8th January 2010

News From IUGO, D-Box, Meridian4 and more

Vancouver – Following IUGO’s massively successful Zombie Attack! Zombie Attack Bridge Defensegames, ZA! and ZA! Second Wave, the indie studio has launched a free version of ZA! Second Wave titled Zombie Attack! Bridge Defense. As the titles suggests, the lite version contains the bridge map for users to sample kill a variety of zombies with cool new weapons. Second Wave features more maps and hordes of challenges in the full version. IUGO also recently unveiled their web site’s nice new design – head on over to check out its shiny awesomeness and all of IUGO’s titles today – and don’t forget to vote for IUGO and other great Canadian games, publishers and studios in our Reader’s Choice Canadian Video Game Awards – only one week left to vote!

palmAt CES: Palm released details about their developer kit for webOS during their 3D gaming announcement at the Expo, where they introduced several graphics-intensive game titles for webOS, from leading game developers EA Mobile™, Gameloft, Glu Mobile and Laminar Research. Demonstrated at Palm’s CES event, the games will be available today in the Palm App Catalog for Palm Pre customers.

“We are very excited about the potential of webOS as a platform for mobile 3D gaming,” said Katie Mitic, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc. “This is a key application category, and we’ve worked closely with some of the leading game developers to deliver a great game experience for our customers.”

“Recent improvements to Palm webOS represent major advancements in enabling world-class mobile gaming,” said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. “These innovations have allowed us to quickly bring our best IP to the platform.”

The developers introducing titles today have had early access to the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), which extends the Palm webOS Software Development Kit (SDK) with a set of tools, documentation and APIs that let developers write plug-ins for their webOS applications. The PDK lets developers easily integrate C and C++ code into their webOS applications, enabling new functionality, including immersive 3D games. A public beta version of the webOS PDK is scheduled to be available to all developers in March.

“The performance of the platform allowed us to create these great games in a limited timeframe,” said Baudouin Corman, vice president of publishing, Americas, Gameloft. “webOS allows us to deliver an outstanding gaming experience, and we look forward to bringing our best games to Palm customers worldwide.”“We expect the plug-in model to play an important role in the evolution of the webOS platform, just as plug-ins have with web browsers,” said Mitic. “And with this plug-in, we are making it super-simple for developers to bring the hottest games to webOS.” Read the rest of this entry »

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4th January 2010

Back To Work Monday With New Releases

GormleyDigital Leisure has announced that their newest title, Fast Draw Showdown, designed exclusively for Nintendo’s WiiWare™ game service is now available for download.

When it comes to fast draw there are only two types of people: the quick…and the dead! Now you have the chance to find out where you stand, or lie, as the case may be. You’ll go up against the best quick draws in the business, including one of the world’s fastest, Wes Flowers.

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Unholster your Wii Remote™ and show’em who the fastest draw really is, in this live action shooter – a first for the WiiWare service! Once you’ve mastered your shootin’ skills, take on all your friends to see which of you really has the quickest draw.

You’ll need some serious speed and awesome accuracy to take on these gunslingers…so get ready for some real fast draw action! Fast Draw Showdown is available today in North America and later this month in Europe, exclusively on WiiWare for 500 Wii Points™. Fast Draw Showdown is rated T by the ESRB.

MontrealLudia’s new title Hell’s Kitchen Vs., which is based on the U.S. TV phenomenon where world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay puts aspiring chefs through rigorous culinary tests is also now available on WiiWare. The game recreates the show’s pressure-cooker atmosphere as two players battle head-to-head in an arcade-style kitchen challenge. Try to conquer your opponent in each time-management test, while taking the heat of Gordon Ramsay judging and rating your performance at every stage of the game. Designed for 1 or 2 players, Hell’s Kitchen Vs is rated E by the ESRB and costs 800 Wii Points to download from the WiiWare store.

London ONBig Blue Bubble also has a release out on WiiWare today. Pub Darts is a simple darts simulation which uses the Wii Remote™ controller’s unique controls to mimic dart-throwing motion. The game is set in a local pub where the players will settle in to play some of their favorite dart games, including 501, Cricket, Around the Clock, Killers and Baseball. Controls function just like throwing a real dart. Players are able to create their own personal profiles, including selecting their avatar image from a collection of creative characters and the design they would like displayed on the dart flights. Pub Darts is rated E by the ESRB and is downloadable for 500 Wii Points.

Also out today is Big Blue Bubble’s first Fighting Fantasy game book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, now available on iPhone and iPod Touch for $2.99usd. For the first time ever, you have the opportunity to explore the world of Titan on a portable screen bringing the adventure with you wherever you go.

