Exclusive Interviews

Flexible Approach Fosters Creative Art at Panza Games

January 11, 2016 — by Steve Kent


Beba Balasevic, game designer and product owner at Panza Games, says her company started in pretty much the usual manner: A group of young enthusiasts wanted to do something on their own and became entrepreneurs.

“There was just one minor difference: We were not really very young,” Beba says. “(We were) all in our 30s, tired of prior experiences we didn’t enjoy from outsourcing, freelancing, public and private companies and so on.”

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Narrative Designer Puts Twist on Hero’s Journey Formula

December 16, 2015 — by Steve Kent

Maria Kravtsova
Maria Kravtsova
“It took us some time,” Maria says, “But it was definitely worth it.”

Video games offer unique opportunities for storytelling, and, in rare cases, they can give us new perspectives on literary technique mainstays.
A couple of years ago, Maria Kravtsova attended one of Christopher Vogler’s writing workshops in Moscow. In it, he described the Hero’s Journey — a common plot structure found throughout adventure and mythic storytelling. The pattern, as famously summarized by Vogler, takes a protagonist through a 12-step tale of unknown territory, challenges and transformation, starting with a Call to Adventure.

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Indie & Sons: Father, Teens Design Game Reaching 1M+ Downloads

December 1, 2015 — by Steve Kent

“Me and Josiah, we basically took ourselves to Game Strategy University,” Brian says. “I probably bought like $400 worth of books. We went to several conferences, we talked to people.”

Josiah Davis was nearly 15 years old going into his first pitch meeting with a potential investor. He and his father, Brian, sat in an upscale Bay Area hotel preparing to deliver a pitch for PaperChase, the paper airplane-flying game they’d been designing over the past months and years.
“It was the longest wait,” Josiah recalls.
“It wasn’t like he was late,” Brian adds. “It was just so stressful, waiting for him to turn the corner, and we’re sitting there all dressed up in this really nice hotel.”


The Evolution of Engaging Games

November 18, 2015 — by Bob Heubel from Immersion


By: Bob Heubel, Senior Manager, Gaming & Content Services at Immersion Corporation

Video games weren’t always played at home. When the industry first started, video games were found in arcades alongside rows of pinball machines. From the beginning the very idea of playing a video game was engaging to players because they could interact with content on a video display like never before. This was a novel idea; unlike starring passively into TV screens. Now they could compete and challenge others just like pinball, but with fictional environments as wild as their imagination.

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Planet of the Apps: Israel Boutique Studio Makes Waves

November 9, 2015 — by Casey Rock


Planet of the Apps, a relatively new game development studio based just outside Jerusalem, has only been around since 2013, but it’s already making waves. The studio bills itself as a boutique studio and Planet of the Apps Head of Marketing Jessica Sagoskin says they are different than most other studios in the space because they do everything from concept to release to marketing to analytics in house and are essentially a full-stack company.

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Chipping Away: Studio Works 1 Day a Week for 6 Years on Breakout-Style Caromble

October 27, 2015 — by Steve Kent


Opening your indie game studio only one day a week may not be the most productive way to run things, but these days it comes with a clear advantage.

“You hear lot of talk about the ‘indie apocalypse.’ Well, we really don’t care about that, because we have a steady income,” says Peter Heil of Crimson Owl Studios. At this, co-worker Pascal van Beek laughs and adds: “I do care about it, because I do want to make a lot of money.”

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An Underserved Niche? Muv-Luv Kickstarter Crushes $250K Goal in 24 Hours

September 29, 2015 — by Steve Kent

“The fact that many mainstream gaming sites still refuse to cover visual novel titles is shocking.”

While many game developers are getting disenchanted with Kickstarter, crowdfunding successes are still popping up often enough to make it a tempting option. Late last week, Muv-Luv rocketed past its $250k goal to hit $350k in less than 24 hours. Unlike the prototypical video game projects on Kickstarter, however, Muv-Luv isn’t a new game offering a fresh take on a classic genre. Quite the opposite, it’s an English-language localization of a visual novel trilogy, an example of a genre obscure in most parts of the world.

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Yuval Ziv: Being Involved in a Vibrant Industry

September 28, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton


Becoming involved in the game industry was a chance development for Yuval Ziv, COO of SafeCharge International. He happened to be working for SafeCharge when the company discerned the dynamic, trendy nature of the game industry, particularly from a payments perspective, and made the decision to focus on this vertical. Ziv particularly enjoys the fact that it is such a vibrant, fun industry with enormous potential for happiness through playing cutting-edge games and interacting with fellow developers and players.

Exclusive InterviewsStudio Spotlight

Game Artists Hope New Tech & Fresh IPs Break Clone Fever

September 14, 2015 — by Steve Kent

An illustration of Venerable Kawn, Master of Frost that CAH did for Kabam's Spirit Lords.
An illustration of Venerable Kawn, Master of Frost that CAH did for Spirit Lords.

From a contract game artist’s point of view, the next few years in the video game industry may look a little more interesting creatively — and a little lighter on the clones — than the previous decade.

“I think things are going to change a lot more in the next year or two than they did in the last three or four years. Even four years ago, mobile was still big,” said Jason Park, Concept Art House VP of operations, during a recent studio tour in San Francisco. “It feels actually exciting for the first time 10 years. It reminds me of the old days, where I actually want to be on the show floor.”

DevelopmentExclusive Interviews

Tobias Edl: Focusing on Partnerships and People at InnoGames

September 1, 2015 — by Casey Rock

'It is never boring here and you can expect the unexpected.' - Tobias EdlClick To Tweet

The gaming industry takes all types. There are coders. There are designers. And then there are the people like Tobias Edl. He leads the business development at InnoGames, a Germany-based browser and mobile game developer and publisher. His primary focus at InnoGames is to build and strengthen relationships with media such as newspapers, TV shows, gaming websites and more.