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  • PowerUp Studios Announces NOMBZ Online Public Beta

14th January 2009

PowerUp Studios Announces NOMBZ Online Public Beta

Vancouver – The zombie masters over at PowerUp Studios are pleased to announce the commencement of the NOMBZ (Night of a Million Billion Zombies) Online Public Beta.PowerUp Studios

Gamers are invited to try out the newest incarnation of NOMBZ and battle co-operatively against the zombie hordes alongside three other Zombie Hunters in this 3D browser-based survival action game. Or, if you prefer to hunt your Zombies alone, there is a solo play mode to try as well.

NOMBZWhen you’ve had your fill of zombie-slaying mayhem, PowerUp invites you to drop by the NOMBZ ONLINE forums and share your comments and suggestions. The development team want to pick your brains (unless they became Zombie snacks) and find out what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what you would like to see in the future. New features and content are ready to roll out in the weeks and months ahead. PowerUp wants to make NOMBZ ONLINE the best it can be, and they appreciate your feedback and assistance along the way.

Images © 2009 PowerUp Studios Inc.

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10th January 2009

Grubby Games Named To Finalist List For IGF Awards

Grubby GamesVancouverGrubby Games, an independent Vancouver game development studio co-founded by Ryan Clark and Matt Parry in 2004, has been named to the final nominees list for the upcoming Independent Games Festival Awards. Their new 2D physics-based Incredibots game is in the running for an award in the Technical Excellence category.

Grubby Games co-founder Ryan Clark says that he came up with the idea for Incredibots afterIncredibots playing a physics game which allows the player to control a small tracked vehicle. “I really enjoyed playing with that little tank! I decided that if such a simple little application was so much fun, a full-featured robot editor would be far more fun!”
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8th January 2009

D-BOX Sets The Gaming World In Motion At CES 2009

Motion FX Technology set to Support Growth through Video Games and Hollywood

D-BoxLongueuil QCD-BOX Technologies Inc (DBO.A on the TSX Venture Exchange), a leader in innovative motion technology for the entertainment industry, is showcasing exciting new products and initiatives, including a new hybrid motion system priced at $US 2,999 at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Booth # 21537, South Hall 1.

In conjunction with the video game development community and Hollywood, D-BOX is delivering the most complete viewer/player immersion experience to date: bold, immersive and invigorating journeys of realistic Motion Effects (MFX) perfectly synchronized with onscreen action and sound! This new hybrid motion system, which offers the flexibility of either playing video games or watching home movies, offers great value for consumers looking to get the most from their entertainment dollar, which is supported by the fact that D-BOX won the 2008 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Honor in the Electronic Gaming Product category.

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7th January 2009

EA Announces Upcoming Skate 2 Demo on Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network

Get on Board Early With the Skate 2 Demo on Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network

Black Box Vancouver – Black Box, an Electronic Arts Inc. studio announced today that the Skate 2 demo will hit Xbox Live Marketplace on January 8th and the PlayStation Network on January 15, 2009. The demo introduces players to the city of New San Vanelona where they can skate with style and individuality via access to the enhanced character customization tools. Gamers will get a first glimpse of the deep single-player story and exciting challenges in all-new locations. The Skate 2 demo will also feature two of the game’s online Party Play modes: Thrasher’s Hall of Meat and Spot Battle.

Skate 2 ups the ante in delivering all the grit, creativity and culture of skateboarding. EquippedSkate 2 with double the bag of tricks, players are tasked to rebuild their career and revive the skate scene. Now with the ability to get off-board and move objects, gamers can create their own epic spots and challenges, which can then be uploaded, shared and experienced by others around the world.

Skate 2 hits retailers in North America on January 21st, and worldwide on January 23, 2009 – making it one of the first must-have games of 2009. Skate 2 is developed by Black Box, a studio of Electronic Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia and will be available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The game is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

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2nd January 2009

Indie RPG Forumwarz Signs Up More Than 100,000 Players

In less than one year, the browser-based parody RPG Forumwarz has attracted more than 100,000 users. Supported primarily by user donations, it is one of the first browser-based games to successfully use a “shareware model” to sustain itself.

ForumWarzTorontoForumwarz, a parody role-playing game that takes place on the internet, recently confirmed that it has surpassed the 100,000 sign-up mark since its public launch in February, 2008.

The game, which has been described by Wired News as “an offensive but deadly funny approach to lampooning the poor grammar, childish humor and bad manners of the web’s underbelly,” managed to attract a surprisingly large niche mostly through reputation, word-of-blog and favorable reviews from such sites as Gawker, The Onion A.V. Club, Digital Journal and Gamasutra.

Forumwarz skewers both internet culture and traditional MMORPG tropes by combining the two in an off-color and sometimes deliberately offensive mash-up. Players can choose classes such as Troll, Hacker, Emo Kid, Camgirl or Noob, while using a World of Warcraft-like attack bar to derail or “pwn” various internet forums.

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14th December 2008

Game Design Expo Industry Day Sold Out

Game Design Expo Vancouver – For the second year in a row, tickets to Industry Speaker Day (February 7, 2009) at Game Design Expo 2009 have sold out!

