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  • Industry Veteran David Dossot Joins Pug Pharm as CTO

27th August 2009

Industry Veteran David Dossot Joins Pug Pharm as CTO

Pug PharmVancouverPug Pharm Productions Inc. (Pug Pharm), has announced that technology sector veteran David Dossot has joined the Pharm as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Dossot brings more than 15 years of professional experience to the Pug Pharm team after holding similar positions at software development firms and global online gaming and entertainment companies.

“David’s extensive industry knowledge gained as a leading software engineer and architect, along with his work in the field of online gaming and massively multiplayer systems,provide the perfect experience for guiding the Pug Pharm technical team as we continue to grow and create innovative social networking online games,” stated Steve Bocska, CEO of Pug Pharm.

Dossot’s experience runs the gamut from start-ups to large firms and global institutions, where he has provided technical guidance and code contributions to many teams, with a particular focus on refactoring and re-architecting software platforms towards scalable architectures.Mule In Action

Well-known and active in the technical community, Dossot is a member of the IEEE and the Computer Society. In addition to speaking appearances, he is the co-author of “Mule in Action” (2009, Manning Publications), and has written contributions for O’Reilly, Dr. Dobb’s Journal and Software Development Magazine. An advocate of the open source community, Dossot has led a number of prolific open source projects. He is a member of Mule’s Community Committee and serves as an official judge for the DDJ’s Jolt Product Excellence Awards. His educational background includes a Baccalaureate degree in Mathematics & Physics (Lycée Alfred Mézières, Longwy, France); Mechanical & Electrical Engineering(Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK); and a Diploma in Production Systems Engineering (ESSTIN, Nancy, France).

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27th August 2009

Big Blue Bubble is bringing Fighting Fantasy to iPhone

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble, developers of the Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS, are beginning the production of iPhone versions of five classic Fighting Fantasy titles: Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos, Deathtrap Dungeon, Creature of Havoc and City of Thieves.

The adventure will begin with the release of Warlock of Firetop Mountain in October 2009. Readers should stay tuned for more intrigue and adventure with new titles appearing every couple of months. Fighting Fantasy fans will love the classic story and original illustrations with a technological twist. No more dice, pencils, or bookmarks. All the special features are built in!Fighting Fantasy for DS

Some Features Include:

• Automatic page progression
• Shake combat dice using the accelerometer
• Inventory items selectable via touch-screen
• Game-save feature

For readers owning Apple iPhone/iPod devices this is a very exciting new development. Watch out for the appearance of Fighting Fantasy 1: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain at the App Store.

About Fighting Fantasy

Fighting Fantasy for DSThe Fighting Fantasy book series was born in 1982 when authors Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created a revolutionary new idea for the fantasy genre with the first title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The reader became the hero of his or her own fantasy adventure in a story that was part book, part game. After each paragraph a decision must be made; which way to turn, whether to fight or flee, which mysterious character to approach, and what risks to take. Each decision sent the reader to a different page to discover the consequences of their choice, with each read-through ending either in disaster, or with the discovery of the ultimate goal. To date, the series has seen more than 70 titles published and more than 14 million copies sold worldwide.

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS will be available this holiday season as well.

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27th August 2009

Tim Curry and Kate Mulgrew Add Voices To Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare CorpEdmontonBioware has secured a star-studded voiceover cast for its upcoming Tim Curryblockbuster game, Dragon Age™: Origins. Featuring Tim Curry, star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Broadway’s Spamalot, as well as Kate Mulgrew, well-known for her role as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in “Star Trek: Voyager”, Dragon Age: Origins also Kate Mulgrewincludes notable cast members Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Samantha Who?”), Claudia Black (“Stargate SG-1,” “Pitch Black”) and Steve Valentine (“Estate of Panic,” “Crossing Jordan”). Dragon Age: Origins marks BioWare’s return to fantasy, created from the ground up to take players through a dark epic tale filled with violence, lust, and betrayal.

