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:

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5th July 2010

The Art of Salary Negotiation in the Gaming Industry

To negotiate a salary is a critical aspect of any worker’s life. Throughout many discussions with people for the gaming industry, in Canada and also internationally, I noticed that most people, whether it is for a new job or an existing job, have a really hard time talking about this almost taboo subject with their present of future employers. I decided to give you my opinion about the subject, and also maybe give you a few pointers at what you should consider when it comes to negotiating your salary. The fact that you want to buy a new car, a new house, or whatever it is you want to get, does not consist in a valid argument to negotiate your salary. Your personal life should never be considered when you try to prove your value within a company. There are many things to consider, and I will go through the most important of them, in the gaming industry.

1- The nature of your job

A huge portion of your salary is based on the nature of your tasks themselves and the impact that they have on the company’s results. The number of people supervised, the amount of responsibilities and their impact on the project are to be considered when you want to put a number on your worth. For example, a team leader position on a small project has less responsibilities than someone who has to manage a huge team on a big deployment project. The more challenge, responsibilities, amount of things to do will justify a salary raise.

2- Internal equity

The internal equity consists in having the an equivalent salary for equivalent amount of responsibilities for all the employees within a company. Most companies have salary scales based on multiple factors, and the insure a conformity and to make sure everybody is satisfied with their condition. When en employer is making an offer to a candidate, he usually has to stay within certain boundaries to make sure he does not disrespect the equity, which could cause quite a storm within a team. That is why it is important for you to have reasonable expectations.

3- The rarity of your specialization

It is a fact, the more the technology advances, the more specialities there are. Employers seek very specialized talent, that sometimes require an infinite list of pre requisites, and the people who have these capacities are very limited. Yes, the fact that a candidate is managing a team has an impact on the salary. However, the fact that a candidate is a technical reference within a team also has its worth. Whatever your specialization is, employers are doing their best to find these rare talents, and offering very competitive salaries is a way to attract these candidates.

4- Education and experience

The industry is growing, and today, many specialized schools are out there, offering great trainings for future employees in the industry. The past experience, which sometimes is not directly related to the work itself can be used as a value. My advice would be to prepare before asking a certain salary, study the job description, and try to highlight the parts that could match the requirements in your resume. You might not have the direct requirement, but your past experience could impact on your value.

5- The location

The people in the gaming industry are particularly mobile, and I am not talking about consoles here! They travel from country to country, and work on many projects around the world. When you apply for a job in another country, try to find out about the cost of living, and the norms over there. You might be surprised that you might be offered a huge salary in another country, but the cost of living, political situation and public taxes will make it so that you have no more money in your pocket in the end. Sometimes, you will notice that salaries are lower in Canada, but the cost of living also is. For example, the money it takes to pay a rent in L.A. is totally different from Montreal. You might have an offer that looks amazingly high or lower than expected, but take in consideration how much it actually costs to live there.

6- Global salary

A salary is money, of course, but it also includes all the other benefits that an employer can give you, including bonuses, social benefits, retirement planning, etc. These aspects are not to neglect when you are looking at a salary offer. Many little things like parking, health services, gym memberships, are to be considered as pure cash in your pocket!

It can look complex to take in consideration all these factors, but this reflexion is very useful when it comes to salary negotiation. Keep in mind and equity is at the base of every salary negotiation, whether it is for an internal or external negotiation. Evaluate, think, compare, and never forget to evaluate your own position and not the one you would like to have. It will be a lot less stressful to approach the subject if you are well prepared! Good luck!

 

Pierre-Luc Labbee, recruiter at 3pod

Do not hesitate to get in touch with me on :

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/3podjobs

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/pllabbee3pod

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5th July 2010

Entrepreneurship Partnerships and Scholarships

wavefrontWaveFrontAC would like to know if you are interested in turning your innovative wireless idea into a start-up company? Entrepreneurship@Wavefront is a new program being undertaken in partnership with BCIC to support and nurture 8 early-stage B.C. wireless companies. Program participants will receive one-year access to office space in Wavefront’sBCIC collaborative wireless incubation centre and $10k credit toward Wavefront’s advisory and testing services. Exemplary go-to-market services wireless companies would leverage are Wavefront’s handset library, usability services, refinement of business development strategies and industry connections. Participants can also leverage BCIC’s network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts for additional mentorship and guidance.

