23rd May 2008

The Magic of Think

Janyse

Sometimes a set of circumstances works with the powers of the universe to put you in places where you should be. Today was one of those days. After the conclusion of this year’s Vancouver International Game Summit, I was going to head home, but as it was the beginning of rush hour, I tuned into our local traffic radio station to check out the condition of the drive home, and upon hearing about all the accidents and back-ups in said traffic, I decided to make a stop at the VIDfest happy hour over at the Granville Island Hotel and wait out the worst of it. I sat down at a table with Jodi Vetterl from SoftImage, and realized that Janyse Jaud was also seated at the table. I had the pleasure of meeting Janyse at the recent ELAN awards, so was happy to have a chance to catch up with her, and she has been a very busy lady, indeed.

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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

Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual

Originally Written for the KillaNet Community Resource in 2007

Videogame Style GuideAuthors: David Thomas, Kyle Orland, Scott Steinberg
Paperback: 108 pages
Publisher: Lulu.com
October 2007

The Videogame Style Guide is essential reading for anyone who wants to get into any type of serious videogame journalism. As pointed out by Dan Hsu, the Editor in Chief for Electronic Gaming Monthly, if the world of videogame journalism has any hope of maturing, it must find the uniformity of style that is so essential to engaging and maintaining an intelligent readership. The authors, while stating that the Style Guide is a work in progress – meaning that it will be updated as styles change or new terminology is entered, have given journalists an excellent reference guide which can be used in conjunction with any other publication’s in-house style guide.

Not only is the Videogame Style Guide full of alphabetical listings in regards to industry-specific terminology, the appendices also offer many other points of reference on the industry from websites to other published books. The listings of important systems, games, people and companies in the videogame industry past and present offer not only a pertinent “who’s who” directory, but also starting points for a variety of articles and studies.

Overall, I found this publication to be very useful and it will continue to be so as I write future articles about the gaming industry. If you visit the website linked in the title of this review, you will see that the Videogame Style Guide is available in two formats – free for download as a pdf file, or purchasable as a published book. If you write any articles at all, you should at the very least download the pdf and give yourself a starting point in learning the correct forms and terminology to use when composing articles, as they will greatly increase your chances of having your articles published by the myriad of news journals available to the gaming community.

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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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9th May 2008

Gears of War 2 Video On XBL

Gears of War 2

Bright and early on Saturday, May 10th gamers will be able to get their first look at how game play will look in the highly anticipated Gears of War 2 for Xbox 360. The in-game video trailer will be available for download on Xbox Live and after an introductory message from Epic Games’ Design Director Cliff Bleszinski, the trailer captures the essence of the bigger, better and more badass gameplay in “Gears of War 2.” Featuring the first in-game look at chainsaw duels, large scale fire fights with Locust Horde and stunning new visuals, the action-packed video is sure to please fans around the world. Gears of War 2 is slated for release this November.

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