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21st January 2010

Vancouver Interactive Industry Fundraiser for Haiti On January 28

unicefVancouver – Local interactive industry folks are invited to the Help Haiti Pub Night being held on Thursday January 28th from 7-11pm at Steamworks Brew Pub and Restaurant (375 Water Street Vancouver). There are plans for a silent auction, with a few items already on the block, including tickets for Casual Connect to auction off! Two winning bidders will receive 1 year conference passes to Seattle, Hamburg, and Kyiv, 1 with speaker’s dinner. If you are interested in donating items for auction, please contact Bren at 604.765.7273. Net proceeds from this event will be donated to UNICEF for the purchase of water.

According to their website, UNICEF is working to provide survivors with family water kits, water-purification tablets and other supplies aimed at mitigating the deadly effects of contaminated water.

“Aside from simply delivering these essential supplies, we must also work to promote hygiene by providing soap and issuing messages in French and Creole on preventing and treating diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery,” said UNICEF Emergency Operations Officer Ainga Razafy. “Our priority is to prevent a second wave of disaster and ensure against the outbreak of any life-threatening, water-borne diseases.”

Canada – DFAIT invites Canadian interactive companies to participate in The Canada Programme at GDC San Francisco, March 10 – 12, 2010. For further information on The Canada Programme, please contact Victoria Hayes at 604.666.1409 (for BC Companies – please contact your local digital media association or DFAIT office in other parts of Canada.) For companies in Alberta, please contact Rene Smid from Digital Alberta. The deadline for BC applications is today, while Alberta’s deadline is January 25.

Prior to GDC, the Canada Programme offers Business to Business Matchmaking – DFAIT is currently collecting company profiles to share with foreign purchasers and developers attending GDC to determine mutual meeting interests and facilitate those meetings in advance.

Two webinars are also being offered, which are geared towards Canadian attendees making the most of their time at GDC in San Francisco. The first webinar is titled “Meet the Publishers” will be held on February 2 from 1-230pm. Major publishers (yet to be announced) will discuss what’s hot and what’s not, what the want to see in 2010 and how Canadian companies can best position themselves in 2010.

The second Webinar, “Make the Right Pitch, At the Right Time” will feature experienced industry leaders who will present on how to prepare and execute an effective 30-second and 10-minute pitch to both game publishers and potential financing entities (Angels and Venture Capitalists). The air details for this webinar have not yet been finalized.

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19th January 2010

A New Release From Bight Games Plus Upcoming Events and Association News

Bight GamesCharlottetownBight Games are announcing the immediate availability of Fleeced! – Shear Terror on the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch. Early previews have been overwhelmingly positive and Pocketgamer.co.uk has included Fleeced! on their list of the 10 most anticipated games of 2010.

The somewhat bizarre premise of feuding Pseudo-Peruvian brothers, llama shearing and canons make for a truly unique tailor-made experience for the iPhone. Bight CEO Stuart Duncan says “There were times when even we thought, is this too weird? Will people get the sense of humour? I think it’s fair to say that given the great response we’ve been getting that people really love the game.”

To support the launch of Fleeced! two of Bight’s other popular games, Puzzlings and Kill All Bugs will be available for free during the launch window. Fleeced! Shear Terror is available for $3.99 USD from today.

Emily Carr University

VancouverEmily Carr University of Art + Design and DigiBC present Disney Stories and Games – Making Technological Innovation a Reality, a public lecture by Newton Lee and Krystina Madej.

NUS Hollywood Lab co-founder, Newton Lee will speak on the process of creating some of his most successful projects, from his work as a software engineer at Media Station, which was contracted by Disney to develop their fist CD-ROM games in the early 1990s, to his work as a technical architect and senior producer at Disney for many successful online projects. He will also present the work he’s undertaken to develop a sustainable research environment where academia and business can collaborate: his work with ACM’s online Computers in Entertainment Magazine, the Hollywood Lab, the Institute for Education, Research and Scholarships, and other new technology initiatives.

Adjunct professor at SFU SIAT, Krystina Madej, will introduce Lee and speak on Disney’s innovative use of story in new media since the early 1900s. Lee and Madej are currently collaborating on a book that presents Disney stories in new media. This event is free and is open to the general public.

digital albertaCalgary – A reminder that Digital Alberta and Telefilm Canada are presenting Financing Your Digital Vision on January 26th, at a cost of only $150.00 (+GST) per person. One of the highlights of this session will be the Entrepreneur Panel including industry experts Ken Bautista, Seek Your Own Proof; Michael Sikorsky, Robots and Pencils; Trevor Doerkson, MoboVivo; and Ron Thiele, XPAN Interactive, who will also present on Bootstrapping. Also recently confirmed as presenters are: Luke Azevedo, Calgary Economic Development; Earl Hong Tai, Telefilm Canada; Henry Kutarna, Alberta Deal Generator.

