26th October 2009

Assassin’s Creed 2 Lineage Videos Debut

UbisoftMontreal – Today marks the launch for Ubisoft’s live action and CGI Assassin’s Creed 2 movies which tell the back-story to Ezio’s Florentine Italy. Lineage Part One went public earlier today on YouTube, and you can also watch the short Lineage: Intro Movie below.

Starring Romano Orzari as Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s Assassin father, and Devon Bostick as Ezio, the story begins with events surrounding the brutal murder of the Duke of Milan, which is part of a conspiracy against one of Lorenzo de Medicis allies, whom he works for.

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Failing to save the Duke’s life, Giovanni is dispatched to investigate the crime. His mission is to determine who is responsible and why. The answers he uncovers implicate Italy’s most powerful families reaching all the way back to the Vatican itself. As Giovanni draws closer to the truth, he becomes hunted himself. He must expose the conspirators before he joins their ever growing list of victims.Giovanni Auditore

Developed by Ubisoft’s Hybride Technologies, the visual effects studio behind 300 and Sin City, Assassin’s Creed: Lineage combines live action and computer generated imagery (CGI) to explore the events that happen just before the Assassin’s Creed II game starts.  We are able to see and learn more about the ancient creed which governs Giovanni’s life and guides his blade as he fights for family, justice and honour.

Ezio AuditoreThe film series will whet the appetite of game players and fans of this type of cinematography in advance of the in-store release of the video game on November 17, 2009. Assassin’s Creed: Lineage will also introduce some of the characters that players will meet in the game: both foes and friends of the family, like Lorenzo de Medici, the Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance period.

I’ve have watched the first two videos – the intro and Lineage Part One, and all I can say is “Wow!” – the attention to detail, historic accuracy, the costuming and props – all are absolutely incredible.Giovanni's Weapons Writers Yves Simoneau and William Reymond have created an atmosphere of dangerous beauty, one which leaves the viewer wanting more and the gamer hungry to get into the game. The cinematography, lighting and atmosphere in these movies serves to set a very high plateau for the game environment’s designers, but judging from what I’ve seen thus far of the game play, I think the team rose to the challenge and have produced a title which will leave gamers in awe.

22…more…days…

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26th October 2009

Future Shop Midnight Launch, Fusion Forum News, Movember At Rockstar

Fusion ForumVancouver – This just in from New Media BCFusion Forum organizers New Media BC are pleased to announce that with the support of the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and Bootup Entrepreneurial Society, all entrepreneurs can participate at the Fusion Forum for no additional cost above the regular attendee price of $100. All companies attending the Fusion Entrepreneur Boot Camp held on November 5 as well as the twenty selected to pitch to top tier investors during the Fusion Venture Forum on November 12, will pay this same affordable rate as conference attendees.

“Our community has a history of producing some of the most notable digital media companies in the world,” says Maura Rodgers, Executive Director of Bootup Entrepreneurial Society. “We challenge our best entrepreneurs to step forward and show the international investors what our community is made of.”

The package includes full access to the event, including networking lunch and reception. Presenting companies will also have free access to “Entrepreneur Bootcamp” training sessions, presentation coaching, and a chance to pitch at the Forum on November 12th and potentially have one-on-one meetings with visiting investors from Silicon Valley.

“New Media BC is thrilled to have the support of NRC-IRAP and Bootup Entrepreneurial Society to provide such great value to BC and Canadian entrepreneurs.” said Rochelle Grayson, Interim President at New Media BC. “We have lined up first-class investors and industry experts, and we are looking forward to showcasing the best digital media talent and opportunities BC and Canada has to offer.”

The deadline for registrations has been extended to Friday, October 30th to allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of this special rate. Reimbursements will be made for companies who have already signed up at the full rate.

New Media BC also announced that Fusion’s “Best in Show” judges will be Tom Duterme, Corporate Development Manager at Google Inc., Saeed Amidi, CEO/President and Founder of Plug and Play Tech Center and Steve Hnatiuk, Founder and Partner at Yaletown Venture Partners. The “Best in Show” presenter will receive paid airfare to San Francisco and three month placement at the prestigious Plug and Play Tech Centre accelerator in Sunnyvale, California.

