25th May 2008

VIDfest and PopVox Awards 2008

VIDfest

Yes, it’s been a very busy week for me – and for an information junkie like myself, it’s been a boon week. The seminars and topics offered by this year’s VIDfest committee were both timely and informative, and all guest speakers were a treat to hear as they imparted with their wisdom and good humour. This was the first time I was able to attend VIDfest, and I found the event to be very worthwhile. Candidates who attended the pitchfest and the Convergence sections of VIDfest were able to get positive, applicable feedback about their products from industry professionals as well as from others who sat in on the sessions. As with VIGS, I will be posting article wrap-ups for all of the seminars which I was able to attend, along with photos from both VIDfest and the PopVox Awards. Speaking of the PopVox Awards, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the nominees and winners, who are listed below.

· Best Digital Animated Short: PSYOP, for Coca-Cola “Happiness Factory, the Movie”
· Best Digital VFX: Ubisoft, for Assassin’s Creed
· Best Game (Console/PC): Metanet Software and Slick Entertainment, for N+ on Xbox 360 / XBLA
· Best Game (Casual): Acronym Games, for Rocketmen: Axis of Evil
· Best Mobile (Game): The Saints, for NavBall
· Best Mobile (Application): CellMap Inc, for CellMap
· Best Digital Campaign: Rainmaker Entertainment and Zeros2Heroes Media, for A ReBoot ReLaunch
· Best User Generated/Crowd-sourced Content Site: Invoke Media, for Memelabs.com
· Best Digital Score: Clicktoy Interactive Inc., for The Meadow
· Best Do-Gooder site (Social Change Initiative): smashLAB, for DesignCanChange.org
· Homegrown Award (Best BC-based Venture): smashLAB, for MakeFive.com

Congratulations to all of you, and to the VIDfest/PopVox teams who put on a great event.

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25th May 2008

2nd Annual VIGS Was Great

vigs logo

For any of you who had a chance to attend this year’s Vancouver International Game Summit, you know what a great networking and educational experience it was. From the media reception on Tuesday evening hosted by Slant Six Games to the closing keynote featuring a post-mortem on the success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the combined VIGS-VIDfest reception at the Vancouver Art Gallery,  I had ample opportunity to meet new people and catch up with friends in the industry. VIGS is definitely a great place to learn and network, although sometimes it is very difficult to choose which seminars to attend on which track, as the tracks run simultaneously. This is when cloning would definitely come in handy. Over the coming week, I will be posting articles about the various seminars which I attended, along with many of the photos I took at VIGS. The folks at Reboot Communications can congratulate themselves on a job very well done, and I am looking forward to seeing what they have in store for next year’s Summit.

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22nd May 2008

VIGS Opens In Vancouver

Day one of the Vancouver Game Summit is now over, and day two is about to start – which leaves me very little time to file a full report with photos, I’ve just given all of you something to look forward to once VIGS and VIDfest are over. Consider this our trailer for great articles yet to come. There have been some great seminars, and today will be no different, culminating with the closing keynote address from members of the Call of Duty 4 development team. The seminars at tomorrow’s VIDfest look equally informative, and I’m looking forward to sharing all kinds of new information with our readers. Until then, I’m off to VIGS day two. Have a great day everyone.

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19th May 2008

Seizing The Day

Mendella

Every once in awhile, we are blessed with the chance to meet extraordinary people. People who work hard and make sacrifices to follow their dreams and passions. People who, every day, wake up knowing that they are doing what is in their heart. Last Saturday I had such a meeting. Scott, Mike and I ventured into Vancouver to cover the final rounds of Tom Lee Music’s Spring Rock Band Championships, completely innocent of the events which would unfold that afternoon.

Soon after we arrived at the music hall Richard Howland, the Market Development & Community Relations Manager for Tom Lee Music approached me to ask if I had received the email update which he had sent out that morning. I hadn’t, as we had left home a bit early in order to stop by Free Geek for a few computer parts. He informed me that a new rock group out of England would be giving a surprise performance during the competition. I will confess that I was feeling a little bad because I had never heard of them. I later conveyed this to the group’s manager, David Matthews. He told me that I wouldn’t have heard of them because they had been kept under wraps until this tour. I think it’s safe to say that Mendella will be very difficult to keep under wraps from here on out.

