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  • Gaming World Entertainment Network Helps Gamers Give Back

29th July 2010

Gaming World Entertainment Network Helps Gamers Give Back

Gamers Giving BackInternet radio fans, check out Gaming World Entertainment Network, an internet station with roots in Canada. While the station is on the air for anyone to listen to, Guild Wars players can interact directly with radio DJs right in the Guild Wars world, participating in special events and fundraisers such as the upcoming Pink Day in LA (Lion’s Arch) whereby players are encouraged to dress their characters in pink on October 16th to show their Pink Day in Lion's Archsupport for breast cancer research. For those who would like to also donate financially to the cause, GW-EN has a donation page on the Canadian Cancer Society’s fundraising site. Station co-founder Rhonda Head, who lives in Saskatchewan, wanted to not only entertain and interact with Guild Wars players, but also give them a chance to give back to the global community. GW-EN has partnered with Gamers Giving Back, providing a way for gamers to come together as a group and help support a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Red Cross for Haiti relief effort and the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Gaming World Entertainment Network plays a wide variety of music, and starting today at 1pm PDT, Michael (a.k.a. The CaveChild) makes his return to internet radio as DJ Behemoth. If you are a Guild Wars player, you’ll be able to find him in Kaineng Harbour rocking it out on one of the boats in American District 1.

Koolhaus GamesKoolhaus Games announces Voting for Round One of its International Contest for Unsigned Bands. The Top 25 Favorites in each Round are being decided by voters to the site. The Top 10 Winner’s Songs will be included in the new soundtrack of their popular iPhone game – iMP:Surf the Music and the groups will earn royalties from game sales.

Just visit the site, click on the Contest link – and go to “Fans: Vote and Enter”. Check out the bands and vote for your favorite by August 23, 2010. Then, Enter to Win an iPod Touch. Enjoy all the great new songs and be part of getting these Unsigned Acts the exposure they deserve! There will be several Rounds and one Voter from each round wins an iPod Touch.

National Film BoardThe National Film Board of Canada returns to 2010 Hiroshima International Animation Festival (August 7–11) with six films in competition. In the running for the Grand Prix are Lipsett Diaries and Drux Flux, two films by Theodore Ushev; Jeu de forme by Malcolm Sutherland; The Spine by Chris Landreth; Runaway by Cordell Barker and Retouches by Georges Schwizgebel. Ushev will be in Hiroshima, and Internet users can stay in touch with him via his blog.

The festival offers several programs in addition to the official competition. No fewer than 11 NFB films are featured at special presentations: Neighbours by Norman McLaren screens at the opening gala; Vive la rose by Bruce Alcock, co-produced with the Canadian company Global Mechanic, screens at the Best of the World program; and When the Day Breaks by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, Village of Idiots by Rose Newlove and Eugene Fedorenko, The Big Snit by Richard Condie and Ryan by Chris Landreth, co-produced by the Toronto-based company Copperheart Entertainment, are among the films selected for the program celebrating the festival’s 25th anniversary. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th July 2010

Telefilm Expands Web-Ciné 360 To Include English Language Productions

netflixThe biggest news of the day seems to be the announcement by American Internet movie subscription company Netflix, Inc. The corporation started our week with the announcement that it will expand into Canada this fall offering unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed instantly to TVs and computers (and game consoles?) for one low monthly fee.

Canadian Netflix members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs. In addition to representing its inaugural international market, Canada will also mark the first streaming-only service promoted by Netflix.

At the time of launch, the Netflix Canadian service will be available in English only, but the company said it expects to add French language capability over time. Canadians interested in Netflix can sign up to receive an email from the company when the service launches in Canada this fall.

Yummy InteractiveVancouver’s Yummy Interactive, Inc. a veteran leader in online PC games distribution for over 10 years today introduced its turnkey game service, Yummy Games Quick Launch, which provides portal operators and online communities with a quick-to-market Games on Demand solution.

The Yummy Games Quick Launch system enables multiple business models packaged under one umbrella. Consumers can play their favorite games via subscription, full-purchase download and limited-time PC game rental. Quick Launch partners can choose from one of Yummy’s custom design themes for their website, and customize elements throughout the site. They will then be able to select their game inventory from Yummy’s licensed catalog of over 1,000 titles and even supplement their library with their own proprietary or licensed game content.

