“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.
Benoit Prunneaux of Bento Studio is one of the main developers behind unWorded. The game was nominated for Indie Prize at RESPAWN, a conference designed to allow the free exchange of ideas between developers, where lectures happen in open environments that attendees are allowed to freely flow between as they wish with topics including Creative, Game Design, Business and Tech to Culture/Communications and Storytelling. Bento Studio will compete at Indie Prize hosted by Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.
“We are very proud of this nomination and it was a fairly big surprise. This game is really important for Bento because we have placed something special in this title that it is more personal. So this is a real reward for us,” said Benoit. “Honestly we have not made this game to win contests. We registered at random to see if our game could arouse interest in the audience and make it more visible. Since our participation we are very happy to be able to benefit from this support.”
Yuriy Krasilnikov is the Director of Business Development at TrilobiteSoft, developer of Pig Bang. The game recently took home the best art and Grand Prix prizes at the Indie Prize partner event Indie Game Cup at White Nights Moscow 2016, an international cross-platform business conference for game industry designed to facilitate networking among game developers and publishers from Russia and all of Europe. TrilobiteSoft will present the game at Casual Connect Europe and Indie Prize.
“The team working on Pig Bang sets the highest standards – both related to the visual component of the game, and to the gameplay in general – to those experiences that Pig Bang gamers can get,” said Yuriy. “Awards received during Indie Game Cup at White Nights Moscow 2016 showed that we are heading in the right direction and this definitely is inspiring.”
“We are going to come to Berlin with even better-polished game, and, peeling away the mystery, most likely with additional characters and even with the mode of the game. So to say, we are keeping our hopes up that at the Casual Connect’s Indie Prize, the game will be really appreciated,” Yuriy continued. “On top of that, conferences of this kind are a great opportunity to talk to colleagues in the industry, to the leading developers and potential partners.”
“It is basically a huge opportunity to spread the word,” said Jan. “Since I am the only one developer of this game, it is very hard to contact a wider audience and get in touch with the press.”
Mashinky is based on players creating their own transportation empire based around trains over multiple time periods. Jan has always loved railway transportation and the way steam engines worked, even owning a model railroad as a child. Besides that, Jan says the primary inspiration for the game was very simple.
FlowPlay has launched Dynasty Football, an online fantasy football strategy card game. Designed to appeal to both fans of collectible card games and fantasy football enthusiasts, this unique game blends the real-world player stats of fantasy football with the excitement of head-to-head card battles.
“Collectible card games have become increasingly popular over the last two years, and we saw an opportunity to bring our expertise in casual fantasy sports games to this growing market,” said Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay. “We’re one of the first to introduce sports elements into the digital card games genre, allowing us to expand the appeal of Dynasty Football to the broader audience of 60 percent of the U.S. population that considers themselves sports fans, according to Gallup.”
Séverin Larose of SoulGame Studio has created multiple titles, including Rogue Soul II. SoulGame recently received the bronze medal at Ludum Dare gamejam, which Séverin was extremely proud of since it was the studio’s first time participating in the event.
“The concept we came up with was new to me, I had never worked on a pure puzzle game before so it was nice to check that we could do puzzles as well,” said Séverin. “It also meant that the experience I had accumulated working with Flash was allowing me to ‘impress’ people with high quality polish in just 72 hours of work, since many comments were actually skeptical about the possibility of achieving such a result in such a short time frame… that was really satisfying and motivating.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Séverin, having to work as a part-time music teacher during the creation of SoulGame’s first release: The Soul Driver. There were other games before that, but Séverin was willing to scrap partially complete projects in order to put something out at the level of quality they wanted.
“I think most of us aim at perfection when we create things even if we never reach it, but I think some devs are just more reasonable than I am when it comes to budget and deadline. I did spend a lot of time, hard work and money just to make our games better, when they could have been released. Sometimes I spend a whole day on an invisible detail… I basically only stop when I’m so out of cash that I can’t continue!” detailed Séverin. “It’s just that I really value players’ enthusiasm, a lot. It’s extremely rewarding for me, even more than money. It’s really quite logical after all, we just want to make games that people love, and yeah sure, if I get rich in the process, awesome! But that will be a consequence, not a goal.”
Séverin has also participated in Indie Prize, after talking to Khail Santia from Moocho Brain who talked about how great the experience was for them. “Indie Prize to me was an unique occasion to meet in person a lot of people from the industry. It was kinda epic, to be honest!” said Séverin. “I got so used to working on a remote basis, dealing with email and invisible people, so meeting them after all those years was a kind of ‘real world’ confirmation that everything we lived was actually true. I especially loved meeting and share experiences with my fellow game developers from literally all around the world, some I’m still in touch with.”
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.
Kamil Orman-Janowski is a composer who has provided music to games such as Warplane Legends, Beyond Space and Isleron: The Rending. Probably his most famous works at this point, however, have been to Path of Exile and its various expansions.
“My vision of music for Path of Exile is still evolving, but there are some major sources of inspiration,” said Kamil. “I try to find proper balance between music from games such as Diablo 1-2 and movies or TV shows with similar setting. I’m always looking for something dark, ethereal, deep, sometimes weird and strange but at the same time epic and noble, so it’s mostly fusion of symphony orchestra, guitars, ethnic and many experimental instruments.”
A game has to launch when it is already fun to play, it's already enjoyable. - Tomer BarkanClick To Tweet
Tomer Barkan is the CEO of Suncrash Studios, but didn’t take a straight path to work in the gaming industry; instead working in a more traditional computer career before deciding to found an indie studio. At Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016 he shared his experience of dealing with Steam Early Access and pointed out the main thing that would make this approach successful: people want to buy a game, something to play, and not just support an idea.
“If you launch too early, you will get very negative reviews and that will stay with you forever.” One strategy Tomer suggested is to always look at similar games and observe what worked or didn’t work for them. “A game has to launch when it is already fun to play, it’s already enjoyable. People are buying to play the game and to enjoy it, not to support some idea that maybe one day the game will be fun. This is not crowdfunding and they will judge you according to how fun the game is on release day so make sure it is already fun.” To learn more, tune in to the full session below.