Rockstar VancouverStudio staff at Rockstar Vancouver will be taking part in the local Movember movement, as Rockstar Games is proud to be a major sponsor of Movember, the annual month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer. Grow a rugged moustache and send us a photo by the end of November for a chance to be immortalized as a character in Rockstar’s next epic – Red Dead Redemption (in development at Rockstar San Diego).

Historically men have been very poor at looking after their health, especially when compared with the efforts of women. Men still access health services less frequently and when they do visit the doctor, they typically present late, thereby denying themselves the chance of early detection and treatment of common diseases.

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26th October 2009

Take Refuge In Fort Zombie This Halloween

Kerberos ProductionsVancouver – From an apocalyptic world full of undead, Kerberos Studios prepares for a weekend of horror as its PC light action/RPG title Fort Zombie is confirmed for a Halloween release.Fort Zombie

Though the screams have died down and the immediate terror may have past, the sea of undead lurch forever forwards. Closer and closer they come. Make ready! For it is time to make a break from your latest hiding place. Grab whatever weapons you can find. Run and fight through the mass of undead. Make your way towards the last place of safety on Earth. Seek out precious caches of weapons, food and fuel, while rounding up the few people that remain. Rally them into a unit and begin the fight of your life.

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In Fort Zombie, players must save the town of Piety, Indiana from an impending wave of zombies migrating from a nearby major city. Players are challenged to take control of a single building throughout the entire campaign. By effectively building this structure into the ultimate fort, as well as carefully searching for supplies and finding and training survivors in Piety, players have a chance at conquering and outlasting the flesh-hungry zombies.

Fort Zombie will be available on October 30, for purchase exclusively through all major digital distribution channels for the hauntingly low suggested retail price of $9.99

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26th October 2009

International Warden’s Quest Celebrates Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare CorpEdmontonBioware is pleased to announce the Dragon Age: Origins Wardens’ Quest, a 24 hour gaming event for the upcoming dark, epic fantasy Dragon Age: Origins. To celebrate the launch of this award winning new game, BioWare is inviting gamers and press from North America and across Europe to put their skills and endurance to the test as they embark on a Dragon Age Originstense, epic journey of discovery. On October 28, at 10:00 AM GMT, ten teams of four players each will live, fight and explore the game as the drama unfolds in their 24 hour quest to claim the grand prize. Each winning team member will receive $12,500. Official rules can be found online at Quest headquarters.

“We’re extremely excited about the Dragon Age: Origins Wardens’ Quest – it’s going to be an awesome chance for gamers to band together to prove they’re the best at navigating the world of Dragon Age,” said Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, Dragon Age: Origins. “In the game, putting together a strong team is essential to success – in the same way the overall strength of the competing teams will decide who walks away with the money.”

There will be ten participating teams representing their countries: the United States, Canada, United Dragon Age OriginsKingdom, France, Netherlands and Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and a specially selected team comprised of the most loyal BioWare fans from around the world. The competition will take place in the Debating Chamber at County Hall in London, England. This space will provide a grandiose setting for the competitors to play the game, discuss strategy and battle for the grand prize as teams are eliminated throughout the day. Around the chamber, screens will be used to display leader board stats and show highlights. BioWare staff and costumed actors will further enhance the environment, theatrics and dramatics of the day.

In Dragon Age: Origins, players take the role of a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians. Now, as a rising evil threatens to destroy all life, it is up to players to unite the shattered lands and slay the corrupted dragon known as the Archdemon. To restore peace, players must make ruthless decisions and be willing to sacrifice their friends and loved ones for the greater good of mankind.

Dragon Age: Origins will be released on November 3rd in North America on the PlayStation®3, the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC. The game will ship on November 6th in Europe on PC, the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and later in November on the PlayStation®3. Dragon Age: Origins is rated M by the ESRB.

8….more….days….

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25th October 2009

Vortex Competition Extends Deadline

Vortex CompetitionThis just in from the Competition organizers: Pitch your game idea to Yannis Mallet (Ubisoft CEO Montreal and Toronto) and Kevin O’Leary (Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, Genstar Capital, and O’Leary Equity Funds)) and other major industry players at Vortex Competition 2009.