Yummy’s full spectrum of applications, back-office tools and digital distribution technology are all leveraged to engage customers in buying and playing games. If you are at Casual Connect in Seattle this week, be sure to stop by Yummy’s booth and say hi.

The Yummy Games platform includes:

* Yummy’s Progressive Streaming – this technology permits end users to begin playing a game before it has been fully downloaded. This buffering also reduces bandwidth usage, lowering overall hosting costs.
* Games Player – as both a web-based and desktop application, users can access their service and download, launch and save games through the Player from their desktop or their favourite web browser.
* Games Website – the website includes a complete array of pages that highlight the product catalog, service features and support. It includes all meta data on games, search tools, advertising and dynamic web services that will automate lists of games such as Top Played Games, New Releases, and Recommendations.
* Account Management – customers can establish user accounts which are fully managed, secured, and maintained and can be connected to outside databases.
* Automated Updates – content changes, game patches, application fixes are all managed automatically for users every time they log in.
* Digital Rights Management – game executables are wrapped and protected with Yummy’s GameShield™ technology and data is encrypted alongside session-based authentication and IP detection for user account access.
* Cloud Computing – a selection of games can now be saved to the Cloud, so users can access their game saves remotely.
* Real-time Reporting – revenue reports, statistics on player usage, network traffic, most played games, and network activity (session length, time of day, installs, playtime, geographic locations) are included.

The Quick-Launch system also manages hosting, delivery and e-commerce support as part of the overall white label package. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2010

Great Things In Store From The Indie Dev Sector

indie fundAttention Indie Developers – the Indie Fund has just announced that it is now open for business. Get yourself over to their website (after you finish reading today’s news) and check out what is required of you and your project in order to apply for funding from this great group of people who would like to see you succeed. The Indie Fund was created by successful indie developers Jonathan Blow, Kellee Santiago, Ron Carmel, Kyle Gabler, Aaron Isaksen, Nathan Vella and Matthew Wagner. According to the Fund’s web site,  it was established as a serious alternative to the traditional publisher funding model. Our aim is to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get (and stay) financially independent.

apezoneAfter eleven years of making PC games, Quebec-based ApeZone has released its first iPhone game, SoliScare. Use the solitaire skills you’ve honed while killing time at work on SoliScareyour Windows PC to whack Zombies, smack Ghosts, and mash Monsters on your iPhone. As you work your way through the game, you will travel to graveyards, haunted castles, and other spooky locations. Put the beat down on things that go bump in the night, collecting all 37 ghosts, zombies, and classic movie monsters by making extraordinary card runs. As your skill level increases, you can unlock 100 unique, hand-crafted levels and use coins to purchase in-game enhancements, giving you a new experience each time you play. SoliScare is available in the iTunes App Store for 99 cents.

frima studioFrima Studio announced today that the Summer of the PlayStation Mini is officially here with the arrival of Widgets Odyssey on the PlayStation Store in North America for only $1.99 USD. As a PlayStation Mini title, playable on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Widgets Odyssey takes players on the first of two interstellar puzzle-platforming adventures that will continue in Widgets Odyssey 2, also releasing later this summer.Widgets Odyssey

“The launch of Widgets Odyssey marks an exciting day for puzzle-platforming fans everywhere, and we’re also happy to be kicking off a series of summer releases for the PlayStation Minis platform from Frima,” said Steve Couture, CEO and co-founder of Frima Studio. “The Minis platform has allowed us to deliver our proudest creations to players on both the PSP and PS3 without them having to break the bank. We couldn’t be happier to continue the tradition this summer with both installments of Widgets Odyssey, as well as our upcoming action-epic, Young Thor.”

In Widgets Odyssey, five robots aboard their space vessel have just one simple mission: to save the universe from the tyrannical Yagor and his evil henchmen! Armed with the abilities of Spad, Cosmo, Bruce, Helmut, and Monk, players will guide each robot along their exciting adventures filled with puzzles, mazes and minigames. Players can also look forward to the continuing adventures of the ‘S-Space’ crew in Widgets Odyssey 2 when it launches later this summer.

