A-la-carte tickets for Spark Animation are now available. Vancouver’s ACM SIGGRAPH chapter have officially opened the event’s site for individual session or film session purchases. The festival will open with a social mixer on Wednesday, September 8th and will feature a full schedule of inspiring speakers, panels and films.
Vancouver indie studio Ninja Robot Dinosaur has declared Ray Ardent: Science Ninja done. The product of indie developer & design veteran Shane Neville, Ray Ardent: Science Ninja is a high speed platformer where players assume the role of Ray Ardent, a retro pulp combination of Nicholas Tesla and Chuck Norris who saves the world with his unique combination of Science and Ninjutsu. Power-ups like Science Slide, Triple Jump and nine others let gamers customize Ray to play how they want him to. Ray Ardent features 15 levels and is currently up for licensing on Flash Game License. Ray Ardent was built using the Flixel game libraries created by Adam Saltzman of Canabalt fame, with John Tennant providing the audio work.
You begin this adventure not knowing where you are or who you are. All you know is that you are some kind of creature of instinct, understanding little. During the course of the adventure, it may be possible for you to begin to control your bestial nature, to find out more about yourself, and even to learn your destiny. But even if you know all this, success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many.
Now you can experience the books that have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, on your iPhone or iPad. Fighting Fantasy fans will love the classic story and original illustrations with a technological twist. No more dice, pencils, or bookmarks. All of the special features are built in:
* New! Player Achievements * Universal app iPad support * Scrolling image gallery of unlocked in-game art * Tap the on screen buttons to flip pages (No papercuts!) * Shake to roll the 3D dice using the accelerometer (or tap through with ease) * Inventory items selectable via touch-screen * Game-save feature allows you to retrace your steps * Includes both original illustrations by Ian McCaig and digitally re-mastered versions * Integrated iPod music library access
Bioware has just announced that the newest DLC for Mass Effect 2 for PC and Xbox 360 will be released on September 7th. Available for 800 Bioware/MS Points, players who purchase Lair of the Shadowbroker will join Liara T’Soni on her mission to track down the mysterious Shadow Broker. She’ll do anything to recover the man the Broker kidnapped, and the Shadow Broker’s agents will do anything to stop her. Team up with Liara and chase down clues as you adventure from the luxurious heights of Illium to the Shadow Broker’s own secret lair. In this new DLC, players will gain access to the Shadow Broker intel center, new research, and five new achievements. Mass Effect 1 players who carried their characters over to ME2 will also have the chance to continue a relationship with Liara. Read the rest of this entry »
Canadian-made video games have been acknowledged the world over as triumphs of their genres; thus it was a real delight to attend Toronto’s Microsoft X10. Held by The Fifth, X10 filled every available space with demonstrations of the Xbox 360′s power to surprise, delight, and thoroughly entertain.
2010 has been a strong year for the Xbox 360, and the holiday season is sure to deliver a grand finale. There are comebacks for many of the console’s best-love franchises, and the debut of the much-talked about Kinect. Canadian offerings for the fall and winter land in both camps-with EA and Ubisoft both making particularly strong showings, and Big Park providing the Kinect with a joyous launch product, great games will arrive this winter from both sides of the border.
The doors opened at ten that morning; when I arrived at 10:04, the line still went out the door. The transformation to the club’s interior completely justified the mayhem. EA’s aisle was justifiably packed from sunup to sundown—with three instalments of powerful franchises on display, I was lucky to have the company of both Guillaume Voghel and Dana Sissons, who were eager to share their inside scoops on EA’s releases.
Guillaume Voghel is obviously proud of Dead Space 2 — with good reason. Dead Space 2 looks to deliver more in every imaginable way. The borders of the USG Ishimura have fallen away into the Sprawl, a fantastical space city on Titan that stretches into every plane of the screen. Changes have also been made to Mr. Clarke himself.
“Isaac’s got a face! We have given him a voice, he is no more the silent and vigilant guy. He’s more talkative, and more interested in taking strong action.”
A reminder to all those planning to attend IN2010 – if you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, Early Bird pricing ends tonight at midnight. The event is also looking for a few good volunteers, so if you’re interested in helping out, click here.
Along with the opportunity to hear from 65 industry speakers, IN2010 offers:
3 keynote presentations Facilitated one-on-one meeting opportunities 4 Networking breaks 2 Evening receptions Fully catered lunch and breakfast on both days
Games Stream • Concept to Screen: This will focus on the actual creative arc that individuals trace in order to create a piece of work that is exploitable along multiple entertainment verticals. Mark Long, Style Driver, Zombie Studios.
