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  • Deus Ex Human Revolution E3 Trailer Debuts Worldwide

4th June 2010

Deus Ex Human Revolution E3 Trailer Debuts Worldwide

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal has released the E3 2010 full trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The trailer, which draws from the game’s characters, environment and storyline, was produced by Vancouver’s Goldtooth Creative in partnership with Eidos Montreal and Square Enix’s Visual Works (Tokyo). The trailer promises strong writing, a large cast of important characters, intrigue and destruction. Deus Ex 3 is scheduled for release in 2011, and it is definitely on our list of Games We Must Have.

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If you are a fan of Studio B’s animated offerings, The City of Vancouver Archives is holding a special event which will chronicle the legacy of a local company that has become a leader in kids’ entertainment. Studio B’s popular animated series include Kid vs Kat, Martha Speaks, George of the Jungle and Class of the Titans, among many more.Studio B

Taking place at the VanCity Theatre on the evening of June 10th, the presentation will relate the studio’s rapid development from a two-man operation into its current status as a world-renowned production house composed of more than 200 artists and staff. Studio B has been donating its records from 12 original productions and many examples of its service and other work to the City Archives since 2006, preserving these records for generations to come. Tickets for this screening are very reasonable, with the most expensive ticket priced at $10.00.

Peace Arch EntertainmentFor fans of the Ireland-Canada series The Tudors, it is now possible to create your own intrigue on your iPhone. The Tudors, developed by dTales and Slitherine in conjunction with TV production giants Showtime and Peace Arch Entertainment, is an intriguing and exciting adventure game based on Season 1. Follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII at the beginning of his epic 40-year reign or choose the path of Anne Boleyn, and realize your dream to become Queen of England. As the story unfolds, you will meet over 20 characters from the series, including Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Sir Thomas More and roam the corridors and staterooms of the Palace of Whitehall, the main residence of the King.

In an evolving sequence of dramatic events, you will be faced with danger, treason and intrigue. As King Henry VIII, you will be challenged by your closest friends and threatened by the menace of war with France. As Lady Anne Boleyn, you will pursue your dream to wear the crown of England no matter the cost. Only you can decide the course of history.

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The Tudors Game is currently only available for purchase from the US and Canadian App Store.

Main Features

- Two characters to choose from: King Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn
– Explore over 30 rooms at the Palace of Whitehall
– More than 20 historical characters to meet and talk to
– Play engaging mini-games to solve mysteries and progress in the game

Black BoxEA Black Box has announced the first downloadable content pack for the critically acclaimed skateboarding game SKATE 3 – The Maloof Money Cup 2010 NYC Pack. The content pack hits Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on June 8 for 400 MS points or $4.99 and an additional 100 achievement points and 5 trophies.

The all new DLC lets players compete in the largest pursed event and one of skateboarding’s biggest annual contests – The Maloof Money Cup. For the first time ever, this year’s competition will be traveling east to Flushing Meadows, New York, where the site of the 1964 World’s Fair maloof money cuphas been converted into one gnarly skate mecca. Gamers will have the opportunity to compete against some of the biggest names in skateboarding as they shred an all-new custom built street park for the ultimate cash purse.

The award-winning SKATE franchise breaks new ground with SKATE 3 and shreds the streets of the all-new skaters’ paradise, Port Carverton. Delivering the definitive co-op skateboarding experience, it’s up to players to build the ultimate team and change the face of the city with their brand by taking on unique team challenges and competing against rival crews online. The game also features the ability to create and share custom built skate parks and a revamped Thrasher Hall of Meat mode that will have players spending countless hours pulling off bone-crushing carnage.

EA SportsAlso announced today was EA SportsFIFA Online, the first downloadable FIFA soccer game designed for PC (A broadband internet connection and an average spec laptop computer or desk-top personal computer required), is available to soccer fans everywhere around the world to play for free (Internet connection required). EA Sports FIFA Online will be released around the world in stages. The UK English language Beta version is available now, with plans over the next 12 to 24 months for FIFA Online to launch in other languages across the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2010

Today We Honour, Share, and Learn

Vancouver’s Genius Factor Games has published a seven point article laying out the company’s current and future involvement with the social media culture. The seven points denoted in this article can easily provide a starting point for any company who has not yet plunged into the massive and constantly changing world of social media. While I encourage you to visit the Genius Factor Games blog to read the article in its entirety, here are the seven points the company raises:

1. Connect With Players
2. Leverage Technology
3. Connect With Customers on their Terms
4. Word of Mouth/Viral Marketing
5. Connect with Investors and Strategic Partners
6. Lead the industry forward
7. Encourage Positive Change

UbisoftUbisoft Canada has announced that several of its upcoming titles will be featured at E3, along with several yet-to-be-announced titles from across the Ubisoft network. Games exhibited at the Ubisoft booth will include the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed™ Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding, Tom Clancy™ ’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier™, the next iteration of the blockbuster franchise Driver®, and many other titles that are yet to be announced. Ubisoft’s website will host select information sent directly from Ubisoft’s booth at E3 as well as the press conference, giving fans access to exclusive interviews and trailers of Ubisoft games.

