• Village Gamer

  • The Journey Continues in Dragon Age Origins Awakening

17th March 2010

The Journey Continues in Dragon Age Origins Awakening

Dragon Age Origins: AwakeningI started playing Bioware’s newest release last night. Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening is full of gaming goodness, thus far I am quite pleased with the expansion – other than not being able to connect to the Dragon Age servers, that is. I only had time to play it for a couple of hours last night, but I am really liking the new skills and abilities. So many more decisions to make on character development and tactical slots. There are undoubtedly many players who are much further into the chapter than I am, but I haven’t gone looking on the Bioware Community Forum for any reports back because I don’t want any spoilers. I am kind of missing having my warrior dog and the companions from Origins, but thus far Oghren and Anders are keeping me amused. I am only just starting to venture out from Vigil’s Keep (yes, I play slow because I Bioware Corpexplore absolutely everywhere I possibly can and I talk to the NPCs often, because you never know what you may find out. There was a surprising turn of events during the Joining ceremony near the beginning of the chapter, but you can be sure I will be playing this chapter more than once to see what other differences or surprises there may be, depending on the choices I make. Now on to getting the rest of today’s news posted so that I can go and continue my journey in Ferelden.

EA GamesBurnaby – The dev crews over at EA Black Box have been very busy. Yesterday the studio announced the official Need for Speed World beta launch, and today they’re inviting gamers to team up and throw down in Skate™ 3, the latest installment in the award-winning franchise. Skate 3 will be in stores in North America on May 11th, 2010 and worldwide on May 14th, 2010. Redefining the skateboarding experience, Skate 3 breaks new ground by letting gamers build their ultimate skate team both offline and co-operatively (*internet and EA account required for online play) to take on new challenges or competitive battles against other teams. Skate 3

“Since the very beginning of the Skate franchise, we have captured the true essence of skateboarding, be it from the feel of nailing that perfect trick, to the feeling of just hanging out and sessioning with your friends,” said Jason DeLong, Senior Producer. “For us, SKATE 3 is the culmination of this endeavor – the most connected, accessible and social skateboarding experience yet.”

In the all-new Skate.School, Coach Frank acts as a mentor and teaches newcomers the ropes by showing them all the ins-and-outs of skateboarding as they hone their skills on the sticks before hitting the streets with their team. Veterans will also feel right at home in Skate.School as they refresh their skills but also learn all the new tricks SKATE 3 has to offer including darkslides and underflips.

Gamers can hit the streets with the pros in the all-new city of Port Carverton – a true skater’s paradise with unique districts, skate parks, and endless lines. For fans with a creative flair, the new Skate.Park editor allows gamers to create their own dream plaza or mega-ramp park from scratch or use the Object Dropper to alter the landscape of Port Carverton to truly change the face of the city. In the end, SKATE 3 delivers a completely immersive and connected experience, giving gamers the tools to build and share their own skate parks, videos, and photos with all their friends by uploading them via the internet directly from their console or by importing custom created graphics & logos from the Skate website (*internet and EA account required).

SKATE 3 features a deep roster of the world’s greatest skaters including several Thrasher Skater of the Year winners:

Andrew Reynolds Eric Koston Mark Appleyard
Benny Fairfax Jason Dill Mike Carroll
Braydon Szafranski Jason Lee (as Coach Frank) P.J. Ladd
Chris Cole Jerry Hsu Pat Duffy
Chris Haslam Joey Brezinski Ray Barbee
Colin McKay John Cardiel Rob Dyrdek
Dan Drehobl John Rattray Ryan Gallant
Danny Way Josh Kalis Ryan Smith
Darren Navarrette Lizard King Terry Kennedy
Dennis Busenitz Lucas Puig

 

SKATE 3 will be available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

Cultural Human Resources Council of CanadaOttawa – The Cultural Human Resources Council has asked The Conference Board of Canada to examine the cultural sector workforce in Canada. They want to learn about your opinions on the opportunities, challenges, trends and issues that you face; as well as your suggestions for enhancing the quality and sustainability of Canada’s cultural sector.

The Cultural Human Resources Council works for and with all the cultural industries and arts disciplines in the cultural sector including: Live Performing Arts; Writing and Publishing; Visual Arts and Crafts; Film and Television Production; Broadcasting; Digital Media; Music and Sound Recording; and Heritage.

