25th October 2009

Vortex Competition Extends Deadline

Vortex CompetitionThis just in from the Competition organizers: Pitch your game idea to Yannis Mallet (Ubisoft CEO Montreal and Toronto) and Kevin O’Leary (Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, Genstar Capital, and O’Leary Equity Funds)) and other major industry players at Vortex Competition 2009.

Gain insider tips from Kevin O’Leary as he discusses his take on Risk and Return – The Infinite Balance of being an entrepreneur. Ask the mogul how he did it at the Q&A session. Learn the steps to create, produce, protect and commercialize your idea at the 2009 Vortex Boot Camp on November 3 and then pitch your project on November 4th and 5th in Toronto.

Key Notes include:

• Kevin O’Leary
• Blake Lewin
• Peter Williams

Party and network with industry players!

Prize package is worth tens of thousands of dollars and includes $4,000 cash, one-on-one mentoring with industry gurus, and distribution and publishing on Mac and PC platforms for your game.

Submit your one-page game synopsis and CV/Bio but be sure to register by midnight October 27th. The registration fee for Vortext Competition is $100.00, and includes the Boot Camp, Pitch Days and passes for both the Boot Camp Reception and the Competition Awards Gala.

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23rd October 2009

Friday News Mashup

EA GamesEA Montreal has released a new Army of Two: 40th Day trailer. This short video focuses on the multiplayer extraction mode. Army of Two: 40th Day is slated for release on January 12 2010.

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Vancouver Film School is holding a Halloween makeup contest. Impress their judge, film industry veteran VFSand Head of the Makeup Design for Film & Television program Stan Edmonds (The Butterfly Effect, I, Robot, Unforgiven), and you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes, including a selection of professional-quality makeup supplies! All you have to do is show your Halloween-themed makeup skills – and that can be anything you imagine as long as you’ve created the makeup yourself – on the photo-sharing site Flickr between October 26 and November 1. Once three finalists are chosen by our judge, the public will get to vote on the winner.

CorelOttawaCorel has introduced Corel® Paint it!™ touch, a new digital art studio built explicitly for the Windows 7 platform. Corel Paint it! touch is optimized for use on touch-screen computers, Paint it! touch provides budding artists of any age with a unique artistic experience. Using the program, consumers can create original artwork with the touch of Corel Paintit Touchtheir fingertips. The program’s touch-enabled capabilities let consumers add artistic touches to photos or create art from scratch using a number of realistic brushes and effects.

“With Paint it! touch, it is now possible to bypass mouse clicks and interact directly with your digital canvas, all with the touch of your fingertips,” said David Toeg, Paint it! touch Product Manager for Corel. “Windows 7 and Windows Touch have enabled Corel to create new possibilities for our users by removing barriers and helping them to connect with their digital content in more personal ways. Whether they are creating painted masterpieces, photo projects, or home videos, it can now be an even more spontaneous and interactive experience.”

IUGOIUGO Mobile Entertainment has released information about their latest game which is headed for the Apple App Store – Implode, where players are tasked to carefully plant limited dynamite bundles in order to demo obsolete structures. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG! Implode! is a classic “easy to learn, hard to master” casual game that will pull you in and won’t let go. IUGO currently has three games in the pipeline for the App Store – Implode, Zombie Attack Second Wave and Cliffed.

Features include:Implode

• 60 dynamite levels
• Reactive UI, touch and drag control options
• Fun chalkboard theme and clean graphics
• Two different types of bombs (traditional bombs and blast bombs)
• Varying structure shapes for ongoing challenge
• Submit score online (online score is the sum of all levels’ high scores)
• Grading system for high scores adding replayability to each level
• 3 Difficulties; Casual, Veteran, and Expert
• In-level help system: Learn as you play!
• IUGO VIP: Sandbox cheat gives you more bombs and you never fail! (high scores disabled with this feature)
• Watch buildings tumble with real physics!

VIATeCVictoriaIsland Tech 09 is looking for speakers. Island Tech takes place on November 13th at the Crystal Garden and will feature an afternoon of thought-provoking discussions, much in the style of the TEDx conferences. They are looking for people that have an interesting topic they would like to present. Talks should be rooted in innovation, or at least connected to technology. The organizers would prefer talks with a broad and/or unconventional scope. Do you have anything you’d like to say that fits this bill? The format for the talks is a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with the audience. People should come away from this part of the Island Tech event thinking “I’ve never thought about it that way”, or “man, that was interesting”, or maybe even “that was brilliant!”. We want these talks to stretch the boundaries a bit, and make people think. Please email Island Tech 09 with a synopsis of your talk.