To kick-off its E3 activities, Ubisoft will host a press conference at the Los Angeles Theatre on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 5 pm (doors open at 3.30 pm). Ubisoft is thrilled to announce that Joel McHale, star of NBC’s “Community” and E!’s “The Soup.” will return as the host of its E3 press conference. The press conference is by invitation only to Ubisoft partners, investors, retailers and select media. Attendees will be treated to live demonstrations of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases and special guests in this not-to-be-missed event that will set the tone for one of Ubisoft’s most impressive line-ups to date. Toon Boom

Toon Boom Animation has put many of their creative software titles on sale – check out their limited time specials – they will be ending soon. Also available today is a very cool “how-to” article on rotoscoping for beginners – a process that could even help me make an animation, and I definitely can’t draw.

Electronic Arts Inc. and Black Box Studios have announced that Need for Speed™ World, the massively multiplayer online action racing game, will go live on July 20, 2010. Need for Speed World thrusts gamers into an enormous, socially-connected white-knuckle Need for Speed experience featuring an all-new power-up system and deep RPG style progression. Need For Speed World

Beginning July 20th, Need for Speed World will be available as a free client download, which will give gamers a taste of the action with access to all races, pursuits and career progression up to level 10.

Players looking for the ultimate experience can purchase the Need for Speed World Starter Pack which includes a credit for $20 worth of SpeedBoost, full access up to level 50, a bundle assortment of power-ups like Nitrous and Traffic Magnet to help you get started, and an exclusive limited edition vehicle – all for MSRP $20.00 (*Conditions and restrictions apply. See details at point of purchase). Owners of the Starter Pack also get the added benefit of being able to purchase items like power-ups, double XP periods and even rental cars starting at just a few cents.

Players who pre-order Need for Speed World will have a one-week headstart to the game on July 13th, Need For Speed Worldwith increased Rep (XP) gain for the duration of the headstart event and guaranteed access to all upcoming Need for Speed World beta events. Finally, players will also be able to reserve their driver names in advance of the game going live and have VIP status permanently displayed in their driver profile. Pre-orders are available now at EA’s Online Store or at participating digital retailers nationwide.

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience. Players can compete against any one of their friends, family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits across 150 miles of sprawling open world. Need for Speed World combines new content with the most popular cities from Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon to create the biggest, most exciting race world ever released in the Need for Speed universe.

TransGamingLos Angeles-based Riot Games have announced that they are working with TransGaming, Inc. to expand their debut title, League of Legends™, and releasing a version for the Mac that will be available for download this summer. The new Mac version of the session-based online multiplayer strategy game, powered by TransGaming’s Cider™ Portability Engine, will bring millions of Mac owners the same fast-paced gaming action that more than one million PC gamers have enjoyed since the game launched in October, 2009.Cider Portability Engine

“Millions of gamers across the world are accessing their gaming content on Macs but until now they have not been able to play League of Legends,” said Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games. “The first competitive phase of the game will be kicking off this summer, and we’re excited that Mac gamers will also be able to participate and have a chance to vie for top prizes.” Read the rest of this entry »

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25th May 2010

United Front Games Has Their First Title On Store Shelves

ModNation Racers Happy Launch Day to everyone over at United Front Games – Congratulations on your first official “Game Now On Store Shelves” milestone, and we wish you every success with ModNation Racers as it karts its way into homes around the world – now on to True Crime!

Vancouver Innovation CampThe next Innovation Camp will be held on May 29th and 30th at Bootup Labs. Get your tickets now for a great workshop that will challenge assumptions, connect ideas, embrace failure and see problems as opportunities for creative solutions in order to take your entrepreneurial venture to the next step. Tickets for Innovation Camp are $119.00 and can be purchased online.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterTickets are also still available for the Vancouver SIGGRAPH presentation of Alice in Wonderland: Creating Underland. Taking place on May 25th at the Empire Theatre Granville, this session features two presentations, the first with animation director David Schaub (Sony Pictures Imageworks), who will give you a look behind the talent and tools that were used to create Alice In Wonderland. Mr. Schaub will focus primarily on the standard creative elements of the show, but he will also provide insight into the surprising challenges and innovative technical solutions that were used to breathe digital life into over 30 inhabitants of Underland including the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

The second Creating Underland session will be presented by freelance Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegas, who will focus on the process of photographing the “live-action” component of the film, as well as the many challenges that he and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, Ken Ralston faced in post production while creating the visual and stereo 3D effects. A screening of Alice in Wonderland will follow the technical presentations. Tickets for this event are $20.00 for non-members and $15.00 for members. Please note that online ticket sales for the seminar are now closed, but you can still get tickets at the door.

ICAOur friends over at AnnexPro have just told us about two upcoming seminars for Final Cut Pro editors. Presented by the International Colorist Academy, these two courses will be taking place in Vancouver beginning on June 7th. The first course, Apple Colour, will be held on June 7 & 8th, while the Colourist Strategies session will be held June 9th through 11th.

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) today announced the American Idol Star Experience game will be available as a free download on May 26th to coincide with the Season 9 finale of the smash hit American Idol™ TV show. The game enables fans to continue their Idol obsession as they unleash their creativity by producing jaw-dropping online performances for family, friends and the whole Facebook community to rate and compare against other players.

