The Rabbit and the Owl is the debut game of Formal Sheep, a game development company founded by Gary Chao in March 2016. It was greenlit at #24 on Steam in March and has been exhibited at the Sacramento Indie Arcade, iFEST, Power of Play, and Indie Prize. The game was also shown at PAX West in the PAX Rising section and had their Kickstarter campaign funded by day 5. Gary Chao tells more about what inspired the game’s development, and how exactly.
The Ukrainian team of Pinokl Games team was working on a huge ambitious project of Mecha Titans and some other casual and family-friendly games… and then got tired of that all. They unleashed their darkest thoughts and participated in Kanobu Game Jam with Party Hard, a game of a bloody massacre at a noisy neighbors’ party at 3AM, or “third-person urban conflict simulator” as they describe their creation.
The bloodthirsty theme found a response in the hearts of Casual Connect Europe 2015 critics, having brought the team the Critics Choice award in Indie Prize. The team recently celebrated the 1st anniversary of Party Hard launch, having scored numerous other awards and gaining a massive creative fan base. Pinokl Games’ marketing manager and producer Alina Husevyk shares the most noticeable learnings of the year.
Crash Wave Games, founded in August 2015, is an unusual pairing of two game developers from Finland and South Africa. As two developers of entertainment, the Vancouver-based indie studio has travelled all across the city and its borders for opportunities to showcase their first turn-based tactics game Iron Tides for the PC/Mac. The duo emerged from the hustle-and-bustle world where they met and made a pact to pursue the lifestyle of their dreams.
KTplay is a solution for instant mobile in-game communities headquartered in Beijing with offices in Boston. Founded by Spencer Liu, inspiration struck when he became increasingly frustrated about having to leave the games he was playing in order to hunt across the web for tips to advance to the next level. Spencer shares the story of the startup’s successful evolution from idea to product.
As designers, we often sit down to work on a new game with a (so we think) clear idea of what we want the end product to be, or at least a set of core design goals we’d like to reach. Over the course of creating our masters thesis, my team and I learned to let go of our ideas and let our game organically become what it wanted to be, rather than trying to force it to be something it couldn’t.
When it comes to working with sound designers/composers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way of having an effective audio pipeline; it depends on which practices suit your company’s working style or culture the most to bring out the best in your game. In their Casual Connect Asia 2016 lecture, IMBA Interactive’s co-founders Gwen Guo and Sharon Kho shared various project postmortems from small, bite-sized casual games to AAA titles, and discussed how you can find the best audio pipeline for your team. They mentioned: “(Sound designers) ask a lot of questions. Besides technical requirements, we ask to understand the soul of the games.”
Giant Fox Studios started about 5 years ago, and the team was initially working on Flash games. Since then they developed close to 200 games. At Casual Connect USA 2016 they presented Gamester – an opportunity to be in your own game: just take a pic, select the genre, environment and enemies. You can even use your own storyline and add voiceovers! CEO Jaime Fraina tells more.
Nuked Cockroach is an indie game studio based in a small country in North Africa: Tunisia, where the video game development industry is not a thing. They decided to start their own project and try to compete with international indie studios. The team started very small with only one programmer, one 3D artist and one concept artist, and it started expanding along with project vision, to eventually reach a total of 15 members: developers and management included. They share the story of their creation, a multiplayer shooter called Veterans Online.
“We are based in Argentina, the land of “Yerba Mate”, “Dulce de Leche”, “Asado” and the most beautiful women in the world! Our team consists of five crazy yet talented guys, each one with their pros and cons… Mostly cons. :P” – says Pablo Martin Navajas, the co-founder of 3OGS, as he shares the story of their VR creation The Biumbis, that has traded the common realistic VR games look for a cute and cartoonish one.
Nela System is an indie team based in New York. Zack Zhang founded the studio in 2015, and was initially the sole developer crafting the game, Signal Decay, for a long time. Now Nela System is working on bringing Signal Decay to Steam and consoles. Zack recalls how it’s all been since the beginning.