4th March 2011

Great Opportunities For Digital Developers

Submit: This is the last week for Award Nomination Submissions for the BC Technology Awards. The deadline is March 11th.
Enter: The PayPal X Developer Challenge for Android. Cash and publishing up for grabs, see the Challenge Rules for complete details.
Enter: The Great Canadian Appathon, a 48-hour hackathon where students across the country will compete for some incredible cash prizes and publishing opportunities this March 11th – 13th. Register now. Great Canadian Appathon 2011The Great Canadian Appathon is primarily an online event, but there are 6 schools across the country who will be hosting in-house events with free food, representatives from the sponsoring companies and more! There will be expert developers from XMG Studio at each of these locations to help provide insight into the mobile game development process as well as free SWAG bags for the first 100 people to show up at a hub location. The six hosted locations are: triOS College, UBC, Carleton University, Nova Scotia Community College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo, open mediaConcordia University and TELUS House Toronto.
Participate: OpenMedia will be talking with the Honourable Tony Clement, the Minister of Industry, on March 8th and they would like to know if there are any questions you would them to ask regarding User Based Billing and Canada’s Digital Economy. Visit the OpenMedia site to find out how you can get involved.

TVOTVO has launched two free apps for BlackBerry® smartphones for early learners and school aged- kids. Both games support learning objectives from the Ontario school curriculum, have been teacher and classroom tested and are designed for BlackBerry® smartphone devices with OS 5.0 and higher.

Polka Dot Shorts is a sequence matching game for kids aged 2-5 that supports the early-learning and kindergarten math curriculum. The app features TVO’s beloved children’s character Polkaroo and challenges players to find a sequence of dots and rewards them for the correct answer.
flower frenzy
Flower Frenzy is an entertaining and educational game with three levels of progressive difficulty that uses pictures of flowers to help kids ages 6-11 learn to create sequences. Both Polka Dot Shorts and Flower Frenzy teach kids pre-cursors to patterning skills which help build the foundational knowledge required for mathematics in later years.

TVO is also a proud member of the BlackBerry® Alliance Program which gives TVO access to a wide array of benefits to help support, market and distribute their applications for BlackBerry smartphones. Both games were developed with the expert advice of TVO’s in-house educator, and BlackBerry Alliance Program partner Sweet Caesar.

Loud Crow InteractiveSpeaking of interactive entertainment for kids, Loud Crow Interactive has just released its latest eBook to the iTunes App Store. Sandra Boynton’s The Going To Bed Book is available now for the iPhone and iPod Touch ($1.99 USD) and the iPad ($2.99 USD).

The Going to Bed Book app has all the magic and appeal of a traditional pop-up book, offering lively interactivity and thoroughly mesmerizing discovery. Imagine! An ark that rocks. Characters that respond to touch with sound and movement. Tap water that turns on and off, and steam that fogs the screen. Can you write your name in the steam? Of course! There are teeth to brush, and a group exercise session with ten pajama-clad animals (big and small) each with its own unique exercise. Help the little piggy turn off the lights, then rock to sleep to the music box sound of twinkling stars. There’s something wonderful to discover on every page.

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The Going To Bed Book allows young readers to touch, pull, and turn animals and objects to make them move, or they can tilt the device to watch things slide and cascade. The ebook is narrated by Billy J. Kramer and features the same original text and illustrations as that found in the actual board book. Enable the “Big Guy Reads It” option with word highlighting to help improve reading skills, or use “I want to read it myself” and hear individual words pronounced with the tap of a finger.

kerberos productionsVancouver developer Kerberos Studios has unravelled more mysteries of the universe in a new video interview with Martin Cirulis, the lead designer of Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter, sequel to Kerberos’ hit 4X science fiction strategy game.

Cirulis gives an introduction to the dangerous Lords of Winter and underlines how the Sword of the Stars II universe has evolved since the first game. Learn how Kerberos uses mechanics to enhance narrative and get an introduction to what the new Mars 2 engine brings to the table. Cirulis also talks about the different ways to kill your enemies and how diplomacy has evolved to take into account the needs of an established empire.

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A Bigger, better, stronger, faster Sword of the Stars II will be coming to your corner of the galaxy this autumn.

battlegoat studiosAnother Canadian-made game in the Paradox Interactive stable is Supreme Ruler: Cold War, and BattleGoat Studios has released a new developer interview for this upcoming historical grand strategy title. In this latest video, BattleGoat Studios Lead Designer David Thompson gives players a bit of insight to what they can look forward to in the latest addition to the Supreme Ruler series.

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Supreme Ruler: Cold War is the next installment in the Supreme Ruler series and gives players control over a 1950’s United States or Soviet Union as they try to lead their country to glory. Players make economic, diplomatic, domestic, and military decisions to grow and modernize their nation to ensure its place atop the rest of the world.

scotiabankScotiabank, in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), have launched the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, which shines a spotlight on small business owners who are positively impacting their communities in the areas of employment, innovative products and services, as well as leadership.

“At Scotiabank, we recognize that small businesses play a vital role in building strong communities. Much more than just a place to purchase food or to get a car serviced, they contribute in ways which make our communities better places to live, for each one of us,” said Islay McGlynn, Managing Director and Head, Scotiabank Small Business. “With the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, we want to recognize and reward small business owners who have made an impact on their community by going above and beyond to meet not only the needs of their customers and employees, but the community at large.”

“Small businesses are small in name only,” commented Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist, Scotiabank. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, providing big support to the nation’s G7-leading performance. Small businesses are not only big generators of jobs in goods and services throughout the country, but they are also big contributors to the investments and exports that are important drivers of growth.”

To qualify for the Small Business Big Impact Challenge, entrants must demonstrate how their business has made a difference in the community where they live and work in one of the following three categories:

  • Providing Employment: Implementing employment practices that reflect and support community needs as well as employment opportunities.
  • Offering Products or Services: Creating new industries or ways of doing business, or offering unique products or services that benefit their community.
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Taking a leadership role in initiatives for their community that ultimately makes it a better place to live and work.