Mobile Stream • Managing Mobile: Challenges & Opportunities Facing Mobile Projects. Creating projects for the new set of mobile platforms can present it’s own set of challenges. What types of issues can you expect to face and what opportunities can the mobile platform present? Featuring Rick Segal, Co-Founder, FixMO.
The BlackBerry Social Media Stream • Bend It!: A discussion about pushing boundaries of social media and future trends between an assembly of innovators from several different sectors. Featuring Juliette Powell, Author, Pundit, Integrated Media Specialist.
The Rogers X-Platform Stream • Branded Entertainment: A breakdown of brand-supported entertainment properties. Featuring creation, brand integration and ROI measurements. Featuring Paul Bennun , Owner, Somethin’ Else.
Visionary Stream • Weird Science: From thought-controlled devices to biotechnology, this Visionary Presentation session will showcase leading work being done locally and aboard that has the potential to usher in a new era of interaction. Andrew Hessel, Co-Chair, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Singularity University.
If you are a Dragon Age fan but couldn’t go to Gamescom, do not despair. You, too can take part in a Dragon Age 2 live chat tomorrow (August 21st) via the magic of the internet. The live chat will begin at 12:00PM CEDT, which translates to 6:00AM EDT (or 3:00AM here in Vancouver).
XMG Studios has released its first Android title. Little Metal Ball is a top-down full-tilt platform adventure which features 20 levels of twisted labyrinths and challenging puzzles controlled by precise tilt control and physics. You will race against the clock, trying to obtain bronze, silver and gold record times along with power-ups and more.
According to recently released data from comScore Media Metrix, Disney Online, the No. 1 ranked community-family and parenting destination on the Web, reached a record-breaking 36 million unique visitors in July, beating the previous all-time record of 34 million uniques set in June 2009 by two million unique visitors. This growth was in great part due to increased traffic to areas of the site such as Disney Games, Disney Channel and Disney Movies. Most notably, Disney Games climbed to the No. 3 spot in the Online Gaming category. Read the rest of this entry »
A quick reminder that Microsoft Tech Days will be touring across the country beginning next month. You may still have time to get in on the Early Bird pricing if you act fast. Early Bird prices close six weeks prior to tour arrival dates.
Vancouver: September 14-15 Edmonton: October 05-06 Toronto: October 27-28 Halifax: November 02-03 Ottawa: November 09-10 Montreal: November 23-24 Winnipeg: December 07-08 Calgary: December 14-15
If you are a Joss Whedon fan, then you will want to be spending some time at Whedon Fest, a 3 day unofficial convention to celebrate all that is Whedon. The convention will feature guests and events from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse. Organizers and fans will be celebrating the Joss ‘verse from Friday October, 1st to Sunday October, 3rd 2010 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada. The unofficial Whedon Fest convention will comprise of guest talks, autograph and photograph sessions, charity auction, a Saturday night masquerade and dance, contests, and more.
BattleGoat Studiosand Paradox Interactive are pleased to announce that Supreme Ruler Cold War, the next title in the Supreme Ruler series, is scheduled for release in Q2 2011. Building on Supreme Ruler 2010 and 2020, BattleGoat Studios invites you to relive the tension and uncertainty of the Cold War. As the 1950’s approach, the Korean War looms, the Arms Race intensifies, the Berlin Crisis leads to the formation of NATO, and the world anticipates a new World War.
As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct Economic, Diplomatic, Domestic and Military decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era and increase your nation’s Sphere of Influence on the world stage.
- Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode – Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode – Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations – Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge – Grow and Modernize your Economy – Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details – And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces! – Enhanced Graphics and Sound including New 3D Terrain – Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls – Up to 16 players in Multiplayer over local network or Internet
ApeZonehas released a free version of SoliScare for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, letting you take a free peak at their whimsical card game, specifically designed for the iPhone’s touch screen. The free version lets you play though ten ghost levels, where you will use your astral weapons of everyday objects to beat down ghosts. Drawing a club, gives you a golf club, a spade gives you a shovel, and so on. As you make longer runs of cards, you’ll capture ghosts and place them in your jailhouse. Try to capture all 13 ghosts. Collect coins as you clear cards and buy game perks to help you out.
