In spring 2008, Warner Bros. Ent. will launch T-Works, a brand-new broad-appeal immersive animation experience which, for the first time ever, brings together all of the key characters from the studio's core animated properties. T-Works is a cross-divisional and companywide initiative designed to take the studio's wealth of animated characters to a fully immersive and customizable online world.
Digital agency Studiocom has brought new life -- in the form of a spidery animated robot -- to the website of 24-hour animation channel Nicktoons Network. The new character and its accompanying logo not only change the experience of users on the site, but also capture the brand attributes and personality of Nicktoons Network. Although the network was only seeking a website redesign, Studiocom's creative team decided to go beyond the request and create a character that would both connect with animation fans and also act as the interface for the site.
IO Interactive is integrating NaturalMotion's morpheme into its game development pipeline and will be using it to design assets for an upcoming undisclosed next-generation game title. morpheme is robust animation middleware designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control over the look of their final in-game animation by allowing them to author and preview blends, blend trees and transition graphs in realtime.
Vancouver Film School (VFS), the largest private post-secondary entertainment arts institution in Canada, announced today that it has partnered with Joost, the world's first broadcast-quality Internet television service, to deliver two channels of unique, award-winning student work.
Tens of millions of "white-collar" workers play casual video games, many while on the job, according to a survey released by leading multi-platform games provider PopCap Games. While white-collar workers' consumption of casual games at home mirrored the overall casual gamer audience fairly closely, the survey revealed some surprising facts about the playing of casual games in the workplace -- and the motives behind the activity.
CJ Cowan, director of Cinematics at Bungie Studios, will present HALO 3 at the //ADAPT 2007 Conference in Montreal on Sept. 27. This will mark the first behind-the-scenes glimpse following the Sept. 25 launch of the highly anticipated Xbox 360 game. //ADAPT will take place Sept. 24-28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Sony Computer Ent. America Inc. announced the release of LAIR, available exclusively for PlayStation 3. Developed by Factor 5, LAIR engages players to fight alongside a voracious dragon and to save a world from the brink of extinction. LAIR includes high-definition graphics in 1080p, immersive 7.1 surround sound, and interactive, motion-based control utilizing the SIXAXIS wireless controller.
Commodore Gaming, a leader in high-performance PC gaming solutions, announced that it has opened a new North American headquarters and hired a veteran from the videogames industry to run it. The new offices are in Stamford, Connecticut in one of Stamford's best known business complexes, One Stamford Plaza. Joining the company to run the Stamford headquarters is Bill Sims as VP of North American Sales.
Konami Digital Ent. Inc. has shipped TRACK & FIELD CHALLENGE, an original TV Plug and Play videogame that lets children compete in a virtual decathlon. Using a custom gaming mat, players will only need a television to take part in more than seven different sports events.
MEDAL OF HONOR AIRBORNE, the latest installment from EA's critically acclaimed franchise, has shipped to store shelves across North America and the U.K. for the PC and Xbox 360. The game will ship to retailers throughout Europe on Sept. 7, 2007.
Nokia announced that they are teaming up with Vivendi Games Mobile to bring the CRASH BANDICOOT franchise to Nokia's new N-Gage mobile gaming platform launching this fall. In another big deal, Nokia and Capcom revealed that Capcom will be publishing games on N-Gage. Capcom is the first Japanese based publisher to commit to N-Gage, which makes its global debut later this year.
The Giddy Gander Co., creators of the preschool series THE WUMBLERS, announced that its new family-friendly website is now online. Featuring such diversions as the Patch Match Watermelon Game, the site will also offer kids the chance to paint a Wumbler onscreen and print their favorite Wumblers to color offline. Watermelon recipes are provided by licensing partner The National Watermelon Association.
The Wumblers will begin broadcasting on Trinity Broadcasting Network on September 1, 2007, at 8:30 am (EDT) and on Smile of a Child Network on September 10 at 10:00 am (EDT).
The //ADAPT 2007 Conference has just announced its complete program. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal from Sept. 24-28, 2007, an estimated 2,500 people from around the world are expected to attend the industry's second annual creative event, focused on inspiring and teaching advanced digital art production techniques for film, visual effects and videogame development. The program includes more than 40 digital art masters, an Art Expo, a Theater, a Job Fair and more.
Nintendo has launched METROID PRIME 3: CORRUPTION for Wii, marking the end of a trilogy. With the motion-sensitive Wii Remote, you become one with heroine Samus Aran's powerful arm cannon, while the Nunchuk can literally yank armor off enemies.
"METROID PRIME 3 has a revolutionary control style that makes it easy for anyone to immediately jump into the action," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's SVP of marketing and corporate communications. "Now, an entirely new audience can experience this amazing first-person adventure."
MTV Networks Int'l (MTVNI), owned by Viacom Inc., and Apple announced an agreement to distribute full-length TV shows from MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy channels for purchase and download from the iTunes Store in the U.K. The agreement is the first between the two companies outside the U.S.
New York's rhinofx recently completed all the vfx for MGM/Weinstein Co.'s NANNY DIARIES (including the opening diorama sequence), starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti.
Arman Matin and Harry Dorrington shared the visual effects supervision for the movie. The rhinofx team was constantly on set and helped directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini pull off some intricate motion control sequences, CG freeze effects, photogrammetry and image based modeling.
PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today unveiled the results of the largest survey of players of "casual" computer/videogames ever conducted. Among the nearly 7,500 adult respondents who took part in the survey, nearly a third (31%) indicated they had children or grandchildren under 18 who played these family-friendly puzzle, word and simple action games in their home. And of these 2,298 "family gamers," 80% said they played casual games with their children or grandchildren.
Electronic Arts Inc. today announced that BATTLEFIELD 2142, NEED FOR SPEED CARBON, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and COMMAND & CONQUER 3 TIBERIUM WARS are now available to order for Mac users. These are the first games ever published by EA for Mac OS X. Users can go to the Apple Store (www.apple.com) to purchase the games.
2008 Game Developers ConferenceSan Francisco, California, USAFebruary 18-22, 2008Deadline: Oct. 1, 2007
Game Developers Conference provides educational, networking, and business opportunities for game development professionals driving the $11 billion videogame industry. It is the main global forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas, network and shape the future of the industry.
CartoonNetwork.com hit an all-time high in July, with visitors to the site spending an average of 77 minutes per person according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Site visitors enjoy full length episodes and clips of Cartoon Network shows, plus more than 170 free online games based on popular Cartoon Network characters and shows, including BEN 10 and FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS. Also, CartoonNetwork.com ranked 26th among all U.S. domains in total time spent in July.
EA has teamed with Machinima.com to create a completely original mini-series based on MEDAL OF HONOR AIRBORNE. Recorded in high-definition and completely in-game, PATHFINDERS tells the story of the 82nd Airborne Pathfinders as they go deep behind enemy lines.
At Games Convention today, Sony Computer Ent. Europe (SCEE) made big announcements on new features added to the PlayStation 3 and PSP.
Santa Monica-based Electric Farm Ent. epic sci-fi animated series, AFTERWORLD, has debuted on MySpace. With a $3 million budget, the series will include 130 two-to-three-minute webisodes. The series launched with 10 webisodes and will post new installments daily starting Aug. 27, 2007.
The free series will be supported by ad revenue and has had promising runs on Afterworld.tv, bud.tv and YouTube.
Aardman Animations has hired online video solutions firm ROO Group to re-launch the WALLACE AND GROMIT website (www.wallaceandgromit.com) with advanced video functionality. This is the first time that video footage of the British animation series has been made openly available online.
The new website will house a mini player on the homepage, which will link through to a main portal player with full-screen viewing capabilities. A significant collection of WALLACE AND GROMIT content will be on offer, including a series of short films and clips from their classic animations.
ITM Creatives, the artistic division of talent agency International Talent Management (ITM), has launched a site that allows producers to search for freelance artists, animators and related technicians by location, profession and availability. Operating across the three primary entertainment fields -- interactive entertainment, feature films and television -- ITM doesn't charge the hiring company for using its services and is committed to charging its clients a reasonable commission as part of their agency representation.