5th February 2009

Gamerizon Opens Its Doors In Montreal

Gamerizon MontrealGamerizon, an emerging game development studio, today announced its official opening in Montreal, a city well-known for its vibrant video game industry. The new independent casual game development studio – led by a team of seasoned industry experts – aims to be at the leading edge in defining the next generation of casual games.

“Gamerizon has a unique and innovative vision of the development of casual games,” says Dominique Bélanger, President of Gamerizon. “Our unique game design approach combined with our long-standing expertise allow us to create innovative gameplay mechanics that appeal to today’s gamers. Gamerizon is quickly carving out a distinctive niche into the casual gaming market.”

The young Montreal studio currently focuses its efforts on the development of multiplatform casual games, targeting digital distribution on various platforms – from smart phones to new generation consoles – as well as PC and Mac. Its first title, the highly-anticipated and soon to be released QuantZ, offers a simple yet addictive organic gameplay that refreshingly merges elements of the marble popper, action-puzzle and match-3 genres. The demo version of the game has already made a great impression on industry experts and video game enthusiasts alike.

Gamerizon was founded by brothers Martin and Robert Lizée (two seasoned video game entrepreneurs who have produced and developed several popular titles) and by digital media entrepreneur Dominique Bélanger. Focusing on an industry experiencing booming growth, Gamerizon is also seeking to hire senior level candidates to complete its talented Montreal team.

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3rd February 2009

Global Game Jam Vancouver – Creativity In A Box

Global Game JamVancouver – We dropped by SFU Harbour Centre on Saturday afternoon to check in on the local entries for IGDA’s Global Game Jam event.  There were 26 entrants for this inaugural competition, which was opened with a Keynote address given by Kyle Gabler (World of Goo). This was followed with the reading of the competition’s constraints and team formation.

The smallest team, Scorched Physics, was comprised of just 3 members, while One Tonne Global Game JamPunch weighed in with an 8 member team. Several participants came from UBC, SFU, VFS and the Masters of Digital Media programme at GNWC, while several were recent graduates now working in the
game development industry at studios such as Relic, Radical and Deep Fried Entertainment, with one competitor hailing from Seattle, who works at Satori Software. The only female competitor, freelance artist Rachel Curtis worked on The Treelings’ team.
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2nd February 2009

NOMBZ Online Releases An Update

PowerUp StudiosVancouverPowerUp announces a major update to the NOMBZ: Night of a Million Billion Zombies ONLINE public beta release!

The update includes numerous bug fixes, performance optimizations, and feature NOMBZ Onlinerefinements, much of which is in response to player feedback received during the first two weeks of our public beta. Also included in this update are several new levels for both the single and multiplayer game modes, along with two new environments.

NOMBZ ONLINE continues to evolve in response to player feedback, as PowerUp pursues its goal of making NOMBZ ONLINE the best free 3D browser-based zombie game on the web!

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30th January 2009

Need for Speed Franchise Races Into New Genres

Black BoxGlobal Studio Teams Drive Quality and Innovation in Three New Games

Vancouver – Fifteen years; more than 40 countries; close to 100 million games sold. Need for Speed™ has helped to define automotive culture for millions of fans with its embrace of the car lifestyle and its cool rebellious attitude. Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) unveiled the details of what is in store for the franchise over the next 12 months, as the property expands to new platforms, new categories and new media.

Need for Speed is committed to providing unique and customized experiences for all types of racing fans by establishing three independent series; simulation, action and arcade racing. Each series will be developed by a highly-specialized team dedicated to delivering the ultimate racing experiences to car enthusiasts around the world – whether they be interested in adrenaline action, arcade fun or Need For Speed Undercoverauthentic simulation.

“We recognize racing videogame fans are very passionate and unique – they want customized gameplay experiences. Whether it’s more of a realistic driving game with accurate car physics or over-the-top cop chases, we are making different games for different audiences,” said Keith Munro, vice president of marketing, Need for Speed. “Each game provides a deep, engaging and rich racing experience. We’re giving players the option to choose the best racing title that suits their style of gameplay.”

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29th January 2009

SIGGRAPH Vancouver Presents A Prince of Persia Evening with Ubisoft

Modern Princesses: Bringing Elika to Life in Prince of Persia

Siggraph Vancouver VancouverACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter will be hosting an evening with Ubisoft Producer Ben Mattes and Team Leader Matthew Clark on Wednesday, February 11 at the VanCity Theatre in Vancouver. The evening’s topic will cover the design and development of Elika, the Prince of Persia’s new AI-controlled companion. As stated on the event’s Prince of Persiainformation page, “The science of creating a relationship between the player and the controllable, main character is a well-documented one. (3Cs, etc.) The same can be said about the art of establishing relationships between characters themselves. Therefore, the challenge for Prince of Persia was to create a bond between the player and a character over which he has no control. The presentation will explore and expose the animation and programming techniques used to create such a bond.”

