8th July 2008

Online NFB Site Tests in Public Beta

National Film BoardThe National Film Board of Canada has officially launched its new service, which offers full-length NFB documentaries, animations and dramas. Delivered using an open source platform and the new JW Media Player, the NFB offerings can be viewed at beta.nfb.ca

The National Film Board has recognized that the majority of Canadians will be active Internet users and that approximately 95% of Canadian households will access the Internet through broadband services. To that end, the NFB believes that Canadians will expect a full range of offerings in the digital world to be available on their computers and mobile devices.

Recognizing that the ability to watch programmes whenever and wherever they want is becoming a driving force among Canadian viewership, the NFB believes that content should be available in both English and French, as well as Aboriginal languages wherever possible.

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8th July 2008

Ubisoft Acquires Hybride Technologies


July 8, 2008 – Today Ubisoft announced the acquisition of Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based studio renowned for its expertise in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television and advertising.

Created over 15 years ago, Hybride employs 80 team members. The studio’s many projects include such innovative films as 300, Frank Miller’s Sin City and the Spy Kids series.

Ubisoft will work closely with Hybride to share technology and to develop tools in order to optimize the creation of both video games and visual effects and to offer gamers visual experiences that rival those of the cinema. At the same time, Hybride will continue to work with its film partners while also bringing its expertise to leverage Ubisoft’s intellectual properties for the movie industry.

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7th July 2008

Go! Go! Break Steady Coming on XBLA

Little Boy Games Little Boy Games, a new Vancouver game development studio headed by Ivan Tung and Usman Khalid will be releasing their first game on XBLA this month. Go! Go! Break Steady is rated E for Everyone and features six break dancing characters who dance their way through twenty musical numbers as the player matches buttons and blasts their way through match-three puzzle levels.

Break Steady Title

Go! Go! Break Steady offers single player, co-op, versus and multi-player modes, along with an XBLA Leaderboard and Gamer Achievements. Gamers can choose to play as Hydro, Sparx, Slim, Granny, Go Go or Mighty Mite and choose their level of difficulty. The object of the game is to take on DJ Scruffy and the Beatniks and win the “All City Break Steady Tournament” by defeating each level and taking home the prizes.

Game Play Go! Go! Break Steady will be available exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360 owners who have either a Silver or Gold membership. Those who are also on FaceBook can check out the Go! Go! Break Steady fan page for further information. Best of luck to Little Boy Games on their inaugural game release – we look forward to seeing more games from Ivan and Usman in the future.

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3rd July 2008

Get Rich Playing Games

Get Rich Playing Games
Scott Steinberg

Get Rich Playing Games has got to be one of the most useful and entertaining “how to” books I have read recently. I can usually gauge the usefulness of a book by how much yellow highlighter I go through, how many post-it notes stick out from among the pages, and by how many research leads I garner. Scott Steinberg has penned another winner, and in my opinion the value of the information he shares in Get Rich Gaming far exceeds the cost of the book – which is very reasonably priced, by the way.

Get Rich Playing Games covers almost every aspect of the game industry, from pre-startup stage to getting the product on the shelf and beyond. Scott Steinberg doesn’t only focus on the game developers and designers, though. Throughout the book he discusses the important roles other people in the industry play, from the number crunchers and audio designers to the journalists who write the reviews. What I consider important about the inclusion of these different vocations within the videogame industry is that almost anyone who has the passion to work within the industry can probably find a career position for which they are perfectly suited. Not everyone has the knowledge, talent or passion to be an engineer or an artist, and Get Rich Playing Games shows that you don’t have to be able to paint the next fantasy art masterpiece to work in gaming.
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30th June 2008

ProStreet Wins GT Diamond Award

NFSbox Vancouver-developed Need for Speed ProStreet has become the second EA title to achieve Diamond status on GameTrailers. According to GT’s Stream Stats, the ProStreet trailer has been viewed more than 10 million times. Shane Satterfield, Editor in Chief for GameTrailers said “We are proud to present EA with a GT Diamond Award for their incredible work on Need for Speed ProStreet. With quality titles like Crysis and Need for Speed ProStreet, it is no surprise that EA was the first publisher to have two titles that really resonated with our hardcore gaming audience.”

Black Box Vice President Larry LaPierre said that “Receiving the GT Diamond Award is a real accomplishment; GameTrailers visitors represent our core fan base and ten million views illustrates why Need for Speed is one of the world’s most successful videogame franchises.”

Our congratulations to the team at Black Box.

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29th June 2008

Impromptu Film Fest Coming Up

impromptuThe Impromptu Film Festival will be taking place at the Vancouver International Film Centre, Vancity Theatre on Seymour Street this coming weekend. The Festival will run from noon until 5pm, with tickets costing $15.00 for either Session A or Session B, or $20.00 for both sessions. You can purchase advance tickets at Biz Books, which is located at 302 West Cordova Street.

According to the event’s website, “featuring films from around the world, in this one day celebration of getting films seen and off the ground. This festival aims to promote filmmakers with future projects in development, showcasing what they’ve created in the past.” To date, 3 films have been added to the Festival’s schedule, 2008 Leo Award Winner Centigrade, 2007 Academy Award Winner The Danish Poet, and 2008 Academy Award nominee Madame Tutli-Putli, with more to be announced very soon.

