30th December 2010

eBooks Games and Apps To Occupy Your New Year

Ripe AppsRipe Apps has two of their latest iPhone apps on sale. Get GPS and Location-based reminders with Geo Alerts, on sale now for 99 Cents USD. Need a simple to do list with reminders? Pick up Reminders! Simple ToDos and Alerts, which is on sale for $1.99 USD. You may also want to check out their other app, I’m Right Here, which allows you to let your friends know where you are by sending them an email with map image, or SMS a link to same. This app isn’t “on sale” but it is available for the regular low price of 99 Cents USD.tale of the madeus

Dark AcreVancouver developer Dark Acre has just launched a novella for Amazon Kindle titled Tale of the Madeus (The Solarus Cycle) in the first in a series, and is currently available via download for only $1.99 USD. Written in the style of a science fiction space opera, Tale of the Madeus takes place in the Far Vacuum of the Solarus system and follows a series of events which occur between the Oslean Stellar Trade League Transport Vessel ‘Madeus’ and the pirate vessel ‘Staine’, and was written as a supporting background piece for Dark Acre’s game Project Zero Zero, which is currently in development.

Indie developer Celsius Games has announced that there will soon be an update for its inertial survival shooter game Red Nova. It looks like players are in for at least one new mode of transport – or maybe a new enemy, as the image isred nova teaser Celsius Gamesonly showing up as a shadowy blip on the Village Gamer game spotter. Still available for the launch price of 99 Cents USD, Red Nova is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. As the person in control, you have been sent on a mission to test a number of prototype fighters which could be destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk. While voyaging across the galaxy in your carrier, the ECS Red Nova, you discover the dastardly deeds of a previously unknown alien fleet as they prepare to stage a sneak attack on Earth’s space colonies. Being the hero that you are, it’s up to you and your crew to save humanity from certain destruction at the hands of these alien foes.

If you want to see the Best of 2010’s Xbox Indie Games included on the dashboard, head over to this article written xona gamesby Matthew Doucette of Xona Games to find out how you can vote on this issue. As a supporter (and purchaser) of our Canadian indie dev-made products, I would like to see the indie games front and centre just like all of the big-budget (and sometimes nowhere near as fun) titles.

Bioware and i09 are offering a sneak preview at who the Illusive Man really is (surprise, he’s not really Martin Sheen). Bioware CorpThis brand new comic from Dark Horse will peel back the layers of secrecy we first got a glimpse at in Mass Effect 2.

According to the comic’s official description, “Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Mac Walters reveals the origin of our galaxy’s most mysterious powerbroker—The Illusive Man! With co—writer John Jackson Miller (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) and artist Omar Francia (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2), Walters chronicles humanity’s first deadly days on the galactic stage and uncovers the pivotal role The Illusive Man played in it all! Available only in comics, this essential piece of Mass Effect canon offers new insights for existing fans, while the focus on humanity’s first steps into the wider Mass Effect universe provides a riveting story of action and intrigue for sci-fi readers of all stripes!”

Please visit the i09 site for a look at the 5 page Mass Effect Evolution preview.

doritos unlock xboxDoritos®, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the winner of its Unlock Xbox competition, with Crash Course taking first place. Crash Course was developed by Behaviour Interactive’s Chile studio Wanako from a concept by North Carolinian Jill Robertson. Her game concept was inspired by one of her favourite shows, Wipe Out – and is loads of fun. As the winner, Jill was awarded a $50 000.00 USD game consulting gig with Doritos, but in an unprecedented move, Doritos also awarded $50 000.00 to second place contestant Justin Carpenter of Ogden, Utah. His game concept, Harm’s Way, was also extremely well received – both titles had well over Xblox Live Arcade 2 million downloads between them – and they are both well worth the effort, offering tons of replayability and gaming fun. Both titles are still available for download, and at free, you certainly can’t scoff at the price for so much fun.

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

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Awards, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Driving, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Game Dev, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Platform, RPG - MMORPG, Shooters, Social Media, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

23rd December 2010

Lots and Lots of Sales

Development studio Capybara Games held its first internal 48 hour game jam earlier this week, and they’ve now posted the results on the studio’s blog. Working in teams of 2 or 3, the Capy-devs came up with some very interesting concepts, and the studio said on their blog that there will perhaps be some more playable jam titles available after the holidays.

There are lots of holiday sales from our Canadian developers to take advantage of this season, either as gifts for those who are looking for something new to play:

frima studioFrima’s 2D point-and-click Big Bad Wolfadventure game for puzzle lovers, Big Brain Wolf is part of the 5 game Indie Brain Pack available on Steam until January 3rd 2011 for only $4.99 USD. This crime story takes place in a fairy tale kingdom inhabited by a vegetarian, asthmatic wolf, a bipolar Genie, a chubby Red Riding Hood, a long-nosed lawyer, and a slew of hilarious characters. To clear his mother of the murder charges brought upon her, our lupine friend will have to train his brain through 60 puzzles and riddles.

IUGOIUGO Mobile has also gotten into the spirit of the season, putting all of their great titles on sale for 99 cents USD each until early January. Now’s the time to grab these IUGO hits:IUGO Holiday Sale

Toy Bot Diaries 1,2,3, the Toy Bot Compilation, Spy Bot Chronicles and the Toy Bot Mini Missions
Zombie Attack! and Zombie Attack! Second Wave XL
Shaky Summit
Freeballin’
Star Hogs
A.D.D.
Implode! XL
Cliffed XL
ESCAPE: Norm’s World
Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet

Celsius GamesCelsius Games’ new title Red Nova, which has rocketed up the iTunes game chart is still available for its special introductory price of 99 cents USD for both the iPhone and iPad versions. This price won’t last forever, so you’d best grab your spaceship now and make your file screen even more festive because Red Nova is red, which puts you 50% closer to decorating everything you own in Christmas colours. kung fu santa

Speaking of holiday colours, you really should pick up Kung Fu Santa by Big Bad Brush and help save Christmas. This highly colourful and simply fun to play title is also available for the low, low price of 99 EA Mobilecents in the App Store.

EA Mobile’s massive library of iOS titles is also on sale for just 99 cents USD per title – this means some huge discounts on some games, so whether you need some last minute gifts or just want them for yourself, now would be the time to be proactive and scoop them up before the sale ends. Death Spank

Deathspank really wants to move in to his own little home on your PC’s hard drive this Christmas, can you spare him a little change? This amusingly inept super hero game from Hothead Games is currently on sale on Steam for 50% off its regular price. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you really should – and then you can continue helping the downtrodden in Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue, which is also currently on sale.

Cshankoincidentally, Klei Entertainment’s vigilante platformer Shank is also on sale, available for the low price of $10.04 USD, so if you feel the urge to help Shank deal with his anger issues by slaughtering the underworld’s deadliest assassins, you should take advantage of this holiday sale.Dead Rising 2

Feel the need to eradicate zombies? Good news for you! Dead Rising 2 for the PC from Blue Castle Games (or Capcom Studios Vancouver, if you prefer) is also on sale at Steam for 50% off the published price. Head to Fortune City and try your luck – don’t forget your Zombrex!

Bioware CorpIf you’ve been living off-planet this year and haven’t yet gotten Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 for your PC, you’re in luck – Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition are all on sale at Steam as well. Not to be outdone by its studio mate, Dragon Age and all of its ilk are also on sale in the Steam store.

Loud Crow Interactive is giving away promo codes for their interactive iPad books The Tale of Peter Loud Crow InteractiveRabbit and The Night Before Christmas. Head on over to their Facebook page for details on how to grab a code while they’re still available.Doras Christmas Carol

If you’re looking for other great holiday treats to share with youngsters, may I suggest Dora’s Christmas Carol from Budge Studios. It’s not on sale, but you can get it for your iPhone for $2.99 USD or your iPad for $4.99 USD. Guaranteed to be a hit with any Dora fans living in your house.

I could probably spend all day looking for Canadian-made games on sale, but I do have to go to work. I also apparently have to go Christmas shopping, because my daughter is horrified that I haven’t done so yet. A few other great deals currently lurking around on Steam are all of the Company of Heroes and Dawn of War II titles from THQ and Relic Entertainment, plus there’s 150+ indie titles also on sale. If you see a Canadian title on sale somewhere, send me a message on Twitter, and if I have time I will try to get another posting of sale prices and links done before Christmas.

Wicked InteractiveToronto game publisher Wicked Interactive has launched AI Mode, the newest and most challenging level that brings robots and other surprises to the free-to-play shooter Mission Against Terror.

“This is our holiday gift to the massive and awesome M.A.T. community,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “They have been so supportive since the early days of Closed Beta, we felt thisMission Against Terror update is the least we could do.”

What’s New in AI Mode:

· 8 players vs. slew of AI-controlled robots in a war for survival
· 2 new stages (of four) available now
· 4 new difficulty settings
· 4 new scenarios
· Weapon Reward System for completing stages at current difficulty levels
· Weapon Casting Machine, allowing gamers to create weapons from the parts of destroyed robots
· The chance to do battle with the Robot Captain

The National Post has launched its free National PostNational Post Reader App, available now on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Simple and sophisticated, the National Post Reader App provides a customizable news feed that brings users straight to the day’s breaking news as well as the latest opinion pieces from Canada’s favourite writers and commentators. As with all National Post products, the app features coverage from across the country and around the world, delivered with a distinctly Canadian voice.

“Our readers like to stay up to date on important news, analysis and commentary wherever they are,” said National Post Publisher Douglas Kelly. “The National Post Reader App delivers this to them in a very personal and convenient way on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.”

Features of the National Post Reader App include:

* Delivery of Top Story content as soon as news breaks
* Quick and easy navigation tools
* The ability to save stories to read later, including when offline
* Social media sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Instapaper, email, and more

Pinewood StudiosPinewood Toronto Studios, Canada’s largest purpose-built film and TV studio complex, will use a $34.5-million financing arrangement to secure the studio’s long-term growth and enhance the City of Toronto’s ability to attract big-budget films and TV projects, as well as help strengthen Toronto’s role as one of the world’s great production centres.

This investment in vital, long-term Ontario film and television infrastructure will support Pinewood Toronto Studios, Ontario’s premier studio complex, in attracting large-scale production work that would not otherwise be drawn to Toronto.

Pinewood Toronto Studios Chairman Paul Bronfman says, “Toronto is one of a handful of truly exceptional production capitals. This repayable loan will benefit every Ontarian, as well as the film and TV industry throughout the city and province. The ripple effect to the broader Ontario economy will be enormous.”

The financing will permit improvements to Pinewood Toronto Studios facilities, strengthening and propelling its ability to attract bigger and more specialized film and television projects. Among the films and TV series shot at Pinewood Toronto Studios over the last two years are: Battle of the Blades, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Thing, Devil, Dream House and Chloe. The loan, provided by Infrastructure Ontario and facilitated by Build Toronto, was secured by the Pinewood Toronto Studios Board of Directors and received unanimous approval earlier this month.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Early Childhood, Educational, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, Platform, Puzzle, RPG - MMORPG, RTS, Shooters, Sports, Teen By: | Print This Post Print This Post

21st December 2010

A Tale of Many Games And Then Some

Game Prototype ChallengeVersion 2 of the Game Prototype Challenge closed yesterday – and this go-round of fast prototyping saw ten entries for the Immortality and Thin Ice theme – a big increase over the number of participants in version 1 of the challenge, which took place in November. I’ve included the list of entries here, but please visit the Game Prototype Challenge Blog for a full run-down on Version 2 plus links for post-mortems and information on Version 3, which will be coming at you in February 2011.

GPCv2 Entries:snowboggan

Snowball Jones and the Last Crusade by Rocket5Studios
Ice Skating Vampires by Kyle Rodgers
Lifetrek by Jason P. Kaplan
Immo and Thic! by Kyle Dwyer
Snowboggan by Chris Kaitila
Phoenix Rising by Regan Chan
Shatterfist by Jon Remedios
Made of Mirrors by Damian Sommer
Main by Vytenis Krukonis
Titan Miners by Dale Wick

gnometechI found out today about another Canadian-made free-to-play MMO game titled Greenwood Faire, which is currently in a publicly-playable alpha release stage. The game is being developed by Toronto-based greenwood faireGnometech Inc.

According to the game’s site, Greenwood Faire is a massive multiplayer social game experience set in and around the small town of Greenwood. Chat with your friends or make new ones. Listen to music in the tavern and play a board game. Play an instrument yourself, or get a medieval band together and put on a show. Learn to create fireworks and wait until nightfall to set them off. All of this and more is possible within the 3D environment of Greenwood Faire. If you would like to read more about the game’s development, check out the feature on Torque Powered.

UbisoftUbisoft has released a patch for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood that solves both the Animus Bug as well as restoring Trophy functionality for PlayStation players. While we do not yet have a final ETA for this patch, we can assure you that it will be coming very soon… all you have to do is apply the patch once it is released (your console should automatically prompt you to do so).

Fixes (MP)

* Sometimes players may remain stuck during matchmaking (game never starts)Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
* In extremely rare occasions, a crash may occur if another player of the same session quits while another player is loading the map at the exact same time
* When joining a session In Manhunt, in the chased team, you may have a sound present during the entire session

Fixes (Singleplayer)

* The player may remain stuck in the present optional (2012), in a spawning loop in Monterigioni, while interacting with the Animus (Animus Bug)
* Using fast travel towards Northern Campagna may result in Ezio getting continuously desynchronized
* Sometimes a bug can occur that prevents the player from unlocking any additional Trophies (Trophy Bug)
* On rare occasion, if the player changes their outfit at the completion of a mission, they will respawn in the same world, being stuck, without any possibility of returning to Rome

A sneak preview for Moderation Town episode three is now out and about; let’s see how our favourite moderators and dealing with real life and the internet

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

Canadian Film CentreIn celebration of Black History Month and presented by TD, the Canadian Film Centre and Clement Virgo are pleased to host a special evening at the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Theatre 8 in conversation with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee to discuss the role of music in his films. A notable writer, director, producer, actor and author who revolutionized both the landscape of independent cinema and the role of black talent in film, Spike Lee is widely regarded as a premiere filmmaker and a forerunner in the ‘do it yourself’ school of filmmaking. His films are often provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but class and gender identity as well while incorporating a distinctive and powerful use of music. The evening (Tuesday, January 25th 2011,7 – 8:30 p.m.) will combine conversation and film clips to examine the use of music in Lee’s films – from his musical collaborations with his father, Bill Lee, a jazz bassist, to Prince, Stevie Wonder and composer Terence Blanchard. Tickets are $20.00 (all proceeds will go towards the CFC Diversity Scholarship). Tickets can be purchased at www.totix.ca or at the venue on the night of the event.

Government of CanadaSome lucky Canadians will be revelling in a sparkling new smart phone this holiday season, and others will amuse themselves by downloading games and other online applications. But while mobile technologies can be useful and fun, it’s important to recognize their impact on your personal information, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, says.

“A fully-loaded smart phone is like carrying around a tiny little communications satellite, bristling with sensors and antennas,” the Commissioner explains. “It’s constantly sending and receiving data about your activities and your whereabouts. But where is the data going? What is it saying about you? And what is the effect on your privacy?”

