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Jan 17, 2007

Bubbles and gang may soon wind up in video game

By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau

LUNENBURG — Just think, you, too, could be Ricky, honing his horticultural skills, or Bubbles, lovingly caressing a kitty, or Julian with drink in hand and mighty words of advice sputtering from his lips.

Not that you’d want to be — but that’s not the point. The point is, you will be able to once a Lunenburg company has fully developed a video game based on the bizarrely popular Trailer Park Boys.

Trailer Park Boys: The Game is a collaborative effort of the show’s developers, TPB Productions, and HB Studios, which has just been named one of 10 Canadian video game developers to be eligible for up to $2 million in financing to make their games a reality.

The Great Canadian Video Game Competition is being held by Telefilm Canada.

Of 69 submissions from across the country, HB has made the top 10, automatically garnering $50,000 to refine the concept and a business plan for the game.

"The game knocked their socks off," competition spokesman Glen Edwards said of the three judges who viewed the concept.

"They were howling! They were howling!"

HB spokeswoman Melanie Williams said the initial response has been "enormously gratifying" but, on the other hand, it’s a concept that really can’t lose. "It’s not ‘rocket appliances,’ " she said.

""Controlling Ricky, Julian and Bubbles in a video game! From authentic character commentary to riding around in Julian’s car and interacting freely with shopping carts, it has fun written all over it."

Ms. Williams said the player controls the characters, exploring the eccentric world of Sunnyvale Trailer Park and beyond.

"The game will combine fun and compelling mechanics with the brilliant humour and rich world of Trailer Park Boys," she said.

The show’s creator, Mike Clattenburg, could not be reached for comment but Ms. Williams said he contacted HB to talk about a potential partnership just as company officials were thinking about creating a Trailer Park Boys video game.

Mr. Edwards said the semi-finalists will take their ideas and plans to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in March, where four will make the next cut and receive a further $250,000 to create a prototype of the game.

The winner will be selected at a digital entertainment conference in Vancouver in September.

Five of the other nine finalists are from Ontario, two from Quebec and two from British Columbia.

Ms. Williams said while she hopes HB and TPB win, the competition will ultimately showcase world-class Canadian game developers on the international scene.

( bware@herald.ca)

’The game knocked their socks off. They were howling! They were howling!’

[Via The Herald]

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