6th August 2008

Village Gamer Co-Sponsors Battle of the Bands

A Battle of the Hard Rock Bands will be taking place this weekend, Saturday August 9th at the bandshell in the Heritage Museum Park which is located at the corner of 272 Street and 32 Avenue in Aldergrove. There is room for 4 bands to compete, with the competition slated to begin at 3pm. Bands will be judged on performance quality (vocals and instrumentation), stage presence and audience participation (this means bring your fans to cheer you on). Participating bands will need to be in attendance at the competition from 2pm until approximately 8:30pm, with competitive play beginning at 3pm. Each band is to perform for 30 to 45 minutes, then after the last band there will be a chance for the audience to show their appreciation for the four bands. Audience appreciation counts for points, so rock their socks off.

Following the competition segment of the event, the UK rock group Mendella will be giving a free performance while the judges make their final decisions and the winner will be announced following Mendella’s set. Prizes and judges will be announced, but thus far Mendella’s management, Orpheus Sounds, is offering $100.00 cash and Village Gamer (a division of KillaNet Technology Ltd.) is offering a free outdoor promo photography shoot to the winning band, along with a DVD and photos of the entire show. Endoplasmic Entertainment Recording Studio in Langley has also offered studio rehearsal time – more details on that are forthcoming. Any company wishing to contribute to the prize offerings is more than welcome, and will be given full recognition at the competition and in follow-up press coverage.

To qualify for this competition, bands must not yet have recorded a commercial album or have a record deal, but be working towards them. Band members must be under the age of 25, and an mp3 song sample must be provided by 5pm on Friday, August 8th. This can be in the form of a demo on MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube or personal site, and bands must sign up at http://www.villagegamer.net/battle-of-the-bands/. Winners of the four performance slots will be notified on Friday evening between 8 and 9pm.

The competition’s host band Mendella is currently on a two week tour of the Lower Mainland promoting their music prior to hitting the studio to record their first commercial album, which is due in stores Spring 2009. The hard-hitting sound of Mendella is certain to rocket them to the top of rock charts around the world, and they put on a show to remember. Mendella first visited Vancouver for the New Music West Festival in May, and after seeing the plight of the homeless in the downtown eastside, were moved to write the song Saw Me Bleeding. Now, fresh from performances at the Digital Storm Videogame Tournament and the Tom Lee Music Hall in Vancouver, Mendella is ready to rock the country side of the valley before performing at The Roxy on August 13th in Vancouver. Mendella will be taking the stage at 7pm on Saturday night, but you can get a preview by visiting myspace.com/mendellaband.

Finalist bands will need to provide:

Drum Breakables – Sticks, Cymbals, Snare
Guitars, cords, pedals
Fans to cheer them on

We will provide:

Drum kit (minus breakables), amps, mics, PA, sound board, sound mixer (you can use your own sound tech if you have one)

If you have any questions, please use the Contact form and we’ll get back to you asap.

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6th August 2008

2008 Painkiller Tournament & Sweepstakes Announced

JoWooD Productions and DreamCatcher Games, leading publishers of interactive entertainment software around the world, today announced Bring the Pain ’08 – 2008’s Painkiller Tournament and Sweepstakes will begin late August 2008.

The tournament and sweepstakes has over $10,000 in prizes to give away, including complete Alienware® Gaming Systems, Creative Xi-Fi Sound Cards, Fatal1ty Titanium Pro Headsets, Speakers and Zen MP3 Player.

The tournament and sweepstakes coincides with the release of Painkiller Triple Dose, now available at Gamestop stores across North America. Get the full versions of the original Painkiller, Painkiller Battle out of Hell and Painkiller Overdose along with the Making of Painkiller DVD and the Official Soundtrack in this compilation pack for the seriously low SRP of $19.99USD.

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30th July 2008

Nexon To Sponsor Tournament At Digital Storm 2008

Digital Storm is very pleased to welcome Nexon and Combat Arms to this weekend’s event. Nexon will be sponsoring the Combat Arms Last Man Standing Tournament, which will be taking place at 1:00pm on Saturday, August 2, with preliminaries taking place on the evening of Friday, August 1. The final battle will be open to 16 finalists, all of whom will receive a Special Press Edition DVD of Combat Arms, with the tournament winners receiving Nexon Cash, which can be used for game upgrades in any Nexon game product.