Mindshare LearningThe MindShare Learning Report—Canada’s, Leading, Learning & Technology eMagazine and title sponsor Microsoft Canada Co., are set to officially launch the Microsoft – MindShare Learning Report™ 21st Century Digital Classroom Challenge (Contest Info – PDF). In its second year running, this event aims to inspire teachers, along with their students from across Canada to share their successful classroom practices using technology. Teachers from publicly funded schools can qualify to win one of three technology prize packs valued at over $15,000 for their school.

The office launch takes place at W.H. Day Elementary School in Bradford, Ontario, the site of one of last year’s contest winners, grade 5 teacher, Mali Bickley. “It is an honour to have the Mindshare Learning Contest launch hosted in my classroom. Winning the Mindshare Learning contest and having the technology for the class helped us connect with so many other classes throughout the world. The technologies were the tools that connected my students in curriculum based projects that truly made a difference in their lives and other students globally,” says Mali Bickley.

Through a video submission, K-12 educators from publicly funded schools across Canada are challenged to share their success stories using technology to support student success. Qualified entrants will be eligible to win one of three classroom technology prize packages, each valued at more than $15,000, from leading classroom technology providers, including: Microsoft Canada, Advanced Education, Dell, EPSON, FrontRow, ISTE, NECTAR Foundation, netTrekker, Pearson, SMART Technologies and MindShare Learning.

“Canadian teachers are excellent stewards in marrying technology with education and are critical in developing instructional environments that use technology to ignite the imaginations of students,” says Shann McGrail, Director of Education, Microsoft Canada. “Microsoft Canada is committed to helping educators to prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce with education-specific tools and technologies, and this contest maps to our belief that technology is one way to deliver enriched instruction to engage students and improve learning outcomes.”

“The awesome prize packages were carefully selected and represent best-of-class technology to enable 21st century digital learning in the classroom. I’m humbled by the generosity of our sponsors,” says Robert Martellacci, president and publisher, The MindShare Learning Report.

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21st October 2009

Masters of Digital Media $50 000.00 Big Push Project

Vancouver – The Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program invites applicants from artists, inventors, educators, health care professionals, non-profit organizations or academic/research institutions to submit a proposal for a digital media-based project to deliver a product that promotes a philanthropic cause or positive social change initiative. The project can include one or more of the following elements: dynamic web content, game development, 3D content, interactive sites, learning tools, and online community development.

The proposed project must involve a philanthropic contribution to sustainability, the environment and education within local (Vancouver), provincial (British Columbia), national (Canadian) and global (International) communities. Applications from Canadian organizations will be judged not only on their ability to demonstrate the impact of the project according to guidelines, but the potential for use in other arenas.

The prize, valued at $50,000, includes a team of multidisciplinary graduate students in the Masters of Digital Media Program in Vancouver who will work with your organization to define the project, develop the deliverables, and execute a final product that will help your organization realize its social and cultural goals.

Guidelines and Project Specifics:

·The proposed project must be completed within a 13 week period, starting January 4, 2010

·The winning submission will be provided with a team of up to 5 multidisciplinary students, including some of the following roles appropriate to the specific project’s requirements: a project manager and communications manager, lead engineer, lead artist, and designer

·The recipient(s) will be expected to contribute time and energy and other resources to work with the team, from the planning stages, to execution, and finally to marketing and distribution of the completed project

·There is no fee to submit a proposal

Project Proposal:

The proposal must be comprised of the following information:

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10th October 2009

More Awards, Game News and the Weekend Wrap

Canada's Top 100 Employers 2010First, congratulations to game studios Next Level Games, Bioware and Digital Extremes for being named in the Top 100 Canadian EmployersResearch In Motion was also named to the list. Next Level is consistently named as a Top Employer by several agencies, and Bioware has also won previous awards for being a Top Employer.  Word Search

Digital Leisure’s Word Searcher puzzle game has been released on WiiWare. You’ll need a sharp eye and a quick mind to complete these 100 themed word search puzzles. Word Searcher contains fun words from multiple categories including anatomy, world cities, ancient weapons and 97 other subjects. Packed with a huge assortment of subjects to choose from, there’s sure to be a puzzle everyone will enjoy. Help improve your vocabulary, memory and problem-solving skills with these addicting puzzles. Keep track of, and try to beat your own completion times again and again as words are scrambled every time you play. Get your thinking cap on and conquer all 100 today!