Experience the book that started the massively popular series which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and set a new standard in roleplaying excellence. This exciting game plunges you into a thrilling adventure to the top of Firetop Mountain and its vast treasure, ruthlessly guarded by a powerful Warlock. Will you have the courage, tact and skill to survive where none have returned to tell the tale?

Following the successful Nintendo DS launch of the game of the same name, Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for iPhone and iPod Touch takes a different approach bringing Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s legendary game book to your favorite handheld device. Scroll through the pages effortlessly by tapping the screen to flip pages, roll dice by shaking your iPhone and experience the breathtaking tale that has sold millions of copies.

Fighting Fantasy readers will be excited to know that Big Blue Bubble will be releasing four more titles in the series. In January, look out for Deathtrap Dungeon as it makes its iPhone debut providing the user with the same level of adventure, excitement and ease of use that The Warlock of Firetop brought.

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!

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18th December 2009

INPlay Opens for Registration, Fuel Industries Looks Back at 2009 and Dragon’s Lair on DSiWare

Interactive OntarioTorontoInteractive Ontario today announced that registration is now open for INplay 2010. This two-day conference, taking place at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, is designed to bring creators of kids interactive properties and developers together to explore inspiring ideas for the future.INplay 2010

“ INplay promises to bring cutting edge research, innovation, market strategy and inspiration together in this one-of-a-kind conference,” said Ian Kelso, president and CEO of Interactive Ontario. “ IO is proud to collaborate with such great partners, many of whom are global leaders in the kids media entertainment business.”

“With all the changes happening in content creation and delivery, INplay is a huge opportunity for inspiration, to hear some of the latest research, and connect with potential partners in the kids interactive market,” said Ted Brunt, VP Interactive Production, marblemedia.

Early bird pricing ends February 25, 2010. Members of Interactive Ontario receive a further discounts on tickets. For registration, press accreditation and to sign up for the INplay newsletter, visit their website.

INplay is for game developers/publishers, broadcasters, content producers/distributors, interactive/mobile/social media developers, toy/game manufacturers, book/magazine/comic publishers, marketers, researchers/child psychologists and all businesses with interest in the kids’ interactive media.

This project is spearheaded by IO in partnership with industry leaders including: Astral Media Inc, Bitcasters, Blue Print Entertainment, Breakthrough New Media, Capybara Games, CBC, Corus Entertainment, Decode Entertainment, Earth Rangers, Kids Can Press, marblemedia, Meridian Artists, Portfolio Entertainment, Spin Master Ltd., and zinc Roe Inc.

Fuel IndustriesOttawaFuel Industries has had a very busy year, it seems – in a summary of 2009 projects, Fuel released information about their work with EA, Intel & Dell, Microsoft, Toyota, MTV and Screenlife. For the record, I want that screen used in the Intel 360 “Future of the Data Centre” project. Some of Fuel Industries’ work can be found on Facebook in the way of EA Pogo Puppies, an interactive application that allows Facebook users to adopt and care for cute little puppies. The studio also created the SceneIt! Online Facebook App, bringing Screenlife’s interactive trivia games to the masses. Meanwhile, Pogo PuppiesTwitter users were invited to learn, compete and create haiku pieces extolling the virtues of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2.

Fuel also worked with MTV, Verizon and Electric Farm Entertainment to create a growing online, interactive property for Valemont University through the use of blogs, websites, alternate reality and social media. Toyota and Fuel worked together to build excitement and adventure for Facebook users with their Adventure Finder App. This App, built to promote the new Toyota 4Runner,  uses interactive quizzes to generate possible off-road adventures.

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure has released a new trailer for the DSiWare version of Dragon’s Lair, which will be available from the Nintendo DSiWare download zone this coming Monday (December 21st).

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17th December 2009

Meridian4, Hothead Games, Strategy First and Ludia Top Today’s Game News

Meridian4MontrealMeridian4 celebrates the season by making a donation to DonateGames and encourages other publishers to do the same, especially during this time of year.

“This Meridian4 donation represents what we know to be true, gamers are good. Video games new and used are being recycled to help others. Gamers are also great communicators and users of technology. This donation is important, gamers are telling each other about our work, and as the word DonateGamesspreads, the video game community and video game playing families with rare, neglected diseases are contacting DonateGames with stories of the joy and inspiration from knowing the gaming community, like Meridians4 are helping spread the word, generate relief funds and create global awareness for the rare and neglected disease community.” said Jim Carol of DonateGames.

