14th July 2010

Peer 1 Officially Opens ServerBeach Canada

CanadaA reminder to Canadian dev studios that the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle is planning activities around Casual Connect Seattle 2010 (July 20 – 22) to promote the Canadian game development industry, including a networking event, a Canada table at the show and a Canada Casual Games Organization Directory. Discounted registration is also available on a limited basis. For information on these activities and how to become involved, please contact Victoria Hayes or Neil Swain for more information. Still with government news, Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo–Prince George is scheduled to make an announcement regarding the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians programme tomorrow afternoon at the Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre in Prince George.iTunes Canada

The Apple Canada App Store recently added a new app category entitled, “Great Canadian Apps“. This feature, as the name implies, recognizes apps created by Canadian-based companies. Only 29 Canadian-made apps have made the short list thus far, for everything from navigating Montreal to finance and productivity. It would be really nice to see a Made In Canada game feature as well, although searching for Canadian games in the App store does yield some interesting results…

Drum StudioAll Seeing Eye Games announced today the release of a title update for the Xbox 360 game Drum Studio. The update for the award-winning drum recording game adds full support for velocity-sensitive drum kits. This new feature allows players with supported Xbox 360 drum kits to control the volume of their in-game drums by how hard they hit their real-life Xbox 360 drum pads.

Lead Programmer Darren Joe says, “This title update is a thank you to all the players who have made Drum Studio a success. For those with compatible drum kits, it adds a whole new dimension to Drum Studio’s already unparalleled recording tools.”

Drum Studio is an award-winning virtual drum recording app for Xbox 360 that allows players to play, record, edit, save and playback their own song creations using their Xbox 360 drum kits or controllers. It features a powerful easy-to-use recording interface, hundreds of high quality drum sounds and fully animated characters. It has received widespread critical acclaim since its release, including an Editor’s Choice Award from teamxbox.com.

The title update also includes fixes for an incorrect sign-in change detection and a conflict with cymbal expansion kits. Drum Studio is available now exclusively on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 80 Microsoft Points or try the free trial on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

snow days gamesSnow Day Games, a new game development studio based in Charlottetown has announced that its original title for iPhone and iPod Touch, Fly vs. Car, is now available. Snow Day Games has partnered with international charity “Child’s Play” to put games and toys in the hands of sick children all over the world by sharing 50% of the profit from sales of the game to charity.

“Fly vs. Car is a fun, casual game for players of all ages and that fits with our goal of making a game that can do good in the world for children,” said Matthew White, chief creative officer of Snow Day Games. “As players dodge traffic in homage to Frogger and other great games where you avoid getting flattened, they can also know that their gaming is helping others.”

In Fly vs. Car, players avoid oncoming traffic for as long as possible by moving their fly from side to side. It’s a challenging and fun, fast paced game where the faster your reflexes, the higher your score. Fly vs. Car features OpenFeint, Facebook, and Twitter integration, so high scores can be shared and players can compete against their friends on the leaderboards.

Cross Media TorontoCross Media Toronto has announced new additions to its line-up of industry executives and technology experts to speak, demonstrate and debate at its symposium this July 21st, 2010. The event is in partnership with NATPE, the MaRS Discovery District, the CFC Media Lab and Bell, with the additional support from Canadian Media Fund, Idea Couture, MarbleMedia and Bellfund.

Newly added speakers include SVP Managing Director of Arc Worldwide Richard Bernstein and Chief Digital Officer of TBWA Worldwide Colleen DeCourcy in a conversation on the future of the advertising industry titled ‘The Changing Agency: Evolution or Revolution. President of Digital Extremes Ltd Michael Schmalz rounds out the super panel which includes SVP Director Digital for Random House of Canada Lisa Charters, Head of Agency Relations for Google Canada Sabrina Geremia and Senior Business Development Manager for RIM Pete Watson, while Core Matrix Creator Jacob Blackstock, President and Founder of Secret Location James Milward and CEO of ES3 Douglas Edwards will be presenting technology demos which will explore the latest innovations in digital media. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th July 2010

DeathSpank Now Dispensing Justice To Evildoers Everywhere

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

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

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

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

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

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8th July 2010

Zombies and Wardens Fight The Good Fight

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

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

Spark Early Bird Ticket Prices (including HST):