Also in attendance at Digital Storm will be representatives from Nexon’s Vancouver studio, Humanature. They will be observing the tournament finals as well as discussing working in the Vancouver game development industry with event attendees.

Digital Storm LAN takes place this weekend, August 1st and 2nd at the Croatian Cultural Centre, located at 3250 Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Doors open at 4:00pm Friday, when several game tournaments and ladder scrims will begin. All World Cyber Games qualifying tournaments will take place on Saturday, August 2, and the UK rock group Mendella will be giving a 45 minute live performance at 8:00pm. Tickets for Digital Storm and Mendella’s performance will be available at the door. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are $35.00, Saturday-only tickets are $25.00, concert-only tickets are $7.50.

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30th July 2008

Building a Business Around Licensed Technology

Press Release – TORONTO – July 30, 2008 – If you’ve ever returned from a getaway feeling that it didn’t live up to your expectations, you’ll appreciate the value of PlanetEye, a travel-planning Web site with a difference. The site offers geotagged photographs, insight from other travelers and local experts, and extensive travel metadata, all of which can be accessed from an interactive map — a geographic browser, in technical parlance. Because users can explore travel options and easily and quickly research, reserve, organize and share their trips, the result is smarter travel planning.

Part of what makes this Toronto-based startup unique is its use of a technology fresh from Microsoft’s research labs, which PlanetEye licensed through Microsoft’s intellectual property (IP) licensing program. Called World Wide Media eXchange (WWMX), the technology enables the indexing of a large volume of geotagged photographs and provides the tools to access them via the geographic browser. WWMX was invented in 2002 by Kentaro Toyama, then with the Interactive Visual Media group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., and currently assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India in Bangalore.

PressPass recently spoke with Butch Langlois, CEO of PlanetEye, and Bob Tenczar, director of marketing for Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Licensing division, to learn more about how an idea goes from the lab to commercialization.

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29th July 2008

Mass Effect Expansion Now Available For PC

“BRING DOWN THE SKY” EXPANDS THE MASS EFFECT ADVENTURE

Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. ( NASDAQ: ERTS ), has announced that “Bring Down the Sky,” the first piece of downloadable content for the award-winning space epic Mass Effect™, is now available for owners of the PC game version to download free of charge.

Fully optimized for the PC, “Bring Down the Sky” is the first in a series of planned downloadable content that will further expand the Mass Effect story and universe. It includes a new uncharted world that introduces the deadly Batarian alien race, approximately 90 minutes of new gameplay and an original soundtrack. Instructions on how to download and install the new content are available on the Mass Effect downloadable content page. “Bring Down the Sky” is currently available for international languages including English, Spanish, Italian and German, with additional language versions coming soon.
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29th July 2008

SilverBirch Studios Wins With N+

Press Release – Toronto, July 29, 2008 – SilverBirch Studios, a member of the SilverBirch Inc. ( TSX-V: SVB ) group of digital media companies, today announced that N+, a DS and PSP game to be released by Atari, Inc. in August, has won two awards at the recently concluded 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles.

N+ won best PSP game of show awarded by GamingExcellence and separately won the best handheld game of show awarded by the Blast Magazine. N+ is a physics-based platformer in which a player assumes the role of a ninja who by running and jumping has to make his way to a door while collecting gold, avoiding attackers and fighting the clock.

“This is obviously a great honor for us,” said Wojtek Kawczynski, Senior Vice President, SilverBirch Studios. “Winning two awards at E3 further validates the quality of N+ and is a reflection of the passion that went into the making of the game.”
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29th July 2008

Ideazon Acquired by SteelSeries

The leading manufacturer of innovative professional gaming gear, SteelSeries, today announced its acquisition of certain assets in Ideazon, Inc., the Canadian-based developer and manufacturer of gaming peripherals and technologies. This acquisition further strengthens SteelSeries’ peripheral technology and will help expand the company’s broad support within the gaming community.