RatRod StudioRatrod Studio Inc. is proudly announcing their latest iPhone game title “Drift Mania Championship” which has been developed in collaboration with the official Drift Mania Canadian Championship league (DMCC). This exciting video game will be available worldwide in mid July 2010 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game is rated 4+ (for everyone) and can be purchased on the Apple App Store. Drift Mania

Already entering its 5th season, DMCC is the only professional drifting series and sanctioning body in Canada developing over 600 drivers, hosting 10 competitions from Vancouver to Quebec and capturing hundreds of thousands of fans every year. Like real drifting, the Drift Mania Championship video game is a combination of driving skills, style and showmanship. It’s all about loss of the rear wheel traction while keeping the race car in total control.

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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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30th June 2010

CTV Series FlashPoint Announces Upcoming Online Game

Happy Social Media Day, Canada – a good warm-up for tomorrow’s National birthday celebrations. Speaking of Canada Day, don’t forget that if you’re in Vancouver, there will be an abundance ofPure Football activities happening at Canada Place on July 1st. If you haven’t tried Ubisoft Vancouver’s latest soccer title, Pure Football, stop by the the BC Soccer event area at Canada Place and give it a go. In celebration of Canada Day and the World Cup, we will be giving away a copy of Pure Football tomorrow, courtesy of Ubisoft Vancouver. Check back tomorrow for the details on this giveaway.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterAdvance tickets for our local SIGGRAPH chapter’s Spark Animation conference go on sale tomorrow. There isn’t very much information available yet, but word at last night’s Making of ModNation Racers event was that there will be Early Bird prices available, so check the site tomorrow for more details.

National Film BoardStarting today, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has its own iPad app, available free of charge at the iTunes Store or at the NFB’s download page. One of the first Canadian film apps for the iPad, the NFB app allows users to enjoy over 1,000 NFB documentaries, animated shorts and trailers, streamed over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless networks. It includes a selection of NFB-iPadfilms in 3-D and stunning high definition. Users will also be able to download and store a film for up to 48 hours, for off-line viewing.

The app has the same features as the NFB’s iPhone app but has been optimized to take advantage of the inherent qualities of the iPad:

• Watch over 1,000 free movies
• Access a kids’ channel with fun and educational content for children
• Store films for up to 48 hours for off-line viewing
• Browse films by channel/category
• Search for films by title
• Bookmark your favourite films
• Browse related content while viewing a film thanks to split-screen technology

The NFB’s iPad application builds on the success of its popular iPhone app, launched last fall. The NFB’s iPhone app was selected as one of the best apps of 2009 by iTunes Canada and named Best Use of Content in 2009 by TheAppleBlog. Since its launch in October 2009, the NFB’s iPhone app has been downloaded more than 235,000 times, with 821,000 film views, as of June 1, 2010. Dragon Age Issue 2

Fans of  Dragon Age: Origins will be pleased to know that Issue 2 of the Dragon Age comic book series  from IDW has been released and is now on store shelves. You can get an inside look over at Issuu’s web site.

CTVCTV announced today that the Gemini Award-winning series FlashPoint will present a special Season 3 sneak peek episode on Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. on CTV. A quick-hit teaser of a third season locked and loaded with hard-hitting storylines, painful decisions, and Team One’s toughest adversaries yet, the mid-summer primer is a can’t miss target for FlashPoint fans. Earlier this month CTV announced the pick-up of a fourth season which will begin production in Toronto for the 2010/2011 season. Following its television broadcast, the Season 3 sneak peek will be available on demand on the CTV Video Player at CTV.ca.

In the Season 3 sneak peek, entitled “Unconditional Love” (July 16), Team One must resolve a standoff at a seedy motel with a fugitive whose shot two police officers and taken a teenager, Paul Wilder (Devon Bostick, BEING ERICA), hostage. At first, Paul seems like a good kid in a bad situation, but as the team digs deeper it uncovers chilling secrets that reveal Paul is far from FlashPoint's David Paetkauinnocent. What began as a standoff ends as a desperate chase through the city’s sewer system, and it’s up to Parker (Enrico Colantoni) to stop Paul from making a mistake that will change him forever. Meanwhile, Ed (Hugh Dillon) discovers that his cop brother Roy (Colin Cunningham, Da Vinci’s Inquest) might have been responsible for one of the officers getting shot… and that his wife is, unexpectedly, expecting.