Members: $175
Non-Members: $225

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

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

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

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

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

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7th July 2010

Great Things In Store From The Indie Dev Sector

indie fundAttention Indie Developers – the Indie Fund has just announced that it is now open for business. Get yourself over to their website (after you finish reading today’s news) and check out what is required of you and your project in order to apply for funding from this great group of people who would like to see you succeed. The Indie Fund was created by successful indie developers Jonathan Blow, Kellee Santiago, Ron Carmel, Kyle Gabler, Aaron Isaksen, Nathan Vella and Matthew Wagner. According to the Fund’s web site,  it was established as a serious alternative to the traditional publisher funding model. Our aim is to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get (and stay) financially independent.

apezoneAfter eleven years of making PC games, Quebec-based ApeZone has released its first iPhone game, SoliScare. Use the solitaire skills you’ve honed while killing time at work on SoliScareyour Windows PC to whack Zombies, smack Ghosts, and mash Monsters on your iPhone. As you work your way through the game, you will travel to graveyards, haunted castles, and other spooky locations. Put the beat down on things that go bump in the night, collecting all 37 ghosts, zombies, and classic movie monsters by making extraordinary card runs. As your skill level increases, you can unlock 100 unique, hand-crafted levels and use coins to purchase in-game enhancements, giving you a new experience each time you play. SoliScare is available in the iTunes App Store for 99 cents.

frima studioFrima Studio announced today that the Summer of the PlayStation Mini is officially here with the arrival of Widgets Odyssey on the PlayStation Store in North America for only $1.99 USD. As a PlayStation Mini title, playable on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Widgets Odyssey takes players on the first of two interstellar puzzle-platforming adventures that will continue in Widgets Odyssey 2, also releasing later this summer.Widgets Odyssey

“The launch of Widgets Odyssey marks an exciting day for puzzle-platforming fans everywhere, and we’re also happy to be kicking off a series of summer releases for the PlayStation Minis platform from Frima,” said Steve Couture, CEO and co-founder of Frima Studio. “The Minis platform has allowed us to deliver our proudest creations to players on both the PSP and PS3 without them having to break the bank. We couldn’t be happier to continue the tradition this summer with both installments of Widgets Odyssey, as well as our upcoming action-epic, Young Thor.”

In Widgets Odyssey, 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. Players can also look forward to the continuing adventures of the ‘S-Space’ crew in Widgets Odyssey 2 when it launches later this summer.

RatRod StudioRatrod Studio Inc. is proudly announcing their latest iPhone game title “Drift Mania Championship” which has been developed in collaboration with the official Drift Mania Canadian Championship league (DMCC). This exciting video game will be available worldwide in mid July 2010 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game is rated 4+ (for everyone) and can be purchased on the Apple App Store. Drift Mania

Already entering its 5th season, DMCC is the only professional drifting series and sanctioning body in Canada developing over 600 drivers, hosting 10 competitions from Vancouver to Quebec and capturing hundreds of thousands of fans every year. Like real drifting, the Drift Mania Championship video game is a combination of driving skills, style and showmanship. It’s all about loss of the rear wheel traction while keeping the race car in total control.

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5th July 2010

Entrepreneurship Partnerships and Scholarships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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30th June 2010

CTV Series FlashPoint Announces Upcoming Online Game

Happy Social Media Day, Canada – a good warm-up for tomorrow’s National birthday celebrations. Speaking of Canada Day, don’t forget that if you’re in Vancouver, there will be an abundance ofPure Football activities happening at Canada Place on July 1st. If you haven’t tried Ubisoft Vancouver’s latest soccer title, Pure Football, stop by the the BC Soccer event area at Canada Place and give it a go. In celebration of Canada Day and the World Cup, we will be giving away a copy of Pure Football tomorrow, courtesy of Ubisoft Vancouver. Check back tomorrow for the details on this giveaway.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterAdvance tickets for our local SIGGRAPH chapter’s Spark Animation conference go on sale tomorrow. There isn’t very much information available yet, but word at last night’s Making of ModNation Racers event was that there will be Early Bird prices available, so check the site tomorrow for more details.

National Film BoardStarting today, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has its own iPad app, available free of charge at the iTunes Store or at the NFB’s download page. One of the first Canadian film apps for the iPad, the NFB app allows users to enjoy over 1,000 NFB documentaries, animated shorts and trailers, streamed over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless networks. It includes a selection of NFB-iPadfilms in 3-D and stunning high definition. Users will also be able to download and store a film for up to 48 hours, for off-line viewing.