Beyond their indispensable role as job creators and innovators all across Canada, small businesses start as the heart and soul of their neighbourhoods and have a hugely positive impact on community prosperity and identity,” enthused CFIB president, Catherine Swift. “In conjunction with CFIB’s 40th anniversary and during 2011, the federally designated Year of the Entrepreneur, we are delighted to be partnering with Scotiabank in support of those small business owners who stand out amongst an already outstanding group of peers.”

The challenge ends on April 30, 2011. All Canadians are encouraged to visit the website as everyone can vote for their favourite small business. The top 15 entries, five in each category, will be presented and evaluated by the Expert Small Business Judging Panel, which will then select the three finalists to be awarded $10,000 each.

The Expert Small Business Judging Panel consists of:

  • Islay McGlynn, Director and Head Small Business, Scotiabank;
  • Kaz Flinn, Vice-President Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank;
  • Catherine Swift, CEO, CFIB;
  • Tom Sloan, Vice President Small Business and Commercial Markets, Export Development Canada; and
  • Greig Clark, PROFIT Magazine columnist, and founder of College Pro Painters.

Government of CanadaThe Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, welcomes the passage by Parliament of Bill C-22, An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service. The legislation will help protect children from online sexual exploitation.

“The creation and distribution of child pornography is an unspeakable crime which will not be tolerated in Canada,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our legislation will assist police in tracking down Internet sexual predators, The Honourable Robert Nicholson Minister of Justiceand rescuing children from sexual exploitation.”

In September 2008, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial ministers responsible for Justice agreed that Canada’s response to child pornography could be enhanced by federal legislation establishing mandatory reporting of online child pornography by providers of Internet services.

Bill C-22 applies to suppliers of Internet services to the public, including those who provide electronic mail services, Internet content hosting services, and social networking sites. It requires them to:

  • Report, to a designated agency, tips they receive regarding Web sites where child pornography may be available to the public; and
  • Notify police and safeguard evidence if they believe that a child pornography offence has been committed using an Internet service that they provide.

Failure to comply with the duties under the legislation will constitute an offence punishable by graduated fines. For individuals (sole proprietorships), the maximum penalty is a fine of $1,000 for a first offence; $5,000 for a second offence; and for third and subsequent offences $10,000 or six months imprisonment, or both. For corporations and other entities, the maximum fines are $10,000 for a first offence; $50,000 for a second offence; and $100,000 for third and subsequent offences.

“We all have a role to play in the protection of children from sexual predators,” said Minister Nicholson. “This legislation will improve the collaboration between internet service providers and police to better protect children from online sexual exploitation.”

The Canadian Council of Learning (CCL) has launched a new online tool that allows users to measure the state of Canadian Council on Learningtwo crucial components of financial literacy—numeracy and document literacy—in more than 52,000 neighbourhoods and communities across the country.

The two new interactive maps produced by CCL, in partnership with DataAngel Policy Research Inc., provide literacy profiles for neighbourhoods across Canada, highlighting at-risk communities where residents lack the basic literacy skills needed in today’s knowledge-based society. The maps were produced using estimates generated by DataAngel Policy Research Inc. using data from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALSS) conducted by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the 2006 Canadian Census. These new literacy domains add to earlier maps CCL released on health literacy and prose literacy.

The results show that 55 percent of adult Canadians (aged 16 and over) had low levels of numeracy and 49 percent had low levels of document literacy. (This is based on the number of people who scored below Level 3 on the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS), a survey conducted by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.)

Numeracy and document literacy are essential parts of what many consider “basic literacy” and provide a key foundation in developing a more sophisticated set of financial literacy skills.

“Canadians are increasingly faced with a complex array of financial decisions in their everyday lives—from choosing a mortgage and retirement planning to managing consumer debt and funding post-secondary education,” says Dr. Paul Cappon, President and CEO of CCL. “Yet, many Canadians do not have the financial literacy skills needed to make informed decisions related to money and investment.”

Numeracy is the ability to use basic math skills in everyday life. It includes such skills as calculating a tip at a restaurant, balancing a bank account or determining the amount of interest on a loan from an advertisement. Document literacy is the ability to find and use information in forms, charts, graphs and other tables. Financial literacy involves the use of multiple literacies—prose, document, numeracy—often simultaneously.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines five levels of literacy with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 being the highest. Level 3 is internationally accepted as the level of literacy considered necessary for meeting the demands of everyday life and work in an information-based society.

“The first step in any process of improvement is to be able to accurately measure change over time. CCL’s innovative maps help Canadian communities, and the country as a whole, determine current literacy levels,” says Cappon. “I hope that decision-makers and individuals throughout Canada will use these maps for the purpose of continuous improvement.”

 

Canadians should remember that they are not alone when they surf the Web, and that others may be using the Internet for malicious purposes. As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) reminds Canadians of the importance of protecting themselves from Internet and email fraud.“Fraud can take many forms. Nobody is safe from it, not even the most knowledgeable consumer,” says FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. One common form of fraud is called “phishing”, where a victim receives a fraudulent email that appears to come from a legitimate organization, such as a Government of Canada department or the victim’s own financial institution. The email instructs the consumer to visit a false website, download fraudulent content or provide confidential personal information.

With your personal information, such as your date of birth, passwords, Social Insurance Number, credit card or bank account information, fraudsters can use your credit card accounts or get new credit cards, and make purchases that you might be held responsible for. If your personal information falls into the wrong hands, you could even become a victim of identity theft.

How can you avoid falling victim to Internet or email fraud?

  • Never give out personal information over the Internet unless you trust the site you are on. Check that there is a padlock icon in the Web browser window and that the electronic address begins with “https://”.
  • Open a single browser window at a time when using online banking, and don’t forget to clear your computer’s memory cache when done.
  • Never allow your computer to remember your passwords; change passwords regularly and do not share them with anyone. You can be held responsible for unauthorized transactions on your bank account if you are found to have divulged information about your account, such as your password or personal identification number (PIN).
  • Make sure your computer’s antivirus protection is up to date and use the latest version of your Web browser.
  • Check to make sure that the Internet address provided in the emails you receive is related to the subject of the emails.
  • Access websites using the address bar. Never click on links provided in emails.