Also launching on Friday, July 16 is FlashPoint: Training Day, an interactive, online simulation game that gives FlashPoint fans the chance to become virtual members of the Strategic Response Unit (SRU). Adopting the role of a rookie recruit, website visitors enter FlashPoint: Training Day and explore SRU training with tactical and strategic training modules, including real time negotiations with a hostage taker. FlashPoint: Training Day uses actors from the show to create a realistic training environment, bringing players inside the SRU. Players undertake a recruitment test and training modules and eventually the final tests to see if they have what it takes to become an SRU officer. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th June 2010

Tap Apps, Temperamental Bears and Digital Influence in Canada

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) has released the official guidelines for its Diverse Languages Program. The Diverse Languages Program, which forms part of the CMF’s Convergent Stream, ensures that Canadians have access to content that reflects the variety of languages they speak. The program will provide funding support for the creation of Canadian content for television and digital media platforms in languages other than English, French, and Canadian Aboriginal languages, which are served by the CMF’s other funding programs.

zinc RoeCongratulations are due to Tickle Tap Apps developer zinc Roe, the proud recipient of three Parents’ Choice Awards in the highly competitive Mobile Apps category. Sound Shaker and Sort Slider both earned Gold Awards for highest quality apps while Count Caddy was recognized with Silver Honors for excellence. These popular apps are educational iPhone games preschoolers love and parents can feel good about.

To celebrate the awards, zinc Roe will be giving away Bug Builder, the newest app in the Tickle Tap series, for free! Visit the iTunes App Store on Saturday, July 3 or Sunday, July 4 and type “Bug Builder” into the search to download your free app.

The venerable Parents’ Choice Foundation has been reviewing and recommending quality children’s media for more than three decades. This year it was inundated with entries for its new Mobile Apps category. Apps were judged based on overall ratings for how each app amusedTickle Tap and offered new ways to learn. The judges describe Tickle Tap Apps as “a charming introduction to learning anytime and anywhere.”

“zinc Roe design offers a suite of bright and colorful apps for the youngest users,” says the Parents’ Choice Awards review of the Tickle Tap apps. “With its welcoming continuity of voice and characters, this age-appropriate playful prologue is deliciously intriguing to those eager to learn.”

Tickle Tap Apps are attractive, simple games that help kids learn about numbers, shapes and patterns. The apps are developed by child gaming experts, vetted by educational researchers and tested by kids. These portable games help transform trips, line-ups and car rides into fun, educational experiences for young children.

A2MU.S. publisher 505 Games and Canadian developer Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M) have released the bears – Naughty Bear is now available for the Xbox 360™ and PlayStation®3 platforms. The game allows players to take on the role of the infamous Naughty Bear, who is driven to seek retribution after his fellow bears snub him one time too many times. After the other bears exclude him from Daddles’ big birthday party, Naughty Bear finally snaps and slashes a grisly path of revenge and destruction across the Island of Perfection.

Waging psychological warfare against all things cute and fluffy, as Naughty Bear, players engage in sadistic scuffles on all that crosses their path. Using a hilarious array of weapons, interactive objects and endless scare tactics, gamers create chaos on the Island of Perfection to earn Naughty Points as they inflict physical and psychological harm on Naughty Bear’s numerous enemies. This all-new scare-based points system allows players to win the most rewards for being truly deviant and maniacal. As the ill-fated bears become more difficult to harass and terrorize as the game progresses, the variety of scare-based attacks allow for a completely new experience each time players pick up a controller.

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Rated by the ESRB as “T” for Teens with a “Violence” content descriptor, Naughty Bear features more than 28 single player levels to unlock as well as competitive online multiplayer modes filled with unique characteristics and weaponry encountered at every stage. Players battle an endless barrage of bears recruited to wage war against Naughty, including Soldier Bears, Ninja Bears, Robo Bears and even an Alien Bear invasion. As they scour the Island of Perfection to unleash their naughtiness, players can collect all the hidden party items locked away by the other bears to win wearable items and unlock special Achievements and Trophies. Nancy Drew Trail of the Twister

TransGamingTransgaming has just announced that Her Interactive’s title Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is now available on GameTree Online for Mac gamers. Download the game for only $19.99 and then go undercover as a storm chaser, immersing yourself in meteorology by studying clouds, reading Doppler data, and surviving tornadoes – all while trying to find a saboteur.