The app has the same features as the NFB’s iPhone app but has been optimized to take advantage of the inherent qualities of the iPad:

• Watch over 1,000 free movies
• Access a kids’ channel with fun and educational content for children
• Store films for up to 48 hours for off-line viewing
• Browse films by channel/category
• Search for films by title
• Bookmark your favourite films
• Browse related content while viewing a film thanks to split-screen technology

The NFB’s iPad application builds on the success of its popular iPhone app, launched last fall. The NFB’s iPhone app was selected as one of the best apps of 2009 by iTunes Canada and named Best Use of Content in 2009 by TheAppleBlog. Since its launch in October 2009, the NFB’s iPhone app has been downloaded more than 235,000 times, with 821,000 film views, as of June 1, 2010. Dragon Age Issue 2

Fans of  Dragon Age: Origins will be pleased to know that Issue 2 of the Dragon Age comic book series  from IDW has been released and is now on store shelves. You can get an inside look over at Issuu’s web site.

CTVCTV announced today that the Gemini Award-winning series FlashPoint will present a special Season 3 sneak peek episode on Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. on CTV. A quick-hit teaser of a third season locked and loaded with hard-hitting storylines, painful decisions, and Team One’s toughest adversaries yet, the mid-summer primer is a can’t miss target for FlashPoint fans. Earlier this month CTV announced the pick-up of a fourth season which will begin production in Toronto for the 2010/2011 season. Following its television broadcast, the Season 3 sneak peek will be available on demand on the CTV Video Player at CTV.ca.

In the Season 3 sneak peek, entitled “Unconditional Love” (July 16), Team One must resolve a standoff at a seedy motel with a fugitive whose shot two police officers and taken a teenager, Paul Wilder (Devon Bostick, BEING ERICA), hostage. At first, Paul seems like a good kid in a bad situation, but as the team digs deeper it uncovers chilling secrets that reveal Paul is far from FlashPoint's David Paetkauinnocent. What began as a standoff ends as a desperate chase through the city’s sewer system, and it’s up to Parker (Enrico Colantoni) to stop Paul from making a mistake that will change him forever. Meanwhile, Ed (Hugh Dillon) discovers that his cop brother Roy (Colin Cunningham, Da Vinci’s Inquest) might have been responsible for one of the officers getting shot… and that his wife is, unexpectedly, expecting.

Also launching on Friday, July 16 is FlashPoint: Training Day, an interactive, online simulation game that gives FlashPoint fans the chance to become virtual members of the Strategic Response Unit (SRU). Adopting the role of a rookie recruit, website visitors enter FlashPoint: Training Day and explore SRU training with tactical and strategic training modules, including real time negotiations with a hostage taker. FlashPoint: Training Day uses actors from the show to create a realistic training environment, bringing players inside the SRU. Players undertake a recruitment test and training modules and eventually the final tests to see if they have what it takes to become an SRU officer. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th June 2010

The Dead Will Rise Again On September 28th

Before we get into today’s news, just a reminder that submissions are now open for the 2010 Canada New Media Awards. Get your nominations in now, the early bird deadline is July 16th.

Updated with link: Mattel Canada is taking the new Hot Wheels® Colour Shifters™ collection for a road trip across Canada this summer. They are stopping over at 50 Canadian community festival events between now and September. Mattel Canada’s Assistant Brand Manager Melissa Chau will officially launch the summer tour tomorrow morning at Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square. The summer road trip is meant to show off the new life-size Colour Shifter Ford Mustang, and kids who attend the launch event tomorrow can help change the colour of the car, play with Hot Wheels® toys and also receive a special Hot Wheels® collector booklet, T-shirt and more.

Interactive Exchange 10Tickets for Interactive Ontario’s IN 2010 are now on sale, with Super Early Bird and special rates for those delegates who attended the event last year expiring on July 16th. This cross-platform, multi-stream conference about the business and ideas of interactivity will take place from September 12-14 at the Carlu in Toronto. The conference will be divided into the following streams:

Mobile: The IN Mobile stream will present sessions from case studies to discussions about the latest and greatest key developments, the current status and future development trends in wireless technology.

Social Media: Social Media at IN will focus on the creative and business opportunities in a sector which is continuously reinventing itself through user-generated content. Showcasing leading-edge projects and discussions about the newest communication platforms, these sessions will explore marketing, collaboration, information sharing, and experimental crossovers.

