Take it from me, starting a business can be hard. There are hundreds of things to think about and while you’re thinking about those hundreds of things, another thousand or so will come to mind. Being an entrepreneur is really a 24/7 job and it can be a total roller coaster ride. You’ve secured funding: yay! You’ve missed your target client acquisition number: **tears**.
At HeroPay, we’ve created a platform that gives business owners the ability to compare different credit card processors. We’ve experienced many of the ups and downs, the flips and dips of starting a business, so now is the time for a road map of the awesome tools available to all types of entrepreneurs!
I was dreaming of making games, 20 years back, and here I am today. It all started in early 2014 where my dream starts to shift into reality when the right time and the right people stumble together. Being an indie game developer is really fun. You hold the cards on every single bit of the game. You call the shots for the development, the visuals, and most of all, the gameplay. No Dracula! is one of the early games from Pariunos. The game focuses in Romania with the protagonist helping the townsfolk of a village to hunt down the infamous blood-sucker, Dracula. I can still remember the excitement of releasing No Dracula! in Google Play and the next thing is to wait. Waiting for people to download and play. It was not a hit and so the bumpy road sets in.
The game took us three months to completion encompassing the first brainstorm session to the release date. When I mentioned ‘us’, I meant a graphic artist, a freelance programmer and myself back then. It was definitely not a good start since we lacked experience on game development and marketing but giving up is not in the list. I started to gather information and comments on the game and I set my journey again but this time with a brand new team. We decided to revamp No Dracula!, thus the name, No Dracula! Revamp. The game was successfully released on 23rd December 2016 just before Christmas with a whole new gameplay, evolved visuals and with on-going updates of different mythical creatures and monsters to be defeated just by tapping.
By Bobby Patteson, CEO&Founder of Highcastle Studios
Turns out that making an indie game is somewhat like the process of brewing a good beer. Through a series of tedious steps, water and malt are transformed into the beverage that is commonly consumed after a good old Canadian hockey match. My name is Bobby Patteson and my latest game Beer League Hockey has been fermenting for the past two and a half years. After being brought back from the dead on several occasions this pugilistic sports game has eventually found its way on iOS and Android.
By Nicole Canovas, Creative Content Intern at Mega Cat Studios
I’m about to relay to you the story of one of the most vivid gaming memories I have. It’s a tale of suspense. It’s a take of betrayal. It’s a tale of teens. I can’t remember the year, but the game was Mario Party and the system was Nintendo64. I was maybe 18 at the time, my younger sister and our mutual best friend maybe 16. It’s our friend’s turn, and he lands on the coveted Star Space. Toad jumps up and down, asking if he would like to purchase a star for 20 coins. The rest seems to happen in slow motion.
My sister’s hand snaps out and hits the joystick on our friend’s controller down- right as he’s pressing “A”. I had never been so proud and terrified of my little sister at the same time. Our friend looks at her, slack jawed, as his character declines the star. It was completely silent for about a minute before all hell broke loose.
Article by Florencia Orsetti
PH: Marisol Estevez
Designers Logos: Carola Lucía and Agustín Cordes
EVA 2016 (Argentine Videogames Exposition) has been reuniting game developers from all over Argentina and other countries since 2003. The event is an incredible opportunity for devs to showcase their games, attend lectures by regional and international speakers, assist to workshops and access to business networking meetings with publishers and influencers from all over the world. The latest edition of EVA was held on November 4th and November 5th, earlier this month, in Palermo, Buenos Aires, at Centro Cultural de la Ciencia, a cultural venue that hosted hundreds of assistants, including game developers, entrepreneurs, gamers, and press, among other actors from the video game industry.
EVA 2016 in Numbers
Event organizer ADVA (Argentine Videogames Developers Association) estimates an attendance of more than 1500 visitors. EVA Play, the exhibit booth area, hosted more than 80 Argentine videogames, including a VR-ready area. The complete event program included over 30 lectures from regional and international speakers and networking meetings attended by more than 50 studios, including Epic Games/ Unreal Engine, Unity, Globant, NGD, Pixowl and reputable Universities such as UAI and Image Campus. Those lectures that were deliver at the central auditorium from 2pm to 5pm were live streamed on EVA official Website and can be watched now on YouTube: Day 1 video here, and Day 2 video here. ADVA also give away prizes worth $150,000 ARS.
First of all, I must say I didn’t even have a registered company/studio, so wherever it asks me for the company name I’m sticking with my name – Dalibor Kamnjanac, or I type “Ka Studio” or “Llama Entertainment” because that would be the name of my studio if I had one. And yes, I’m obsessed with llamas.