Idol enthusiasts simply use their existing Facebook login to create a game account to access the free Performance Creator download for PC. The Performance Creator enables players to design their own unique stage performance, including building a custom avatar from head to toe, choosing a song to sing from dozens of hits, choreographing dance moves, and directing a multitude of staging elements like camera angles and special effects. The player can then post the performance to Facebook with one click, to be rated to see how they compare to other performers in singing, styling and staging categories.Play American Idol

Members of the Facebook community can also enjoy the American Idol Star Experience game in a highly social context as members of the “audience” view and rate performances, choose favorites, leave comments for performers and discuss the best (and worst) of the performances- all within the Facebook environment.

“We are excited to release a unique game experience based on American Idol, one of the most important entertainment franchises in the world,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “American Idol Star Experience reinforces our existing multiplatform game strategy, now seamlessly integrated with robust social features.”

American Idol Star Experience features:

* A free downloadable Performance Creator, available via players’ existing Facebook account.

* Personal avatars that players build head to toe, including body type, face, eyes, hair and more.

* Dozens of hit songs available in a wide variety of genres to suit all musical tastes including rock, punk, pop, hip hop, disco, R&B and country.

Players can achieve further customization of all elements of a performance via a simple “drag and drop” interface, including:

* Recorded singing- Players can select pre-recorded voice tracks, or use their own voice to sing karaoke-style.

* Personal styling- Hundreds of hair styles, wardrobe items and accessories to choose from.

* Unique staging- Stages modeled after the famous American Idol stage, with special effects, lighting, camera angles, dance moves and props that players can craft to create a one-of-a-kind performance.

* Social interaction within the Facebook community as members of Facebook can visit the game’s page to view and rate performances based on singing, styling and staging criteria. Players have also the ability to invite select Facebook friends to a private viewing of their performance.

“After more than eight top-rated seasons on television, the Emmy-award winning American Idol is one of the most successful properties on TV,” said Olivier Delfosse, Director, Interactive, FremantleMedia Enterprises, licensor for the program. “We are pleased to extend American Idol to both the existing fan base and new audiences alike with a highly immersive game experience that further deepens consumer engagement with the franchise.”

Ubisoft Montreal has released the North American trailer for Shaun White Skateboarding, which is scheduled for release this fall. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th May 2010

Designing Assassin’s Creed II With Patrick Plourde

Many thanks to Patrick Plourde, Lead Game Designer at Ubisoft Montreal for an in-depth look at Patrick Plourde - Photo Credit: GDC 2010Designing Assassin’s Creed II. Presented by the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver chapter last evening, Patrick’s presentation covered the main design focus followed to cram all of the great features and improvements we saw in Chapter Two of this very successful franchise.

The amount of development that went into Assassin’s Creed II is mind-boggling. With over 230 features and a dev team of over 300, just the massive amounts of data to keep a rein on would bury the uninitiated. Patrick stated that through the entire development process, the most Ezioimportant things to pay attention to are your game play pillars and the need to keep an honest perspective. He said that your game play pillars are used to create the challenge, while your supporting features give meaning and depth to the core, while exotic features are used to change the pace of the game.

Patrick also drew attention to the importance of play tests and making the most of the test feedback in the development of your title. Using a two-fold process of Qualitative and Quantitative Reporting will give developers a very good perspective of what gamers like or do not like, as well as how they are playing your game. The Quantitative portion focuses on data tracking and usability reports, which provide concrete information to orient discussion on data instead of personal opinions. Meanwhile, the appreciative, or Qualitative reports, give context to the data you’ve collected, and you can see what is working, what isn’t, and what changes need to be made so that the gamer can more fully experience (and enjoy) the mechanics of the Assassin's Creed Brotherhoodgame.

Patrick also touched briefly on the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and how everything learned in the two previous Assassin’s Creed development processes helped the team work quickly through a very short ten month production window. A big part of this was the strength, scope and depth of the team’s design documents. He stated that it is very important to keep your documentation up-to-date right through until the end of the project. Paying attention to your development documentation will cut down on needless questions and distractions, as well as force you to think and keep track of the vision for your title. As has been stated in many, many game dev seminars – it is cheaper to fail on paper than in production – and Patrick reiterated this by saying how important it is to challenge every feature you want in your game on paper first. This is not a perfect process, but it will reduce risk to your bottom line. In reply to a question asked from the audience, Patrick noted that features drove a large part of the story, and have a big part in the future of where the Assassin’s Creed franchise is heading in the future. Too bad he wouldn’t expand on that future…just where is Assassin’s Creed III going to take us? Curious gamers want to know.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterSIGGRAPH Vancouver has two more upcoming events which may interest you. The first is Alice in Wonderland – Creating Underland on May 25th at the Empire Theatre on Granville. This session features Alice In Wonderlandtwo presentations, the first with animation director David Schaub (Sony Pictures Imageworks), who will give you a look behind the talent and tools that were used to create Alice In Wonderland. Mr. Schaub will focus primarily on the standard creative elements of the show, but he will also provide insight into the surprising challenges and innovative technical solutions that were used to breathe digital life into over 30 inhabitants of Underland including the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

The second Creating Underland session will be presented by freelance Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegas, who will focus on the process of photographing the “live-action” component of the film, as well as the many challenges that he and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, Ken Ralston faced in post production while creating the visual and stereo 3D effects. A screening of Alice in Wonderland will follow the technical presentations. Tickets for this event are $20.00 for non-members and $15.00 for members.