Alliance-numeriqueMontreal – Pierre Proulx, CEO of Alliance Digital, has announced the appointment of Ms. Sylvianne Pilon  as Director of Alliance Game, the position which was left vacant by the departure of Alain Lachapelle. Ms. Pilon will be responsible for developing new strategies for Alliance Game, to lead the industry through marketing activities and networking, along with the organization and management of the International Game Summit Montreal ( MIGS).

During the announcement, Pierre Proulx said he was “pleased to have the broad expertise and network of contacts Ms. Pilon has in the gaming industry and in a broader context also for interactive entertainment. Her doctoral thesis on the genesis and development of game clusters in Montreal, Los Angeles and Lyon according to an analysis in economic geography and anthropology, along with her experience as co-founder and president of Alliance America, a firm specializing in business relationships and trade missions between Quebec and Chile, are just some examples of her achievements. In addition, her work with the SIJM09 team as Deputy Director of Alliance Gaming and Head of Business only confirms that Ms. Pilon is a powerful addition to the permanent team.”

For her part, Ms. Pilon welcomes the new challenges. “My achievements and my great desire to work for and with the Quebec video game industry, will allow me to confront these challenges headlong and thus provide outstanding service to our members.”

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15th January 2010

Get Your Tickets Now for SparkFX 2010

SPARK FX 2010VancouverSpark FX 2010 is fast approaching, and they have a full slate of events happening. With 8 films, more than 30 speakers taking part in 17 presentations, a party, a mixer, hundreds of industry attendees and, of course, T-Shirts! SPARK FX 2010 is helping to start the year off with a bang (along with that other winter party). Taking place January 27 – 31 at VanCity Theatre on Seymour, full event tickets are $200.00 for members, $250.00 for non-members – it is also possible to purchase tickets to individual sessions and films which may better suit your schedule or areas of interest.

The films are almost fully confirmed – a mix of classic films and recent blockbusters – and there is an unbelievable line-up of industry speakers led by ILM veteran John Knoll. There will be film makers talking about their work on virtually every big effects film of the past year including Avatar, District 9, Transformers 2, GI Joe and half a dozen more. If you’re eager, you can buy a pass now for full access to all the main speaking sessions. Full passes include the 3-day conference, 2 party tickets and an event T-shirt.

Brought to you by the SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter, SPARK FX 2010 is sponsored in part by Telefilm Canada, Vancouver Economic Development, BC Film, Digital Domain Vancouver, Annex|Pro, MPC, 3vis, Visual Effects Society, Visual Effects Association of BC, Graphic Designers of Canada – BC Chapter, and Women in Games Vancouver. If you need a place to stay, the Sheraton Wall Centre is the official partner hotel of SPARK FX 2010.

ODD1MontrealCatch Me! If You Can is an iPhone and iPod Touch game from ODD1 that pays tribute to a classic arcade game. Available in both free and premium ($1.99 usd) versions, this chasing game through colorful mazes presents a thief fleeing from three guards who try catch him to… take his place and get rich!Catch Me If You Can

As player, you first take on the character of the thief and must collect a maximum of gold nuggets. If you’re caught, the roles are reversed and you become one of the guards who each have a unique special power. Your goal, then, is to catch the thief and switch back to your original role – starting again to get rich! But be careful… the rules can change and you might need to catch all of the thieves who keep appearing out of nowhere!

The game features a “Story” mode with progressive levels to unlock, and a “Challenge” mode for more fast-paced action. Players can also join the “Band of Thieves” community to send their gold into the collective “Treasure Vault.” The faster players accumulate and share gold, the faster new Grossologylevels and content will be unlocked!

The free version includes the first three levels of the “Story” mode as well as the “Band of Thieves” community feature, which is key to the release of new, generally free content. All levels and the “Challenge” mode are available in the premium version.

ODD1 also recently released a game based on the TV show Grossology for Tribal Nova and Nelvana. Kids become special agents and dive into the Grossology universe to play four gross missions or to use the level editor to create their own mini games to challenge their friends. There is also a free version which can be played online.

TerraceRusty Axe Games has released the Financial Guru Value Pack for Windows based PC home computers. Financial gurus rejoice as they can now show their financial acumen playing Rusty Axe financial strategy games… and at the cash register by picking up all of our most Rusty Axe Gamespopular games bundled together for one low price! Real Estate Empire 2, Real Estate Empire and Big$hot have all been bundled together into the Financial Guru Value Pack for $29.99.

