2nd September 2009

A2M To Develop New Screenlife Title

A2MSeattle and MontrealScreenlife is pleased to unveil the latest home console iteration of the bestselling Scene It?® brand. Scene It?® Bright Lights! Big Screen!™ will be the first videogame in the Scene It? franchise available for Wii™ and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems and marks a return for the brand to the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft. Previous product success on the Xbox platform combined with casual gaming’s explosive growth create a tremendous opportunity for screenlifeScreenlife to bring its unique brand of entertainment trivia game play to millions of new consumers.

To be developed by Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M), Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! offers a wide variety of media-rich trivia that provides movie fans and social gamers with a lively, competitive group gaming experience. Trivia content in the game will include recently released 2009 movies as well as fan favorite Hollywood hits from the last four decades. There are numerous game improvements, including:

* Thousands of new questions
* A new and improved single player option
* Party play modes
* Many new puzzle types
* 12 all-new player avatars
* A simplified game interface
* A new, very entertaining game host
* New, unique mini-game content

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! brings it all together and provides incredible fun for the whole family. Single-player mode challenges player speed and entertainment trivia know-how, while multi-player mode creates a challenging social gameplay experience.

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29th July 2009

An Audio Guy’s Perspective of Casual Connect Seattle 2009

After 4 days of seminars and networking events, I was beat. But, boy was it worth it.

Day 1

The first day was devoted almost entirely to the Casual Connect Leadership Conference organized and supported by Women In Games International (WIGI) and Women In Games Vancouver (WIGeh). Numerous speakers presented a variety of topics, each with a particular interest in the role that women play in games, games play in the lives of women, and the portrayal of women in games.

As a person interested in the breakdown of stereotypes, thus allowing everyone’s true potential to shine, I was very engaged in the presentations of the day, which in the end left me feeling very hopeful and empowered about the potential of gaming.

Not long after, a set of roundtable discussions were set up with a variety of topics ranging from working as a contract vs employed worker, owning a small business, and moving up in the games industry.

A networking event followed with the inclusion of other folks from a more general Casual Connect audience, and it was a great night!

Highlight of my day: Megan Gaiser of Her Interactive’s presentation on “The Importance of Leadership”

Day 2 (Day 1 of Casual Connect officially)

Audio day! The entire day had an option to hear speakers who are professionals in the audio for casual games environment. Great ideas were shared including a glimpse into how other professionals create their sound design assets. It was entertaining, welcoming, and I learned a great deal. Speakers covered a wide range of aspects including the creation of stings, sfx, composition, recording, and producing. I would recommend this to any person interested in the audio for casual games arena. A very cohesive day in the audio stream.

Highlight of my day: Barry Dowsett of Sound Rangers on “The Birth and Life of a Sound Effect”
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29th July 2009

Ludia to Develop The Bachelor & The Bachelorette Videogames for WB Interactive

LudiaMontrealWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Ludia Inc. today announced a deal to create and distribute videogames based on the hit reality TV dating shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, from Warner Horizon Television and created by Mike Fleiss. The worldwide licensing and distribution arrangement will launch the videogames across multiple platforms following the conclusion of The Bachelor’s 14th season in 2010 on the ABC Television Network.

“The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are extremely popular on television and we are looking forward to bringing the properties into the videogame space,” said John Quinn, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Operations, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “These games are meant to engage fans of the show and the wider public beyond television, enriching the overall entertainment experience around the brand.”

“The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are first-rate licenses in reality TV’s dating genre, which is a hugely popular category with television viewers,” said Alex Thabet, Ludia’s founder and CEO. “We see great potential for the segment within the context of video games, and look forward to our collaboration with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to deliver a true-to-show game experience on a wide variety of platforms.”
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17th July 2009

Facebook Games – Farmville

FarmVille logo
Ever had dreams of quiting your job and moving out to a farm to try your hand at growing crops or animals?

Well now you don’t have to thanks to Zynga’s new game for the Facebook platform called FarmVille, which was released to the general public this year.

FarmVille puts you directly on the farm with a nice piece of land to call your own. You start the game by customizing your farmer’s look from suspenders to glasses. As soon as you get your virtual farmer looking snazzy you’re taken to your farm where your job is to plow some land and plant some seeds. Zynga must have spent some time thinking of this concept because it’s really quite unique.I know comparisons can be made to the other farm games on Facebook or other systems, but we’re here to look at FarmVille itself.

This game is identical to farming and because it’s played in real time and mimics the pains/pleasures of farming. Once you have farmed some plots of land you’re asked what kind of plants/trees or animals you would like to grow and are only limited by the amount of coins in your virtual account. Each type of plant/animal has a certain amount of grow and harvest time. Strawberries grow in 4 hours so you’ll find that if you plant these, you will have to come back to your farm so you can cash in your crop. If you don’t, they will wither and die. This is a unique mechanic because it makes you think how farming fits in your schedule like a real farm. You can’t just plant and walk away, this game requires a little attention each day since each crop of produce is different. With this mechanic Zynga has been able to increase their ADU (Average daily users), but at the same time it is strangely satisfying when you are harvesting and thinking what to grow next.
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18th June 2009

Meridian4 Links up with 2DEngine on Chains

Meridian4MontrealMeridian4 is thrilled to announce that they have signed an agreement with independent developer 2DEngine.com to digitally distribute their challenging and addictive puzzle game Chains.