“We discovered DonateGames at a game convention and after reading their literature, we thought it was a great idea and a one we wanted to get behind. The three directors at Meridian4 all have children and we know how devastating it would be if they were afflicted with a debilitating or fatal disease. This is a terrific idea and we hope that other gaming companies and gamers will get involved.” said Steve Milburn, Director at Meridian4.

Hothead GamesVancouver – Just in time for the holidays, Hothead Games today announced that Jonathan Blow’s Braid is now available for download via the PlayStation®Network in Europe. Already recognized by Metacritic as one of “The Best Games of 2009” for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, European gamers can fill their virtual stockings with this amazing indie title for Braidonly €9.99.

Players explore the human condition and manipulate time with our hero Tim in the lush, painterly world of Braid. The game takes you from a house in the city on a journey through a series of worlds to solve puzzles and rescue the princess. In each world, you have a different power to affect the way time behaves, including the ability to rewind, create parallel realities and utilize time dilation to overcome the many obstacles in your path. There is no filler in this game; every puzzle shows you something new and interesting about the game world.

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15th December 2009

Highlights from Harlequin, Bioware, AfterCAD, DigitalLeisure, BCTIA and Cloud Slam

This post was updated to include further IGN Award Winners.

HarlequinTorontoHarlequin Enterprises Limited, the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of women’s fiction, and Big Fish Games, the multi-platform developer, publisher and distributor of casual games, today announced the launch of Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire. The hidden object game with a romantic storyline is the first game release following the announcement of the companies’ partnership.Big Fish Games

Inspired by The Royal House of Karedes, a Harlequin Presents® Mini Series, Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire features Allie, a reporter on assignment covering the 30th birthday of the Prince of Aristo. Following her arrival in the Kingdom of Adamas with her photographer, a series of events occur and players assist Allie in her quest to solve the mystery by finding hidden objects and solving puzzles.

“We are thrilled to be working with Big Fish Games to introduce our readers to this new interactive experience,” said Donna Hayes, publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. “Our partnership reinforces our commitment to brand innovation and we anticipate great success with Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire.”Harlequin Presents Hidden Objects of Desire

“Big Fish Games and Harlequin are wonderfully aligned as our audiences are global and largely female,” said Jeremy Lewis, president and CEO of Big Fish Games. “The games we develop together – starting with Harlequin Presents: Object of Desire – will appeal to romance readers and casual gamers alike. We anticipate the partnership will lead to audience expansion for both companies.”

Harlequin Presents: Hidden Objects of Desire will be sold online for $6.99 USD exclusively at Big Fish Games. Players who download the game within the first year of its release will also receive a free digital edition of the first book of the miniseries.

BioWare CorpEdmontonDragon Age Origins has won four more awards, this time from online game magazine IGN. Congratulations to the studio for their Best Xbox 360 RPG, Best PC RGP, Best Story and PC Game of the Year awards. Dragon Age Origins has also been nominated in several categories capybarafor our own Readers’ Choice Awards. Nominations for our awards close on December 31st – be sure to let us know which Canadian titles and studios you think should be in the running.

Congratulations are also extended to Capybara Games, whose new Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes won IGN’s Best DS Stragety Game Award and for Critter Crunch, which won for Best PS3 Puzzle Game.

EA Canada’s FIFA 10 has taken top spot for IGN’s Best PS3 Sports game and Best Xbox 260 Sports Game, while Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed 2 won Best Xbox 360 Action Game and Xbox 360 Game of the Year.

OntarioOntario – Ontario is helping to drive innovation and stimulate economic growth in the creative sector by supporting early-stage development for television, film, mobisodes, webisodes, video games, internet properties and more. The Intellectual Property Development Fund is a one-year pilot programme administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). An extensive list of guidelines have been posted on the OMDC’s website.

The province is investing $10 million to support screen-based companies in moving ideas from the development stage into production and marketing. By providing funding for development expenses, the McGuinty government is promoting the continued growth of Ontario’s creative sector and helping businesses thrive as they develop new and innovative products.

If only there was this much support for the interactive industry in every province – we have the unique position of having a massive talent pool in this country, and yet there are many companies struggling to stay afloat. The Province of BC government would do well to take a serious look at what’s going on east of the Rockies in regards to the interactive and creative sectors.

Ontario’s creative sector is now the third largest source of employment in North America, following California and New York, and according to OMDC, total direct employment in Ontario’s cultural industries (businesses whose main purpose is to create and distribute arts and entertainment) was about 202,000 people. This sector was also responsible for generating almost $12.2 billion of Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product through film and television production, interactive digital media, music recording, commercial theatre, magazine publishing and book publishing.