EA GamesSkate 3 will be dishing up a virtual Hawaiian skateboarding vacation tomorrow with the release of Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream, an enormous skater’s paradise designed by the skating legend himself. Inspired by the tropical paradise of Hawaii, this all new Skate 3 downloadable content comes loaded with everything from original street terrain to flowing skate parks and of course Danny’s signature Mega-madness. Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream content pack will be available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for 560 MS points or $6.99. The DLC will also include new challenges, Leliana's Songcreate-a-skater gear, an all-new Danny Way playable character, and new achievements and trophies.

While skate fans are busy in Hawaii, I’ll be on a mission with Dragon Age’s Leliana as Bioware adds a new chapter to the Dragon Age: Origins saga. Leliana’s Song will allow gamers to play as the roguish bard in a tale that can lead only to treachery – and the reasons which led Leliana to The Chantry. For 560 MS Points ($6.99 PSN), play through Leliana’s Song to earn a new reward that can be transferred over to your original Dragon Age: Orgins and Awakening campaigns. So now you know what I’ll be doing tomorrow after work.

The Banff CentreNew media makers interested in developing a creative project or reflective essay related to this year’s theme are encouraged to apply to the Interactive Screen Scholarship Intensive, which takes place at The Banff Centre this August 14 to 20th. Participants will benefit from valuable mentorship across a broad range of new media interests. Applications for projects in all stages of development, from early concepts through to fully developed prototypes, are welcome.

Scholarships are available for up to ten Canadian and international applicants and include focused mentorship and public presentation opportunities, a travel stipend of up to $550, and full financial
support for program tuition, meals, and shared accommodations on The Banff Centre campus. Please visit the Scholarship Information Page to apply.

Local (Vancouver) indie game designer Alex Vostrov (Rocket Bear Games) has officially announced his new game. According to his site, the new game will be called Infested Planet, and is “an innovative real time strategy game where you face a humongous horde of mutating aliens with just 5 marines” will hit the gamer waves in the Fall of 2010.

TreehouseCorus Entertainment and Treehouse are pleased to announce the world premiere of the first ever Dr. Seuss inspired animated series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on Saturday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET starring Martin Short as the voice of the Cat.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse and PBS Kids in the U.S., The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is based on Random House’s bestselling beginner book collection, The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.The Cat In The Hat

“We are thrilled to introduce the first ever animated series based on the whimsical adventures of Dr. Seuss, starring Canadian comedian Martin Short,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Programming and Production, Corus Kids. “A delightfully entertaining show that opens young minds to science and nature discoveries, this series is sure to appeal to preschoolers’ curiosity for exploration and the world around them.”

With Cat as their guide, best friends Sally and Nick are transported to all corners of the globe, making natural science discoveries of all kinds. Along for the ride are Cat’s two energetic helpers, the mop-headed zany duo: Thing One and Thing Two. Booting around in Cat’s one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, the group can travel to the bottom of the sea, shrink down to the size of a bee to discover how honey is made or find out why owls sleep during the day.

In the first episode, Show Me the Honey, Sally and Nick have run out of honey. Luckily, the Cat knows just where to get more. They visit Queen Priscilla Buzzoo who invites the gang to join her in the bee dance to learn how honey is made.

Beginning on August 7, back-to-back 30-minute episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! will air Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. throughout the month of August. Beginning on Tuesday, September 7, viewers can catch this series in its regular time-slots Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. as well as Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Beginning on August 23, viewers can visit Treehousetv.com to catch clips of the show, access 30 different colouring pages as well as six online games.

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28th June 2010

The Dead Will Rise Again On September 28th

Before we get into today’s news, just a reminder that submissions are now open for the 2010 Canada New Media Awards. Get your nominations in now, the early bird deadline is July 16th.

Updated with link: Mattel Canada is taking the new Hot Wheels® Colour Shifters™ collection for a road trip across Canada this summer. They are stopping over at 50 Canadian community festival events between now and September. Mattel Canada’s Assistant Brand Manager Melissa Chau will officially launch the summer tour tomorrow morning at Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square. The summer road trip is meant to show off the new life-size Colour Shifter Ford Mustang, and kids who attend the launch event tomorrow can help change the colour of the car, play with Hot Wheels® toys and also receive a special Hot Wheels® collector booklet, T-shirt and more.

Interactive Exchange 10Tickets for Interactive Ontario’s IN 2010 are now on sale, with Super Early Bird and special rates for those delegates who attended the event last year expiring on July 16th. This cross-platform, multi-stream conference about the business and ideas of interactivity will take place from September 12-14 at the Carlu in Toronto. The conference will be divided into the following streams:

Mobile: The IN Mobile stream will present sessions from case studies to discussions about the latest and greatest key developments, the current status and future development trends in wireless technology.

