18th August 2010

Digital Extremes To Provide Homefront PC Version

Klei EntertainmentKlei Entertainment has started to reveal some of the Costume Unlocks that will be available in Shank, which is due for release on the PlayStation Network on August 24th and Xbox LIVE Arcade on August 25th. By completing challenges and amassing points, you will be able to unlock costumes such as the Yellow Jumpsuit Shank. Klei will be unveiling a new costume every day, so follow them on Twitter to get the daily costume news. According to the dev blog, the studio has made more progress on re-mastering the game’s soundtrack and as gamers requested, the soundtrack will be available in mp3 format.

Digital ExtremesTHQ Inc. today announced that the Windows PC version of the hotly anticipated first-person-shooter Homefront™ from Kaos Studios, is being developed by a dedicated team at Digital Extremes and will be available early in 2011.

“Digital Extremes has a superb track record in PC development,” said David Votypka, General Manager at Kaos Studios, THQ. “While the team here at Kaos is completely focused on the core Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Homefront, our partnership with Digital Extremes means that PC gamers can look forward to a version of the game tailored to the demands of the discerning PC gamer.”

“We’re building on the great game that Kaos Studios is making and enhancing it with specific PC relevant features,” added Frank De Lise, Executive Producer, THQ. “PC players will be able to set up and host Homefront dedicated servers and enjoy additional community features including clan support. We believe the core PC first-person-shooter fan will really appreciate these features, which are becoming increasingly rare.”

Relic EntertainmentTHQ Inc. also announced that it will be launching a rewards program for Relic Entertainment’s upcoming 3rd Person Action/Shooter Warhammer® 40,000®: Space Marine® for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC. The loyalty program, dubbed ‘Honor Guard’, will allow gamers to become part of an elite group of Space Marine fans who will be given the opportunity to become involved in the success of the game. Honor Guard members will get the latest news, exclusive access to first look assets and receive reward points for viral activity, which could result in rewards of exclusive Space Marine branded items.Space Marine

Travis Plane, Vice President of Global Brand Management commented: “Rewarding community for their role as opinion formers is important to us so we are delighted to be able to unveil the Honor Guard program.”

To kick off the Honor Guard program THQ will be handing out an Ultramarine cloth patch at Gamescom with directions on how to register for a free “For the Emperor” ring tone. The patch will also be handed out at Games Workshop’s US Games Day event in Baltimore on August 21st, 2010, and the UK Games Day event at the Birmingham NEC on September 26th, 2010. This item is the first of five items that fans are encouraged to collect over the next few months at various shows around the globe. More details about these items will be released throughout the year.

Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.

Cosmic LogicKelowna indie developer Cosmic Logic Inc. is proud to officially announce details on their upcoming XBLIG and PC title, Doc Logic, an arcade-style platformer with an emphasis on explosive action and survival. Doc blasts across the screen with upgradeable weapons and abilities through expanding levels of increased difficulty that will challenge and engage the true gamer in you. Unique level designs combined with increasing enemy difficulty makes “Doc Logic” an intense sci-fi adventure. Do what you can to keep the clock running as you collect points, destroy enemies, and collect time bonuses. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th August 2010

The Games Are Afoot

Toronto and Vancouver Halo fans, get ready to track The Covenant on August 21, 2010 and then Defend Reach in two separate missions on August 28th in Vancouver or September 4th in Toronto.

Locate the Covenant Advance Invasion Forces in either city to prove you’re ready to fight alongside Noble Team, win instant prizing, and be entered to win an exclusive Halo Reach Xbox bundle pack.Fight The Covenant

Join the fight and help UNSC track down Covenant by following UNSC_INTEL on Twitter. You’ll receive up-to-the-minute updates from UNSC pertaining to the whereabouts of the Covenant. Twitter followers of UNSC_INTEL will also be entered for the chance to win a Legendary Edition copy of Halo Reach.

In Defend Reach, Covenant have located and attacked UNSC control points. UNSC has planned a strategic assault and needs recruits. Do you have what it takes? Come down to the control point in your city for an event you’ll never forget. Battle Covenant troupes live using state-of-the-art weapons technology and be one of the first Canadians to get a sneak peak of Halo Reach. The event is free to anyone prepared to kick some serious Covenant butt. And for any die-hards out there who have pre-ordered the game, bring proof of purchase for an exclusive VIP experience at the event.