In the third quarter of 2010 alone, more than 400 million mobile phones were purchased worldwide, and smart phones accounted for about one-fifth of that market. But, relative to regular cellphones, smart phones are exploding in popularity. While sales of all mobile phones increased by a third from the year before, smart phone sales actually doubled. In fact, industry observers predict that smart phones will comprise the largest share of the mobile phone market by the end of next year.

As these devices gain in popularity and sophistication, more and more applications (or apps) are being developed to run on them. These range from quirky quizzes to handy mapping and navigational programs, diet-tracking tools and social networking sites.

Increasingly, apps are also capitalizing on the capacity of smart phones to reveal their owner’s location. One widely used app, for instance, automatically transmits coupons and other bonuses to the user’s mobile device every time the user patronizes certain establishments.

But just as apps vary in type and quality, so do their privacy policies and practices. From a technical standpoint, there’s little to stop developers from programming apps in a way that enables them to collect, use or share the personal information of users – and often that of their contacts or networks.

Users may never even know this is happening, and might not approve of the practice if they did. Indeed, the inappropriate collection, use or disclosure of personal information could expose people to surreptitious surveillance, or unwanted targeting by unscrupulous marketers or swindlers.

“Smart phones can do a lot of great things for you,” says Commissioner Stoddart. “But when it comes to protecting your personal information, it’s up to you to make the first call.”

Here are some tips for smarter smart phone use this holiday season:

Do your due diligence – Before you download a dazzling new app, check it out. Does it tell you what personal information it collects, and how it will use it? If not, do your own research. Many online forums discuss apps and provide authoritative reviews about important matters, including privacy.

Think it through – Downloading an app may be a snap, but take your time and do a cost-benefit analysis first. Your personal information has real value, which is why app developers, marketers and many others want to get their hands on it. But don’t give it away. Trade it for something worthwhile, including a solid assurance that it will be treated with care.

Keep it safe – If you lose your smart phone, a lot of your personal information can fall into the wrong hands. Make sure you always use a strong password to protect your data. If you give, trade or throw away your smart phone, be sure you first follow the manufacturer’s directions for thoroughly deleting all the data that was on it.

amazonFor those who just haven’t spent enough money this holiday season, Amazon.ca has announced that beginning December 25th and running through January 2nd, customers can take advantage of amazing Boxing Week promotions on everything from electronics and books to home and garden products and men’s watches. Beginning on Christmas Day, customers can explore The Deals Store to find the full list of Boxing Week special promotions. Customers are encouraged to shop early as these offers are only available while supplies last.

“Christmas week is a time that people want to be with family and friends, but still be able to take advantage of post-holiday deals and promotions,” said John Nemeth, director of Amazon.ca. “With incredible savings, thousands of products and free shipping on eligible products, customers can enjoy the best of both worlds by shopping on Amazon.ca from the comfort of their home.”

Customers will find great discounts on a variety of well-known and trusted brands, including Panasonic, Canon, KitchenAid and Garmin. In addition, Amazon.ca offers customers FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders of eligible products of $25 and over.

Please note that product prices and availability of products and deals are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this release was sent. However, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.ca.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Education, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Government, Mature, National News, New Releases, Platform, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

17th December 2010

A Mostly Casual Friday

SavantThe Balls! is an iPhone game we first told you about on December 7th, and this newest title from Quebec’s Savant Games, is The Ballsavailable today for free on the iTunes App Store, thanks to Appvent Calendar 2010.

Hardcore sports Coach Timmins wants you to juggle as many sports balls as possible to prove your worth. Bounce different balls (soccer, basketball, bowling, and more) a number of times until they burst, but be careful not to let them drop, or Coach Timmins will give you a verbal whipping. The balls are physics enabled and can bounce against each other for a bigger challenge. Tap the balls to bounce them up, or flick them in a direction for more precise control. Bounce them as late as possible for a higher score and crits – just watch out for those grenades the Coach has been hiding. The Balls features two game modes: Classic and Balls mode, plus it is Game Center enabled with Achievements and Leaderboards, and has seamless integration with Open Feint.

xmg studioXMG Studios has released its latest title on the iTunes App Store. Inspector Gadget’s Mad Dash is available now for $1.99 USD, and is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. In this latest rendition, everyone’s favourite inept cartoon detective must save his niece Penny from the clutches of the evil Dr. Claw.Inspector Gadget's Mad Dash

In Inspector Gadget’s MAD Dash, you play the bionic hero as he swings from cranes; jumps speeding trains; and much, much, more as he avoids a variety of menacing hazards. Do your best to capture the elusive Claw and free Penny.

Inspector Gadget’s Mad Dash features an endless play mode with a full array of gadgets. Make use of Gadget’s rocket skates, umbrella, spring-loaded arms and super jumps as you avoid speeding trains, power lines, spinning fans, bananas, birds and Dr. Claw’s dastardly bombs and homing missiles. Unlock bonus content by collecting Gadget coins – the Gadget soundboard, concept art samples, a digital version of the Official Inspector Gadget Comic from Viper Comics (get it before it hits shelves next year) and the biggest bonus of all – unscramble an image and reveal the elusive Dr. Claw’s secret identity.

industrial brothersThe Canadian-Australian team at Industrial Brothers has released Beast Farmer II, a follow-up to their previous, and very successful title Beast Farmer, which was ranked as the #1 kids’ game in 33 countries. Whereas the original title featured a combination of nurturing activities and challenges, Beast Farmer II focuses entirely on testing your skills as you fight wave after wave of deadly predators from the Bogs of Doom across different maps and levels.  Beast Farmer II is easily one the most challenging, addictive and fun games on the iPhone.Beast Farmer 2

Beast Farmer II offers the same stunningly beautiful graphics as its predecessor, and features five maps which get progressively harder to play as you advance through the game.  Each level can be played and replayed many times over.

Players begin the game with a battle-ready, nameable and customizable Swamp Chicken that can be immediately upgraded with new skins, mutations and accessories. Industrial Brothers say that there will soon be three more Beasts, and more will be added in the coming months. There is an initial offering of 11 new enemies, with more to come. Beast Farmer II: Beasts Unleashed is integrated with OpenFeint and Facebook, and ss you play the game you can unlock new achievements and send your results straight through to Facebook or Twitter for your friends to see.

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. announced today that Rooster Punch, a very original shooting gallery game, has been renamed and released today for iPhone/iPod Touch for 99¢ USD. This is one, and the best, of 4 applications released by Big Blue Bubble employees in a contest to create the best App.Rooster Punch

Farmer Jacque, a former heavyweight boxing champion turned farmer, has a rabble of rowdy roosters run rampant in the barnyard. Now Jacque must wrangle them in the only way he knows how. Rooster Punch is a shooting gallery-esque game with a difference. You must pound your feathered friends into submission with your championship winning gloves. Don’t let them rule your roost, or they’ll end up breaking all your eggs.

Rooster Punch Features:

• Super awesome arcade actionSnowball Ballistic
• A variety of fowl friends
• Endless score based tom-foolery
• Bountiful Bonus
• Knockout gameplay

Rooster Punch is the second internal competition title released by Big Blue Bubble this month. Earlier in December the studio launched Snow Ballistic, a snow war that pits you as the last line of defense. Use your snow ball slingshot to unleash a storm of snow balls on the kids in the other snow fort. Fling snow balls from a sling shot at an army of kids who’d like nothing more than rub your face in the snow. Don’t forget to also smack incoming snow balls back at them in the game’s ever-changing environments. It’ll take quick reflexes and great aim to be able to shoot your way through wave after wave of baddies, and working your way towards becoming Snow Ballistic.

IUGOIUGO and Capcom have announced Lil’ Pirates’ first update containing over a hundred new items including sails, clothing items and holiday-themed decorations, with a second update coming early in the new year. Lil’ Pirates is IUGO and Capcom’s first hit social title, seeing over a million downloads in under a month. Pirates will be pleased to access the following features and content in the two new content downloads seen over the past two days:

. Two new ship themes (ice and submarine)
.  Over 75 new ship items
. New character options (over 100 new)lil pirates
. Two new jobs on existing maps and a new ship battle (submarine theme)
. New holiday job maps (Gobbleapagos Island and Winter Frostyland, with 4 and 5 new jobs, respectively)
.  Four new objectives for Winter Frostland jobs

Updated Features

. Use Game Center to log in, add friends, add crew members
. Take a screenshot of player’s ship (save to photo gallery or Facebook)
. New message of the day popup
. Local notifications for when crew members are finished jobs, and when treasure is fully leveled up
. Other small enhancements (show thief’s profile picture in treasure island, easier to rearrange and do extended ship shopping)

Bioware CorpBioware has released a Combat Walkthrough video for Dragon Age 2. Watch as Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw shows off the combat features gamers can look forward to in this epic continuation of the Dragon Age world. If you haven’t put in your pre-order yet, remember that the special free upgrade to the Bioware Signature Edition ends in only 24 days.

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

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Casual, Digital Products, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

14th December 2010

Heroic Interactive Launches Spy Alliance

heroic interactiveRecruitment begins today for Spy Alliance, a free online multiplayer game that lets tweens and young teens train to become top spies, earn “Intel” and build their own spy agencies. Designed around an asynchronous play style, the experience appeals to players who are looking for a range of play, from bite-sized to involved gameplay with a large number of friends. Spy Alliance also appeals to parents because youngsters can play with each other without direct interaction, adding a layer of security that is not present in typical MMOGs. Spy Alliance was developed by Toronto-based game developer Heroic Interactive, whose previous titles include How to be Indie: A Day in the Life for YTV.
spy alliance
“Spy Alliance provides a deeply engaging online experience for kids and their families,” says Karen Lee Hall, founder of Heroic Interactive. “It’s a layered game that appeals to all sorts of players. It’s engrossing to enter the world of espionage and play an Agent-in-Training. For those who love using their brains there’s lots of opportunity to be strategic while also being just plain fun for gamers who simply want to personalize their avatar with the coolest looks and visit their friends’ customized game spaces.”

Spy Alliance incorporates eight mini-games that feature “platform-style” action such as running, jumping and shooting. One of the first ways players can earn “Intel” – the key metric of Spy Alliance – is by playing the mini-games. As they progressively acquire more “Intel” points, players can build and customize their own spy agencies or infiltrate other agencies. The mini-games include classic arcade and paintball games, a parkour-style slider game, and “camera-click” shooter-style games.

In a novel twist, the game also allows players to interact with the characters and world of “Connor Undercover” a tween TV series, which features Max Morrow as spy buff ‘Connor Heath’. “Connor Undercover” is currently airing on The Family Channel (Canada), ABC3 (Australia), Boomerang (Latin America and U.S.) and Nickelodeon (Germany). It is distributed worldwide by Shaftesbury Kids.

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

Asynchronous game play allows multiplayer gaming to fit the schedule of regular kids with busy lives. As long a player can find 15 minutes per day to check the game, they can play with a very large group of friends. Many of the popular social games found on platforms such as Facebook are asynchronous games.

Spy Alliance was produced by Karen Lee Hall with interactive design by Scott Nihill, Karen Lee Hall and Daniel Loach; and game design by Daniel Loach, Josh Yaw, Danny Zabbal. Lead artist on the game was Danny Zabbal.

Funding for Spy Alliance came from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Canadian Media Fund and Family Channel. Development funding was also provided by Bell New Media Fund and Heroic Film Company, producer of the companion series “Connor Undercover”

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Everyone 10+, National News, New Releases, Platform, RPG - MMORPG, RTS By: | Print This Post Print This Post

14th December 2010

New Release From Celsius Game Studio

Celsius GamesNew in the iTunes App Store today is Red Nova, an inertial survival shooter for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Created by Celsius Game Studio, Red Nova is available now for the introductory price of 99 cents.

Game Description:Red Nova

While on a routine mission to test a number of prototype fighters destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk, the ECS Red Nova, your carrier, comes across an unknown alien fleet preparing to stage a sneak attack on the human colonies!

In order to give the Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet you have volunteered to attack the aliens head-on. With a choice of any of the fighters on deck, you have to use your wits, your guns, and your ample supply of homing missiles to survive for as long as you can!

Game Features

* Universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPadChoose Your Ship
* Game Center leaderboards
* Retina Display graphics
* 3 scaling difficulty levels
* 3 playable ships
* 4 power-ups
* 7 different enemies
* Dynamic camera zooms in when things get intense
* iOS Controller: use an iPhone or iPod Touch to control Red Nova on an iPad wirelessly
* Dynamic touch controls for faster reaction times; no more hunting for fixed virtual buttons when it counts

Future episodes of Red Nova will be released as free updates, adding different game modes and missions to the game.

All Seeing Eye GamesDrum Studio: Platinum Edition from Vancouver developer All Seeing Eye Games is now available on  Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 MS Points. This follow-up to the award-winning Drum Studio allows players to record, layer, & edit their own drum songs on virtual drums customizable from a collection of over 320 drum sounds.

Drum Studio: Platinum Edition is a virtual drum recording tool that gives players the ability to build their own drum beats using their Xbox 360 drum kits or controllers.  Players can then go online to share their songs with friends, listen to each other play, and even jam together in real-time.

Lead Programmer Darren Joe says, “Music has always been about sharing. Drum Studio put music creation in the Drum Studio Platinumplayer’s hands. Now, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition allows players to share their music with each other and the world.”

It is no secret that the music game genre is in steep decline. Whereas the big names have rehashed the same gameplay mechanics a dozen times over and then some, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition pushes the genre forward with a music creation & sharing experience unlike anything any other title has to offer.

In addition to its extensive online features, Drum Studio: Platinum Edition also expands upon the award-winning original with all new art by graphic artist Terry Wong (Cirque Du Soleil, National Geographic, Electronic Gaming Monthly) and full Xbox 360 Avatar support, allowing players to turn their Xbox 360 Avatars into full-fledged animated virtual drummers.

Sherwood DungeonMaid Marian Entertainment Inc. and Gene Endrody, sole creator of the indie hit MMORPG, Sherwood Dungeon has announced the arrival of, two new allies just in time for the holidays – the Shadowfey Knight and Priestess.shadowfey priestess

The Shadowfey are lost descendants of the Picts, an ancient Celtic tribe. Possessing ominous white skin and a dark mysterious gaze, this race of warriors will battle alongside players as they crawl through Sherwood’s perilous dungeons.

An additional feature for those who purchase pets in Sherwood is the ability for players to transform their characters into the form of their pets. Explore the world and fight monsters while transformed into a Dragon, Unicorn, Spider, Shadowfey, and more. If that wasn’t enough, the Wolf and Lion pets can now be ridden as mounts. Along with the Horse and Unicorn mounts, players now have plenty of options for striking fear into Sherwood’s minions while leading the charge mounted on these ferocious beasts.

You are cordially invited to check out the new allies and features, or just play in the snow at the holiday themed Sherwood Castle, head over to – no sign-up or download is required. With the addition of the new Zong SMS Mobile Phone Payment system, players all over the world can easily purchase premium companions for their enjoyment, without the need of Paypal or a credit card.

Cookie JarCookie Jar Entertainment has announced long-term deals with Netflix, allowing consumers in the U.S. and Canada to instantly enjoy selected titles from Cookie Jar’s extensive library of animated and live-action programming. Terms of the agreements are confidential.

In the U.S., Netflix members now have instant access to four of Cookie Jar Entertainment’s most Cookie Jar Charactersrecognizable television series – Busytown, Johnny Test, Metajets and Strawberry Shortcake – for a total of almost 200 half-hours of children’s entertainment.

In Canada, the agreement covers nine classic titles for a total of more than 500 half-hours and includes Bunch of Munsch, Caillou, Country Mouse City Mouse, Heathcliff, Horseland, Inspector Gadget, Paddington, Wimzie’s House and Zoboomafoo.

“Internet streaming offers tremendous opportunities for leveraging our catalogue of nearly 6,000 half-hour episodes of television series, the second JoyRide for Kinectlargest kid’s library in the world. With these ground-breaking agreements in hand, we are actively pursuing additional digital distribution deals worldwide,” said Michael Hirsh, CEO of Cookie Jar.

Those of you who own Joyride for Kinect will be able to download a Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette and Cruze for free on January 4, 2011. You can choose a color for your new cars or paint them using the Kinect sensor and then take them for a spin in any of “Kinect Joy Ride’s” six game modes. You can also use the cars in online races over Xbox LIVE. To unlock the new Chevrolet cars for Kinect Joy Ride simply select the Chevrolet ad in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace – keep your eye out for it – or you can unlock the Chevrolet cars by visiting Colin and Justin ChristmasXbox.com.

This video has absolutely nothing to do with gaming whatsoever, but it is a timely bit of cheer from interior designers Colin & Justin. The dynamic duo have put out three Christmas songs on iTunes, with all proceeds going to support Cash for Kids. While we do have a Cash For Kids charity here in Canada, I do believe that these songs are to benefit the UK Cash for Kids organization. Either way, enjoy the video, buy the songs (I did, and I’m not even a huge fan of the Christmas season), but most importantly, support the kids – and please remember your local toy, clothing and food drives, too.

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

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Digital Products, Driving, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, Music, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

13th December 2010

From Zombies To Barbie

Game Prototype ChallengeGame Prototype Challenge has announced its Version 2 themes – Immortality and Thin Ice. For this second round, developers have until 11:59pm on December 20th, 2010 to submit their games by posting a link to it on Twitter with the hashtag #GPCv2. Web deploy-able games are preferred but not required, simply provide a download link if your game is run as an executable. Please see the Game Prototype Challenge blog for complete details on how to participate.

CAPCOMA quick message from Capcom has alerted me to the approaching availability of Dead Rising 2: Case West. Developed exclusively for the Xbox 360, zombie fans will be able to purchase this chapter for 800 MS Points on December 27th. Case West will see the two Dead Rising heroes unite to battle back the hoards of walking dead, infiltrating the Phenotrans Facility in an attempt to uncover the company’s murky dealings.Dead Rising 2 Case West

With all new content, new combo weapons to create, new enemies to test them on and the return of the ability to capture those magic moments on camera, Dead Rising 2: Case West continues the Dead Rising 2 experience in both single and co-op play. You do not need to own Dead Rising or Dead Rising 2 in order to play this DLC.

For those constantly on the go, Dead Rising for the iPhone and iPod touch shambles onto the App Store, just in time for the holiday shopping season with a limited-time launch price of $4.99 USD. In the game players must fight their way through a shopping mall that’s been overrun with an army of the undead utilizing anything they can to fight off the flesh-hungry mob.

Like the console games of the same name, users play as Frank West, a freelance photojournalist on the hunt for the scCapcom Mobileoop of a lifetime. Utilizing makeshift weapons scavenged from the stores and displays, players battle against waves of zombies in the hopes of surviving and making their way to freedom. Items like samurai swords, chainsaws and shotguns will help the player sow a path of destruction through the undead menace. More ordinary items like bowling balls and manikins can also be used to keep zombies at bay.

Zombie hunters the world over know that nothing gives you the munchies like fighting off a flesh-starved undead maw. “Dead Rising” therefore includes a game mechanic that requires the player to scavenge for mall food to stay alive. Finally, just because it’s a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you can’t be social. When a player dies in the game they’ll have the opportunity to send out a distress call via Facebook or Twitter to their friends. If the player is revived, the player and their friend will receive a bonus. However, if the player is allowed to die, they’ll rise as a powerful zombie in their friend’s game.

podcamp torontoSocial media gurus, if you aren’t busy on February 26th & 27th, then you might want to check out PodCamp Toronto, a free “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts.

A reminder from DFAIT: To ensure that your company is included in the Trade Commissioners Service (TCS) international match-making at GDC 2011, make sure you have your application filled out and sent in to your DFAIT representative by December 15th (that’s the day after tomorrow, btw). Trade Commissioners are actively seeking GDC 2011match-making opportunities for Canadian companies at GDC 2011 in San Francisco with publishers such as CapCom, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Activision Blizzaard, PlayFish, Bandai Namco and Zynga among others. If you are selected for a meeting, a Trade Commissioner will contact you in the weeks immediately before GDC 2011. Meetings will be scheduled at the venue of the buyer’s choice.

Please note the following initiatives planned by the TCS and partners for GDC 2011.

GDC 2011 Prep Camp Webinar – January 11 and 12 (date TBC)
Telefilm is organising a pre-GDC 2011 webinar in co-operation with the Trade Commissioners Service. Canadian companies will have the option of attending on two different dates to receive practical information and advice on best international business development practices when attending GDC – Game Connection.

Canada Business Lounge at the W Hotel – March 1, 2 and 3
The Trade Commissioners Service is pleased to announce that the Canada Business Lounge will be at the W Hotel during GDC 2011. The Canada Business Lounge includes 2 private meeting rooms and an open-concept lounge that will be exclusive to Canadian companies and their clients for meetings. Your local Regional Office will be in touch in January 2011 with more details when the schedule is released.

Canada Networking Event – March 2
Please reserve Wednesday, March 2 in your calendar for the annual Canada Networking Event at Jillians. Registration information will be sent closer to GDC 2011.

Club PenguinFans of Club Penguin can rally together this holiday season to help provide children around the world safe places to live, learn and play as part of the fourth annual Coins for Change event, allowsing the children who visit the snow-covered virtual world of Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games online to real world causes that matter to them.

Players can direct their virtual donations to provide medical help, build safe places and protect the earth. At the end of the event, which runs from December 17 to 27, 2010, the players’ virtual donations will serve as votes to determine how a $1M contribution from Disney Online Studios will be divided among pre-selected charitable projects aimed at helping children, families and the planet.

“It’s incredible to witness the passion our players have for making a difference in the lives of others, and we love being able to empower them through Coins for Change,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “The kids who play Club Penguin have already helped more than two million people get medical care, enabled 200,000 children to go to school and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats, and we’re confident they’ll rise to the challenge again this year.”

Club Penguin is one of the largest virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Millions of children and families in more than 190 countries play Club Penguin in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Word filters and live moderators monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.

Club Penguin is free to play, however special features such as front-of-the-line access to game features, exclusive parties and opportunities to customize your penguin and igloo require a membership. A portion of the proceeds from each membership purchased supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. The results of Coins for Change 2010 will be announced on January 4, 2011.

shopifyOnline retail platform Shopify has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures, enabling the company to continue providing advanced commerce functionality to businesses of all sizes.

Shopify, which features a groundbreaking “app store” to help run your shop, will use the proceeds to invest in the growth of the company, including product development and international expansion. Shopify already serves customers in over 60 countries. The company also plans to invest in its technology, infrastructure and developer tools. Shopify is committed to attracting the best app developers to its platform, giving them access to thousands of retailers.

Shopify’s software-as-a-service offering can scale as customers grow: Shopify processes more than $100M in revenue for customers as diverse as General Electric, Tesla Motors, Amnesty International and the Foo Fighters. “Shopify has allowed us to focus on our product,” said Craig Dalton, president and co-founder of DODOcase. “We knew we wanted to have a powerful e-commerce system in the background, so we chose Shopify.”

At the same time, Shopify makes it simple for smaller sellers with little or no programming skills to set up an online shop in just a few minutes. Each Shopify storefront is customizable and gives the user control over a shop’s look and feel, in addition to setting up a streamlined checkout and the ability to easily integrate PayPal or a credit-card processor for payments. Shopify employs a dedicated team of security experts to ensure each storefront meets the highest possible security requirements. The Shopify App Store is a collection of Shopify apps that can extend the functionality of the online store, and has brand name apps such as Quickify, Chimpified, Hubspot, and Vurve.

LGLG Electronics Canada has named Brandon, Manitoba as the host city of the 2011 LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival. Residents of Brandon showed-off their hometown pride amassing the highest percentage of votes to have their city host the LG Ultimate Winter Festival featuring Hedley. On January 22, 2011, LG will melt away Brandon’s winter blues with a free concert from Hedley and the Plain White T’s, pro snowboarders and other amazing entertainment.

“We are thrilled to make life good for residents of Brandon. People all over Canada voted to win the LG Rocks Your City contest for their city, but the residents of Brandon truly showed their passion and enthusiasm with their votes,” said Colin Bettam, Vice-President of Marketing, LG Electronics Canada. “We look forward to rocking out in Manitoba at the LG Ultimate Winter Festival.”

The LG Winter Festival will feature performances by platinum selling, award winning rock group Hedley and the Grammy nominated Plain White T’s. The crowds in Brandon will also be treated to demonstrations by pro athletes in the LG Snowboard Rail Arena and tons of prizes from the LG street team.

The contest isn’t over yet though! From now until December 31st, 2010, Canadians can still become LG VIPs by purchasing any LG phone from TELUS. VIPs are eligible for daily and weekly prizes and are entered for the chance to win the VIP grand prize which includes:

* Round trip transportation to Brandon (flight, car, etc.) – departing Friday, January 21, 2011 and returning Sunday, January 23, 2011 – from the nearest major Canadian city to Brandon
* Two nights accommodation in Brandon
* VIP access at the LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival
* The opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet with Hedley
* $500 spending money for the winner and his/her guest

netflixNetflix Canada has announced that some new titles are now available on its streaming video service, and others will be made available over the next few weeks. Among the highlights of new additions for Netflix members in Canada are seasons 1 and 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning television series “Weeds,” season 1 of Sony’s “The Big C,” and season 1 of Emmy-nominated television series “Undercover Boss.” Also coming to the service are seasons 1 through 4 of the epic and critically-acclaimed hit TV series “The Tudors,” season 1 of the popular “Men with Brooms,” and seasons 1 and 2 of “Republic of Doyle.” Season 2 of “Republic of Doyle” will be available from Netflix the day after episodes air on the CBC in Canada. “Best of” episodes and the last two complete seasons of “Saturday Night Live” and seasons 1 through 5 of “The Kids in the Hall” will be available, and seasons 1 and 2 of “Merlin” will be available in the first half of 2011. Seasons 1 and 2 of the popular comedy series “Pulling” will also be offered through Netflix.

barbieAnd last but certainly not least, for those parents currently enveloped in the world of Barbie, to celebrate the recent collaboration between the Joe Fresh Style® brand and Barbie®, Mattel has created its first Canadian one-of-a-kind doll in the likeness of the larger than life fashion icon, Joseph Mimran. A specialist team of five Mattel designers, stylists and cosmeticians worked together over the span of three months, and brought the magic and authenticity of Joe Mimran’s individual style to life (in plastic) in the form of this unique doll.Mattel honours Canadian designer Joe Mimran. Photo Courtesy of Mattel

“Barbie is thrilled to salute one of our great Canadian designers and add him to a very select group of celebrities in fashion, music and entertainment,” says Samantha Taylor, Senior Manager, Licensing, Mattel. “We are also very excited to partner with the Joe Fresh Style brand for a limited collection of vibrant apparel and encourage Barbie girls everywhere to dream big, continue to explore a world without limits, and do it all with great style this holiday season.”

The one-of-a-kind 11.5″ doll, which was presented to Mimran on Thursday, December 9, 2010, features his unique face-sculpt, skin-tone, hairstyle and clothing including a blazer, dark jeans, white dress shirt and his signature velvet loafer shoes. Mattel’s Tammy Abang, principal designer on this project, has created one-of-a-kind Barbie® dolls for celebrities and world-renowned designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, The Barbie Collection from JoeRachel Zoe, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Janet Jackson, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name a few. One of a kind Barbie® dolls are created in-house at Mattel’s head offices in El Segundo, California and are reserved only for high-profile celebrities and significant partnerships. Joe Mimran is the first Canadian celebrity to be awarded this exclusive gift and one of the few males to make the high-profile list.

“I am thrilled to be honoured by Barbie with my own look-a-like doll, says Joe Mimran of Joseph Mimran & Associates, Creative Director, Apparel, Home and Entertainment for Loblaw Companies Limited. “What a fun way to celebrate the BarbieTM Loves Joe Fresh® collection that brings Barbie’s playful spirit to life through stylish and affordable fashions, which is what Joe Fresh is all about.”

The limited-edition Barbie Loves Joe Fresh collection is comprised of items for women and girls including: sleepwear sets and separates as well as boyfriend-style underwear, all priced from $6 to $14 and in stores now. The collection also features a Barbie Loves Joe Fresh tote bag for $2. The colour palette combines light and dark pinks with white and black, and the designs feature cute animal graphics, argyle patterns, Barbie’s silhouette and the Barbie logo.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Business News, Digital Products, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Mature, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Shooters, Social Media, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

10th December 2010

Follow Friday

Today I want to share a few sites that I’ve found by following links and recommendations, usually from the Twittersphere. But first, thank you to womanzworld, Big Bad Brush, Cybele Negris, Roddie Kieley, Wojtek Kawczynski and Savant Games for the #FF today on Twitter.

Here is a reminder that Game Prototype Challenge v2 will be announcing the themes on Monday December 13th, as well as a teaser look at some of the games from version 1.

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

If you are a professional, student or hobbyist, I recommend that you take part in the Game Prototype Challenge – because hey, you never know where that next great idea will come from.

disruptive publishersOne of my recent new followers on Twitter is Disruptive Publishers. Based in Vancouver, this Washington State University Shirtgroup creates licensed avatar gear for platforms such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. They have created themes and avatars for groups such as American universities, as well as partnered with companies such as Capcom, Sega, EA, Ubisoft, and the NBA for personalized gear that can be purchased in the respective console marketplaces. Creating user-customization gear for avatars is a great way to get your company’s image out into the main stream, broadening its presence to areas you may not have previously considered. According to their site, Disruptive Publishers is “an end-to-end solution for all production, licensing, approval, accounting and marketing disciplines throughout the entire process.”

Raw Sugar PRToronto-based Raw Sugar PR, owned and operated by Juli Strader, is a company whose philosophy is very similar to our own, to quote their site: “Raw Sugar PR is Juli Straderdedicated to developing and establishing a star system of directors, producers, screenwriters and actors so that Canadians across the country will proudly boast about our talent in the film & TV industry. Film & TV publicity opportunities abound from all stages, from development to casting to production to theatrical debut and to multi-platform distribution. Each stage offers new opportunities to build industry awareness and consumer recognition of your project.”

