21st October 2010

Nintendo Announces Red Holiday Bundles

Nintendo CanadaNintendo has everyone’s holiday shopping list covered with an array of great new products. These include Mario™-red, limited-edition Wii™ and Nintendo DSi XL™ system bundles that celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros.™ game on the NES™ and a new Wii Wii Red BundleRemote™ Plus controller that has Wii MotionPlus™ motion technology built right in. Nintendo already offers tremendous video game value, and these products will make it even easier for shoppers to find fun at a great price. All new products go on sale in North America on November 7th, and the limited-edition products will be available while supplies last.

“Whether shoppers want to add a cool new look to their gaming setup or expand their supply of controllers with an exciting game, Nintendo offers a great value for the holidays,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “For anyone who is still on the fence about whether to join the world of video games, we’re offering many fun, easy, economical ways to get involved.”

Red Wii Bundle: This limited-edition Wii hardware comes in beautiful red to celebrate the 25th DSi XL Red Bundleanniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. game. The bundle includes New Super Mario Bros.™ Wii and a new red Wii Remote Plus controller, in addition to all the other included items, like Wii Sports™ and a red Nunchuk™ controller. It will be available while supplies last at a suggested retail price of just $209.99.

Red Nintendo DSi XL Bundle: This special-edition Nintendo DSi XL bundle is also red in honour of the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. and features three iconic Super Mario Bros.-themed graphics. The bundle comes with Mario Kart™ DS, which looks gorgeous on the extra-large screen. That’s in addition to the pre-loaded software of Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math and Photo Clock. It will be available while supplies last at a suggested retail price of just $179.99.

Wii Remote Plus whiteWii Remote Plus: This new controller combines the original, iconic Wii Remote™ controller with built-in Wii MotionPlus functionality. The compact WiWii Fling Smash Bundle Boxi Remote Plus controller offers players precision motion controls all in one unit. It becomes the new standard Wii controller, and will be available from now on in all Wii hardware packages and bundles, as well as sold separately at a suggested retail price of $44.99.

FlingSmash™ Bundle: The new Wii game combines the hands-on fun of tennis with the nonstop action and instant gratification of pinball. It requires use of the Wii MotionPlus accessory, so it seemed natural to bundle it with the new Wii Remote Plus controller. For a suggested retail price of $49.95, shoppers get to enjoy both the game and the controller in one package.

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6th October 2010

Wii Party Across The Country

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada says Wii Party™ and spreads the fun this month, with Wii Party Mobiles visiting a variety of retail store fronts and family events during the month of October in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec! Kids, teens, adults and seniors are invited to check out the Wii Party Mobile with its see-through walls and flat screen televisions where they can grab a Wii remote and play the latest party game from Nintendo.

Wii Party Mobile

Visit the “On Tour” page for schedule updates.

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA

October 9th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, #102 – 5300 No.3 Road, Richmond
October 10th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, 1135 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
October 16th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, #700 – 5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond
October 23rd & October 24th (930am-400pm) – The Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms, 12900 Steveston HWY, Richmond
October 30th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, #2140-2929 Barnet HWY, Coquitlam

ONTARIO

October 9th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, 50 Ashtonbee Road, Scarborough
October 10th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, #2 – 5900 Mavis Road, Mississauga
October 16th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, 167 Queen Street North, Etobicoke
October 17th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, #1 – 6075 Mavis Road, Mississauga
October 23rd & October 24th (930am-430pm) – Boo at the Zoo at Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Avenue, Toronto
October 23rd (11am-5pm) – Best buy, 695 Wilson Avenue, North York
October 30th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, 2975 Argentia Road, Mississauga
October 31st (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, #1 – 6075 Mavis Road, Mississauga

QUEBEC

October 9th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, 8871 De L’Acadie Boulevard, Montreal
October 10th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, 6321 Trans Canada, Pointe Claire
October 16th (11am-5pm) – Future Shop, 7400 Boul des Roseraies, Anjou
October 17th (11am-5pm) – Best Buy, 7200 Des Roseraies Boulevard, Anjou
October 23rd & October 24th (11am-7pm) – Fright Fest at La Ronde, 22 Chemin Macdonald, Ile Sainte-Hélène, Montreal
October 30th (11am-5pm) – Toys R Us, 655 Boul des Promenades, Saint-Bruno

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4th October 2010

Nintendo Canada Invites You To A Wii Party

Nintendo CanadaNintendo’s Wii™ system continues to offer millions of North Americans a fun way to come together for fun times. Now, with the Oct. 3 launch of the game Wii Party™, Nintendo is kicking the revelry into overdrive with a wild new set of party games, minigames and group activities that instantly turn any social gathering into a laugh-filled celebration. Wii Party gives players new ways to Wii Party interact with the Wii Remote™ controller and their personalized Mii™ characters, featuring unique activities that spread the action from the TV into the living room. Whether you’re planning a Halloween party or a New Year’s bash, this season’s hottest party game is Wii Party.