IUGOWith Microsoft’s announcement of Xbox Live for Windows Phone 7, IUGO is proud to be a launch partner with the upcoming platform. IUGO’s hit physics puzzler Implode XL and rabidly fun 3D tower defense game Zombie Attack! Second Wave are part of the prestigious line up of WP7’s launch titles.

“Early on Microsoft approached us to be a part of the WP7 launch,” explains Sarah Thomson, IUGO’s VP of Business Development. “ From what we had read and seen of the platform along with MS’s aggressive support for developers to bring over their content, we were excited to be a part of it. We believe WP7 is going to be a serious competitor in the smartphone space. The OS has been amazing to work with and implementing Xbox Live features is a brilliant move.”

IUGO now has games on iPhone, BlackBerry and WP7. Android is the next platform users will see IUGO content on. IUGO aims to build content on these specific smartphone platforms. Plans to explore social gaming and cross-platform gaming are also underway for the powerhouse indie studio.

Relic EntertainmentTHQ Inc. and Relic Entertainment have announced that there will be a second stand-alone expansion for the genre redefining real time strategy PC game, Warhammer® 40,000®: Dawn of War® II released in the first quarter of 2011.

Jeff Lydell, Producer of Dawn of War II – Retribution commented: “We all love the Blood Ravens here at Relic Entertainment, but there are also a lot of fans of the other races and armies out there so we decided that Retribution should allow the player the freedom to experience the campaign from the perspective they select.” Read the rest of this entry »

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16th August 2010

Mixed Media Monday

Strategy FirstMontreal’s Strategy First and U.S. based Nvinium Games are expanding the Space Empires: Battle For Supremacy franchise which began on the PC in 1993. The five-title franchise has been infiltrating social media and casual game platforms, and with versions for the iPhone and iPad due to launch in 2011, social gamers will now be able to connect with Space Empire gamers anywhere and at anytime, including those on Facebook.

“The avid Space Empires audience pushed us to expand from the PC to Facebook. We have been extremely pleased by the response to the new social network version of the game both in terms of excellent reviews and the exceptional take up of the game by the Facebook community. Accordingly we are expanding to the iPhone and the iPad platforms which will allow us to make the game available to these popular and growing social game audiences”, said Strategy First’s President Emanuel Wall.Dead of Night

big stack gamesBig Stack Studios has released a new game in the iTunes App Store. In Dead of Night, you will travel back to the 19th century and direct the vampire army through their conquest of Europe. In this 40 level quest you will capture villagers with your vampiric gaze and defend your legions from those of Van Helsing and the Werewolves. This title, which is OpenFeint-enabled, blends elements of castle defense and line-drawing gameplay and is available now for $ 0.99USD.

UbisoftThe Zellers store located at 8925 Torbram Road in Brampton will be holding an in-store BattleTag event with the game’s producer, Gael Seydoux, who will be on hand to talk about the new game and answer questions. The event will run from 10:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund will begin a new round of consultation sessions with the industry this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.

If you wish to attend one of these sessions, you are asked to please register by selecting a location near you. Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided by CMF in the coming weeks.

Tungle.meScheduling site Tungle.me has once again expanded its services, allowing users to add their Facebook Events to their Tungle.me account. With this new integration users can now see their entire schedule in one, simple calendar view, allowing them to factor Facebook events into their availability, thereby avoiding those pesky double bookings. As users RSVP to new Facebook Events, those events will be added to their Tungle.me calendar, automatically updating available time slots.

Boys and Girls Clubs of CanadaThis past Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its long-standing partner Future Shop as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships program. And what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of education to 25 Boys and Girls Clubs youth across Canada. Future ShopPresented with scholarships based on their outstanding contribution to their Boys and Girls Club and local community, good academic standing and financial need, the deserving 25 recipients will use their bursary to pursue their careers and life goals through higher education. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th August 2010

Canadian Partnership Against Cancer Launches Online Series

partnership against cancerBefore I get into today’s digital media news, I want to let you know about this very important resource, because pretty well every Canadian has been touched in some way by cancer, and common themes along the way have the potential to provide insights that can help to improve care and understanding. This is the idea behind the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s new online video series, The Truth of It. Developed in collaboration with the Health Design Lab, part of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, The Truth of It features interviews with Canadians diagnosed with cancer who were asked to share their story so others could learn from their experience. By providing candid accounts of the personal impact of cancer, the video series will serve as an educational resource for health care professionals as well as patients, survivors and others with a personal connection to cancer.