“SteelSeries has brought together two rapidly growing companies in the gaming space, making SteelSeries one of the fastest-growing gaming peripherals manufacturers globally,” said Bruce Hawver, CEO of SteelSeries. “No other organization works as closely with both gamers, and now software creators, in order to create arguably the most responsive gaming products in the world, optimized for gamers’ preferences, as well as specific gaming publishers and specific titles.”

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28th July 2008

Creating Games in C++: A Step-by-Step Guide

Originally Written for KillaNet Community Resource in 2007

Creating Games in C++: A Step-by-Step GuideCreating Games in C++ : A Step-by-Step Guide
By David Conger and Ron Little
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: New Riders Games
February 2006

Creating Games in C++ : A Step-by-Step Guide has to be the greatest book to use when you want to start learning how to program games for Windows. This book is definitely aimed more towards the users who have not a clue where to begin or even start to learn how to program in C++ to make a game.

As you start reading, David and Ron will begin teaching at the very beginning of everything. Unlike other books, they do not assume you already know how to program fluently in C++. If you don’t know C++, great! This means you will get the full impact of the book. If you know very little C++, great! You can still learn too! By the end of the first few chapters you will feel like a C++ programmer because the book will make you a C++ programmer. Why stop at feeling like a C++ programmer? By the end of the book you will feel like a game developer! Did I mention that by the end of the book you create an actual game? Yeah. It’s true.

I’ve noticed in the book that they explain everything in full detail meaning it does not leave one single line of code unexplained. Also, the book comes with a fully loaded CD-ROM with all the code in the book, all the developing tools, a copy of a game engine that you will learn to use in the book for free, sound editing software, a programming environment, and much more! How can you go wrong there?!

If you take a look at the cover of this book, you see a controller which resembles a fairly popular design. This controller registers in your mind as “Games in 3D” when in fact there is no teaching of 3D game development. Instead they teach you 2D game development which is where you should start. Although the cover of the book is a little misleading, you will still be creating games which are in 2D and they always say you need to build up on top of knowledge and 2D is where you start first.

After you’re done reading the book, don’t get rid of it! There is still a glossary that you can have to always look up a game word that you might not know and need to know. The book also has a full index for reference too.

This book is recommended for people who want to learn C++ game programming and have no idea where to start. Get it. Read it. Make it. Play it. Enjoy it. This book gets a five out of five star rating from me.

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23rd July 2008

Video Games Live: Volume I

Video Games Live: Volume I

Video Games Live: Volume I

After seeing Video Games Live on the stage in Milwaukee, I had to get this album when it was released.

The actual touring show has many of the game’s soundtracks that they play the music from for sale, but this is the first Video Games Live soundtrack that has been released of the actual orchestra and choir performing.

I got it in the mail today and I instantly popped it into my computer to start listening and I was stunned. It’s almost being right there seeing the show — maybe I think this because I’ve already seen it. Hmm… — Well, have a read of the CD’s description and go out and buy it! I have included a sample of Civilization IV at the end of this post. This song made me tear up it was so beautiful live and is by far my favorite video game song that I have ever heard.

Amazon.com says:

“2008 release, the soundtrack to the true gamer’s life! Conductor Jack Wall leads the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus through many of the most popular video game themes and creates a glorious aural paradise for the gamer in all of us. If you are hooked on the music from video games like Sonic The Hedgehog, Myst, Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Super Mario Brothers and others, then imagine those themes as performed by an orchestra. Yes, it is like heaven without the joystick! EMI.”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
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23rd July 2008

Casual Connect Keynote Address Redefines Games Industry


Press Release – Paul Thelen, founder and chief strategy officer of Big Fish Games, the world’s largest casual games distributor, today revealed new research that challenges the conventional thinking about audience profiles in the video game industry. The results of a recent study show gamers can no longer be classified into the traditional archetypes of core and casual fans due to the rapid diversification of the demographics, game styles, business models and platforms in the U.S. games market.

In partnership with NPD Group, Big Fish Games surveyed nearly 3,000 U.S. individuals who play games, and matched the results across demographics, game mechanics, and psychographics. The study identified 14 distinct segments of gamers within 39 genres of games. The casual market was segmented into 10 distinct groups, while four segments were identified within the traditional core market. However, the segmentation calls into question the relevancy of the terms casual and core, due to a great deal of overlap and similarity between various casual and core segments once thought to be disparate.
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