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Round-Up: 2005 Machinima Festival, New Pencil To Close, ZAP! Magazine

Today's round-up includes news on the 2005 Machinima Film Festival, information on the closing of art production house New Pencil, and a new UK consumer game magazine spe...
Today's round-up includes news on the 2005 Machinima Film Festival, information on the closing of art production house New Pencil, and a new UK consumer game magazine specifically aimed at pre-teens, as well as the latest product news, Letter to the Editor, and job postings. - The 2005 Machinima Film Festival has opened its website, featuring news and information about the upcoming festival. The focus of the event is short films created using in-game scripting engines for titles such as Half-Life and The Sims. The festival will take place in New York City on November 12, 2005, at the Museum of the Moving Image, and is sponsored by Nvidia and the Independent Film Channel. The submission deadline for entries into the festival is October 6. - Sausalito, CA-based art production studio New Pencil will shut its doors on August 31st, according to its official website. The company was founded in 1997 and contributed to games from several high-profile companies, and is particularly known for its art for The Sims series from Electronic Arts. "We would like to thank all the developers, publishers, and ad agencies we have worked with for being such an instrumental part of our success," reads the team's farewell statement. - Future Entertainment, UK-based publishing home of Edge and GamesMaster, has announced the launch of ZAP! Magazine, a new British video game monthly targeted at children 7-13. The magazine will use cartoon characters, including its mascot Zapboy, both in editorial content such as reviews, as well as in a regular comic strip and other entertainment features. Coverage and advertising will be limited to games rated beneath the BBFC's 15 category. ZAP! Magazine will launch in the UK on November 3rd. "ZAP! is designed specifically for the growing numbers of pre-teen gamers and will only feature games suitable for this audience," said editor Cavan Scott, "making ZAP! an attractive purchase for parents and ideal for publishers launching games aimed at kids.” - Also updated today: product news including Illuminate Labs' announcement of the Turtle 2.0 renderer for Maya, a new Letter to the Editor from 'Designer's Notebook' columnist Ernest Adams suggesting: 'Just Say No to Sutherland and Stucturalism!', and the latest Gamasutra job postings from companies including Blue Fang Games, Factor 5 LLC, Gameloft, Jailed Games Inc, Microsoft Corporation and Pandemic Studios.

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