28th July 2010

HootSuite Partners with Constant Contact

BiowareBioware has just announced details for more upcoming downloadable content for Dragon Age: Origins on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. However, according to the small print on Bioware’s site, Golems of Amgarrak will not be available as a separate download for the Mac version of Dragon Age: Origins.
Golems
On August 10th, Dragon Age players will be able to delve deep underground to save a missing dwarven expedition who went off in search of ancient secrets for creating monstrous constructs, and only your Warden can venture into the Deep Roads and discover what awful fate met the expedition.

Put your Warden back in action and adventure through new environments, meet new characters and defeat never before seen creatures. Golems of Amgarrak adds an engrossing new storyline and challenging puzzles to your Dragon Age experience. As with previous DLC add-ons, you will be able to import your highly-developed Warden characters, or begin anew by starting a new high-level hero. You will also be able to earn fully transferable and powerful rewards for your characters, and Golems of Amgarrak promises to challenge even the most experienced Dragon Age veterans. I sense more near-death unconscious experiences in the future of my Warden. Good thing she’s resilient.

DIG London 2010DIG London is looking for your input as to who and what you’d like to see on the conference’s agenda. Head over to the DIG London Facebook account to share your views. This year’s conference will be held November 18th and 19th at the London (Ontario) Conference Centre.

HootSuiteAmerican company Constant Contact has signed a co-marketing partnership deal with HootSuite® through their Constant Contact Partner Program. By partnering with a leader in social media, Constant Contact is again demonstrating its commitment to offer its customers the best social media marketing tools and resources available today whether through acquisition, in-house development, or strategic partnership. As part of the Constant Contact Partner Program, HootSuite will benefit from exposure to Constant Contact’s diverse customer base of more than 350,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations. HootSuite’s customers will also be able to leverage the proven email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools Constant Contact offers.

teletoonTwo major corporations have announced their digital agencies of record today. Teletoon Canada Inc. has partnered up with Tribal DDB Canada’s Toronto office as its digital and social media agency of record, while ING Direct Canada has named Dashboard, also located in Toronto, as their interactive developer.Tribal DDB

Starting immediately, Tribal DDB Toronto will build a social media strategy with an integrated approach to extend consumer awareness and engagement of Teletoon’s three key brands – Teletoon, Teletoon at Night and Teletoon Retro – through digital and social media vehicles. New campaign work is expected to launch later this fall.

“Teletoon has been successfully fostering engagement through various social networking initiatives, however we’re looking to collaborate with Tribal DDB to build on and further optimize our efforts,” says Russell Ward, VP Marketing, Teletoon Canada inc. “We’re impressed by Tribal DDB’s social creativity, strategic thinking and track record of creating ideas that have generated wide appeal and buzz.”

dashboardING DIRECT has been a strong player in the digital space since the bank’s Canadian launch. For over 13 years, they have operated and marketed as a direct bank. A partnership with Dashboard, will further ING Direct Canada’s interactive initiatives. With big news for the bank on the horizon, both teams have already begun working.

“We are thrilled to add ING Direct to our growing roster of excellent clients,” said Daryl Aitken, President, Dashboard. “ING Direct was one of the first digital marketers in Canada, essentially digital veterans, so they are ready to go to the next tier of digital presence that Dashboard delivers on time and time again. Our team is already at work doing smart and innovative work.”

Roaring PenguinThe fight against spam got a little bit easier as Roaring Penguin Software Inc. announced the latest release of their CanIt 7.0.6 software. Roaring Penguin offers an evaluation copy so you can personally test out the following new features, along with all of the previously existing anti-spam capabilities of this software:

1. Direct Injection of Messages into Sendmail Queue: CanIt can directly inject streamed mail into the Sendmail Queue rather than re-mail it with Sendmail. This should significantly improve performance in busy sites that have individual streams for each user. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th July 2010

Contests Pitches and New Games Make For A Great Day

There are some contests going on across the country which I feel will be of interest to most, if not all, of you. 3podFirst, recruiting agency 3pod is holding a summer referral contest. If you refer a successful career position candidate to their office (see contest details), you could be the proud owner of a shiny new gaming console. You will need to refer a friend before September 30th, and that friend will need to be successfully hired by December 31st 2010. Village Gamer needs a PS3…is there anyone out there needing a referral?