FCAC also publishes tip sheets to help Canadian consumers protect themselves against and prevent identity theft, credit card fraud, and fraudulent e-mails and telephone calls. In a video success story, Ken MacDonald, Crime Prevention Coordinator with the New Glasgow Police Service in Nova Scotia, offers some advice about preventing telephone fraud and identity theft. FCAC’s publications and tip sheets are available on the Agency’s website at moneytools.ca.

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5th January 2011

Behaviour Interactive President to Keynote at GameON Finance

behaviour gamesEA and Behaviour Games have released a few screenshots for upcoming movie-tie-in action-adventure game Rango Golden BulletRango, which invites players to continue on Rango’s wild journey through new adventures inspired by the movie. The game is set in the Old West town of ‘Dirt’ where players romp through a gritty, pint-sized, Wild West filled with wild rides, off-color characters and frantic shoot-outs.

“We are thrilled to be working with Paramount and the upcoming release of the video game version of its first animated feature,” said Sinjin Bain, Vice President of EA Partners at Electronic Arts. “Rango is a one-of-a-kind character that we know kids will love. We’re excited to give families worldwide the opportunity to take the humor and fun from the big screen into their living rooms.”

Tom Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment stated that the studio is “pleased to team up with EA to deliver an exciting, action-packed adventure game that captures the spirit of the film and puts the fate of Dirt in Rango Zombiesplayers’ hands. We’ve added exciting twists and turns in the video game that will challenge players of all levels on their adventures as Rango.”

Rango is Paramount Pictures’ first full-length animated feature film. Rango the Game will be available on console platforms including the PlayStation®3, Xbox 360®, WiiTM and Nintendo DSTM in March 2011, when it will be launched simultaneously with the movie. Rango has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

Speaking of Behaviour, Interactive Ontario has Interactive Ontarioannounced that Rémi Racine, President and Executive Producer of Behaviour Interactive will be a keynote speaker at GameON: Finance 2011. Don Carmody, President of Don Carmody Productions, and Dino Patti, Co-Creator of LIMBO, and co-founder of Danish studio Playdead Games will also be featured keynote interviews at the conference, taking place on January 20 & 21 at the Design Exchange, Toronto.

For the past 18 years, Racine has positioned Behaviour as a world leader in the video game industry. Under his leadership, the company has ranked simultaneously amongst the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ and Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies™ from 2006 to 2008.

Carmody produced feature films Silent Hill and Resident Evil: Afterlife, which recently topped worldwide box office receipts of over $280 million – making it the most successful production in Canadian feature film history, surpassing previous box office champion PORKY’S, also produced by Don Carmody. In November 2010, Boondock Saints was released on the iPhone, iPad & iTouch.

Patti is co-creator of the critically acclaimed title, LIMBO, which has now received several international awards including two awards at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco and 3 Milthons for Game of the Year, Best Indie Game and Best Visual Art at the European Games Awards.GameON Finance

GameON: Finance offers advice on transmedia digital game projects, and funding strategies on how to create a game or app that expands screen-based creative. GameON: Finance offers delegates the insider business and market knowledge needed to understand how to budget, build and finance your mobile, online, social, or ipad, game. Through one-on-one meetings, GameON: Finance fosters partnerships and connections needed to get a game financed, developed and distributed. Keynotes, panel discussions and interviews will cover boot-strapping, venture capital, government programs and alternate funding models.

UbisoftTwo brand new fitness programs for the Ubisoft’s Kinect exclusive fitness game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved are now available for download on the Xbox Live:

· “New Year New You”, a specific program to get back in shape after Xmas and New Year’s celebrations
· “Dance Workout: Bollywood”, a dance take on fitness, matching efficient exercise with Indian-inspired moves and atmosphere.Your Shape New Year

These 2 extra workouts are offered individually or as a bundle package. The bundle, including “New Year New You” and “Dance Workout: Bollywood” is priced at 560 Microsoft points, while each workout purchased individually costs 400 Microsoft points. In the first half of the calendar year, over 12 new pieces of add-on content for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved will be released on Xbox Live. Two other workouts, the “Toned Body Program” and the “Cardio Boxing Platinum” are already available for download.

task aveThere is a new location-based task management app available in the iTunes App Store today for $2.99 USD. Task Ave., which hails from Toronto and was the winner of Startup Weekend Toronto last September.task ave screenshot

Task Ave.’s Features Include:

? Location-aware reminders with local notifications on iOS 4.0+
? Add, edit and delete tasks on a beautiful map or list view
? Drop or drag task pins on the map with an active task count
? Find locations with a search of nearby places or add your own
? Configure reminders’ proximity from 500m to 13km
? Switch location tracking between GPS and cell tower (battery friendly with iPhone 3GS & 4)
? Disable task reminders for specific locations or everything
? Remove completed tasks at an adjustable interval
? Disable anonymous data collection
? Send feedback in one tap

vanartsVanArts is now accepting applications for its Media Arts Boot Camp, which is open to BC high school students. Applications are due January 28, 2011. Late applications will not be considered. Seats are limited, so apply early! Students will be notified of their acceptance in early February 2011. Boot Camp recruits will have the opportunity to receive 4 days of hands-on training in one of these two courses:

Media Arts Boot Camp: This course will take students through the VanArts experience, introducing them to the variety of different programs we have to offer. They will be able to see how each program is unique, while seeing how they can also complement each other in the large scheme of the industries we train for.

Monday March 7: 2D Character Animation
Tuesday March 8: 3D Character Animation
Wednesday March 9: Game Art & Design
Thursday March 10: Visual Effects for Film & TV

Acting for Film & TV: For students who have aspirations of being a professional actor for film, television, or even theater, this is a great way to learn about the lifestyle of this industry, for 4 full days. Hands-on workshops will be explored and give students a chance to learn exactly what being an actor is all about, directly from professionals in the field.