Real Estate Empire 2 is a goal based game that is easier to pick up and play than it’s predecessor. Big$hot is a turn based property management game featuring simple game mechanics that allow for complex business property management strategies. Real Estate Empire is the classic house flipping game that teaches people how and when to buy, fix up and sell houses through an ever changing economic climate and against cutthroat AI adversaries.

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14th January 2010

Industry Updates

Bioware CorpEdmonton – Most Dragon Age: Origins fans probably already know this, but the DLC pack Return To Ostagar is now available for download. I grabbed it from XBL for 400 MSPoints last night, but haven’t yet had time to play through it. I’m going to work some DA play time in today between returning from the Salt Mine and the return of Bones this evening, and will share my thoughts on the expansion with you tomorrow.

*Update – and just as I posted this, I received another update that the DLC released yesterday is buggy and has been removed. No further updates on the Return to Ostagar DLC are available at this time. This is sad.

UbisoftMontrealUbisoft has released a new video for Splinter Cell: Conviction. Sam Fisher’s old friend Victor Coste shares his views on what’s happened to Sam, and delivers what amounts to a thinly veiled warning for his interviewers. The video features a quick look-back at some Sam’s previous assignments and important events which serve to lead us to where the story currently sits.

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CATAOnlineThe CATAAlliance and Canadian Innovation Centre invite you to join them on January 19 for their “Critical Factor Assessment: Are You Ready to Succeed” webinar.

Your new technology innovation may be leading edge, but there are many other factors that will influence your ability to win in the marketplace. Examining these issues upfront can help you determine your readiness to succeed, and what gaps you need to fill to enhance your chances of success.

The Critical Factors Assessment (CFA) service offered by the Canadian Innovation Centre, has been used to evaluate over 20,000 innovations. It has been proven to be an accurate predictor of success. This predictive power is made possible by the proprietary, peer-reviewed tool covering 40 factors that are key to any commercialization endeavour, supported by an extensive library of case studies and secondary research.

The CFA tool has been adapted for use by many organizations in evaluating start-ups opportunities and it often helps in securing early financing.

Join us to learn about the Critical Factor Assessment process and how it can help you increase your probability of success.

Critical Factor Assessment: Are You Ready to Succeed
Date : Tuesday January 19th at 12:00 EDT
Register : Online
There is no cost to attend, but space is limited, so don’t miss it – sign-up now!

The Ready Set Grow webinars are intended as a resource for emerging and established Canadian Technology companies to help them accelerate their growth. Each webinar features recognized subject matter experts and Canadian tech industry executives addressing a broad range of the issues facing growing companies.

The series is being presented by the Canadian Innovation Centre and the Technology Marketing Resource Centre in collaboration with the Canadian Advanced Technology Association (CATA). The Ready Set Grow series is sponsored by Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

BCTIAVancouver – Delivered in partnership with ACETECH, BCTIA presents the first annual Xcelerate Forum, a full day committed to improving your corporate strategies and operations through dynamic two-way discussions with professional experts and industry coaches specializing in legal, finance, markets, talent, product development, planning, sales, licensing, and many more.

Xcelerate Forum is a dynamic learning experience delivering the highest degree of coaching possible in a short period of time. To ensure we deliver the best results possible, only twenty-five companies will be selected to attend Xcelerate Forum.

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12th January 2010

Technology Impact Award Nominations Open

Avalanche AppVancouverMountain Equipment Co-op™ (MEC), Canada’s leading outdoor retailer, and the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC), Canada’s national public avalanche safety organization, have deepened their longstanding partnership by developing a new software application – or app – that enables iPhone users to obtain detailed and regionally specific avalanche information.

Available free of charge, the avalanche app provides users with a similar experience and the same Avalanche Appdepth and breadth of information as is available through the CAC’s website.

The application was conceived and financed by MEC, which contracted a local digital agency, Idea Rebel, to design and develop the app. The CAC provided technical assistance to the project.

“As an outdoor retailer, supporting the CAC and the app’s development go hand-in-hand with MEC selling technically advanced avalanche gear,” said George Weetman, MEC’s web marketing manager. “Promoting avalanche awareness and safety is an example of MEC’s ethic of corporate social responsibility.”

“MEC has long been one of our most loyal and generous sponsors,” said CAC Executive Director Ian Tomm. “This app is yet another example of MEC’s creative and innovative approach to helping us do our work in public avalanche safety. We are deeply grateful for their support.”

