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  • Pikmin 2 Makes Its Canadian Wii Debut And Joins Mario Power Tennis in Nintendo Selects

14th May 2012

Pikmin 2 Makes Its Canadian Wii Debut And Joins Mario Power Tennis in Nintendo Selects

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada has announced the addition of two great games to the Nintendo Selects value collection for the Wii console on June 10 with Mario Power Tennis and Pikmin 2, a Nintendo GameCube classic making its Canadian debut on Wii. Nintendo Selects games are available at a suggested retail price of $19.99. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th February 2012

Microvolts Adds Observer Mode

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd. has launched the Spectate Update for the popular cartoon style third-person shooter, MicroVolts.   The Spectate Update features an all-new Observer Mode which offers an up-close and personal view of every MicroVolts match, along with new items in the Capsule Machine and the item shop and a new server called “Nickel”.  Read the rest of this entry »

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18th February 2012

The Perennial Battle Between Humans And Vampires Continues

secret locationA couple of weeks ago I received a nondescript white envelope in the mail. The name above the Toronto return address was simply “S.L.” and the envelope appeared to contain something a bit bulky. I probably spent several minutes running through people I know in Toronto, trying to figure out who had the initials matching those on envelope – and came up empty. Curiosity got the better of me, and upon opening the envelope I found a flyer wrapped around a pair of 3D glasses. Read the rest of this entry »

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15th December 2011

Brawl Busters Officially Launched

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions announced today that Brawl Busters, the hotly-anticipated free2play online multiplayer action game, has officially launched.  With the official launch, Rock Hippo Productions has released a brand new exciting trailer alongside scrumptious screenshots featuring festive new accessories and attire, a new City Hall Map and a new Boss Battle Mode.   Read the rest of this entry »

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21st October 2011

The Order of Assassins Enters the World of SoulCalibur

Namco Bandai GamesCrossover events are something TV viewers are used to seeing during ratings sweeps, but now  Namco Bandai Games America Inc. and Ubisoft Entertainment have announced that elite assassin Ezio Auditore from the Assassin’s Creed™ series will be a playable guest character in ubisoft canadaSoulCalibur® V for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®.  This monumental collaboration will let players control Ezio and his wide range of assassination tools including a Roman Longsword, Stiletto, Crossbow, Hidden Gun and his trademark Hidden Blade.  SoulCalibur V delivers exhilarating 3D fighting mechanics, breathtaking visuals, and new characters, as well as expanding the online and character creation modes.  SoulCalibur V is scheduled to launch on January 31, 2012 in North America. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th September 2011

Game Updates Coming From Rock Hippo

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions has announced that starting this Thursday, the studio will launch major updates for its popular online cartoon style third-person action shooter MicroVolts, as well as its upcoming online multiplayer action combat game Brawl Busters.

“What’s better than an update to your favorite game but two updates for two awesome games at the same time, said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions. “Constantly creating fun and fresh new content for MicroVolts and Brawl Busters is really important to us and our players and there will be a lot more fun in store.” Read the rest of this entry »

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4th August 2011

Brawl Busters Moving To Beta

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions and partner Weezor have announced today that the closed beta test for Brawl Busters will begin next week on Thursday, August 11th. You can apply to receive a beta key by signing up on the game’s web site.

Brawl Busters is a Free2Play dynamic new action brawler that features competitive and co-operative battle modes all in a unique third person view.  With its simple and intuitive controls, this easy to pick up and play game makes team strategy a must as player’s battle against each other or team up against computer controlled enemies.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“Our fans ask us every day when they will get their hands on Brawl Busters so we are excited to finally be able to let them know the countdown has started and they only have to wait one more week!” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions.  “We invite players to go to the website now and sign up so they can make sure to get one of the coveted closed beta invites, and while they are there they should make sure to check out the weekly video lessons we have posted teaching them about Brawl Buster’s gameplay features. This way, they can be ready to jump in and be one of the best Original Busters next Thursday.”

The gameplay lessons help players to learn more about what to expect when they enter the world of Brawl Busters. The video lessons can be found on the front page of the Brawl Busters website and feature a breakdown of each of the five character classes, the missions, the customization, environment and items and much more!

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29th July 2011

Rock Hippo Titles Now On Steam

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd. has officially partnered with Valve’s Steam platform to distribute its two popular free-to-play games, MicroVolts and the upcoming Brawl Busters.  Both action-packed games will soon be available to Steam users and will offer all of the exciting benefits of Steam’s strong community features to a vast worldwide audience. Steam just began hosting free-to-play games this summer, and players can look forward to adding two more high-quality titles to their library.