Students will be selected based on a combination of factors: relevant experience, motivation behind their interest in the program of their choice, current grade and date of application. Priority will be given to Grade 12 students but other grades will always be considered. If selected, students must send a $50 administrative fee by an established deadline to confirm their enrollment.

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17th December 2010

An EA Kind of Morning

EA Black BoxNeed for Speed™ World, the Play4Free™ online PC action racing game from EA Black Box, has now eclipsed three million registered users. With numerous hours of high-speed, high-stakes Need for Speed multiplayer action, Need for Speed World is one of the world’s most popular, free to play racing games. Today EA builds on the game by adding an all-new dynamic day/night cycle and an advanced vehicle performance customization tuning system. Players can go under the hood to upgrade and tune their vehicle with an extensive list of car parts ranging from tuned engines to top-tier suspension systems to create a high-performance race machine. Need For Speed World

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience for the PC. Players can compete against their friends and family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits. Gamers race the way they want in an ever expanding world that continues to grow with a constant stream of new content, cars, and features.

In addition to English and German, Need for Speed World has now been localized for France, Russia, Spain and Poland markets. Players worldwide can feel the rush of illicit street racing as they speed their way through a white-knuckle socially-connected Need for Speed experience. They will also be able to purchase SpeedBoost which they can use to acquire in-game items such as Booster Packs, Power-ups, XP accelerators and even exclusive exotic cars via the in-game store using a variety of local payment options including credit cards and SMS billing.

The EA PWNED_ team stopped in at the EA Sports campus in Burnaby during their recent globetrotting visits to various EA studios around the world. Watch Matt Cuttle and Sian Welby as they join World Heavyweight Champion David Haye as his famous ‘Hayemaker’ and a range of other equally devastating blows are captured for Fight Night Champion. Appearing in the game and on the box the champ is heavily involved in EA Canada’s latest game but who would he like to play as in Fight Night Champion? Tune in to find out.

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In other developments, EA sent out a press release announcing an “Epic Promotion” for the upcoming Bulletstorm, developed by Epic’s People Can Fly studio over in Poland. Normally I wouldn’t carry the news about this promotion because the games involved are not developed in Canada. That said, the fine print at the end of the press release somewhat irked me. Maybe it’s because my morning caffeine level has not yet reached a safe level, maybe because it looks like EA is leaving an out for itself while sucking gamers into pre-ordering Bulletstorm on the promise of getting in on a beta for Gears of War 3, a title that has been delayed at least a couple of times now – and was supposed to be a part of the recent Spike Video Game Awards but was a no-show (just like the awards show itself, in terms of quality). This has not pleased the hardcore Marcus Fenix fans, and perhaps Epic and EA are teaming up to try to appease them, dangling the slim promise of a beta play in front of them.

Why do I think this promotion sounds somewhat hinky? Well, the press release started off great – then I noticed the * in a sentence: Players that purchase the Epic Edition are guaranteed early access to the Gears of War 3 beta*. Pre-order now to reserve a copy of the Epic Edition which will be available on Feb. 22, 2011 for MSRP $59.99 ($69.99 in Canada, which doesn’t make sense given the strength of our dollar), only for the Xbox 360® while supplies last.

So…having a rabid Gears of War fan living in the cave upstairs, I checked the disclaimer indicated by the * before telling him of this “Epic Promotion” …and the * indicates that Conditions and restrictions apply. See back of pack for details if and when available. Okay, so this is normal, conditions often apply when EA sends out a press release, but it’s usually the requirement of an EA Account and an internet connection, and this is where the promotion doesn’t sit quite right with me. EA and Epic want gamers to pre-order one game, for the promise of getting in on the beta for the game that they really want, but there are conditions that you, the gamer, won’t know about until you get your hands on Bulletstorm. Now, the “if and when available” part is not very clear – what is EA defining as “if and when available” – Bulletstorm or the beta – and if they know these conditions are going to apply, why aren’t they releasing the details now?

I can pretty well guarantee that if I walk into the EB Games we normally shop at later today, they will not have this Epic Promotion pre-order in their system, and probably won’t for at least a week – unless it’s automatically included in a regular pre-order. It took almost a month for Dragon Age 2 to show up for pre-order, and Guild Wars 2 CE only became available a few weeks ago. Now, does this “limited quantity” mean that because EB Games Canada – or GameStop if you prefer – is slow to add titles and offers to their system, the Cavechild could miss out on his chance to get in the Gears of War 3 beta or will our store be allotted a set number of Epic Promotion pre-orders? I just checked the EA Store, and they don’t have the “Epic Promotion” advertised yet either, so perhaps a phone call will be in order once the stores open.

I just hope that EA and Epic aren’t using the promise of Gears of War 3 to artificially attract gamers to Bulletstorm with a thin promise that will then get yanked out from under them due to something like “time constraints to meet deadlines” or some other lame excuse, and then appease the gamers by tossing extra special DLC items at them.

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13th December 2010

No Trailer Trash Around Here

Radical EntertainmentProbably one of the worst-kept secrets in this part of the country is that Alex Mercer will be returning in 2012. Activision Publishing confirmed during the Spike VGAs that PROTOTYPE® 2, the sequel to PROTOTYPE, Radical Entertainment’s original best-selling game of 2009, is currently in development at the Vancouver studio. PROTOTYPE 2’s first official trailer was revealed, giving fans of the shape-shifting open-world Prototype 2action franchise their first glimpse into the mind and character of  Sgt. James Heller, and why he is going to destroy PROTOTYPE’s original anti-hero, Alex Mercer. EGM magazine has been given an exclusive, in-depth first look preview of PROTOTYPE 2, which will be published in EGM’s April 2011 issue.

“When PROTOTYPE surpassed 2MM units we knew gamers would want a sequel to find out what happens next with Alex Mercer,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment. “The team here at Radical is sincerely grateful to the fans and we are laser focused on delivering an even bigger and better experience with PROTOTYPE 2.”