Toon BoomToon Boom Animation and Sci-Fi industry community MyOuterSpace.com are joining forces to make the greatest talent in the creative galaxy come forward and shine! This contest will challenge your creativity and originality and show the universe your support for MyOuterSpace.com. With the animated William Shatner starring in your lead role and three audio voiceovers to choose from, this is your opportunity to showcase your skills as a top-notch animator. Watch this video for more information about the upcoming contest, which will open for entries in August 2010:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Gemini Awards 2010Not exactly a contest, but still worthy of mention, the Gemini Awards are looking for your best artwork. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Gemini Awards, organizers are creating a very special piece of Canadian art. According to their web site, they are looking for a unique way to tell the story of the 25 years of excellence in Canadian programming behind us, and many more years of innovation to come. This will take shape with ‘Gemini Nights’ which will in part be made up of user submitted images that are iconic in nature and instantly recognizable. It could be a show title, a screen shot from a promo poster, a character everyone knows, or a logo that speaks to success. Organizers ask that images be submitted by Wednesday, August 4th via their online form. Take note that you must have rights to any images which you submit for consideration.

Ottawa International Animation FestivalWant to pitch a product to and get feedback from the likes of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and TELETOON? Get yourself over the Ottawa International Animation Festival’s web site and find out all of the details. The deadline to apply is September 1st, so don’t delay.

Pitch Participation Requirements:

* Project synopsis, including target audience, technique, format, rough budget, (1-2 pages)
* One episode synopsis
* Bios of key executives
* Short paragraph indicating your current stage of development and any additional information (i.e. interactive components, merchandise, etc.)
* Concept art (2 or 3 images)

xmg studioXMG Studio would like you all to know about the upcoming launch of Cannon Cadets, its latest mobile game available for iPhone and iPod Touch users, rocketing into Apple’s App Store in early August 2010.

From the award-winning company that brought you Drag Racer, Little Metal Ball and Marine Sharpshooter, XMG Studio’s Cannon Cadets is a supremely addictive physics game with 80 visually stimulating and diabolically devious levels to challenge children and adults alike.Cannon Cadets

In this new game, you are Rocketboy, who must save your team of Cannon Cadets from Gordo, an evil lab monkey, and his robot army, that are determined to rid the universe of all that is fun. Players will shoot their cadets at the robots, trying to knock them out while dealing with complex structures that follow advanced physics rules including rolls, slides and hinges!

Each level is a new challenge, from basic structures to complex Rube Goldberg-esque machines that will test the skills of even the bravest cadet. As players advance, the Cannon Cadet team members will need to rescue fun new friends and add to the player’s arsenal of special powers to use against Gordo. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th July 2010

Canadian Game Industry Continues To Expand

Silicon SistersVancouver game dev industry veterans Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch and Kirsten Forbes have officially announced the formation of Silicon Sisters Interactive, a new Canadian video game company based in Vancouver that will create games for a predominantly female audience.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, female gamers are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics, with women currently accounting for 40% of the overall gaming audience. Silicon Sisters plans to capture and grow this rapidly expanding market by tailoring games to these players’ daily lives and personal interests. Their target customers — women of all ages, from tweens and teens to hard-working women worldwide — comprise an audience that the company’s all-female design staff inherently understands.

“We’re not interested in ‘pinkifying’ games, which is how girl games are typically designed,” says Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, Silicon Sisters’ CEO. “It’s no coincidence that the games I and many other female gamers are most drawn to have had women involved in their development. Girls and women game differently than boys and men. Silicon Sisters has studied these differences so we can make games that truly appeal to and resonate with the female audience.”

It’s an objective perfectly suited to the founders’ backgrounds. During their combined 18 years in the industry, both have been vocal champions of female representation among video game developers and audiences. The former COO of Deep Fried Entertainment, Bailey Gershkovitch chairs the Vancouver chapter of Women in Games International (WIGeh) and sits on GDC Canada’s Advisory Board. Forbes, previously an Executive Producer at Radical Entertainment, has delivered eleven top-selling games and is a veteran industry advocate for girl gaming preferences.

“The video game industry is experiencing a rebirth of sorts,” says Kirsten Forbes, Silicon Sisters’ COO. “PC online gaming is up, social networking has become pervasive, and mobile platforms are ubiquitous. Women are adopting games on these platforms in droves. It’s time to get serious about delivering quality games into this burgeoning market.”

Silicon Sisters’ predominantly female team, which includes noted designer Brenda Brathwaite as a consultant, is working on two projects for PC and mobile platforms. This summer, company representatives will attend Casual Connect, GDC Europe, and GamesCom to pursue publishing opportunities for their own properties, as well as potential work-for-hire projects that correspond to Silicon Sisters’ corporate vision.

