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  • The League of Super Evil and Dragon Age Origins Lead Today’s Coffee Break News

12th August 2009

The League of Super Evil and Dragon Age Origins Lead Today’s Coffee Break News

League of Super EvilVancouver – The official League of Super Evil site is now fully operational and ready to unleash its evilness on the unsuspecting world wide web from their secret headquarters, A.K.A. Nerd Corps Entertainment. Visitors can now sign up for an account and create their own evil avatars to “play games and earn Evil Points so you can dress to impress. Or blow stuff up, your choice. Then, fill your Lair with evil gadgets so after a long, hard day you have a place to call “home sweet home.” Okay maybe not sweet but you get the idea! And remember, the only way to win, is to LOSE!”

According to recon information gathered via YTV, which seems to be the source of their regular, animated transmissions, “The League of Super Evil (a.k.a. L.O.S.E.) follows four Super Villains who have set their sights on nothing less than total neighbourhood domination! L.O.S.E. is helmed by the diminutive Great Voltar, whose grandiose plans are generally miniscule and child-like and give new meaning to the term lowered expectations. Then there’s gadgeteer Doktor Frogg, whose evil genius is diminished only by his incredible bad luck. Bringing the muscle is fresh-faced former farm-boy Reginald “Red” Menace, who prefers to channel his energy into gardening, cute animals and bouncy castles. And we can’t forget the completely unpredictable Doomageddon, a pan-dimensional creature who brings the term “bad dog” to a whole other level. Between using a Shiruken anime robot to win a playground slam dunk competition, inventing a super-computer to protect Voltar’s sweet new evil BMX bike, or hosting a neighbourhood barbeque and not inviting ANY of the neighbors, L.O.S.E. struggles ever-onward to its goal of total mindless fun!

EA GamesDragon Age™: Origins Collector’s Edition and pre-order incentive program. The Collector’s Edition is a premium package available in limited quantities featuring exclusive Dragon Age: Origins collectibles including a unique steel case, a cloth map of the world of Dragon Age, a Making-of documentary DVD, a digital version of the Dragon Age: Origins BioWaresoundtrack, game trailers, wallpapers, strategy tips and a concept art video, plus three exclusive downloadable items that will provide special advantages to the player. The Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order today for an MSRP of $74.99 (console) and $64.99 (PC) in North America.
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29th July 2009

An Audio Guy’s Perspective of Casual Connect Seattle 2009

After 4 days of seminars and networking events, I was beat. But, boy was it worth it.

Day 1

The first day was devoted almost entirely to the Casual Connect Leadership Conference organized and supported by Women In Games International (WIGI) and Women In Games Vancouver (WIGeh). Numerous speakers presented a variety of topics, each with a particular interest in the role that women play in games, games play in the lives of women, and the portrayal of women in games.

As a person interested in the breakdown of stereotypes, thus allowing everyone’s true potential to shine, I was very engaged in the presentations of the day, which in the end left me feeling very hopeful and empowered about the potential of gaming.

Not long after, a set of roundtable discussions were set up with a variety of topics ranging from working as a contract vs employed worker, owning a small business, and moving up in the games industry.

A networking event followed with the inclusion of other folks from a more general Casual Connect audience, and it was a great night!

Highlight of my day: Megan Gaiser of Her Interactive’s presentation on “The Importance of Leadership”

Day 2 (Day 1 of Casual Connect officially)

Audio day! The entire day had an option to hear speakers who are professionals in the audio for casual games environment. Great ideas were shared including a glimpse into how other professionals create their sound design assets. It was entertaining, welcoming, and I learned a great deal. Speakers covered a wide range of aspects including the creation of stings, sfx, composition, recording, and producing. I would recommend this to any person interested in the audio for casual games arena. A very cohesive day in the audio stream.

Highlight of my day: Barry Dowsett of Sound Rangers on “The Birth and Life of a Sound Effect”
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22nd July 2009

GameShield Now Delivers Digital Rights Management For Flash Games

Yummy InteractiveVancouverYummy Interactive, Inc. today announced the release of GameShield Version 4.5 that provides protection and licensing options for Flash-based games. By supporting Adobe® Flash applications, GameShield’s Digital Rights Management system delivers new distribution and revenue opportunities for game developers and publishers who create content with Adobe® Flash.

