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  • BioWare Unveils New Story Details of the Epic Action RPG Mass Effect 2

18th August 2009

BioWare Unveils New Story Details of the Epic Action RPG Mass Effect 2

BioWareEdmontonBioWare™ has revealed new plot points in the epic sci-fi fantasy Mass Effect 2™. Once again stepping into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, gamers will command their crew on a suicide mission in space. Players will strategically select EA Gameseach member of their squad, all of whom have a direct impact on the direction of the story and the squad’s chances for survival. Players will select from a motley cast of characters including the newly revealed ‘Grunt’ – a blood-hungry Krogan.

Once players have assembled their squad from amongst the galaxy’s most powerful mystics, geniuses, and convicts, they must lead them on a suicide mission to discover why humans are vanishing from the galaxy. The success of the mission hinges on the squad recruited and their loyalty to Mass Effect 2the mission. Shepard’s future depends on it.

“The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic, action-filled saga with consequences that will carry through from chapter to chapter,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager and Senior Vice President, Electronic Arts, and co-founder and CEO, BioWare. “Building out a diverse and loyal party is one of the features that makes the Mass Effect series quite unique. The characters Commander Shepard recruits are not only pivotal to the storyline, but essential to the player’s overall success.”

The new character revealed in the Mass Effect 2 squad is ‘Grunt’. A violent and unpredictable Krogan fighter, Grunt has never faced true defeat. His unsurpassed physical strength makes him a strong asset to Commander Shepard’s team, if he can be tamed, and if he can be trusted.

Grunt is the second party member to be revealed in the Mass Effect 2 universe following ‘Thane’ a deadly Mass Effect 2assassin who was first introduced in June. More details about the rest of Shepard’s crew will be revealed in the coming months.

The Mass Effect trilogy is a masterful science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious uncharted planets. Mass Effect 2 is scheduled for release on Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC in early 2010. For daily updates, follow the Mass Effect 2 crew on Twitter.

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17th August 2009

Gravity Well Is Harder Than It Appears

Genius Factor GamesGravity WellDeveloper: Genius Factor Games, Vancouver BC
Publisher: iTunes
Platform: iPhone and iTouch
Genre: Mobile
ESRB: Everyone
Price: $1.99 usd

Gravity Well is a level puzzler which requires the player to maneuver a little blue ball from one end of a maze to the other. There is an optional tutorial available, and game options permit the player to adjust the volume for both effects and music. The soundtrack, created by The Humble Brothers is not at all irritating and is of higher production quality than many of the mobile games out on the market. The soundtrack is also available for purchase in the iTunes store.

GravityWellIf you have to quit the game for whatever reason, you can select the level you were at or any other level which you’ve completed when you restart the game. Gravity Well also allows the player to put the game on pause if needed.

Gravity Well’s developers have a distinct knack for making the player think and find creative ways to control the ball as it moves through each maze. The ball moves when the player touches the screen, warping the grid a creating a “gravity well” which pulls the ball. It’s not always as easy as it seems to get the ball through the grid, because the game’s gravity force is not affected by the tilt of the iTouch or iPhone.

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17th August 2009

GTA Geeks Gather To Give Generously

hoHOToToronto – In an extraordinary example of the power of self-organizing online groups, the Toronto technology, digital marketing and social media communities have come together once again through their Twitter streams to create what looks set to be one of the biggest and most exciting summer gatherings of 2009.

hoHOTo, a party in support of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank, takes place Tuesday, August 18, from 7pm until late at the Suite 106 & WetBar in downtown Toronto. More than 300 people have signed up to attend so far, drawn by the appeal of a night of DJs, interactive media, summer festivities, and the chance to meet the real world friends behind their online avatars. Pulled together over the course of a few weeks, with all organization and promotion being run via Twitter and email messages, hoHOTo was inspired by a small group of volunteer organizers who wanted to do something to help the hungry.

“It all began on Twitter. One tweet started it all,” commented Corey Reid, one of the hoHOTo organizers. “The thing that strikes me is that it is a community project with no one leading the charge. It happened in December organically with the right people with the right skills and passion to make it happen. And the same can be said for the summer edition.”

On average, there are over 85,000 monthly client visits to food banks in the GTA, 35% of whom are children. The money and food generated from this project will help Daily Bread continue the fight against hunger by providing food and resources to those in need, mobilizing greater support, and creating social change to reduce poverty through research, education and advocacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th August 2009

Why You Should Jailbreak The iPhone

Please note that the opinions expressed in the following article are not necessarily those of this site, nor it’s owners and affiliates

iphone_3gs

Now, from the headline there, you are probably expecting me to go into some rant about how it should be okay to tamper with Apple’s software because you are paying for the phone anyway.  Nope, not gonna go there.  So what’s the point in starting with such a controversial topic?  Well, hopefully over the next few paragraphs, I can explain further.