To help to maintain funding and programs specific to the need of the cultural sectors, please take the time to complete the survey. There is a survey tailored to employees, freelancers and employers. The survey can be accessed online.

Sault Ste Marie – There is plenty of activity going on at Algoma University as well. The University will be hosting the 3-day Digital Storytelling Workshop organized by the Queer Voices of the North Film Festival. The workshop will be held in the Round Room at the George Leach Centre March 22nd to the 24th, 2010, and is intended to provide a venue for local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, two-spirited, and other transgendered or queer (LGBT2SQ) youth to share their stories about living in the North.

Algoma University’s Diversity Advisory Committee first became involved with the festival in February, 2010. It is Northern Ontario’s only LGBT2SQ film festival and seeks to provoke important discussion on queer topics, to increase queer visibility in the North, and to celebrate local LGBT2SQ history. “Algoma University embraces the diverse composition of its student population.” said Diversity Advisory Committee Chair Dawn Elmore, “This workshop and festival provide an opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and two-spirited youth to come together and share stories about their experiences in the north. This sharing of perspectives enriches our learning community and promotes respect and understanding in our community.”

“Algoma University’s on-campus club Proud Algoma hosted the very first Queer Voices Film Festival, and since then it grew to be a size that required use of both Galaxy Cinemas and the Grand Theatre.” said festival co-director, Sarah Broad, “It really feels fitting that at its 5-year anniversary, it will be back at the University for the capacity-building piece.”

The Digital Storytelling Workshop is being conducted by Toronto’s Centre for Digital Storytelling. The workshop will bring 10 LGBT2SQ youth through the process of creating their own digital stories which participants can opt to screen on Saturday, March 27th, during the Queer Voices of the North Film Festival. Digital stories are two to five minute videos created by individuals sharing their own stories through voice, images, music, and other found objects in their lives. The digital storytelling workshop blends creative writing, oral history, and digital video production to support individuals and communities in making connections between their own lives and the lives of others.

The workshop is quickly filling up, and any interested individuals are asked to apply soon. Applications are available at the Queer Voices web site, and can be submitted online or they can be picked up and returned in person to Desireé Beck, Healthy Sexuality Co-ordinator at HARP, located in the Group Health Centre offices at 262 Queen St. East. Applicants must identify as a member of a minority sexual or gender identity (LGBT2SQ) and be under the age of 30. Some subsidies are available for Northern youth from outside Sault Ste. Marie to attend the workshop.

Algoma U has also opened its Games for Health studio, which is student-run and will focus on developing video games which have therapeutic benefit.  Over the past few months, Algoma Games for Health has been working with Toronto Rehabilitation on a prototype for recovering language skills after a stroke. The concept is to develop a game that can be used remotely by patients and therapists.

Speaking about the partnership in a press article released today, studio director Dwayne Hammond stated that “games can bring value to so many different areas. In health care, there is enormous potential for games to be employed therapeutically. Traditional rehabilitation techniques can be tedious for the patient, but by adding interactive gaming style content, patients are often more motivated to stick with their therapy.”

Games can also automatically collect valuable research data and monitor patient progress, and they can be delivered to those in need in a cost effective manner that is not restricted by geographical concerns or proximity to therapists.

Furthermore, Algoma Games for Health presents an excellent opportunity for its bachelor’s and master’s students to work in a professional studio on real-life projects. Last year, two students worked on the prototype of the language skills recovery game.

Algoma’s innovative MSc program in gaming (linked by videoconference over advanced networks such as ORION and CANARIE to the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland) has graduated its first crop of graduates – some of whom have found employment in the field in the Sault Ste. Marie region. In addition, the Algoma Games for Health initiative is not only an ideal learning ground for students in real-world gaming applications, it may also become an incubator for program graduates to work on specific projects.

With funding from the municipal, provincial and federal governments and now with a full-time staff of four developers, Algoma Games for Health is also exploring the potential of videoconferencing technology to connect therapists to patients in their homes.

Portfolio EntertainmentTorontoPortfolio Entertainment Inc. has brought together a diverse and prominent pool of jurors from across the globe to weigh-in on the top 15 finalists and select the winner and runner-up of the company’s recently launched “In Toon With Tweens” animation contest.