“Flash developers can leverage GameShield in order to sell their Flash content alongside other types of games on retail websites, or on their own websites, in ways they may not have considered before,” said Christopher Hennebery, Director of Software Distribution at Yummy Interactive.

With GameShield Version 4.5, Flash application executables can now be protected and packaged in the same way as standard Microsoft Windows® executables are. SWF movies can also be directly protected with minimal effort. Unique to GameShield’s wrapper technology is the ability to embed resource and peripheral files, such as audio, video, dlls and data, along with the source code, into a single wrapped executable.
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10th July 2009

Weekly News Bytes

CanadaCanada – As always, it’s nice to start our Fridays with some cool links and information from our favourite tech info guru, Bradley Shende of MEDIA2O and ConnectedLife. Bradley appears every Friday morning on Global BC’s morning news show. Today’s cool links included BoardTracker and BoardReader – two great services for busy people. Be sure to catch his segment next week for more great info. You can view past GlobalTV ConnectedLife segments on Global’s site – just scroll down the index and choose Connected Life. Also, congratulations are in order to Bradley and Sarah, who are expecting twins in a few months’ time.Avatar The Game

Ubisoft has launched the official dev blog for James Cameron’s Avatar The Game. There isn’t very much content up yet, but UbiGabe is working on it. The dev blog promises the latest news, links and info regarding Avatar. UbiGabe says he is also looking forward to telling some of the secrets which have been kept, well, secret about the game. Avatar is also available now for pre-order at most game store locations, and will be available for Xbox 360, PS3 PSP, DS and Wii.

Also announced by Ubisoft today is a chance to win a trip to Ubi Montreal to play Assassin’s Creed 2 with the developers. The cryptic details were released on Twitter, with a coded URL to follow. We will share the link with you right here – good luck in the contest. All you need to do is have an account on Ubi.com, grab and share the widget and hope you win. If you win, take us with you – we’d greatly appreciate it.

SheridanSheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has released their comments about the recent Ubisoft Toronto announcement.
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9th July 2009

Submissions Now Open for the 2010 Independent Games Festival

IGFGlobalThink Services, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference (GDC) events, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2010 Independent Games Festival (IGF). Entries to the 12th annual festival are due in both Main and Student Showcase categories by November 2009, with Main Competition finalists to be announced January 4, 2010.

Games selected as finalists will be available in playable form on the GDC show floor and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including awards for Excellence in Design, Art, the Audience Award and the coveted $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on stage at the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards on Thursday, March 11, 2010, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

“We’re delighted to return for our twelfth year of the Independent Games Festival,” said Simon Carless, Chairman of the IGF. “We’re really looking forward to see what the independent game community comes up with this time around. Good luck to all entrants!”

The Independent Games Festival Awards are held alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards and both award shows are part of the 2010 Game Developers Conference. GDC 2010 also includes the 2010 Independent Games Summit, which is entering its fourth year and offers two days of inspiration and practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent games
world.
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2nd July 2009

Women In Games Vancouver At Leadership Development Forum

WIGVVancouver – Several founding members of Women In Games Vancouver (WIGV), along with several women (and men) from Vancouver’s game development community will be participating in a new Leadership Development Forum taking place on July 20 in Seattle. The Forum, being held one day prior to the start of Casual Connect Seattle, will offer a variety of topics relating to business, development, careers and community. Presented in partnership with the Casual Game Association, Women In Games International and the IGDA Women In Games SIG, topics will be presented on three consecutive tracks: Business, Design and Production.

Taking place at The Triple Door, the Leadership Development Forum will begin with registration and networking at 11am. Attendees will be welcomed by Jessica Tams, Managing Director at Casual Games Association and Annie Sumi Nam of WIGV. They will be followed by keynote presenter Megan Gaiser, President and CEO of Her Interactive, who will speak on the Importance of Leadership. Please read on for information on the full schedule, and a special thank you to Kerry and Kalinka Corlett over at AnnexPro for their generous sponsorship and support of WIGV’s first official international speaking event.