Social Media: Social Media at IN will focus on the creative and business opportunities in a sector which is continuously reinventing itself through user-generated content. Showcasing leading-edge projects and discussions about the newest communication platforms, these sessions will explore marketing, collaboration, information sharing, and experimental crossovers.

Games: The video games industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. With an eye toward intellectual property, which is exploitable along multiple entertainment verticals, this stream brings creative, production and business perspectives to the table at IN 2010. Industry veterans will discuss current trends, explore leading-edge projects and examine the challenges and opportunities that exist in crossover projects.

X-Platform: This stream focuses on the opportunities that lie in the digital media content space as it continues to grow by showcasing the interconnectedness of various interactive sectors within cultural and digital media industries. This stream highlights the potential creative and business opportunities that exist between platforms.

Visionary: The visionary stream is dedicated to showcasing thought-leaders. Made up of the innovators, originators, inventors and explorers of big ideas. These forward-thinkers share their vision and in turn, incite new ways of thinking about business models, interactivity, and technology.

Dead Rising 2A release date has been set in zombie blood for Dead Rising 2. Fans of this survival-horror title from CapCom and Blue Castle Games can assimilate the persona of motorcycle racer Chuck Greene on September 28th. Dead Rising 2 is listed at Future Shop for $59.99 (Xbox 360) and $64.99 (PS3), while Best Buy lists both versions at $59.99. Neither store lists a PC version, and the CapCom US store doesn’t yet list Dead Rising 2 at all. GameStop Canada also neglects the PC version, but it does offer the strategy guide for pre-order.

CapCom also confirmed late last week that Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, a motion picture inspired by the Dead Rising universe, will be distributed free of charge in both Europe and North America this summer. Written and directed by Keiji Inafune, Capcom’s global head of research and development, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun follows two brothers as they try to escape the zombie outbreak that has hit Japan. Exploring the darker side of human nature and filmed entirely on location in Japan, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, both pays homage to the zombie movies of the 1960s and ‘70s and provides links with the videogame world of Dead Rising®.

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Zombrex Dead Rising Sun will be released digitally in a series of eight episodes which Dead Rising and zombie movie fans can watch for free. Featuring an English voice over, the episodes will also be available as separate versions with French, Spanish and Italian subtitles.

Vancouver indie studioAll Seeing Eye Games has launched its debut title exclusively on Drum StudioXbox LIVE Marketplace. Drum Studio, available for 80 Microsoft Points, allows players to play, record, edit, save and playback their own song creations on their Xbox 360 drum kit. It utilizes the full potential of the drum kit to put the power of music creation in the players’ hands.

Game Designer Joel Cappelletto says, “Drum Studio takes music games to a new level with its creation and customization tools. We’re very excited to finally share it with the world.”

Drum Studio does away with playing along to pre-determined drum lines. Instead, players create their own jams on drums they’ve customized from a library of over 320 sounds. A simple & elegant recording interface allows players to layer in multiple tracks and hone their songs to perfection before they save the song, kick back, and watch an animated drummer play back their creation.

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24th June 2010

For The Canadian APPetite

iStockphotoiStockphoto has untethered its community today with the delivery of a free iPhone application iStockPhoto-lightboxthat allows users to browse iStock’s vast library of photos, illustrations and audio files from an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch – with an iPad-sized app coming soon.

“Inspiration and ideas often strike when least expected,” said Kelly Thompson, COO of iStockphoto. “This application lets us be there for our community whenever and wherever that happens.”

The application uses iStock’s industry-leading search engine to help customers find the perfect file quickly and easily. Customers can access and manage lightboxes of stored files from their existing iStockphoto account or create new lightboxes to save files for future viewing or purchase. The app also allows files to be e-mailed to clients and colleagues for discussion and evaluation. The new app also allows the more than 80,000 contributing artists whose work is sold on iStockphoto to track their sales and view download statistics, even while on the go.

Magmic GamesMagmic Inc. has launched the official Rubik’s Cube application for iPhone, iTouch and iPad. The app, which does everything including doing the cube for you, is now available on iTunes for $2.99. Magmic’s Rubik’s Cube is the only iTunes application endorsed by Erno Rubik, the original cube’s inventor.

