Music and sound effects are commonplace in a mobile game, but often the use of voice work is overlooked. Usual reasons include a lack of budget or experience working with voice talents. See the session video below if you want to learn about how the use of voice can bring your characters and stories to life, and if you’re taking the first steps into casting, creating a script and working with voice talents. At Casual Connect Asia, Jeremy Goh, Co-Founder of IMBA Interactive, discussed voice work, noting that “good voice work can give your game relatability and personality, as well as a source of rich feedback for your players.”
“Participation in game jams let’s you test your skills under pressure of time. It’s also a lot of fun,” said Paweł. “Winning IGJAM 2016 in mobile game category was a truly great award! People appreciate our work while we had tons of fun – for what more could you ask for?”
“Game Jam is an extreme test of our skills as game developers,” Paweł continued. “Working as a team can be compared to a factory. To keep it productive every one needs to focus on their job that’s why we need to understand each other clearly. This kind of experience improves our everyday work. Especially process management and we improve our work as a team.”
The Expanding Polish Development Scene
Digital Melody is supported by Indie Games Polska, a game developer organization in Poland. The organization works to help developers, particularly indies, with support as needed.
Artem Savotin, a Ukrainian developer, is the owner of Vidloonnya Reborn. He says that he got into the IT business more than 12 years ago.
“Games and game business always were a hot theme for me. I’ve created my own game projects at school and in the university along with my artist friend. I was a developer,” said Artem. “After graduating from the university I was working on enterprise development and outsourcing, where I went from a developer to a leader of a German IT company in Ukraine.”
Artem says that #DevGAMM 2016 in Moscow where he really started to understand game development. “I’ve decided there that I want to work on premium games, not F2P, since the creation of a fully functional commercial product was closer and clearer to me,” he detailed. “After the Moscow #DevGAMM in May 2016, we’ve started to experiment, and the first idea was based on evolution theme. The first prototype wasn’t very successful, alas. We’ve experimented with the control methods, and that appeared to be a typical beginner’s mistake, though the idea appeared to be very interesting from first sight.”
Early on the development team was Artem and Vasyl. At the time, Vasyl was still working with Unity, but he was experimenting with Unreal Engine during evenings and weekends and pushed that it was much better.
Chase Bethea is a composer who has been writing music for games since 2011. The first game he ended up working on Electron Flux, a top down mobile puzzle game where players create pathways to direct energy particles.
“When I made music in the years before, I was always told ‘it sounds like it should be in a video game’,” said Chase. “I figured out how to pitch for video game projects and I realized that my sound fits that medium very well. Since I was a child, I have always been a passionate gamer. So, it made sense that I follow the path of game audio.”
Stan Loiseaux of Pajama Llama Games is one of the creator of the game Flotsam. The indie game recently won the Grand Prix at White Nights Prague. The White Nights Conference is an international cross-platform business conference for game industry professionals, featuring plenty of networking parties and attended by thousands. As winner, Pajama Llama Games has the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize London at Casual Connect Europe.
“It was amazing and totally unexpected!” said Stan. “We’re still early in development so didn’t even think of winning any prizes anywhere yet. It certainly gives us a lot of encouragement to continue developing, knowing that people like it.”
While it’s a huge moment winning the Grand Prix and receiving a place at Indie Prize, Stan is still very reluctant to give out advice. He says this is his first game and he’s not sure he knows the real keys to success yet.
“If I had to give any advice it would be to start showing your game as soon as possible to other people,” said Stan. “Either to other developers or at conferences like White Nights. We have a small gamedev community in Belgium and we help each other all the time.”
John B. Lin is the Managing Director of PlayStudios Asia. His previous work was with real world casinos, like the Las Vegas Sands. Now he’s looking to integrate social gaming with real-world casino efforts. At Casual Connect Asia 2017, John discussed the APAC social games market.
Kevin Beimers fulfills a lot of roles for Italic Pig: writer, editor, producer, director, animator, artist, designer, developer, coder, and storyteller. He has helped create Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark with Italic Pig. He noted that what he learned from this was: “the weirder the idea, the less likely it is to be stolen”, which led to the development of Mona Lisa, a game where the titular character is a Renaissance robot art thief.
“I’ve always found Da Vinci fascinating – I think everybody does at least a little bit. I mean, here’s a guy so far ahead of his time, with buckets of ideas, talented in every facet of art and science from inventing to sculpting to painting to engineering to botany to anatomy… and that’s just from the codices that he let everybody have a peek at,” said Kevin. “The thing is, for every time he dropped a bomb on human invention – ‘Here you go, folks: I call it a helicopter. That’ll blow your mind.’ – how many of his ideas never saw another human face? I would imagine that for every codex he felt comfortable putting on display, there’s another 10 back in his basement he never told anybody about, and more than a few that he probably had to set fire to.”
“Then you’ve got the mystery of Mona Lisa: Who was she? Oh sure, historians think they’ve got her pinned down as either the wife of a Florentine cloth merchant, his secret same-sex lover, or Da Vinci himself. In other words, nobody’s got a clue,” he continued. “I asked the question: what could be the culmination of Leo’s work? All of his sketches of engineering works, all of his sketches of the human body, what if Mona Lisa the Painting was not his greatest creation, but Mona Lisa the Girl?
As one of the biggest mobile publishers in the world, Playrix has a lot of insight on how to resonate on a global scale. Tune in to an interview at Casual Connect Europe between Catherine Mylinh, VP of Marketing at Vungle, ad Artur Grigorjan, Marketing Growth Director at Playrix, in a discussion on how to grow a loyal player base and how to scale this approach to drive engagement and monetization. One of many tips Artur shared was: “More money will be pumped into user acquisition so as a smaller developer try to look out for optimizing your game for smaller volumes. Do not compete with higher budgets. Focus on your game first, UA (user acquisition) second.” See the full session below.
Mobile gaming gave development a medium to spread across the world. This presents a challenge for developers to generate jobs and interest in their games over the many evolving types of technology. The rate of change is accelerating and each region needs to be competitive. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat at VenturBeat, guided attendees on a world tour and provided insight into how Europe fits in to this. During his presentation, Dean pointed out that “Mobile games now lead the game industry for revenue.” Furthermore Dean explained, “If there is a reason to change the order of things in the world, then new platforms are the way to do it. To maybe invest heavily, to dive into these new regions, new platforms in the game industry is a way to create new jobs.”