TransGamingTransGaming, Inc. is crossing the Atlantic and entering the European market after securing its first in a number of active agreements to deploy GameTreeTV in the European market before the end of 2010. The first deployment will be with a European Managed Service Operator (MSO) who will begin releasing the new generation of set-top boxes to their subscriber base of multi-millions of households. Financial terms were not disclosed due to confidentiality reasons. TransGaming will be working closely with this MSO over the next few months to prepare for the commercial launch of GameTreeTV, which is currently slated for late 2010.

“This agreement is a major milestone and demonstration of TransGaming’s leading role in revolutionizing the delivery of high-end interactive content in the digital home,” said Vikas Gupta, President and CEO of TransGaming. “We are excited that European consumers will be the first to enjoy the ability to play great games directly through their set-top box and conveniently will be able to transact their games through a variety of consumer friendly business models.”

The GameTreeTV Gaming Platform is an on-demand video games service that gives consumers access to high quality games directly from the comfort of their living rooms through any Intel CE Media Processor based device. Consumers will be able to access a broad assortment of well-known, popular arcade, puzzle, family and adventure style games from the growing library at GameTreeTV. TransGaming first unveiled its GameTreeTV platform at the Intel Developer Forum in September last year while announcing a strategic collaboration agreement with Intel Corporation and an investment by Intel Capital.

Developers are invited to sign up for TransGaming’s Content Developer Program in order to gain access to their SDK game emulation tools, documentation, and hardware requirements to bring your games direct to consumers through the GameTreeTV Games Platform.

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. announced today that Home Sweet Home Online, the next evolution in the Home Sweet Home series is released on Facebook.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a home decorator? Now you can with Home Sweet Home Online! Build your dream home and show it off to your friends and the rest of the Home Sweet Home users.Home Sweet Home Online

Home Sweet Home Online gives the player complete freedom when it comes to designing rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. They can paint objects different colors and they are not restricted to a grid when placing items. This freedom combined with thousands of furniture pieces allows the player to create a virtually infinite amount of different rooms!

Travel to your friend’s homes to see what ideas they come up with. You can even travel to their friend’s homes and check out what they’ve done. Meet new and interesting people and become an active part of the Home Sweet Home community!

The player can also play mini games to earn coins, unlock new furniture by gaining experience, and visit virtually everyone else’s home to rate their rooms get decoration ideas. With weekly updates of new content and features, players will continually try to outdo each other and win the Room of the Week prizes. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th July 2010

DeathSpank Now Dispensing Justice To Evildoers Everywhere

Hothead GamesLeading today’s news is the official release of Hot Head Games‘s justice-seeking, action-RPG blending epic storytelling, addictive gameplay, humor and evil chickens title DeathSpank on the PlayStation Network for $14.99. Xbox 360 gamers will be able to join the fight for justice on XBLA (for 1200 Microsoft points) tomorrow, July 14th. Developed under the direction of The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert, DeathSpank takes players through a heroic adventure in the boots of the titular hero DeathSpank as he hacks and slashes his way through epic quests in a vast world filled with vibrant, eccentric and terrifying characters.

“While DeathSpank is definitely one of the funnier games out there, it’s more than a one trick pony,” said Vlad Ceraldi, Director of Game Development for Hothead Games. “We’ve built a game with fast-paced, addictive combat set in a world that has a tremendous amount of depth that is filled with dynamic characters, colorful environments and tons of cool weapons and loot. And yes, we still have ponies too — trick ponies!”
Death Spank
“The team at Hothead has really made the perfect experience for the summer,” said Jamil Moledina, Outreach Director, Business Development for EA Partners. “DeathSpank is a high-end and fun game, yet incredibly accessible. It’s very easy to pick up and play, both in terms of its classic arcade controls, as well as the convenience of downloading it straight to your console.”

Players who download the game, which is rated T for Teen, will be placed in the boots of the mighty DeathSpank, “Dispenser of Justice”, “Vanquisher of Evil” and “Hero to the Downtrodden”, embarking on his life long journey is to search for and find a mysterious artifact known only as, “The Artifact”. Along his journey, DeathSpank will rescue orphans, defeat a local tyrant, help an aging adventurer, and dive headfirst into an even deeper mystery. The game’s accessibility makes for a fun, addictive experience where players will find themselves solving crazy puzzles, collecting massive amounts of loot and hearing witty dialogue. For those with friends, DeathSpank also features local co-operative gameplay, allowing friends to jump in and out of fighting through this adventure on the same console as both DeathSpank and his trusty, magical sidekick, Sparkles the Wizard.