The app provides avalanche bulletins, weather forecasts, incident reports and realtime weather for seven avalanche-prone regions of British Columbia as well as links to similar information for national and provincial mountain parks in BC, Alberta and Quebec.

BCTIAVancouver – The BCTIA has opened nominations for the Technology Impact Awards, which celebrate the successes of our industry and the companies, people and innovation that continue to put British Columbia on the map and who serve as role models for others in our province.

The Awards Categories are:

Technology Awards
Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology
Excellence in Product Innovation
Best Application of Technology

Company Awards
Most Promising Start-up
Emerging Company of the Year
Company of the Year

Personal Recognition Awards
Team of the Year
Community Leadership
Person of the Year

CATA-WITVancouver – The CATA special interest group Women In Technology (BC Chapter) are holding a breakfast seminar on January 27th at the SFU Segal School of Business (500 Granville Street) titled Generational Differences in the Conception of Work Life Balance. The seminar, which features speaker Melissa McCrae, PhD Candidate (HRM) and Director of Graduate Studies, SFU, takes place from 7:30 – 9:30a.m. Tickets are $15.00 per person and include a continental breakfast. Those who are interested in attending can register online.

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21st December 2009

New Titles, Studies, Mergers, Events and a Little Holiday Cheer

Howling Moon GamesOntarioHowling Moon Games has released their newest iphone title Solar Advance in the iTunes App Store for 99 cents usd.

As the player, you are the intelligence controlling an advance technology Solar Advancethat can store the suns energy for use back on a distant planet. As the intelligence you will need to motion special matter that absorbs certain forms of energy. The energy that needs to be caught bursts from suns. Along its path it changes shape and colors. The color of the flare needs to be met by the same color matter for it to be harnessed.

Game Features:

* Each new level leaves the player with more matter to control, more color differences from the solar flares.
* A timer calculates your overall game score, preventing your MAT’s from being destroyed decreases your overall time.
* Each sun has a different gravitational pull.
* New Collapsing Star mode just for the iphone
* An amazing leaderboard system to keep track of your highscores
* Try and collect all the rewards

xona gamesYarmouth CountyXona Games has announced that their newest game, Decimation X is coming to Xbox LIVE Indie Games (XBLIG) in January 2010 for 80 Microsoft Points. Xona Games has not yet released a lot of promo material for the game, but according to the Decimation X web site, game play will revolve around intense retro-styled shoot ’em action for 1 – 4 players and feature music from Imphenzia.

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure’s Dragon’s Lair is now available for download via Nintendo’s DSiWare store. Rated by the ESRB as E10, Dragon’s Lair is Dragon's Lairavailable for 800 DSi Points.

Title Details: You play the heroic Dirk the Daring, a valiant knight on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. Control the actions of the daring adventurer and find your way through the castle of a dark wizard who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. In the mysterious caverns below the castle, your odyssey continues against the awesome forces that oppose your journey to the dragon’s lair. Dragon’s Lair is a fully animated classic arcade game from legendary animator Don Bluth.

Game Developer ResearchGame Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its sixteenth report, the ‘Game Developer Census 2009‘. The in-depth 248-page report aims to create an accurate list of each significant developer and publisher within the video game industry in the United States and Canada, as well Industry Census 2009as an accurate list of staff averages for each company.

The Census report lists more than 700 companies alphabetically by U.S. state and Canadian province, along with general contact addresses, website information, estimates of employee numbers and details on their market specialties (from casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and serious gaming to PC, handheld or console gaming).

Not included in the Game Developer Industry Census estimates are game tools company, game contracting/services company, PR, marketing, and external business service, or game distribution and retail professionals. The report is intended to be a valuable tool for game industry trendwatchers, contractors, service companies, and other entities wanting to acquire accurate information to reach out to the North American game market as a whole.

According to Techvibes, “The report reveals that the United States videogame industry employee count is essentially flat year-over-year, rising slightly from 44,400 to 44,806. The small rise in North American game industry employment was marked by an unusually high number of new studios – particularly in social and online gaming – springing up to counterbalance the many closures that occurred throughout the rest of the industry.

Canadian companies, however, saw growth that can almost be called explosive. The continued establishment of new studios and expansion of existing large studios led Canada’s the employee count in the Census to rise 30% year-over-year. The totals rose from 9,500 Canadian video game employees in 2008 to 12,480 in 2009.