There’s never been a game quite like Wii Party. In addition to fresh takes on favorites such as bingo and board games, players can experience interactive challenges that leap right off the screen. For example, Animal Tracker asks players to grab the Wii Remote controller that is emitting the correct animal sound, while Hide ‘n’ Hunt will have them hiding controllers around the room and scrambling to find them before time runs out. A total of 13 party games and more than Wii Party Bingo80 minigames are included for limitless social entertainment, and no matter what the occasion, Wii Party keeps players in the spotlight by putting their customized Mii characters at the center of the action. (Some activities require more than one Wii Remote controller; additional controllers are sold separately.)

“When people get together for the holidays, they look for things that everyone in the family can enjoy,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “Wii Party delivers hours and hours of fun for everybody in the household, from the kids to grandma and grandpa. It’s yet another way in which the Wii system offers maximum entertainment at an unbeatable value.”
Wii Party
The games in Wii Party are divided into three categories. Easy-to-learn Party Games offer family-friendly amusement for up to four players. Pair Games include both cooperative and competitive activities for one or two players at a time. And House Party games spread the action throughout the living room, challenging players to interact with the Wii Remote controller – and each other – in new and imaginative ways. Additionally, more than 80 inventive minigames are peppered throughout Wii Party to keep players on their toes.

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21st September 2010

Club Penguin Expands Its Playground

Club PenguinMoms and dads who want to share the fun and creativity of their child’s favourite, snow-covered virtual world can now get in on all the icy action with the launch of Club Penguin Game Day! for Wii™.

Based on the environment, characters and storylines of the popular online playground Club Penguin, Club Penguin Game Day! includes a range of single and multi-player sports and performance events designed to challenge and engage every member of the family.

“There are lots of parents who want to experience what their kids have come to know and love about the virtual world of Club Penguin, but it’s easier to gather everyone in the family room than around the computer in the home office,” says Club Penguin Game DayLane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “With Club Penguin Game Day!, we hope to give families new ways to connect, be active and have fun together.”

Club Penguin Game Day! features a collection of 12, all-new Wii exclusive games, including Puffle Paddle, Dance Off and Sumo Smash. Players create and customize a penguin, choose a team color and try to conquer challenges in each of the six zones on the island. The team that takes over the most territory wins.

The game includes innovative ways to connect with the virtual world, allowing players to transfer their penguins, achievements, coins, and exclusive unlockable items to their online accounts. Players can also interact with familiar characters from the virtual world, including Rookie, Aunt Arctic, and Gary the Gadget Guy.

Another feature lets players transfer their customized penguins via their Wii Remote™ to a friend’s Wii for use in game play. Once back on the original console, high scores, coins and customization items earned will merge with the player’s profile.

Kelowna-based Club Penguin launched in 2005 and joined The Walt Disney Company two years later. Disney Interactive StudiosToday, millions of children and families in more than 190 countries around the world spend time in the popular virtual playground, interacting with friends, exploring, playing games and letting their imaginations soar. Available to play in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, Club Penguin is renowned for its commitment to safe fun.

Club Penguin Game Day! marks Club Penguin’s debut on a video game console, following two successful games for Nintendo DS™. Published by Disney Interactive Studios, Club Penguin Game Day! is rated E for everyone with comic mischief and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99.

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16th September 2010

Digital Extremes Picks up Small Business Award

Congratulations to development studio Digital Extremes who has been named as a winner of The Ontario Digital ExtremesBusiness Achievement Awards Royal Bank Award for Small Business. Digital Extremes is one of a dozen Ontario companies who have been named provincial winners of The Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA) and the Ontario Global Traders Awards (OGTA) by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“These outstanding award winners exemplify business excellence through innovation, export diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and an understanding that the best investment is in their people,” says Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This is the award winners’ opportunity to step into the spotlight to celebrate success, not only for themselves but, for Ontario.”