Paradox Interactive and Vancouver’s Kerberos Productions have released new screenshots and gameplay scenes from Sword of the Stars II, the sequel to the hit 4X franchise, Sword of the Stars. Scheduled for release in Q2 2011, Sword of the Stars II will feature the six races from SotS and its expansions, as well as revealing the dark, running secret of the original series, the Suul’ka – an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with other races in the Sword of the Stars universe.
“We’re really excited to have the Sword of the Stars II as a part of our lineup at Gamescom” Says Executive Producer Mattias Lilja at Paradox Interactive. “PC gamers have a lot of love for the genre and we’re no exception. The game looks and plays great already and we’re really looking forwarding to showing off the game.”
nGen, Niagara’s Interactive Media Generator is pleased to announce the opening of its $3 million, state of the art facility designed for digital interactive media advancement. Funded by the Community Adjustment Fund, a government fund established as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to address the short-term economic needs of Canadian communities impacted by the global recession. The new facility houses cutting edge digital interactive media technologies and will undoubtedly increase Niagara’s already growing reputation as a hub for digital interactive media. The expanded facility has been branded the Generator at one. Located at one St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines the facility has the capacity to enable entire media projects to be created at one location. Read the rest of this entry »
Klei Entertainmenthas started to reveal some of the Costume Unlocks that will be available in Shank, which is due for release on the PlayStation Network on August 24th and Xbox LIVE Arcade on August 25th. By completing challenges and amassing points, you will be able to unlock costumes such as the Yellow Jumpsuit Shank. Klei will be unveiling a new costume every day, so follow them on Twitter to get the daily costume news. According to the dev blog, the studio has made more progress on re-mastering the game’s soundtrack and as gamers requested, the soundtrack will be available in mp3 format.
THQ Inc.today announced that the Windows PC version of the hotly anticipated first-person-shooter Homefront™ from Kaos Studios, is being developed by a dedicated team at Digital Extremes and will be available early in 2011.
“Digital Extremes has a superb track record in PC development,” said David Votypka, General Manager at Kaos Studios, THQ. “While the team here at Kaos is completely focused on the core Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Homefront, our partnership with Digital Extremes means that PC gamers can look forward to a version of the game tailored to the demands of the discerning PC gamer.”
“We’re building on the great game that Kaos Studios is making and enhancing it with specific PC relevant features,” added Frank De Lise, Executive Producer, THQ. “PC players will be able to set up and host Homefront dedicated servers and enjoy additional community features including clan support. We believe the core PC first-person-shooter fan will really appreciate these features, which are becoming increasingly rare.”
THQ Inc. also announced that it will be launching a rewards program for Relic Entertainment’s upcoming 3rd Person Action/Shooter Warhammer® 40,000®: Space Marine® for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC. The loyalty program, dubbed ‘Honor Guard’, will allow gamers to become part of an elite group of Space Marine fans who will be given the opportunity to become involved in the success of the game. Honor Guard members will get the latest news, exclusive access to first look assets and receive reward points for viral activity, which could result in rewards of exclusive Space Marine branded items.
Travis Plane, Vice President of Global Brand Management commented: “Rewarding community for their role as opinion formers is important to us so we are delighted to be able to unveil the Honor Guard program.”
To kick off the Honor Guard program THQ will be handing out an Ultramarine cloth patch at Gamescom with directions on how to register for a free “For the Emperor” ring tone. The patch will also be handed out at Games Workshop’s US Games Day event in Baltimore on August 21st, 2010, and the UK Games Day event at the Birmingham NEC on September 26th, 2010. This item is the first of five items that fans are encouraged to collect over the next few months at various shows around the globe. More details about these items will be released throughout the year.
Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.
Kelowna indie developer Cosmic Logic Inc. is proud to officially announce details on their upcoming XBLIG and PC title, Doc Logic, an arcade-style platformer with an emphasis on explosive action and survival. Doc blasts across the screen with upgradeable weapons and abilities through expanding levels of increased difficulty that will challenge and engage the true gamer in you. Unique level designs combined with increasing enemy difficulty makes “Doc Logic” an intense sci-fi adventure. Do what you can to keep the clock running as you collect points, destroy enemies, and collect time bonuses. Read the rest of this entry »
Toronto and Vancouver Halo fans, get ready to track The Covenant on August 21, 2010 and then Defend Reach in two separate missions on August 28th in Vancouver or September 4th in Toronto.
