EventsGame DesignNews

Casual Connect USA: Mark of Innovation

July 26, 2017 — by David Radd


EventsGame DesignNews

Casual Connect USA: Mark of Innovation

July 26, 2017 — by David Radd

Casual Connect USA 2017 is coming up August 1-3 in Seattle, Washington. While it will feature details on all sides of the industry, from game creation to marketing and publishing, the Design Innovation track in particular will take place on Tuesday, August 1 introduced by EMCEE Mike Hines, Developer Advocate at Amazon.

Innovation from Experimentation

Prototyping can be productive but perilous, with great rewards coming from experimental designs. Scott Jon Siegel, Indie Developer and Game Design Consultant, wants developers to not worry about failure and focus on the rewards that can be had from experimentation.

Game design is always fraught with risk, and Dave Rohrl, Owner of Mobile Game Doctor and Jim Wagner, Producer at East Side Games know this well. They’ll discuss incremental changes they made in making a success out of the idle game Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money.

Learning How to Innovate

More data is being generated by users than ever before; the questions for developers is how to use it. Grant Cohen, GM of Kochava, will talk about using mobile data to properly engage a game’s audience.

Data can be key for a mobile game to keep a long tail, and such is the case with Fairway Solitaire. Having your game grow to be more successful on day 2,000 than day 20 will be discussed by Fairway Solitaire developer Chris Williams, VP & GM, SkyRocket Studios at Big Fish Games. The mobile game landscape is ever changing, and Steve Meretzky, VP of Games for King, Dave Rohrl, Founder of Mobile Game Doctor and Juan Gril, Executive Producer at FlowPlay are in a good position to evaluate it. In a panel, they’ll look at how the year in mobile games has gone and where it’s going.

Disrupting Development

One disruptive element to the market is a plan by three AAA developers to put out games in a time limit of eight weeks. Jesse Divnich, Vice President of QuickByte Games, will talk about the process needed to make this happen. While mobile has given rise to the use of F2P mechanics, it doesn’t mean developers have to passively be swept along by the tide. Eric Goldberg, Managing Director at Crossover Technologies will talk about what can be learned from F2P and how it is changing game design.

When we talk new and upcoming trends on mobile, one has to include idle clicker games. David Chiu, Founder pf DC Games Consulting will talk about the popularity of idle games, why top brands are getting involved and how developers can cut into the action. Liz Bloom Levatino, Player Experience Associate Lead at Pocket Gems knows all about building and managing a large-scale UGC platform . She’ll talk about the challenges of setting content standards and manage the expectations of the community.

Game Evolution and In-Game Events

ARK has quickly become one of the most popular games on Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Twitch, and will come out of early access soon. Jesse Rapczak, Co-Founder and Co-Creative Director at Studio Wildcard will talk about the evolution of the game with developer Chris Taylor.

Seasonal events are important to many ongoing games, and Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery has made it a large part of it’s success. A talk about in-game events by Diana Platonova, Business Development Manager at MyTona will detail what they gleaned about the process.

Create a Network

Social casino, VR and AR, game publishing and developing will all be part of Casual Connect USA. Expect to see thousands of people at the different networking parties that will be happening during the conference. To find out more about what Casual Connect USA 2017 has to offer, please visit


David Radd

David Radd

David Radd is a staff writer for David loves playing video games about as much as he enjoys writing about them, martial arts and composing his own novels.