Eidos MontrealSquare Enix revealed today that a new premium-quality action figure based on the central character from the Eidos Montreal game Deus Ex: Human Revolution™, Adam Jensen will be the latest addition to the Play Arts® -KAI- series, and will feature newly-augmented Adam Jensen and even more.
Deus Ex Human Revolution
“The Square Enix Merchandise Division is dedicated to creating collectible action figures that combine high production value and excellent articulation,” said Kanji Tashiro, Merchandise Director of Square Enix, Inc. “The DEUS EX series has captivated fans across the globe since the first game was released, and we are thrilled and pleased to be making action figures for its latest entry. The game’s truly unique style and visually striking technology provides us with a perfect opportunity to do what we do best: craft a high-quality product that brings to life a vibrant universe.”

For those on the career hunt, Eidos Montreal has several positions open, including that for a Brand Manager.

LudiaLudia and FremantleMedia Enterprises have launched The Price Is Right HD for iPad® on the App Store. Now iPad users can “COME ON DOWN!” to an unparalleled The Price Is Right experience, enhanced with stunning new HD graphics and incorporating Multi-Touch game play. Incorporating all the familiar elements of the beloved TV game show, The Price Is Right HD for iPad puts players in Contestant’s Row to bid on items in order to earn a shot at playing popular pricing games, try their luck at spinning The Big Wheel, and experience the winner-takes-all tension of the Showcase.

“The Price Is Right is one of Ludia’s most successful titles across platforms, and we are thrilled to now bring it to iPad owners in HD,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “Game show fans can now enjoy immersive and engaging The Price Is Right fun anywhere, thanks to the iPad’s advanced capabilities.”

The Price Is Right HD features:

* Eye-popping HD graphics designed and optimized for the iPad.
* Two game modes: single player and multiplayer.
* Favorite pricing games to play including Plinko, Cliff Hangers, Punch-a-Bunch & many more.
* Authentic stages, Big Wheel, and other game elements combine with familiar music and Rich Fields as announcer to create a true-to-show experience.
* Customizable 3D player avatars: choose hairstyles, clothing, accessories and more.
* Unlock bonus items as a reward for progress in the game.

astral mediaAstral Media Inc. has launched a campaign that celebrates its contributions to Canadian culture. The two TV messages were conceived by Bos and depict what the film, television and music industries would look like without such crucial financing. Both situations use humor to offset an otherwise very serious issue.

The campaign premiered last week at the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival, which Astral is a proud sponsor. One of the two trailers was showcased during the Opening Night Gala Presentation of Score: A Hockey Musical, one of 19 Astral supported Canadian Films selected for the 2010 Festival. Other movies include gala presentations of Barney’s Version, A Beginners Guide to Endings, and the Bang Bang Club; and a special presentation of Trigger. Both messages are now airing on Astral’s pay-television and specialty services.

For over 25 years now, Astral has played a leading role in providing private funding for Canadian culture. This dedication to the vitality of our communities and to the arts industry has allowed for ambitious television and film projects to see the light of day, and for now popular musical notes to take flight. Every year, through its pay and specialty TV channels, radio stations and The Harold Greenberg Fund, Astral invests over $170 million in Canadian culture.

“We are fortunate to live in a dynamic, inclusive and creative culture. This unique point of view needs to be nourished and celebrated. We take much pride in the fact that Astral’s investments help great projects come to life, contribute to a creative product of quality, and support the talented artists and artisans behind these projects,” said Derev Antikacioglu, Corporate Marketing Director at Astral.

Astral continues to be the country’s largest private investor in Canadian feature film, funding the development and production of homegrown film and television projects. In the world of music, Astral has worked closely with partners to develop and launch over 20 projects to support Canadian singers, songwriters and performers.

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24th August 2010

Get Shank Today on PSN or Tomorrow on XBLA

Klei EntertainmentElectronic Arts Inc. and independent Vancouver development studio Klei Entertainment would like to remind you that the highly anticipated downloadable 2D action game Shank, will be available for download today on PlayStation®Network for $9.99 and tomorrow, August 25th, Shank Boss Battleon Xbox LIVE® Arcade (1200 MS Points). At press time, Shank was still showing a release date of “08.2010” on PSN, but the XBLA page has been updated with tomorrow’s release date. With its blend of classic side-scrolling action gameplay and stylized animation set against a modern-Western canvass, Shank tells a bloody story of revenge, penned by award-winning game writer Marianne Krawczyk.

