Good Guy scores on Xbox by pengxuezhi


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Tuesday, augusT 31  | 2010  | edITor hUgh daWSoN 604.605.2520 | SUNBUSINeSS@VaNCoUVerSUN.CoM                                                                                                                                C6         P

VIdeo games                                                                                                                                                     meNTorINg

                                                                                                                                                                Project will help
Good Guy scores on Xbox                                                                                                                                         women take
BcIt student’s
school project                                                                                                                                                  leadership roles
snapped up by                                                                                                                                                   By Jes aBeITa
                                                                                                                                                                                                   across the board.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ambrose said that even
Microsoft                                                                                                                                                       VancouVer Sun                      though Canada has a higher
                                                                                                                                                                                                   percentage of women in cabi-
                                                                                                                                                                  The new program Women            net than any other time in his-
By gIllIaN shaw                                                                                                                                                 Leading the Way will help          tory, “we must not become
VancouVer Sun                                                                                                                                                   develop leadership skills in       complacent, despite the signif-
                                                                                                                                                                B.C. women, says Minister for      icant progress we’ve made ...

        anyl Bantog received                                                                                                                                    the Status of Women Rona           there’s still much to be done.”
        a perfect grade in his                                                                                                                                  Ambrose.                             Danna Murray, program
        advanced programming                                                                                                                                      Ambrose was speaking Mon-        director for Women Leading
course at the B.C. Institute of                                                                                                                                 day at a press conference to       the Way, said the program
Technology this past year. But                                                                                                                                  promote the Minerva Foun-          will be structured similar to an
the real win for the student, who                                                                                                                               dation’s program and to            MBA. Participants will have
is in BCIT’s first cohort in the                                                                                                                                announce $367,529 in federal       access to high-level mentors,
Bachelor of Technology’s game                                                                                                                                   funding.                           tutors and executive coaches.
development option, was seeing                                                                                                                                    The money is being allocated       Participants will be women
his school project released as a                                                                                                                                through the Women’s Commu-         who have had some level of
game for Microsoft’s Xbox.                                                                                                                                      nity Fund of Status of Women       leadership experience, “and
  “If you’ve done it once before                                                                                                                                in Canada.                         they’re ready to take the next
it is pretty easy but since it was                                                                                                                                Ambrose said she had help        step,” said Murray.
my first time around, it wasn’t,”                                                                                                                               getting where she is today and       “There seem to be a lot of
said Bantog, who will be grad-                                                                                                                                  that other Canadian women          programs that are addressing
uating from the new program                                                                                                                                     could benefit from similar         early [leadership-building]
next spring. “I actually thought                                                                                                                                assistance. “I was fortunate       needs, but not when they get
I was finished back in July but                                                                                                                                 enough when I was a young          to that mid-career level,” said
I had to redo some things and                                                                                                                                   woman to be mentored by            Murray.
follow some of the rules that                                                                                                                                   someone, invited to sit on a         The program will focus on
[Microsoft] wanted.                                                                                                                                             board to gain governance and       values-based leadership —
  “The process of getting your                                                                                                                                  board experience,” she said.       “we see that women bring a
game reviewed and submit-                                                                                                                                         The program is set to launch     unique value to leadership,”
ted is pretty long but we got                                                                                                                                   in January 2011 and will shep-     said Murray.
through. The whole process                                                                                                                                      herd women as they gain lead-        Values-based leadership is
made the game better than it                                                                                                                                    ership skills and get real-world   “that whole idea of access [to]
was six weeks ago.”                                                                                                                                             experience.                        those principles within your-
  Codex, a puzzle game that                                                                                                                                       The program will be split into   self ... those principles that are
went through Microsoft’s XNA                                                                                                                                    two components. The first will     non-negotiable, have to always
Creators Club and is available                                                                                                                                  start in January and focus on      be upheld,” said Michelle
through Xbox Live indie games                                                                                                                                   in-classroom and online train-     Rupp, Chair of the Minerva
for the equivalent to $3 US,                                                                                                                                    ing and will run six months.       Foundation Board.
has a number of increasingly                                                                                                                                    The second component will            Ambrose said the Minerva
difficult levels, awarding users                                                                                                                                match each woman with men-         Foundation and the govern-
gold coins for solving the puz-                                                                                                                                 tors from her field of interest    ment share similar visions for
zles with the fewest number of                                                                                                                                  and allow the women to apply       women in leadership roles.
moves possible. Players get sil-                                                                                                                                the classroom skills they’ve         “I know how important it is
ver coins if they take an extra                                                                                                                                 picked up to a specific project.   to gain confidence and expe-
turn. They get a bronze medal                                                                                                                                     Participants can be from         rience so that when positions
if they complete the puzzle but                                                                                                                                 a business, non-profit or          like this become available,
take more moves to solve it.                                                                                                                  Ward Perrin/PnG   community-leadership               young women feel they have
  “It seems like everybody who                   Ranyl Bantog, pictured in his lab Monday, is in the B.C. Institute of Technology’s first graduating            background.                        the capacity to take on those
has found it so far likes it,” said              class to have a game development option as part of its Bachelor of Technology program. Xbox Live                 The end goal of the program      roles,” said Ambrose.
Bantog, who said sales since                     is selling a game created by his two-person company, Good Guy Robots.                                          is to increase the number of
the game’s release last Thurs-                                                                                                                                  women in leadership positions
day have totalled 38, although                   the school that Bill Gates once     characters Jikko and Kana,          home, Schroeder had sent con-
the game’s unexpected quick                      went to. At 34, Bantog has          both from Ninja school, set off     cept art. That success prompted
review process left him without                  an 11-year-old daughter (the        to rescue their Ninja sensei who    the partnership with Good Guy
a trailer or other promotional                   reigning high scorer on Codex)      was kidnapped by the warthog        Robots. Run, Jump, Slash is
material to draw attention to                    and two sons, one soon turning      army.                               being created with the help of
it.                                              four, the other a one-year-old.       Good Guy Robots is a part-        three of Bantog’s BCIT class-
  Codex is only the first release                  Run, Jump, Slash, an action       nership between Bantog and          mates Jim Slemin, Brian Hume
for Bantog’s fledgling two-                      game with the look of a Satur-      Tyler Schroeder, an artist and      and Alex Fontaine.
person company Good Guy                          day morning cartoon, is due         the husband of Bantog’s wife’s        Meanwhile, Bantog is juggling
Robots, which he launched for                    out in time for Christmas and       best friend. Schroeder stepped      his schoolwork at BCIT with a
Codex and other games that are                   Bantog sees that game – which       in when Bantog and some BCIT        one-day-a-week job at the Van-
already in the works.                            is a reminiscent of Super Mario     classmates were stymied at a        couver police department doing
  The puzzle game was only                       with running, jumping, taking       global game jam at the Univer-      programming work to help pay
created for the class project but                on bad guys and collecting trea-    sity of B.C. last January. In the   the bills. Another game in the
Bantog’s real focus for Good                     sure along the way – as reflec-     game jam, the creators had 48       works is an educational one tar-
Guy Robots is on action games                    tive of Good Guy’s focus.           hours to create a game. Ban-        geted for grade six math. Ban-
his kids would enjoy. Bantog                       With the game not even yet        tog and four other program-         tog is also dealing with UBC in
hardly looks old enough to                       ready for release, Bantog said      mers had a concept for a game       developing a research platform
have kids but he is a father of                  he got an e-mail from a fan in      but no artist to provide the art-   to study the effectiveness of
three and is back in Vancouver                   France who has started a users’     work. Bantog called Schroeder       educational games.                                                                         Wayne Leidenfrost/ PnG
after a stint working for Micro-                 group based on an early pre-        from UBC and by the time Ban-                                              Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose announced funding
soft, where his kids attended                    view. In that game, the two         tog drove to his east Vancouver                 Monday to help women develop leadership skills.