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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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14th June 2010

Symantec Releases Norton Online Family Report

Future ShopFuture Shop appears to be the first Canadian retailer to 360 slimbe accepting pre-orders for the new Microsoft Xbox 360 Slim Console in all of its sleek blackness. As Don Mattrick announced earlier today, the shelf price is indeed $299.99 and the hard drive is 250GB. The new console also has built-in WIFI and is said to be “whisper quiet” which is something my current Xbox 360 Elite is not. Future Shop has placed a limit of 1 pre-order per household, and the current estimated date of arrival is December 31 2010. Won’t it be a nice surprise when it arrives earlier?

Ubisoft announced during their E3 press event that Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved is in development exclusively for Kinect™ for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the game will be available at retail in Fall 2010. Using the power of Kinect™ for Xbox 360® and Ubisoft’s proprietary Player Projection technology, Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved will give players full control of Ubisofttheir fitness experience through voice and body motions. Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved will deliver a dynamic, interactive and convenient at-home workout tailored to each player’s individual fitness goals. The combination of Kinect™ for Xbox 360® with Ubisoft’s Player Projection technology will provide the player with unprecedented precision, feedback and results.

“Ubisoft’s Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved leverages the interactivity of Kinect™ for Xbox 360® to revolutionize fitness gaming,” said Felicia Williams, international brand manager at Ubisoft. “Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved is so precise, fun and interactive that players won’t even realize that they are getting a great workout while playing our game.”

Ubisoft’s Player Projection technology is a trailblazer for Kinect™ for Xbox 360®. The player’s real silhouette is projected on screen, not through an Avatar, making the player the main focus of the experience. Oh, joy. The player’s real body is tracked during the training session, enabling the game to give direct feedback, telling the player if they have reached the optimal position for the most efficient and immersive fitness experience ever.

Players will have the freedom to choose how they want to play and interact with Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved. They have the choice of working with a personal trainer, taking a variety of classes or getting the entire family involved with fun mini-games, such as dancing and target practice. At the start of the game, players will complete a fitness test and will be asked to input their goals. The game will then offer players a complete fitness program fully adapted to their goals and capabilities, and the fitness program will evolve and change as a players’ fitness level improves, keeping them motivated and challenged.

Players will also have the opportunity to work out with some of the best personal trainers in the industry in the comfort of their own homes without the cost of a gym membership. Michael George, Los Angeles–based celebrity fitness trainer and Michelle Bridges, trainer for all five series on Australia’s “The Biggest Loser,” will both offer workout classes at launch. There are also a variety of fitness class options, including yoga, Pilates, martial arts and boxing. In addition, Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved will also offer a wide choice of mini-games including dancing, ball games, balance games and hula-hoop. The mini games support turn-based multiplayer mode so players can challenge friends and family.

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Kinect™ for Xbox 360® puts you at the center of your favorite entertainment experiences, including fitness,” said Matt Barlow, general manager of IEB marketing for Microsoft. “The precision of the Kinect sensor will transform your workout routine by making you the controller, taking technology out of your hands to allow you to get fit and have fun in the most natural way possible.”

Your Shape’s online fitness portal will allow players to track and share all their workout data and will provide a centralized location for all fitness, wellness and training needs. It will host a thriving community where users can share their fitness challenges, interact with groups and stay inspired and Assassin's Creed Brotherhoodengaged. Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved will also offer new content online available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace to refresh and continually develop players’ workout experiences.

While Your Shape: Fitness Evolved might look really cool, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood looks absolutely amazing. Ubisoft Montreal’s Patrick Plourde revealed that Brotherhood will exploit the full potential of horses – gamers will be able to ride them within cities as well as use them in combat. There will of course be new abilities and new weaponry, including the very useful cannon. This will come in handy, as Patrick stated that the enemy NPC AI has become more aggressive. I see much respawning in my future. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th June 2010

DrinkBox Studios Announces its First Original Title

drinkbox studiosToronto indie developer DrinkBox Studios has announced that its first original console title will be coming to the PlayStation®3 system via the PlayStation®Network toward the end of the year.