Gain insider tips from Kevin O’Leary as he discusses his take on Risk and Return – The Infinite Balance of being an entrepreneur. Ask the mogul how he did it at the Q&A session. Learn the steps to create, produce, protect and commercialize your idea at the 2009 Vortex Boot Camp on November 3 and then pitch your project on November 4th and 5th in Toronto.

Key Notes include:

• Kevin O’Leary
• Blake Lewin
• Peter Williams

Party and network with industry players!

Prize package is worth tens of thousands of dollars and includes $4,000 cash, one-on-one mentoring with industry gurus, and distribution and publishing on Mac and PC platforms for your game.

Submit your one-page game synopsis and CV/Bio but be sure to register by midnight October 27th. The registration fee for Vortext Competition is $100.00, and includes the Boot Camp, Pitch Days and passes for both the Boot Camp Reception and the Competition Awards Gala.

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23rd October 2009

Dragon Age: Origins from BioWare Has Gone Gold on All Platforms

BioWare CorpEdmonton – The latest news from Bioware is that the PlayStation®3 version of Dragon Age™: Origins will be available on November 3, 2009 in North America. The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360® and PC versions of the game have “gone gold” in North America and are currently in manufacturing, ready Dragon Age Originsfor their November 3 launch date. At launch, Dragon Age: Origins will be available on all three platforms with several packs of downloadable content (DLC) including The Stone Prisoner, the Blood Dragon Armor and Warden’s Keep; each further enriching the gameplay experience.

“We’re excited to confirm that all three versions of Dragon Age: Origins will be available to fans on November 3 in North America,” said Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager, RPG/MMO Group of EA, and Co-Founder, BioWare. “The Dragon Age: Origins development team was able to polish the PlayStation 3 version to our high standard of quality and we are ready to deliver the richest and deepest role-playing fantasy experience across all three platforms.”

In anticipation of the game, players can begin their Dragon Age: Origins experience early Dragon Age Originsby joining the BioWare Social Network — a destination to share in-game screenshots, review game data and share story information. Players can also download the free Character Creator to create and customize a player character on the PC and then upload their character data and avatar to the BioWare Social Network before Dragon Age: Origins launches. The Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator will provide players with the tools to create a character with a nearly endless amount of options. Players can download the character creator and get more information on the BioWare Social Network from the new social site.

In Dragon Age: Origins, players take the role of a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians. Now, as a rising evil threatens to destroy all life, it is up to players to unite the shattered lands and slay the corrupted dragon known as the Archdemon. To restore peace, players must make ruthless decisions and be willing to sacrifice their friends and loved ones for the greater good of mankind. Dragon Age: Origins is rated M by the ESRB.

….11….more….sleeps…..

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23rd October 2009

Friday News Mashup

EA GamesEA Montreal has released a new Army of Two: 40th Day trailer. This short video focuses on the multiplayer extraction mode. Army of Two: 40th Day is slated for release on January 12 2010.

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Vancouver Film School is holding a Halloween makeup contest. Impress their judge, film industry veteran VFSand Head of the Makeup Design for Film & Television program Stan Edmonds (The Butterfly Effect, I, Robot, Unforgiven), and you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes, including a selection of professional-quality makeup supplies! All you have to do is show your Halloween-themed makeup skills – and that can be anything you imagine as long as you’ve created the makeup yourself – on the photo-sharing site Flickr between October 26 and November 1. Once three finalists are chosen by our judge, the public will get to vote on the winner.

CorelOttawaCorel has introduced Corel® Paint it!™ touch, a new digital art studio built explicitly for the Windows 7 platform. Corel Paint it! touch is optimized for use on touch-screen computers, Paint it! touch provides budding artists of any age with a unique artistic experience. Using the program, consumers can create original artwork with the touch of Corel Paintit Touchtheir fingertips. The program’s touch-enabled capabilities let consumers add artistic touches to photos or create art from scratch using a number of realistic brushes and effects.

“With Paint it! touch, it is now possible to bypass mouse clicks and interact directly with your digital canvas, all with the touch of your fingertips,” said David Toeg, Paint it! touch Product Manager for Corel. “Windows 7 and Windows Touch have enabled Corel to create new possibilities for our users by removing barriers and helping them to connect with their digital content in more personal ways. Whether they are creating painted masterpieces, photo projects, or home videos, it can now be an even more spontaneous and interactive experience.”