CAPCOMDead Rising 2 Executive Producer, Keiji Inafune and Producer, Shinsaku Ohara, will be at Comic-Con in San Diego to unveil development stories and discuss the upcoming Zombrex Dead Rising Sun motion picture, with a Q&A session to follow. Their talk will take place on July 22 in Room 25ABC from 12:00-1:00 P.M. If you’re going to Comic-Con, Capcom will be in booth #4844, and the Capcom Store will offer items exclusive to Comic Con – including 10 of the Dead Rising 2 motorcycle jacket.

MIGSThe Montreal International Game Summit has officially launched their 2010 site and confirmed November 7th & 8th as the date for its 7th annual event. Taking place at the Hilton Bonaventure in Montreal, MiGS offers over 80 sessions and activities, addressing continuing professional training needs, fueling the five main themes of the video game industry: business, arts and visual effects, design, programming and technical aspects. In addition to two keynote speakers, there will be an invited speaker for each of the themes. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th July 2010

Zombies and Wardens Fight The Good Fight

I will be at Casual Connect, which is taking place in Seattle this July 20th-22nd and would love to meet up with Canadian interactive media people who will be there – especially those of you from outside of the BC region, as my opportunities to meet up with anyone from east of The Rockies are somewhat limited. Also, if you’re going to be in Seattle on July 19th, don’t forget that GameSauce is offering a full day of sessions on a variety of tracks – and it’s free for all those who are registered for Casual Connect. I am hoping to make it to Seattle for GameSauce as well, but I haven’t yet confirmed just when I’ll be making the drive down. If you’d like to connect, drop me an “@” message on Twitter, or send me a note via email, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterDon’t forget that tickets are now on sale for the ACM Vancouver SIGGRAPH major event Spark Animation Festival, with all seminar sessions taking place at the ScotiaBank Theatre this September 8th – 12th. As at past events, the VanCity Theatre will host all of the Festival’s film screenings.

Spark Early Bird Ticket Prices (including HST):

Members: $175
Non-Members: $225

On August 1, full prices of the passes will be as follows:
Members: $225
Non-Members: $275

Conference passes include entry to the featured speakers presentations, all conference panels, talks and a SPARK Animation ’10 souvenir t-shirt. Tickets for film screenings sold separately.

Blue Castle GamesThe cover art for upcoming Blue Castle Games‘ title Dead Rising 2 has been revealed, while publisher Capcom also announced a new web site related to the sequel – unfortunately the site is Dead Rising 2at times very slow to load because the number of people trying to visit the site keep pushing the usage load up. Tap It Or Die features the exploits of a quartet of characters from the world of Dead Rising 2. and you can follow the exploits of Lance, Gretchen, Wallace and Johnny Pipes as well as discover exclusive content from Dead Rising 2.

United by a love of zombies and desperate to obtain tickets for the hottest show in town, Terror is Reality XVII, you will follow these four individuals throughout their journey while getting an inside look into Dead Rising 2 that can’t be found anywhere else. Capcom has stated that the site will be updated weekly with new content and surprises as zombie fans around the world await the arrival of Dead Rising 2 this September.

Bioware CorpEA and Bioware confirmed today what many were speculating yesterday after a cryptic Twitter message from the DragonAge account – that Dragon Age™ 2 is in development at BioWare’s Edmonton-based studio. With Dragon Age 2, Bioware is revolutionizing the RPG genre again, infusing the universe with more action, a new, more responsive combat system and a dynamic story that is already among the most multifaceted in gaming.

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6th July 2010

Tungle Corporation Announces Advisory Board

Bioware CorpWhile Dragon Age fans were busy downloading and playing the new Leliana’s Song expansion for Origins, Bioware surprised its Mass Effect community today with new unannounced DLC for Mass Effect 2. Hiding in the shadows of XBL Marketplace is the new Aegis Pack, which for Mass Effect 2 Aegis Pack160 MS Points will gain players a five piece set of Kestrel armour with some high-powered buffs and the M-29 Incisor sniper rifle.

Kestrel Armour Specs:

The Kestrel Helmet adds weapon damage, shield strength, and headshot damage.
The Kestrel Torso Sheath adds melee and weapon damage and shield strength.
Kestrel Arm Sheathing adds melee and weapon damage and shield strength.
Kestrel Shoulder Pieces adds shields and melee damage.
The Kestrel hip-mounted Power Pack ups shields and heavy weapon ammo capacity.