real esTaTe

Bubbles threaten to burst in hottest housing markets, report warns
                                                 bursting.                           cities has historically held sta-   increases have exceeded the            in Canada could change rap-        which required a down payment
By Norma greeNaway                                 “The hottest six real-estate      ble at between $150,000 and         growth in inflation, household         idly if mortgage rates return      of 10 per cent and a 25-year
                                                 markets could be in for a cor-      $220,00 in today’s dollars. But     incomes and economic growth.           even part way to their historic    mortgage. Current rules call
  Steep housing price increases                  rection at best or, at worst, a     the current average price in all      “Canada is experiencing for          norms,” the report says.           for five per cent down and a
in six of Canada’s hottest real                  bubble burst,” writes David         six major markets now is over       the first time in the last 30            Macdonald, a research asso-      35-year mortgage.
estate markets since 2002                        Macdonald. “Rate setters at         $300,000.                           years, a synchronized housing          ciate with the centre, said in       Macdonald says the best sce-
have all the hallmarks of an                     the big banks are in the driver’s     Macdonald says a housing          bubble across the six largest          an interview he doesn’t expect     nario would be to have housing
“accident waiting to happen” if                  seat now as mortgage rates inch     bubble burst has been a rare        residential real-estate markets        mortgage rates to increase         prices stagnate over the next
mortgage rates rise too sharply,                 up. They need to hit the breaks     phenomenon in Canada. Since         in Canada.”                            much in the near term. His con-    five to 10 years while inflation
warns a new report.                              lightly.”                           1980, it has only happened            The report traces the trend          cern is three to five years down   slowly eats away at their value.
  The report by the Canadian                       The chief concern is the price    three times — in Vancouver in       in large part to low mortgage          the road.                            The goal should be to get
Centre for Policy Alternatives                   increases in those markets are      1981 and 1994, and in Toronto       rates and access to easy credit,         Macdonald called on the big      prices back to the “comfort
says smart mortgage rate set-                    outside the “historic comfort       in 1989.                            which can encourage buyers to          banks and other mortgage           zone” where house prices are
ting is needed to prevent the                    level,” which makes them much         “But the steep rise in house      purchase homes they might not          lenders to stick to slow, gentle   in line with inflation and own-
bubbles hanging over the                         more susceptible to mortgage        prices in so many cities displays   otherwise be able to afford.           increases to avert the bottom      ers neither gain nor lose a lot of
housing markets in Vancouver,                    rate changes, the report said.      all the hallmarks of an accident      “While housing may be                falling out of housing prices.     money when they sell.
Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto,                        The average, inflation-           waiting to happen,” Macdon-         ‘affordable’ based on record low         He also recommended return-
Ottawa and Montreal from                         adjusted house price in the         ald writes, adding the price        rates, the affordability situation     ing to pre-2006 mortgage rules,    Postmedia News

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  Quarterly reports                                                         Personal finance                                                                    Secret codes
  The Bank of Nova Scotia is among                                          Budgeting is something that                   money                                 There are mysterious symbols
  companies expected to release third-
  quarter financial results today. Updates at
                                                                            should be at the top of
                                                                            students’ to-do lists as college
                                                                            and university resume next week.
                                                                                                                          Watch                                 popping up on Vancouver
                                                                                                                                                                lampposts. It’s a code that only those
                                                                                                                                                                with smartphones can unravel.

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