“Our goal with Shank was to create a game that pays homage to the classic 2D brawler, while seeing how far we could push it by melding it with our own pulp-fiction influences,” said Jamie Cheng, CEO of Klei Entertainment. “At the end of a long road that began as an indie dream in 2009, we’ve finally shipped a visually striking, cinematic brawler.”

Shank Train Chase“With Shank, Jamie Cheng, Jeff Agala, and the team at Klei Entertainment have delivered the game analog of the black comedy symphony of violence dominating today’s indie film circuit,” said Jamil Moledina, Outreach Director at EA Partners. “This exquisitely bloody game conjures memories of the best arcade brawlers of the late 1980s, while delivering the production values and pitch perfect controls of a modern high definition blockbuster masterpiece.”

Shank tells a classic story of gangland betrayal through a violent, pulp-fiction lens. Gamers play as Shank, getting their hands bloody as they uncover the secrets of Shank’s past and the reasons he is hell-bent on Shankrevenge. With a deep and intuitive combat system, players unleash a tremendous number of creative combinations as they take down waves of enemies standing in their path. Shank also features a special co-operative campaign, designed to be played with a friend locally, which tells the backstory of the revenge plot. This prequel mission allows players to play as Shank or his partner-in-crime Falcone, with deadly double-team moves and gameplay that encourages teamwork.

Shank is one of the most highly anticipated downloadable game releases of this summer, having been nominated for Excellence in Visual Arts by the Independent Games Festival, as well as multiple “Best of E3” awards, including “Best Action Game” from IGN.com and “Best Downloadable Game” from GameTrailers.com. Shank is rated M by the ESRB.

vortex competition 2010The McLuhan Festival of the Future’s Vortex Videogame Conference and Competition, an illustrious event designed to showcase Ontario’s undiscovered videogame talent, has announced today that it will be accepting entries for its 2010 edition.

With the mission to create opportunities for emerging videogame companies and individuals to showcase their work locally, nationally, and internationally, Vortex achieves its goal through education, discourse, pitching, networking and, of course, competition. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th July 2010

DeathSpank Now Dispensing Justice To Evildoers Everywhere

Hothead GamesLeading today’s news is the official release of Hot Head Games‘s justice-seeking, action-RPG blending epic storytelling, addictive gameplay, humor and evil chickens title DeathSpank on the PlayStation Network for $14.99. Xbox 360 gamers will be able to join the fight for justice on XBLA (for 1200 Microsoft points) tomorrow, July 14th. Developed under the direction of The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert, DeathSpank takes players through a heroic adventure in the boots of the titular hero DeathSpank as he hacks and slashes his way through epic quests in a vast world filled with vibrant, eccentric and terrifying characters.

“While DeathSpank is definitely one of the funnier games out there, it’s more than a one trick pony,” said Vlad Ceraldi, Director of Game Development for Hothead Games. “We’ve built a game with fast-paced, addictive combat set in a world that has a tremendous amount of depth that is filled with dynamic characters, colorful environments and tons of cool weapons and loot. And yes, we still have ponies too — trick ponies!”
Death Spank
“The team at Hothead has really made the perfect experience for the summer,” said Jamil Moledina, Outreach Director, Business Development for EA Partners. “DeathSpank is a high-end and fun game, yet incredibly accessible. It’s very easy to pick up and play, both in terms of its classic arcade controls, as well as the convenience of downloading it straight to your console.”

Players who download the game, which is rated T for Teen, will be placed in the boots of the mighty DeathSpank, “Dispenser of Justice”, “Vanquisher of Evil” and “Hero to the Downtrodden”, embarking on his life long journey is to search for and find a mysterious artifact known only as, “The Artifact”. Along his journey, DeathSpank will rescue orphans, defeat a local tyrant, help an aging adventurer, and dive headfirst into an even deeper mystery. The game’s accessibility makes for a fun, addictive experience where players will find themselves solving crazy puzzles, collecting massive amounts of loot and hearing witty dialogue. For those with friends, DeathSpank also features local co-operative gameplay, allowing friends to jump in and out of fighting through this adventure on the same console as both DeathSpank and his trusty, magical sidekick, Sparkles the Wizard.