Kristin BellUbisoft has announced that Hollywood actress Kristen Bell will reprise her role of Lucy Stillman in Assassin’s Creed II. Bell’s character will once again play a major role in the game’s intricate storyline. “Being a part of the first Assassin’s Creed video game was an amazing experience. Video games is such a creative entertainment medium, and to be able to see and play myself as a video game character was surreal,” said Kristen Bell. “As an actress, it’s both challenging and rewarding to play a complex character with this great mysterious background. I’m very happy to be Lucy once more, and I look forward to fans discovering more about her – they will be pleasantly surprised.”

Also available for viewing is a new video vignette showcasing the Assassination Arsenal. Media Labs is holding an AC2 film contest with a $10 000.00 first prize, but it’s only open to US residents over the age of 18.

EA Montreal has announced that renowned film composer Tyler Bates will be creating the impactful score for the highly anticipated third person co-op shooter Army of Two™:The 40th Day. The sought-after Army of Two 40th Daycomposer, best known for his work on the blockbuster films 300 and Watchmen, is crafting an immersive score that will highlight the epic co-operative battles gamers and their friends will face in the first major videogame release of 2010.

“Set in Shanghai in the middle of a major a disaster, Army of Two: The 40th Day dials up the action through a series of powerful scenes where players have to work together as a team to survive and escape the city,” said Lewis James, Audio Director at EA Montreal. “Tyler examined every part of the game and how players will move through the world to craft a score that truly represents their actions and the chaos unfolding around them.”

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19th September 2009

Vortex Competition 2009 Open For Business

Vortex CompetitionToronto – Presented by McLuhan Festival of the Future, The Vortex Competition is a “Dragon’s Den” styled game development event now in its fifth year. Registrants first attend a two day Vortex Boot Camp where they participate in panels and discussions “specifically designed for emerging entrepreneurs in the game industry to provide information and guidance to make their product ready for and a success in the market place.” Once the boot camp is done, participants are given an additional fifteen days to develop their game concepts and submit them for evaluation.

Important dates for the competition:

October 5: Deadline for Boot Camp Registration
October 7 and 8: Boot Camp & Networking Reception
October 23: Deadline for Competition Submissions
October 29: Announcement of Contenders
November 4 – 5: Competition & Awards Gala

Registration fees for the Vortex Boot Camp are as follows:

Boot Camp & Competition – $100.00 (Full Pass – includes Camp, Competition, Reception & Gala)
Boot Camp Registration (No Competition Entry) – $85.00 (includes Reception)
Team Boot Camp & Competition Registration – $85.00 (per team member & is a Full Pass to all events)
Boot Camp Reception & Competition Awards Gala Tickets – $ 60.00
Vortex Webcast Registration – $30.00 (watch the Camp & Competition via internet)

For those who may not be able to afford to enter the competition, the organizers are offering a limited number of scholarships to individuals or companies who meet their criteria. The number of scholarships is limited and will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Please submit a statement which outlines the details about you and your team, as well as a description of your project, what you believe you will gain for the Boot Camp and the Competition, and why you should be offered this scholarship.

Speakers for the 2009 Boot Camp are:

Ian Buck – High Road Communications Inc
Vikas Gupta – President & CEO, TransGaming Inc.
Andrea Sheffer – Executive Director, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund
Blake Lewin – VP, Media and Entertainment Platforms at Turner Broadcasting
Peter Williams – Head of US Business Unit & Chief Strategic Officer, Bamboo Networks (Keynote)
David Woolford – Business Law Partner, Miller Thomson
Rob Sands – Owner, RGS Media

The chosen competitors will then enter one of two tracks – either Prototype or Concept and make their presentations to the jury panel. The presentation will last for ten minutes, followed by twenty minutes of discussion and review with the panel. Two semi-finalists from each category will be chosen. On day two of the judging competition, the four semi-finalists will make ten minute presentations to the panel. The declared winner of the Vortex Competition and will be given their prizes at the Awards Ceremony with Gala to follow. The competition’s organizers are excited to be able to offer this year’s winners mentoring by established industry executives tailored to their needs in addition to cash and other prizes as well as the opportunity to have their games commercialized through a variety of channels.