Reflecting that there is no one common experience in coping with a cancer diagnosis, the people interviewed for The Truth of It range in age from 20 to 73 and have been diagnosed with different types of cancer including breast, colorectal, lung, testicular, and ovarian. Viewers can choose to watch individual stories or compilations of multiple interview clips that deal with challenges common to the cancer journey such as receiving the diagnosis, telling friends and family, talking to kids, body image, and practical advice. The Truth of It series, with 30 videos currently available, was created in collaboration with accomplished filmmaker Wendy Rowland and Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the Health Design Lab of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

“The Partnership has created this series as part of our work to better understand and improve people’s cancer experience,” said Dr. Margaret Fitch, a psychosocial expert who is Chair of the Partnership’s Cancer Journey Advisory Group and co-lead of the Patient and Family Support Program at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre. “By helping health care professionals to tune into the patient’s perspective, The Truth of It will help to enhance patient care – while also serving as a unique resource for people with a personal connection to cancer who can benefit from insight and information from others who have walked the cancer journey.”

Jennifer Smith is one of the people who shares her story in the videos. In 2003 at the age of 38, she was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and has since undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She is married and has two children.

“If this resource were available when I was diagnosed, it would have helped me navigate the many uncertainties and range of emotions that I experienced,” said Jennifer. “Because hearing from others in similar situations can be such a helpful way of coping, I’m hoping that other people can learn from my story.”

The Truth of It is part of the growing collection of cancer control resources, information and services available at Cancer View Canada, the online portal launched by the Partnership with and for the cancer control Canary Derbycommunity.

“Technology is radically changing the way people seek answers to their health questions, but hearing about someone’s actual experience — their ‘story’ — is still the most powerful tool,” said Dr. Michael Evans, family physician and Director of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. “In marrying technology with stories, The Truth of It enables people to engage with other Canadians whose experiences resonate with their own. These firsthand accounts offer a range of perspectives that make this series useful to both patients and professionals.”

The above article can also serve as a reminder of several upcoming fundraiser events that we hope you will help support. The Canary Derby will run in Vancouver/Burnaby on September 25th. This is a soap box derby Canadian Breast Cancer Foundationfor technology companies who want to help fund early cancer detection research, and as an added bonus, the derby is a ton of fun.
Pink Day in Lion's Arch
October 3rd is CIBC’s Run For The Cure, Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-led fundraising event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research, and education and awareness programs. Who will you be running for?

For Guild Wars players, you can get involved by supporting the Gamers Give Back resurrection of Pink Day in L.A. (Lion’s Arch), which will take place on October 16th. If you don’t play Guild Wars, you can still support the event via its Canadian Cancer Society donation page.

Bioware CorpDragon Age players – today is the day for the latest DLC chapter. Bioware invites you to delve deep underground in Golems of Amgarrak to save a missing dwarven expedition in search of ancient secrets for creating monstrous constructs. Only you can uncover the gruesome fate that befell them.
Golems
Put your Warden back in action and adventure through new environments, meet new characters and defeat never before seen creatures. With an engrossing new storyline and challenging puzzles this is one add-on for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 versions that you don’t want to miss.

* Import your character from Origins or Awakening or create a new, high-level hero!
* Face an all-new terrifying creature
* Earn powerful rewards that transfer into your Awakening and Origins campaign
* An advanced challenge for even the most experienced adventurers Read the rest of this entry »

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9th August 2010

Hot Wheels Motoring Through Alberta

Hot Wheels Colour Shifters Road TripThe Hot Wheels® Colour Shifters™ Road Trip currently making its way across the country is taking a detour into Edmonton and Calgary to unveil its life-size colour-shifting Mustang. The cool, state-of-the-art Ford Mustang and the Hot Wheels® Colour Shifters™ Trailer has been zooming across the country visiting festivals, camps and family events in various towns and cities. The Road Trip runs all summer long from July to September, giving Canadians of all ages a chance to experience help changing the colour of the car themselves. Kids who attend the event can help change the colour of the car, play with Hot Wheels® toys and will also receive a special Hot Wheels® collector booklet, T-shirt and more.