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure is excited to announce that arcade classic “Dragon’s Lair” will soon be available on Nintendo’s DSiWare™ service.Dragon's Lair

No quarters needed! You’ll soon have your chance to take on all the “Lair” has to throw at you, right in the palm of your hand. For the first time on any handheld Nintendo® system, you’ll be able to play Dirk in his original animated form – no pixel graphics here!

On December 21st in North America and January 1st in Europe, you’ll take on the role of Dirk the Daring, a knight on a quest to rescue the fair Princess Daphne from the clutches on an evil dragon – Now using your Nintendo DSi! Dragon’s Lair is rated E10 by the ESRB forAnimated Blood, Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes.

Cloud SlamToronto – The Cloud Slam Conference, which brings together leading companies and visionaries in business, technology, and cloud computing to showcase the hottest opportunities for driving profitability through sustainability, today announced their call for proposals. Taking place March 23-25, 2010 as virtual event , the conference is also proud to announce it has gathered hundreds of attendees passionate about cloud computing. These announcements reflect a growing trend involving companies that have committed to developing best practice cloud strategies for the emerging global economy that requires innovative, viable and profitable models for business success.

You are cordially invited to participate in Cloud Slam 2010 through paper submission, a workshop or a special session organization, a tutorial, an invited speech, a demo, a poster, an exhibit, a panel discussion, whichever sounds more appropriate and convenient to you. There will also be tutorial sessions, workshops, special sessions, demos, posters, panel discussions.

The conference will include invited presentations by experts from academia, industry, and government as well as contributed paper presentations describing original work on the current state of research cloud computing, their use in business, their design, performance and use, and their applications.

To encourage media coverage of the Cloud Slam 2010, the conference provides up to 2 free press credentials to verified media representatives from each organization. Media partnerships are also welcome, please send cross promotion proposals to media(at)cloudslam(dot)org.

Conference sponsorships are welcomed. To sponsor Cloud Slam or get additional information about event, contact Khazret Sapenov at 510-984-2312 or at sponsors(at)cloudslam(dot)org.

afterCADVancouverAftercad Software is pleased to announce that Novedge LLC, a leading online CAD/CAM store, has become a distribution partner for Aftercad’s new 3D collaboration service Renderjam.com.

Renderjam.com is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that allows businesses to view, mark-up, manage and publish 3D assets onto the web, without the need for proprietary viewers, providing easy and instant access to project information by all stakeholders.

“Renderjam offers a new lightweight and very easy to use visualization product that enables anyone in the organization to access digital 3D assets. Being distributed as a service it has a very low impact on IT overhead and it is easy to deploy. Renderjam is the ideal tool for architects and industrial designers that need to share their project data.” said Dr. Cristiano Sacchi, CEO of Novedge.

Novedge will offer the Renderjam.com service through its successful Novedge.com portal. “Our partnership with Novedge gives us invaluable exposure and access to market” stated Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad “and we look forward to marketing this product with Dr. Sacchi and his team.”

BCTIAVancouver – The British Columbia Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) is pleased to announce the launch of PODIUM, their 2010 business outreach programme. The PODIUM program is designed to connect guests and media of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games with technology sector business partners and media stories while visiting BC.

The centre-piece of the programme is the PODIUM digital guide, an e-book illustrating the talent and ingenuity that makes British Columbia a great place to live, work, study and invest. The PODIUM guide profiles over one hundred world-class companies and includes a number of companies whose technology is being used to power aspects of the Games. The digital guide will be distributed to thousands of contacts, including International Business Development offices, Olympic Sponsors and hosting organizations, Federal and Provincial governments, and media. The PODIUM guide will continue to evolve right-up to the opening ceremonies. The more great companies we have participating, the more buzz we’ll create.

To help guests and media connect with innovative BC companies, the BCTIA will be providing meeting concierge services – coordination services to facilitate introductions before, during and after the games. With non-stop activity during the 2010 Games, we are working to ensure that international business people and media call upon us to connect them with business introductions and unique media stories. Interested parties need only send an email to podium[at]bctia[dot]org.

Alliance-numeriqueMontreal – ELearning Alliance invites you to reserve April 14, 2010 to attend the event eLearning Montreal. This day is specifically aimed at training officers, human resources and people who have to acquire content and e-learning tools. Meet the leading Quebec companies active in this area and to attend lectures offered by industry experts. The location and details of that day will be announced in January.

