursor and keyboard-driven controls, Burn the Rope for Mac OS brings the original hit mobile gaming experience and proven flame-lighting fun to Mac gaming enthusiasts everywhere, now from the Mac App Store.
The goal of Burn the Rope is to burn as much rope as possible on each level. 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 puzzle designs for each level and rope-crawling insects that add to the game-play in unique and interesting ways, Burn the Rope is one of the hottest apps in the App Store. Burn the Rope is fast-paced addictive fun, and the Burn the Rope for Mac OS is sure to please puzzle game fans of any age.
EA Black Box invites you to experience the white-hot intensity of illicit street racing in the all-new Team Escape mode in Need for Speed™ World, the Play4Free online PC action racing game from EA. Available now, players can team up with three friends to win the race while battling a determined police force. This is a race to the finish line using any means necessary including roadblocks, spike strips and deadly rhino SUVs. Players can also fight back with two brand new power-ups; Team Emergency Evade, which can be used to save friends from getting busted with a more powerful blast than regular evade, and Team Slingshot which gives one team a huge burst of speed.
Need for Speed World players will be the world’s first game to use Dolby® Axon voice technology. This innovative new technology lets players stay in constant contact as they organize objectives, create race strategies and perfect escape tactics without requiring a separate application or any drain on bandwidth.
Additionally, Need for Speed World players can now further personalize their cars with an enhanced visual customization system featuring window tints, underbody neons, license plates, wheels, and lowering kits.
Need for Speed World brings together best-in-class action racing with an unparalleled social experience on the PC. Players can compete against their friends and family or pick from thousands of players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits. Gamers race the way they want in an ever-expanding world with a constant stream of new content, cars, and features.
Square Enix Ltd. has announced that Deus Ex: Human Revolution™ Collector’s Edition, an extremely limited, exclusive product will be releasing in select European countries on August 26, 2011 and in Australia and New Zealand on August 25, 2011, snubbing the Deus Ex fans in the home country of developer Eidos Montreal – unless the publisher is being coy and simply not yet announcing something special for the NTSC zone gamers, but why do something that will blatantly alienate the gamer community the studio has worked very hard at engaging prior to the game’s release?
The Collector’s Edition will include some extras that can be purchased with one of the Augmented Reality versions or as a standard edition pre-order bonus (I’ve had an AR copy on pre-order since the title showed up in the GameStop computers), and while this newly announced edition will include all of the previously mentioned bonuses, it will also include the highly coveted and highly collectable Adam Jensen action figurine designed by Play Arts Kai – a Square Enix company.
This is not the first time Canadian gamers have been shut out of collectable extras sold by the publishers of Canadian-made titles. One of the most recent incidences was with Assassin’s Creed 2, when gamers in Canada (and the USA) could not purchase the AC2 CE with Ezio dressed in black Assassin’s garb, only white. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Canadian developers recognize their “hometown” supporters with a Canada-only special edition?
Wordcamp Montreal, which is taking place this July 9th and 10th at Coeur des Sciences, Agora Hydro-Québec – UQAM has put out a call for speakers. Early Bird tickets are also on sale now for $30.00.
Game Prototype Challenge has announced its development theme for April – Companion and Rising. Participants have until 11:59pm on April 25th, 2011 to submit their game prototypes. That’s one week away, with a preview event known as Screenshot Saturday taking place on – you guessed it – this coming Saturday. This is the fifth round of prototype challenges, and if the previous four are anything to go by, this one will also see some awesome entries. You can check out all of the previous entries on the challenge’s web site.
The Early Bird registration rate for Interactive Ontario’sINplay 2011 conference has been extended until April 27th. Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great event. If you are a Canadian digital media designer, don’t forget to send in your submission for the CMF Canadian Interactive Showcase, the deadline is May 2nd.
Interactive Ontario has also released the results of its recent eLearning survey. Designed to examine the challenges faced by the province’s eLearning and cultural industry sectors, the 63 page PDF report (which I am still working my way through) looks at opportunities for growth and cross-pollination among all industry genres, including books, gaming, film, television and music.
Sticking with Ontario for the moment, OMDC is now accepting applications for 2011/12 cycle of the OMDC Export Fund – Interactive Digital Media. This program provides eligible Ontario interactive digital media content producers with funding to participate in export development activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. Primary activities supported are market event attendance and targeted sales trips that relate to the strategy.
In order to be eligible, all applications must be submitted electronically through the Online Application Portal (OAP.) Interested applicants must register their company’s corporate information here prior to commencing an application.
For technical assistance with registration or the application process send an email to OMDC. Applicants are encouraged to commence the application process well in advance of the deadline in case technical support is required. Complete Guidelines and the link to the OAP are posted on the OMDC website.
In lieu of an information session, applicants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on a first draft of their OMDC Export Fund application through a one-on-one pre-application meeting with an OMDC Consultant. Participation in pre-application meetings is not a requirement and is offered as a courtesy for applicants who may be unfamiliar with the program and/or require additional assistance. Applicants are also encouraged to contact OMDC at any time with questions regarding this program.
Pre-application meetings will take place on May 9 and 10, 2011. Please send in an email to schedule a meeting please email email@example.com. Once your email request has been received, OMDC will contact you to schedule a time on one of these two days.
Here is a look at Part Two of the EA Sports video series on re-launching the SSX franchise with SSX: Deadly Descents:
Manitoba’s MTS has joined the “PVR from Anywhere” movement with the the launch of its My PVR (Personal Video Recorder) service which enables MTS Ultimate TV customers to add, change or delete their Whole Home PVR recordings using any computer with an Internet connection or from select mobile devices. This service is available free of charge to all MTS Ultimate TV Whole Home PVR subscribers.
“My PVR is a great addition to our MTS Ultimate TV service and will give customers the freedom to manage their Whole Home PVR from outside their home,” said Stan Kurtas, Vice President, Marketing, MTS. “We are always working to bring our customers the latest in technology in order to enhance, what we consider to be, the most feature rich television service in Canada.”
My PVR, which can be accessed through the customer’s MyAccount portal, offers customers the opportunity to browse through MTS’s online program guide to see what programs will be on in the next 12 days, search by title and create a shared login so anyone in the family can manage recordings over the Internet.
Independent media site rabble.ca is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching Media Watch, an initiative committed to dispelling myths perpetrated by ideologically driven reporters and sensationalist media. “We don’t want people to be blinded by SunTV,” said rabble.ca Publisher, Kim Elliott. “Our new media watch blog will feature a media consumer Twitter feed #sunwatch and the keen eye of Alheli Picazo.”
Coordinator of Media Watch and rabble.ca blogger, Alheli Picazo, wrote an expose in 2010 entitled “Ezra Levant vs Reality – A Prelude To Fox News North” in which she thoroughly challenged Levant’s characterization of George Soros. Following this piece Soros filed suit against Levant and Sun Media, resulting in a full retraction and apology printed in The Sun’s editorial section 13 short days after Levant’s original column ran.
“With the official launch of Sun TV News – featuring none other than Levant himself – there has never been a better time to establish a media accountability service,” said Picazo.
Though it’s starting off small, Media Watch aims to cover a wide range of media, from uninformed editorials and inaccurate reporting. rabble.ca’s team of dedicated spin decoders and lie detectors won’t just point out misinformation, but will provide readers with links to, and information about, the sources from which we cite accurate information. Be it scientific data, peer reviewed research, documented fact or expert analysis, we’ll share the tools you need to further investigate the issues.
Canadian voters are invited to tune in to rabbleTV on April 18 to watch special election coverage (“for the rest of us”) with the launch of the show Real Issues. Host Trish Hennessy (researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the Hennessy Index) will be joined by guests Canadian Auto Workers economist Jim Stanford, Greg Elmer, Director, Infoscape Research Lab and Bell Globemedia Research Chair, and Atkinson Foundation’s Olivia Nuamah. This first panel responds to the leaders’ debates and the campaign so far, and will tackle the issue of strategic voting.
Building on the wildly successful voter engagement game Mayor Munch, Onestop Media Group has launched Ballot Blitz – an online game starring animated versions of Canada’s top five party leaders: Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May.
Ballot Blitz is accessible online through Onestop’s consumer site and is promoted nationally to the millions of people viewing Onestop’s portfolio of Digital Out-of-Home Networks across the country. Registration is required in order to play the game.
Ballot Blitz features Live poll results based on the animated candidates’ popularity. Playonestop.com will also feature a series of fun election-specific polls and content. Over the next few weeks, Onestop will be using its digital media channels, PlayOnestop.com, Twitter, and Facebook, to promote several creative polls as an alternative to the dozens of scientific polls and ‘more-serious’ election media.
“History shows youth engagement leads to next generation voters. As a Canadian company immersed in the digital landscape, we have the mandate and social responsibility to do just that… help the communities in which we operate engage youth in this federal election in a fun fashion relevant to their generation,” says Michael Girgis, President and CEO, Onestop Media Group.
The digital and interactive campaign largely targets what is recognized as an untapped voting community of 18 – 34 year olds. As an incentive, Ballot Blitz players are eligible to win an Apple MacBook. The contest closes Friday, April 29th at 5:01pm.
Grey Alien Games has just announced that its latest casual puzzle title, Spring Bonus, has been released for the PC and Mac platforms. We saw this game demonstrated at last Monday’s Indie Dev Meetup, and I highly recommend this title for the whole family.
A very highly polished production, Spring Bonus is an Easter-themed game that offers very cute and well-drawn graphics, a Disney-esque soundtrack and non-irritating sound effects. While the soundtrack and sound effects are pleasant to listen to while playing the game, it is possible to adjust the volume or even turn it off. An important marker for me is if I can play through the game with no sound and still do well. I know that much effort goes into writing soundtracks and getting just the right sound effects, but being able to play a game without the sound a bonus point on development as far as I’m concerned.
Spring Bonus releases with 100 levels spread across a colourful map in a country setting, which pairs up nicely with the game’s pieces which feature spring flowers, bunnies, carrots and various Easter egg treats. The first 18 levels of Spring Bonus are available in the game’s demo, which installs smoothly and easily.
There are a variety of board shapes, each of which with its own challenges. Some are filled with ice blocks that need to be broken either by matching the game pieces or using power-ups to break or melt them. Some levels only require the matching of a set number of pieces to advance to the next level, while others require a combination of pieces to be matched or removed. There are even some level with multiple mini boards to work through – and luckily for the player, the power-ups can cross board borders.
Every few levels feature the elusive golden eggs, which must be moved down the board by eliminating the pieces below them until the golden eggs fall off the board. To add to the challenge, you can opt to play against the clock or play in relaxed mode, which is a great option for younger children to play, especially as they may get distracted simply by looking at the the puzzle pieces or they may want to play by their own methods, as children sometimes do. The only negative point of the entire game is that it lacks a keyboard lock-out to prevent children from exiting the game and accidentally accessing your files or the web. While I don’t condone using games as a babysitter, even those parents who are sitting with their children while playing a game get distracted – the phone rings, another child needs attention, dinner needs to be prepared, and it’s always nice to know that if you do have to leave the computer for a moment, your child cannot leave the game screen.
The instructions and tool tip windows are very easy to understand, but they will need to be explained to children who either can’t yet read or who are at the beginning stages of learning how to read. This is another opportunity for parents to work with their children in learning not only game play but also new words and meanings. The tool tip popups can also be turned off if they are not needed, plus they can either be left to fade from the screen or closed by clicking on the X. Another option is to play the game either in full screen or tiled mode, which is handy if you have other things going on such as chat windows.
If you have chosen to play in relaxed mode, you can easily up the ante by switching to timed mode with a click of the mouse, as there is a check box on the game screen to switch back and forth. Even relaxed mode gives you extra bonus points if you finish within the set limit, but does not penalize you for running out of time, other than to not give you the extra points. The time limits given for each level are realistic, and really won’t put you into panic mode unless you get sidetracked with just matching the pieces.