Edmonton Stops:
August 10th: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Jamie Platz Family YMCA 7121 – 178 Street
August 11th: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the William Lutsky YMCA 1975 111 Street

Calgary Stops:
August 12th: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Mid-Sun Community Centre 50 Midpark Rise SE
August 15th: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM at Toys “R” Us 10450 MacLeod Trail SE
August 18th: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Southland Leisure Centre 2000 Southland Drive SW
August 18th: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the Village Square Leisure Centre 2623 56 Street NE

iStockphotoStaying in Alberta for a bit, iStockphoto has launched a redesigned version of the world’s most popular stock multimedia marketplace. The new site offers a clean, contemporary look and feel, and reflects more than a year of customer-focused usability research and design. The new site was built using an innovative back-end architecture laying the framework for several future enhancements including a new search interface being unveiled before the end of the year.

The new site structure has been designed specifically around each type of audience that frequents the site, allowing faster, easier access to content. A revised navigation scheme, with a renewed focus on the customer, divides the site into three distinct segments: shop, participate and help. The work of exclusive contributors will be more prominently featured throughout the site via large “hero images.” iStockphoto has also noted this will be the last version of the site to support Internet Explorer® 6. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th August 2010

Go On A Scavenger Hunt in History of Biology from Spongelab

spongelabOntario educational game company Spongelab Interactive is set to launch their new History of Biology game on September 7th, just in time for the upcoming school year. History of Biology gets high school students to unlock the secrets behind biology. Students Grades 8 – 12 act as detectives to decipher the truth behind some of the greatest monoliths in science. History of BiologyHistory of Biology, presented by Spongelab Interactive is an online science-themed scavenger hunt where students learn about the key figures and discoveries throughout history which have influenced the field of science. The game will lead players to discover the impact of these people and events on today’s society, ethics, politics and culture.

This new game is just one of the interactive simulations available for play in the Spongelab Biology educational game portfolio. Last February, Spongelab Interactive took home first prize in the National Science Foundation’s 2009 Visualization Challenge in the Interactive Media Category for their award winning Genomics Digital Lab (GDL) which allows students to explore the story of energy and ‘play the biology’. Currently used in over 65 countries, GDL has been transforming the way students and teachers interact with biology in the classroom, at home and from any internet connected computer they have access to.

Products like Spongelab Interactive’s GDL and the soon to be released History of Biology are helping teachers connect to their students in a fresh new way. “It can be a challenge for students to visualize the parts of the cell and the processes that occur within them; Genomics Digital Lab not only gives students a great visual tool but allows them to explore the biology. Good resources in French are particularly difficult to Genomics Digital Labfind, and GDL offers their product in both English and French,” says
Sabrina Amato, Grade 11&12 Biology Teacher, French Public School Board (CSDCSO).

“Our students have changed and so must our education system. It is our duty to prepare our graduates for a technology and innovation based work force. The ability to interact with technology has the potential to play an enormous role in student development and their future success,” says Dr. Jeremy Friedberg, co-founder of Spongelab Interactive.

With enrollment in Science and Math declining it’s critically important that we get students engaged, but is Canada ready? In Texas, the legislature adopted a bill in 2009 that provides funds and supports technology for e-textbooks. States like Indiana and Michigan have purchased software for schools that, much like History of Biology and all Spongelab Biology products, have included metrics and assessment tools to give teachers an accurate understanding of how their students are learning. and progressing through the content, while facilitating grading. In June 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his support in adopting e-textbooks and e-learning. It’s imperative that Canadian Ministries and School Boards also take steps to ensure that our students have access to technology and are supporting Canadian businesses committed to innovative learning and educational assets.