The other upcoming SIGGRAPH Vancouver event, just announced last night, will focus on The ModNation RacersMaking of ModNation Racers. Featuring Clint Hanson, Lucas Granito and James Grieve from United Front Games, this panel presentation will take place on June 29th at the VanCity Theatre. Tickets will be available to members for $10.00 and $20.00 for non-members. As of press time, this event had not yet been added to the SIGGRAPH Vancouver web site, so you’ll have to check the association’s site later for ticket availability.

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) have announced the availability of The Price Is Right game ($9.99) for the Sony PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system on the PlayStation®Network. Players can now “COME ON DOWN” for their shot in Contestant’s Row, bid on items in 19 different pricing games, test their luck with spinning The Big Wheel, and experience the winner-takes-all tension of the Showcase.

“We are pleased to extend our tremendously successful The Price Is Right game to PlayStation 3 systems via the PlayStation Network,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This first game release is just the beginning for Ludia games on PS3™, and further reinforces our multiplatform game strategy.” Read the rest of this entry »

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11th May 2010

Prepare the Dojo – Digital Kung Fu Returns

The Centre for Digital Media will once again be hosting Digital Kung Fu, a day of intensive training and professional development workshops, on May 28th at the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver.

Digital Kung Fu offers a full day of interactive sessions to help inspire new ideas and develop them into realizable goals. Participants will be treated to insider techniques for the conceptualizing, visualizing, prototyping and pitching of ideas, as well as insights into current industry trends and technologies. The day will open with registration at 8:30am and sessions will carry out through the day until 5:00pm. Cost to attend the event is $125.00 or $75.00 for students and professionals who are between contracts.

Speakers include Adrian Crook, Jake Birkett, Shane Neville, Kerry Corlett, Sean Murch and Earl Hong Tai. Topics include Biz Dev – Tips, Tricks & General Advice, If you’re not Indie…Stories From The Front Line, How to Boot-Strap a Successful Digital Media Start-Up: 101 and more. We attended some of the sessions last year, and highly recommend your attendance.

A video recording of  yesterday’s Canada 3.0 Forum’s Keynote Address from The Honourable Tony Clement,  Minister of Industry is now available for viewing, along with a text transcript of his presentation, is now available on the Digital Economy Consultation site.

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Digital LeisureDigital Leisure’s latest game title is now available for download to your Wii (500 Wii Points) or DSi (500 Nintendo DSi Points). Chess Challenge will try your patience quotient as you perfect your chess skills by playing against the computer in multiple difficulty modes, or play against your friends in either shared or wireless play via DS Wireless Play or Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection.Chess Challenge

Start by practicing with some casual games, then work your way up in fully Elo-rated matches. You’ll even be able to track all of your game-play stats – win, lose or draw. Chess Challenge! will keep both novice and expert players glued to the screen for hours.

With the Wii version of Chess Challenge, you can play online matches and see how your rating stacks up against competitors around the world by viewing the online Leaderboard. If you don’t have time to play your friends in a live chess game, Chess Challenge! also lets you play with up to five different Wii Friends using WiiConnect24™. With full Mii™ character support you can really bring your games to life. Start by practicing with some casual games, then work your way up in fully Elo-rated matches. With all of these game-play options, you’re in for some serious chess action. Chess Challenge is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Ubisoft® Canada has officially announced new product details for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the next iteration of the critically acclaimed, multi-million unit selling franchise. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood will ship Holiday 2010 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the PC. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is a worldwide production effort led by the Ubisoft Montreal Studio in collaboration with Ubisoft studios in Singapore, Bucharest, Québec City and Annecy (known for developing Splinter Cell Chaos Theory’s Multiplayer).

The critically acclaimed single player experience of Assassin’s Creed is back and better than ever as Ezio returns in a powerful struggle against the powerful Templar Order. Now a legendary Master Assassin, he must journey to Rome, center of power, greed and corruption to strike at the heart of the enemy. Defeating the corrupt tyrants entrenched there will require not only strength, but leadership, as Ezio commands an entire Brotherhood that will rally to his side.  Only by working together can the Assassins Assassin's Creed Brotherhooddefeat their mortal enemies.

And for the first time, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood offers a never-before-seen multiplayer layer.  Players can help the Templars by using Abstergo to train in the art of Assassination to eliminate the Assassins once and for all. Players can choose from a wide range of unique characters, each with their own signature weapons and assassination techniques, and match their skills against other players from all over the world in different game modes.