Games: The video games industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. With an eye toward intellectual property, which is exploitable along multiple entertainment verticals, this stream brings creative, production and business perspectives to the table at IN 2010. Industry veterans will discuss current trends, explore leading-edge projects and examine the challenges and opportunities that exist in crossover projects.

X-Platform: This stream focuses on the opportunities that lie in the digital media content space as it continues to grow by showcasing the interconnectedness of various interactive sectors within cultural and digital media industries. This stream highlights the potential creative and business opportunities that exist between platforms.

Visionary: The visionary stream is dedicated to showcasing thought-leaders. Made up of the innovators, originators, inventors and explorers of big ideas. These forward-thinkers share their vision and in turn, incite new ways of thinking about business models, interactivity, and technology.

Dead Rising 2A release date has been set in zombie blood for Dead Rising 2. Fans of this survival-horror title from CapCom and Blue Castle Games can assimilate the persona of motorcycle racer Chuck Greene on September 28th. Dead Rising 2 is listed at Future Shop for $59.99 (Xbox 360) and $64.99 (PS3), while Best Buy lists both versions at $59.99. Neither store lists a PC version, and the CapCom US store doesn’t yet list Dead Rising 2 at all. GameStop Canada also neglects the PC version, but it does offer the strategy guide for pre-order.

CapCom also confirmed late last week that Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, a motion picture inspired by the Dead Rising universe, will be distributed free of charge in both Europe and North America this summer. Written and directed by Keiji Inafune, Capcom’s global head of research and development, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun follows two brothers as they try to escape the zombie outbreak that has hit Japan. Exploring the darker side of human nature and filmed entirely on location in Japan, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, both pays homage to the zombie movies of the 1960s and ‘70s and provides links with the videogame world of Dead Rising®.

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Zombrex Dead Rising Sun will be released digitally in a series of eight episodes which Dead Rising and zombie movie fans can watch for free. Featuring an English voice over, the episodes will also be available as separate versions with French, Spanish and Italian subtitles.

Vancouver indie studioAll Seeing Eye Games has launched its debut title exclusively on Drum StudioXbox LIVE Marketplace. Drum Studio, available for 80 Microsoft Points, allows players to play, record, edit, save and playback their own song creations on their Xbox 360 drum kit. It utilizes the full potential of the drum kit to put the power of music creation in the players’ hands.

Game Designer Joel Cappelletto says, “Drum Studio takes music games to a new level with its creation and customization tools. We’re very excited to finally share it with the world.”

Drum Studio does away with playing along to pre-determined drum lines. Instead, players create their own jams on drums they’ve customized from a library of over 320 sounds. A simple & elegant recording interface allows players to layer in multiple tracks and hone their songs to perfection before they save the song, kick back, and watch an animated drummer play back their creation.

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24th June 2010

For The Canadian APPetite

iStockphotoiStockphoto has untethered its community today with the delivery of a free iPhone application iStockPhoto-lightboxthat allows users to browse iStock’s vast library of photos, illustrations and audio files from an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch – with an iPad-sized app coming soon.

“Inspiration and ideas often strike when least expected,” said Kelly Thompson, COO of iStockphoto. “This application lets us be there for our community whenever and wherever that happens.”

The application uses iStock’s industry-leading search engine to help customers find the perfect file quickly and easily. Customers can access and manage lightboxes of stored files from their existing iStockphoto account or create new lightboxes to save files for future viewing or purchase. The app also allows files to be e-mailed to clients and colleagues for discussion and evaluation. The new app also allows the more than 80,000 contributing artists whose work is sold on iStockphoto to track their sales and view download statistics, even while on the go.

Magmic GamesMagmic Inc. has launched the official Rubik’s Cube application for iPhone, iTouch and iPad. The app, which does everything including doing the cube for you, is now available on iTunes for $2.99. Magmic’s Rubik’s Cube is the only iTunes application endorsed by Erno Rubik, the original cube’s inventor.

“Rubik’s Cube is the greatest puzzle ever invented,” said Magmic’s Director of Product Management, Jeff Bacon. “We were excited to take it to a powerful Rubik's Cubesmartphone, and to enrich the experience. It’s nothing short of a rebirth for this amazing invention.”

have you reached an impasse in solving your real-life cube? Simply take a picture of a real Rubik’s Cube with your iPhone and the app’s built-in Solver gives you a step-by-step solution.