College alliance proves winning combination for game development When Spongelab set out to create the History of Biology in a way that teachers, students and gaming enthusiasts would connect with, we knew that the game had to deal with this subject matter in a very unique way and would require a specific game engine.

The result gained through a solid partnership with Centennial College’s Paula Demacio, biotechnology professor and students from Centennial’s Game Art and Design program; is an interactive on-line scavenger hunt. Alex Maslov, Centennial student and now employee with Spongelab’s parent company, was challenged to build an engine that randomizes types of missions posed to players and how the answers are received to ensure different experiences for each player.

The project has been partially funded by the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation. The partnership between Spongelab Interactive, Centennial College and its Applied Research and Innovation Centre has proven to be a strong one. The Applied Research and Innovation Centre connects students to businesses like Spongelab Interactive. The results are noteworthy as seven Centennials students contributed to the development of the History of Biology game.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterVancouver ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to announce its 3rd annual SPARK Animation Conference and Festival, after a very successful SPARK FX Conference and Festival in January. In its third year, this prestigious 3-day speaker series and 5-day film festival is intended to educate and inspire professionals, pioneers and enthusiasts in the world of animation.

Taking place September 8 – 12, 2010, SPARK Animation ’10 will be filled with informative and inspiring learning sessions, panels and presentations. Previous events have attracted a coveted line-up of some of the most talented animators and innovators in the industry from such acclaimed studios as Blue Sky, LAIKA, Disney Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Pixar Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Spark Animation 2010

This strong presentation series will be complemented by screenings chosen to exemplify innovation and excellence in the field held in the evenings at the Vancouver International Film Centre,1181 Seymour Street (& Davie).

Early Bird special pricing for this 5-day conference is available until August 15: Members $175 and non-members $225 (HST included). Regular pass admission is $275 for non-members and $225 for members (HST included). A-la-carte tickets for the individual presentations will go on sale on August 30. Read the rest of this entry »

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4th August 2010

Nintendo Neighbourhood Tour Is Coming To A Town Near You

Nintendo CanadaNintendo of Canada Ltd. and Loblaw Companies Ltd. are partnering to bring the Nintendo Neighbourhood Tour to families across Canada. These FREE events will give consumers the chance to play great Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ games such as including Wii Sports Resort™, Wii Fit™ Plus, the Professor Layton™ series and more, as well as enjoy other family fun activities in the Nintendo Activity Gazebo. This exclusive Wii and Nintendo DSi experience is being offered to Canadians living in smaller communities throughout the country and will bring an exciting educational experience to those who have not yet had the opportunity to be visited by Nintendo.

Tour Schedule:

Medicine Hat, AB – Real Canadian Superstore
August 20-22 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Lethbridge, AB – Real Canadian Superstore
August 27-29 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Kelowna, BC – Real Canadian Superstore
September 3-6 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.)
Chilliwack, BC – Real Canadian Superstore
September 10-12 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Nanaimo, BC – Real Canadian Superstore
September 17-19 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Halifax, NS – Joseph Howe Drive Atlantic Superstore
August 13-15 (Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Kennebecasis, NB – Campbell Road Atlantic Superstore
August 20-22 (Fri. 12 p.m. -5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Sherbrooke, QC – Maxi&Cie Sherbrooke
August 27-29 (Fri. 12 p.m. -5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Kitchener, ON – Highland Hills Real Canadian Superstore
September 10-12 (Fri. 12 p.m. -5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Newmarket, ON – Real Canadian Superstore
September 17-19 (Fri. 12 p.m. -5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)

The Nintendo Neighbourhood Tour will also be in Saskatoon on August 10-15 at the Saskatoon Ex and in Sudbury for the Sudbury Ribfest, September 3-5.

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced that it will begin a new round of consultation sessions with industry representatives this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.

Please register by selecting a location near you. Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Pizza HutPizza Hut Canada and PepsiCo have partnered up for a Need For Speed World promotion. If you order your dinner (specifically, the EA Gamers Bundle deal) Pizza Hut NFS World Promotionthrough Pizza Hut’s online ordering feature, you could win one of eight gaming prize bundles, plus they are holding daily draws for a copy of EA’s Need For Speed World.