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17th December 2009

Thursday Evening News Brought To You By Fuel Industries’ 2009 Holiday Music Production

Fuel IndustriesOttawaFuel Industries has produced a very nice way to say Merry Christmas to all of their friends, and they’ve done such a great job I wanted to share their efforts with all of our readers. Designer Alyssa Munaretto, Producer Braden Brailey, Rob Plowman (Director, Fuel Sounds) and Nick Ianniti (Director of Communications) got together and recorded three Christmas songs for our listening pleasure. The tracks are downloadable, so you can add DAO Avatar Shirtthem to your Christmas playlist. Thank you and Happy Holidays to everyone over at Fuel!

BioWare CorpEdmontonBioware has added some very cool Dragon Age: Origins clothing to the XBL Avatar Store – players can now dress their Avatars in DAO t-shirts and hats, available in three styles. Now if they would just release the Return to Ostagar DLC expansion on XBL…

Vancouver Innovation CampVancouver
– The Innovation Camp organizers have announced the dates and location for their next workshop series – Innovation Camp 3. Taking place at Discovery Parks (887 Great Northern Way) in Vancouver, the first Innovation Camp of 2010 will occur on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 26, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Thursday, January 28, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Saturday, January 30, 10:00am to 6:00pm

Participants will spend their Camp time practicing techniques to generate new ideas and expanding upon those ideas in order to accomplish a shared goal such as creating a product or completing a project/challenge. There are no lectures, just engaging activities that facilitate learning, interaction and growth. Registration is now open, and at only $150.00 (including sandwiches, fruit and tea, coffee & juice), Innovation Camp offers great value to its participants. I’ve heard plenty of good things about the Camp, so if you have the opportunity to participate, I’d say give yourself a great Christmas present by IUGOregistering today.

VancouverIUGO Mobile Entertainment has put many of their great titles on sale – visit the iTunes App Store and pick up a few – or all – of them and get many hours of fun and challenge for very little money. Sounds like a good return on investment to me!

Stir Fry GamesGuelphStir Fry Games has announced that an update for SFG Soccer is now available on XBL. The following changes will be automatically applied next time you sign in and start up the game:

  • Hard Difficulty Setting
  • Team & Player Stat tracking
  • Ability to Edit Any Team
  • Use your Custom Teams in Exhibition Matches
  • Golden Boot Award
  • League leaders section
  • and some bug fixesArmy of Two The 40th Day

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11th December 2009

New Titles, Contests And Jobs

Hothead GamesVancouver – A whole new audience of gamers will be able to unwrap Braid soon! Hothead Games proudly announced today that Jonathan Blow’s beloved indie title will arrive in the European PlayStation®Network on Dec. 17 for only €9.99, offering current and soon-to-be PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system owners a little extra holiday cheer this season.

Players will explore the human condition and manipulate time with our hero Tim in the lush, painterly world of Braid. An Independent Games Festival winner, this puzzle-platformer takes you from a house in the city on a journey through a seriesBraid of worlds to solve puzzles and rescue the princess. In each world, you have a different power to affect the way time behaves, including the ability to rewind, create parallel realities and utilize time dilation to overcome the many obstacles in your path. There is no filler in this game; every puzzle shows you something new and interesting about the game world.

Key Features:

Non-traditional platforming: You can never die and never lose, but challenge is always present and focused on solving puzzles, rather than forcing you to play and replay tricky jumps.
• Puzzle-rich environment. Travel through a series of worlds, searching for puzzle pieces and solving puzzles by manipulating time: rewinding, creating parallel universes and setting up pockets of dilated time. The game play is always fresh and new and the puzzles inspire new ways of thinking.
Aesthetic design: A painterly art style and lush, organic soundtrack complement the unique game play.
Nonlinear story: A nonlinear fiction links the various worlds and provides real-world metaphors for your time manipulations; act out these themes at your own pace, exploring playful “what if” universes.
Forgiving game play: The game doesn’t force you to solve puzzles in order to proceed. If you can’t figure something out, just play onward and return to that puzzle later.

Complex GamesWinnipegComplex Games Inc. is proud to announce their first self-published game for the iPhone and iTouch.  Skipping Stones is currently in production and will be soon be available for sale on the iTunes store. Slated for a mid-December 2009 release date, Skipping Stones is a casual recreational game that you can play on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

“Skipping Stones is going to make a splash on the iPhone”, said Noah Decter-Jackson Co-founder and Project Director at Complex Games, “the game combines relaxing gameplay mechanics that simulate actually skipping stones across the water in several beautiful settings. Skipping Stones will instantly appeal because of its lush environments and enjoyable music. Players can just relax or challenge themselves and their friends to make the longest skip!”

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Walk down to the beach and toss your cares away with the simple motion controls, or compete against other players online to make the most skips. Skipping Stones offers the gamer several beautiful landscapes, three different challenge modes and the ability to compete online against other players via Open Feint.