There are several power-ups available to help you advance faster through the levels- something which comes in handy not only in timed mode but also when you need to drop the golden eggs off the board or change up some pieces. You gain power-ups by matching 4 or more pieces, with bubbles being the first power-ups to appear. When you click on a bubble, it clears the blocks around it – but in order to really power-up your power-ups and give them more range, you need to make matches with the glowing pieces. When you do this, your magic rainbow will fill up with colour, and once it’s bright and shiny, your power-ups will harness the power of the rainbow and clear even more tiles, columns or rows.
Power-ups come in the form of the aforementioned bubbles, birds in a nest, four-leaf clovers, storm clouds, hammers, magnifying glasses and the sun. The nesting birds fly out horizontally when you click on them, clearing from one to three rows, depending on your shiny Rainbow power. Storm Clouds will clear one to three columns, while the Four Leaf Clovers clear a star-burst pattern vertically, horizontally and diagonally. The Hammer will break ice cubes, the Sun will melt a circle of ice cubes much the same way as the Bubble clears squares, and the Magnifying Glass will clear one tile of ice. There are also Mystery Boxes which appear later in the game (beyond the 18 demo levels) that contain a surprise. I imagine there are power-ups hiding inside, but one never knows.
Spring Bonus is a very high quality casual game – the colours are bright and appealing, the characters and scenery are well-drawn, the menu is easy to use and understand, and you can even save the game’s background to your PC or Mac as desktop wallpaper. For those of you constantly on the go, Spring Bonus will also be available for iPad and Windows Phone 7 in the near future. The game has also been localized into 9 languages including English. Spring Bonus does not require the latest computing power to run on your PC or Mac, which is always a bonus, because not everyone has the latest high-powered gaming rig, and as it’s a downloadable title, I can even play it on my netbook.
PC Minimum System Requirements:
Operating System: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7
Hard Drive Space: 27MB
Graphics Card: DirectX7 or OpenGL compatible 3D graphics card
DirectX Version: 7
Sound Card: Any
Mac Minimum System Requirements:
CPU: Intel or PowerPC
Operating System: OSX 10.3
Processor Speed: 800MHz
Hard Drive Space: 32MB
Graphics Card: OpenGL 3D compatible graphics card
Sound Card: Any
Spring Bonus offers very good value for it’s price of $9.99, is DRM-free and also has a 60 day no quibble, money back guarantee. Overall, I give Spring Bonus a 9.5 out of 10 – if it had a keyboard lock-out option, it would be a 10.
This morning I also woke up to an announcement from TransGaming Inc. about the new title its Studio Division, creators of the popular title Garage Inc., have been teasing about the past few weeks on both Twitter and Facebook. This new title, Kula Blox, is a multi-platform game targeted to a broad family audience. Leveraging TransGaming’s innovative cross-platform game enablement technologies, Kula Blox will be simultaneously released on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, PC and the GameTree TV Smart TV Gaming Platform in the summer of 2011.
“Our original game Garage Inc. was an incredible success and has garnered a user base of almost 500,000 since its release. The casual gaming sector is a high-growth market with lots of potential. These are exciting times, and we are very pleased to be launching a new title based on our own IP”, commented Wojtek Kawczynski, Managing Director of TransGaming’s Studio Division. “By incorporating both TransGaming’s own enablement technologies, as well as innovative micro-transaction business models Kula Blox, is well-positioned to become profitable quickly while at the same time generating a long-term revenue stream.”
Kula Blox will be an animal-themed arcade-style game that allows a broader audience of non-traditional gamers to have immersive, but still “snack” gaming experiences. The Kula Blox property is designed to become a franchise that spans across multiple future titles with Kula Blox being the first. When paired with the lucrative in-game micro-transactions and content updates, the result will be a game that maximizes both profitability and long-term playability.
Starting today, NHL fans will have the opportunity to make their Stanley Cup® Playoffs predictions in the EA SPORTS™ NHL®2011 Playoff Bracket Contest on Facebook. Fans can make their predictions on the real series using the EA SPORTS NHL 11 simulation engine that will link to the Playoffs bracket and predict who will advance to the next round. The engine correctly predicted that the Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup last year, and that the Vancouver Canucks would win the Presidents’ Trophy this year. Fans will vote on the winner of each series at the start of each round, accumulating points for correct selections; prizing will be available for each round so fans can continue to enter after the playoffs start. A grand prize winner will receive two tickets to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa for the most points accumulated throughout the contest; the winner will be announced at the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.*
The NHL 11 computerized simulation is conducted using artificial intelligence that uses real-life data from each team, such as player ratings and line combinations, and includes variances such as injuries and hot streaks to predict a realistic outcome of each game and series.