“The online gameplay of MicroVolts and Brawl Busters make them a perfect fit for Steam, and we are thrilled to be among the first free-to-play games to launch on the platform,” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions. “We look forward to introducing both games to the millions of Steam users so they can experience all of the fun, excitement and non-stop action our games offer with all the ease of use that Steam provides.”

MicroVolts features fast paced, third person shooter action and pits players against each other in a secret microvoltsbattle that has been waged and going unnoticed right in our own backyard for years.  No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war but rumor has it that the uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts. Battle lines were drawn when Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P.-the prototypes -were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in an all-out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World.  All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared!  Featuring a ton of weapons, fresh character designs, and a huge list of customization features,

Game modes include Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Item Match, Capture the Battery, Zombie Mode and many more featuring various maps designed by toy concept. Players can also check out the recently released Summer Recharge patch that includes a brand new map, Magic Paper Land, new weapons and hot summer items such as a Pink Polka Dot Bikini that is sure to heat up the battlefield.

Brawl Busters is an upcoming action brawler that features competitive and co-operative battle modes all in a unique third person view. With its simple and intuitive controls, this easy to pick up and play game Brawl Bustersmakes team strategy a must as player’s battle against each other or team up against computer controlled enemies.

Players will find five unique character classes including the Slugger, the Firefighter, the Rocker, the Boxer and finally, the Blitzer. With its signature funky visual style, the game will offer tons of exciting maps and will also feature a huge variety of customization options including body type, gender, weapons, costumes and accessories along with the ability to upgrade weapons and costumes with new abilities. Brawl Busters will feature an intense training mode, challenge missions, leaderboards and persistent stat tracking.

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12th April 2011

Cineplex and Warner Bros Interactive Celebrate Mortal Kombat Canadian Launch

Warner Brothers Interactive EntertainmentWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Cineplex Entertainment will be hosting a Canadian launch and tournament event for Mortal Kombat, the highly anticipated game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, on April 18th. Tickets for this event are only $5 – on sale now – and all ticket holders will get the chance to participate in a Mortal Kombat tournament for some great prizes, with the final rounds taking place on the big screen. An exclusive contest for SCENE members will also take place at each location (not including Quebec). By redeeming SCENE points, members can enter to win a life-size Scorpion replica statue ($2,000 approximate value).

Event participants at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto will be able to meet Canadian UFC fighter Sean Pierson as he will be signing autographs from 8:00-10:00 p.m.  Finally, three versions of the game for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be available for purchase at midnight at the theatre. The Mortal Kombat Standard Edition will be available for $69.99, the Mortal Kombat Kollectors Edition for $99.99 and the Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition for $149.99.

The latest iteration of the award-winning Mortal Kombat videogame, available on April 19, marks a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favorite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduces a number of new game-play features including tag team and a deep story mode. Mortal Kombat is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon.

The game is rated M for Mature, participants must be at least 18 years of age to attend the event and purchase the game.

WHEN: Monday, April 18, 8:00 p.m. to midnight (local time)

WHERE: Advance tickets are now available at participating theatre box offices, through the Cineplex Mobile Apps and online at www.cineplex.com/events or mobile site m.cineplex.com

BRITISH COLUMBIA: SilverCity Coquitlam Cinemas, 170 Schoolhouse

ALBERTA: Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton Cinemas, 1525-99th Street NW, Edmonton and SilverCity CrossIron Mills Cinemas & XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, 261055 CrossIron Boulevard, Rocky View (Calgary)

MANITOBA: SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas, 817 St. James Street Winnipeg

ONTARIO: Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond Street West and SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas and XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, 18151 Yonge Street

QUEBEC: Scotiabank Theatre Montreal, 977 rue Ste-Catherine Montreal

In the meantime, check out this teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat: Legacy done by Vancouver’s GoldTooth Creative:

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Updated: This press release arrived in my email just after I made the original post.

Goldtooth Creative is proud to have provided visual effects, editing, motion graphics, and more than an hour of original music for the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat web series, produced by Contradiction Films and Warner Goldtooth CreativePremiere and debuting online today.

Beginning in the pre-production phase and continuing through filming and beyond, Goldtooth artists worked closely with Director Kevin Tancharoen and the Mortal Kombat production team to create slick visuals and an evocative musical score that heighten the chills and thrills of Tancharoen’s action-packed series.

Though the Goldtooth crew has worked its magic on countless videogames—and key creative personnel cut their teeth on television series’ and blockbuster films—this is the company’s first foray into live-action web-based entertainment. “We’re excited to be part of this innovative project and proud to show off the talent we have here at Goldtooth,” said Tyler Weiss, Goldtooth Vice President and Audio Director.