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Additionally, for those who missed out on one of 2009’s best-selling games, or fans dying to reawaken their shape-shifting skills, Radical Entertainment’s original over-the-top action game PROTOTYPE is available now for download on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for $29.99, and will be available for download tomorrow, December 14th, on the PlayStation®Store for $29.99. Fans of the game on PROTOTYPE’s Facebook page will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a token to download the game for free.

EA SportsEA Sports has released more information about the announced return of SSX™, one of the most critically-acclaimed videogame properties of all-time. Currently in development at EA Canada for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, gamers will experience a stunning reinvention of the classic action snowboarding franchise, SSX™: Deadly Descents packs adrenaline into every run with compelling characters and heart-pumping adventures as riders battle the most treacherous and diverse mountain ranges on Earth.

“An entire genre was born from the original SSX a decade ago, and it’s time to reboot one of the most popular franchises of all-time in an unpredictable and unexpected way,” said Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. “Fans have been begging for this since the launch of this generation of consoles, and we have an experience that will be worth the wait. This franchise has always been about racing, tricks, characters and fun – SSX: Deadly Descents will deliver all of that, and more, on a global scale, with rich online experiences, and with the sense of adventure never before imagined on a snowboard.”

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Redefining the SSX franchise, SSX: Deadly Descents will pit riders versus both mountain and man. Players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade. And the mountain isn’t the only danger players will face. In SSX: Deadly Descents the first goal is to survive. The second, in true SSX fashion, is to look good doing it.

Bioware CorpAfter weeks of rumour and hints, the speculation finally came to an end Saturday evening as the world witnessed “Earth”, the spectacular announcement trailer for Mass Effect 3 when it was broadcast exclusively on the Spike Video Game Awards. The pinnacle of Commander Shepard’s emotionally charged journey and conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy is set to launch globally in holiday 2011 on the Xbox 360®, the PlayStation®3 and the PC, which marks the first time the Mass Effect franchise will launch on all three major platforms simultaneously. And as was also announced at Saturday night’s Spike VGAs, Mass Effect 2 was named “Best RPG” and “Best Xbox 360 Game” and BioWare was named “Studio of the Year”. Mass Effect

“At BioWare, we are always driving ourselves to improve and I firmly believe our best work is still ahead of us,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager and Co-Founder of BioWare. “We could not be prouder of the team’s accomplishments with Mass Effect 2, and are excited and humbled by all of the recognition the game has received so far. We can’t wait to show you what the team is doing to make Mass Effect 3 an even bigger success.”

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Mass Effect 2 is available now for the Xbox 360 and PC. The Mass Effect franchise will make its first appearance on the PlayStation 3 console when Mass Effect 2 ships to retailers on January 18, 2011 in North America and January 21, 2011 in Europe. The PlayStation 3 demo of Mass Effect 2 will be available on PlayStation Network starting December 21, 2010 in North America and December 22, 2010 in Europe.

Eidos MontrealSquare Enix and Eidos Montreal have released a Director’s Cut trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, giving players a close-up look at ex-SWAT member Adam Jensen as he narrates the story of civilization as it exists in 2027. Rated M for Mature by the ESRB, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is now available for pre-order (with some pretty cool pre-order bonus options) and will arrive on the gaming airwaves early in 2011. I firmly believe that this latest chapter in the Deus Ex universe will help to launch a year of Canadian-made blockbuster releases, and I am only one of many looking forward to giving this title a spin.

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18th November 2010

Swarm in 2011 Preview AC Brotherhood Soundtrack and A Christmas Carol

Hothead GamesHothead Games and UTV Ignition Entertainment Ltd. have confirmed that Swarm is coming to both PlayStationNetwork and Xbox LIVE Arcade in early 2011. The as-yet unrated Swarm lets players take control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and drive them through an intense, entertaining and often suicidal battle of survival. Run, bash, huddle, boost, stack, jump, push and throw your way through gauntlets of death and destruction in an attempt to collect valuable DNA and ensure that at least one Swarmite survives.

“Swarm is perfect for PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade because of its unique art direction and gameplay,” said Nigel Fox, Head of Publishing for UTV Ignition. “We’re thrilled to be partnered with Hothead because we share their passion for bringing unique experiences to gamers through these innovative digital platforms.”swarm

“We’ve been working hard on Swarm for a while now and think it’s our most addictive game yet,” said Joel DeYoung, Director of Game Technology for Hothead Games. “The Swarmites are both lovable and deliciously expendable at the same time-the game’s creation is proof positive of the dangers of excessive exposure to Saturday morning cartoons we were warned about so many years ago. Swarm is exactly the genocidal romp your parents hoped you’d grow up and marry someday.”

Swarm is the first game to feature mass character control, where you move all 50 Swarmites at once. Steer your swarm through the game and they naturally flock and flow around obstacles. Creatively combine swarm moves to work your way through a relentlessly dangerous and hilariously brutal environment. Compete against your friends to get the high score by deftly moving through the world and cleverly solving puzzles the game throws your way.

UbisoftUK retail store ShopTo.net recently an Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Q&A competition asking customers to send in their questions about Brotherhood, Ubisoft and making video games for Julien Laferrière, the Production Manager on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Julien and his team chose the best questions and have produced this exclusive Assassins Creed developer video for ShopTo.

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The submitters of these questions will each be receiving an Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Poster, and the best question (as picked by Julien) will be given an exclusive Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood hoodie not available anywhere else.

Ubisoft Montreal has also released the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood soundtrack for digital download, making it available via iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, 7Digital and Qobuz. Visit the Ubisoft Music site for song previews.

padworxThe beloved Christmas story that defines the true spirit of the season is coming to Apple®iPad™ and iPhone™ as a new, delightfully interactive experience! PadWorx Digital Media, Inc., an independent developer of a new category of interactive eBooks for tablet PCs, announced today it will release A Christmas Carol on the App Store® in time for the holidays!