Tim Curry will play the villainous Arl Rendon Howe. Howe is the calculating villain, Steve Valentinecultured and charming, with an insatiable lust for power, who never hesitates to harm anyone who gets in his way. Kate Mulgrew will lend her vocal flair to Flemeth, a powerful witch who maintains her immortality through the darkest of means, and who plays a pivotal role in the player’s survival. Both roles provide the actors with the opportunity to bring their considerable talents to bear in their portrayal of these characters.

“Dragon Age: Origins has the largest cast of characters of any game BioWare has ever made,” Tim Russsaid Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, BioWare. “By working with an incredibly talented cast of actors we are able to bring reality and depth to the characters, their back stories, motivations, and dreams that our talented writers have created for them.”

In Dragon Age: Origins, players take on the role of a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians who have served as protectors throughout the centuries. Only Claudia Blackthey have the power to unite the shattered lands, defeat the Archdemon and drive back the darkspawn that threaten to destroy the world. Players will interact with many interesting characters who may join them in their quest, and they will choose whether these characters become friends, foes, or even a romantic interest. Featuring a deep and compelling story where every choice can have a dramatic impact on the game, Dragon Age: Origins is scheduled to release on November 3, 2009 in North America, for the PC and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and later in November for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.

Dragon Age: Origins is rated M by the ESRB.

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27th August 2009

Facebook Agrees To Address Privacy Commissioner’s Concerns

Privacy Commissioner of CanadaOttawa Facebook has agreed to add significant new privacy safeguards and make other changes in response to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s recent investigation into the popular social networking site’s privacy policies and practices. The company’s decision to implement the Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations is a positive step towards bringing Facebook in line with the facebookrequirements of Canada’s privacy law.

“These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected,” says Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. “This is extremely important. People will be able to enjoy the benefits of social networking without giving up control of their personal information. We’re very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations.”

Last month, the Privacy Commissioner issued a report on an in-depth investigation triggered by a complaint from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. While Facebook took some steps to resolve privacy concerns, the Commissioner remained dissatisfied by Facebook’s response at the end of the investigation. She was particularly concerned about the risks posed by the over-sharing of personal information with third-party developers of Facebook applications such as games and quizzes.

Facebook was given 30 days to respond to the Commissioner’s report and explain how it would address the outstanding concerns. Following a review of Facebook’s formal response and discussions with company officials, the Commissioner is now satisfied Facebook is on the right path to addressing the privacy gaps on its site.
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26th August 2009

Mass Effect DLC, Zombie Attacks and Japanese Warriors Abound

IUGOCongratulations to Vancouver’s IUGO Mobile Entertainment – their iPhone game Zombie Attack has made PocketGamer’s Top Ten List of iPhone Zombie Games. Zombie Attack is a Defend Your Tower styled game, however instead of a tower, you must defend Zombie Attackyour beloved shack from the advancing undead. You can choose from an array of zombie-blasting weapons including, flame throwers and cannons to battle the brain-starved combatants. With easy to use tilt and touch controls, you’ll be killing zombies, earning points and raking in the cash to upgrade your weapons and firepower in no time.

Features

* Mow down and dismember zombies to keep your shack standing
* Cartoony, over-the-top effects, from explosions to flying heads
* Build four types of turrets: Gun, Flame, Axe and Rocket
* Choose between touch or tilt control for the survivor that builds your defenses
* Use the survivor to give a turret an attack boos, or to lure zombies into firing range

Zombie Attack was released November 6 2008 with a 9+ rating, and is available in the iTunes App Store for only $1.99. Congratulations also to Ryan Arndt of Certain Sound for working his audio magic on this title.

BioWare CorpEdmonton’s Bioware has released Pinnacle Station, a new Game Add-on for Mass Effect™.  Available for both the Xbox 360® and PC, this DLC pack introduces an intense combat challenge to the Mass Effect universe. Picking up where the first game ended, players will enter Pinnacle Station, a top-secret Alliance training facility. Featuring 13 scenarios ranging from Pinnacle Stationfast-paced combat simulations to high-stakes winner-takes-all wagers, players will push their combat skills to the limit, encountering aggressive simulated enemies while unlocking a mysterious new location. Once inside, players will be able to acquire rare weapons, special armour as well as obtain new achievements. One important piece of recon – players cannot access Pinnacle Station unless they have achieved Spectre status.