Anyone who is attending Casual Connect will have full access to the Leadership Development Forum. For those who only wish to attend the Leadership Forum, tickets are $25.00 (USD) and include networking, panels, roundtables and the post-event mixer.
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26th June 2009

Fight Night Round 4 and Gears of War 2 Highlight SIGGRAPH 2009 Gaming Content

Siggraph 2009Chicago SIGGRAPH 2009 announces the addition of a special Production Session as part of this year’s Computer Animation Festival that will detail the behind-the-scenes production of the much anticipated Fight Night Round 4 and Gears of War 2. Fight Night Round 4, as many of you already know, was developed in Fight Night Round 4Burnaby at EA Canada.

The session, “Big, Fast, and Cool: Making the Art for Fight Night Round 4 & Gears of War 2” will explore the making of the art of these games, and how these processes have exploded the boundaries for what is possible with real-time rendering graphics. This Production Session will take place as part of the special focus on videogames and Real-Time Rendering during the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival program.

“So much of what makes today’s videogames so great are the responsive graphics and the stories that unfold during game play,” stated Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH 2009 Real-Time Rendering Chair. “This year’s sessions will offer a rare perspective into how animation and graphics can really enhance and impact game development and the user experience and investigate the future of gaming.”

SIGGRAPH 2009 expanded its programming focus this year to showcase more Games content than ever before. The Games programming will include a Keynote presentation by famed videogame designer, Will Wright, creator of Spore™ and The Sims series, innovative Game Papers, demos and galleries highlighting the best work in experimental game art direction during The Sandbox, and a dynamic new game development competition, GameJam!

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25th June 2009

EA Restructures MMORPG Development With BioWare Founders At The Helm

BioWare CorpI missed this news due to a death in the family, and I know that several other sites have already reported this development, but I feel that it would be remiss of me if I didn’t at least mention that Electronic Arts has restructured their MMORPG games development process, Mythic Entertainmentuniting but not merging Mythic Entertainment and BioWare Corp. under one umbrella. BioWare’s co-founders take over the leading roles, with Ray Muzyka as the Group General Manager and Greg Zeschuk as the Group Creative Officer. There will be no changes at BioWare, however Mythic’s co-founder and General Manager, Mark Jacobs parted ways with EA on June 23rd. Rob Denton, Mythic’s other co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer, has become General Manager of Mythic Entertainment, and he will report to Ray Muzyka. As a Mass Effect fan, I will be very interested to see what developments emerge from this meeting of the minds responsible for such other great titles as Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate, Warhammer Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online.

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22nd June 2009

DFAIT and Alliance Numérique to Host Webinar

CanadaQuebec – The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), in cooperation with the Quebec-based new media association Alliance Numérique, are pleased to present an information session on the gaming industry in China. Attendees of the webinar will learn the business and revenue models in use in the operation of online video games in China; successful games in China; and criteria to meet in order to success in a video game commercialisation initiative in China.

Date: Tuesday, June 23rd
Time: 13:00 (Montreal Eastern Standard Time)
Duration: Approximately 1 hour

To participate in this live presentation, please contact Neil Swain at the Regional Office in Montreal (neil.swain-at-international-dot-gc-dot-ca) . Note that this webinar will be recorded for viewing after the live presentation.

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8th June 2009

Dare To Be Digital Competition Begins Today

Dundee – Over 70 students from as far away as China began their 10 week computer game design challenge at the University of Abertay Dundee today. However, there seems to be a problem with the competition’s web site. I tried to visit the URL as provided in the competition’s press release, and landedDare To Be Digital Competitors on a holding page. Hopefully this issue will be corrected pronto.

The computer arts students and graduates from Canada, China, India, England, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Southern Ireland, and Wales are finalists in Abertay’s ‘Dare to be Digital’ computer game design competition. Sunny Atwal, Eric Stock, Pedro Melendez, and Chris Iaconis from Algoma University will be competing for Canada.

Dare to be Digital’, now in its tenth year, sees fourteen five-strong teams competing against each other to design a prototype game or other interactive digital entertainment. The teams beat off fierce competition and survived industry scrutiny during the regional finals, to secure their place in the grand final.
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