Locate the Covenant Advance Invasion Forces in either city to prove you’re ready to fight alongside Noble Team, win instant prizing, and be entered to win an exclusive Halo Reach Xbox bundle pack.
Join the fight and help UNSC track down Covenant by following UNSC_INTEL on Twitter. You’ll receive up-to-the-minute updates from UNSC pertaining to the whereabouts of the Covenant. Twitter followers of UNSC_INTEL will also be entered for the chance to win a Legendary Edition copy of Halo Reach.
In Defend Reach, Covenant have located and attacked UNSC control points. UNSC has planned a strategic assault and needs recruits. Do you have what it takes? Come down to the control point in your city for an event you’ll never forget. Battle Covenant troupes live using state-of-the-art weapons technology and be one of the first Canadians to get a sneak peak of Halo Reach. The event is free to anyone prepared to kick some serious Covenant butt. And for any die-hards out there who have pre-ordered the game, bring proof of purchase for an exclusive VIP experience at the event.
With Microsoft’s announcement of Xbox Live for Windows Phone 7, IUGO is proud to be a launch partner with the upcoming platform. IUGO’s hit physics puzzler Implode XL and rabidly fun 3D tower defense game Zombie Attack! Second Wave are part of the prestigious line up of WP7’s launch titles.
“Early on Microsoft approached us to be a part of the WP7 launch,” explains Sarah Thomson, IUGO’s VP of Business Development. “ From what we had read and seen of the platform along with MS’s aggressive support for developers to bring over their content, we were excited to be a part of it. We believe WP7 is going to be a serious competitor in the smartphone space. The OS has been amazing to work with and implementing Xbox Live features is a brilliant move.”
IUGO now has games on iPhone, BlackBerry and WP7. Android is the next platform users will see IUGO content on. IUGO aims to build content on these specific smartphone platforms. Plans to explore social gaming and cross-platform gaming are also underway for the powerhouse indie studio.
THQ Inc.and Relic Entertainment have announced that there will be a second stand-alone expansion for the genre redefining real time strategy PC game, Warhammer® 40,000®: Dawn of War® II released in the first quarter of 2011.
Jeff Lydell, Producer of Dawn of War II – Retribution commented: “We all love the Blood Ravens here at Relic Entertainment, but there are also a lot of fans of the other races and armies out there so we decided that Retribution should allow the player the freedom to experience the campaign from the perspective they select.” Read the rest of this entry »
Montreal’s Strategy Firstand U.S. based Nvinium Games are expanding the Space Empires: Battle For Supremacy franchise which began on the PC in 1993. The five-title franchise has been infiltrating social media and casual game platforms, and with versions for the iPhone and iPad due to launch in 2011, social gamers will now be able to connect with Space Empire gamers anywhere and at anytime, including those on Facebook.
“The avid Space Empires audience pushed us to expand from the PC to Facebook. We have been extremely pleased by the response to the new social network version of the game both in terms of excellent reviews and the exceptional take up of the game by the Facebook community. Accordingly we are expanding to the iPhone and the iPad platforms which will allow us to make the game available to these popular and growing social game audiences”, said Strategy First’s President Emanuel Wall.
Big Stack Studios has released a new game in the iTunes App Store. In Dead of Night, you will travel back to the 19th century and direct the vampire army through their conquest of Europe. In this 40 level quest you will capture villagers with your vampiric gaze and defend your legions from those of Van Helsing and the Werewolves. This title, which is OpenFeint-enabled, blends elements of castle defense and line-drawing gameplay and is available now for $ 0.99USD.
The Zellers store located at 8925 Torbram Road in Brampton will be holding an in-store BattleTag event with the game’s producer, Gael Seydoux, who will be on hand to talk about the new game and answer questions. The event will run from 10:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.
The Canada Media Fundwill begin a new round of consultation sessions with the industry this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.
If you wish to attend one of these sessions, you are asked to please register by selecting a location near you. Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided by CMF in the coming weeks.
Scheduling site Tungle.me has once again expanded its services, allowing users to add their Facebook Events to their Tungle.me account. With this new integration users can now see their entire schedule in one, simple calendar view, allowing them to factor Facebook events into their availability, thereby avoiding those pesky double bookings. As users RSVP to new Facebook Events, those events will be added to their Tungle.me calendar, automatically updating available time slots.