CAPCOMDead Rising 2 Executive Producer, Keiji Inafune and Producer, Shinsaku Ohara, will be at Comic-Con in San Diego to unveil development stories and discuss the upcoming Zombrex Dead Rising Sun motion picture, with a Q&A session to follow. Their talk will take place on July 22 in Room 25ABC from 12:00-1:00 P.M. If you’re going to Comic-Con, Capcom will be in booth #4844, and the Capcom Store will offer items exclusive to Comic Con – including 10 of the Dead Rising 2 motorcycle jacket.

MIGSThe Montreal International Game Summit has officially launched their 2010 site and confirmed November 7th & 8th as the date for its 7th annual event. Taking place at the Hilton Bonaventure in Montreal, MiGS offers over 80 sessions and activities, addressing continuing professional training needs, fueling the five main themes of the video game industry: business, arts and visual effects, design, programming and technical aspects. In addition to two keynote speakers, there will be an invited speaker for each of the themes. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th July 2010

Tungle Corporation Announces Advisory Board

Bioware CorpWhile Dragon Age fans were busy downloading and playing the new Leliana’s Song expansion for Origins, Bioware surprised its Mass Effect community today with new unannounced DLC for Mass Effect 2. Hiding in the shadows of XBL Marketplace is the new Aegis Pack, which for Mass Effect 2 Aegis Pack160 MS Points will gain players a five piece set of Kestrel armour with some high-powered buffs and the M-29 Incisor sniper rifle.

Kestrel Armour Specs:

The Kestrel Helmet adds weapon damage, shield strength, and headshot damage.
The Kestrel Torso Sheath adds melee and weapon damage and shield strength.
Kestrel Arm Sheathing adds melee and weapon damage and shield strength.
Kestrel Shoulder Pieces adds shields and melee damage.
The Kestrel hip-mounted Power Pack ups shields and heavy weapon ammo capacity.

Tungle.meTungle Corp., the company that is revolutionizing the online scheduling and calendar industry (and one which I am hoping will assist me with improving my daily time management challenges), today announced the creation of a board of advisors that will include Robert Scoble, (Scobleizer), Don Dodge (Google), Dave McClure (Geek), Ellen Levy (LinkedIn) and Scott Stratten (Unmarketing).

“Each of these individuals in their own right is a force to be reckoned with. As a group, they become even stronger”, said Marc Gingras, Founder and CEO of Tungle Corp. “We’ve assembled this group because we know that each of them is a thought leader with a unique skill and a finely honed sense of where the sector is headed. Their insights are a key component to ensure our solution remains on the cutting edge of a quickly evolving ecosystem.”

The board of advisors will provide advice and direction to Tungle Corp. as it prepares for its next stage of growth. Tungle.me is used to schedule meetings in over 30 percent of Fortune 100 companies, over 700 Universities, and in more than 100 countries around the globe

LudiaLudia and FremantleMedia Enterprises have announced that the Family Feud game is now available for the PS3 on the PlayStation®Network for $9.99.  Family Feud is already available for the Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC and iPhone™, with an iPad-sized app coming soon. Based on one of the most successful family game shows of all time – which premieres its 12th season in syndication with new host Steve Harvey on September 13th, PS3™ owners can now play as the leader of a ‘family’ in a contest to name the most popular answers to survey questions posed to 100 people. The game features all of the favorite elements of the show as played on television, including the scoreboard, face offs, strikes, stealing and ‘fast money’ rounds. Players can enjoy a thrilling online multiplayer Family Feud experience as they compete against friends and/or other players from across North America in head-to-head challenges via the PlayStation Network. Additionally, multiplayer local and solo game play is also supported.

“Ludia is happy to extend the ever-popular Family Feud franchise to PlayStation 3 systems via the PlayStation Network,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This new game is another great addition to Ludia’s growing portfolio of game show games for PS3™, and further reinforces our multiplatform strategy.”

Family Feud for PlayStation 3 system features:

Read the rest of this entry »

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8th June 2010

Ryerson University Students Assist Paris Transit Patrons

Wired WomanWired Woman Vancouver is presenting Building Community with Social Media on June 14th at UBC Robson Square. Starting at 5:30pm, this education session will assist attendees discovering the value of effective strategies for building a community through social media in an exciting, interactive round table discussion with five experts.