Lending their expertise to select the two most entertaining, innovative and bold projects are Carole Bonneau (TELETOON Canada inc.), Marc Buhaj (Disney Channels EMEA), Rick Clodfelter (Cartoon Network), Jocelyn Hamilton (Corus Entertainment), Linda Simensky (PBS KIDS), Andra Sheffer (Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund) and Shari Cohen (Ontario Media Development Corporation). Contest prizes total $10,000 CDN in cash as part of Option and Development Agreements and winners will be notified on September 15, 2010. The announcement was made today by Portfolio Entertainment’s Co-Founders & Presidents, Lisa Olfman and Joy Rosen.

“We are thrilled to have such a diverse group of industry experts involved with our inaugural animation contest. Each juror was chosen for their extraordinary background in kids entertainment as well as their valuable understanding of the market,” said Olfman. “We want animators and creators to know that we want to encourage them by providing this opportunity to unleash their creative talents, articulate their distinct visions and gain unprecedented access to the insights of our judges.”

Hailing from one of Canada’s leading children’s broadcasters, Carole Bonneau is VP, Programming for TELETOON Canada inc. where she oversees the acquisition, original production and scheduling strategy for four distinct nationwide specialty television channels, TELETOON English and French, and TELETOON Retro English and French.

Representing the world’s most recognizable mouse, Marc Buhaj currently serves as SVP Original Programming for Disney Channels EMEA overseeing all aspects of Disney Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa’s content including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney and Disney Cinemagic.

Providing support from global powerhouse Cartoon Network, Rick Clodfelter, serves as Director, Acquisitions & Co Productions and is responsible for acquiring pre-produced series, specials, short-form product and series co-productions that fit the Cartoon Network and Boomerang brands.

Representing Canada’s leading kids broadcaster, Jocelyn Hamilton, VP, Programming and Production, Corus Kids, oversees the programming and content strategies for YTV, Treehouse and Nickelodeon in Canada, as well as Nelvana Studio.

Stepping-in to represent the renowned U.S. public broadcasting service, Linda Simensky is Vice President of Children’s Programming for PBS KIDS. In her role she collaborates with producers, co-production partners and distributors throughout development, production, post-production and broadcast for existing and new series.

Offering insight from the world of digital media, Andra Sheffer, Executive Director for Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund manages three private funds supporting the Canadian television and new media industries: the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, the Independent Production Fund, and the COGECO Program Development Fund.

Rounding out the panel of judges, Shari Cohen, Program Consultant for Ontario Media Development Corporation, brings decades of animation production and entertainment law experience to the table. Currently, she specializes in facilitating the development and production of creative content for screen-based delivery platforms through programs such as the OMDC Screen-Based Content Initiative and the new Intellectual Property Fund.

The “In Toon With Tweens” animation contest is an initiative designed by Portfolio Entertainment to encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking by throwing the doors open to new voices within the global animation community. Animators and creators with serious comedy chops are invited to submit their original television or multiplatform projects targeting kids 8 to 12 years old for a chance at $10,000 CDN in cash as part of Option and Development Agreements. Entries must be received by June 15, 2010 and winners will be notified on September 15, 2010. Complete guidelines, eligibility requirements and instructions for submission can be found online.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Careers, Education, Everyone, Game Dev, New Releases, Research Studies, Serious, Sports, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

9th March 2010

Ontario Technology Corridor at GDC 2010 in San Francisco to Attract New Or Expanding Gaming Companies

Ontario Technology CorridorOntario via GDC – Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor are attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2010) in San Francisco to show digital entertainment companies that Ontario is the best place in North America to expand or relocate their businesses. The Canadian province offers a deep talent pool, strong and stable economy, and targeted incentives.

Ontario’s fast-growing entertainment and creative cluster produces $15 billion in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing $12.7 billion to the province’s GDP. In addition, gaming and digital media graduates from Ontario colleges and universities have proven to be prized employees at companies like Pixar Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, Walt Disney and Microsoft.