“At BioWare, we’re committed to providing ongoing support for all our franchises. With Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station, you’ll execute challenging new combat missions that will allow you to reenter the Mass Effect galaxy with a bang!” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager and Senior Vice President, Electronic Arts, and co-founder and CEO, BioWare. “Regardless of whether you choose to start Mass Effect 2 as a standalone adventure, or import your Mass Effect saved games, we know that you will enjoy Episode 2 for all of its intense action, dramatic plot twists and memorable characters.”

The Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Game Add-On became available yesterday for 400 Microsoft points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It is also available for the PC version at $5 and can be found in EA’s online store. The 1.02 patch for Mass Effect is required for the installation of Pinnacle Station and is  both available for download today on the Mass Effect web site as well as included in the Pinnacle Station download.

Koei CanadaToronto’s Koei Canada has released Warriors Orochi 2 for the PSP®. With Warriors Orochi 2, KOEI reunites its two biggest franchises, Dynasty Warriors® and Samurai Warriors® for the sequel to its hit Tactical Action game. Jam-packed with 96 playable characters, Warriors Orochi 2 transports gamers to Imperial China and to Feudal Japan where they will do battle against a venomous overlord and his menacing legions.

Shattering time and space, the venomous Serpent King Orochi kidnapped history’s greatest warriors in a Warriors Orochi 2scheme to test his might. The heroes eventually defeated Orochi and his menacing army. Now the slain Orochi lies in the netherworld, and a mysterious alliance is hatching a plan to resurrect Orochi.

With four different storylines featuring characters from Samurai Warriors® and Dynasty Warriors®, Warriors Orochi 2 includes three new game modes: Dream, VS and Survival, as well as “Tag Team”-style matches that pit fighters in head-to-head arena combat.

A star-studded lineup boasts 96 playable characters including the massive boar-like Gyuki and the faceless Dodomeki. New playable characters exclusive to the PSP system include the graceful San Zang and the warrior-monk Benkei. New features exclusive to the PSP system also include: 2-Player VS mode plus Co-op play in Story, Free and Dream modes, 12 new scenarios in Dream mode, and a Japanese and English voice option.

Learn more about Warriors Orochi 2 for PSP system on the official product minisite. Also visit “Warriors Orochi 2 Dedicated” to download music tracks and over a dozen specially-modified high-resolution movie clips to create your own Warriors Orochi 2 fan video. Warriors Orochi 2 is based on an original work by Omega Force. Play is for 1 to 2 players. Multi-player play is via ad-hoc wireless only. This game is rated “T” (Teen – Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence) by the ESRB.

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26th August 2009

2009 World Cyber Games Canadian Championship This Weekend

WCG CanadaToronto – The battle is heating up and the competition will be fiercer than ever as more than 50 of Canada’s top gamers meet in Toronto for the 2009 World Cyber Games (WCG) Canadian championship. From August 28-30, the Fan Expo Exhibit at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will act as the battleground for this year’s championship, featuring the talents of a number of former Canadian champions, along with several other well-known Canadian gamers and some newcomers as well. Samsung returns as the national sponsor this year, supplying the latest in its desktop monitor line-up for the event.

“We are very excited to return to the Fan Expo for a second time to host the WCG Canada national final,” says Stephan Richard, executive director, WCG Canada. “We have a terrific event planned this year featuring many of the country’s top gamers who will compete for one of eight spots on Team Canada and the opportunity to take part in the WCG Grand Final in China this November.”