“We’re fans of the franchise, and so we were determined from the word ‘go’ that our work would be worthy of the Mortal Kombat universe,” said Goldtooth VFX Supervisor Keegen Douglas, who helped design the visual effects in pre-production, supervised on set, and led the Goldtooth VFX team during the whirlwind post schedule. “We had a great time collaborating with Kevin and the entire Mortal Kombat team,” said Goldtooth Associate Creative Director Paul Furminger, who led the Goldtooth editorial team on this project.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“From the start we knew that this was going to be an unbelievably challenging project,: said Tim Carter, producer of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. “Goldtooth embraced the project and truly invested in it both emotionally and in terms of their approach to budget. Their work has been consistently phenomenal and it’s no exaggeration to say that without them Mortal Kombat: Legacy simply wouldn’t have been possible.’

The nine-webisode series relates origin stories for many of the franchise’s most notorious characters. The first episode—in which Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) and Jax (Michael Jai White) go head-to-head with Kano (Darren Shahlavi)—premieres today, with subsequent episodes to be released each consecutive Friday through April and May.

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11th March 2011

Games For Rainy Days

Last Chance: Registration for the Great Canadian Appathon closes at 5pm tonight.

IUGOLast week during IUGO’s GDC Smartphone Summit Session, their VP of Biz Dev, Sarah Thomson, announced IUGO’s latest social game venture; Sunshine Cruise Lines. IUGO’s first social title, Lil’ Sunshine_ContinentViewPirates (published by Capcom Mobile), launched in November 2010 and was a breakout success earning accolades from users, critics and fellow industry colleagues alike. Lil’ Pirates went on to win Pocketgamer’s best FREEmium title of 2011.

Having proved their chops as a solid social game developer, IUGO plans to launch several social titles during the course of 2011/2012. “Lil’ Pirates was a great experience for us,” enthuses Thomson. “We saw that we could build a unique experience that users loved. It was amazing to see how “into” the game players got. On top of that, the game was monetizing really well solely from virtual items, which was a testament to our design strengths as a studio,” Sarah adds.

“Now, with Sunshine Cruise Lines, the team is super excited to build a game around a theme that appeals to Sunshine-ShipViewvirtually everyone: Travel,” offers Thomson. Setting sail later this Spring/early Summer of 2011, Sunshine Cruise Lines is a FREEmium game in which players manage their own cruise ship while traveling the world. “There is so much we can do with this theme,” she explains. “This is an opportunity for us to play on users’ imaginations while having the world at their fingertips. Players will find the game familiar and easy to play as we’ve kept a foundation of tried and true mechanics. But the team has been really amped to try new things in Cruise,” alludes Sarah. “With Cruise players will enjoy a more dynamic environment that encourages experimentation. Players will have a number of different options for how to make their cruise ship unique, while offering deeper social interaction. The team is focused on making every facet of the Cruise experience special and fun from the art style, the UI, the audio to how they all tie in and enhance each other. We can’t wait for people to play our game!”

frima studioDon’t get caught dead in that island wear, it’s so last season! Quebec’s Frima Studio and SFO’s Bolt Creative have announced that the Pygmies of Pocket God on Facebook have arrived dressed to impress with Episode IV: Dressed to Kill. This latest addition to the Pocket God world introduces new items, including St. Patrick’s Day accessories, as well as a new dance taking the island by lightning storm.PocketGod Dressed To Kill

Since its debut in December 2010, the Facebook version of Pocket God has grown exponentially and is attracting more players every month. More than 40 million loyal, unquestioning Pygmies have met their demise over that time, with two million of those being sacrificed by volcano alone (that’s approximately the same amount of people who visit Pompeii every year – coincidence?). Another two million sacrifices can be attributed to friends on Facebook sacrificing other friends in a host of brutal and irreverent ways, including electrocution, shark attack, venus fly traps, tornados, tar pits, and more! What good is a friend if you can’t sacrifice them every once in a while?

The new updates for Dressed to Kill include:

• All New Customizations: Fans have been waiting for the chance to dress up their Pygmies and the time has come! Pygmies can now be customized in a variety of ways, including wearing t-shirts, bow ties, life jackets (no worries, they won’t actually work), an oh-so-taboo censor bar, and more!PocketGod Customizer
• All New YPDA (Youth Pygmy Devotee Association) Dance: It’s fun to hang with the Y-P-D-A! Even though the Pygmies constantly meet death, it doesn’t dampen their spirits, and they’re now prepared to show the world their latest dance craze. Go ahead and join in already, we swear no one is watching!
• St. Patrick’s Day-themed Items: For the Pygmy leprechaun in all of us, players can now customize their favorite faithful followers with holiday-themed items such as clover hair ties and fashionable green suspenders to hold that grass skirt up. Players can also do a little jig with the new St. Patrick’s Day dance. All holiday-themed content is available for a limited time.
• Brand New Quests: Of course, we have added more quests for all the deities out there looking to bring their sacrifice count to an all-time high.

