28th July 2009

Coffee Break News

CanadaCanada – Just announced late last night, Vancouver independent game designer and consultant Adrian Crook has been signed to design a console game for a new movie IP. Congratulations Adrian, and I am definitely looking forward to more details when they are released. This will be Adrian’s second freelance console game project.

Vancouver’s Annex Pro will be attending SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans to promote several of the products they carry, including Vicon Boujou v5, PipelineFX Qube, Pixologic ZBrush, EyeonFusion, HP, Chaos Software V-Ray for Maya and the wide range of Autodesk titles, as well as StudioGPU with MachStudio Pro at the AMD booth. Please contact Kerry for a product and booth tour at the show.

I’d also like to send a shout-out to the folks at dimeRocker and Overinteractive Media whom I finally had the pleasure of meeting in person at last Friday’s Unity 3D Vancouver Users’ Group launch at District 319. It was a great event, and Unity 3D looks like a great development tool. In addition, and in support of Unity 3D’s Summer of Code initiative, dimeRocker would like to offer free office space for a lucky Vancouver candidate who receives support from Unity for their project. You will be surrounded by like-minded Unity heads, given a desk and chair in a cozy corner for you and your laptop as well as access to our humble amenities, including coffee throughout the week and beer on Fridays.  Those lucky individuals chosen by the gang in Copenhagen can forward their resume and brief description of their Unity-supported project to J.Joly at Overintactive Media. Thank you to Kerry Corlett of Annex Pro for the introduction to Micah Groberman, Executive Director of Vancouver’s Somatone Interactive Audio studio, and to Carolyn Carnes of Flash Fire Communications for bringing Corey Rollins of Shogun Gamer to our attention.

Gravity WellI also had the pleasure of meeting Ted Nugent, President of Genius Factor Games. His studio has a new title coming out in just a few weeks which will join their previous title, Gravity Well in the iTunes App store. Also keeping busy are developers John Warner, Mitch Lagran and writer Steve Waldman, all keeping busy at Greener Grass Games on “a free to play, full 3d, episodic, browser-based game that centers around environment exploration and features a compelling, mysterious story line.”

Just a reminder that we are holding a contest to give away a copy of PROTOTYPE for the 360. Entries Radical Entertainmentclose tonight (late entries not penalized, we just wanted to see how many people could make deadline), and the winning name will be randomly drawn by Kelly Zmak and Dave UbisoftFracchia over at Radical’s studio this Thursday afternoon.

Splinter Cell fans will have to wait a bit longer for the next title in the series. Ubisoft announced yesterday that Splinter Cell: Conviction™ and Red Steel® 2, whose releases were previously planned for the third fiscal quarter, will now be released in the fourth fiscal quarter. Ghost Recon® and I am Alive™, which were previously scheduled for release in the fourth fiscal quarter, will now strengthen the line-up for fiscal 2010-11.

While the company has lowered their revenue expectations for full-year 2009-10 downward, they are expecting Assassin’s Creed 2 to sell exceedingly well.  Ubisoft also stated that Call of Juarez® and Anno® were in line with expectations, with significant market share gains on the Wii™ since the start of the calendar year (7.2% market share in Europe versus 4.6% one year earlier, and 4.5% in the United States compared with 2.7%).

The second quarter of fiscal 2009-10 will see only a few game releases from Ubisoft, including:

*? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ for Wii™ and PlayStation® 2
*? Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, Xbox360®, PLAYSTATION®
3, PSP™ and PC
*? Academy of Champions™, which will be released for Wii™ in the UK, the Nordic countries and Australia.
*? New casual titles for Nintendo DS™ and Wii™

Personally I am waiting for Assassin’s Creed 2, with its 15 new mission types, grab and toss off the building and the new double hidden blade assassinations. I am also looking forward to seeing the AC2 movies – real life actors in the game’s environment – it will be interesting to see how the combined work of Ubisoft Montreal and Hybride Technologies will look in the finished movies.

Electronic Arts has announced that they will be releasing their financials for the quarter at end-of-day on August 4th.

CATAAlliance issued a call last month for Governments at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to create Technology Test Beds, as a vehicle and incubator to conceive, develop and sustain new solutions for government productivity and to help create reference accounts for Canadian technology companies CATApursuing international markets. “We need to combine real-world mentorship for executives with the provision of ‘reference accounts’ for their businesses,” said John Reid, President of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA). “If we combine CATA’s “Technology Test-Bed” idea for reference accounts, with the “Lead To Win” program, we will be delivering the two fundamentals of business growth: the critical ‘first reference account’ product validator, and a savvy leader with business smarts.” The objective of Lead to Win is to create jobs and retain talent. It is led by the Technology Innovation program at Carleton University and supported by 48 organizations.

“We absolutely concur with CATA’s Technology Test Bed idea,” noted Carleton University’s Dr. Tony Bailetti, head of the Lead To Win program. “We can accelerate export successes, through Public Sector Technology Test Beds, that allow Ministries to innovate, test and trial technologies and serve as reference accounts for thousands of emerging enterprises. Having government as a client is an endorsement for a company breaking into foreign markets.”

Calgary’s Freelance Publishing has announced a set of writing tools aimed at both budding and experienced writers. The Book Publishing 101 Program is an educational tool that has also been developed to foster literacy, creativity, and inspire people to develop a love for books and/or writing. One of the program goals is to Book Publishing 101help people develop pride in literacy and ignite a passion to pursue it further. The programme, which costs $120.00 plus shipping, offers aid with the following areas:

Get over writer’s block
Find fresh new ideas to get attention
Assist with self-publishing
Get media attention
Find an editor, graphic designer, and/or a printer
Get your book on Amazon
Learn how to use their book to market their business
Get people to take you seriously as a writer

A percentage of the proceeds will go towards funding this literacy project for schools, homeless organizations, and young offenders.

Do you want to be included in our news? Drop us a line, let us know what’s going on in your corner of the Canadian digital media industry.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 10:19 am and is filed under Business News, National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  1. dimerocker
    11:20 pm on August 2nd, 2009


    Thanks for the shout out and support.
    Gave it back to you at http://www.unityusersgroup.com
    I value any help or advice you have to build this independent initiative.


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