According to the rules, if you wish to enter without purchase, you need to send in a 100 word paragraph telling Pizza Hut what you love most about their food and restaurants. Each grand prize consists of: one gaming console of winner’s choice (winner to select one of Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or Nintendo Wii) and one five pack of EA games. Total approximate retail value of each grand prize is $650.00 CDN. The contest runs until September 19, 2010 at 11:59:59 PM (EST). This contest is not available in Quebec.

frima studioWidgets Odyssey II from Frima Studio is now available on the PlayStation Store in North America for only $1.99 USD. As a PlayStation Mini title, playable on both the PlayStation®3 and PSP®, Widgets Odyssey II is a puzzle-laden, space-faring, platforming Widgets Odysseyadventure that follows in the footsteps of its prequel, Widgets Odyssey, which was launched on July 6.

Along with Widgets Odyssey, Widgets Odyssey II represents the conclusion of Frima’s “Summer of the PlayStation Mini” which also included the launch of Young Thor, one of the most critically successful PlayStation Minis in history.

In the Widgets Odyssey saga, five robots aboard their space vessel have just one simple mission… to save the universe from the tyrannical Yagor and his evil henchmen! Armed with the abilities of Spad, Cosmo, Bruce, Helmut, and Monk, players will guide each robot along their exciting adventures filled with puzzles, mazes and minigames. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th July 2010

Gaming World Entertainment Network Helps Gamers Give Back

Gamers Giving BackInternet radio fans, check out Gaming World Entertainment Network, an internet station with roots in Canada. While the station is on the air for anyone to listen to, Guild Wars players can interact directly with radio DJs right in the Guild Wars world, participating in special events and fundraisers such as the upcoming Pink Day in LA (Lion’s Arch) whereby players are encouraged to dress their characters in pink on October 16th to show their Pink Day in Lion's Archsupport for breast cancer research. For those who would like to also donate financially to the cause, GW-EN has a donation page on the Canadian Cancer Society’s fundraising site. Station co-founder Rhonda Head, who lives in Saskatchewan, wanted to not only entertain and interact with Guild Wars players, but also give them a chance to give back to the global community. GW-EN has partnered with Gamers Giving Back, providing a way for gamers to come together as a group and help support a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Red Cross for Haiti relief effort and the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Gaming World Entertainment Network plays a wide variety of music, and starting today at 1pm PDT, Michael (a.k.a. The CaveChild) makes his return to internet radio as DJ Behemoth. If you are a Guild Wars player, you’ll be able to find him in Kaineng Harbour rocking it out on one of the boats in American District 1.

Koolhaus GamesKoolhaus Games announces Voting for Round One of its International Contest for Unsigned Bands. The Top 25 Favorites in each Round are being decided by voters to the site. The Top 10 Winner’s Songs will be included in the new soundtrack of their popular iPhone game – iMP:Surf the Music and the groups will earn royalties from game sales.

Just visit the site, click on the Contest link – and go to “Fans: Vote and Enter”. Check out the bands and vote for your favorite by August 23, 2010. Then, Enter to Win an iPod Touch. Enjoy all the great new songs and be part of getting these Unsigned Acts the exposure they deserve! There will be several Rounds and one Voter from each round wins an iPod Touch.

National Film BoardThe National Film Board of Canada returns to 2010 Hiroshima International Animation Festival (August 7–11) with six films in competition. In the running for the Grand Prix are Lipsett Diaries and Drux Flux, two films by Theodore Ushev; Jeu de forme by Malcolm Sutherland; The Spine by Chris Landreth; Runaway by Cordell Barker and Retouches by Georges Schwizgebel. Ushev will be in Hiroshima, and Internet users can stay in touch with him via his blog.

The festival offers several programs in addition to the official competition. No fewer than 11 NFB films are featured at special presentations: Neighbours by Norman McLaren screens at the opening gala; Vive la rose by Bruce Alcock, co-produced with the Canadian company Global Mechanic, screens at the Best of the World program; and When the Day Breaks by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, Village of Idiots by Rose Newlove and Eugene Fedorenko, The Big Snit by Richard Condie and Ryan by Chris Landreth, co-produced by the Toronto-based company Copperheart Entertainment, are among the films selected for the program celebrating the festival’s 25th anniversary. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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