What is community in relation to the web? Community is beyond a blog, and a few people following you on Twitter. This evening will help you realize what the new meaning of an online community is, and why it holds an important spot at the new marketing table. Find out how the experts are building, engaging, and managing their communities for themselves and their clients. Tickets for this event are available online at a cost of $35.00 for Wired Woman members and $40.00 for non-members. It is worth noting that you can save $5.00 by signing up for free and becoming a member of the Wired Woman network.

Panel:
Briana Tomkinson – Tenth to the Fraser and Fjord West
Carisa Miklusak – SoMedios
Chris Breikss – 6S Marketing
Mhairi Petrovic – Out-Smarts Marketing
Sibylle Tinsel – Club Fat Ass

wavefrontWaveFront has partnered with the Mobile Computing Promotion Consortium (MCPC) of Japan, and they are inviting Canadian mobile developers to take part in a unique opportunity for facilitated access to the Japanese wireless market. This two-part programme begins with one-on-one coaching sessions to be held at Discovery Park in Vancouver this June 21st through 23rd.

Following the information session on June 21st, selected participants will meet with visiting MCPC representatives for product assessments and structuring assistance, as well as an overview of marketing strategies over the remaining days of the visit. The information sessions are free to interested companies, but do require registration. If you are unable to attend in person, you can attend via the virtual event which will be hosted on Mingleverse. Part 2 of this partnership will offer those selected companies the opportunity to participate in the 8th annual MCPC Solutions Fair in Tokyo in November 2010.

Ryerson UniversityParis Metro passengers have a new way to navigate the transit system in the palm of their hand. Developed expressly to assist passengers with special needs, the Mobile Transit Companion, a made-in-Canada mobile application, uses context-aware self-adaptive computing to deliver live, customized data to passengers en route. The inclusive application, complete with useful information for all passengers, was created through a partnership between Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) and Sweden’s Appear Networks.

Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) commuters can now download the free software and set up their user profile. Information is then automatically sent to their mobile phones according to their profile and contextual information. For example, they can receive notifications such as the location of station elevators and Metro transfer points; facilities and nearby businesses; updated schedules for connecting trains; and availability of services at each station. For blind and low-vision passengers, the Mobile Transit Companion uses a speech-enabled, gesture-driven user interface. For other user groups, including the elderly, deaf or hard of hearing, or passengers with reduced mobility, the application offers an intuitive and easy-to-use visual interface.

“At Ryerson we see a very niche use for context-aware computing in public transit and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS),” said Hossein Rahnama, project leader, Ryerson postdoctoral student and DMZ Steering Committee Member. “We are specializing in context-aware consumer applications in airports, airlines, trains, subways, buses, etc. and will be working with Metrolinx on a project for GO Transit here in the fall. With RATP, our focus was on passengers with special needs because those communities could really benefit from such applications, even though they are often not considered when developing apps.”RATP

The Mobile Transit Companion’s positioning function is integrated with a web-based monitoring service so that public transit staff can easily locate and assist passengers with special needs. The only existing social tracking application for public transit passengers, this monitoring service has the capability to be shared with friends and family. Using the interface, the transit authority can message selected passengers, which is particularly helpful for Deaf or hard of hearing passengers who can’t hear announcements made over the PA. Messages are communicated to each passenger according to the information on his in her profile, e.g.: the message will be interpreted from text to speech if s/he has indicated Low Vision.

The project was part of European research consortium developing an open-source middleware platform. Ryerson was the only North American player. “There are a lot of advantages to research collaboration with international partners in the Information and Communications Technologies sector,” said Rahnama. “In fact, one of our key objectives in this project is to demonstrate those advantages, such as combining the smartphone popularity and development of North America with the digital mobile telephony advances of Europe. The success of the MUSIC platform has inspired another project with Europe, slated for fall 2010.”

The Mobile Transit Companion is currently being piloted on Android phones in 10 stations along Line 14 of the Paris Metro. Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone at Yonge Dundas Square provides Ryerson University students with the opportunity to develop their digitally based ideas into consumer products with help from mentors and industry. Read the rest of this entry »

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25th May 2010

United Front Games Has Their First Title On Store Shelves

ModNation Racers Happy Launch Day to everyone over at United Front Games – Congratulations on your first official “Game Now On Store Shelves” milestone, and we wish you every success with ModNation Racers as it karts its way into homes around the world – now on to True Crime!