Tickets for this event are now on sale, please check the event site for more details. Admission is $20.00 for non-members, $10.00 for members.

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29th January 2009

Registration Opens for GDC Canada

First Annual Game Developers Conference® Canada Announced: May 12-13, 2009, Vancouver, BC

GDC CanadaVancouver – Registration is now open for the Game Developers Conference® Canada (GDC Canada). Building off of the success of the Vancouver International Games Summit (VIGS), GDC Canada will be a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality games. Presented by Think Services Games Group and Reboot Communications, GDC Canada will take place May 12-13, 2009 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Conference is offering a special registration period for those who have attended past VIGS events. Paid conference delegates to either the 2007 or 2008 VIGS are entitled to special alumni savings of up to 25% on conference passes. Those who qualify for Alumni Rates will receive an email directly from GDC Canada which will give further registration details.

GDC Canada Conference Tracks

The Game Developers Conference® Canada emphasizes studying the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases. Unique to GDC Canada’s content lineup, is its focus on the production cycle of game development with tracks focused on:

  • Concept/Preproduction
  • Production
  • Finalling
  • Post Launch/Analysis

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28th January 2009

3D Models Embedded Anywhere On The Web

Presto 3DMontreal – Spread 3D art across the internet: having become the destination site for 3D artists looking to show off their artwork in 3D, Presto3D.com extends these frontiers by allowing 3D previews to be embedded anywhere on the web. Presto 3D is a marketplace for digital 3D models. Models can be submitted for sale by anyone, and are sold royalty free, with the artist earning a commission on each sale.

Like on YouTube or many other websites, anyone can embed a preview of a 3D model on any website or blog. The preview will appear just as it does on Presto3D.com, and contain links back to other work by that artist.
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23rd January 2009

Harlequin and Big Fish Games Announce Licensing Agreement

Market leaders to create a series of Mystery Case Files books and Harlequin Presents games

Harlequin Toronto – Harlequin 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 world’s leading online destination for games and interactive entertainment, today announced a new licensing partnership.

In the summer of 2009, Big Fish Games will begin publishing interactive games inspired by Big Fish GamesHarlequin Presents, the most popular romance-novel series in the world, which regularly tops eRetailer and retail bookstore bestseller lists. These games will be sold on line exclusively at Big Fish Games and at all major retail stores.

In the second quarter of 2010, Harlequin will begin publishing a branded series of books inspired by Mystery Case Files(R), Big Fish Games’ award-winning franchise with over 3 million units sold. These novels will be written by Harlequin’s bestselling authors. Harlequin will be the first to publish women’s mystery fiction for Big Fish Games.
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17th January 2009

Audiokinetic Joins Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 Integrated Partners Programme

audiokinetic

Wwise to be integrated into Epic’s Unreal Engine 3

Montreal Audiokinetic Inc. and Epic Games, Inc. have announced that Wwise, the industry’s leading audio pipeline solution, is now integrated with Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 (UE3), the number one game engine for cross-platform game development. As a member of Epic’s exclusive Integrated Partners Programme (IPP), Audiokinetic provides a complete integration that will allow developers and publishers licensing UE3 to easily integrate Wwise into their development pipeline.

Wwise is a complete audio pipeline solution that features the tight integration of an advanced audio authoring tool and a robust sound engine. Designed for next-generation platforms, Wwise aims to revolutionize the traditional game audio development process and allows users to audit, profile, and modify sounds in real-time within the game itself. Wwise is presently being used in the development of 85 titles, a significant percent of which are powered by UE3.
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15th January 2009

Game Portal Lets Players Vote For Next Game Created

SwitchIn VancouverSwitchin.net, a leading free 3d online gaming portal popular with over 1.5 million monthly gamers, has allowed its fans to participate in creating the next game by opening a poll to let it’s users vote what game is created next.

With a variety of online worlds specializing in avatar customization, human and animal alike, Switchin.net, which is owned and operated by Sanity Check Entertainment Inc. has presented its users the options of voting between 5 various animal themed games. This use of community empowerment seems to be unique among most independent game developers who rarely offer development decisions open to their audiences. Switchin.net has embraced this choice stating they can be confident their next 3d online game will be a popular choice with its fans. Read the rest of this entry »

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