A director, 2 programmers, an artist and a musician – they’re all from the team of 5 students from Ajou University in Korea, who made the puzzle game of Alice in Cube that would challenge even a seasoned puzzle games player.
“The reason why I created this team was so simple: I just wanted to make games. I was seeking for friends who were passionate about games, like myself, and four months later I finally found them all”, says director and project manager Kim TaeWoo.
GameMaker, the popular tool for both beginner and experienced devs, has finally got an updated version, GameMaker Studio 2. Revealed shortly after GDC 2017, the updated engine has a new look as well as features, including layer-based level editing that makes it possible to create more complex visuals with backgrounds, tiles, instances, assets and paths. Also, now there’s level inheritance – to create multiple levels at once, as well as an advanced tiling system that automatically selects the right tile for the job. At GDC 2017 Gamesauce got a chance to see the new version of GameMaker being shown by YoYo Games’ CTO Russell Kay, and to find out more about the popular engine.
Some companies in Japan focus on making kinda virtual girlfriend content. - Masaru OhnogiClick To Tweet
As Head of Global Business Development for gumi Inc, one of Japan’s leading mobile gaming companies, Masaru Ohnogi oversees their strategic business partnerships around the world. Most people know gumi for their successes in mobile games, such as with Brave Frontier, Phantom of the Kill and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Over the past year, gumi have expanded considerably into VR by co-founding a $50 million VR fund called The Venture Reality Fund with partners in the Silicon Valley, which focuses on seed or early stage startups. In their session at Casual Connect Europe 2017, Nogi showcased the company’s achievements within AR/VR as well as provided the opportunity to take a peek into the current and future trends of VR in Asia and the world.
If it's ugly and people enjoy it, it will be much more enjoyable once it looks good. - Ron RejwanClick To Tweet
Jelly Button Games co-founder and CTO Ron Rejwan started learning to code at the age of 12 aiming to build games, and has been interested in it since they remember themself. At the age of 18 they were drafted to the ISR army as elite army programmer.
In 2011 Ron founded Jelly Button together with 4 co-founders, and since then has been the company’s CTO. While The Jelly Button team agrees game creation is based on feelings and instincts, they prefer playtesting at early stages to validate it. In their Casual Connect Tel Aviv Ron Rejwan explains their approach to playtesting and prototyping, and shares the tips and tricks one needs to know to follow their footsteps.
The contestant to represent Game Industry Conference from Poland at Indie Prize Berlin 2017 is Immortal Planet, an isometric action RPG for PC and consoles, created by Tomasz Wacławek, a developer already known for publishing RONIN in 2015. He was chosen by Game Industry Conference, whose chairman Jakub Marszałkowski also shares an overview of Polish gamedev industry.
“We’ve wanted to do our own gamejam for a while”, says Alexander Misilevich, the community manager for 4ILab dev team from Belarus. Gamesauce readers might remember them as creators of Time of Dragons, the online multiplayer 3D shooter where you fly a dragon and battle, now also in VR.
Exploring more of the VR space, the team decided to organize a hackathon before the New Year holidays so that they could celebrate afterwards. They set up a goal: make a game in 48 hours, it must be fun to play with friends, and you need to be able to go naughty. The devs also aimed on making it within the set timeframe with minimal use of 3rd party assets.
Casinos have been fighting an age crisis: 21-45 year olds generally do not gamble, admits Darion Lowenstein, CMO of Gamblit Gaming. They currently oversee marketing and publishing efforts for the company’s arcade style real money games for mobile and its upcoming hardware launch in casinos. A 20-year industry veteran, Darion has produced/directed some of the biggest video games in the industry at companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, Rockstar Games and Scopely.
Now, with Gamblit, Darion is leading the charge to bring mobile and arcade style games onto the floor with products that appeal to those 21-45 year olds. With announcements like Jetpack Joyride, Into The Dead, and Catapult King, at Casual Connect Tel Aviv Darion Lowenstein discussed the benefits and difficulties of taking hit mobile games into the casino world. “I think that partner content is a better offering for customers on the floor than licensed content, when you take a movie franchise, James Bond, Brides Maids, and slap it on the slot machine”, Darion explains.
Netflix for movies, Spotify for music, but nothing like that for games… so Rovio, who many just know as creators of Angry Birds, have corrected it by coming up with Hatch: a free-to-play mobile game streaming service that will first come to the Android platform. Instead of downloading a game on your phone, you stream it through an app, whose backend cloud infrastructure makes it possible to play without lag. What is more, you can hand the controls to a friend, therefore turning a single-player game into a multiplayer experience. Hatch founder and CEO Juhani Honkala told Gamesauce more about Hatch-ing the new project.
Cells Gamesis a small indie team of professionals that got together a few years ago. But it was just in the beginning of this year that they found time to focus on a project. The team got even more tight-knit when they started preparing for the Game Jam Kanobu 2016 contest where they eventually won the Unity Special Award there.
“We work remotely, everyone being in different parts of the world: I’m in Kyiv, our programmer Sasha is in Krasnoyarsk, another programmer Misha and artist Andriy are in Dnipro, and sound designer Anton is in St. Petersburg. So yes, it’s all remote, but this doesn’t get in our way to communicate and have good workflow”, says the studio’s CEO Eugene Lavrinenko as he shares the story of Madness Road, a mobile racing game inspired by post-apocalyptic movies about total destruction.
We want parents to be reassured kids are having the right kind of fun! - Nick GawneClick To Tweet
Nick Gawne is Chief Operating Officer for eOne Family, with responsibility for digital biz dev, app publishing, finance, business affairs and brand protection. eOne owns, distributes and brand manages leading pre-school brands like Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Tune in to Nick’s session from Casual Connect Tel Aviv to hear of the lessons learned by the eOne Family team when they took the leap and decided to do their own publishing strategy. “If you have good IP that is resonating in the store, you need to look beyond the store to support your business model”, Nick pointed out. To learn more, see the full session below.