This past Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its long-standing partner Future Shop as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships program. And what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of education to 25 Boys and Girls Clubs youth across Canada. Presented with scholarships based on their outstanding contribution to their Boys and Girls Club and local community, good academic standing and financial need, the deserving 25 recipients will use their bursary to pursue their careers and life goals through higher education. Read the rest of this entry »
More than 300 of the most gifted high school students from 81 countries around the world will put their computing and problem-solving skills to the test against the very best next week when Canada hosts for the first time an elite programming competition – the 22nd International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The 82 teams (as host country, Canada is allowed two) representing countries ranging from Albania to Vietnam will spend a week earning the bragging rights that go with bringing home bronze, silver or the coveted gold medals. The full program, which runs from August 14 to 21, also includes a number of sessions to further develop their abilities or to sample and enjoy Canada.
“The students participating really are amongst the next generation of geniuses,” said Troy Vasiga, chair of the 2010 IOI organizing committee. “One consequence of the world being digitized is that everything is information. These students are going to be the people that write computer programs that help solve significant problems in disease, health-care, transportation, energy and other disciplines – in many cases problems we haven’t even yet anticipated.”
An opening ceremony, open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday at the Waterloo Recreation Complex. The event will feature such guest speakers as David Yach, chief technology officer of software at Research In Motion, and Arturo Cepeda, president of the IOI. The actual competition takes place on Monday and Wednesday, when participants spend five hours each day solving a total of eight tasks. Those tasks, which are translated into each team’s official language the night before, challenge such computing skills as problem analysis, design of algorithms and data structures, programming and testing.
Three sample tasks are available online and one of them is called Guess. “In our sample version,” explains Gord Cormack, chair of the IOI 2010 host scientific committee, “contestants must write a computer program to assume the role of a child playing the popular guessing game, ‘I’m thinking of a number between one and ten, can you guess it?’ The object is to identify the number with as few guesses as possible.”
In between the opening and closing ceremonies, when they are not practicing or competing, team members, leaders and guests will enjoy a range of fun and/or learning activities. Final results of the 2010 IOI, including gold, silver and bronze medal winners, will be announced at closing ceremonies on Friday, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Bingeman’s in Kitchener. Visitors will experience a few of the sights, sounds and culture of Canada. Planned activities include tours of Waterloo, both the university and the region, as well as visits to Canada’s Wonderland and Niagara Falls.
On Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings, Waterloo faculty members and graduate students with Waterloo’s David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science will give a total of 10 presentations on a range of topics, including one entitled How to See: the Neuroscience of Vision and another on A Short Introduction to Mind Reading. Four will be in English, with the remaining in Arabic, French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
“Students from over 80 countries will shortly be arriving in Waterloo for the 22nd annual International Olympiad in Informatics,” said Richard Forster, executive director of the IOI. “Having seen the preparations that have been put in to the contest by the hosts, I am confident that these students will enjoy a successful event and take away happy memories of Waterloo and Canada.” Read the rest of this entry »
Before I get into today’s digital media news, I want to let you know about this very important resource, because pretty well every Canadian has been touched in some way by cancer, and common themes along the way have the potential to provide insights that can help to improve care and understanding. This is the idea behind the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s new online video series, The Truth of It. Developed in collaboration with the Health Design Lab, part of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, The Truth of It features interviews with Canadians diagnosed with cancer who were asked to share their story so others could learn from their experience. By providing candid accounts of the personal impact of cancer, the video series will serve as an educational resource for health care professionals as well as patients, survivors and others with a personal connection to cancer.
Reflecting that there is no one common experience in coping with a cancer diagnosis, the people interviewed for The Truth of It range in age from 20 to 73 and have been diagnosed with different types of cancer including breast, colorectal, lung, testicular, and ovarian. Viewers can choose to watch individual stories or compilations of multiple interview clips that deal with challenges common to the cancer journey such as receiving the diagnosis, telling friends and family, talking to kids, body image, and practical advice. The Truth of It series, with 30 videos currently available, was created in collaboration with accomplished filmmaker Wendy Rowland and Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the Health Design Lab of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“The Partnership has created this series as part of our work to better understand and improve people’s cancer experience,” said Dr. Margaret Fitch, a psychosocial expert who is Chair of the Partnership’s Cancer Journey Advisory Group and co-lead of the Patient and Family Support Program at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre. “By helping health care professionals to tune into the patient’s perspective, The Truth of It will help to enhance patient care – while also serving as a unique resource for people with a personal connection to cancer who can benefit from insight and information from others who have walked the cancer journey.”
Jennifer Smith is one of the people who shares her story in the videos. In 2003 at the age of 38, she was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and has since undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She is married and has two children.