Professional player Matt “Wizakor” Wood is returning to WCG in 2009 after having ruled the virtual soccer world over the past two years. In 2007, Wood took home honours as the first-place finisher in North America and then dominated the global competition to become the world’s CGS (Championship Gaming Series) champion in FIFA 2007. Wood, 23, is one of Canada’s medal hopefuls for China 2009. Other returning champions include 2008 Guitar Hero Canadian champion, Daniel “Mithin” Piacampo, 24, who finished 3rd in his group at the 2008 WCG Grand Final in Germany and 2008 Virtua Fighter 5 Canadian champion, Alan “Yamamba” Joseph, 24, who finished 5th in his group at the 2008 WCG Grand Final.
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26th August 2009

Twittering Politicians Go On Record and Nexient Learning Is Sold

poliTwitterVancouver – CKA Networks is excited to announce PoliTwitter, a non-partisan service that uses Twitter to connect elected MPs and MLAs with their Canadian constituents with the goal of increasing engagement and promoting open government. Users can keep track of what politicians are saying, and what regular Canadians have to say about the issues, all in one convenient location. PoliTwitter is the first service for Canadian politics and has unparalleled functionality.

Tweets can be viewed federally and provincially, or narrowed down by partisan affiliation, province, topics, and more. The site also allows for real-time updates, which is invaluable during fast-paced events like elections. PoliTwitter archives all political tweets, so there is a permanent record that can be used for statistical analysis, trending and public record. The site also tracks photos and videos posted by MPs. As demonstrated by the recent Iranian and US elections, Twitter is a valuable tool for politics and PoliTwitter an invaluable tool for Canadians.

Nexient Learning Inc., Canada’s largest corporate training provider has been acquired by North Carolinanexient company Global Knowledge. The combination of Global Knowledge’s Canadian operations with those of Nexient establishes Global Knowledge as Canada’s leading provider of IT and business skills training as well as leadership business solutions. With the integration of their complementary product portfolios, customers will benefit from an expanded and unparalleled range of learning solutions.

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25th August 2009

Cavechild’s Mini Review of TMNT Reshelled

Aldergrove – The day Ubisoft released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time Re-shelled on XBLA, TMNT Turtles in Time Re-shelledMike had to have it. Turtles in Time was one of the Nintendo games which he played almost constantly when he was younger – it was right at the top of his playlist along with Mario and Donkey Kong. TMNT Turtles in Time Re-shelled was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and is available on XBLA for 1200 Microsoft points.

Watch the cavechild’s mini video review, and find out why he gives it a 10 out of 10 game play rating.

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25th August 2009

Gemini Awards Announce Nominees

Gemini AwardsToronto – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce the nominations for the 24th Annual Gemini Awards, recognizing the year’s best in Canadian English-language television. The 2009 Broadcast Gala will take place on Saturday November 14th in Calgary, Alberta and will be broadcast live on Global and Showcase.

“Our television industry is thriving and this year’s Gemini Awards nominations clearly demonstrate that,” said Sara Morton, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “This year’s nominees have found success with both Canadian and international audiences. FlashpointWe are proud to celebrate the achievements of these shows and the talents behind them, and honoured to be a part of such a flourishing community.”

The presentation of the Gemini’s 99 award categories and special awards will be divided over multiple nights. The 2009 Industry Galas will take place on October 19th and 20th in Toronto, Ontario at The Sound Academy; News, Sports, Documentary, Lifestyle, Drama, Comedy and Variety Awards will be among the categories presented. The 2009 Broadcast Gala will take place on November 14th in Calgary, Alberta; venue and broadcast time slot will be announced in the coming weeks.

We’ve listed below the nominees for some of the animation and craft categories, but you can check the full list of nominees at the Gemini Awards web site.  We at Village Gamer would like to congratulate the entire cast and production team over at Flashpoint, our favourite Canadian-produced police action series for receiving an unprecedented nineteen nominations. This is also one TV series we’d like to see ported over to the video game world.

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24th August 2009

Mike’s Favourites

OrbyAldergrove – The cavechild has picked his Top Ten Favourite Xbox 360 games to play – to date – I’m sure this list will change as new titles are released. I would’ve liked to have seen more Canadian-made games in his Top Ten – there’s certainly more in my Top Ten Picks, but this isn’t about my list, it’s Mike’s Picks. To see and hear what he has to say, watch his video commentary:

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