Global – Gamers are an enthusiastic bunch when it comes to the latest gaming technology, but it’s the developers that make the technology come to life. For Intel’s Level Up 2010: Intel® Visual Adrenaline Game Demo Challenge , independent developers around the world will be pushing the limits to create new experiences and breakthrough game concepts for 2010.
The competition, in its fifth year, invites professional, hobbyist and student game developers to submit their original game concepts for a chance to win prizes such as a trip to the Tokyo Game Show (for professionals and hobbyists), and a trip to the 2010 Austin Game Developer conference (for students). Other prizes include cash, the latest hardware systems, the newest software packages, and agency engagement packages to help developers market and promote their winning game.
Game developers can submit their concepts for judging in three categories:
* Best Game for a Desktop
* Best Game for a Laptop
* Best Game for a Netbook
Judge’s Choice Awards will also be given for Best Art Design, Best Graphics Performance, Best Sound Design, and Best Character Design.
For the first phase of the competition, developers will be asked to submit their game concept  by June 22 2010. The game concept must describe an idea that will make for an incredible game. In addition to the brief description, developers are invited to include screen shots, visuals or videos of the idea — these materials will help provide context for the judges to review and see the complete vision of the game.
Finalists will be selected by July 11 and will have until August 31 to provide detailed game demo abstracts and game executables. From there, the finalist entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of industry experts. The winning game demos will be announced during the Austin Game Developer’s Conference on October 5. Winning demos from Levelup 2009 are also available to play online . Oh and for those interested, Intel is hiring for its Vancouver location .
Montreal – The demo for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction  is available now  for download to your Xbox 360. Splinter Cell: Conviction, developed by Ubisoft Montreal , opens with our hero Sam Fisher working off the grid trying to solve his daughter’s murder. We find a changed Sam back in Washington, where he must work with old friends he can no longer trust, forced to save a country he no longer serves. Left without any choice, Sam has to defeat both a vast, faceless enemy and the shadows of the past to find out what happened to his daughter – and himself. Splinter Cell: Conviction is scheduled for full release exclusively to the Xbox 360 in April, and is rated M by the ESRB.
Just a few of the key features that gamers can look forward to in this latest Sam Fisher adventure include:
* New level of action: A full arsenal of cutting-edge innovations allow you to outflank foes with the Last Known Position™ system, tag and eliminate enemies using the Mark and Execute™ feature, and much more.
* Blockbuster experience: A unique storytelling style keeps you on the edge of your seat as you navigate the explosive world of a renegade agent where trust is impossible and justice requires you to go above the law.
* A new level of immersion: A revolutionary new graphic direction delivers an utterly seamless gameplay experience that’ll keep you totally engrossed in the story of Sam Fisher.
* Explosive Xbox LIVE play: Brand-new addictive multiplayer modes amp up the dramatic intensity like never before.
Montreal – EA Montreal  has released an all-new co-op campaign map pack titled ‘Chapters of Deceit’ on Xbox Live for their award-winning title, Army of Two: The 40th Day . Available immediately on Xbox Live Marketplace (800 MS Points), the map pack will be available on April 1 on the PlayStation Network ($9.99). Army of Two: The 40th Day – Chapters of Deceit puts players back amidst the disaster in Shanghai where they will stumble upon new information that could help end the invasion by Jonah and his 40th Day Initiative army. However, they quickly learn that everyone is out for themselves and no one can be trusted. The lives of this iconic two-man private military team are at risk, forcing players to rely on each other to get out alive.
Originally released in January 2010, Army of Two: The 40th Day boasts a robust playbook of co-op moves. The game features one of the most extensive and varied weapon customization systems ever found in an action/shooter game. Players can mix and match weapon parts and execute strategic two-man tactics that create a one-of-a-kind co-op action experience. Army of Two: The 40th Day is rated “M” by the ESRB and is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the PSP.
Toronto – TransGaming, Inc.  has announced that it is working with Google to develop ANGLE  (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), an Open Source project to provide improved hardware and driver compatibility for the upcoming WebGL™ web graphics standard for systems running Windows®. The ANGLE project  aims to achieve this broader compatibility by layering the OpenGL® ES 2.0 API on top of Direct3D®. The result for developers working with the WebGL standard will be a more consistent experience for their applications and a larger potential audience of users.
The API at the base of the WebGL standard, OpenGL ES 2.0, is an industry standard which enjoys broad support on a variety of embedded consumer electronics devices. In addition to enabling a greater range of hardware and driver compatibility for WebGL implementations, TransGaming expects ANGLE to help developers prototype embedded applications on Windows systems, and to provide new options for developers seeking to deploy their products.
TransGaming’s deep expertise and experience with OpenGL, a fundamental building block for the company’s other video gaming enablement products, makes TransGaming the ideal partner to work with Google on making WebGL content work everywhere. “The ANGLE project is a natural extension of TransGaming’s work to help developers enable their content on as many platforms as possible”, commented Gavriel State, Founder & CTO of TransGaming, Inc. “‘Not only does the project increase the range of supportable systems for WebGL, it also provides a bridge that allows developers in other areas, such as the mobile and embedded spaces, to test and deploy their content on Windows.”
Halifax – DHX Media Ltd.  is pleased to announce that the hit pre-school children’s series Animal Mechanicals  has been licensed in the US by a major broadcaster. Further non-commercial details will be released by both parties in the coming weeks.