“If this resource were available when I was diagnosed, it would have helped me navigate the many uncertainties and range of emotions that I experienced,” said Jennifer. “Because hearing from others in similar situations can be such a helpful way of coping, I’m hoping that other people can learn from my story.”
The Truth of It is part of the growing collection of cancer control resources, information and services available at Cancer View Canada, the online portal launched by the Partnership with and for the cancer control community.
“Technology is radically changing the way people seek answers to their health questions, but hearing about someone’s actual experience — their ‘story’ — is still the most powerful tool,” said Dr. Michael Evans, family physician and Director of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. “In marrying technology with stories, The Truth of It enables people to engage with other Canadians whose experiences resonate with their own. These firsthand accounts offer a range of perspectives that make this series useful to both patients and professionals.”
The above article can also serve as a reminder of several upcoming fundraiser events that we hope you will help support. The Canary Derby will run in Vancouver/Burnaby on September 25th. This is a soap box derby for technology companies who want to help fund early cancer detection research, and as an added bonus, the derby is a ton of fun. October 3rd is CIBC’s Run For The Cure, Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-led fundraising event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research, and education and awareness programs. Who will you be running for?
For Guild Wars players, you can get involved by supporting the Gamers Give Back resurrection of Pink Day in L.A. (Lion’s Arch), which will take place on October 16th. If you don’t play Guild Wars, you can still support the event via its Canadian Cancer Society donation page.
Dragon Age players - today is the day for the latest DLC chapter. Bioware invites you to delve deep underground in Golems of Amgarrak to save a missing dwarven expedition in search of ancient secrets for creating monstrous constructs. Only you can uncover the gruesome fate that befell them. Put your Warden back in action and adventure through new environments, meet new characters and defeat never before seen creatures. With an engrossing new storyline and challenging puzzles this is one add-on for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 versions that you don’t want to miss.
* Import your character from Origins or Awakening or create a new, high-level hero! * Face an all-new terrifying creature * Earn powerful rewards that transfer into your Awakening and Origins campaign * An advanced challenge for even the most experienced adventurers Read the rest of this entry »
Today is Universal Game Designer Appreciation Day. Let those responsible for your hours (or years) of exciting, frustrating and triumphant adventures in the digital world of weird realms, interesting characters and immersive stories know how much you appreciate their labours. Buy their games, play their games, and recommend them to your friends so that you have someone’s butt to kick in multi-player mode.
Interactive Ontariohas announced that Jordan Mechner, creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, will deliver the Keynote address at IN 2010. There is an impressive line-up of speakers presenting sessions at this year’s conference. IN 2010 will be divided into the following streams: Mobile, Social Media, Games, Cross Platform and Visionary. Make sure you register soon, the Early Bird tickets are only available until August 20th.
Building on the success of their inaugural event held this past May, the Canadian Video Game Awards will be returning on May 18, 2011 at the Centre For The Performing Arts in Vancouver. If you are in business and considering using Twitter as a tool, then the Twitter for Business Workshop is an event you may want to attend. Lead by social media pros Monica Hamburg and Tanya Roberts, this seminar will be held at the ING Direct Café Boardroom on August 21st and is designed to help you understand how to use Twitter to build your brand and interact with clients.
The second Vancouver BookCamp will be taking place at the SFU Downtown Campus – Harbour Centre on October 1st. This free (registration required) full day event brings together a variety of stakeholders in the publishing industry to discuss digital publishing, digital reading experiences, the book’s evolving role and how publishers can leverage themselves for success in the digital age.
Frima Studio has put Zombie Tycoon on sale on the PlayStation Store for only $2.49 until August 9, 2010. Normally $4.99, Zombie Tycoon is one of the most successful PlayStation Minis of all time and unlike any zombie game you’ve played before!
Frima’s team thought that it was about time to turn the tables on those living dead stereotypes…again and again, you find yourself having to survive some kind of undead apocalypse. Well, no more! In Zombie Tycoon, you get to control your very own horde of ravenous zombies! This unique tale of intrigue and betrayal spans over 10 challenging levels, complete with animated cutscenes, in-game dialogs, and a bunch of humorous references. Equip your slavering, putrescent swarm of undead minions with over 100 quirky items and send them shuffling after humans like wolves on cattle, laying waste to town after town as they spread their blight across the globe.
If you haven’t seen it already, here is the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. In this trailer, hear from Spider-Man creator Stan Lee as he discusses the latest iteration of his web-weaving super hero.
Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions is scheduled for release on September 1st for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii (developed by Quebec’s Beenox Studios) and Nintendo DS (developed by Griptonite Games). There is a variety of pre-order bonuses available, depending on where and how you place your order.
“Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions delivers an original storyline that bridges four unique worlds,” said Rob Kostich, Head of Marketing, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Each action-packed universe will have its own detailed art design and thrilling missions, challenging gamers to use new skill sets to defeat enemies as they unlock powerful new moves and progress through the game.”
Those waiting for the resurrection of the True Crime franchise will have to wait a little longer. Activision has pushed back the anticipated release date for United Front’s upcoming open-world action title, True Crime®: Hong Kong. Instead of being released in 2010, it will now be making an appearance in 2011, stating that they are giving the dev team more time to polish the title in order to give gamers a high-quality playing experience.
Toon Boom Animationhas released its first iPad app. Available for free, Flip Boom Lite will help you learn how to animate and create cartoons on your iPad. Along with the included demo project are features such as:
* Intuitive user interface with collapsible drawing slider, full-screen drawing, adjustable line width * Brush, eraser, undo, reset view, bright colour selection, scale and translate * Previous and next drawings display, flexible frame rate and send to photo library
There are also features which are unique to the app version of Flip Boom Lite: Cool Shake to undo a previous action, Magic Grab to reset your drawing to original position and Finger Pinch to scale and translate your drawing.
Also new over at Toon Boom is StoryBoard Pro 2, and along with new features is a new licensing option – Toon Boom is now offering a rental option, letting users rent the software for a full year at a cost of $299.99 USD for either Windows or Mac operating systems. Visit the StoryBoard Pro 2 page to see what’s new in this latest version.
Vancouver’s Sillysoft Gameshas released the first screenshots of their upcoming turn-based strategy game Castle Vox, slated for PC release in September 2010. Castle Vox features simultaneously planned turns, as players vie to out-strategize each other on a variety of war maps. Multi-player modes allow both relaxed one-move-a-day games as well as fast speed wars. Board game fans will particularly look forward to Castle Vox, which mixes elements from Diplomacy and Axis & Allies and includes maps spanning many eras and mythologies, such as the American Revolution, Hades, Japan, Napoleonic Wars, Native America, Outer Space, and the Roman Empire. A map editor will let players create their own boards.
Toronto publisher Dreamcatcher Gamers, JoWooD Entertainment and the BVT Group announce that the release of the “ArcaniA – Gothic 4” Playstation 3 version is set for release in the first half of 2011. The successor of the internationally successful Gothic series will be released on current-gen consoles for the first time, additional to PC systems. Xbox 360 and PC versions will hit the stores on Oct. 12th 2010.
The focus during development of ArcaniA – Gothic 4 rested on a well-founded quality assurance. Playstation 3 gamers will experience the same, high quality product as Xbox 360 and PC customers. This has caused the adjustment of the release date but conversely sets the course for an outstanding gameplay experience on all platforms.
Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce the selected feature film projects from minority French- and English-language communities across Canada that have been selected under the Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives, respectively.
Targeting eligible Francophone and Anglophone writers and producers, these initiatives are part of Telefilm’s Official Languages Activities (OLA) Program to develop market-driven feature film projects and to expand the available pools of these creators:
- Écrire au long targets eligible Francophone creators from Quebec communities outside Montreal and from Francophone communities outside the province of Quebec; – Feature It! targets eligible Anglophone creators working in Quebec.
Participating writers and producers receive development funding in the form of an advance for a later phase of their projects and take part in four-day workshops to review the fundamentals of film development and scriptwriting with industry experts. In addition, participants will subsequently receive personalized, professional support from scriptwriting advisors or producer-mentors.
Toronto-based Francophone writer Maxime Desmons sees his acceptance into the 2010-2011 Écrire au long program as an opportunity to improve both his project and his scriptwriting skills.
“To participate in Écrire au long and receive financial support from Telefilm for such an early stage of a project increases my credibility as a scriptwriter,” he said. “Working with a mentor who will challenge me and critique my work professionally will make me work even harder on my project and strengthen me as a writer.”
Montreal-based Anglophone writer-producer Debra Kouri raved about her 2009-2010 Feature It! experience and how it helped her project Oh, Christmas Trees.