Apple is claiming that jailbreaking an iPhone will allow the user unlimited uncontrolled access to the cell towers, essentially giving them the ability to make free phone calls.  Yes, this is somewhat true, but HIGHLY misconstrued.  With a jailbroken phone, you COULD make free phone calls, and this has some cell providers very nervous.  Google is working hard to bring their new service, Google Voice, to cell phones everywhere.  And why shouldn’t they?  It’s a great service that allows you to be reachable on a single phone number, no matter where in the World you might be.  It’s like Skype times 2.  Cell phone services like AT&T are worried about this, thinking that it will pull their customers away.  What AT&T are not realizing is that yes, while a user can have Google Voice for making phone calls, they are still going to require some sort of data service to make it usable in non-WiFi locations.  So yeah, WiFi seems to be everywhere these days.  Have you tried to actually connect to any available City-wide WiFi services and use a streaming service like Skype Voice?  You may as well be using 2 cans and some string… work out the math when you have a thousand or so people on wireless… you might rank just slightly better than dial-up… if you’re lucky.  Don’t worry yourselves AT&T, people are still going to need your service… though I’m starting to wonder why. Read the rest of this entry »

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15th August 2009

Agile Tour Date For Toronto

Agile TorontoToronto – The Toronto Agile Software Development Community will host Agile Tour Toronto as a one day conference that will take place Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency on King in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Agile Tour Toronto will provide a forum to learn about the techniques and practices of Agile software development where attendees can share experiences with the local and international practitioners. The conference program will provide multiple streams that will appeal to all experience levels, ranging from new-to-Agile novices to seasoned experts, as well as a stream for management. Registration fees have been set at an extremely affordable rate to ensure the conference is financially accessible anyone who would like to participate in, contribute to, or learn from the growing grassroots Agile movement in the Toronto area.

Lawrence Ludlow, an early adopter of Agile and one of the organizing committee members, states: “Agile folks really are focused on the people side of software development and are open about what they’ve learned”. After six years of heading the XPToronto/Agile User Group, Ludlow’s excitement surrounding Agile Tour Toronto is based in the progressive nature of the people he hopes to meet, “simply because of the valuable conversations that start up when you get a group of like-minded folks together in an open environment”. Gino Marckx, conference chair for this year’s event, adds “Agile software development is about valuing people, delivering results and encouraging learning, at a high but always sustainable pace”.

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14th August 2009

Points of Interest and Other Game News

CIPPICOttawaCIPPIC, the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic has launched a new site which is aimed at facilitating debate/action on digital issues. DigitalAgenda.ca is part of CIPPIC’s plan to play a more active role in the important issues that will come up from the Canadian government’s initiative to pursue a strategy aimed at restoring Canada’s leadership role in the global Digital Economy. As this initiative will involve comprehensive changes to a number of fields impacting on Canadians’ digital experience. It is Digital Agenda’s goal to provide a forum for information, discussion and action on such issues.

Game On FinanceTorontoInteractive Ontario (IO) today announced three new speakers for GameON: Finance 2009, happening October 27 and 28 in Toronto. These speakers are experts on key issues surrounding the business of games including funding, banking, and monetization.

Greg Short, Executive Director, EEDAR
With over ten years experience in developing community integrated data services for some of the largest massively multiplayer games available, Greg Short is one of the world’s leading experts in maximizing the acquisition, retention and monetization of gaming communities.

Erik Robertson Managing Director, Nordic Game Program
Erik Robertson is the Managing Director of the Nordic Game Program. Its mission is to ensure access to quality Nordic computer games for children and young people.

Alec Dafferner, Partner, GP Bullhound, Technology Investment Banking

Alec Dafferner is a Partner and Head of GP Bullhound’s San Francisco office. With over ten years of technology investment banking experience, Alec has executed over 40 transactions for emerging growth companies in the U.S. and abroad, raising over $10 billion in capital and advising on over $2.5 billion in mergers and acquisitions.

IUGOVancouver – As announced earlier this week, IUGO Mobile Entertainment has pulled A.D.D. Lite from the iTunes App Store. Here’s hoping that Apple gets its stuff together and either moves titles through approval faster or hires some more testing staff to catch up on the backlog.

Scotland – Brenda and Eli have landed safely in Ayr, Scotland after their transatlantic flight from Vancouver. They will be visiting with friends and relatives over there, before Brenda flies home on a commercial flight while Eli returns in the Cessna.

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13th August 2009

Need For Speed Nitro News Updates

EA GamesMontrealEA Montreal has announced that it is collaborating with lifestyle brands tokidoki, Upper Playground and i am 8-bit to create exclusive in-game car designs and artwork for Need for Speed™ NITRO on the Wii™. Each brand has created custom skins for a wide variety of vehicles including the Lamborghini Gallardo, Dodge Challenger, Dodge NFS NitroCharger R/T, Volkswagen Type 2 and Subaru Impreza WRX. They have also provided over 140 stylistic brushes that players can use to paint and personalize their ride. The cars in Need for Speed NITRO have style, personality and edge unlike any racing game.

The tokidoki brand is one of today’s most popular lines of apparel, accessories, toys, skateboard decks and other merchandise. The brand is characterized by a colorful, high-energy artistic style, while the word tokidoki means “sometimes” in Japanese. The name represents the company’s world view around identity and destiny. tokidoki was founded by Simone Legno and his partners and started as a personal web site before it evolved into an internationally celebrated brand.