Tungle.meTungle Corp., the company that is revolutionizing the online scheduling and calendar industry (and one which I am hoping will assist me with improving my daily time management challenges), today announced the creation of a board of advisors that will include Robert Scoble, (Scobleizer), Don Dodge (Google), Dave McClure (Geek), Ellen Levy (LinkedIn) and Scott Stratten (Unmarketing).

“Each of these individuals in their own right is a force to be reckoned with. As a group, they become even stronger”, said Marc Gingras, Founder and CEO of Tungle Corp. “We’ve assembled this group because we know that each of them is a thought leader with a unique skill and a finely honed sense of where the sector is headed. Their insights are a key component to ensure our solution remains on the cutting edge of a quickly evolving ecosystem.”

The board of advisors will provide advice and direction to Tungle Corp. as it prepares for its next stage of growth. Tungle.me is used to schedule meetings in over 30 percent of Fortune 100 companies, over 700 Universities, and in more than 100 countries around the globe

LudiaLudia and FremantleMedia Enterprises have announced that the Family Feud game is now available for the PS3 on the PlayStation®Network for $9.99.  Family Feud is already available for the Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC and iPhone™, with an iPad-sized app coming soon. Based on one of the most successful family game shows of all time – which premieres its 12th season in syndication with new host Steve Harvey on September 13th, PS3™ owners can now play as the leader of a ‘family’ in a contest to name the most popular answers to survey questions posed to 100 people. The game features all of the favorite elements of the show as played on television, including the scoreboard, face offs, strikes, stealing and ‘fast money’ rounds. Players can enjoy a thrilling online multiplayer Family Feud experience as they compete against friends and/or other players from across North America in head-to-head challenges via the PlayStation Network. Additionally, multiplayer local and solo game play is also supported.

“Ludia is happy to extend the ever-popular Family Feud franchise to PlayStation 3 systems via the PlayStation Network,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This new game is another great addition to Ludia’s growing portfolio of game show games for PS3™, and further reinforces our multiplatform strategy.”

Family Feud for PlayStation 3 system features:

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5th July 2010

Entrepreneurship Partnerships and Scholarships

wavefrontWaveFrontAC would like to know if you are interested in turning your innovative wireless idea into a start-up company? Entrepreneurship@Wavefront is a new program being undertaken in partnership with BCIC to support and nurture 8 early-stage B.C. wireless companies. Program participants will receive one-year access to office space in Wavefront’sBCIC collaborative wireless incubation centre and $10k credit toward Wavefront’s advisory and testing services. Exemplary go-to-market services wireless companies would leverage are Wavefront’s handset library, usability services, refinement of business development strategies and industry connections. Participants can also leverage BCIC’s network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts for additional mentorship and guidance.

EA GamesSkate 3 will be dishing up a virtual Hawaiian skateboarding vacation tomorrow with the release of Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream, an enormous skater’s paradise designed by the skating legend himself. Inspired by the tropical paradise of Hawaii, this all new Skate 3 downloadable content comes loaded with everything from original street terrain to flowing skate parks and of course Danny’s signature Mega-madness. Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream content pack will be available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for 560 MS points or $6.99. The DLC will also include new challenges, Leliana's Songcreate-a-skater gear, an all-new Danny Way playable character, and new achievements and trophies.

While skate fans are busy in Hawaii, I’ll be on a mission with Dragon Age’s Leliana as Bioware adds a new chapter to the Dragon Age: Origins saga. Leliana’s Song will allow gamers to play as the roguish bard in a tale that can lead only to treachery – and the reasons which led Leliana to The Chantry. For 560 MS Points ($6.99 PSN), play through Leliana’s Song to earn a new reward that can be transferred over to your original Dragon Age: Orgins and Awakening campaigns. So now you know what I’ll be doing tomorrow after work.

The Banff CentreNew media makers interested in developing a creative project or reflective essay related to this year’s theme are encouraged to apply to the Interactive Screen Scholarship Intensive, which takes place at The Banff Centre this August 14 to 20th. Participants will benefit from valuable mentorship across a broad range of new media interests. Applications for projects in all stages of development, from early concepts through to fully developed prototypes, are welcome.

Scholarships are available for up to ten Canadian and international applicants and include focused mentorship and public presentation opportunities, a travel stipend of up to $550, and full financial
support for program tuition, meals, and shared accommodations on The Banff Centre campus. Please visit the Scholarship Information Page to apply.