First round selections open today, and subsequent rounds will be announced at the end of each series.
EA SPORTS NHL 11 Round One Predictions – Conference Quarterfinals:
(1) Vancouver defeats (8) Chicago; 4-2
(2) San Jose defeats (7) LA Kings; 4-1
(3) Detroit defeats (6) Phoenix; 4-2
(5) Nashville defeats (4) Anaheim; 4-3
(1) Washington defeats (8) NY Rangers; 4-0
(2) Philadelphia defeats (7) Buffalo; 4-1
(3) Boston defeats Montreal (6); 4-3
(5) Tampa Bay defeats (4) Pittsburgh; 4-2
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Eligibility restrictions apply. Contest starts April 13, 2011 and runs through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Complete Contest rules can be found online.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Cineplex Entertainment will be hosting a Canadian launch and tournament event for Mortal Kombat, the highly anticipated game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, on April 18th. Tickets for this event are only $5 – on sale now – and all ticket holders will get the chance to participate in a Mortal Kombat tournament for some great prizes, with the final rounds taking place on the big screen. An exclusive contest for SCENE members will also take place at each location (not including Quebec). By redeeming SCENE points, members can enter to win a life-size Scorpion replica statue ($2,000 approximate value).
Event participants at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto will be able to meet Canadian UFC fighter Sean Pierson as he will be signing autographs from 8:00-10:00 p.m. Finally, three versions of the game for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be available for purchase at midnight at the theatre. The Mortal Kombat Standard Edition will be available for $69.99, the Mortal Kombat Kollectors Edition for $99.99 and the Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition for $149.99.
The latest iteration of the award-winning Mortal Kombat videogame, available on April 19, marks a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favorite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduces a number of new game-play features including tag team and a deep story mode. Mortal Kombat is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon.
The game is rated M for Mature, participants must be at least 18 years of age to attend the event and purchase the game.
WHEN: Monday, April 18, 8:00 p.m. to midnight (local time)
BRITISH COLUMBIA: SilverCity Coquitlam Cinemas, 170 Schoolhouse
ALBERTA: Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton Cinemas, 1525-99th Street NW, Edmonton and SilverCity CrossIron Mills Cinemas & XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, 261055 CrossIron Boulevard, Rocky View (Calgary)
MANITOBA: SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas, 817 St. James Street Winnipeg
ONTARIO: Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond Street West and SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas and XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, 18151 Yonge Street
QUEBEC: Scotiabank Theatre Montreal, 977 rue Ste-Catherine Montreal
In the meantime, check out this teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat: Legacy done by Vancouver’s GoldTooth Creative:
Updated: This press release arrived in my email just after I made the original post.
Goldtooth Creative is proud to have provided visual effects, editing, motion graphics, and more than an hour of original music for the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat web series, produced by Contradiction Films and Warner Premiere and debuting online today.
Beginning in the pre-production phase and continuing through filming and beyond, Goldtooth artists worked closely with Director Kevin Tancharoen and the Mortal Kombat production team to create slick visuals and an evocative musical score that heighten the chills and thrills of Tancharoen’s action-packed series.
Though the Goldtooth crew has worked its magic on countless videogames—and key creative personnel cut their teeth on television series’ and blockbuster films—this is the company’s first foray into live-action web-based entertainment. “We’re excited to be part of this innovative project and proud to show off the talent we have here at Goldtooth,” said Tyler Weiss, Goldtooth Vice President and Audio Director.
“We’re fans of the franchise, and so we were determined from the word ‘go’ that our work would be worthy of the Mortal Kombat universe,” said Goldtooth VFX Supervisor Keegen Douglas, who helped design the visual effects in pre-production, supervised on set, and led the Goldtooth VFX team during the whirlwind post schedule. “We had a great time collaborating with Kevin and the entire Mortal Kombat team,” said Goldtooth Associate Creative Director Paul Furminger, who led the Goldtooth editorial team on this project.