·    Master The Possibilities – As Ezio, a legendary Master Assassin, experience over 15 hours of single-player gameplay set in the living, breathing, unpredictable city of Rome
·    Lead a Legendary Brotherhood – Recruit and train promising young Assassins.  Deploy them across the city as you see fit, or call upon them to aid you in your quests
·    Experience A Rich Historical Tapestry – Collaborate with real historical characters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli and Caterina Sforza
·    Win The Heart of a City – Use your hard-won currency to revitalize the crumbling capital city.  Rally the citizens to your cause and unlock extra factions and missions
·    Deploy Secret Weapons – Swiftly eliminate your enemies using tools such as poison darts, parachutes, double hidden blades, hidden guns, and an advanced flying machine at your disposal.
·    Memorable Multiplayer – Choose from multiple authentic character classes, each with their own signature weapons and killing moves.  With richly-detailed maps and a wide variety of unique multiplayer modes, you’ll never fight the same way twice

quickmobileQuickMobile and The Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC) Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF), have partnered to create both the 2010 Worldwide Short Film Festival App for iPhone and iPod Touch, and a new mobile website to enhance and extend this year`s Festival for attendees and fans worldwide. The 2010 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival presented by TELUS, will take place from June 1st to 6th in Toronto, Canada.

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7th May 2010

Another Glorious Game Dev Day in Vancouver

The sun is shining, it’s Friday, GDC Canada 2010we’ve been enjoying ourselves at GDC Canada, and will be heading over there shortly to catch a few more sessions and make some new friends before heading over to the Women In Games Vancouver mixer tonight at the Century Restaurant and Bar (432 Richards Street), which was made possible in part by our very supportive friends over at AnnexPro. I can’t head out to the conference though without sharing this video with all of you. Social Media crazy guy Ryan has been helping us garner a little more attention at this year’s GDC event, and I think he’s doing a great job, don’t you?

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I’ll be posting a GDC Canada wrap summary over the weekend, but I just wanted to say that I attended one of the most entertaining sessions ever yesterday – but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what it was. Want a hint? It had to do with a game dev staple that has the power to either fully engage or completely disconnect your audience from your title. This seminar should be compulsory at every studio who has this important aspect in their games.Alice In Wonderland

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterThe SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter May 18th presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed 2 is now completely sold out. The group has also announced that tickets for a special May 25th presentation of Alice In Wonderland: Creating Underland are now on sale. This session will feature Sony Pictures Imageworks’ lead animation director David Schaub, who will give you an inside look behind the talent and tools that were used to create Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.

INplay 2010Interactive Ontario has announced that the full schedule for INplay, the brand new conference about the business and art of kids digital media and interactivity, is now available online for your perusal.

On May 18 and 19 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, INplay will feature keynote presentations, panel discussions and lectures from leaders in the kids entertainment industry, covering a range of sectors including video games, online platforms, and mobile properties, and how they relate to toys, books, and TV/Film. INplay will examine these topics through three conference streams: Business, Creativity and Content, and Research.

Here are some speakers and session highlights for INplay 2010:

Keynote Speakers:

· Paul & Peter Reynolds, Co-Founders, FableVision
· Jon Berrett, executive producer & Christian Jacobs, co-founder, director and writer Yo Gabba Gabba
· Alex Manu, Sr. Partner and Chief Imaginator, InnoSpa International Partners

Panel Participants, presenters and lecturers:

· David Glen, Executive Producer of Children’s Multiplatform TV, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
· Chris Muscarella, Public Relations and Production, Do Crew
· Gerry Gouy, Senior Director, Business Development, International Digital Media at MTV Networks International
· Susan Rich, Editor-at-Large, Little Brown Books for Young Readers & HarperCollins Children’s Books NY
· William Weil, Co-Founder & CEO, Tales2Go
· Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
· Jeremie Bernard, Founder / President, Emerging Playgrounds
· Nicole Rustad, Kids Helping Kids Manager, Disney Online Studios Canada
· James Jones, VP, Digital Media & Gaming, Hasbro, Inc.
· Judy Perry, Research Manager, MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program

Session Highlights:

· The Future of Reading
· Life is Tweet: A primer on youth and social media
· Navigating the Mobile Matrix: Learning your mobile ABC’s
· Game Design: What makes effective online play?
· Cutting Edge Research: Virtual & Augment Realities
· Preschool Play and Games
· Writing for the Digital Future
· Toys, Toys, Toys: product design in a digital age
· Kids and Privacy: What are you doing with my stuff?
· Getting the Word Out: A look at social media and the parent blogger community Read the rest of this entry »

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5th May 2010

Who Will Take Home The Hardware At The Canadian Videogame Awards

Canadian Video Game AwardsTonight’s the night when we will all find out which game has been chosen as the Canadian Game of the Year as the Canadian Videogame Awards kicks of its inaugural celebration at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Finalists for Game of the Year are: Assassin’s Creed II; Dawn of War II; Dragon Age: Origins; FIFA 10 and Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. As you can imagine, making a choice in this category was extremely difficult, and now we’re wondering which Village Gamer resident picked the winner.

Welcome to Vancouver, Canon! Canon Canada has expanded its Vancouver presence, and will be celebrating the opening of its new Business Division Western Regional Sales Office on May 11th. According to a report on Business In Vancouver, Mayor Robertson and Olympic Gold Medalist Maelle Ricker will be in attendance at the official opening ceremonies.