Missed out on tickets? For aspiring game designers and anyone interested in game design and development, Game Design Expo also features a free Open House on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Vancouver Film School’s acclaimed Game Design programme.

Attendees will hear about the world-renowned one-year Game Design program, meet faculty, students, and alumni, play student games, and experience sample classes covering subjects like Level Design and Storytelling.

The day also features a special schedule of industry presentations – featuring speakers from LucasArts, Big Fish Games, and Vicarious Visions (Activision) – and an exclusive Women in Games panel, where you can be the first to hear the details of a $30,000 Women in Games Scholarship.

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12th December 2008

MDM Team Wins Top Telefonica Award at International R&D Fair

Vancouver – Movisphere, a virtual world games arcade developed by students of the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program in collaboration with Telefonica, won top honours in the “Best New Business Opportunity” Category at Telefonica’s Second Annual Research Fair, held in November. More than 60 entries were received from Telefonica’s Research and Development Centres around the world.

Movisphere earned the award for its multiplatform virtual world arcade. Based on a microtransactional model, the platform will enable third party developers to upload multi-player games to an environment where users can play them on either PC or mobile device.

Based in Spain, Telefonica is a leading telecommunications provider with more than 245 million customers in 25 countries. Telefonica actively encourages and supports innovation through initiatives such as the Research Fair where the best new ideas in Internet, mobile technology, videoconferencing, P2P, TV, 3D Visualization, e-Health and other technologies are presented and judged. More than 800 of its top executives, directors and senior managers participated in this year’s event.
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20th November 2008

Blizzard Cinematics Wow Sellout Audience

Today in a panel hosted by Vancouver’s ACM SIGGRAPH chapter the secrets, successes, procedures and challenges faced by the Blizzard Entertainment cinematics team were shared with the first of two sellout audiences.

Presented by Matt Samia (Senior Director of Cinematics) and Jeff Chamberlain (Cinematics Project Lead), the programme opened with a brief photographic tour of the Blizzard Entertainment campus in Irvine, California. The audience was then walked through the entire cinematic development process from concept and storyboarding through to final render passes and the finished product. In the course of this three hour panel, we were able to look right into the creative minds behind the Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft franchises.

It is always educational to see behind the scenes at successful studios, getting a look at how they blend lo-tech and hi-tech means to continually push the envelope in animation and CG achievements. Matt and Jeff were also very forthcoming with advice to students and young people already working in the industry in regards to software products as well as skillsets. They also mentioned that there are a few Vancouver Film School alumni employed at the Blizzard campus, and Blizzard recruiter Kenny Carvalho was at the theatre to answer questions from interested designers.

Along with the other attendees, I am grateful to the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter for putting on another great event – and of course to the sponsors for supporting these panels and presentations. The sponsors for tonight’s panel were: 31337 Recruiters, VANarts, Hothead Games, Stash DVD Magazine and Annex|Pro.

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19th November 2008

GDC Canada Puts Out The Call For Submissions

The call for submissions to present lectures, roundtables and panel sessions for the 2009 Game Developers Conferenceregistered trademark Canada (GDC Canada) is now open through midnight, Friday, November 28, 2008. Presented by Reboot Communications and Think Services, organizers of the industry-leading Game Developers Conferenceregistered trademark, GDC Canada will take place at the Vancouver Convention and Exposition Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 12-13, 2009. GDC Canada will provide insight into the thriving Canadian game development community and will serve as an opportunity for developers to share best practices for fostering excellence and quality games within their region and distributed globally.

The Game Developers Conferenceregistered trademark Canada emphasizes studying the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases. The tracks for GDC Canada are structured according to production stages of game development and submissions should address the most pressing game development challenges that fall under the following development stages:

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

Some of the Submission Guidelines Are:

The GDC Canada Advisory Board is looking for high-level, specific content that will fit into one of the tracks listed above. An extended abstract will be necessary for the advisory board to determine whether your talk will be a good fit. Concise, precise language and a discernable thesis will also help your chances in the review process.

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18th November 2008

Game Design Expo Unveils 2009 Lineup

Vancouver Film School to Host Weekend with Game Industry Luminaries – Ubisoft’s Clint Hocking Announced as Keynote

November 18, 2008 – Vancouver, BC – Building upon the sold-out 2008 event, the third-annual Game Design Expo, hosted by Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, is shaping up to be even bigger and better. Set for February 7 and 8, 2009 at the Vancity Theater at the Vancouver International Film Centre, the weekend will be headlined by Clint Hocking, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal (Splinter Cell, Far Cry 2), a popular speaker at industry events, and will feature an exciting lineup of talks and panels with the leading minds in game design.

The event begins with Industry Speaker Day on Saturday, February 7, aimed at game industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. Hocking’s keynote will pave the way for presentations by designers and producers from top companies like Epic, Insomniac, Radical, and Relic. An industry panel with panelists from EA, Obsidian, Propaganda, and more will round out the day.

Tickets to Industry Speaker Day are CDN $75 for the full day and are expected to sell out quickly when they go on sale today, November 18, 2008. For ticket purchases and the latest information and schedule, visit gamedesignexpo.com.

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