“Our job now is to add to our tremendous home-grown crop of companies. 35 Ontario gaming companies are at GDC 2010 to showcase their world-class creations, make business connections, and help demonstrate that Ontario is a prime destination in North America for gaming investments,” said Larry MacKinnon, Director, Business Development, Technology with the London Economic Development Corporation, an Ontario Technology Corridor partner. The list of companies based or with operations in Ontario and attending GDC 2010 includes Digital Extremes, Ubisoft, FileCatalyst, and Frozen North Productions. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Awards, Education, Events, Government, National News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

12th February 2010

Points of Reference

Orby - Proud to be CanadianWith the opening of today’s Winter Olympics it’s a busy day in the city, and with all of the great things we’ve been hearing about the Opening Ceremonies, I might even be persuaded to take a break from the Xbox to watch them on TV. Later this weekend we’ll be taking a look at Mass Effect 2, Dante’s Inferno, Army of Two: 40th Day and Assassin’s Creed 2: Discovery for the DS. In the meantime, here’s a bit of the game play that’s been going on in the cave. I didn’t know that Mordin could sing. Interesting. Must investigate.

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

The IGDA is conducting an ARG SIG demographic and salary survey; if you are involved in the field of Alternate Reality Games, the IGDA would like a few moments of your time.

PsychometricsFor today’s article, I would like to draw attention to a study of leadership in the Canadian workplace which was done by Edmonton’s Psychometrics Canada. An assessment publisher and consultant for the development and selection of people in business, government and education. There is a quick form to fill in prior to viewing the complete study, but I feel that the information which this study contains is worth the time.

In many cases strong leadership has resulted in dramatic effects on work engagement, team performance and innovation. However, the report also shows that poor leadership has negative effects on employee morale, project success and working relationships. I feel that in today’s Psychometrics Studybusiness climate, good leadership is important not only in the success of a company, but also in the development of employees and their quest for career and creative satisfaction.

The study, which involved a poll of 517 human resources (HR) professionals across Canada, confirms that leadership is seen as an important area of organizational functioning and development. The majority (63.2%) see leaders as having a lot of influence over their organizations’ success, with only 2.5% reporting that leaders have very little influence. The most common effects of good leadership are increased motivation (85.5%), improved working relationships (85.1%), higher team performance (80.7%), better solutions to problems (68.9%), and major innovations (41.6%).

Leadership does have its downside, however. When not properly used, leadership can have negative effects. HR professionals have witnessed good people quitting and a lack of morale (91.7%), employees’ skills not being utilized (87.2%), feuding staff members (68.3%), and failed projects (60%). Three-quarters (76%) have also witnessed a disconnection between the organization’s goals and its employees’ work. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Awards, Business News, Careers, Digital Products, Education, Mature, New Releases, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

10th February 2010

Canadian Innovation and New Releases

Congratulations to the teams of Assassin’s Creed 2 and FIFA 10 for making the shortlist in the BAFTA Game of the Year nominations. The public are invited to vote in this category, so I hope you’ll head over to the vote page and support our Canadian products. The Awards ceremony will take place on March 19th at the London Hilton.

IUGOVancouverIUGO‘s fantastical and ridiculously fun dual stick shooter, Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet is now available in the App Store for the introductory price of $1.99 USD.  Daisy Mae’s peaceful, simple life in her little desert trailer park will never be the same. A full scale alien attack on earth has begun and Daisy becomes the unlikely heroine outta nowhere. Take hold of the steering wheel and help Daisy Mae shoot and blast her way to victory in this fun and quirky dual stick shooter. Aliens: you have been served!

Features:

* More aliens than you can shake a stick at!
* The baddest selection of weapons known to folks ’round these here parts
* Purty graphics and fancy sounds effects
* Sassy costumes to unlock for Daisy Mae’s alien hoedown
* Daisy Mae “taunt” moves to kill the aliens dead in their tracks
* Control options to suit every varmint’s needs
* VIP points to be earned towards an additional costume
* Global leaderboards
* Auto save

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

OMDCToronto – The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) proudly announces that it has invested $2.9 M in funding support through its Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund (PDF) to leverage an additional $7.1 M from 94 partners to support 17 innovative projects.