SES 2010Ever wanted to have a professional review of your website, landing page, or paid campaign? Then you’re in luck, because Search Engine Strategies Toronto has announced the inclusion of site clinics to their programme. In these two 1-hour, hands on, classroom style sessions top consultants will deconstruct and reconstruct your website offering critiques – free of charge. SES Toronto takes place this June 9 -11. Be sure to get there early, because the clinics are first-come first-served sessions with limited attendance.

Audiokinetic has announced bundle discount pricing for their wide range of production software. Purchasing two products will net you a 5% discount, three will get you 10%, four earns 15% and the Power Bundle of five or more products will get you a 20% discount.

Autodesk has announced their 2011 Education Suites. Need help getting started? Are you a teacher with students who are interested in digital design careers? Check out the Autodesk Education Community to see how you can help someone get started. If you’re a commercial designer, please visit our friends over at AnnexPro (a major sponsor of Women in Games Vancouver) to see how they can help you with all of your Autodesk software needs.

National Film BoardFrom May 4 to 17, you can vote online for your favourite short among the finalists of the 6th NFB Short Film Contest – Cannes 2010. Now in its sixth year, the contest is organized by the National Film Board of Canada in collaboration with the Cannes Short Film Corner and in association with YouTube. It features ten short films from Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Iran, the United States, the Czech Republic, Algeria and Italy, selected from the numerous Short Film Corner entries. The Short Film Corner is the meeting place for young creators at the Cannes Film Festival, attracting entries from around the world. The ten films from last year’s contest were viewed close to 180,000 times on the NFB’s English and French YouTube channels.

The NFB contest is your chance to join in the fun and frenzy of Cannes by voting online for your favourite short. The winning film – determined by the number of Likes chalked up on YouTube – will be announced during the Short Film Corner Happy Hour, in Cannes, on May 20. The winning filmmaker will receive a digital camera/HD video camera and a laptop computer.

Short film expert Danny Lennon has assembled a fascinating selection this year. The finalists are The Technician, by Simon-Olivier Fecteau (Canada), Love & Theft, by Andreas Hykade (Germany), The Story of My Life, by Pierre Ferrière (France), Crash! Bang! Wallow?, by Jon Dunleavy (United Kingdom), Crash! Bang! Wallow?, by Emma Lazenby (United Kingdom), Forbidden Tree, by Banafsheh Modaressi (Iran), Annie Goes Boating, by Noel Paul (United States), Awake, by Thaid Dhi (Czech Republic), The Last Passenger, by Mounes Khammar (Algeria), and The Report Card, by Alessandro Celli (Italy).

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is also honouring the memory of André Lamy, former NFB commissioner and independent producer, who passed away at the age of 77.

Lamy served as Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson from 1975 to 1979, following a term as Assistant Commissioner under Sydney Newman from 1970 to 1975.

Only the second francophone NFB Commissioner, Lamy played a key role in strengthening the NFB’s ties to the Quebec film sector. He also ensured the release of the then-controversial NFB French program films On est au coton, 24 heures ou plus and Cap d’espoir. He was Commissioner during the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics and was involved in the creation of the official Olympics film, Games of the XXI Olympiad.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to get to know André Lamy better during the filming of The Commissioners, a short documentary by Philippe Baylaucq created to mark the NFB’s 70th anniversary. It was clear that André Lamy was not well during the filming, but he was determined to take part, and his commitment to the NFB, to filmmaking and, in particular, Quebec cinema, was undiminished. Everyone at the NFB is deeply saddened by his passing,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th April 2010

Events and Programmes For an Educated and Interactive Canada

GDC Canada 2010GDC Canada has revealed a new set of sessions and networking opportunities tailored to game developers managing established franchises, developing new global titles, and looking to take advantage of new distribution models. GDC Canada 2010 will also present content for professionals looking to develop successful franchises for consoles, iPhone and digitally distributed platforms. The second annual conference is returning to the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC from May 6-7, 2010 and kicks off with the official opening night party at 8pm on May 5, which is being sponsored by Epic.

The newly-announced sessions from the 2010 GDC Canada are geared towards established studio as well as first time publishers who are grappling with legal and business development strategies needed to identify commercially successful projects in emerging game spaces.

These featured sessions include:

Bringing Your Game to the Web – 73 Practical Tips with Bjarne Rene (Managing Director, Vostopia.com), Tore Birkeland (Technical Director, Vostopia.com)

Console Games – New Realities Require New Strategies to Win with Howard Donaldson (Vice President – Studio Operations, Disney Interactive), Kelly Zmak (Former GM, Radical Entertainment), Adel Chaveleh (TimeGate Studios, Inc.), Dan Tudge (VP and General Manager, Propaganda Games), Dan Winters (VP Developer Relations, Activision Blizzard)

Funding for Game Developers – Do’s and Don’ts with Glenn Entis (Founder and General Partner, Vanedge Capital)

One Year in the App Store: A Case Study of Backflip Studios with Julian Farrior (CEO / Founder, Backflip Studios)

Tax Credits: How Does This Affect My Decision on Where and How to Produce a Game? with Howard Donaldson (Vice President – Studio Operations, Disney Interactive)

In addition to the two days of sessions, GDC Canada offers the ideal venue for studio heads, developers and investors to come together and discuss business. Towards that end, GDC Canada 2010 is introducing the Business to Business Lounge, supported by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The lounge is a place for industry business development professionals, fellow developers and leading tool vendors to make deals and network. To help further initiate these important business connections, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service can facilitate introductions between investors and domestic and international developers.