“Rubik’s Cube is the greatest puzzle ever invented,” said Magmic’s Director of Product Management, Jeff Bacon. “We were excited to take it to a powerful Rubik's Cubesmartphone, and to enrich the experience. It’s nothing short of a rebirth for this amazing invention.”

have you reached an impasse in solving your real-life cube? Simply take a picture of a real Rubik’s Cube with your iPhone and the app’s built-in Solver gives you a step-by-step solution.

Other features include:

– Anaglyph 3D mode (glasses not included)
– 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4 & 5x5x5 Rubik’s Cubes
– 24 different game styles
– 360 degree view using iPhone 4 gyroscope
– Personalized cubes with stickers and photos
– Easy-to-understand solution guide
– All-new, extra-challenging CRAZY Cube

BCICBCIC invites entrepreneurs and startups to attend Connect, a conference for early-stage tech entrepreneurs who want the answers to “what’s next for my company”. Taking place on October 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre (west building), tickets are priced at a very reasonable $50.00 (buy now for the early bird price of $40.00), and students can attend for only $25.00. The keynote presentation will address the topic of Making It Beyond BC, and attendees will have the chance to meet face-to-face with several (the site says 30) tech leaders who will be there to offer advice and encouragement.

CDMNCanadian digital media innovation will be in the spotlight when leaders from around the world attend the G-8 and G-20 Summits this June 25 – 27th. The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has attracted high-tech participants from CDMN-affiliated organizations across Canada to the Experience Canada marketing pavilion in downtown Toronto where they will showcase unique digital media capabilities.

“All eyes will be on Canada during the G-8 and G-20 Summits, and the CDMN is serving as a conduit to the high-tech sector, demonstrating the power of Canadian innovation and potentially attracting future investment,” said Kevin Tuer, managing director of the CDMN, which is dedicated to furthering commercialization of digital media in Canada. “Experience Canada at the International Media Center will be high-impact, with imaginative displays, giant video walls and creative use of technology capturing the essence of Canada’s tech leadership.”

The CDMN, which links digital media-related organizations across the country, has attracted tech companies, universities, research houses, and public sector organizations to participate in the 20,000 square foot Experience Canada marketing pavilion. The experiential pavilion will have global impact, as key displays will be digitized, virtualized and shared online. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd June 2010

Celebrate Canada At Casual Connect

SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA Europe Ltd. have launched a video contest to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 19th anniversary. Two lucky grand prize winners, one from North America and one from the UK, will each receive a trip for two to Tokyo to visit SEGA Japan and meet the Sonic development team.

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“In honor of the nineteenth anniversary of our favorite hedgehog, we wanted to find a special way to thank Sonic’s fans throughout the years,” said Haruki Satomi, executive Sonic the Hedgehogvice president of SEGA of America. “We think this contest is a great way to give fans a chance to express their creativity, enthusiasm and support for Sonic.”

Over the course of the next two weeks, contestants can upload their videos showing their appreciation and love for Sonic the Hedgehog to YouTube and then submit them for judging on the official Sonic 4 Contest Page. Videos will be judged on creativity, entertainment and effort; the ten best will be chosen by SEGA and showcased on the official Sonic the Hedgehog 4 website.

Sonic fans and the entire SEGA community will then choose their favorite to win either the grand prize trip to Tokyo, or a prize of a 32 GB iPod touch®. Contest void where prohibited.

CanadaThe Consulate General of Canada in Seattle is planning activities around Casual Connect Seattle 2010 (July 20 – 22) to promote the Canadian game development industry, including a networking event, a Canada table at the show and a Canada Casual Games Organization Directory.  Discounted registration is also available on a limited basis.  For information on these activities and how to become involved, please contact Victoria Hayes.

Don’t forget that Women In Games Vancouver will be participating in GameSauce, the gamesauceconference-before-the-conference. GameSauce will take place in Seattle on Monday, July 19th and will feature many educational tracks and opportunities for networking.

Can’t get enough FIFA World Cup Action? As part of its tribute to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, BC Soccer and a team of partners, including Ubisoft Vancouver, will be showcasing BC Soccer World on Thursday, JPure Footballuly 1st, at Canada Day at Canada Place.

The staging of soccer and sport activity zones, demonstrations and other special events will serve as a new addition to the award-winning Canada day at Canada Place festivities. BC Soccer World will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT under the five sails at the iconic Canada Place venue in downtown Vancouver.