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11th December 2009

New Titles, Contests And Jobs

Hothead GamesVancouver – A whole new audience of gamers will be able to unwrap Braid soon! Hothead Games proudly announced today that Jonathan Blow’s beloved indie title will arrive in the European PlayStation®Network on Dec. 17 for only €9.99, offering current and soon-to-be PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system owners a little extra holiday cheer this season.

Players will explore the human condition and manipulate time with our hero Tim in the lush, painterly world of Braid. An Independent Games Festival winner, this puzzle-platformer takes you from a house in the city on a journey through a seriesBraid of worlds to solve puzzles and rescue the princess. In each world, you have a different power to affect the way time behaves, including the ability to rewind, create parallel realities and utilize time dilation to overcome the many obstacles in your path. There is no filler in this game; every puzzle shows you something new and interesting about the game world.

Key Features:

Non-traditional platforming: You can never die and never lose, but challenge is always present and focused on solving puzzles, rather than forcing you to play and replay tricky jumps.
• Puzzle-rich environment. Travel through a series of worlds, searching for puzzle pieces and solving puzzles by manipulating time: rewinding, creating parallel universes and setting up pockets of dilated time. The game play is always fresh and new and the puzzles inspire new ways of thinking.
Aesthetic design: A painterly art style and lush, organic soundtrack complement the unique game play.
Nonlinear story: A nonlinear fiction links the various worlds and provides real-world metaphors for your time manipulations; act out these themes at your own pace, exploring playful “what if” universes.
Forgiving game play: The game doesn’t force you to solve puzzles in order to proceed. If you can’t figure something out, just play onward and return to that puzzle later.

Complex GamesWinnipegComplex Games Inc. is proud to announce their first self-published game for the iPhone and iTouch.  Skipping Stones is currently in production and will be soon be available for sale on the iTunes store. Slated for a mid-December 2009 release date, Skipping Stones is a casual recreational game that you can play on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

“Skipping Stones is going to make a splash on the iPhone”, said Noah Decter-Jackson Co-founder and Project Director at Complex Games, “the game combines relaxing gameplay mechanics that simulate actually skipping stones across the water in several beautiful settings. Skipping Stones will instantly appeal because of its lush environments and enjoyable music. Players can just relax or challenge themselves and their friends to make the longest skip!”

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Walk down to the beach and toss your cares away with the simple motion controls, or compete against other players online to make the most skips. Skipping Stones offers the gamer several beautiful landscapes, three different challenge modes and the ability to compete online against other players via Open Feint.

Stir Fry GamesGuelph – Independent game developer Stir Fry Games is proud to announce the Windows version of SFG Soccer is now available online. SFG Soccer is the arcade-style indoor soccer game whose short game times, easy-to-learn controls, and fast-paced gameplay have made SFG Soccerit a smash hit on the Xbox Live Indie Games platform. In it’s first month on Xbox Live, the game has already been featured in the Top Rated, Top Downloads, and the Top IGN.com Picks lists. SFG Soccer is currently one of the top-rated games on the service, with a 4-star rating in the United States, and an astounding 4 1/2 star rating in the United Kingdom.

The game has an extensive multi-season 64-team career mode, complete with a custom team & player editors, playoffs and an RPG-style skill improvement system. The Windows version also includes new features requested by fans including individual player stats, higher difficulty settings, league leaders, and the ability to edit and share your league easily using external programs such as Microsoft Excel.

Light Switch StudiosVancouver – A team of Art Institute Vancouver students have published their latest game on the web. Light Switch Studios is proud to announce their single player PC 2D side-scrolling platform title Fotagogos, which will officially release on FotagogosDecember 15th. Gamers will play through the game as Phil, a young miner who is sent out by his family to gather the light crystals they need to survive. As Phil gathers the light crystals using his special light-switching helmet, he used one of three colours to help him defeat the enemies and find his way through the dark caverns. Phil can use the powers of Red, Green or Blue light to speed through dangerous territory while Green light will help Phil leap to high ledges. Making use of the Blue light will help Phil defy gravity and float to a safe landing. Fotagogos is a tool-based game which the team built from the ground up, and they have included level editing tools for players to mod and expand their game experience.

Swim RecruitingVancouverSwim Recruiting has posted the following career position for a Technical Lead in PHP Games at a Vancouver development studio:

• High level technical direction and low level coding participation
• Entrepreneurial, growing, and action-packed environment
• Lead a talented and experienced development team

Do you have strong leadership skills combined with expert knowledge of the LAMP stack and software development best practices at both the architectural and code level?