IUGOIUGO Mobile Entertainment has released information about their latest game which is headed for the Apple App Store – Implode, where players are tasked to carefully plant limited dynamite bundles in order to demo obsolete structures. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG! Implode! is a classic “easy to learn, hard to master” casual game that will pull you in and won’t let go. IUGO currently has three games in the pipeline for the App Store – Implode, Zombie Attack Second Wave and Cliffed.

Features include:Implode

• 60 dynamite levels
• Reactive UI, touch and drag control options
• Fun chalkboard theme and clean graphics
• Two different types of bombs (traditional bombs and blast bombs)
• Varying structure shapes for ongoing challenge
• Submit score online (online score is the sum of all levels’ high scores)
• Grading system for high scores adding replayability to each level
• 3 Difficulties; Casual, Veteran, and Expert
• In-level help system: Learn as you play!
• IUGO VIP: Sandbox cheat gives you more bombs and you never fail! (high scores disabled with this feature)
• Watch buildings tumble with real physics!

VIATeCVictoriaIsland Tech 09 is looking for speakers. Island Tech takes place on November 13th at the Crystal Garden and will feature an afternoon of thought-provoking discussions, much in the style of the TEDx conferences. They are looking for people that have an interesting topic they would like to present. Talks should be rooted in innovation, or at least connected to technology. The organizers would prefer talks with a broad and/or unconventional scope. Do you have anything you’d like to say that fits this bill? The format for the talks is a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with the audience. People should come away from this part of the Island Tech event thinking “I’ve never thought about it that way”, or “man, that was interesting”, or maybe even “that was brilliant!”. We want these talks to stretch the boundaries a bit, and make people think. Please email Island Tech 09 with a synopsis of your talk.

Mindshare LearningThe MindShare Learning Report—Canada’s, Leading, Learning & Technology eMagazine and title sponsor Microsoft Canada Co., are set to officially launch the Microsoft – MindShare Learning Report™ 21st Century Digital Classroom Challenge (Contest Info – PDF). In its second year running, this event aims to inspire teachers, along with their students from across Canada to share their successful classroom practices using technology. Teachers from publicly funded schools can qualify to win one of three technology prize packs valued at over $15,000 for their school.

The office launch takes place at W.H. Day Elementary School in Bradford, Ontario, the site of one of last year’s contest winners, grade 5 teacher, Mali Bickley. “It is an honour to have the Mindshare Learning Contest launch hosted in my classroom. Winning the Mindshare Learning contest and having the technology for the class helped us connect with so many other classes throughout the world. The technologies were the tools that connected my students in curriculum based projects that truly made a difference in their lives and other students globally,” says Mali Bickley.

Through a video submission, K-12 educators from publicly funded schools across Canada are challenged to share their success stories using technology to support student success. Qualified entrants will be eligible to win one of three classroom technology prize packages, each valued at more than $15,000, from leading classroom technology providers, including: Microsoft Canada, Advanced Education, Dell, EPSON, FrontRow, ISTE, NECTAR Foundation, netTrekker, Pearson, SMART Technologies and MindShare Learning.

“Canadian teachers are excellent stewards in marrying technology with education and are critical in developing instructional environments that use technology to ignite the imaginations of students,” says Shann McGrail, Director of Education, Microsoft Canada. “Microsoft Canada is committed to helping educators to prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce with education-specific tools and technologies, and this contest maps to our belief that technology is one way to deliver enriched instruction to engage students and improve learning outcomes.”

“The awesome prize packages were carefully selected and represent best-of-class technology to enable 21st century digital learning in the classroom. I’m humbled by the generosity of our sponsors,” says Robert Martellacci, president and publisher, The MindShare Learning Report.

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22nd October 2009

New Dev Videos from Ubisoft

UbisoftMontrealUbisoft has released three new trailers today – first up is Part Five of the Assassin’s Creed 2 Dev Diaries. This new video focuses on a major difference with the first iteration: the evolution of Ezio, and all of his aspects. In this diary installment, the dev team discusses the reasons behind having such a long time span in the storyline, and how historical events play a part in the game’s missions. Unlike the original Assassin’s Creed, where players were given their tools by the developer and then expected to use those tools to advance their game, Assassin’s Creed 2 will give the player more choice in regards to the weaponry and armour available to Ezio.