Local (Vancouver) indie game designer Alex Vostrov (Rocket Bear Games) has officially announced his new game. According to his site, the new game will be called Infested Planet, and is “an innovative real time strategy game where you face a humongous horde of mutating aliens with just 5 marines” will hit the gamer waves in the Fall of 2010.

TreehouseCorus Entertainment and Treehouse are pleased to announce the world premiere of the first ever Dr. Seuss inspired animated series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on Saturday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET starring Martin Short as the voice of the Cat.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse and PBS Kids in the U.S., The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is based on Random House’s bestselling beginner book collection, The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.The Cat In The Hat

“We are thrilled to introduce the first ever animated series based on the whimsical adventures of Dr. Seuss, starring Canadian comedian Martin Short,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Programming and Production, Corus Kids. “A delightfully entertaining show that opens young minds to science and nature discoveries, this series is sure to appeal to preschoolers’ curiosity for exploration and the world around them.”

With Cat as their guide, best friends Sally and Nick are transported to all corners of the globe, making natural science discoveries of all kinds. Along for the ride are Cat’s two energetic helpers, the mop-headed zany duo: Thing One and Thing Two. Booting around in Cat’s one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, the group can travel to the bottom of the sea, shrink down to the size of a bee to discover how honey is made or find out why owls sleep during the day.

In the first episode, Show Me the Honey, Sally and Nick have run out of honey. Luckily, the Cat knows just where to get more. They visit Queen Priscilla Buzzoo who invites the gang to join her in the bee dance to learn how honey is made.

Beginning on August 7, back-to-back 30-minute episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! will air Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. throughout the month of August. Beginning on Tuesday, September 7, viewers can catch this series in its regular time-slots Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. as well as Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Beginning on August 23, viewers can visit Treehousetv.com to catch clips of the show, access 30 different colouring pages as well as six online games.

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22nd June 2010

Cities Named for Monopoly Canadian Version

Longbow GamesLongbow Games has announced that the studio will be launching a boxed version of their innovative new historical wargame Hegemony: Philip of Macedon at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio from June 24-27, 2010. Recently called “the most in depth ancient world strategic simulator on the market,” by Greg Wild of The Reticule, the boxed version of Hegemony which includes a full-colour printed manual will launch exclusively at the show for $30 (reg. $39.99 + shipping).

“We’d like to invite all fans of history and strategy to come out to our booth at Origins and give Hegemony a try,” says Rob McConnell, lead programmer at Longbow Games. “We’re going to have multiple game stations available where guests can play the full game as well as free demo cds to take home and big discounts for those who purchase Hegemony at the show.” Hegemony Philip of Macedon

Hegemony: Philip of Macedon lets you conquer the ancient Greek world in this PC RTS war game that follows the rise of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. Players campaign continuously, unfettered by load screens, across a satellite-accurate map of ancient Greece encountering the full range of warfare from reconnaissance to raids to field battles to mountain blockades. The game also features:

* Innovative supply system – Siege and starve the enemy by cutting their supply lines or burning their crops, all the while building and protecting your own supply network to support your growing empire.
* Steeped in history – In-game pedia and 100+ historical objectives recreate the rise of the Macedonian empire.
* Detailed and Stylized World and Map – Transition smoothly between the detailed 3D world and the stylized board-game map while maintaining complete control over your empire.
* Subjugate your enemy – Chase down and capture routed enemy units to create slave gangs to work your mines or build your forts. But don’t leave them unguarded or they could rebel and wreak havoc in your empire’s heartland!
* Conquer the seas – Build or capture a fleet of triremes to protect your coastlines, raid enemy merchants, or drop an army at your enemy’s backdoor.

HasbroAfter passionate campaigns across the country and more than one million votes from Monopoly fans from Kelowna to Kawartha Lakes, 22 of Canada’s favourite cities now have a home on the new Monopoly: Canada Edition game board. Chatham-Kent, Ontario now represents the coveted Boardwalk spot, with Saint-Jean-Sur Richelieu Quebec capturing Park Place to round out the prestigious dark blue property group in the popular game invented by Charles Darrow in 1935.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Canada Day with this new all-Canadian edition of the world’s favorite family game brand featuring cities voted by Canadians!” said Michelle Sinclair, Brand Manager of Games & Puzzles for toy and game-maker Hasbro Canada. “We hope that Canadian Monopoly fans will enjoy playing on a game board that includes an interesting mix of our cities featuring all of the dynamic cultures, sights and history of this country.”Monopoly Canada

Votes were cast during a six-week period in early 2010. The first four weeks of voting determined 20 of the 22 cities featured in the game, picked from 65 pre-selected cities based on the population size of the province in which they resided. The remaining two spots were reserved for a wildcard vote for any city across Canada. Ten cities with the most nominations for the wildcard faced off for two weeks in February 2010 and Beauceville, Quebec and Banff, Alberta earned the brown property spaces on the game board, traditionally occupied by Baltic Avenue and Mediterranean Avenue.