“This is unlike any version of A Christmas Carol ever seen before,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, CEO and producer at PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “Charles Dickens’ remarkable book reminds all of us not just about the importance of gratitude and charity, but about the power of personal transformation. Running with this idea and borrowing from the ‘steampunk’ art style more closely associated with Jules Verne, we’ve designed our A Christmas Carol to feel as if the iPad or iPhone you’re reading it on has been itself transformed into a steam-powered machine.”

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Readers will not only witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart-warming transformation through 130 pages of lovingly abridged text, but for the first time they will become part of the story through revolutionary interaction. Turn the key in Scrooge’s door and watch as the door knocker changes into the deceased Jacob Marley, or try your hand at cleaning pages of the grime of industrial-era London. Whether you’re traveling through time and space with Scrooge and the spirits of Christmases Past, Present, and Future, or powering up and manipulating an assortment of wonderful steam and gas-powered inventions, PadWorx A Christmas Carol’s steampunk-style animation, illustrations, original score and sound effects will captivate readers through the story’s unforgettable images and lessons of darkness, despair, joy and life.

The design and execution of PadWorx’s A Christmas Carol is so innovative that it has been endorsed by the Dickens family. “Reading A Christmas Carol has become a holiday tradition for many and we’re delighted to see PadWorx’s interactive version give families an entirely new way to experience the cherished story and perhaps even introduce the well-known classic to a younger generation,” said Mark Charles Dickens on behalf of the Dickens family.

A Christmas Carol is the second title in a series of new interactive eBooks developed by PadWorx Digital Media. The company released its debut title Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition last month, which quickly garnered national attention and praise from critics and consumers alike, becoming Apple’s iPad App of the Week the day after release.All interactive titles released by PadWorx Digital Media are built from the ground up using a proprietary game engine and create a brand new, fully-immersive reading experience through the combination of text, animation, gameplay elements, touch screen interaction, social media, sound effects and more. A Christmas Carol will be released first for the iPad, followed shortly afterwards by a version for the iPhone.

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15th November 2010

Check Out These New and Upcoming Releases

Digital LeisureDigital Leisure continues its new release pace with the availability today of 21 blackjack21: Blackjack, a game built exclusively for the Nintendo DSi that lets you take the thrill of the casino on-the-go with a variety of gameplay options to take your skills to the next level. For 200 Wii Points, you can change the payouts, number of decks in play, splitting options and even if the dealer hits on a soft 17, but these are just a few of the many advanced gameplay options. Want to know how well you’ve been playing or how many Blackjack’s have taken you to a winning hand, then check out a full range of player stats available for viewing at any time. Now’s your chance to Hit, Stand or Double Down with 21: Blackjack.

Mood MediaMood Media Corporation has added PopCap Games‘ multi-million selling casual games Bejeweled, Zuma and Bookworm to its increasingly popular casual games retail program. Under the agreement with PopCap, the games will be sold through Mood Media’s Somerset Entertainment interactive displays, which allow customers to sample the game before purchasing. The overall strategy involves providing multiple entertainment titles and continuing to bring innovation to the shopping experience.

Ray ArdentIf you haven’t yet played Ray Ardent Science Ninja by Shane Neville, I would have to ask you what you’re waiting for – go play it now over at Armor Games – it’s free – and it uses science, so it’s also educational! Over 211, 000 attempts have been made thus far as gamers take on the persona of ninja scientist Dr. Ray Ardent, battling through dangers and surviving to talk about it – nearly 200 of them have rewarded the game by marking it as a favourite, too. You can also check out a myriad of nerdy t-shirts designed by Shane, and really get your geek on by adding them to your wardrobe.EA Sports

EA Sports has released a first look video for Fight Night Champion, which will be coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011. EA has declared that Fight Night Champion will set a new standard in sports videogames by delivering the most dynamic simulation fighting experience to date, pushing visual boundaries and redefining the single player journey for the category.

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Fight Night Champion will break the mold of what is expected in a single-player sports game. Players will be introduced to an entirely new way to step between the ropes and experience the drama, emotion, excitement and tragedy of world championship boxing.

Featuring a refined physics-based animation system that incorporates improved locomotion, punching and stamina mechanics, Fight Night Champion will enable users to move, attack and dodge with the speed and power of the best champions, contenders and pretenders in the world of boxing. In addition, an all-new control scheme, dubbed Full Spectrum Punch Control, will deliver the most realistic punching system ever seen in a simulation fighting game, while still delivering an accessible experience that will make Fight Night Champion the most user-friendly title in the franchise’s history. Fight Night Champion has not yet been rated by the ESRB

RentClick.ca is the first Western Canadian company to offer a free iPhone app that conveniently allows rentclickcustomers to view rental listings for apartments, condos, houses and vacation properties on their mobile device. Renters can quickly view the following information for each listing: monthly rent, available date, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, community name, address, square feet, parking, pets, smoking, area amenities, listing ID number, a detailed property description and the landlord’s contact information. Additionally, Property Management companies can feature their listings under the Property Manager tab.

Customers can easily refine their search in the app by property type, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, area of the city, monthly rent and listing ID number. Customers can also tag listings as their favorites. Currently, the app features Calgary and Edmonton apartments, condos, houses for rent.

bistrainerOnline training solution provider BIS Trainer is preparing to launch the latest version of their proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) in Q1 or 2011. This new release will include system features like the ability to create a master package of courses with one unique certification and reverse course navigation using a chaptering system.

The new features are built on the specifications of various clients and regulatory bodies to ensure adaptability and security. Master packaging of courses will include checks and balances to confirm each course in succession is completed successfully before the next course can be started. Upon successful completion of all course in the package, the end-users will receive a certificate for from the employer or authorized content owner.

BIS provides custom content development for online training courses. Each course is tailored to achieve specific learning objectives for the client as well delivering key messages that provide employees or learners with information required to improve performance.

Off-the-shelve online courses from BIS clients include WHMIS, First Aid, Oil Sand Orientation, and Winter Driving Fundamentals. Additional off-the-shelf content in development schedule for early 2011 release include hazard assessment, drug and alcohol awareness, incident investigation, workplace harassment and OSHA courses.