“In my 12-plus years in the film and television industry, the Feature It! training was the best I have ever received. We had extremely experienced lecturers and industry professionals share their experiences with us. The lessons we learned have already proven invaluable and I’m sincerely looking forward to writing my next draft. I wish this type of training was mandatory for all Canadian writers and producers!”
“At their cores, the Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives give minority Francophone and Anglophone writers and producers such as Maxime and Debra the hands-on mentoring that is so essential to the fine tuning of their work as fiction feature film creators,” said Sheila de La Varende, Telefilm Canada’s Director of National and International Business Development. “Through this program and others, we are making progress on our goal to enhance industry skills, increase the number of feature-film scripts, and improve creators’ access to our main funding programs for the eventual production of their projects,” she added.
Telefilm collaborated with the following organizations to deliver each initiative’s training components:
- The Creative Women Workshops Association is delivering Feature It! training components and held a four-day workshop session that ran from June 19 to June 22, 2010, in Montreal. – The Institut national de l’image et du son is delivering the Écrire au long training components and will hold a four-day workshop session that will be held in Montreal from August 30 to September 2, 2010.
Since the launch of the OLA program in 2006, Telefilm Canada has been seeking to expand the talent pool of Anglophone and Francophone creators working in minority official language communities across the country. A total of 36 English-language projects and 48 French-language projects have been supported following calls for entries issued to both of these communities. The Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives conducted under Telefilm’s OLA Program have received financial support from Heritage Canada through the Interdepartmental Partnership with Official-Language Communities.
This is the fifth and final year for the Écrire au long program, and the fourth and final year for the Feature It! program. Telefilm will review results of both initiatives this fall to determine how best to support the professional development of minority-language Francophone and Anglophone creators moving forward.
SFO-based social web and mobile entertainment company Booyah has officially launched international support for its popular location based app MyTown. Now available exclusively for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad across Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, MyTown is the first to support global check-ins utilizing the recently launched Places Web Service via the Google Maps API.
“Booyah is the premier mobile and social gaming company on top of the exploding location graph,” said Keith Lee, CEO, Booyah. “Our launches in the UK, Australia and Canada are just the beginning of bringing real world gaming to players across the globe.”
MyTown’s location data is provided by the Places Web Service, a feature of the Google Maps API which returns the 20 most popular places near a given location. Blending location-based services and social gaming features, Booyah’s MyTown is the first and largest consumer channel to utilize the Places Web Service.
Currently more than 2.8 million users in the United States are actively buying properties, collecting rent and checking-in to real places in MyTown. Last week, Booyah introduced the product check-in, allowing players to scan barcodes of real-world products to unlock points and earn exclusive virtual items, creating real-life scavenger hunts, brand discovery and engagement.
Calgary’s Rare Method Interactive Corp. has appointed Mr. Joshua Ius to the position of Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Ius obtained his Chartered Accountant designation articling with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also holds a Master’s in Professional Accounting and a Bachelors of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management. His background includes both Industry and Public Practice experience.
Rogers Media Inc. and BV! Media Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Rogers Media will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Common Shares of BV! Media for $0.40 in cash per share. The all-cash consideration of $0.40 per Share values BV! Media at approximately $25 million and represents a premium of approximately 100% to the volume-weighted average trading price of the BV! Media shares for the past 20 trading days on the TSX Venture Exchange.
“We are thrilled to have the BV! Media team join the Rogers family,” said Claude Galipeau, SVP & GM, Digital Media, Rogers Media. “BV! Media has an extensive line of ad solutions that we will incorporate into our existing digital media sales offerings. In addition, the BRANCHEZ-VOUS! network of sites in Quebec will give us greater reach in the Francophone market. Upon closing, Rogers Digital Media will have an impressive set of content offerings and digital sales solutions, including premium brands, exclusive sales inventory on partner sites, channels targeting key demographics, and performance media.”
“We are very pleased with this transaction for many reasons: it reflects BV! Media’s true value and exemplifies our commitment to maximize value for all our shareholders,” commented Gino Coutu, President, Ad network and co-CEO of BV! Media. “Furthermore, it is occurring with a strategic partner that has already demonstrated its respect for our organization and our people, and it ensures total continuity with our trusted partners and clients. This transaction is fully supported by the senior management team.”
“After fifteen years as a successful standalone business we are eager to become part of one of Canada’s largest media companies and to have our team and assets contribute to Rogers’ expansion in both digital media and the Quebec market” commented Patrick Pierra, founder and co-CEO of BV! Media.