Stir Fry GamesGuelph – Independent game developer Stir Fry Games is proud to announce the Windows version of SFG Soccer is now available online. SFG Soccer is the arcade-style indoor soccer game whose short game times, easy-to-learn controls, and fast-paced gameplay have made SFG Soccerit a smash hit on the Xbox Live Indie Games platform. In it’s first month on Xbox Live, the game has already been featured in the Top Rated, Top Downloads, and the Top IGN.com Picks lists. SFG Soccer is currently one of the top-rated games on the service, with a 4-star rating in the United States, and an astounding 4 1/2 star rating in the United Kingdom.

The game has an extensive multi-season 64-team career mode, complete with a custom team & player editors, playoffs and an RPG-style skill improvement system. The Windows version also includes new features requested by fans including individual player stats, higher difficulty settings, league leaders, and the ability to edit and share your league easily using external programs such as Microsoft Excel.

Light Switch StudiosVancouver – A team of Art Institute Vancouver students have published their latest game on the web. Light Switch Studios is proud to announce their single player PC 2D side-scrolling platform title Fotagogos, which will officially release on FotagogosDecember 15th. Gamers will play through the game as Phil, a young miner who is sent out by his family to gather the light crystals they need to survive. As Phil gathers the light crystals using his special light-switching helmet, he used one of three colours to help him defeat the enemies and find his way through the dark caverns. Phil can use the powers of Red, Green or Blue light to speed through dangerous territory while Green light will help Phil leap to high ledges. Making use of the Blue light will help Phil defy gravity and float to a safe landing. Fotagogos is a tool-based game which the team built from the ground up, and they have included level editing tools for players to mod and expand their game experience.

Swim RecruitingVancouverSwim Recruiting has posted the following career position for a Technical Lead in PHP Games at a Vancouver development studio:

• High level technical direction and low level coding participation
• Entrepreneurial, growing, and action-packed environment
• Lead a talented and experienced development team

Do you have strong leadership skills combined with expert knowledge of the LAMP stack and software development best practices at both the architectural and code level?

A Vancouver ‘home grown’ organization based in funky Gastown is on the lookout for an experienced and knowledgeable Technical Lead to direct and lead a professional, fun, and dynamic software team. This team will develop and enhance new and existing games for social network platforms such as Facebook and iPhone applications.

Working closely with the Studio Producer and Creative Director, you will be charged with establishing high level technical direction and supervision as well as ‘rolling up the sleeves’ and developing code. You will lead and motivate the team to release up to 8 multiple titles on various platforms per year. As well as excellent communication and documentation skills, you must have expert LAMP stack skills and knowledge combined with the ability to direct, lead and motivate a small group of open-source developers. You will also be highly competent at setting up and establishing development policies, frameworks, and best practices to ensure a fast paced, action packed, rapid prototyping, iterative model in a social and collaborative team orientated environment.

In order to be considered for this role you must be able to demonstrate the following:

• Expert proficiency (7+ years) in all areas of LAMP development at the architecture and code level
• Flash/flex development skills and solid Unix based tools and system administration skills
• Experience setting up and establishing software development frameworks, policies, and best practices
• Be a natural leader and manager with the skills and track record to motivate and grow the development team
• Passion for a wide variety of Gaming technologies and methodologies
• Graduation from a four year college or university, a degree from a recognized design school, or two to four years of related experience and training.

This is a fantastic opportunity to lead a modern, fast paced, innovative, fun and dynamic development team working on some of the latest games and applications with bleeding-edge open source technologies – apply by sending your resume to Brian Thompson at Swim Recruiting.

Blue Castle GamesVancouverBlue Castle Games has the following career positions open for local candidates:

Rendering Software Engineer
Senior Technical Artist
Senior or Franchise Project Manager
Producer
Environment Artist (Contract & Full Time) – DEAD RISING 2 (new listing)
Contract Compliance/Online/Gameplay QA Tester (6 months) – DEAD RISING 2
Lead Level Designer
Online Software Engineer

Please visit their Careers page for more details.

Pareto LogicVictoria – Most people are careful to shred their financial documents and keep a careful hold on their personal paperwork, but what about online and on their PCs? With the ever-present threat of spyware and identity theft, ensuring that personal details remain safe should be a top priority for all computer users. The latest version of ParetoLogic’s Privacy Controls software aims to make this task easier, and a lot more thorough.

Every action taken on a PC is recorded. Downloaded programs, visited websites, opened files, entered passwords and even instant messages are locked deep in a computer’s memory. A clever hacker who Privacy Controlsinfiltrates a computer may copy online banking information for illegal transactions, steal personal data for identity theft, hijack email accounts for spamming, or snoop on the user’s private life.