Other features include:

- Anaglyph 3D mode (glasses not included)
– 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4 & 5x5x5 Rubik’s Cubes
– 24 different game styles
– 360 degree view using iPhone 4 gyroscope
– Personalized cubes with stickers and photos
– Easy-to-understand solution guide
– All-new, extra-challenging CRAZY Cube

BCICBCIC invites entrepreneurs and startups to attend Connect, a conference for early-stage tech entrepreneurs who want the answers to “what’s next for my company”. Taking place on October 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre (west building), tickets are priced at a very reasonable $50.00 (buy now for the early bird price of $40.00), and students can attend for only $25.00. The keynote presentation will address the topic of Making It Beyond BC, and attendees will have the chance to meet face-to-face with several (the site says 30) tech leaders who will be there to offer advice and encouragement.

CDMNCanadian digital media innovation will be in the spotlight when leaders from around the world attend the G-8 and G-20 Summits this June 25 – 27th. The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has attracted high-tech participants from CDMN-affiliated organizations across Canada to the Experience Canada marketing pavilion in downtown Toronto where they will showcase unique digital media capabilities.

“All eyes will be on Canada during the G-8 and G-20 Summits, and the CDMN is serving as a conduit to the high-tech sector, demonstrating the power of Canadian innovation and potentially attracting future investment,” said Kevin Tuer, managing director of the CDMN, which is dedicated to furthering commercialization of digital media in Canada. “Experience Canada at the International Media Center will be high-impact, with imaginative displays, giant video walls and creative use of technology capturing the essence of Canada’s tech leadership.”

The CDMN, which links digital media-related organizations across the country, has attracted tech companies, universities, research houses, and public sector organizations to participate in the 20,000 square foot Experience Canada marketing pavilion. The experiential pavilion will have global impact, as key displays will be digitized, virtualized and shared online. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd June 2010

Celebrate Canada At Casual Connect

SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA Europe Ltd. have launched a video contest to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 19th anniversary. Two lucky grand prize winners, one from North America and one from the UK, will each receive a trip for two to Tokyo to visit SEGA Japan and meet the Sonic development team.

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“In honor of the nineteenth anniversary of our favorite hedgehog, we wanted to find a special way to thank Sonic’s fans throughout the years,” said Haruki Satomi, executive Sonic the Hedgehogvice president of SEGA of America. “We think this contest is a great way to give fans a chance to express their creativity, enthusiasm and support for Sonic.”

Over the course of the next two weeks, contestants can upload their videos showing their appreciation and love for Sonic the Hedgehog to YouTube and then submit them for judging on the official Sonic 4 Contest Page. Videos will be judged on creativity, entertainment and effort; the ten best will be chosen by SEGA and showcased on the official Sonic the Hedgehog 4 website.

Sonic fans and the entire SEGA community will then choose their favorite to win either the grand prize trip to Tokyo, or a prize of a 32 GB iPod touch®. Contest void where prohibited.

CanadaThe Consulate General of Canada in Seattle is planning activities around Casual Connect Seattle 2010 (July 20 – 22) to promote the Canadian game development industry, including a networking event, a Canada table at the show and a Canada Casual Games Organization Directory.  Discounted registration is also available on a limited basis.  For information on these activities and how to become involved, please contact Victoria Hayes.

Don’t forget that Women In Games Vancouver will be participating in GameSauce, the gamesauceconference-before-the-conference. GameSauce will take place in Seattle on Monday, July 19th and will feature many educational tracks and opportunities for networking.

Can’t get enough FIFA World Cup Action? As part of its tribute to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, BC Soccer and a team of partners, including Ubisoft Vancouver, will be showcasing BC Soccer World on Thursday, JPure Footballuly 1st, at Canada Day at Canada Place.

The staging of soccer and sport activity zones, demonstrations and other special events will serve as a new addition to the award-winning Canada day at Canada Place festivities. BC Soccer World will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT under the five sails at the iconic Canada Place venue in downtown Vancouver.

“We see it as a natural coming together of a special day for Canada with a special year for the global soccer community,” said Bjorn Osieck, Chief Executive of BC Soccer. “BC Soccer World will celebrate our ‘Global Game’ with ‘Universal Passion’ and will help showcase sport, active living and the beautiful game of soccer.”

The 2010 event at the largest Canada Day celebrations in British Columbia is seen as a pilot project for similar community outreach events in other major centres throughout the province in the coming years.