“We see it as a natural coming together of a special day for Canada with a special year for the global soccer community,” said Bjorn Osieck, Chief Executive of BC Soccer. “BC Soccer World will celebrate our ‘Global Game’ with ‘Universal Passion’ and will help showcase sport, active living and the beautiful game of soccer.”

The 2010 event at the largest Canada Day celebrations in British Columbia is seen as a pilot project for similar community outreach events in other major centres throughout the province in the coming years.

“Our model is simple: provide an introduction to soccer and sport for children, young people and their families by offering a wide variety of soccer activities and sport demonstrations in a festival style event,” said Osieck. “Those coming to BC Soccer World at Canada Day at Canada Place will have the chance to check out the history and heritage of our game in BC and what it stands for in terms of active, inclusive and team play for young people of all ages.” Read the rest of this entry »

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21st June 2010

Mentor Programs and Competitions Expand Futures for Young Canadians

bookriffLet me start the week by sending out a huge congratulations to our friend Rochelle Grayson on her new position as CEO at Vancouver startup BookRiff. Rochelle is an incredible lady, and I know that with her awesome talent and drive, great things will be happening for BookRiff and its parent entity D&M Publishing. Congratulations also to the Deus Ex: Human Revolution team over at Eidos Montreal for all of their nominations and awards from E3, including Best of E3 from Gamepro and 1up, plus Best E3 trailer from JeuxVideo.

CIXCIX, the Canadian Interactive Exchange has sent out their annual call for showcase presentations. Submissions deadline is October 1st, so companies who “consider themselves to be the very best in the fields of ICT, Digital Media and Cleantech should complete a profile in order to be selected to present live at CIX in the showcase of Complex GamesCanada’s Hottest Innovative Companies.” CIX takes place at Toronto’s at MaRs Discovery District on December 7th.

Complex Games has announced that BattleBears -1, a prequel to Skyvu Pictures’ BattleBear Zombies, has been sent off to iTunes for release approval. Check out this trailer for a preview:

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There are two Canadian creations out on Nintendo’s DSiWare today. First up is Puffins: Let’s Fish from Other Ocean Interactive. Available for only 500 Nintendo DSi Points, this E-rated title lets gamers dive into the deep blue sea and fill their virtual bellies with delicious fish. Puffins: Let’s FishOther Ocean Interactive is an action game that has you swimming the beautiful ocean in search of a puffin’s favourite meal: the elusive capelin. However, the ocean can be a dangerous place, and you’re not the only one hunting for food. Throughout 18 underwater stages and two game modes, you’ll be avoiding sharks, jellyfish and other fearsome predators who are very interested in making you their next meal.

Digital LeisureToday’s other new DSiWare title comes from Digital Leisure. Also available for 500 DSi Points and rated E (with cartoon violence) is Mega Words, where you need to put on your thinking cap and see how many of the hundreds of puzzles you can solve in Mega Words. Three classic puzzlers are included in this puzzle pack: Word Scrambler, Anagram Hunt and Hangman. There’s no need for erasers here! These portable editions feature extensive dictionaries to challenge novices and expert players alike. See how fast you can unscramble words, sharpen your vocabulary and stretch your mind with Mega Words.

EA SportsWinnipeg-born Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks will be the new face of the NHL® 11 videogame from EA Sports™. With last year’s title featuring Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, NHL 11 marks the first time that EA SPORTS has put back to back players from the same team on the cover of the NHL franchise. The 22 year old’s image will be on the front of all packaging when NHL 11 is available in North American retail stores this September for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360® with an MSRP of $59.99.

“I am really excited to be on the cover of NHL 11,” said Toews. “It’s been an amazing year for me and the team, and it’s nice to end it by being a part of a game I played growing up. The NHL games have always been great, so it’s an honor for me to be a part of the EA Sports family.”
Jonathan Toews
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary with NHL 11, the EA Sports NHL® franchise has won 22 Sports Game of the Year awards over the past three years and is poised to raise the bar yet again. With a revolutionary real-time physics engine that brings an unprecedented amount of realism to the franchise, gameplay innovations like broken sticks and a revamped face-off system, as well as the addition of the Canadian Hockey League, NHL 11 is set to be the most complete hockey videogame ever created.