The following 22 cities earned spots on the Monopoly: Canada Edition game board, and are listed with the highest rent properties first:Mr. Monopoly

- Dark Blue: Chatham-Kent, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu
– Green: Calgary, Sarnia, Edmonton
– Yellow: Windsor, Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres
– Red: Medicine Hat, Gatineau, Shawinigan
– Orange: Kawartha Lakes, Chilliwack, Montreal
– Magenta: Kelowna, North Bay, St. John’s
– Light Blue: Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver
– Brown: Beauceville, Banff

Along with the 22 property spaces featuring great Canadian cities, the game will include updated Chance and Community Chest cards that highlight events and culturally relevant scenarios from Canada. Players may take flight at the International Balloon Festival in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, skate along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa or win big at the casinos in Niagara Falls. The new Monopoly: Canada Edition also features an Electronic Banking unit with cards instead of cash. Players can collect rent and buy their favourite Canadian cities with the touch of a button! Read the rest of this entry »

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16th June 2010

Meanwhile Back In Alberta

BiowareHot on the heels of Tuesday’s new DLC pack Overlord for Mass Effect 2, Bioware has announced a new DLC expansion for Dragon Age: Origins. In Leliana’s Song, players will assume the role of party-member Leliana, a young bard involved in a criminal ring that deals Lelianain political secrets. While accompanying her mentor Marjolaine on a high-risk mission, Leliana soon finds herself entangled in a game of intrigue that she cannot escape with just her beauty, charm, or stealth. The only way out of this game is to kill or be killed.

DLC Features:

* Explore Leliana’s dangerous past and why she joined the Chantry
* Fully voiced cinematic experience brings the characters to life
* Unlock a unique reward that transfers into your Awakening and Origins campaign

Digital Alberta has put out an official call for applications to become the association’s new Executive digital albertaDirector. There is also a career opening for the position of Executive Assistant. Interested parties are asked to please contact Larry Jacques, Digital Alberta President,  with your resume if you wish to apply.

Alberta’s 2nd Annual All Associations BBQ will be held on Tuesday June 22nd at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre.  Members from 26 industry groups, ranging from such sectors as research, marketing, gaming, investment, design, arts, hi-tech, media, magazine, music, book, tv and film will get together at 5pm for some great food and awesome networking.

Alberta ICTThe Alberta ICT Council will also be hosting a Digital Economy Symposium Luncheon which will offer an overview of the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures initiative, followed by an afternoon symposium on building Canada’s digital media economy. Recommendations will be submitted to Industry Canada as part of their cross-Canada consultation process associated with their Digital Economy strategy announced in May at Canada 3.0. Luncheon presentations also include a welcome by the president of Olds College and a review of sector activities by the Alberta ICT Council. This signature luncheon provides an opportunity for Alberta ICT sector stakeholders to meet and discuss the Alberta Innovates program and related opportunities open to Alberta’s ICT sector. The luncheon will be held at the Olds College Alumni Centre on June 25th and will begin at 11:45a.m. Tickets are available now for $30.00

If you couldn’t make the trek to Banff for the 2010 World TV Festival, fear not – you can find lots of great Banff World Television Festivalarticles, videos and photos online at the Festival’s web site, from opening day to closing BBQ. There have been a number of great announcements since this year’s event began. One such announcement came from the National Film Board, who added to their long legacy of avant-garde technical and creative firsts when Government Film Commissioner & NFB Chairperson Tom Perlmutter, Rob McLaughlin – Director, Digital Content and Strategy, English Program, and Hugues Sweeney – Advisor and Conceiver, Digital Programming, French Program officially launched Interactive.NFB.ca at Tuesday’s NFB Lunch.NFB interactive

As noted on the Banff 2010 Highlights page, Interactive.NFB.ca is a site that hosts a growing “collection of projects – interactive documentaries, video and animations, photographic art and essays, data visualization, mobile and locative media, community media and user-generated media,” which aims to support content that has yet to be, or may never be broadcast . Not without risks, the site is an ingenious way to facilitate conversations and collaborations for creatives in this new media landscape.