A Vancouver ‘home grown’ organization based in funky Gastown is on the lookout for an experienced and knowledgeable Technical Lead to direct and lead a professional, fun, and dynamic software team. This team will develop and enhance new and existing games for social network platforms such as Facebook and iPhone applications.

Working closely with the Studio Producer and Creative Director, you will be charged with establishing high level technical direction and supervision as well as ‘rolling up the sleeves’ and developing code. You will lead and motivate the team to release up to 8 multiple titles on various platforms per year. As well as excellent communication and documentation skills, you must have expert LAMP stack skills and knowledge combined with the ability to direct, lead and motivate a small group of open-source developers. You will also be highly competent at setting up and establishing development policies, frameworks, and best practices to ensure a fast paced, action packed, rapid prototyping, iterative model in a social and collaborative team orientated environment.

In order to be considered for this role you must be able to demonstrate the following:

• Expert proficiency (7+ years) in all areas of LAMP development at the architecture and code level
• Flash/flex development skills and solid Unix based tools and system administration skills
• Experience setting up and establishing software development frameworks, policies, and best practices
• Be a natural leader and manager with the skills and track record to motivate and grow the development team
• Passion for a wide variety of Gaming technologies and methodologies
• Graduation from a four year college or university, a degree from a recognized design school, or two to four years of related experience and training.

This is a fantastic opportunity to lead a modern, fast paced, innovative, fun and dynamic development team working on some of the latest games and applications with bleeding-edge open source technologies – apply by sending your resume to Brian Thompson at Swim Recruiting.

Blue Castle GamesVancouverBlue Castle Games has the following career positions open for local candidates:

Rendering Software Engineer
Senior Technical Artist
Senior or Franchise Project Manager
Producer
Environment Artist (Contract & Full Time) – DEAD RISING 2 (new listing)
Contract Compliance/Online/Gameplay QA Tester (6 months) – DEAD RISING 2
Lead Level Designer
Online Software Engineer

Please visit their Careers page for more details.

Pareto LogicVictoria – Most people are careful to shred their financial documents and keep a careful hold on their personal paperwork, but what about online and on their PCs? With the ever-present threat of spyware and identity theft, ensuring that personal details remain safe should be a top priority for all computer users. The latest version of ParetoLogic’s Privacy Controls software aims to make this task easier, and a lot more thorough.

Every action taken on a PC is recorded. Downloaded programs, visited websites, opened files, entered passwords and even instant messages are locked deep in a computer’s memory. A clever hacker who Privacy Controlsinfiltrates a computer may copy online banking information for illegal transactions, steal personal data for identity theft, hijack email accounts for spamming, or snoop on the user’s private life.

Norman Eldridge, Technical Product Manager at ParetoLogic, said that “even with security software protecting against malware, people need to consider other methods that their personal data may be compromised: selling their used PC, having their computer stolen, or even being spied on by people who share their system.”

The latest web browsers have responded to this threat with new privacy options and ‘stealth’ modes. Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate mode, for example, stores only the cookies and temporarily internet files required to browse normally, and then deletes these files automatically. However, Mr. Eldridge explained that this is not enough. “To fully erase your private details and history, you need to overwrite the data. Otherwise it is recoverable.” Privacy Control’s shred functionality does just that, overwriting browsing history, application history, and user-selected files. This permanently destroys the data, which cannot be restored, even with highly developed data recovery tools.

The most recent version of Privacy Controls upgrades these shred features, enhancing the scanning process to clean personal information from the latest programs. The expansion also adds support for the new 32-bit Windows 7 operating system. “A new operating system does not necessarily provide new security for personal information. If anything, the latest OS has more ways for your data to be recorded,” said Mr. Eldridge. Along with support for Windows 7 32-bit, Privacy Controls also supports Windows Vista and XP.

LogoBeeMontreal – In the spirit of the season, LogoBee proudly announces its fourth annual Logo Design Makeover. Any charity or non-profit organization may enter the contest, and submissions must be received by January 1, 2010.

LogoBee holds the Logo Design Makeover annually as a way of giving back to the community. By reducing overhead costs such as logo design and branding, these organizations can focus funds on the important services they offer. Having a previous logo or brand development is not necessary to enter. Depending on each winning group’s preferences, the LogoBee designers can refine an existing logo, or they can start from scratch. Each winning participant receives custom logo design from logobee.com, as well as professional stationery design complete with letterhead, envelope, and business cards. Contest submission is free.

