12th September 2009

Saturday Shorts

IUGOVancouverIUGO Mobile Entertainment has announced another upcoming game title for the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms. Slated for release this fall, Cliffed will allow you to challenge your friends to the most addictive race to the bottom! IUGO presents its latest sensation in casual gaming with this frantic 2D Cliffedscrolling racer.


• 10 unique and playful characters to choose from
• Pick up and play! Great for all ages
• Endless game play
• Online multiplayer! Race up to 8 players in real time over 3G and wireless networks
• Local and global leaderboards
• IUGO’s new VIP program: Tell your friends, earn points and unlock an exclusive mystery character sooner
• Stylized, clean graphics
• IUGO’s signature quality and polish

UbisoftUbisoft Montreal has released three new videos for their highly anticipated titles on their YouTube channel. Gamers can get their twitch on with a commented walk-through for Assassin’s Creed 2, featuring a variety of game play scenarios with narrative from AC2 Production Manager Jean-Francois Boivin. The only disappointment I have experienced thus far in regards to AC2 is the planned product releases for the Master Assassin Limited Editions. I want the Black version, but it is apparently only being released in other parts of the world, not North America. Those of us in North America are getting the White version, which does not appear to contain all of the same perks as the Black Version, such as Ezio in black and the same number of bonus quests. The North American White version only has one bonus quest while the Black version has three, and at this time it is unknown if the Black version will be region locked. There are also rumours circulating that the Black edition is sold out. Maybe Ubisoft will have a change of heart and at least give those of us in North America the opportunity to obtain the additional two bonus quests.

Shaun White fans can see a new video dev diary for Shaun White World Stage, due for release on November 8. Featuring members of the dev team and Shaun White, gamers get an advance look at how it feels like to be in the boots of a pro snowboarder. After watching the dev diary for Splinter Cell: Conviction, we have added it to our list of “must play” games. The development team gives an excellent explanation of what gamers can expect from the latest iteration for the Splinter Cell franchise, and you can get a look at the dev video on Splinter Cell’s site.

IMC VancouverIMC Vancouver – As the Internet grows in importance as a communication channel for business, it’s important to understand how to move away from the diminishing returns that TV, Radio and Newspapers are delivering. IMC Vancouver provides the venue for businesses, government, social activists, agencies, consultants and students to take advantage of the new, and rapidly changing, way media is being consumed. Also economic pressures are making change in the marketing world even more urgent than before.

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10th September 2009

Digital Springboard Winners Announced

New Media BCVancouverNew Media BC has announced that the following 12 digital media companies were selected for the Digital Springboard Mentorship Program, a 4 month free advisory service for emerging companies facing technical and business challenges in their development (listed alphabetically):

  1. Arcana Studios
  2. Bradfield Productions
  3. Crazed Coders
  4. Ecobuddies Interactive
  5. Ethical Entertainment
  6. Firm Applications
  7. Foulplay Entertainment (Watershed Creative Inc)
  8. MotionSoup
  9. My Wedding Match
  10. Old Skool Studios
  11. Overinteractive Media Inc
  12. Tactica Interactive Communications

The pilot program that was introduced last year by the National Research Council IRAP and administered by New Media BC, was able to support twice the number of companies this year due to additional support provided by Telefilm Canada. The companies were chosen out of a total of 24 applications received. Mentee companies will be matched with Mentors based on their specific technical and business problems identified in their applications. The mentorship program will last from September 2009 to January 2010.

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8th September 2009

2009 Canadian New Media Awards Puts Out Call For Entries

Canadian New Media AwardsToronto – Whether pushing the envelope, or hoping to be named in one, digital media content developers across the country can now enter the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards competition.This year, the Canadian New Media Awards will take place during nextMEDIA, the new media and interactive content conference to be held in Toronto, November 30 – December 1, 2009.

“The Canadian New Media Awards have always reflected new trends in digital media,” said Mark Greenspan, Executive Producer of nextMEDIA. “And we feel that this year’s categories will reveal the very best the Canadian digital media industry has to offer, presenting Canada as a global leader in digital innovation.”

Companies and individuals across Canada can submit the names of friends, colleagues or themselves for recognition of outstanding achievements in the design, development or implementation of new media projects. A call for entries to the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards (CNMA) competition has been issued, and updated and re-energized categories for the competition have been unveiled by the event organizers.

Submissions to CNMA will be accepted online on the nextMEDIA website until October 2, 2009, with an early bird rate of $125 + GST per entry granted to those submitted prior to September 18, 2009 (Regular rate of $175 + GST for the final deadline of October 2, 2009).  Full information about Award Eligibility can also be found on the CNMA web site. Among the sponsors of this year’s event, Deloitte will sponsor the Company of the Year Award, with Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund sponsoring the Best Cross Platform Project Award.

2009 Canadian New Media Awards Categories:

Best Cross-Platform Project
Excellence in interactive enhancement of a television property on digital platforms. Eligible projects could include games, websites and/or mobile applications associated with a television program. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th August 2009

Mass Effect DLC, Zombie Attacks and Japanese Warriors Abound

IUGOCongratulations to Vancouver’s IUGO Mobile Entertainment – their iPhone game Zombie Attack has made PocketGamer’s Top Ten List of iPhone Zombie Games. Zombie Attack is a Defend Your Tower styled game, however instead of a tower, you must defend Zombie Attackyour beloved shack from the advancing undead. You can choose from an array of zombie-blasting weapons including, flame throwers and cannons to battle the brain-starved combatants. With easy to use tilt and touch controls, you’ll be killing zombies, earning points and raking in the cash to upgrade your weapons and firepower in no time.


* Mow down and dismember zombies to keep your shack standing
* Cartoony, over-the-top effects, from explosions to flying heads
* Build four types of turrets: Gun, Flame, Axe and Rocket
* Choose between touch or tilt control for the survivor that builds your defenses
* Use the survivor to give a turret an attack boos, or to lure zombies into firing range

Zombie Attack was released November 6 2008 with a 9+ rating, and is available in the iTunes App Store for only $1.99. Congratulations also to Ryan Arndt of Certain Sound for working his audio magic on this title.

BioWare CorpEdmonton’s Bioware has released Pinnacle Station, a new Game Add-on for Mass Effect™.  Available for both the Xbox 360® and PC, this DLC pack introduces an intense combat challenge to the Mass Effect universe. Picking up where the first game ended, players will enter Pinnacle Station, a top-secret Alliance training facility. Featuring 13 scenarios ranging from Pinnacle Stationfast-paced combat simulations to high-stakes winner-takes-all wagers, players will push their combat skills to the limit, encountering aggressive simulated enemies while unlocking a mysterious new location. Once inside, players will be able to acquire rare weapons, special armour as well as obtain new achievements. One important piece of recon – players cannot access Pinnacle Station unless they have achieved Spectre status.

“At BioWare, we’re committed to providing ongoing support for all our franchises. With Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station, you’ll execute challenging new combat missions that will allow you to reenter the Mass Effect galaxy with a bang!” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager and Senior Vice President, Electronic Arts, and co-founder and CEO, BioWare. “Regardless of whether you choose to start Mass Effect 2 as a standalone adventure, or import your Mass Effect saved games, we know that you will enjoy Episode 2 for all of its intense action, dramatic plot twists and memorable characters.”

The Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Game Add-On became available yesterday for 400 Microsoft points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It is also available for the PC version at $5 and can be found in EA’s online store. The 1.02 patch for Mass Effect is required for the installation of Pinnacle Station and is  both available for download today on the Mass Effect web site as well as included in the Pinnacle Station download.

Koei CanadaToronto’s Koei Canada has released Warriors Orochi 2 for the PSP®. With Warriors Orochi 2, KOEI reunites its two biggest franchises, Dynasty Warriors® and Samurai Warriors® for the sequel to its hit Tactical Action game. Jam-packed with 96 playable characters, Warriors Orochi 2 transports gamers to Imperial China and to Feudal Japan where they will do battle against a venomous overlord and his menacing legions.

Shattering time and space, the venomous Serpent King Orochi kidnapped history’s greatest warriors in a Warriors Orochi 2scheme to test his might. The heroes eventually defeated Orochi and his menacing army. Now the slain Orochi lies in the netherworld, and a mysterious alliance is hatching a plan to resurrect Orochi.

With four different storylines featuring characters from Samurai Warriors® and Dynasty Warriors®, Warriors Orochi 2 includes three new game modes: Dream, VS and Survival, as well as “Tag Team”-style matches that pit fighters in head-to-head arena combat.

A star-studded lineup boasts 96 playable characters including the massive boar-like Gyuki and the faceless Dodomeki. New playable characters exclusive to the PSP system include the graceful San Zang and the warrior-monk Benkei. New features exclusive to the PSP system also include: 2-Player VS mode plus Co-op play in Story, Free and Dream modes, 12 new scenarios in Dream mode, and a Japanese and English voice option.

Learn more about Warriors Orochi 2 for PSP system on the official product minisite. Also visit “Warriors Orochi 2 Dedicated” to download music tracks and over a dozen specially-modified high-resolution movie clips to create your own Warriors Orochi 2 fan video. Warriors Orochi 2 is based on an original work by Omega Force. Play is for 1 to 2 players. Multi-player play is via ad-hoc wireless only. This game is rated “T” (Teen – Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence) by the ESRB.

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25th August 2009

Gemini Awards Announce Nominees

Gemini AwardsToronto – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce the nominations for the 24th Annual Gemini Awards, recognizing the year’s best in Canadian English-language television. The 2009 Broadcast Gala will take place on Saturday November 14th in Calgary, Alberta and will be broadcast live on Global and Showcase.

“Our television industry is thriving and this year’s Gemini Awards nominations clearly demonstrate that,” said Sara Morton, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “This year’s nominees have found success with both Canadian and international audiences. FlashpointWe are proud to celebrate the achievements of these shows and the talents behind them, and honoured to be a part of such a flourishing community.”

The presentation of the Gemini’s 99 award categories and special awards will be divided over multiple nights. The 2009 Industry Galas will take place on October 19th and 20th in Toronto, Ontario at The Sound Academy; News, Sports, Documentary, Lifestyle, Drama, Comedy and Variety Awards will be among the categories presented. The 2009 Broadcast Gala will take place on November 14th in Calgary, Alberta; venue and broadcast time slot will be announced in the coming weeks.

We’ve listed below the nominees for some of the animation and craft categories, but you can check the full list of nominees at the Gemini Awards web site.  We at Village Gamer would like to congratulate the entire cast and production team over at Flashpoint, our favourite Canadian-produced police action series for receiving an unprecedented nineteen nominations. This is also one TV series we’d like to see ported over to the video game world.

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20th August 2009

News from Brother Canada, CPEX Awards and Tucows

brother canadaRichmondBrother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. has expanded their Richmond, BC facility to 52,500 sq. feet, providing nearly triple the capacity of Brother’s previous location. The expansion was needed in order to keep up with the demand for its products in Western Canada.

“The decision to expand in Vancouver follows the expansion of our Montreal facilities three years ago, which is already operating at full capacity”, explains Martin Featherston, President of Brother Canada. “In order to support our sales growth, it became a necessity to expand our capacity in the Vancouver area as well.” For geographic reasons, the region of Vancouver was a natural point of entry for Brother products, which are predominantly manufactured and shipped from Asia. The first Brother office in Western Canada was established in Vancouver in the early 1980’s. Both current Brother facilities in Canada (Montreal and Vancouver) are ISO certified for quality management (ISO 9001:2008), environment (ISO 14001:2004) and health & safety (ISO 18001:2007). The construction of the new building started in March 2009 and was completed by the end of July, while operations officially launched in early August 2009.

CPEXTorontoBay3000 Corporate Education, a leading provider of Project Management Education has announced that nominations for the 6th Annual Canadian Project Excellence Awards and Learning Forum (CPEX) are now open. CPEX is dedicated to business success by enabling and recognizing outstanding leadership. Through the CPEX Competition, we celebrate Canadian projects that have overcome challenges to deliver superior value. CPEX will be held on November 2, 2009 at the innovative Institute for Learning in Toronto. The goal of this milestone event is to connect individuals and organizations from industry, business, and government sectors to learn critical best practices from leading experts in the field, to share knowledge, to network, and to celebrate achievements made by Canadian Projects. CPEX fills a void by serving as the meeting place where leaders and their teams come together to exchange ideas and discuss strategic alignment and execution. This unique event is geared to Senior Project Management and Executive leaders.
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19th August 2009

iStockphoto Announces Winners of International Punctum Day Awards

iStockphotoCalgaryiStockphoto, the world’s leading royalty-free stock destination, today announced the nine winners of its Punctum Day competition, now in its third year. Punctum Day celebrates creative excellence and the profound emotional impact a truly great work of art can have on its audience. Finalists were chosen by the user-generated Full Moon Is Callingcommunity of more than 6 million iStock members and the winners were determined by an international panel of judges.

This year’s categories included best photo, vector, video, Flash™ and design of the year with audio included for the first time. The top 10 finalists from each category were selected from a pool of more than 1.75 million entries. The panel of judges included Chris and Trish Meyer, founders of Crish Design; Russell Brown, senior creative director at Adobe Systems; and Scott Kelby, publisher and co-founder of Photoshop User Magazine, editor-in-chief of Layers magazine and host of Photoshop User TV. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

iStockphoto Punctum Day Winners:

Photo of the year – Vladimir Piskunov (member name: piskunov), Russia, Full Moon Is Calling

Video of the year – David Baumber (member name: multifocus), UK, Busy Office Frozen in Time

Vector of the year – Brian Smith (member name: scargut), United States, The Vlad Supper

Audio of the year – Alexander Maas (member name: -MUX-), Germany, Siberia

Flash of the year – Holger Bogen (member name: holgerbogen), Germany, Computer Hacker

Design of the Year – Adrian Foster (member name: vsdesign), UK, Jonathan Trumbull & Hatters homepage design

The iStockphoto inspection team named Kurt Paris (member name: paris), United Kingdom, as the most improved contributor and Luis Sandoval Mandujano (member name: erlucho), Chile, as the most deserving of new equipment. Paris will receive a USD $5,000 cash prize and Mandujano will receive $5,000 in new equipment. Jamie Carroll, (member name: jc_design) was named winner of the “Steel Cage – 2009 Battle Royale” competition and will also take home $5,000.

Hall of Fame:

The iStockphoto Hall of Fame spotlights members who have left an indelible stamp on the history of the company. iStock founder Bruce Livingstone left the organization earlier this year. His ideas, passion and commitment created more than just a company – they created an industry. His commitment to the iStock community provided the foundation on which the company continues to grow. It is only fitting that Bruce be given a position of honor in the iStockphoto hall of fame.

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13th August 2009

Sites for Travelers, More Funding For Pug Pharm And More

Today on Global TV BC’s morning news, travel consultant Claire Newell mentioned two sites that will be of Orbyinterest to those in the industry who do a lot of traveling. These two sites enable you to be certain that you are getting the seat you want on a flight, because as we all know, not all airplanes have the same seat layout. If you want to be sure you’re sitting where you want to sit, visit Seat Guru and Seat Expert.

Unity Users GroupSome cool info from our friends in the Vancouver-based Unity 3D communityUnity 3D appears to be the most popular engine for iPhone game development.  There are currently 258 confirmed games in the App Store that have been made with Unity 3D. From games created by students to professional outfits Unity has been used to create a wide variety of visually stunning, innovative and engaging games – from the quirky to the more traditional – the flexibility and feature set of the engine allows developers to concentrate on content rather than technology.

Nicholas Francis, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Unity said, “There’s so many iPhone games made with Unity that its hard to keep track; we’ve got 258 confirmed releases, but the actual number could be much higher. This spans small titles to smash hits like Zombieville USA and Touch KO. Even if its ‘only’ 258, that still means that there has been a Unity iPhone game released every two days since we launched – a great success.”