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Also new from Ubisoft are two new Avatar The Game videos which focus on Wii play. The first video shows one of the missions which involves destroying a dam shows how players can use both co-op and single play to move through the environment, removing enemies and cheating death along the way.

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The second game footage video demonstrates how the Wii balance board can be used during game play. Avatar The Game’s Wii version also supports Wii MotionPlus, and if you don’t own a balance board (which we currently don’t), not to worry, it’s not a mandatory peripheral to play the game.

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22nd October 2009

Largest Mobile Games Competition Opens Call for Entries

IMGAThe International Mobile Gaming Awards has put out a worldwide call for entries. In six years the competition has become the Mobile Entertainment Industry’s leading showcase for groundbreaking innovations, exceptional quality and new trends in mobile entertainment, whether made for N-Gage, iPhone, Flash, Android, Microsoft, Java, Linux, BREW, or any other platform.

Developers can submit their games on line now and compete in an international arena with top studios and individual developers from all over the world. Awards will be given out in the following categories:

• The International Mobile Gaming Excellence in Design
• The International Mobile Gaming Excellence in Connectivity Award
• The International Mobile Gaming Excellence in Game Play Award
• The International Mobile Gaming Best Real World Game
• The International Mobile Gaming Best Casual Game Award

The following awards will also be presented:

• The International Mobile Gaming Grand Prix
• The International Mobile Gaming Operators’ Choice Award
• The International Mobile Gaming People’s Choice Award

Deadline for entries is 18 January 2010. The IMGA recognises the newest, the most exciting and the most innovative games so only those games published after 1 September 2009 are eligible. Concepts and demos for games are also eligible if the entrants can provide a playable demo or a finished game before February 8 2010 in time for the second judging round.

The awards will be handed out at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress.

For the second year, the IMGA is looking for games using localisation technologies, such as GPS. “Last year’s launch of the new category Real World Games was clearly a success and will be continued. We think that these games have a great future. We expect many innovators to enter amazing games and demos in this category. Our collaboration with NAVTEQ and their Global LBS Challenge® will help us increase the number of entrants in this category.”

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22nd October 2009

Dragon Age Journeys In Browsers Everywhere

BioWare CorpEdmonton – The first chapter of Dragon Age™ Journeys, a free to play browser based game set in the Dragon Age world, is now available over the internet. From Bioware, Dragon Age Journeys puts players in the role of a hero exploring the underground dwarven kingdom of Orzammar. Players will uncover a dastardly plot that threatens to unleash a great evil that Dragon Age Journeyswon’t stop until it destroys all living things. Based on BioWare’s upcoming dark fantasy epic Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age Journeys, sets a new standard of quality for browser-based games with addictive combat mechanics and fluid gameplay. Players of Dragon Age Journeys will have the chance to earn exclusive in game content for Dragon Age: Origins on the day of its release.

The game is produced by a new browser-based production team at EA and an all-star team of independent development talent, with the goal of creating premium quality browser games. Dragon Age Journeys represents EA’s commitment to supporting talented independent developers.

“Dragon Age Journeys continues our mission of working with talented game developers and artists to create high quality games, blowing away expectations of what is possible in the browser,” said Mark Dragon Age OriginsSpenner, VP of Development, EA 2D. “We are honored to be working with BioWare to introduce the Dragon Age franchise to a wide audience of gamers.”

“Dragon Age Journeys sets the stage for Dragon Age: Origins,” said Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, Dragon Age: Origins. “The team has shown the Dragon Age Franchise in a bold new light and the release of this game allows a broad audience of players to discover our dark fantasy universe for the first time.”

Dragon Age Journeys will feature intense tactical combat, a compelling story and deep customization. Players can choose from one of six different origin stories, each offering a unique background that shapes the lens of how the player perceives the world and how the world will perceive them. The game will deliver an amazing experience to fans looking for an introduction to BioWare’s dark fantasy epic, Dragon Age: Origins.

Dragon Age: Origins will be released in North America in…..twelve….more…..days……….

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