The Partnerships Fund was designed to help Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries invest in smart ways to grow and increase their competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The industries eligible for funding include book and magazine publishing, music, film, television, interactive digital media and commercial theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Awards, Business News, Careers, Casual, Digital Products, Early Childhood, Education, Events, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Game Dev, Government, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Peripherals, Research Studies, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Software, Sports, Studios, Teen By: | Print This Post Print This Post

3rd February 2010

OCRI Releases Annual Knowledge-Based Industry Survey

Women In Games VancouverVancouver – A brief reminder that the Women in Games Vancouver (WIGEH) Networking Event takes place tonight at the Wine Room, downstairs at the Steamworks Brew Pub. We invite you to join us at 7pm for an evening of socializing and information.  This event is open to both women and men, and we hope to see you there.

OCRIOttawa – The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) has released its annual Knowledge-based Industry Survey. The study indicates that as of December 31, 2009, the number of companies in Ottawa’s knowledge-based sectors has increased by nearly half of one per cent while the number of employees has decreased by 1.3 per cent. The most current data, garnered from 13 industry sectors, indicates a slight increase of 0.4 per cent in the total number of companies to 1,857 up from 1,850 last year. The survey garnered responses from 88 companies whose primary business focus is in cleantech, contact centre/customer centre, convergent medical devices, defence and security, eBusiness, health and drug discovery, knowledge-based support services, photonics, semiconductor, software, telecommunications, wireless and digital media.

“We certainly expected 2009 to be challenging so we are not surprised by the decrease in employment but we also know that the best time to start a new business venture is during tough economic times. With 222 companies added to the database and a notable increase in employment for small and medium sized businesses we see that the support programs and tools available to new companies and entrepreneurs here in Ottawa are having a positive impact,” says Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI. “The entire city has rallied to provide support to help our companies become successful and there are examples of great collaboration all around us. Of course, we must continue to create an environment that is attractive to investors and actively leverages the various funding programs available for small and medium sized companies in order to fuel innovation and propel our economy forward.”

Ottawa’s cleantech sector demonstrated the greatest growth for the third year in a row, with several companies adding more than 50 employees to their staff base. This translates to a 25.2% increase in job positions for this industry sector. Also of note is Ottawa’s recent designation as one of the world’s top seven intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum.

The OCRI report also points out the strength of the region’s digital media industry, stating that “the digital media sector has been gaining traction in our region. In October, Ottawa hosted the International Animation Festival, proving to many who weren’t already aware that Ottawa is a hotbed for digital media creativity. The cluster features 63 companies that have identified digital media as their primary industry and more than 120 others see digital media as their secondary industry. As a result, a formal digital media cluster, GENERATOR, was launched in December.”

Lotusland StudiosVancouver – Hive is a board game originally designed by John Yianni and released by “Gen Four Two Games” in 2001. Independent developer Lotusland Studios has developed Hive as a mobile game, and it is now available in the iTunes App Store for the iPhone™ and iPod touch®. Hive is categorized as an abstract strategy game and is highly unique as the pieces are simply placed on a flat surface without the limitations and constraints of a traditional game-board.

Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Board Games, Business News, Careers, Casual, Education, Events, Everyone, Government, National News, New Releases, Puzzle, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

1st February 2010

New Titles From Digital Leisure and Slick Entertainment

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure’s 5 in 1 Solitaire game for the Nintendo DSi is available today for 200 Nintendo DSi Points. 5 in 1 Solitaire features the always-popular Klondike, Spider and FreeCell games as well as the unique Golf and Gaps versions of solitaire. Each of these versions has a unique style of play that’s easy enough for novice players to enjoy but will also challenge experts. You can also view tutorials for each game, track your scores and view gaming stats to see your progress.

Slick EntertainmentVancouverSlick Entertainment has announced that their latest title, Scrap MetalScrap Metal, has passed certification at Microsoft, and will be released on Xbox Live Arcade this Spring. Scrap Metal had a great showing at this year’s CES, where attendees had the opportunity to check out this new fast-paced, top-down racer. Players can drift around corners with guns blazing fight their way through explosive, action-packed missions and defeat cunning bosses to win their vehicles. Customize newly-acquired cars and return to the track to blast through more enemies. Then, jump online with Xbox LIVE® to race against friends and crush their cars with the wheels of a massive monster truck in pulse-pounding online multiplayer matches.

Contact NorthOntarioContact North has released an important new study and challenge paper titled Strategic Directions For e-Learning In Canada. In the paper’s introduction, Contact North President and CEO Maxim Jean-Louis states:

“One of the three components of Contact North | Contact Nord’s mandate is to support innovation in education and learning through testing and applied research of new modes of “delivery” using technology, and to share information in Northern Ontario, as well as nationally and internationally.