Vancouver Innovation CampThe next Innovation Camp will be held on May 29th and 30th at Bootup Labs. Get your tickets now for a great workshop that will challenge assumptions, connect ideas, embrace failure and see problems as opportunities for creative solutions in order to take your entrepreneurial venture to the next step. Tickets for Innovation Camp are $119.00 and can be purchased online.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterTickets are also still available for the Vancouver SIGGRAPH presentation of Alice in Wonderland: Creating Underland. Taking place on May 25th at the Empire Theatre Granville, this session features two presentations, the first with animation director David Schaub (Sony Pictures Imageworks), who will give you a look behind the talent and tools that were used to create Alice In Wonderland. Mr. Schaub will focus primarily on the standard creative elements of the show, but he will also provide insight into the surprising challenges and innovative technical solutions that were used to breathe digital life into over 30 inhabitants of Underland including the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

The second Creating Underland session will be presented by freelance Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegas, who will focus on the process of photographing the “live-action” component of the film, as well as the many challenges that he and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, Ken Ralston faced in post production while creating the visual and stereo 3D effects. A screening of Alice in Wonderland will follow the technical presentations. Tickets for this event are $20.00 for non-members and $15.00 for members. Please note that online ticket sales for the seminar are now closed, but you can still get tickets at the door.

ICAOur friends over at AnnexPro have just told us about two upcoming seminars for Final Cut Pro editors. Presented by the International Colorist Academy, these two courses will be taking place in Vancouver beginning on June 7th. The first course, Apple Colour, will be held on June 7 & 8th, while the Colourist Strategies session will be held June 9th through 11th.

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) today announced the American Idol Star Experience game will be available as a free download on May 26th to coincide with the Season 9 finale of the smash hit American Idol™ TV show. The game enables fans to continue their Idol obsession as they unleash their creativity by producing jaw-dropping online performances for family, friends and the whole Facebook community to rate and compare against other players.

Idol enthusiasts simply use their existing Facebook login to create a game account to access the free Performance Creator download for PC. The Performance Creator enables players to design their own unique stage performance, including building a custom avatar from head to toe, choosing a song to sing from dozens of hits, choreographing dance moves, and directing a multitude of staging elements like camera angles and special effects. The player can then post the performance to Facebook with one click, to be rated to see how they compare to other performers in singing, styling and staging categories.Play American Idol

Members of the Facebook community can also enjoy the American Idol Star Experience game in a highly social context as members of the “audience” view and rate performances, choose favorites, leave comments for performers and discuss the best (and worst) of the performances- all within the Facebook environment.

“We are excited to release a unique game experience based on American Idol, one of the most important entertainment franchises in the world,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “American Idol Star Experience reinforces our existing multiplatform game strategy, now seamlessly integrated with robust social features.”

American Idol Star Experience features:

* A free downloadable Performance Creator, available via players’ existing Facebook account.

* Personal avatars that players build head to toe, including body type, face, eyes, hair and more.

* Dozens of hit songs available in a wide variety of genres to suit all musical tastes including rock, punk, pop, hip hop, disco, R&B and country.

Players can achieve further customization of all elements of a performance via a simple “drag and drop” interface, including:

* Recorded singing- Players can select pre-recorded voice tracks, or use their own voice to sing karaoke-style.

* Personal styling- Hundreds of hair styles, wardrobe items and accessories to choose from.

* Unique staging- Stages modeled after the famous American Idol stage, with special effects, lighting, camera angles, dance moves and props that players can craft to create a one-of-a-kind performance.

* Social interaction within the Facebook community as members of Facebook can visit the game’s page to view and rate performances based on singing, styling and staging criteria. Players have also the ability to invite select Facebook friends to a private viewing of their performance.

“After more than eight top-rated seasons on television, the Emmy-award winning American Idol is one of the most successful properties on TV,” said Olivier Delfosse, Director, Interactive, FremantleMedia Enterprises, licensor for the program. “We are pleased to extend American Idol to both the existing fan base and new audiences alike with a highly immersive game experience that further deepens consumer engagement with the franchise.”

Ubisoft Montreal has released the North American trailer for Shaun White Skateboarding, which is scheduled for release this fall. Read the rest of this entry »

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