Vancouver Innovation CampTomorrow is the last day to benefit from the Early Bird ticket price for the next Innovation Camp which takes place May 29th & 30th in Vancouver. Innovation Camp offers hands-on learning opportunities which engage learners through real life situations and challenges their assumptions, connects ideas, embraces failure and sees problems as opportunities for creative solutions in order to take any entrepreneurial venture to the next step.

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) is proud to support HotDocs 2010, and you are invited to join them at the festival on Monday, May 3rd at 4 p.m. ET for a micro session on CMF programs and funding with Policy Analyst Neal McDougall. The session will be held in Room 323 at Victoria College in Toronto from 4 – 5pm.

The CMF has also announced that the English POV Programme Application Form is now available for those who wish to apply for CMF funding, and an outreach session will be held in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13th from 1:00pm – 3:30pm to provide applicants with details regarding the 2010-2011 guidelines for funding and to answer questions.

The May 13th meeting will be led by Nathalie Clermont, Director, CMF Program Management, along with Roxane Girard, Director, CMF Program Administrator | Telefilm Canada, Francesca Accinelli, Director, English Market, and Stéphane Cosentino, Interim Director, French Market.

INplay 2010INPlay has announced two preschool-focused sessions for the May 18-19th conference. Joining the schedule is Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, whose topic Preschool Play and Games, will take attendees into the minds of pre-schoolers and show how to incorporate developmental psychology research into the games we build. This session will provide an overview on how preschoolers develop, why research is important when designing for this age group, and will give provide examples of how to design games for this age group.

Building Apps for Preschoolers: Case Study of Tickle Tap Apps, presented by Jason Krogh, Founder & Director, zinc Roe design will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Tickle Tap Apps – a series of iPhone apps designed for young children. Jason Krogh will share his studio’s experience diving into the world of iPhone development. The discussion will highlight of some of the challenges unique to working in this new and rapidly evolving space as well as some of their insights and refinements that came about through many hours of play testing with kids.

Don’t miss the next iteration of Mentor Speed Dating 2.0, which takes place on Friday, May 7th at 3:30pm. Check out the event’s info page for details on how to participate.

Canadian Film CentreThe Canadian Film Centre has several program application deadlines approaching. The five-month CBC Prime Time Television Program is open for applications until May 12th, and the TELUS Interactive Art and Entertainment Program application deadline is June 4th. Please check out the full list of available programs and deadlines at the Canadian Film Centre’s site. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th April 2010

Showcasing Canadian Talent and Innovation On All Levels

VFS Impact AwardsVancouver Film School will be holding the VFS Impact Awards at the Biltmore Ballmore on the evening of May 3rd. For the very affordable ticket price of $10.00, attendees will receive a buffet-style dinner, be entertained by performances of international artistry from greener grass gamesFlamenco to Electric Violin & DJ and share in the celebration as awards are handed out to some very talented students.

If you have some extra time slots to fill, check out I Am The Night, a free Unity-built browser game from Greener Grass Games. It’s an easy-to-play cute game, and comes complete with a comedic twist at the end.

Canadian Video Game AwardsDo you want to win two tickets to the Canadian Videogame Awards? Make a crazy fan video, upload it to the CVA FaceBook page, cross your fingers! Check out all the details here from that crazy social media guy Ryan (aka @CertainlySocial). The Canadian Videogame Awards take place in Vancouver on the evening of May 5th and feature a performance by Video Games Live. By the way, Ryan…we need to have a talk about stuff in your video clip backgrounds…

CATAPlease take a few minutes to cast your votes for the CATAAlliance Innovation and Leadership Awards. The CATAAlliance will tabulate the results from Canada’s high tech sector and the winners will be announced at the CATAAlliance Innovation Awards Dinner on May 19, 2010 at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

Banff World Television Festival has released more information about the Kids and Animation portion of this year’s Festival. BANFF Kids and Animation will feature invaluable sessions such as “View from the Top”, “Co-Ventures in Kids TV” and “The Anatomy of a Successful Kids Franchise” plus meetings and networking opportunities where you will have the chance to meet with – and learn from – the most influential industry leaders in kids & animation. Attracting the industry’s most highly renowned executives, producers and broadcasters from Canada and across the globe to discuss the newest programming trends and developing international and multi-platform markets, Banff Kids and Animation is the place to be for those in kid’s programming.

Confirmed speakers thus far include:

* David Levine, VP, Worldwide Programming Strategy, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Disney Channels Worldwide
* Vince Commisso, President & CEO, 9 Story Entertainment
* Joe Godwin, Director, BBC ChildrenScrap Metal Game

Slick EntertainmentCongratulations to the dev team over at Slick Entertainment! During the recent XBLA Block Party Games promotion, their massively fun title, Scrap Metal sold 15000 units during the event. If you haven’t checked out Scrap Metal yet, you definitely need to do so, particularly if you like to race, crash, drift and generally blow a few things up. If you have a 360 and an Xbox LIVE® Silver or Gold membership, add this title to your download queue – it’s only 1200 MS Points and it delivers on the fun factor.