In keeping with our mandate, Contact North | Contact Nord developed this challenge paper, Strategic Directions for e-Learning in Canada, to encourage a thoughtful and intellectual discussion on the future role of technology in learning.

Our goal with this paper is to inform, to think about what the future will look like, and to see how we can best use technology to ensure Ontarians and Canadians have quality access to the education and training opportunities that are critical to our future prosperity.

We call it a ‘challenge paper’ because some of the ideas outlined here are challenging, both in terms of accomplishments in this field, as well as the challenges ahead. Again, our intention is to stimulate a conversation by exploring both the opportunities and acknowledging the challenges.”

Interested parties can view the full PDF report on Contact North’s web site.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Card Games, Digital Products, Driving, Education, Everyone 10+, New Releases, Puzzle, Research Studies, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

28th January 2010

Interactive Ontario Has Four New Directors

Interactive OntarioTorontoInteractive Ontario today announced four new directors have been elected to the Board. These directors were voted in on January 26th at the Interactive Ontario Annual General Meeting of Members.

Newly elected board members include:

Sara Diamond, President, OCAD
Collin Douma, VP, Social Media, Proximity Canada
Gary Schwartz, President & CEO, Impact Mobile
Jeffrey Elliott, Founder and Co-CEO, GlassBOX Television Inc.

“Interactive Ontario is thrilled to welcome these new directors to the Board. Each one is a leader in their field, and contribute greatly to the interactive digital media industry,” said Ian Kelso, president and CEO of Interactive Ontario. “ We look forward to working with them over the course of the next year to continue to build the interactive digital media industry in Ontario and Canada.”

Re-elected board members include:

Mark Bishop, Partner, marblemedia
Danny Dowhal, COO, The Learning Edge Corp.
Trevor Fencott. Managing Partner & CEO, Bedlam Games
Laura Jo Gunter, Dean – Information Arts & Technology, Seneca College
Mike Mays, VP Finance, Silicon Knights

Returning Board members include:

Pary Bell, Vice President, Product, Digital Media, Rogers
Vikas Gupta, CEO & President, TransGaming Technologies
Lydia Sani, Partner, Redwood e-Learning Systems and Invisions Productions Inc.
Michael Schmalz, CFO, Digital Extremes
Scott Simpson, CEO, bitHeads / Headgames / playbrains

The executive was re-appointed by the board and includes:

Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Digital Products, National News, Research Studies, Social Media By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 1 Comment - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Careers, Digital Products, Education, Events, Everyone 10+, fundraisers, Game Dev, Mobile, National News, Research Studies, Studios By: | Print This Post Print This Post

3rd December 2009

New B.C. Business Case Library to Highlight Province’s Technology Industry for Students and Entrepreneurs

BCICVancouver – The launch of a business case library with a focus on British Columbia technology companies highlights the province’s growing knowledge economy, while giving students unprecedented access to industry successes, challenges, and best practices.

The BCIC Business Case Library is a collection of business cases that cover an extensive range of topics, including entrepreneurship, technology management, sustainability, finance, and marketing. The venture was established by the BC Innovation Council, and led by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

The library will be used by post-secondary students, instructors, entrepreneurs and industry professionals to gain knowledge from local companies. In addition, the library is expected to shine a light on the province’s burgeoning technology industry and marketing the province’s technology companies globally.

“The availability of these business case studies will benefit B.C. students and entrepreneurs wanting to learn relevant local content that realistically reflects the province’s business environment,” said Dean Rockwell, CEO of BC Innovation Council.

“This is an incredible learning resource for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in this province,” said Thomas Hellmann, the B.I. Ghert Family Foundation Professor in Finance and Policy at the Sauder School of Business, who led the project at UBC. “These case studies help students to understand the intimate relationship between business and technology. This is relevant for start-ups and established companies alike.”

Business cases are often used as part of the case teaching method, an experiential learning approach that is popular with some business schools, and one made well known by Harvard Business School. The library is available in its entirety online, with the individual cases free and downloadable.