“From the start we knew that this was going to be an unbelievably challenging project,: said Tim Carter, producer of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. “Goldtooth embraced the project and truly invested in it both emotionally and in terms of their approach to budget. Their work has been consistently phenomenal and it’s no exaggeration to say that without them Mortal Kombat: Legacy simply wouldn’t have been possible.’
The nine-webisode series relates origin stories for many of the franchise’s most notorious characters. The first episode—in which Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) and Jax (Michael Jai White) go head-to-head with Kano (Darren Shahlavi)—premieres today, with subsequent episodes to be released each consecutive Friday through April and May.
Reminder: You have two days left to apply to be one of 20 media professionals at Anita Ondine’s groundbreaking Transmedia Lab on April 28-29, presented by Merging Media Productions and CMPA-BC. Deadline: MiGS 2011 Speaker Deadline is Monday. Get your proposals in now. Register: Toronto Startup Weekend is June 3 – 5th. Launch: Firefox 4 and Mozilla’s Vancouver Office Launch Party is on April 15th
Funcom and EA have released a new Secret World video – and apparently all of those conspiracy theories are … true …
Also new today from EA Sports is the SSX franchise re-launch video for the upcoming Deadly Descents.
Ludia and Disney-ABC Domestic Television today announced the availability of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game on Facebook platform, giving a true-to-TV experience with thousands of questions and hundreds of categories from the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” TV show, complete with authentic theme music. Based on the exciting and unpredictable “shuffle” format of randomized questions seen on the hit TV game show, players can now enjoy a multiplayer experience with friends and other Millionaire fans across North America on Facebook.
Contestants simultaneously compete to correctly answer ten multiple choice trivia questions from various categories, with the ability to use the “Jump The Question” lifeline for a stumper question as well as use their Facebook friends as lifelines to earn bonus points and increase their chances of winning. The champion of the multiplayer “Round 1” goes on to play a “Classic Millionaire” round of four questions, each with a progressively higher dollar value that leads to the simulated $1,000,000 grand prize.
Congratulations to Ubisoft, who came out as big winners at last night’s MI6 Game Marketing Awards, hosted by California-based PromaxBDA, an international association for entertainment marketing professionals. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood picked up the following medals:
Gold Medal Best GamePlay Footage Trailer for “Enter Rome” Single-Player Gameplay Trailer Gold Medal Best Product Packaging Gold Medal Best Limited Edition or Collector’s Edition Gold Medal Best Swag for the “Doctor Jack-in-the-Box” Collectible Silver Medal Outstanding Promotional Trailer for its E3 trailer Bronze Medal Best Co-Branding & Video Asset by Gamestop TV, Harlequin Doodle Dandy and Ubisoft
Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell franchise also won two Bronze Medals, the first for Best Use Of Online Media or Use Of Online Social Media Marketing for Splinter Cell: The Search for Sam Fisher (by Liquid Marketing), and the second for Splinter Cell Conviction “Set in Stone” Buzz Tactic in the Most Effective Buzz Creation category.
Not to be left out, Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Boot Camp Pre-Launch Campaign picked up a Bronze Medal for Most Effective Viral Marketing/Promotion and a Gold Medal for YourShape Fitness Evolved: Outtakes (Pereira & O’Dell) in the Best Work Never Seen category.
EA Sports NBA Jam picked up a Bronze Medal for NBA Jam in the Standout Print Advertisement category while Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 won a Silver Medal in the Best Online Take-over/Road Block/Rich Media Unit for Mass Effect 2 – Diorama produced by draftfcb San Francisco & Wieden+Kennedy
Speaking of awards shows, the voice over community is banding together in an effort for their industry to be recognized at the Oscars, which currently recognizes just four acting awards for live action. Animated films are eligible for the Best Picture and Animated Feature Film categories but there is no category to honour the voice actors in these films.
Canadian company Voices.com initiated the idea for a change to the Oscars program on their Facebook Group. When the company asked if talent were willing to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk and sign a petition lobbying for a voice over performance category, the fan-base gave them a resounding thumbs-up.