Jury Panel for the 2009 Vortex Competition:

Yannis Mallat – CEO, Ubisoft Montreal & Ubisoft Toronto
Kevin O’Leary – CBC’s Dragon’s Den
Rita Davies – Executive Director of the Culture Division of the City of Toronto
Mark Montgomery – Product Development Manager, Games & Applications for Telus
Mark Saltzman – Freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, radio and TV personality

Vortex Competition entrants are also encouraged to submit their game concepts to the City of Toronto’s Game Competition, which is being held in to commemorate the city’s 175th birthday. According to the Vortex Competition’s web site, “the City of Toronto is proud to offer all competitors the opportunity to enter their game in a 175th City of Toronto Birthday Videogame Competition. The winning game will be accessible via the City of Toronto’s website which will garner the winner international exposure.” A search of Toronto’s birthday events page did not offer any further information.

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19th August 2009

iStockphoto Announces Winners of International Punctum Day Awards

iStockphotoCalgaryiStockphoto, the world’s leading royalty-free stock destination, today announced the nine winners of its Punctum Day competition, now in its third year. Punctum Day celebrates creative excellence and the profound emotional impact a truly great work of art can have on its audience. Finalists were chosen by the user-generated Full Moon Is Callingcommunity of more than 6 million iStock members and the winners were determined by an international panel of judges.

This year’s categories included best photo, vector, video, Flash™ and design of the year with audio included for the first time. The top 10 finalists from each category were selected from a pool of more than 1.75 million entries. The panel of judges included Chris and Trish Meyer, founders of Crish Design; Russell Brown, senior creative director at Adobe Systems; and Scott Kelby, publisher and co-founder of Photoshop User Magazine, editor-in-chief of Layers magazine and host of Photoshop User TV. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

iStockphoto Punctum Day Winners:

Photo of the year – Vladimir Piskunov (member name: piskunov), Russia, Full Moon Is Calling

Video of the year – David Baumber (member name: multifocus), UK, Busy Office Frozen in Time

Vector of the year – Brian Smith (member name: scargut), United States, The Vlad Supper

Audio of the year – Alexander Maas (member name: -MUX-), Germany, Siberia

Flash of the year – Holger Bogen (member name: holgerbogen), Germany, Computer Hacker

Design of the Year – Adrian Foster (member name: vsdesign), UK, Jonathan Trumbull & Hatters homepage design

The iStockphoto inspection team named Kurt Paris (member name: paris), United Kingdom, as the most improved contributor and Luis Sandoval Mandujano (member name: erlucho), Chile, as the most deserving of new equipment. Paris will receive a USD $5,000 cash prize and Mandujano will receive $5,000 in new equipment. Jamie Carroll, (member name: jc_design) was named winner of the “Steel Cage – 2009 Battle Royale” competition and will also take home $5,000.

Hall of Fame:

The iStockphoto Hall of Fame spotlights members who have left an indelible stamp on the history of the company. iStock founder Bruce Livingstone left the organization earlier this year. His ideas, passion and commitment created more than just a company – they created an industry. His commitment to the iStock community provided the foundation on which the company continues to grow. It is only fitting that Bruce be given a position of honor in the iStockphoto hall of fame.

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7th August 2009

Canadian Team Readies for Finals

SheridanScotland – Canada’s team from Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is getting ready for the final competition at Scotland’s Dare to be Digital event. Dare ProtoPlay, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be taking place August 14-16. You can preview the games and check out team blogs on the Dare to be Digital web site. Entry is free for the event which is open 10am – 6pm.

Dare ProtoPlay, presented by Abertay University and powered by Intel, has grown out of the world-leading Dare to be Digital competition and aims to celebrate young talent through a mini video-games festival. It is a unique cultural event for the games industry showcasing talent, IP, research, and much more, and serves as a battleground for creativity and culture in games Dare To Be Digital Competitorsdevelopment.

Fourteen brand new computer games, developed by teams during this year’s Dare to be Digital competition, will fight it out at Dare ProtoPlay to win the public vote and the endorsement of a panel of industry experts.

This year’s Dare ProtoPlay will also see digital toy factory Denki present the first opportunity to play a preview of Quarrel, their new Xbox Live Arcade game. Everyone is invited to play and give feedback that will directly affect how the game looks and works when it is released in 2010..