The BCIC Business Case Library was developed with expertise from seven universities in the province: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia Okanagan, University of Northern British Columbia, and University of Victoria. The initiative also received support from the W. Maurice Young Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Research Centre.

“British Columbia is a great environment for entrepreneurial spirit,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations, a leading developer of environmental technologies for vehicles, and one of the companies participating in the business cases collection.

BCIC Business Case Library — Case Studies by Company:

AbeBooks
Absolute Software
Ballard Power Systems
Blast Radius
Canadian Council for the Americas in BC
Carmanah Technologies
DelTech Manufacturing Inc.
Etraffic Press
Inland Glass & Aluminum Ltd.
Inproheat Industries
Kelowna Flightcraft
Moly-Cop Canada
OncoGenex Technologies
QLT
Sitemasher Corporation
Teampages.com
Terahertz Solutions Inc.
Westport Innovations Inc.
Wood Lake Publishing
YVR
Zengar Institute

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Careers, Education, Government, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th October 2009

Games Infiltrate Impulse Purchase Habits

NPD GroupThe video game industry has been overcome by a wave of impulse purchases fueled primarily by creative packaging and online accessibility. According to The Canadian Video Game Purchase Process, a study conducted by The NPD Group, 40 per cent of video game buyers stated that they have purchased a game on impulse in the past six months despite the recent recession.

Much like gamers overall, impulse shoppers in the industry are split almost evenly between males and females and are dominated by the 13 – 17 age group (26 per cent) and the 35 – 44 age group (23 per cent).

“Clearly gamers are becoming much less reluctant to spend on games,” said Matthew Tattle, Group Manager, The NPD Group. “One would think it is a little unusual to see impulse purchases during a recession but it’s clear that hardcore gamers will find a way to satisfy their need for something new, different and enjoyable.”

The large percentage of shoppers buying a game on impulse coincides with a rise in low-cost used games, which flourished during the recessionary months to the tune of $65 million in sales.

Impulse game buyers overwhelmingly selected low price as the primary driver behind purchasing their game at a specific retailer. Impulse shoppers in particular are more cost conscious; the average price of impulse purchases was only $27.19 compared with $42.97 for planned purchases. The reduced price of used games is, therefore, increasingly attractive to gamers. In fact, one-third of gamers reported buying a used game in the past six months and only 10 per cent say they would never buy a used game.

The study also reveals that manufacturers looking to capitalize on impulse purchases should put a strong focus on packaging while retailers should focus on merchandizing.

A survey of in-store impulse shoppers shows images or descriptions on game packaging are very or extremely important to 40 per cent, while 25 per cent are swayed by in-store demonstrations of the game.

“Game packaging is the most influential form of advertising for game manufacturers and retailers,” said Tattle. “Particularly among impulse shoppers, game packaging is considered a much stronger motivator than TV commercials, online ads or trailers. The graphics and images on game packages should be chosen strategically to ensure buyers are attracted to the game.”

Referrals are also a key to success for retailers looking to attract impulse shoppers, one-third of whom said they were motivated to make their last game purchase by having played the game at a friend’s house or receiving a referral from a family member or friend. In addition, 19 per cent of impulse buyers said a store clerk’s recommendation is very or extremely important to them and 21 per cent are swayed by a recommendation from another shopper in the store.

Canada has an extremely diverse gaming industry split almost evenly between males and females and among all income brackets. Canadian gamers reside predominantly in Ontario and Quebec with strong secondary markets in B.C. and Alberta. Gamers are passionate about their hobby with one fifth dedicating between 10 and 15 hours each week to honing their gaming skills.

Additional findings:

* Only three per cent of reported purchases were pre-ordered
* Females are more likely to buy on impulse; 46 per cent of impulse buyers are females compared to only 37 per cent of planned buyers
* Sequels sell; almost 20 per cent of gamers said they were motivated to buy a game that was a sequel to one they had previously enjoyed
* 43 per cent of impulse buyers paid only $10 – $20 for their last game purchase
* Only 15 per cent of impulse purchases were made online

Methodology
The Canadian Video Game Purchase Process was conducted from Aug.10 – 21, 2009 among a population sample of 2,429 gamers (1,758 adults, 371 teens) across the country.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

  • Archives

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter


  • Select a list:

    Annex|Pro
  • GWEN Radio
  • Gamers Giving Back

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE