Darkness in music is really inspiring. - Arkadiusz ReikowskiClick To Tweet
Arkadiusz Reikowski is a composer who’s made music for horror games such as Kholat and Layers of Fear, in addition to their own unique material like Inner Silence. They cite Akira Yamaoka, the famous Japanese composer of the Silent Hill series, as a major inspiration along with other Japanese composers.
Five years in the making, Bolt Riley: A Reggae Adventure Game was recently released. Set in Jamaica in the 1970s, it tells the story of the titular main character who wants to become a reggae star. Bolt Riley is a point-and-click adventure game set in the Caribbean with a soundtrack tinged with local flavor, which despite the different subject matter and time period, is evocative of the seminal Monkey Island series. Creator Oded Sharon is open in saying that Monkey Island is an inspiration for the Bolt Riley game.
“Yes, I’m a huge fan of both Monkey Island and its creator Ron Gilbert. In fact, Monkey Island is the game that inspired me the most when becoming a game developer,” said Oded. “I was actually one of the first people online to do a crowdfunding campaign, a joke website called ‘Buy a car for Ron Gilbert’ which raised money to buy Ron Gilbert a car. We ended up raising enough money to actually buy Ron a toy car which I gave to him at GDC 2008.”
Wally Nguyen, CEO of mNectar, helped found the company about three and a half years ago. Inspiration hit while on iTunes, they were able to listen to a song for 30 seconds before buying it or the album. Wally had a “light-bulb moment” that if you could do that with a song, then why not with a game.
“My co-founder comes from a technical background and there were ads that let you manipulate an image back then, and I asked if they had that, why can’t you play a game?” Wally said. “Back then we raised a little bit of a money with developers like with Kabam being our first customers. With playable ads, 99 percent of our customers are game developers or publishers, giving people a sample of their games.”
Games make humanity better, providing entertainment and a medium to express themselves. - Mochammad…Click To Tweet
Mochammad Santaka has been active in the Indonesian gaming industry since 2008. They started out as a journalist, doing both print and web media back in the early 2000s and also established the Video Games Indonesia website (defunct in 2016). Santaka is now the current manager of Gamevil‘s Indonesian office, and leads Dragon Blaze in South East Asia. They shed some light on what an Indonesian gamer is like, as well as on peculiarities of management.
FlowPlay has appointed Joshua Granick to be scientist-in-residence. Joshua will help FlowPlay’s platform grow and change, though will remain with OpenFL as managing director. FlowPlay is in the process of transitioning Vegas World to OpenFL and plans to do so with its games that are present and future to the engine.
“Thousands of games, technologies and industries are already using OpenFL, and it’s a perfect fit to enable FlowPlay’s future development plans,” said Joshua. “By transitioning to OpenFL, FlowPlay has increased the versatility of the company’s multiplayer platform while accelerating development times and freeing up more resources to focus on new innovation. I’m eager to become a part of that process and help raise awareness on how OpenFL can help other developers in the casual games industry.”
Part of OpenFL’s appeal and reason for its rapid expansion is the fact that it’s open-source software. Joshua says they want to make the world a better place using OpenFL. They feel like making OpenFL a paid product would work against that goal.
Rob King has been doing sound work in the video gaming industry since the early ’90s. While he’s probably best known for his work on the Might & Magic and EverQuest series, he’s also done work on Prototype 2, Jade Empire, and the Fable series.
Rob’s work extends out from music composition to general sound production, having won the Grand-Prize for the 2004 Yamaha International Music Production Contest and winning of the 2004 Los Angeles Music Awards for “Best Engineer”. He has also worked various film and TV projects, including The Legend of Korra. Rob has also made music with various bands, winning “Modern Rock Album of the Year” for his work on the CD Addictions & Scars by his band Red Delicious.
Video ads are quickly becoming the advertising industry’s new mainstay. Gone are the days of static placements and banner ads. At Casual Connect USA 2016, MoPub’s group product manager, Boris Logvinskiy, explained why video has become such an important advertising format during his lecture Rewarded Video: Optimize Your Strategy.
“According to eMarketer, thirty minutes is the amount of time spent looking at videos by the average user,” Boris noted. “That makes up 10 percent of the total time spent on mobile devices. This year it’s expected that $4.2 billion will be spent on mobile video advertising – and that’s expected to grow to $6 billion in 2018.”
I recently went to Berlin to prepare for the upcoming Casual Connect show there in 2017. While there I spent several days visiting a few game studios and other companies in the industry, and I would have to say my visit to GameDuell was one of the highlights of my trip.
I remember my first exposure to GameDuell; they were a Platinum sponsor of Casual Connect Europe. They had a really fun setup with very colorful cube chairs, a projector, big banners labeled “GameDuell is cool” and very eccentric people. If you are lucky enough to visit their office, you will probably agree with me that GameDuell is definitely very cool.
Liyla and the Shadows of War is a game that wasn’t made with profit in mind. It’s a free mobile game, and one that has a serious message to it about the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.
The game was recently the winner of Reboot Develop Indie Award in category of “Visual Excellence”. It was also nominated for Best in Show & Most Innovative Game and Best Game Narrative for Indie Prize at Casual Connect Asia 2016. But talking to Rasheed Abu-Eideh, the creator of Liyla and the Shadows of War, it was not a easy road to the game’s release.