After being selected third overall in the 2006-07 entry draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Toews has emerged as one of the most skilled centers in the NHL after just two seasons. After helping lead team Canada to a gold medal win during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Toews locked up the Conn Smythe, given to the most valuable player in the NHL playoffs, after playing a crucial role in leading the Chicago Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961. Toews is currently the youngest captain in the NHL, and has registered more than 65 points in each of his first two seasons. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th June 2010

Meanwhile Back In Alberta

BiowareHot on the heels of Tuesday’s new DLC pack Overlord for Mass Effect 2, Bioware has announced a new DLC expansion for Dragon Age: Origins. In Leliana’s Song, players will assume the role of party-member Leliana, a young bard involved in a criminal ring that deals Lelianain political secrets. While accompanying her mentor Marjolaine on a high-risk mission, Leliana soon finds herself entangled in a game of intrigue that she cannot escape with just her beauty, charm, or stealth. The only way out of this game is to kill or be killed.

DLC Features:

* Explore Leliana’s dangerous past and why she joined the Chantry
* Fully voiced cinematic experience brings the characters to life
* Unlock a unique reward that transfers into your Awakening and Origins campaign

Digital Alberta has put out an official call for applications to become the association’s new Executive digital albertaDirector. There is also a career opening for the position of Executive Assistant. Interested parties are asked to please contact Larry Jacques, Digital Alberta President,  with your resume if you wish to apply.

Alberta’s 2nd Annual All Associations BBQ will be held on Tuesday June 22nd at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre.  Members from 26 industry groups, ranging from such sectors as research, marketing, gaming, investment, design, arts, hi-tech, media, magazine, music, book, tv and film will get together at 5pm for some great food and awesome networking.

Alberta ICTThe Alberta ICT Council will also be hosting a Digital Economy Symposium Luncheon which will offer an overview of the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures initiative, followed by an afternoon symposium on building Canada’s digital media economy. Recommendations will be submitted to Industry Canada as part of their cross-Canada consultation process associated with their Digital Economy strategy announced in May at Canada 3.0. Luncheon presentations also include a welcome by the president of Olds College and a review of sector activities by the Alberta ICT Council. This signature luncheon provides an opportunity for Alberta ICT sector stakeholders to meet and discuss the Alberta Innovates program and related opportunities open to Alberta’s ICT sector. The luncheon will be held at the Olds College Alumni Centre on June 25th and will begin at 11:45a.m. Tickets are available now for $30.00

If you couldn’t make the trek to Banff for the 2010 World TV Festival, fear not – you can find lots of great Banff World Television Festivalarticles, videos and photos online at the Festival’s web site, from opening day to closing BBQ. There have been a number of great announcements since this year’s event began. One such announcement came from the National Film Board, who added to their long legacy of avant-garde technical and creative firsts when Government Film Commissioner & NFB Chairperson Tom Perlmutter, Rob McLaughlin – Director, Digital Content and Strategy, English Program, and Hugues Sweeney – Advisor and Conceiver, Digital Programming, French Program officially launched Interactive.NFB.ca at Tuesday’s NFB Lunch.NFB interactive

As noted on the Banff 2010 Highlights page, Interactive.NFB.ca is a site that hosts a growing “collection of projects – interactive documentaries, video and animations, photographic art and essays, data visualization, mobile and locative media, community media and user-generated media,” which aims to support content that has yet to be, or may never be broadcast . Not without risks, the site is an ingenious way to facilitate conversations and collaborations for creatives in this new media landscape.

Congratulations also to all of this year’s Rockie Award Winners:

2010 Rockie Awards for Fiction:

Entertainment Categories:

* Animation: Le Printemps de Melie/ Molly in Springtime, National Film Board of Canada in association with Folimage, PIWI, Divertissement Subsequence Inc – Canada
* Comedy Programs: Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Table Read, HBO Entertainment, Home Box Office – USA
* Music & Variety Programs or Series: Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra, Glassbox Productions, BBC – United Kingdom Read the rest of this entry »

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15th June 2010

Ubisoft Montreal to Develop Titles for the New Nintendo 3DS

Propaganda GamesPropaganda Studios is at E3 in full force, with both of their currently in-development games being showcased at the Disney Interactive Studios booth. Oh and by the way, Propaganda is hiring.

The TRON universe is coming to additional platforms than previous transmissions revealed. Tron EvolutionDisney Interactive Studios today announced the development of TRON video games for Wii™, Nintendo DS™ and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. These games complete the TRON video game portfolio this year from Disney Interactive Studios, joining the previously announced TRON: Evolution for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

Set during the era between the two TRON films, TRON: Evolution conveys a story of significant events within the TRON mythology. The game features an epic adventure across the massive digital TRON world filled with high-mobility disc-based combat and light cycle action. The TRON: Evolution games will be released in Holiday 2010 before the “TRON: Legacy” film hits theaters on December 17 in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.