Peel School BoardOntario’s Peel District School Board students will find out on November 18 and 19 if 5,000 students can really make a difference when they come together for Leadership Now! at the Powerade Centre. The event features inspirational speakers and live entertainment—all designed to motivate youth to speak up and take action. The conference is part of the Peel board’s Student Leadership for Global Development program which is produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency.

“Leadership Now! teaches students about global issues and encourages them to become active at school and within their community. It’s an action-packed day to inspire and motivate students to affect change and make a difference,” says Tony Pontes, director of education, Peel District School Board.

The November 18th event is for middle school students. Secondary students will attend the event on November 19th, with both days presenting a similar program that includes keynote presentations from the following presenters:

* Dev Aujla, social entrepreneur, founder of DreamNow
* Sol Guy, Canadian music producer, social activist and host of MTV’s 4REAL

“Leadership NOW! teaches young people about finding their passion and their ability to help themselves and others,” says Guy. “Change does not happen by attending an event, but the inspiration can happen. How to take an action step and then integrate into your life so that giving becomes part of who you are and what you do. In that way you affect yourself in others in ways you could never imagine.”

“Events like Leadership NOW! inspire students to become active citizens,” says Aujla. “Students need to tap into their creative ideas because they have the power to change lives.”

Students will also be entertained by VYbE Dance Company who will perform breaking, pop/wave/tut and fusion acts. VybE has worked with a number of well-known artists and groups like Shaggy and the Toronto Raptors Dance Pack. They have raised money each year for local and international charities such as Hamilton Health Sciences, Art Starts, Free the Children and Evergreen. In addition to speakers, the event will include emcees from Absolute Leadership and live music from Hearts in Stereo.

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12th November 2010

Wii Version of NBA Jam From EA Sports Gets Political

EA GamesEA Partners, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. has signed an agreement with independent Montreal developer Trapdoor, to publish Warp™. This unique stealth action game features a top-down sci-fi world with a distinctive art style, addicting levels, hazardous traps and challenging puzzles. The new game will debut on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PlayStation® Network and PC in Summer 2011.

“Working with EA Partners allows us to expand our distribution to a much larger audience while still being able to retain our creative vision and identity,” said Ken Schachter, Founder of Trapdoor. “As an independent studio we are thrilled with the opportunity to leverage the expertise and talent of EA’s publishing organization to bring our very first game on console to life.”

“One of our goals at EA Partners is to seek out the leading independent developers within the downloadable games market and publish their titles to a wide audience,” said Jamil Moledina, Outreach Director, Business Development at EA Partners. “We are thrilled to add Trapdoor to the EA Partners family and bring this EA Sportsbest-in-class sci-fi stealth action title to gamers everywhere.”

EA Sports has released a new video for NBA Jam, which is scheduled for release on November 26th for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. Titled Politicians, this new video features appearances by several well known American politicians forming a team of Democrats and a team of Republican. Thus far, these two unlockable teams have been announced as being available only on the Wii version of the game.

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The Democratic team includes President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.  The Republican team features George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and John McCain.

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4th November 2010

New Title For Paramount Coming From EA and A2M

EA GamesElectronic Arts Inc. and Paramount Digital Entertainment today announced a distribution agreement that will catapult an upcoming Paramount property into the hands of gamers worldwide. Rango The Video Game is an action-adventure title inspired by the upcoming animated feature film starring the voice of Johnny Depp.

In development at Artificial Mind & Movement, Rango The Video Game invites players to continue on Rango’s wild journey through new adventures inspired by the movie. The game is set in the Old West town of ‘Dirt’ where players romp through a gritty, pint-sized, Wild West filled with wild rides, off-color characters and frantic shoot-outs. Rango is Paramount Pictures’ first full-length animated feature film; both the film and the video game will be released in March 2011. A2M

“We are thrilled to be working with Paramount and the upcoming release of the video game version of its first animated feature,” said Sinjin Bain, Vice President of EA Partners at Electronic Arts. “Rango is a one-of-a-kind character that we know kids will love. We’re excited to give families worldwide the opportunity to take the humor and fun from the big screen into their living rooms.”

“We are pleased to team up with EA to deliver an exciting, action-packed adventure game that captures the spirit of the film and puts the fate of Dirt in players’ hands,” said Tom Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment. “We’ve added exciting twists and turns in the video game that will challenge players of all levels on their adventures as Rango.”

Rango The Video Game will be available on console platforms including the PlayStation®3, Xbox 360®, Nintendo Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ in March 2011. Rango The Video Game has not been rated by the ESRB.

Sales of EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer EA Sportsfranchise titles has surpassed 100 million units lifetime during the launch of FIFA Soccer 11, according to EA internal sales data. The best-selling sports videogame franchise in the world, now in its 18th year, sold a record-breaking 2.6 million copies in the first five days after launching FIFA Soccer 11 to become the fastest selling sports videogame of all time. Counting the first four weeks of sales, FIFA Soccer 11 sales are up 20% versus last year on a comparable basis with sell-in approaching 8 million units. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th September 2010

XGen Studios Announces Two New Titles

XGen StudiosEdmonton’s XGen Studios, the independent developer behind hit WiiWare™ title Defend Your Castle™ is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the all-new Super Motherload™ on Nintendo’s WiiWare. Featuring the classic arcade-style digging gameplay already enjoyed by millions, Super Motherload is a new 4-player digging adventure for Nintendo Wii™ players.

“We’re pleased to announce that the next title in the Motherload series, which has already garnered in excess of 50 Million plays online, will be multiplayer co-op digging adventure Super Motherload. Fans already familiar with classic Motherload should be pleasantly surprised with the addition of many new features alongside gameplay which holds true to the series’ originator” said Skye Boyes, Founder & CEO of XGen.super motherload

Super Motherload challenges players to dig deep into the substrata of Mars as they collect increasingly rare and valuable minerals. Players can purchase powerful upgrades and supplies for their mining pods as they progress through the storyline and prosper, encountering hidden dangers, quakes, and more than a few other surprises.