“We are thrilled that Animal Mechanicals, produced by DHX Media’s Halifax Film animation studio, has been picked up for broadcast in the US,” said Michael Donovan, DHX CEO. “Penetrating the US market is a big step for this exceptional Canadian educational show for pre-schoolers which is now in its third season on CBC in Canada and has previously been picked up for broadcast in over 100 countries around the world.”
Animal Mechanicals is produced by DHX subsidiary Halifax Film for CBC in Canada, and has previously been licensed to Disney Channels in the UK, France, and Asia, ABC2 in Australia, M-Net in South Africa, Discovery Latin America, EBS in Korea, and Al-Jazeera’s Children Channel in the Middle East by DHX distribution subsidiary DECODE Enterprises.
Animal Mechanicals is an action adventure series for preschoolers that combines fantastical worlds, mythical animals and cool quests. And, best of all, Animal Mechanicals transform! Big as dinosaurs and twice as powerful… meet the Animal Mechanicals: Rex, Unicorn, Komodo, Sasquatch and Mouse. They live and play in a place unlike any other: a colorful “snap-together-take-apart” world. Their world can also transform, just like the Animal Mechanicals. Imagine an incredible interconnecting and interactive play-set! Things are always popping up, changing shape and, most of all, presenting challenges to the Animal Mechanicals. Animal Mechanicals can be seen in Canada on the CBC at 7:30 AM each week day morning.
Toronto – SAW fans can experience the truly terrifying world of Jigsaw firsthand. Come to the Toronto Comic Con  March 26-28 at the Direct Energy Centre and experience the opportunity of a life-time – meet SAW star Costas Mandylor (“Hoffman”) and other actors from the SAW horror franchise. Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate are set to release the seventh installment of the SAW franchise in theaters on October 22, 2010, and Maple Pictures will distribute the film in Canada. This SAW event in Toronto will be the first in a yearlong SAW Comic Con Tour that no SAW fan will want to miss. The SAW franchise will be the anchor of the new horror pavilion at Wizard Comic Cons all across North America.
The seventh installment is currently filming in Toronto. Mandylor and other cast members (to be announced shortly) will sign autographs and conduct a special Q&A session. Rare and never-before-seen props from the SAW movies will also be on display.
“Meeting Costas Mandylor and other members of the SAW cast at our Toronto Comic Con gives fans a truly unique experience,” says Gareb Shamus, Wizard Entertainment CEO. “For everyone here to get an up close taste of SAW is incredible. We’re extremely happy that the SAW franchise is providing this rare opportunity to our Wizard Comic Con fans.”
The popular SAW franchise follows the terrifying and blood-soaked trail of “Jigsaw.” This mastermind constructs horrific “games” in which those who do not appreciate their lives and blessings must fight for survival, thereby teaching the value of life. A SAW movie has been released each year since the original’s debut in 2004. SAW is one of the most successful horror movie franchises.
“Fans of the SAW movies will become part of the SAW world at Wizard Comic Con shows in North America over the next year,” says Mark Burg and Oren Koules, Co-Founders of Twisted Pictures, and producers of the SAW movies. “This is a unique chance for all of our loyal supporters to get up-close and personal with their favorite SAW actors.” Fans will have the rare opportunity to take photos with and get autographs of their favorite SAW stars. They can also go to Question and Answer Sessions and see never-before-seen traps and props from the SAW movies. There will also be plenty of surprises at stops on the yearlong Comic Con tour.
Toronto Comic Con brings together fans of comics, horror, toys, collectibles and offers a chance to see actors, writers, artists and the best each industry has to offer.
London – Tom Jenkins, chief strategy officer and executive chairman of Waterloo’s Open Text Corporation , will join “Gearing up for Growth ” on Tuesday, March 30, as the morning’s keynote speaker. Speaking to the region’s capacity as a leader in digital media, Jenkins will also share Open Text’s story of success as Canada’s largest software company.
“Gearing up for Growth” is a regional conference on strategies for business growth, and Jenkins will present alongside other prominent business speakers such as Jeremy Gutsche, co-founder of the leading online trend-hunting community, TrendHunter.com, and “Blueprint to a Billion” bestselling author, David Thomson.
“Gearing up for Growth” is designed for Southwestern Ontario-based entrepreneurs, small- to medium-sized
companies, growth-oriented service providers, and aspiring executives. “We’re thrilled to have a business leader with the calibre of Tom Jenkins speaking at ‘Gearing up for Growth’,” says Marilyn Sinclair, CEO and president of TechAlliance , hosts of the conference. “Tom’s dedication to digital media and technology is evident in his pursuit of success, not only for Open Text but also Canada’s broader economy and competitive advantage in the industry.”
“Gearing up for Growth” will take place at the London Convention Centre on Tuesday, March 30, from 7:30am to 4:00pm. Full-day conference passes give attendees the opportunity to attend the Power Breakfast session with Tom Jenkins, followed by a selection of breakout seminars based on six growth-oriented themes. Additional plenary speakers include Gutsche and Thomson, as well as Jim Clemmer, author and founder of the business leadership firm, The Clemmer Group, and Michael Rosenberg, a former actor who has channelled his improvisational acting skills into creative and flexible thinking seminars and books. The event concludes with a networking reception. Full-day passes are $149 for TechAlliance members and $249 for non-members; Power Breakfast-only tickets are $50 for TechAlliance members and $65 for non-members.