Norman Eldridge, Technical Product Manager at ParetoLogic, said that “even with security software protecting against malware, people need to consider other methods that their personal data may be compromised: selling their used PC, having their computer stolen, or even being spied on by people who share their system.”

The latest web browsers have responded to this threat with new privacy options and ‘stealth’ modes. Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate mode, for example, stores only the cookies and temporarily internet files required to browse normally, and then deletes these files automatically. However, Mr. Eldridge explained that this is not enough. “To fully erase your private details and history, you need to overwrite the data. Otherwise it is recoverable.” Privacy Control’s shred functionality does just that, overwriting browsing history, application history, and user-selected files. This permanently destroys the data, which cannot be restored, even with highly developed data recovery tools.

The most recent version of Privacy Controls upgrades these shred features, enhancing the scanning process to clean personal information from the latest programs. The expansion also adds support for the new 32-bit Windows 7 operating system. “A new operating system does not necessarily provide new security for personal information. If anything, the latest OS has more ways for your data to be recorded,” said Mr. Eldridge. Along with support for Windows 7 32-bit, Privacy Controls also supports Windows Vista and XP.

LogoBeeMontreal – In the spirit of the season, LogoBee proudly announces its fourth annual Logo Design Makeover. Any charity or non-profit organization may enter the contest, and submissions must be received by January 1, 2010.

LogoBee holds the Logo Design Makeover annually as a way of giving back to the community. By reducing overhead costs such as logo design and branding, these organizations can focus funds on the important services they offer. Having a previous logo or brand development is not necessary to enter. Depending on each winning group’s preferences, the LogoBee designers can refine an existing logo, or they can start from scratch. Each winning participant receives custom logo design from logobee.com, as well as professional stationery design complete with letterhead, envelope, and business cards. Contest submission is free.

LogoBee held its first Logo Design Makeover contest in 2005, welcoming any charities and non-profit organizations to enter. LogoBee adds two grand prizes to the contest, among other changes this year. The grand prize winners will receive a BundleBee package from Logobee.com for the deeply discounted price of $500. The package, normally priced at $1199, includes professional logo design, stationery design, and website design. In addition, LogoBee will randomly select 10 entries to receive a Golden package, which includes custom logo design with tailor-made stationery design included. Each Golden package will be offered for the nominal rate of $100, originally priced at $425.

Donating professional design services to charities and non-profit organizations is one important way that LogoBee feels it is important to give back to the community. LogoBee will announce the winners January 8, 2010, and notify the winners via email.

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3rd December 2009

THQ Announces New Development Studio in Montreal

THQ MontrealTHQ Inc. has officially announced that it has selected Montreal, Quebec, as the location for a brand new video game development studio which the company expects to become the largest facility in its global studio system. The agreement with the government of Quebec will allow THQ to create in excess of 400 sustainable new jobs over the next five years as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to develop the highest quality games in a cost-effective manner.

THQ has appointed Dave Gatchel, who was the general manager of THQ’s Paradigm Entertainment studio, to serve as the Montreal studio’s general manager, bringing extensive industry experience to his role. Under his leadership, THQ Montreal will focus primarily on creating core games for THQ as well as providing support for games developed across THQ’s worldwide studio system. THQ expects to create jobs in several disciplines, including design, engineering, art, content and technology development, quality assurance and localization.

“Montreal’s outstanding pool of creative digital media talent and its highly regarded university system makes this the ideal location to support our future product and technology development needs,” said Steve DeCosta, THQ senior vice president, THQ Core Games, Operations and Finance. “Moreover, government support, in the form of reimbursable tax credits and other incentives, enabled Montreal to stand out as the best combination of creative talent and favorable economics of the cities we evaluated for our new studio.”

“We are focused on building hit franchises and achieving efficiencies within our studio organization and THQ Montreal will play an integral role in achieving both of these objectives,” Said Danny Bilson, THQ executive vice president, THQ Core Games. “We expect to ramp up the studio over the next several years, with our first titles targeted for release in fiscal 2013.”

“We are pleased to welcome leading videogame publisher THQ to Montreal,” said Clément Gignac, Quebec’s Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. “THQ’s new studio represents a key investment by a premier video game developer and will create more than 400 highly-skilled jobs in Montreal’s technology sector, further enhancing our position as a leading center of creative talent and game design.”

THQ is currently evaluating locations for the new facility and expects to open the studio by mid-2010. THQ Montreal will be the company’s second fully operational development and production studio in Canada. THQ’s global system currently includes more than 1,200 people located in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Interested applicants may send their resumes to THQ Montreal at: Montrealcareers@thq.com.