Unity will release 1.1 for iPhone towards the end of August 2009. The Unity tools have been hailed as revolutionary for enabling high quality results in an easily accessible development environment. Unity is the fastest growing cross platform engine.

Pug PharmCongratulations as well to Pug Pharm, who has received additional project funding from the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF) administered through Telefilm Canada.

“With this financial contribution from Telefilm, along with our recently announced support from the IRAP-NRC program, Pug Pharm is building momentum and is well-positioned to execute on our current production plans towards a public beta launch,” stated Steve Bocska, CEO of Pug Pharm.

“With this investment, the Canada New Media Fund is supporting novel online games that combine the engagement of traditional video games with the technologies of social networking applications. We see opportunities to create innovative offerings that have global appeal,” continued Bocska.

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6th August 2009

Ubisoft News

UbisoftCanada – Congratulations to Ubisoft Montreal on Far Cry 2’s nomination for the Edge Award For Interactive Innovation, the only Canadian made game on the short list of nominees. The winner will be announced at next week’s Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

Ubisoft Vancouver has released a fact sheet of super moves for their upcoming title, Academy of Champions.Academy of Champions

Super tackle: Take the ball off your opponent’s toes in a blink of an eye with this lightning-fast slide tackle.
Helix Kick: Bamboozle the goalie with this insane corkscrew shot.
Banana Kick: Put extreme bend on the ball – the keeper won’t know which way to turn.
Chopper: A spinning tackle frenzy that will send anyone in your path flying – including your own teammates!
Unstoppable Rush: Release that pent up aggression by knocking over anyone that gets in your way as you charge towards goal.
Cat-like Grace: Glide through tackles and defense like a knife through butter.
Stealth Attack: When Sam Fisher turns on his night-vision goggles nobody can see him – ideal for getting through on goal undetected.
Eagle Strike: Altair’s assassin training helps him to launch into the air and unleash a lethal strike that will take out the keeper before it hits the back on the net.
Acrobatic Leap: Why go through the defence when you can just leap over it? The other team won’t expect that!
Plunger Shot: The Rabbid weapon of choice makes for a very potent shot at goal.
Photo Fanatic: Jade will use the flash of her camera to temporarily stun her opponents and make them lose the ball.
Perfect Dribble: Opponents will be stunned by Pele’s unbelievable ball skills rendering them unable to stop him.
Bicycle Smash: Mia Hamm’s stunning backflip bicycle kick makes her one of the best strikers around.
Speed Burst: An explosion of pace that will help you catch up to opponents.
Dodge Move: Jump over or go around players quickly with these cool and easy to use tricks.

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6th August 2009

Corel Announces Winners of CorelDRAW International Design Contest

corelDRAWOttawa – Corel Corporation today announced the winners of the CorelDRAW® International Design Contest. Submissions were received from users in more than sixty countries reflecting the product’s global popularity and appeal. Introduced as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, the contest was designed to

Portrait of a Rose

Portrait of a Rose

celebrate the diversity, creativity and talent of the global CorelDRAW user community.

“All of the entries we received reflect the dedication, spirit and amazing talent of our global community of CorelDRAW users,” said John Falsetto, Product Manager for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. “We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the submissions and had a tough time narrowing it down to our selected winners. Our users continually inspire us and we are delighted to have had this chance to see even more examples of how CorelDRAW Graphics Suite makes a difference in the lives – and livelihoods – of our most loyal users.”

Corel is pleased to recognize the first-place winners in each of the contest’s six categories:

  • Advertising/Marketing – Juarez Jr. da Silva, Brazil
  • Promotional/Personalization/Awards  – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Vehicle Wraps – Arief Rachman, Indonesia
  • Textile/Fashion Design – Junior Souza, Brazil
  • General Illustration and Fine Art – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Academic (student submissions) – Fong-Chow Chiang, Taiwan

Drawn from all corners of the globe, these winners reflect the growing popularity of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite in emerging markets such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific.

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