So, my story is pretty interesting (I hope you’ll agree with me at the end of it), because I’m absolutely a “one man army” developer and I believe that the best thing that happen to me would be that I quit my (very low paying) job six months ago. Why? Because in that moment I decided to completely dive in game development. Even though I am neither a programmer or a designer and I knew that it could go wrong in so many ways, it was still very motivating, especially because of my previous job. I knew that I can’t express myself in the electromechanical industry either. I believed that I could do well in the management sector since I graduated. And above all, when I graduated in December last year, I came to Italy from Serbia where I grew up and also graduated.
Social gaming has been an interesting innovation for the gambling industry, with many gambling operators finding profitable sidelines in social games. Operating in a similar way to real money online casinos, they offer a variety of games for players to participate in, generally with some social reward or points tally in return for successful gameplay.
Unlike online casinos, social games differ in a number of key ways. They don’t tend to offer a straight financial reward, like you’d expect from winning a blackjack hand. But they do still often accept deposits from players, and use this to fund play which translates into social awards. These games are money spinners for social casino operators, and are proving increasingly popular with certain player demographics.
As an innovative twist on the established online gambling model, there are invariably questions about how this should be interpreted legally. Should these social games, which still take payment from players, be considered as gambling, and regulated accordingly? Or are they better regulated as non-gambling games?
With the rise of social gaming, the Gambling Commission looked into this issue, publishing a white paper on social gaming in 2015. It identified three potential risks from social gaming – Problem Gambling (i.e. individuals spending too much money on these games), Transitional Risks (i.e. increased likelihood of participation by young people in real money gambling) and Consumer Risks (i.e. scams through social gaming platforms). Let’s tackle each of these in turn, and see whether the same regulation as applies to gambling may be required for social gaming.
Not quite friends, but certainly not enemies, the United States and China have vastly different cultures – but despite that, both sides try their best to trade and promote their country’s products and technologies in each other’s markets. Some American brands – like Apple, Coca Cola – have done well in China, while several Chinese brands, like Huawei and ZTE, are recognized by American consumers for their technology, not just the low prices that Chinese products are usually associated with.
But there have been far more misses than hits for both in the other side’s markets – especially in technology. Ebay, for example, has struggled in the Far East, while WeChat, the Chinese all-around chat and e-commerce app, has yet to make inroads in the US. Why? Both missed important cultural or usage cues that consumers in each country were looking for. Chinese consumers preferred local online auction apps because they allowed them to instantly communicate with sellers (something eBay didn’t offer), while in the US, WeChat failed (or chose not) to make deals with other app makers or services like it has done in China. As a result, American WeChat users remained in the closed environment of the app, unable to use it to order meals or other products directly from chat, or tweet a photo taken using WeChat.
The differences in the way the American and Chinese markets work are just one example of how even in a fully interconnected world – with instant communications and nearly instant travel options – cultures and countries still retain independent identities, to the extent that marketers who failed to recognize just how different the world outside their neighborhood really is lost valuable time and money before realizing that they were a lot less well-informed than they should have been before foraying outside familiar territory.
Editor’s Note: The RGDA Dev-Play Indie Pitch Contest took place on 26th and 27th of September in Romania. At this contest, Romanian indie studios get a chance to present their creations to a jury with well known developers, national and international publishers and specialized media to determine two winners. As an Indie Prize nomination partner, RGDA has invited the winner to participate at the Indie Prize Scholarship which is taking place at Casual Connect Berlin.
By Alexandru Palade, Founder, Managing Director at Rikodu
Hi there. I’m Alex, and in April 2016 I founded an indie game studio in Cluj-Napoca, a city in the heart of Transylvania. Read on to hear a personal story of why I left my safe, well-paid job to jump into indie gaming, how Team Rikodu got together and how we ended up winning our first prize at the Dev-Play Indie Pitch with the prototype of Second Hand: Frankie’s Revenge.
Indie is a loaded term and it means different things to different people. To me, Indie boils down to two things: increased risk and some level of sacrifice. Indie developers live or die by their success and they sacrifice either their free time or the potential to make more money. In exchange, they get creative freedom and the potential to get a much larger share of the financial success.
My story is a variation on another common theme: software developer who loves games, always wanted to make them, but was taken by life on a different path. The only minor variation is that I had a better paid job to give up than usual, because I had climbed the corporate ladder and was managing a large product department by the time I left. But those of us who are marked have no escape. The fascination with games is what led me to follow a career in technology. If I would have settled and hadn’t jumped in – Indiepocalypse be damned – I would have regretted it forever. For those of you nodding in agreement who haven’t taken the plunge yet I have a quote from my favorite book: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I’m Benoit Freslon, I’m 31, based in France, and I’ve liked making games since my childhood. I studied in a gaming school and earned experience in a game studio in Paris before becoming a solo indie game developer in 2009.
EnigmBox on iOS is a compilation of 56 different puzzles that make you “think outside the box”. Use all the iPhone functionalities: move it, touch it, take pictures, capture videos, plug in accessories, use location service, all buttons and the mobile features. At Casual Connect Asia this game won the Best in Show Critics Choice and the Most Innovative Game awards.