TRON Evolution – Battle Grids (Wii), TRON: Evolution (DS) and TRON: Evolution PSP are action packed games set within the combat arenas and mysterious cities of the TRON world. All game versions give fans a unique way to battle and explore the TRON universe alone or with friends and family.

“These games offer unique experiences within the TRON universe that are ideal for their individual platforms,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “TRON is an exciting, dynamic property that appeals to interactive entertainment fans of all ages.”

The TRON games for Nintendo platforms (TRON: Evolution – Battle Grids for Wii and TRON: Evolution for DS), include games and art styles appropriate for a wide audience, including families and kids. While Propaganda is the primary developer, the studio has partnered with n-Space Inc. and SuperVillain Studios, both located in the USA, to deliver this wide range of games for the new generation of TRON titles. Armada of the Damned

Propaganda’s other new title, Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned (2011) is an epic action-role playing game that lets players decide what type of pirate legend they want to become. Will they become Legendary, or Dreaded? Set before the blockbuster films, the game is a deep action-RPG that lets players carve out their own story in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe. In development for the PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC, Armada of the Damned casts players off on a journey where they will encounter numerous memorable characters, both original and familiar.

TransGamingTransgaming has just announced that new titles for the Mac are now available at GameTree – Disney fans can now pick up Toy Story 3 and Disney Princess Enchanted Journey at GameTree Online for $29.99 and $21.99 respectively.

Here is a look at the E3 2010 trailer for Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, coming to the 360 from Relic Entertainment.

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UbisoftA new 3D version of Assassin’s Creed will be released by Ubisoft for the just-announced Nintendo 3DS. Ubisoft has also announced that the following titles will be available when the new handheld units go on sale: Hollywood 61; Battle of Giants™: Dinosaur Strike; Driver® Renegade; Assassin’s Creed™ Lost Legacy; Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory™ and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™.

As one of the top independent publishers on the Nintendo DS™ and Wii™, Ubisoft is also one of the first major publishers to invest hieavily in development for 3D. “Nintendo has created a new portable console that will allow easy and affordable access to 3D technology,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. “The portability and freedom from glasses of the Nintendo 3DS™ allows our creative teams to craft unique new and immersive games for all types of gamers.”

Ubisoft’s Nintendo 3DS line-up spans different genres of video games, allowing early adopters of the new console to find the style of games that they most enjoy:

* Hollywood 61 (code name): Live the thrill of mastering tailor-made mind games and become the obsession of a criminal mastermind in the first interactive 3D movie. Solve the deadly mystery with 150 classic and 3D puzzles.
* Battle of Giants™: Dinosaur Strike: 150 million years ago, Nature’s fury was unleashed, forcing Dinosaurs to fight for their survival. Dive into spectacular battles and deal powerful blows to your worst enemies. Master your fierce dinosaur and rule the cataclysmic Jurassic world!
* Driver® Renegade: The first and exclusive action driving game on Nintendo 3DS that lets you experience the intensity of urban car chases. As former cop John Tanner, you work outside the law to fight crime in the gritty streets of New York and defeat the 5 crime lords who own the city.
* Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory™: Sam Fisher, the renowned secret agent is back in this redesigned version of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. Experience one of the most acclaimed games in the Splinter Cell franchise for the first time in 3D.
* Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™: Lead the Ghosts, the most elite special forces unit in the US Army, across multiple tactical missions to prevent a war from breaking out.
* Assassin’s Creed™ Lost Legacy: Driven by curiosity and a desire to understand the origins of his Order, Ezio Auditore travels East in search of the lost castle at Masyaf, the ancient seat of the Assassins.

Ubisoft has also released more information about Shaun White Skateboarding, which will bring skateboarding to a wider audience, allowing players to transform a dull, lifeless city into their own extraordinary skating playground. Read the rest of this entry »

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posted in Action Adventure, Animation, Business News, Careers, Casual, Digital Products, Driving, Events, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Game Dev, Government, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Research Studies, RTS, Shooters, Sports, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

10th June 2010

Patrick Beaulieu Launches Animation Insiders

Just a reminder that if you haven’t already, time is running out on your chance to have your say about Canada’s digital economy strategy. This incentive is meant to benefit our Canadian digital industry, so get involved in the discussion today. digiBC has released the 2010 BC Digital Media and Wireless Survey report (PDF) which was conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The report covers key sectors of British Columbia’s rapidly developing Digital Media and Wireless industries.

dabble dbTwitter announced earlier today that it has purchased Vancouver company Smallthought Systems, the powers behind Dabble DB and Trendly. A message on Dabble DB’s landing page about the sale of the company reads:

“Obviously this represents a new chapter in the life of Dabble DB, both for us as a team, and for the product itself. We’d like to assure you that, for now, we will continue to provide our software and technical support to current Dabble DB customers. However, we will be disabling new account signups effective immediately.