Upper Playground is a cutting-edge, San Francisco based brand that brings graffiti culture to all types of street wear such as t-shirts, hats and hoodies as well as housewares and wall art. The Upper Playground punk rock art style has defined it as one of today’s hottest brands among musical tastemakers and Hollywood trendsetters. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th August 2009

Sites for Travelers, More Funding For Pug Pharm And More

Today on Global TV BC’s morning news, travel consultant Claire Newell mentioned two sites that will be of Orbyinterest to those in the industry who do a lot of traveling. These two sites enable you to be certain that you are getting the seat you want on a flight, because as we all know, not all airplanes have the same seat layout. If you want to be sure you’re sitting where you want to sit, visit Seat Guru and Seat Expert.

Unity Users GroupSome cool info from our friends in the Vancouver-based Unity 3D communityUnity 3D appears to be the most popular engine for iPhone game development.  There are currently 258 confirmed games in the App Store that have been made with Unity 3D. From games created by students to professional outfits Unity has been used to create a wide variety of visually stunning, innovative and engaging games – from the quirky to the more traditional – the flexibility and feature set of the engine allows developers to concentrate on content rather than technology.

Nicholas Francis, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Unity said, “There’s so many iPhone games made with Unity that its hard to keep track; we’ve got 258 confirmed releases, but the actual number could be much higher. This spans small titles to smash hits like Zombieville USA and Touch KO. Even if its ‘only’ 258, that still means that there has been a Unity iPhone game released every two days since we launched – a great success.”

Unity will release 1.1 for iPhone towards the end of August 2009. The Unity tools have been hailed as revolutionary for enabling high quality results in an easily accessible development environment. Unity is the fastest growing cross platform engine.

Pug PharmCongratulations as well to Pug Pharm, who has received additional project funding from the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF) administered through Telefilm Canada.

“With this financial contribution from Telefilm, along with our recently announced support from the IRAP-NRC program, Pug Pharm is building momentum and is well-positioned to execute on our current production plans towards a public beta launch,” stated Steve Bocska, CEO of Pug Pharm.

“With this investment, the Canada New Media Fund is supporting novel online games that combine the engagement of traditional video games with the technologies of social networking applications. We see opportunities to create innovative offerings that have global appeal,” continued Bocska.

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13th August 2009

Army of Two The 40th Day Will Continue The Battle In January 2010

EA GamesMontreal – Start 2010 with a bang! EA Montreal has announced that Army of Two™: The 40th Day will ship on January 12, 2010 in North America and January 8, 2010 in Europe. The sequel to the 2008 multi-platinum co-op shooter sees the return of the ultimate two-man private military team, Salem and Rios. Trapped in the middle of Shanghai as it falls under attack, the two must work as a team to survive relentless enemy assaults and escape the city collapsing around them. Gamers who pre-order* Army of Two: The 40th Day now will have exclusive access to the game’s all-new explosive multi-player mode, ‘Extraction,’ at launch. This mode will be unlocked for all other players one month after the game ships.

Army of Two: The 40th Day features a more robust and redesigned multiplayer experience with four Army of Two 40th Dayunique multiplayer modes including ‘Extraction’. ‘Extraction’ pits a team of four players against a series of unique enemy waves as they move from point to point in the ruined city. Players must strategize as a unified team to combat the different forces of the 40th Day Initiative while trying to get out alive.

In Army of Two: The 40th Day, private military contractors, Salem and Rios must fight their way through Shanghai to survive a carefully orchestrated series of catastrophes that are dragging the massive city to the brink of ruin. Jonah, the mastermind behind the 40th Day Initiative, has amassed an army of skilled soldiers to level the city in his attempt to rebuild an empire according to his vision and ideals. Now, the Army of Two must fight their way through ravaged city districts as they try to beat the odds.

Army of Two: The 40th Day will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the PSP® (PlayStation® Portable).

* Pre-order offer has restrictions. See www.eastore.com and participating retailer sites for details

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12th August 2009

IUGO To Pull A.D.D. Lite In Response to App Store Delays

IUGOVancouver – In the midst of IUGO’s A.D.D. (Another Dumb Distraction) iPhone game of over 100 frantic and controversial mini games sitting in Apple’s review queue for almost 3 months, IUGO has decided to take down the Lite version of the game. “The idea, of course, was to have both apps launch around the same time” states Sarah Thomson, Director of IUGO A.D.D.Business Development for IUGO. “There is such a disparity in the release dates now that the Lite version holds no real purpose at this point.” IUGO has even gone on to suggest that they most likely will not release the Lite version again, even if and when the full version launches on the App Store.

So what is the fate of A.D.D.? “We’ve received 3 identical emails from Apple stating the game is taking an unusually long time to review and that they apologize. That’s all we know. It seems the game is neither rejected nor has it been approved,” says Sarah. She goes onto to explain their thoughts on the substantial delay, “Sure we’re frustrated and wish we’d hear either way. If the content is too hot then we’re happy to go back in and re-work it,” suggests Thomson.
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