* 4-player jump-in gameplay (Mine Martian minerals with up to 3 pals!)
* Un-lockable pods, each with their own unique abilities
* New, never-before seen minerals, treasures, and dangers
* More areas to explore, including subterranean facilities
* Classic digging action with an expanded storyline and extended gameplay
* Upgrade your digging machine with lightning-fast drills, powerful engines, mega-tough hulls, and special abilities
* Use explosives, quantum teleporters, and nano-bots in your search for the fabled Motherload

Motherload received the Best Action Game award in Miniclip’s 2005 Online Game Awards, where it also received a nomination in the “Best Online Game” category. Official ratings for Super Motherload are pending.

Xgen is also pleased to announce that it is partnering with Czech studio Amanita Design to bring Amanita’s award-winning puzzle-adventure game Machinarium™ to Nintendo’s WiiWare.

“As the subject of enormous critical acclaim, this is an honor long overdue for Machinarium.” said Jordan Dubuc, Director of Operations for XGen. “We’re very fortunate to be working with the talented team at MachinariumAmanita to share this interactive work of art with a whole new audience of gamers.”

Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game filled with fun and devious puzzles, released in 2009 for PC & Mac. Set in a richly detailed world and filled with charming characters, the game features a little robot hero who’s been thrown out to the scrap yard behind the city and must return to confront the Black Cap Brotherhood and rescue his robot girlfriend. Featuring dozens of beautiful hand-drawn environments and a meticulously crafted musical score, Machinarium is a visual marvel and a pleasure for the senses.

Machinarium received the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th annual Independent Games Festival, as well as the Best Soundtrack award from PC Gamer in 2009. It was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and a Milthon award in the Best Indie Games category at the Paris Game Festival. Various publications have named it Adventure Game of The Year and Best Indie Game, as well as runner-up for PC Game of the Year 2009.

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5th July 2010

Entrepreneurship Partnerships and Scholarships

wavefrontWaveFrontAC would like to know if you are interested in turning your innovative wireless idea into a start-up company? Entrepreneurship@Wavefront is a new program being undertaken in partnership with BCIC to support and nurture 8 early-stage B.C. wireless companies. Program participants will receive one-year access to office space in Wavefront’sBCIC collaborative wireless incubation centre and $10k credit toward Wavefront’s advisory and testing services. Exemplary go-to-market services wireless companies would leverage are Wavefront’s handset library, usability services, refinement of business development strategies and industry connections. Participants can also leverage BCIC’s network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts for additional mentorship and guidance.

EA GamesSkate 3 will be dishing up a virtual Hawaiian skateboarding vacation tomorrow with the release of Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream, an enormous skater’s paradise designed by the skating legend himself. Inspired by the tropical paradise of Hawaii, this all new Skate 3 downloadable content comes loaded with everything from original street terrain to flowing skate parks and of course Danny’s signature Mega-madness. Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream content pack will be available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for 560 MS points or $6.99. The DLC will also include new challenges, Leliana's Songcreate-a-skater gear, an all-new Danny Way playable character, and new achievements and trophies.

While skate fans are busy in Hawaii, I’ll be on a mission with Dragon Age’s Leliana as Bioware adds a new chapter to the Dragon Age: Origins saga. Leliana’s Song will allow gamers to play as the roguish bard in a tale that can lead only to treachery – and the reasons which led Leliana to The Chantry. For 560 MS Points ($6.99 PSN), play through Leliana’s Song to earn a new reward that can be transferred over to your original Dragon Age: Orgins and Awakening campaigns. So now you know what I’ll be doing tomorrow after work.

The Banff CentreNew media makers interested in developing a creative project or reflective essay related to this year’s theme are encouraged to apply to the Interactive Screen Scholarship Intensive, which takes place at The Banff Centre this August 14 to 20th. Participants will benefit from valuable mentorship across a broad range of new media interests. Applications for projects in all stages of development, from early concepts through to fully developed prototypes, are welcome.

Scholarships are available for up to ten Canadian and international applicants and include focused mentorship and public presentation opportunities, a travel stipend of up to $550, and full financial
support for program tuition, meals, and shared accommodations on The Banff Centre campus. Please visit the Scholarship Information Page to apply.

Local (Vancouver) indie game designer Alex Vostrov (Rocket Bear Games) has officially announced his new game. According to his site, the new game will be called Infested Planet, and is “an innovative real time strategy game where you face a humongous horde of mutating aliens with just 5 marines” will hit the gamer waves in the Fall of 2010.

TreehouseCorus Entertainment and Treehouse are pleased to announce the world premiere of the first ever Dr. Seuss inspired animated series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on Saturday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET starring Martin Short as the voice of the Cat.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse and PBS Kids in the U.S., The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is based on Random House’s bestselling beginner book collection, The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.The Cat In The Hat

“We are thrilled to introduce the first ever animated series based on the whimsical adventures of Dr. Seuss, starring Canadian comedian Martin Short,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Programming and Production, Corus Kids. “A delightfully entertaining show that opens young minds to science and nature discoveries, this series is sure to appeal to preschoolers’ curiosity for exploration and the world around them.”

With Cat as their guide, best friends Sally and Nick are transported to all corners of the globe, making natural science discoveries of all kinds. Along for the ride are Cat’s two energetic helpers, the mop-headed zany duo: Thing One and Thing Two. Booting around in Cat’s one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, the group can travel to the bottom of the sea, shrink down to the size of a bee to discover how honey is made or find out why owls sleep during the day.

In the first episode, Show Me the Honey, Sally and Nick have run out of honey. Luckily, the Cat knows just where to get more. They visit Queen Priscilla Buzzoo who invites the gang to join her in the bee dance to learn how honey is made.

Beginning on August 7, back-to-back 30-minute episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! will air Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. throughout the month of August. Beginning on Tuesday, September 7, viewers can catch this series in its regular time-slots Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. as well as Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Beginning on August 23, viewers can visit Treehousetv.com to catch clips of the show, access 30 different colouring pages as well as six online games.

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