Congratulations also to all of this year’s Rockie Award Winners:

2010 Rockie Awards for Fiction:

Entertainment Categories:

* Animation: Le Printemps de Melie/ Molly in Springtime, National Film Board of Canada in association with Folimage, PIWI, Divertissement Subsequence Inc – Canada
* Comedy Programs: Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Table Read, HBO Entertainment, Home Box Office – USA
* Music & Variety Programs or Series: Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra, Glassbox Productions, BBC – United Kingdom Read the rest of this entry »

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16th June 2010

More Canadian E3 Goodness

Canada Media FundConfused about the Canada Media Fund? There’s a conversation going on over at Christine Lim-Labossiere’s site, Pentimento Productions. Christine is working on an initiative to assist Digital Media companies who would like to access the new Canada Media Fund-Convergent Stream, and she invites all interested parties to share their thoughts. As announced earlier this month, the CMF has extended its deadline for applications to its Experimental Stream has been extended from June 21 to July 5, 2010.

Blue Castle GamesCapcom and Blue Castle Games have released a new trailer for Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, which is scheduled for release on June 30th. A unique and stand alone piece of content, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero will introduce players to the main protagonist, Chuck Greene, and game play features of Dead Rising 2 ahead of its release. Available exclusively to Xbox 360 owners via Xbox LIVE, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is set two years after the Willamette incident chronicled in the original Dead Rising and three years before the action of Dead Rising 2. Players purchasing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero who then go on to buy Dead Rising 2 will be able to carry over character attributes earned such as Player Level, to a maximum of five, Prestige Points alongside skills, Combo Cards and a number of alternate outfits. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is not yet listed in the XBox Marketplace.

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TransGaming, Inc. has announced the redesign of its Mac digital distribution portal, GameTreeOnline, as well as the release of exciting new Mac games. As at E3 this week and on our site yesterday, GameTreeOnline features two new Disney Interactive TransGamingtitles, Toy Story 3 and Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey. Both titles are available immediately and only from GameTreeOnline as digital downloads. In addition, GameTreeOnline will release Her Interactive’s first award-winning Nancy Drew franchise title for Mac on June 29, 2010.

These new releases complement two new Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games from Riot Games and LEGO®, League of Legends and LEGO Universe, respectively. The Mac enablement and deployment of high quality franchises, such as LEGO’s first ever MMO title, clearly define TransGaming’s leadership position and adds to the company’s growing collection of award-winning titles that have been enabled for the Mac community using TransGaming’s Cider Portability Technology.

“TransGaming’s announcement of these new games coming to the Mac, at this year’s E3 Conference, clearly demonstrates to the gaming community that leading publishers are pursuing the Mac platform and are focused on releasing a simultaneous PC/Mac hybrid product,” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming. “We have maintained our commitment to giving Mac gamers the highest quality gaming content and we are bringing these incredible games to the Mac simultaneously with their PC counterparts, which is possible only through our portability technology. TransGaming is truly delivering on the promise of a low-touch enablement technology for simultaneous multi-platform releases.”

Propaganda GamesDisney Interactive Studios have released the E3 trailer for Propaganda Games‘ upcoming epic, action role-playing game Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, which will give gamers an entirely new experience within the Pirates of the Caribbean universe. The game takes place before the events of the blockbuster films. Players will take on the role of a pirate and embark on epic land and sea adventures. Numerous moral and character choices will need to be made that affect their character and the original story within the world. Players will explore a massive open world while fighting enemies, mystical creatures and Mother Nature, both to gain experience and stay alive. Supernatural elements familiar to the Pirates of the Caribbean world will also affect their character’s story and influence their choices. Armada of the Damned is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2010 for next-gen consoles and Windows PC.

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“Armada of the Damned is a dynamic action role-playing game that captures all of the franchise’s excitement, unpredictability and action while delving into narrative elements never before explored within this unique universe,” said Dan Tudge, vice president and general manager, Propaganda Games. “Our team’s collective experience with industry-leading RPGs and action titles provides a strong foundation for us to create and build a compelling action role-playing title.”

Disney Interactive has also released a new and innovative E3 2010 trailer for the TRON: Evolution video game that connects the storyline of the game and the film. The piece features the voice of Bruce Boxleitner as the character TRON, who takes the player through their paces and prepares them for immersion into a world they’ve never seen. Read the rest of this entry »

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