Blatant StudiosAnother Twitter-find is Vancouver’s Blatant Studio, whose specialty is animation and motion-graphics. They have done work for clients such as Piranha Games, MTV, MuchMusic, 20th Century Fox and many more. While watching their show reel, I saw something very disturbing. Scott Baio is 45? I feel really old now. Thanks, Blatant.

premium beatI followed a link posted by Toon Boom, which led me to their Christmas ecard application. A link on that page led me over to Premium Beat, a royalty free music provider founded in 2005 by father-son creatives Giles and Francois Arbour. Based in Quebec, Premium Beat offers high quality Royalty Free Music for all new and traditional media, including websites, online videos, slide shows, DVDs and CD-ROMs, television, radio and films. The company also offers a variety of Flash Media Players for websites: Flash mp3 Players, Flash Video Players and Flash Slideshow Players.moderation town

Moderation Town from Stitch Media had its premier yesterday. Airing as a web series on Showcase.ca, Moderation Town is a comedy series about a small Maritime town after the local factory folds and is replaced by an Internet moderation company. Local residents become not-so-internet-savvy content moderators, responsible for filtering the most offensive content off of the Internet.

situwareKelowna studio Situware has released Pigeon Drop, a kind-of-location-based game available now in the iTunes App Store for $2.99. According to the game’s Pigeon Dropinfo, Pigeon Drop is a revolution in interactive game play, physically integrating players into an online world where they command an army of pigeons capable of launching real-time attacks against other online players around the globe.

Pigeons have united in a worldwide effort to help humanity avoid total self-destruction. After years of practicing on statues and monuments around the world, pigeons have finally perfected the art of high altitude bombing and are ready to offer their services to humankind. It appears pigeon poop is a great alternative to weapons of mass destruction and pigeons are willing to partner with humans in an effort to avoid a worldwide disaster and offer a new way of achieving total global domination.

Complex GamesToday seems to be the day for finding out about games with questionable titles. New from Winnipeg’s Complex Games is Monkey Poo, available now in the iTunes store for 99 cents. This game, according tomonkey poo its store description, allows you to fling your way to victory by covering unwary zoo-goers with mounds and mounds of monkey poo, awarding bonus points for finishing off your targets with multiple hits, while nailing mystery celebrities brings massive rewards. Another game objective is to avoid the zookeeper, as he will apparently put your poonami to an early end.

Microsoft Game StudiosMicrosoft’s Vancouver game studio launched an online beta of their newest title last night. Neosaurs is an MMORPG free-to-play PC browser game, and it appears that there will be purchasable upgrades. I did find information about charges and charegbacks in on the game’s site, but could not find any mention of what could be purchased or any prices. Perhaps this feature will be enabled once the beta phase has concluded.neosaurs

The game’s description is as follows: “deep below Earth’s surface, Inner Earth is in trouble and needs your help! Raise your very own Neosaur to be protector for the forces of good. Play with your friends and explore the extensive lore and endless adventure in the magical land beneath. You can evolve your Neosaur into a ferocious Rex, strong Cera, or agile Ptera.”

behaviour gamesBehaviour Studios has a new title on XBLA – Doritos Crash Course is a fast-paced, funny, obstacle course game show for your Avatar to compete against your friends and family over XboxLive. Play through 15 exciting platformer levels across 3 different countries. Compete against your friends and family up to four players over XboxLive and local split-screen. Technically, this free game was developed by Wanako Studios in Chile – but – Wanako is a wholly-owned division of Quebec’s Behaviour Studio, which, in a round-about kind of way, gets it in through the Canadian Content Door.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Casual, Digital Products, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Party, RPG - MMORPG, Social Media, Studios By: | Print This Post Print This Post

9th December 2010

A Whole Lotta Indie News

AnnexProLast evening we had the pleasure of attending Annex Pro’s Expo 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where we had a chance to catch up with a few friends Kerry Corlettas well as make new ones. The team at Annex Pro put together a great group of vendor booths – it’s a good thing that the CaveChild was not with us, or he would’ve tried to make off with the entire Avid Pro Tools display. As it was, I spent a fair bit of time talking with Bonnie from Wacom, and with a smoking hot sales deal from Annex Pro, my very dated Wacom Graphire 3 is now a medium-sized Intuos 4. Now I am just waiting on my registration emails from Wacom (how long does that take, anyway?) so that I can install the free software tools that purchasers of Wacom tablets receive, and then I can watch my Adobe PhotoShop Elements 4 upgrade to version 8 (oh wow, just learned that Adobe is now on version 9), and maybe in a few months’ time I can take advantage of the Wacom Buyer Privileges and upgrade my PhotoShop 7 to PhotoShop CS5 with the special purchase deal. Oh, and if you think my PhotoShop is outdated….I still use Bryce 5 and PaintShop Pro 8. I won a copy of Corel’s PaintIt on Twitter a few months ago, and have been playing a bit with it – watching the software’s conversion process is quite entertaining.

Annex Pro Expo SponsorsScott’s interest at the Annex Pro event was tweaked both by the keynote delivered by Technicolor Creative Services’ Tom Burns and by the offerings from Atempo, Aspera, Blue Arc, G-Tech, AJA and HP because he likes to geek out over the technical side of things, which are completely out of my realm. As long as our networks connect and the computers and server are working, I’m happy – although I do want the fancy computers & screens they have on CSI and Bones, just because they look cool.

I have always liked the software tools developed by Autodesk, who was also present at the expo, but as I can’t draw and haven’t even mastered Bryce 5, Maya and Max are far beyond my capabilities – I have a healthy respect for anyone who creates product with that software. Craft Animations was also displaying their wares, and I actually have one of their products, which I won at a previous Annex Pro event. Not a clue what to do with that, either. Perhaps we should come up with a contest and offer it as a prize; I’m sure there are some indie devs out there who would benefit greatly from having itGarage Inc.

Transgaming Studios has released the pre-game cinematic for their upcoming title Garage Inc on the game’s Facebook page. The cinematic introduces the player to the characters and sets the mood for this 1920’s Prohibition-era game. Watch as lead character Angelo talks with his cousin Sal during a family Christmas gathering about the garage he dreams of opening.

There are two new indie titles available today – Xona Games is burning up the dev pipe, releasing their second new title this week. Score Rush has Score Rushpassed Peer Review and is now out on Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 MS Points. Built on the Duality ZF engine, this 4-player shoot ’em up features overwhelming firepower, trailing options, full screen bombs, tons of enemies, an intimidating final boss and hundreds of crazy bullet patterns to survive. The 60 fps adrenaline-rush experience is complemented by a hard-rocking Dragon Music soundtrack.

Also out today is RatRod Studio’s Drift Mania Canadian Championship is now available in the Android Marketplace for 99 cents. Previously released in the iTunes App Store, Android users Drift Maniacan now get in on the racing action. Drift Mania Canadian Championships features Online Global Leaderboards with live events, variable throttle system and hydraulic handbrake with adjustable steering sensitivity, 7 uniquely spec’d vehicles, 5 different tracks, 2 acceleration modes and 3 levels of difficulty with 3 camera configurations. If you want to relive the moment, there is a highlights replay system, and you can also listen to either the included A Space Shootersoundtrack or your own music as you tear up the track.

A post made earlier today by Frima Studios‘ Executive Producer Martin Brouard on the official PlayStation blog announced that there will be a new title released by the studio on December 21st. A Space Shooter for Two Bucks will be available for free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers, and $1.99 for everyone else. According to the blog, A Space Shooter is of the classic arcade space shooting genre (in case you couldn’t guess that from the title), and “swarms of enemies filling the screens with hazardous bullets and missiles, heaps of upgrades for your ship and its arsenal, high-paced and constant action requiring deft reflexes, and hordes of alien baddies just waiting to be blown up by your superior space-faring skills.” Plus, to add to your gaming experience, there will be a myriad of interesting characters to encounter and in some cases control.

