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ContributionsIndustry

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Enemies Away From the Nice China

January 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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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.

ContributionsDevelopment

EVA 2016: A Retrospective of One of the Biggest Developer Expos in South America

December 21, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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Article by Florencia Orsetti
PH: Marisol Estevez
Designers Logos: Carola Lucía and Agustín Cordes

Networking meetings at EVA 2016
Networking meetings at EVA 2016

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.

EVA Play, the exhibit booth area, hosted more than 80 Argentine videogames, including a VR-ready area.
EVA Play, the exhibit booth area, hosted more than 80 Argentine videogames, including a VR-ready area.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

My Boring Story and The Last Tree

December 20, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By Dalibor Kamnjanac, an Indie Developer

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Dalibor Kamnjanac coding away

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.

Wait, What?

ContributionsIndustry

Should Social Casinos Be Regulated Like Real Money Online Casinos?

December 19, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By Brian Hemmings

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.

mobile-casinoUnlike 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.

BusinessContributionsIndustry

Game of Zones: How to Conquer Every Crowd

December 8, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By: Adi Haddad, Head of Marketing at Ilyon

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.

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Bubble Shooter dragon background

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.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

Rikodu Brings Robots and Mayhem from Transylvania

December 5, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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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.

Going Indie

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.

ContributionsGame Development

A Day in the Life of Plarium Concept Artist Andrey Ivanov

November 29, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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A wise man once said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Concept artists understand this sentiment better than most. With full creative license, concept artists have the unique and enviable ability to make the game world match their vision of what it should be. If this concept hasn’t been fully fleshed out or has mistakes, then that’s all going to end up in the game – rendering useless the work of 3D artists, animation artists, and all those other talented professionals who worked to bring this concept to gaming life. Plarium concept artist Andrey Ivanov has been successfully tackling these challenges on a daily basis over the past four years. Let’s follow along as he takes us through a day in his shoes.

By Andrey Ivanov, Concept Artist at Plarium


ContributionsDevelopment

How Studio Roqovan Used GameSparks to Build its Free-to-play Vision for Debut Console-VR Game

November 28, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By GameSparks

It may still be in the early days, but with a worldwide launch day sellout, Playstation VR might just be the Virtual Reality breakthrough that the games industry has long been hoping for. But worldwide adoption of this futuristic technology will only happen if the games live up to the expectations set by Sony and others. That’s where World War Toons comes in; it’s the first major title from Studio Roqovan, formally known as Reload Studios and staffed by Call of Duty veterans and Disney animators. It’s also one of the first console VR-compatible games to be built around a free-to-play mechanic.

ContributionsResearch

Why “Big Bang” Games Die Out: Unmet Demand for New Content

November 15, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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A mobile game is able to soar up to top charts, and this is not that impossible: through raising high awareness before launch and getting fast adoption in the first few weeks after (or when awareness reaches critical mass). But the challenge lies in staying on top of the charts, not that much in breaking in there.

What usually happens to the so-called “big bang” titles (think of Clash Royale, Fallout Shelter and Pokémon Go) is that in a few weeks the passionate early adopters become less satisfied, and move on to the next big title or back to previous games they’ve played. “Leaving with them is the buzz and excitement that started the momentum behind the title to begin with. If developers can re-engage early adopters before they lose interest and switch to a different title, it can prolong the momentum behind mobile games and lead to more sustained user acquisition”, researchers from Nielsen suggest. They have analyzed several titles released in the last year that fit the “big bang” adoption curve and found the probable cause of this departure: unmet demand for new content.


ContributionsDevelopment

iOS vs. Android: First Time Developers Edition

October 25, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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by Cherie Wicks of SocialMonsters

As a first time app developer, you must make a decision of which operating system you first learn to develop for. iOS and Android phones have considerable differences in system requirements and hardware in addition to a host of other specifications. If you’re curious which platform you should develop for first, here’s a beginners guide to app development on both of these operating systems.

Don’t Say Both

When you have an original app idea, you may be tempted to try and develop the app for both platforms at the same time. However, when you first start out, one platform is difficult enough. Don’t overload yourself with ambition. Instead, look at the app you have in mind and take a couple factors into consideration.

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