Proceeds from the Festival will go in part to help with pre-production costs (up to $2 500.00) for independent films. One quarter of the proceeds will also go to assist in the creation of the UBC Film Production Scholarship.

The Impromptu Film Festival is sponsored in part by The Vancouver International Film Centre, Video Openhouse Tours, Spread Media Inc., Silverlight Films, Steven Nash Sports Club, Biz Books, The Celluloid Social Club, Telescopic Camera Cranes Ltd, and PS.

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29th June 2008

Game Boys Is Right On Target

Game BoysGame Boys

Game Boys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise From the Basement To The Big Time
Author: Michael Kane
June 2008

Games Boys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise from the Basement to the Big Time by Michael Kane is the best inside look at the competitive videogaming industry I have read to date. He peels back the layers of this very complex subculture and lays it all out there for anyone to read – from the gamers themselves to the parents who try to understand. Game Boys has it all – the celebratory victories, the heartbreaking losses, the passion of its supporters, and he doesn’t leave out the backroom dirty laundry either.

This book is an informative, exciting, unsanitized read; he does not sugarcoat the competitive gaming industry; instead he offers an outsider’s perspective of a largely misunderstood section of today’s society. Author Michael Kane has managed to translate the excitement of competition into his words, and sometimes I found myself reading faster through the competition gameplay to get to the moment of victory – even though I already knew the results of many of the matches he wrote about.

As a participant full of passion for the videogame industry, there were so many times I found myself identifying with CompLexity GM Jason Lake and harbouring feelings of resentment towards Craig Levine. Like Jason Lake, I believe in the grassroots foundation of this wonderful industry, and even though Craig Levine has done much to get competitive videogaming out there into the main stream of today’s world, I often felt that Levine’s tactics were less than honourable, and I am of the generation when honour was at the forefront of how you conducted your life. These are elements which make for a great book – eliciting emotion and appreciation from the reader, making the reader care about the characters in the story.
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28th June 2008

The Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism, Second Edition

Originally Written for KillaNet Community Resource in 2007

The Daily MiracleThe Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism, Second Edition
Written By David Conley
Paperback: 392 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Second Edition
March 2002

The Daily Miracle is a very comprehensive textbook, designed primarily for students just beginning their studies about the world of journalism. Anyone considering journalism as a career should first read this book. The author has written a comprehensive history about journalism, and also takes an in-depth look at the changing face of the media industry. The Information Age has forced journalism into a high-speed medium, and Mr. Conley has laid out the pros and cons of becoming a reporting journalist in this rapidly changing world.

This textbook is laid out in such a way that it will continue to be a good reference manual for many years. The index contains a brief description of each chapter, allowing a reader to skip to any part of the book when looking for specific information. The appendices and bibliography contain a wealth of places to look for further information, both in print or online.

The second edition of the textbook was updated from the first to include changes in both broadcast and computer-assisted journalism. He ties this in with the origins of news reporting and the changing face of the industry over time. Mr. Conley’s book concentrates more on applying the techniques of journalism than just telling the reader what journalism is about. Each chapter is designed to focus on a skill area, and for that reason alone the book is a worthy investment even for the seasoned journalist. Mr. Conley also pays attention to the importance of ethics in a journalist, and how they affect not only the reporter’s career, but also the public’s perception and trustlevel in regards to that reporter.

Mr. Conley not only lays out what a new journalist can expect when embarking upon his or her career, he delves into what the industry will expect of the new journalist. Each chapter uses examples of current reporting practices, backs up the information with statistics, and also looks at the careers of prominent journalists world-wide. He also caps each chapter with a list of questions and exercises for the reader, and completing those activities will not only help broaden the student’s understanding of the industry, it will help him or her decide if this is the correct career path to follow.

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27th June 2008

EA Canada Is Looking for Play Testers

EA Canada Electronic Arts (Canada) Inc., located in Burnaby BC is looking for gamers who are interested in becoming Play Testers. They run approximately five focus groups per week, and are always looking for new play testers of all ages and skill levels. This position is unpaid, but testers do receive food while they at the EA Campus, as well as free EA games. You will be able to test games such as Need for Speed, FaceBreaker, Dead Space, Skate, NHL, FIFA, NBA and more. You can fill in their online application here or if you are under 18 years of age, download the PDF file, get it signed by a parent or guardian, and then mail it in to EA Game Ops.

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27th June 2008

Alexey’s Dwice

Developer: WildSnake™ Software
Demo: 60 Levels Only + Arcade Mode
Platform: PC
Genre: Casual Match Puzzle
Official Game Site: WildSnake™ Software
Price: $19.95 USD

System Requirements:
OS: Microsoft® Windows® 98/NT/Me/XP/Vista/2000
CPU: 733 MHz
RAM: 128 MB
Hard Drive: 30 MB
Graphics: DirectX 7 or later

Alexey\'s Dwice Screenshot

WARNING: Do not play this game when scheduled to work the next day! You’re never going to leave this game alone once you start. From the developer of Tetris®, Alexy Pajitnov has teamed up with WildSnake™ Software to bring you Alexy’s Dwice. With this action puzzle game, you’ll find a whole new level of casual gaming.

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