There will be further changes to Dabble’s ongoing operations, and when those happen, we want to do right by you. We will provide you with 60 days advance notice of any major change. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure that, at any time, you can export all of your data, including attachments, in a structured format suitable for import into other systems.”

animation insidersPatrick Beaulieu, Animation Artistic Director at Ubisoft Quebec City, has launched his first 3D animation collection book Animation Insiders. A rich and complete work of knowledge sharing, this collection of testimonials gives a lot of tricks and hints as well as anecdotes from renowned animators at Dreamworks, Blue Sky and Pixar, to name a few. The book is now available worldwide on sstudiopress.

“Gathering all these people from all over the world and putting together all of these testimonials was a lot of work, says Patrick Beaulieu, but the result gives us a privileged vision on what is going on back stage in animation. Each collaborator had a clean slate to share his experiences, works, methodologies, philosophy, etc…. even if some aspects are more technical, Animation Insiders remains open to a wide audience, from the animation fan boy to the experienced animator. Everyone passionate about animation, movies and video games will find himself in this book, he will also find details and insides about his favorite animation movies or games” he adds.

You will find testimonials, visuals and illustrations from 13 renowned animators such as:

Jason Ryan (USA, Dreamworks, Shrek 4)
Andrew Gordon (USA, Pixar, Nemo)
Jason Martinsen (USA, Animation Mentor, Ice Age)
Jason Schleifer (USA, Dreamworks, LOTR)
Anthea Kerou (USA, Dreamworks, Bolt)
Victor Navone (USA, Pixar, The Incredibles)
Ana Maria Alvarado (USA, Sony Image Works, Spiderman)
Mike Nguyen (USA, Rainplace, Iron Giant)
Pedro Blumenbaum (Spain, Nocturna)
Pablo Navarro (Spain, Nocturna)
Emilio Ghorayeb (Canada, New Breed VFX, Madagascar)
Matt Stangio (USA, Pixar, Toys Story 3)
Reno Armanet (France, Tigobo Animation)

gamesauceThe schedule for the GameSauce Conference has been posted to the web. This conference takes place on July 19th, immediately prior to Casual Connect Seattle (July 20 -22). Registration is $100.00 USD or is free to those registered for the Casual Connect Seattle conference. There are some great topics, panels and roundtable discussions on the slate, so plan to be in Seattle one day early in order to take advantage of this event. Along with the great topics being offered through the GameSauce Game Development Track, the following areas may also be of interest to you, and like me, you will need a clone in order to take it all in.

The Leadership & Professional Development Track, produced in partnership by Women In Games International, Women In Games Vancouver and Women In Games IGDA offers some great panels and roundtable discussions about career building and talent nurturing.

If game audio is your thing, The Audio Track, produced by Game Audio Alliance, has much to offer, and the Nvidia Tegra Mobile Game Development Track, which is making its debut at this year’s GameSauce Conference is a must for those looking for opportunities in the mobile market. The Alternative Funding and Exit Strategies Track, produced by The Corum Group is a four hour crash course discussing the positives and negatives of funding as well as what to do with your company once you are successful.

trainyardiPhone developer Matt Rix has released his first title in the iTunes App Store. Trainyard is a challenging puzzler that requires the safe movement of coloured blocks (trains) from one station to the next. Each of the 100 puzzles ramps up in difficulty, adding colour and track-changing blocks into the mix while you try to draw tracks from one locale to the next, hopefully avoiding train pile-ups. There are no set solutions to the puzzles, so you are free to try as many options as you like. Trainyard also includes bonus levels as well as the ability to share solutions that worked for you on the game’s web site. Trainyard is available now for only $1.99. Read the rest of this entry »

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posted in Action Adventure, Animation, Associations, Business News, Careers, Casual, Digital Products, Early Childhood, Education, Educational, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Government, Mobile, Music, National News, New Releases, Puzzle, Research Studies, Social Media By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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