Tales from Space: About a Blob is a game about an innocent little creature that grows and grows until it eats the whole world. In development since January of 2009, the game features a monster movie setting and theme, a retro-inspired art style and puzzle-focused platforming gameplay.

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“Players will interact with the game environment using unique growth and absorption control mechanics, experiencing the world at vastly different scales as they progress. Both single-player and co-op play will be supported.” said Ryan MacLean, CEO of DrinkBox Studios. He continued: “We’re extremely excited to be releasing the game on the PlayStation®3 system.”

49 Pixels has announced plans for an open forum which will allow for the gathering of Pixel to Productpeople and facilitate an open conversation in regards to Canada’s digital economy. Please see the the Pixel to Product blog for complete conversation details. The first online conversation is scheduled for Friday June 18th at 4pm ET.

United Front GamesGrammy Award winning recording artist, producer and musician Pharrell Williams brings his unique blend of pop, hip hop and soul to headline the soundtrack for United Front GamesTrue Crime: Hong Kong, the company’s forthcoming open-world/action game. Also on the soundtrack is up and coming R&B, pop and jazz singer Rhea who frequently collaborates with Williams and has performed with N.E.R.D. With orders to “do whatever it takes to become one of them,” players assume the role of undercover detective Wei Shen as he engages in visceral, fast paced martial arts combat, explosive gunfights, high-octane action driving and acrobatic free-running chase sequences in order to infiltrate and bring down one of Hong Kong’s most notorious Triad organizations. In order to survive, Wei must think like them, fight like them, and even kill like them.

Bioware CorpThe Mass Effect™ 2 phenomenon rages on! BioWare™has launched a demo for Mass Effect 2 on Xbox Live® and PC. Designed to help introduce the rich Mass Effect fiction to all-new players, the demo features the first two missions of the game as well as one bonus mission, totaling over 90 minutes of the action-packed game play and rich storytelling that have made Mass Effect 2 one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. BioWare is releasing the demo with a “Story-so-far” video, narrated by actor Martin Sheen, that provides a recap of past events aMass Effect 2 Overlordnd plot twists in the Mass Effect universe.

In the demo, players step into the role of Commander Shepard and must escape from a Cerberus space station under siege. Players can jump ahead to a later mission where they must rescue Subject Zero, a hardened, dangerous criminal from a heavily guarded prison ship. Once they play the demo, players will be able to create a save and carry over their character along with the experience points, story decisions, achievements and weapons earned into the full version of the game – picking up right where they left off, on both PC and Xbox 360.

BioWare also announced today that the new DLC chapter “Overlord”, which will add five new areas and two new achievements will be available on June 15th for 560 Microsoft points and on PC for 560 BioWare points. Also on June 15, BioWare is releasing a new premium theme based on Omega and new avatar items for Xbox Live will follow on June 17.

“Mass Effect 2 is one of our greatest achievements to date at BioWare,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and Group General Manager of the BioWare Group, and Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts. “The Mass Effect team continues to deliver on our promise to add exciting new content to the universe for our loyal fans, and we’re also excited to be able to give all gamers a chance to experience this amazing game through a free demo!”

Down at E3, Target and Ubisoft have teamed up for an exclusive preview of four upcoming Ludiafamily fun games. Target’s Bullseye Lounge will feature two upcoming video game adaptations of the hit television game shows, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?™ and Hollywood Squares™. Playable on Wii™, these demos will offer Expo attendees a chance to engage in competitive gameplay. The new Who Wants To Be A Millionaire video game is created by Ludia and is based on the Disney-ABC Domestic Television hit game show, which will premiere its ninth season in syndication this fall. The Millionaire video game, on display in the Bullseye Lounge at E3, will put the brains of expo attendees to work as they compete against one another to answer increasingly difficult trivia questions. Visitors to the Bullseye Lounge will be able to experience the drama and intensity of the pop culture game show sensation first-hand, as they test their trivia knowledge and give their “final answers.” Read the rest of this entry »

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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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