“Our initial research shows that many people are in support of the Academy Awards introducing a category for voice over performance,” says Stephanie Ciccarelli, Voices.com Chief Marketing Officer. “We were amazed by the outpouring of support in our endeavor to get the ball rolling in this regard. Recognition in the form of an Oscar for voice actors not only acknowledges their work at this level but also esteems voice acting and its significant contribution to film.”
The purpose of the petition is to achieve recognition for actors who perform behind the scenes. Outstanding voice over performances breathe life into animated films thereby creating iconic characters that are memorable, lovable and real. Recognizing the art of voice acting by designating a voice over performance category for voice actors in the Oscars could result in the fulfillment of many collective dreams.
Ubisoft and Gatorade have announced a new partnership to deliver a workout series designed specifically for fitness athletes for Ubisoft’s popular video game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. Gatorade enlisted the talents of celebrity-trainer Gunnar Peterson to develop a workout series created around the G Series™ FIT, their new line of innovative products for fitness athletes. The Gatorade-inspired workouts are available to download now for free on the Xbox LIVE marketplace.
The ‘G Series FIT Workout with Gunnar Peterson’ offers personalized training sessions with one of the country’s top celebrity and athlete trainers and the workout plan is designed to inspire and fuel the inner athlete in everyone. The downloadable workout plan includes a 30-minute full-body toning program, and introduces new exercises including jumping jacks, squat raises, lunges, and other new moves that integrate free weights and dumbbells.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is available exclusively on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system. G Series FIT was developed specifically for fitness athletes to provide fuel, fluid and nutrients before, during and after a workout. The products, each inspired by fitness athletes and designed by Gatorade, are currently available nationwide.
Let the heavens rejoice after 5 years in development Hothead Games has released Swarm. Swarm is a amazing downloadable action platformer game for XBLA and PSN.
It’s about a gigantic blue worm that lands on a nasty planet and it’s up to you to control a team of 50 little “Swarmites” at once through 11 levels, collecting points and DNA to help grow “Momma”, get her a new hat and leave the planet. There is one catch though; this path is full of things that burn, trap, electrify and decapitate your swarm at every point and you get glorious points added to your score for it. All you have to do is make it through the level with at least one Swarmite in order to return to Momma. Momma has lots of Swarmites spawn points throughout the levels so if they die, Momma spawns more. This can be helpful because there are points in the game that require you to have a certain number in order for the higher point value orbs to appear.
You are rewarded in this game for the collection of things that look like nucleus and DNA. The more you collect in a row helps fill a multiplier which can greatly add to your score, but in a cruel twist, deaths of your Swarmites also add to it. So if your multiplier looks like it’s running out you can just kill off some of your swarm to keep it up. This is the game’s primary mechanic, as you find that most obstacles you encounter or crates to open just happen to kill off some of your happy blue buddies. At the end of the level your amount of Swarmite deaths are calculated up and put towards progressive death medals and the worldwide death total. Deaths in the level also have death medals but are only rewarded when the last 10 of your Swarm encounter the same deadly fate.
The game gets progressively harder and (easier if you replay earlier levels) as you get better at controlling your swarm and there are even two boss battles that are unlocked by collecting enough DNA.
Some of the awesome things you can get your swarm to do include moves such as jump, dash, huddle together and stack on each other as well as pick up and throw explosives. Sometimes your Swarmites will pick each other up when picking up explosives, leading to some hilarious deaths.
The game’s length is 6-8 hours but with the leaderboards, achievements and the constant questioning of Momma asking “Why can’t you be more like (Insert friend’s gamer tag here)” the replay value is high. Here’s hoping there is more Swarm content coming.
Hothead Games has taken an old convention that games punish you if you die, turning it around so that death is rewarding. Congratulations to Hothead for taking an original idea and making it shine. If you’re looking for a fun, original type of game don’t let this one pass you by cause you wouldn’t want to disappoint Momma – plus it would make a great gift for any video game loving mom (Mother’s Day is coming up) and you know that would score some serious points.
Swarm is on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) for 1200 MS Points and PSN (Playstation Network store) for $14.99 Released on March 22nd 2011 by Hothead Games, Swarm is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.