In addition, Dare ProtoPlay will also feature several other exciting new elements: a music workshop by Yann Seznec, who will use Wacom pen tablets to create music instruments; Abertay PhD research programmes based on video games technology; a Dare iPhone game preview in association with Digital Goldfish; a special Career Workshop in association with BAFTA targeted for teenagers and much more.
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6th August 2009

Corel Announces Winners of CorelDRAW International Design Contest

corelDRAWOttawa – Corel Corporation today announced the winners of the CorelDRAW® International Design Contest. Submissions were received from users in more than sixty countries reflecting the product’s global popularity and appeal. Introduced as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, the contest was designed to

Portrait of a Rose

Portrait of a Rose

celebrate the diversity, creativity and talent of the global CorelDRAW user community.

“All of the entries we received reflect the dedication, spirit and amazing talent of our global community of CorelDRAW users,” said John Falsetto, Product Manager for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. “We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the submissions and had a tough time narrowing it down to our selected winners. Our users continually inspire us and we are delighted to have had this chance to see even more examples of how CorelDRAW Graphics Suite makes a difference in the lives – and livelihoods – of our most loyal users.”

Corel is pleased to recognize the first-place winners in each of the contest’s six categories:

  • Advertising/Marketing – Juarez Jr. da Silva, Brazil
  • Promotional/Personalization/Awards  – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Vehicle Wraps – Arief Rachman, Indonesia
  • Textile/Fashion Design – Junior Souza, Brazil
  • General Illustration and Fine Art – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Academic (student submissions) – Fong-Chow Chiang, Taiwan

Drawn from all corners of the globe, these winners reflect the growing popularity of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite in emerging markets such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific.

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29th July 2009

MEGA Brands Launches Exclusive Giveaway of 10 000 Limited Edition Halo Wars Figures Online

Mega BrandsMontreal – Starting at noon EST on Friday, July 31, MEGA Brands Inc. is offering Halo Wars© fans an exclusive opportunity to receive a limited edition Mega Bloks UNSC Steel Spartan or an ultra-rare UNSC Active Camo Spartan miniature figure at halowars.megabloks.com.

Mega Bloks UNSC Steel Spartan

Mega Bloks UNSC Steel Spartan

Ten thousand limited edition Halo Wars figures will be given away to fans on a first come first serve basis: 9,900 Limited Edition UNSC Steel Spartan and 100 randomly inserted, ultra-rare UNSC Active Camo Spartan miniature figures. Each 1.75” tall figure will include its own weapon and an exclusive camouflage effect block.

Spartans are the most powerful soldiers in the history of the Human race. Their dominance of the battlefield was absolute until they met the Covenant. Their training allows these super-soldiers to wield any weapon and master any combat vehicle. The Limited Edition UNSC Active-Camo Spartan has an advantage over the UNSC Steel Spartan. It can become invisible when in combat to hide from its enemy, the Covenant.

“With the successful launch of the Halo Wars video game and the new Mega Bloks authentic collector’s series, we wanted to offer collectors a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get their hands on limited edition Halo Wars figures,” said Vic Bertrand, Chief Innovation Officer of MEGA Brands. “The Halo franchise has a massive following and now fans can grow their collection with new Mega Bloks building sets.”

This exclusive online offer is only available through the Halo Wars Mega Bloks website in the United States and Canada, and is not available in stores. The quantities are limited and certain conditions apply.

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25th July 2009

Win A Copy of PROTOTYPE For the 360

OrbyAldergrove – In celebration of PROTOTYPE’S early success (and continued success as well), Village Gamer is giving away a copy of the game for the Xbox 360. It’s easy to enter, all you have to do qualify is be 17 years of age orPrototype older (as per the ESRB) and live in Canada. The contest closes at midnight on Wednesday July 29 2009.

How do you win? It’s relatively easy: send us the answer to our question (note there is only one correct answer) which can be found on the PROTOTYPE website or via Google.

And the question is: What is the number one reason to play PROTOTYPE?
remember – there is only one correct answer to this question.

To enter, please send the following information to Village Gamer (contest.at.villagegamer.net) using PROTOTYPE as the subject.

1. Answer to the above question

2. Your Name

3. Your Date of Birth and Age

4. Complete (and correct) Mailing Address

5. Tell us if you’re male or female

All correct entries will be placed into a draw box, and the winner will be randomly selected by Kelly Zmak, President of Radical Entertainment, in Vancouver BC on either July 29 or July 30 2009 (we’re working on the scheduling).

Please note that we reserve the right to publish your name, age and city in our “And The Winner Is” post, which will also appear on our Twitter and Facebook pages. The winner will also be contacted by email, and he or she will receive their copy of PROTOTYPE via Canada Post Priority Mail.

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