LogoBee held its first Logo Design Makeover contest in 2005, welcoming any charities and non-profit organizations to enter. LogoBee adds two grand prizes to the contest, among other changes this year. The grand prize winners will receive a BundleBee package from Logobee.com for the deeply discounted price of $500. The package, normally priced at $1199, includes professional logo design, stationery design, and website design. In addition, LogoBee will randomly select 10 entries to receive a Golden package, which includes custom logo design with tailor-made stationery design included. Each Golden package will be offered for the nominal rate of $100, originally priced at $425.

Donating professional design services to charities and non-profit organizations is one important way that LogoBee feels it is important to give back to the community. LogoBee will announce the winners January 8, 2010, and notify the winners via email.

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7th December 2009

Club Penguin Fans Can Help Kids Around the World by Playing Games Online

Club PenguinKelowna – Children who visit the snow-covered virtual world of Club Penguin™ can put the time they spend online to better use than ever this holiday season thanks to a unique giving program that launches this week.

The third annual Coins for Change Campaign, which runs from December 11-21, 2009, allows the children who visit Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games in the virtual world to support a cause that matters to them.

Players can choose to support kids who are sick, kids who are poor or the environment. At the end of the campaign, the players’ donations serve as votes to determine how a $1M contribution will be divided to fund projects being conducted by charitable organizations selected by Disney Online Studios Canada.

“Since we launched Coins for Change in 2007, we’ve been blown away by the passion our players display for getting involved and doing their part to affect change and make the world a better place,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios Canada and Disney Online. “With millions of children and families in more than 190 countries now enjoying Club Penguin in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish, I think our audience will embrace the opportunity to make a difference through Coins for Change this year like never before.”

Players can donate virtual coins at multiple locations around the island of Club Penguin. For the first time this year they can also place a personal donation booth in their virtual igloo and host fundraising parties for their penguin friends, or attend benefit concerts at the Lighthouse. In addition, this year’s campaign will include suggestions on things children can do in their own communities to help others.

“With so many kids from around the world playing on Club Penguin, we want to continue to encourage that sense of community online and offline, and really get them thinking about their role as true global citizens who have the power to help others both where they live and around the world,” adds Merrifield.

Club Penguin is one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Word filters and live moderators monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.

Club Penguin is free to play, however special features such as front-of-the-line access to game features, exclusive parties and opportunities to customize your penguin and igloo require a membership.

The Salvation Army Keeps Up With The Times

Salvation ArmyToronto – This past weekend, at Santa Shuffle Runs in 35 cities nationwide, The Salvation Army announced the launch of a new text message giving program, offering donors a cash-free way to contribute to this year’s Christmas Campaign. For the first-time ever, Canadians can contribute a $5.00 donation to The Salvation Army by texting the word HOPE to 45678 from any Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility phone. The proceeds of each text donation will support The Salvation Army’s year-round work to serve more than 1.5 million people with critical living needs.

“As the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada, we are thrilled to introduce text message donations as a way to give back,” said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development for The Salvation Army in Canada. “The mobile giving program was launched at our annual Santa Shuffle, in 35 cities across Canada.”

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4th December 2009

BioWare Introduces Gift of the Yeti Facebook App

BioWare CorpEdmonton – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., today announced Gift of the Yeti, a fun and fast-paced social game for people of all ages. Available now as a free Facebook app (Facebook account required, free to play on Facebook only), the game has been developed at BioWare by the studio’s new R&D group, BioWare Labs™. Gamers who play Gift of the Yeti will receive a $10 discount* off the purchase of the dark, heroic fantasy Dragon Age™: Origins. Additionally, BioWare will donate up to $10,000 to the Child’s Play charity, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing holiday gifts to children in need.Gift of the Yeti

In the Gift of the Yeti game, players have a chance to help a sick Santa by delivering gifts on his behalf. Facebook friends can compete to beat each others’ high scores. The backstory of the Yeti will unfold through a clever Advent day calendar, with each day revealing a new piece of the storyline. Gift of the Yeti also allows players to choose from a variety of different gifts that they can send to their friends to invite them to save the day for Santa, and support the Child’s Play organization.

“Gift of the Yeti is BioWare’s digital holiday card to its fans. We use social networking as a powerful tool to connect meaningfully with our tremendous fan community,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare and the Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group at EA. “Gift of the Yeti is a fun, engaging holiday present from BioWare to our fans, the first in a series of compelling social experiences from BioWare Labs.”

“Child’s Play draws the bulk of our support from video gamers and the games industry, and we are honored to be part of BioWare’s Gift of the Yeti campaign,” said Kristin Lindsay, Program Coordinator, Child’s Play. “Now gamers can help support pediatric hospitals in the US, Canada and worldwide simply by playing the game and having fun! When gamers give back, it makes a big difference.”