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15th May 2008

An Evening With Syd Mead

Syd MeadLast evening, the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver chapter celebrated its fifth birthday with a presentation given by world-renowned visual artist Syd Mead, which was followed by a special screening of BladeRunner: The Final Cut, a movie which features many aspects of Mr. Mead’s fantastical work.

Mr. Mead began his presentation by letting us know how much he likes Vancouver, and noted how much the city had changed since his last visit, which was during Expo ’86. He then went on to cover the various points of fantasy artwork – the why, where, and how of what we humans like about the fantasy genre. In simple terms, fantasy artwork simply takes familiar parametres and translates them into a new experience, pulling the viewer into a new world of possibilities.

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13th May 2008

Digital Development Lab Awards 20000 Dollars In Prizes


CBC, British Columbia Film and New Media BC today announced the BC winners of the first Digital Development Lab.

Interactive Entertainment Award
The winner of the $10,000 CBC Development Award in this division is “ComaState, an interactive drama developed by BC writers and producers Dwayne Beaver, Rudy Thauberger and Ed Hatton. “ComaState” is a layered drama with a rich range of web resources. The project imagines a possible future where prisoners are subjected to suspended animation until they experience true remorse for their crimes. The story will be told through webisodes, viral campaigns and role playing opportunities, and will feature clues and events outside the story that will invite viewers to explore and participate as well as watch.

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13th May 2008

SteelSeries Becomes Second Time Sponsor

SteelSeries

SteelSeries, the high quality gaming gear company from Denmark has become a second-time sponsor of Digital Storm LAN. Those who competed at Digital Storm 2006 will remember that SteelSeries sponsored the WCG Counter Strike tournament, providing prizes for the top three teams. Casper Mejlholm, Marketing Manager for SteelSeries says that the company is very pleased to be working with the Digital Storm team again, and this year the number of prize packages will be very substantial. The prize packages will be announced in the very near future. Other sponsors to date include Shaw Cablesystems, Blade Radio, RedBeard, Argus Cameras, VisionTek, VS Gaming Arena and gameXplore. Digital Storm takes place this August 1, 2 and 3rd at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver and is a fund raiser for KillaNet’s digital media centre for youth. If you are interested in becoming a Digital Storm supporter and sponsor, please contact the event organizers through the Digital Storm website.

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10th May 2008

Tom Lee Music Rock Band Competition

Tom Lee\'s Rockband Competition Today was the last chance for Rock Band hopefuls to enter the Tom Lee Music 2008 Vancouver Rock Band Spring Championship. Sponsored in part by Fender Guitars, Yamaha Drums, PlayStation and Sony Style, the competition began on March 22 and next week (May 17th) it comes down to the final ten.

Richard Howland, the Market Development & Community Relations Manager for Tom Lee said that the contest has been going very well, and that several of the bands have shown a great deal of creativity. There has even been a group who traveled all the way down from Squamish, BC to compete. The prizes for this competition include a real Fender guitar, Yamaha drums, Tom Lee gift cards, games from Electronic Arts and more. Our thanks to the guys from RockStar who let us know about this event!

Article and photo by Tami Quiring

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10th May 2008

Rock 101 Guitar Hero Rush Contest

Rock 101 ContestWe managed to catch a few rounds of two contests currently running in the Vancouver area. First we stopped at the Canadian Tire store in Newton to watch the Rock 101Rush The Van to Rush The Stage for RUSH” Guitar Hero contest. Rock 101 has been parking the venerable rock van in various locations around the Lower Mainland recently and auditioning Guitar Hero hopefuls, trying to find the one with magical fingers who will win the right to compete in the Guitar Hero Rockin’ Rush Showdown May 29th on the Bro Show.

Rock 101 Guitar Hero ContestCompetitors such as 38 year old Rob G. are hoping to win seats on a sidestage for the RUSH concert, meet the band, or win a complete RUSH CD collection. All contestants win a copy of the Rock 101 Twisted Tunes CD. Today was the first time he’d ever played Guitar Hero, and he managed to score a very respectable 37, 000 on easy mode for Rush’s YYZ. Good luck to all of the Guitar Heroes out there!

Photos and Article by Tami Quiring

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