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal currently has several career positions which the studio needs to fill. With a recently hinted-at project, the studio now has three titles in various stages of development, including Thi4f and the long-awaited Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

The chance for everyone to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ became a reality today after Electronic Arts announced that EA SPORTS™ 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is in stores now throughout North America with eight new celebrations for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system. It will be available throughout Asia and Europe beginning April 30, 2010 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June. The videogame is also available on Wii™, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable), iPod® touch and iPhone® and is rated as “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa videogame will feature all the emotion and passion of the fiercest national rivalries battling on the world’s biggest stage, with all 199 national teams that took part in qualification and all 10 official stadiums to be used in South Africa. Gamers will be able to play as their home nation from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the FIFA World Cup Final™ and feel what it is like to score the goal that lifts a nation. New players to the FIFA Soccer franchise can also compete for the 2010 FIFA World Cup utilizing new Two-Button controls designed to enable new gamers to pass and shoot with an accessible control scheme that utilizes just two buttons. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th April 2010

Canada 3.0 Has A Timely Face Off Announcement Not Related to Hockey

siggraph 2010SIGGRAPH 2010 has put out a call for cutting-edge examples of video games and real-time simulations and graphics in several categories: commercial video games, experimental or prototypes games, software applications, interactive data visualizations, and information aesthetics, among others. All content that is interactively controlled and rendered in real-time, and can be repeated in front of a live audience, will be considered.

“Over the past several years, the role and impact of interactive and real-time graphics have grown substantially to affect SIGGRAPH attendees from film production to academia,” says Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH 2010 Real-Time Rendering Chair and Creative Director for THQ. “Building on the debut of Real-Time Rendering at the 2009 Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2010 is continuing this new and exciting addition to the conference. This focus allows creators of games and real time graphics to highlight their cutting edge work on the same level as the linear work that has made the Computer Animation Theater legendary.”

Accepted work will be demonstrated live, in real time on a PC, Macintosh, or game console. While expectations are that many entries will be games released in 2010, submissions of non-commercial projects are also encouraged including:

* Game explorations
* Student game projects
* Mathematical or other industrial simulations
* Research projects
* Real-time art explorations
* New uses of pioneering technology
* Scientific visualizations: medical science, astrophysics, astronomy, physical science
* Interactive data visualization and/or interactive information aesthetics

Canada 3.0 2010Start-up companies at Canada 3.0 2010 will Face Off with a panel of business experts and angel financiers to address their top business challenges and improve their go-to-market approach. That’s just one of the innovations at this year’s Canada 3.0 forum, Canada’s premier digital media forum slated for May 10-11 in Stratford.

“We have a strong focus on small business innovation at this year’s event, given that the entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of new business development in Canada,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, which is organizing Canada 3.0 2010 with the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

The Face Off sessions, inspired by CBC’s popular “Dragon’s Den”, will enable small business owners to present to a panel comprised of business leaders including senior executives running their own businesses; mentors from Venture Services from across the country; and angel financiers. The early-stage companies will outline their top three challenges for the expert panel and will leave with insight to apply to their businesses following the Canada 3.0 forum. Attendees will be able to watch the sessions and learn from the experiences of the start-up participants.

Several of the forum’s keynote speakers are from start-up companies including: Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO of entrepreneurship company Sprouter.com; and Joseph Iuso, CEO, & Brian Crozier, Global Business Development, at UseMyBank, a company that rejected $1 million in Dragon’s Den funding and has gone on to be a successful venture.

Another innovation for Canada 3.0 2010 is the Soap Box whereby companies can book short presentation slots to ‘pitch’ the value of their company to forum attendees.

“This exercise encourages each presenter to distill the value of their company into an ‘elevator pitch’ that they can use when presenting to other audiences. And it means a lot of smaller companies will be better-known by the end of Canada 3.0,” explained Tuer.

A Digital Showcase occupying a full hockey arena-sized area at the Rotary Centre in Stratford, will be dedicated to displays by more than 50 digital media-related companies. Forum attendees, including students and the general public, will have the opportunity to tour the showcase and see digital technology innovation at work.

“This is a great opportunity for companies like ours to showcase their offerings and increase awareness with an audience that includes leaders from business, government and academia,” said Stephen Bacso, CEO of Waterloo collaborative search start-up company DossierView.

Space in the Digital Showcase sold out well in advance of the forum, demonstrating the keen interest this year in Canada 3.0, Tuer said. Last year’s forum attracted close to 1,500 people and the 2010 version is expected to be a strong magnet for all those interested in digital media.

Tungle.meToronto’s Tungle Corp. and San Francisco based Plancast have announced a new partnership to bring together calendar broadcasting with meeting planning. Through this partnership, Plancast has integrated Tungle.me into its users’ profiles, allowing users of both services to share their plans and easily schedule meetings.

“This partnership is an important step in the evolution of the social calendar and business networking ecosystem,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and founder of Tungle. “With the integration of Tungle.me into Plancast, we are facilitating the last mile by marrying intent based platforms, with the ease of scheduling meetings between like minded individuals. The Community has been asking for this integration for some time, so this relationship is in direct response to feedback from users of both applications.” Read the rest of this entry »

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