“Our model is simple: provide an introduction to soccer and sport for children, young people and their families by offering a wide variety of soccer activities and sport demonstrations in a festival style event,” said Osieck. “Those coming to BC Soccer World at Canada Day at Canada Place will have the chance to check out the history and heritage of our game in BC and what it stands for in terms of active, inclusive and team play for young people of all ages.” Read the rest of this entry »

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21st June 2010

Mentor Programs and Competitions Expand Futures for Young Canadians

bookriffLet me start the week by sending out a huge congratulations to our friend Rochelle Grayson on her new position as CEO at Vancouver startup BookRiff. Rochelle is an incredible lady, and I know that with her awesome talent and drive, great things will be happening for BookRiff and its parent entity D&M Publishing. Congratulations also to the Deus Ex: Human Revolution team over at Eidos Montreal for all of their nominations and awards from E3, including Best of E3 from Gamepro and 1up, plus Best E3 trailer from JeuxVideo.

CIXCIX, the Canadian Interactive Exchange has sent out their annual call for showcase presentations. Submissions deadline is October 1st, so companies who “consider themselves to be the very best in the fields of ICT, Digital Media and Cleantech should complete a profile in order to be selected to present live at CIX in the showcase of Complex GamesCanada’s Hottest Innovative Companies.” CIX takes place at Toronto’s at MaRs Discovery District on December 7th.

Complex Games has announced that BattleBears -1, a prequel to Skyvu Pictures’ BattleBear Zombies, has been sent off to iTunes for release approval. Check out this trailer for a preview:

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There are two Canadian creations out on Nintendo’s DSiWare today. First up is Puffins: Let’s Fish from Other Ocean Interactive. Available for only 500 Nintendo DSi Points, this E-rated title lets gamers dive into the deep blue sea and fill their virtual bellies with delicious fish. Puffins: Let’s FishOther Ocean Interactive is an action game that has you swimming the beautiful ocean in search of a puffin’s favourite meal: the elusive capelin. However, the ocean can be a dangerous place, and you’re not the only one hunting for food. Throughout 18 underwater stages and two game modes, you’ll be avoiding sharks, jellyfish and other fearsome predators who are very interested in making you their next meal.

Digital LeisureToday’s other new DSiWare title comes from Digital Leisure. Also available for 500 DSi Points and rated E (with cartoon violence) is Mega Words, where you need to put on your thinking cap and see how many of the hundreds of puzzles you can solve in Mega Words. Three classic puzzlers are included in this puzzle pack: Word Scrambler, Anagram Hunt and Hangman. There’s no need for erasers here! These portable editions feature extensive dictionaries to challenge novices and expert players alike. See how fast you can unscramble words, sharpen your vocabulary and stretch your mind with Mega Words.

EA SportsWinnipeg-born Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks will be the new face of the NHL® 11 videogame from EA Sports™. With last year’s title featuring Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, NHL 11 marks the first time that EA SPORTS has put back to back players from the same team on the cover of the NHL franchise. The 22 year old’s image will be on the front of all packaging when NHL 11 is available in North American retail stores this September for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360® with an MSRP of $59.99.

“I am really excited to be on the cover of NHL 11,” said Toews. “It’s been an amazing year for me and the team, and it’s nice to end it by being a part of a game I played growing up. The NHL games have always been great, so it’s an honor for me to be a part of the EA Sports family.”
Jonathan Toews
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary with NHL 11, the EA Sports NHL® franchise has won 22 Sports Game of the Year awards over the past three years and is poised to raise the bar yet again. With a revolutionary real-time physics engine that brings an unprecedented amount of realism to the franchise, gameplay innovations like broken sticks and a revamped face-off system, as well as the addition of the Canadian Hockey League, NHL 11 is set to be the most complete hockey videogame ever created.

After being selected third overall in the 2006-07 entry draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Toews has emerged as one of the most skilled centers in the NHL after just two seasons. After helping lead team Canada to a gold medal win during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Toews locked up the Conn Smythe, given to the most valuable player in the NHL playoffs, after playing a crucial role in leading the Chicago Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961. Toews is currently the youngest captain in the NHL, and has registered more than 65 points in each of his first two seasons. Read the rest of this entry »

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posted in Action Adventure, Awards, Business News, Careers, Casual, Contests, Digital Products, Education, Educational, Events, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Puzzle, Shooters, Sports, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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