Stir Fry GamesThe National Lacrosse League, which is comprised of teams from Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto (along with some American teams) has announced that NLL 11, the NLL’s officially licensed video game by Pittsburgh’s Crosse Studio in conjunction with Guelph’s Stir Fry Games, is in development for Lacrosse11release this spring on Xbox 360’s Indie Game Channel.

The game will feature all ten NLL teams and the league’s 230 players, a completely new game engine, franchise mode, player statistics, celebrations and much more. For the first time, NLL 11 will include fighting in the video game. NLL Lacrosse 2011 will be available on the Xbox 360’s Indie Game Channel and will be priced at $5.00 USD.

While you’re waiting for NLL11 to debut, you could check out Stir Fry’s latest game, Office Brawlers, which is available on Xbox Live Indie Games. You can try it before you buy it, the price is 240 MS Points. Playing as your Avatar, you fight your way through Story Mode with 11 crazy weapons. You can play against your friends either on or off-line. Be the greatest Office Brawler of all time and achieve the highest score by playing in Survival Mode.

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What started out as a very small Meetup group for independent developers in the Vancouver area has now become Full Indie. The new group was unveiled to a packed house of over 100 devefull indielopers at Tuesday night’s monthly event for what is now the largest collective for independent game creators in Vancouver.

In May 2010, game developers Jake Birkett and Alex Vostrov founded the aforementioned Meetup group in order to connect with their peers. After only nine meetings with overwhelming event attendance and community input, Jake and Alex agreed that a formal brand, mission and web presence were the next logical steps. The group’s mandate will be to continue with its very successful monthly events which include presentations and networking as well as develop the Full Indie web site as a community-sourced endeavour, with centralized resources to assist indie developers not only in Vancouver, but around the world, with the development, publishing and publicizing of their work.

In keeping with the National Film Board’s commitment to digital production, and reflecting the evolution of National Film Boardaudiences into dynamic participants, the eastern section of the NFB Mediatheque in Toronto is currently being transformed into an interactive hub that will provide new ways to connect with the NFB. Its redesign guided by the principle of engaging and communicating with Canadians, this area of the Mediatheque will soon offer access to , where visitors can check out recent web-based projects via the NFB Interactive portal, the Online Screening Room featuring more than 1,800 streaming films, and news and information about the NFB.

This flexible new space will also be outfitted with ceiling-mounted projectors, floor-to-ceiling screens and a state-of-the-art audio system, providing a venue for innovative new content such as participatory programming and immersive multimedia installations based on NFB online productions. The space will also host exhibits and screenings; its resources will be creatively incorporated into the Mediatheque’s many workshops and camps, and it can be tailored for private event rental. A webcam-enhanced touchscreen will allow the public to further connect with the NFB and record instant feedback on their experience such as film reviews, workshop recommendations and programming suggestions. Visitors will continue to enjoy over 5,500 NFB titles on free digital viewing stations, and services and events at the Mediatheque will not be affected. This new area will open to the public in early April, 2011.

This is a good start, but doesn’t go nearly far enough; I hope that MP Tony Clement will keep the pressure up in regards to telecom pricing in all areas:

CRTCIn response to numerous requests, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today clarified the form and scope of its proceeding to review wholesale residential high-speed Internet access services, which was launched on February 8, 2011.

Canadians will have an opportunity to share their views at a public hearing starting on July 11th in Gatineau, Que. The CRTC will also hold an online consultation. Details of both the hearing and consultation will be announced shortly.

Although the scope of the proceeding will not be limited to reviewing usage-based billing proposals, the CRTC intends to focus on issues such as:

  • usage-based charges, whether aggregated between the Small Internet service providers (Small ISPs) or applied to each Small ISP
  • usage-based charges driven by peak traffic periods, and
  • an examination of network capacity and congestion.

The CRTC will not be expanding the scope, as requested by several parties, to include the billing practices for retail Internet services. There is no evidence that market forces are not working properly in this unregulated market.

Finally, the CRTC will not review, as was also requested by several parties, the overall regulatory framework for wholesale high-speed Internet access services. The overall framework was not part of the decision that is being reviewed, and it would not be appropriate to initiate such a wide-ranging review within the current proceeding.

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