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3rd December 2009

Submissions, Seminars, Contests and Now Hiring

GDC CanadaVancouver – The call for submissions to present content for lectures, roundtables and panel sessions for the 2010 Game Developers Conference® Canada (GDC Canada) is now open through midnight, Tuesday, January 5, 2010. GDC Canada serves as a nexus point for established and promising young studios to learn best practices for developing new global titles and understanding emerging digital distribution models. The second annual GDC Canada is presented by Reboot Communications and Think Services, the organizers of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference. GDC Canada 2010 will return to the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC from May 6-7, 2010.

Canada houses more than 260 videogame and digital entertainment studios and an ecosystem of more than 60 universities focused on gaming studies. With this accomplished community of national and international talent to draw from, Vancouver’s GDC Canada is the premier event for professionals to discover new insights into developing popular international titles, managing established franchises and taking advantage of thriving digital distribution models.

“GDC Canada provides the perfect opportunity for game development teams to share knowledge for developing established franchises and guidance on taking advantage of new game distribution models,” says Izora de Lillard, event director. “GDC Canada really benefits from the incredibly talented community here, and we can’t wait to see what useful and insightful content they bring with them when GDC returns to Canada in early May.”

The session formats for this year’s content include 25 and 60 minute lectures, panels, and roundtables. The GDC Canada advisory board will rate sessions based on the criteria of concept, depth, organization, credentials and takeaway. The topics for this year include:

— Business/Production
— Digital Distribution
— Game Design
— iPhone Games
— Programming
— Social and Casual Games
— Visual Arts

VIATeCVictoriaVIATeC is pleased to announce the opening of the nomination period for the 2009 VIATeC 25. The VIATeC 25 is an annual listing of the largest technology companies headquartered or founded in Greater Victoria based on revenue. To be eligible for inclusion in the VIATeC 25 please check our guidelines.

Companies listed on the VIATeC 25 will be announced at the exclusive VIATeC Christmas Party on December 17 where members will gather to celebrate the end of another successful year. Results will also be published on the VIATeC website and in the media.

For more information or to submit a nomination please contact Michelle. Cut off for nomination submissions is December 14, 2009.

To RSVP for VIATeC’s Members Only Christmas party on Dec 17 at Sauce Restaurant & Lounge from 3:30 pm please email our office.

Pixar CanadaVancouverPixar Canada, who launched their new web site this week, has now announced some of the job openings for their new Vancouver studio. They are currently looking to fill openings for Layout Artist, Production Manager, Manger of Finance and Manager of Information Systems. Upcoming openings include positions in their IT and Software Engineering departments. Future positions to be filled in 2010 include those who work in Modeling, Shading, Rigging, Animation, Lighting, FX, Simulation, Art, Production Staff…and an ex-Navy SEAL? At least they aren’t looking for a partridge and a pear tree…

digital albertaCalgaryDigital Alberta has announced their New Year’s Evolution event with strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author Alexander Manu. Held in partnership with the Canadian Marketing Association and Telefilm Canada, New Year’s Evolution will take place on January 19th at Calgary’s Theatre Junction Grand and Velvet Lounge. Tickets are $55 for DA or CMA Members and $95 for Non-Members.

UbisoftTorontoUbisoft has made a contest out of announcing where their new Toronto studio will be located. Employee #1 has started posting clues on his FaceBook page with a link to this video on YouTube:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The first person to guess the address of Ubisoft Toronto’s new studio location wins a copy of Avatar The Game (from Employee #1 – you must enter via his Facebook page).

Rusty Axe GamesTerrace Rusty Axe Games, a developer and publisher of downloadable game software, is proud to announce the release of Real Estate Empire 2 version 1.0!

Real Estate Empire 2 is the sequel to our popular game, Real E$tate Empire! For the real estate mogul in everybody, Real Estate Empire 2 contains over thirty different levels packed into four different scenarios.

Real Estate Empire 2 features a streamlined upgrade and renovation system that makes the game easier to pick up and play. Real Estate Empire 2 also features a new goals based system that has players leveling up through a variety of different scenarios and goals. The much requested feature of renting has been added – do you wait for good renters who won’t damage your newly renovated bungalow or do you get somebody in there to start paying the mortgage today?

Real E$tate Empire 2’s user friendly difficulty system allows players of all ages and capabilities to enjoy the game. Players will be entertained for hours while learning about real estate management at the same time!

Real Estate Empire 2 is the real estate game that teaches you how to win… at the real estate game!

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