“Working with Meridian4 is an excellent opportunity to gain the right exposure for our game which would not be possible otherwise. Most conservative casual portals would not appreciate how Chains is so Chainsexpressive and different from other puzzle titles.” Said Ivan Traykov, Lead Designer and Programmer at 2DEngine.com.

“We were instantly addicted to Chains the moment we played it and instead of getting no work done, we decided to sign the game so we had a legitimate reason for playing it. We also saw a great, challenging independently-developed game that needed to get exposure to a wide audience. This is one of those ‘just-one-more-level’ games that will have you playing for hours.” said Andy Sher, CEO at Meridian4.

Chains will be available in the coming weeks on most digital distribution channels. Village Gamer has reviewed this game – and recommends it for some challenging fun.

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28th May 2009

Chains – Game Review

Official Website: Chains
Format: PC
Genre: Action

chains0One of the first things I noticed about Chains is that there was no tutorial; that’s fine, I could probably figure this out. When the first level, Trident, loads there is a clear message on the screen “Clear 100”. After a moment the level loads and the balls begin to fill in the empty spaces. I sat and watched them fill it, waiting for some kind of direction as to exactly how to clear these multi-coloured balls that had filled in the level and after a short time a box came up and with instructions. This was going to be a lot of fun, no more mind numbing word games, just a brightly coloured and interesting version of connect the dots!

On to the next level! Clear 200 without losing any, and the balls start falling down into this little trapped area with a gate held closed by a counterweight. This was the first time I actually lost a level; sad probably since the first went by so well. My second biggest complaint with the game was that the helpful hints would take enough time to read that by the time I was back to the game the number of balls piled up caused me to fail the level. This happened a couple times before I learned that the game auto pauses when it loses focus. Awesome idea, I really liked this. Now when the hints would come up I would alt tab to some other program and move it out of the way so that I could take my time to read over the hints.
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28th May 2009

The Price Is Right Sells One Million and Family Feud Is On Its Way

LudiaMontreal – Interactive entertainment company Ludia Inc. today announced that its premiere game, The Price Is Right, has sold one million units across multiple platforms since its launch in March 2008. Based on information from retail and digital distribution channels, a Price Is Right game has been purchased on average almost every thirty seconds since its release online, in retail and on the Apple App Store.

“We are very proud that The Price Is Right game has given so many players countless hours of enjoyment on the platform of their choice, said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “The strong sales of this game show title in retail and digital channels proves that our multiplatform strategy can result in tremendous reach and ongoing sales potential.”

“After more than 37 years, The Price Is Right remains a highly successful television game show with phenomenal longevity,” said David Luner, Senior Vice President, Interactive & Consumer Products, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), North America, the program’s licensor. “Ludia’s The Price Is Right game hitting this impressive milestone is very exciting to see, and is a strong affirmation that the brand continues to resonate in new ways with fans of all ages.”
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6th May 2009

Switchin.net Acquires ArmoredLegion.com Game Portal

SwitchInVancouverSwitchIn.net, a leading portal for casual 3d MMO’s has acquired the distribution and rights to the portal Armored Legion.

“By acquiring not only the rights to the distribution of the portal but also the key technology base of Armored Legion it allows us to grow in the more traditional RPG sector,” said Derek Young , President of SwitchIn. “This means we can continue to make great casual games but also some very exciting upcoming MMORPG games.”
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23rd April 2009

EA Announces the Launch of EA SPORTS Complex

EA SportsBurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. today announced that EA SPORTS™ Complex launched on PlayStation®Home for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, the 3D social gaming community that allows users to interact, communicate and share gaming experiences online. This newly created EA SPORTS space offers users a place to play a variety of unique, casual multiplayer games with friends in easportscomplexPlayStation Home, as well as view exclusive game trailers and videos, to learn more about their favorite EA SPORTS games. At launch, EA SPORTS Complex will feature a tournament-style Texas Hold ‘Em Poker game and EA SPORTS Racing featuring formula-style cars.

“We are extremely proud of the compelling and immersive online offerings that are available at launch for EA SPORTS Complex,” said Rob Burnett, senior producer. “EA SPORTS Complex is a dynamic space and was specifically designed to appeal to not only the hardcore sports fan but casual gamers alike.”
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13th April 2009

Raycatcher Is Now Available on Direct2Drive, Impulse and Steam

RayCatcherVancouver – A couple of months ago we told you about a new game Raycatchercalled Raycatcher,  a title which syncs its gameplay with your MP3s.  Developed by Thinking Studios, Raycatcher allows the player to create custom playlists of his or her favorite music and play for as long or as short as you’d like. The goal of the game is to spin a colorful cluster of shapes to catch multi-colored rays. This causes the cluster to grow, evolve, and unlock 30 new evolutionary stages. Raycatcher is now available for purchase on Steam, Direct2Drive and Impulse.

Raycatcher Download Features

  • Load in your own music: Raycatcher will accept .mp3 and .wav formats
  • Beat detection technology: Changes gameplay to match your music in pleasant and creative ways.
  • Make playlists of any length: Raycatcher is flexible and allows you to play for how ever long you want, and still feel like you’ve made progress.
  • Original music by artist Noobie Noobinson: Music by a new up and coming band, some of which was created specifically for Raycatcher.
  • 30 evolutionary stages: Complete with funny and enlightening descriptions. Raycatcher illustrates a cute and informative view of the kosmos.
  • Range of difficulty: Easy to pick up, with 3 difficulty levels that range from easy-yet-challenging to insanely difficult.

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