Kitchener-Waterloo developer Footloose Games has announced that they will be releasing a beta version of their Munchies LunchMunchies’ Lunch title on December 27th. Munchies’ Lunch is a fun adventure-puzzle PC-based game for the whole family. Simply download the game from the Footloose website to embark on an epic journey with the Munchie family as they say goodbye to their homeland and travel the world to find a peaceful place where they can settle down. Mr. & Mrs. Munchie will travel along with their children through far-away jungles, over steep mountains, and across the hot deserts in their journey. Along the way they’ll meet the ravenous Hungries, crafty bird-snakes and perhaps evNight Before Christmasen a tribal tiki or two.

Vancouver developer LoudCrow has released its latest iPad book. Available now, this pop-out version of The Night Before Christmas joins LoudCrow’s previous title, Pop-out Tales of Peter Rabbit in the iTunes store. In this new release, you can see William Denslow’s masterful illustrations brought to life with innovative pull-tabs, spin-wheels, and elements that bounce and spring with the touch a finger. Listen to “O Christmas Tree” beautifully performed on piano while you read and interact with each page of the book. Explore every scene and discover the many delightful life-like interactions at your fingertips.

Bioware has released the first in a series of “Making of” videos for Dragon Age 2. Here is Part One:

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

koboKobo has launched Reading Life, an industry first social eReading experience. Readers can now track their personal reading history, check-in with characters and places inside books and earn achievements and awards for simply reading. Readers can also choose to share books, favourite passages, awards and more with their friends on Facebook. Kobo Reading Life is initially available on iPad, as a part of the latest iPad update in the iTunes store now.

Kobo Reading Life for iPad provides an unparalleled experience that enables users to engage in eReading in new ways, connect with friends, and earn awards just for reading: Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Casual, Digital Products, Driving, Early Childhood, Events, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, RPG - MMORPG, Shooters, Simulations, Social Media, Software, Studios, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

7th December 2010

Four Indie Titles You Need To Play

Dark AcreDark Acre Game Development announced today that its debut title Above and Below, built with Unity 3D, is now available for those with Unity-enabled browsers. Free to play, Above and Below is a vertical-scrolling platformer designed by Christopher ‘Jack’ Nilssen.

In Above and Below, the player controls a tiny person who can jump up to the harrowing heights and fall down into the deadly depths of the game world, collecting valuable treasures, avoiding mindless minions, and defeating terrible guardians. A casual platformer, the full experience can be had in under thirty minutes and is available completely free from the developer’s website.

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

The game’s features include:

Ascension and Descent

* End the game in the highest heights or the deepest depths of the game world.
* The world below is a different challenge from the one above.
* Experience dynamically changing visual and audio elements depending on the chosen path.

Simple Platforming PleasuresAbov and Below

* Fluid jumping and movement controls.
* A variety of enemies and obstacles that will challenge the player’s reflexes and timing.

Battle Persistent Adversaries

* Not all challenges are environmental. Creatures will try to thwart the player’s progress.

Try Again

* Players may choose the expanded win conditions with a time attack or high score challenge.

Above and Below is the result of eight weeks of intensive full-time work. It is delivered via the Unity 3D game engine to browsers, and represents the first in a series of free-to-play efforts from Jack’s Dark Acre.

Big Sandwich GamesAnother Vancouver indie dev house, Big Sandwich Games, has confirmed that a major update for their critically-acclaimed downloadable dragon game HOARD™ is now live on the PlayStation®Network in North America. The v1.01 update includes new content as well as improvements to several key areas of the game.

“This update is the first step in the long-term support plan for HOARD™,” says Big Sandwich Games’ Design Director Tyler Sigman. “We’re excited that the game has been very well-received by critics and fans, but there are a few items that have been consistently flagged as in need of a bit more polish. We’ve listened to this feedback and the result is an even better game! If you haven’t checked HOARD™ out yet, now is the perfect time to do so.”

The update includes a brand new “HOARD mode” level called “Deathspin”, which allows players to try their survival skills on a spiral map filled with wizard towers and knights.Hoard-knight

Major improvements include increasing the text size for on-screen dialogues in HD, enabling friend list leaderboard sorting, and the addition of a new persistent multiplayer lobby which allows gamers to stay grouped up after finishing a game. “The lobby improvements make keeping a good multiplayer group together five million times easier,” quips Sigman.

Other update items include the addition of a restart option within single player levels (for aid in your score-attack attempts) and the appearance of purple princesses, which appear instead of pink any time a maiden is worth 3,000 or more gold. This dress color helps a treasure-hungry dragon tell at a glance which princesses are worth prioritizing.

An innovative innovative strategy arcade game where up to four players compete as dragons, burning medieval villages, kidnapping princesses, roasting thieves, and otherwise trying to collect as much gold as possible, HOARD™ is currently available for the PlayStation®3 computer Hoard-Screenshotentertainment system in North America. Upcoming releases in Europe, on the PSP® system, and on Steam will include all update items in their initial release. Local and online multiplayer play are supported for the PlayStation®3 system version, as are leaderboards and other PlayStation®Network community features.

HOARD™ is Big Sandwich Games’ innovative strategy arcade game where up to four players compete as dragons, burning medieval villages, kidnapping princesses, roasting thieves, and otherwise trying to collect as much gold as possible for their hoards. Local and online multiplayer play are supported for the PlayStation®3 system version, as are leaderboards and other PlayStation®Network community features. According to their site, Big Sandwich Games currently has two career positions open.

Big Bad BrushBig Bad Brush Inc. is pleased to announce that in collaboration with Appvent 2010, their mobile title Big Bad Flower is available for free today, December 7th. Big Bad Flower is rated Rated 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence.

Big Bad Flower Game Features:Big Bad Flower

*Unique Game Play
– draw circles around enemies to trap them in bubbles
– swipe flower’s face or petals to create petal spinning action to blow bubbled enemies away
– poke to trap weapons and specialized evolved enemies

*Wacky Creatures
– 15 intense chapters with lots of new creatures to battle
– 3 Different levels from the minuscule backyard to the grand scale of space itself
– 3 Bonus levels of sheer Mayhem madness

*Addictive
– Watch your flower grow and progress through each level of earthly chapters
– beautiful and colorful characters, backgrounds and illustrations

SavantMontreal’s Savant Inc., developer and publisher of iPhone games and entertainment applications, has announced the worldwide release of “The Balls!”, their debut title for iPhone and iPod touch for the introductory price of $0.99 USD.

Hardcore sports Coach Timmins wants you to juggle as many sports balls as possible to prove your worth. Bounce different balls (soccer, basketball, bowling, and more!) a number of times until they burst! Be careful not to let them drop, or Coach Timmins will give you a verbal whipping!

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

The balls are physics enabled and can bounce against each other for a bigger challenge. Tap the balls to bounce them up, or flick them in a direction for more precise control. Bounce them as late as possible for a higher score and crits! And watch out, sometimes the coach will lob a grenade at you to make sure you are paying attention!

Game Features:

* Simple to pick up and play
* 2 game modes: Classic and Balls mode (no time limit, score as high as you can)
* 5 different types of balls (and more to come in future updates)
* Juggle different types of sports balls to get the highest score
* Flick them up for more control
* Open Feint Leaderboards (compete with your friends)
* Open Feint Achievements
* Game Center enabled with Achievements and Leaderboards – Seamless integration with Open Feint

The Balls is rated Rated 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humour

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Casual, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Platform, RPG - MMORPG, RTS By: | Print This Post Print This Post

  • Archives

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter


  • Select a list:

  • GWEN Radio
  • Gamers Giving Back