For every play of Gift of the Yeti, BioWare will donate a minimum of a penny, up to $10,000 to the Child’s Play charity. Child’s Play is a community-based charity grown and nurtured from the video game culture and industry, distributing toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals worldwide. Originally supported by Penny Arcade, more information about Child’s Play can be found online at the Child’s Play website.

* Value of discount will be deducted from total order at time of purchase. Valid for new purchases of Dragon Age: Origins of equal or greater value only. Discount is valid only on purchases from the EA Store. This offer expires on January 1, 2010, and cannot be combined with any other offer, Gift Card, rebate or other discount coupons. Valid only in the U.S. and CANADA. Limit one offer per person. Subject to availability. Customers are responsible for shipping, handling and applicable sales tax. Offer may not be substituted, exchanged, sold or redeemed for cash or other goods or services. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law.

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4th December 2009

New From Digital Leisure and Big Blue Bubble

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure and EA Mobile have announced that Dragon’s Lair will be coming soon to your iPhone and iTouch. Now Dirk the Daring fans can take their hero on new adventures in a visually stunning hand-drawn animated world adapted from Don Bluth’s original Dragon's LairDragon’s Lair title. Players will be able to guide Dirk through the game’s environment and battle enemies with their trusty sword.

As we reported earlier, Digital Leisure recently released two new titles for the Wii – Sudoku Challenge and Copter Crisis are both available now via WiiWare™ from Nintendo.

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble Inc. is proud to announce that Masters of Mystery: Blood Of Betrayal is scheduled to launch on all major portals and is available now at Big Blue Bubble Arcarde. Blood Of Betrayal is the second in a Masters Of Mystery series of hidden object games that will appeal to fans of the genre and anyone who loves a good murder mystery!

It’s been nearly six months since Carrie Chase solved the Crime of Fashion murders. Since then, she’s Blood of Betrayalenjoyed a nice promotion, better apartment and even had time to mingle with one of the attractive new detectives at the station. Life has been great – until now. It’s late one night and Carrie Chase’s dinner plans get interrupted with unfortunate news… two grisly murders in a nearby condominium penthouse. Taking her new detective with her, Chase begins unraveling the clues behind the deaths of these two men and what she discovers will change her life forever!

Help Sergeant Carrie Chase solve the death at the penthouse and discover how deep betrayal can go. Enter the shoes of Carrie Chase as she works her way through deception, heartache, inter-office romance and a betrayal so deep it will change her life forever.

Game Play Features:

• Photo Realistic Crime Scenes
• Captivating Storyline and Voiceovers
• Countless Hidden Objects to Find
• Super Zoom Technology for Super Hidden Objects
• Crime Scene Mini-games
• Achievements
• Relaxed and Timed Modes

System Requirements:

• OS: Windows XP/Vista
• CPU: 1.0 GHz
• RAM: 512 MB
• Hard Drive: 70 MB
• DirectX: 7.0
• Video Card: 3D Supported

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3rd December 2009

Genius Factor Bringing Riese The Series to iPhone and iPod Touch

Genius Factor Games

VancouverGenius Factor Games, a digital entertainment company committed to delivering quality game experiences in five minutes or less, proudly announced today its upcoming game for iPhone and iPod touch based on the hot new web television series, “Riese.”

In a hauntingly familiar dystopian world, Riese, a seemingly random wanderer, flees across the dying lands. Hunted by a terrifying religious group, The Sect, Riese must evade their assassins to discover their true objective. Her past is shrouded in mystery as even Riese cant recall the events of the tragic night Riese The Serieswhen her entire family was slaughtered and she was forced to flee. On her journey she will piece together her past and her destiny. The once peaceful kingdom Eleysia will be the battlefield of a struggle that will hold the fate of the world in balance. Riese will emerge as the sole beacon of hope.

Currently in its first season, “Riese” stars Christine Chatelain of Sanctuary acclaim and is fast becoming an online phenomenon as the story is revealed through its site and featured channels on YouTube and Koldcast TV. Drawing hundreds of thousands of views since its launch on Nov. 2, season one episodes air every other week until the end of January, culminating in a season finale, with the next season scheduled to kick off in February 2010.

“‘Riese’ represents a new, viable way to digitally distribute blockbuster-quality storytelling,” said Ted Nugent, Genius Factor president and founder. “Not only is it in line with exploring our own goals for the digital distribution of games and entertainment, but the compelling story, audio and visuals make for an excellent series that keeps you wanting more. We are incredibly excited to be working with Riese Productions!” Read the rest of this entry »

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