Imperia Online Ltd. is one of the biggest game production companies in Southeastern Europe with 20 released games. The studio has over 40 million users worldwide and a team of 185 professionals. The company originally focused primarily on browser-based games with main title being Imperia Online – a MMORTS, but later started developing mobile games as well. Their R&D department has recently decided they should tackle a new project in an area they’ve never explored before – VR games.
Since 2007, Sacramento’s active game developer community has fostered growth of game development throughout the region. In 2014, the Sacramento Indie Arcade, a community driven event, was created to help promote local game developers and show the world what is being developed in California’s capital city. Arclight Worlds recently won at this event with their game Venture Forth. As winners, Arclight Worlds has the opportunity to go and compete at Indie Prize Seattle at Casual Connect USA. The following article is a postmortem highlighting Jeremiah Ingham’s vision and search for talent.
By Jeremiah Ingham, Founder and CEO of Arclight Worlds
Deep & Dark
It all started down under, deep underground in Australia. In 2012, I had the amazing opportunity to tour one of the largest cave systems in the world: Jenolan Caves. As we traveled through these colorfully lit caverns, an idea sparked within me, growing, and ultimately evolving into what we now know as Venture Forth. That feeling of mystery and wonder, mixed with eerie suspense, never knowing what you will find down these dark tunnels was profound. I just had to try to capture this in a game. That night, still in the mountains of Australia, I started writing the first lines of code that would become the caves of Venture Forth. At the time, I was still in college, just starting to learn to program, but already addicted to using my new programming talents to create games. After returning to the US, I got one of my college friends excited about the project, and he took on the artistic direction for the game.
Painted Black Games is a young Ukrainian mini-studio. There are five of them, and they’re making their first game – a philosophic sci-fi thriller-adventure, The Long Reach. The team has changed many times since 2015 when it all started. It didn’t mess up the process – on the contrary, everyone who has contributed to the game, brought their unique view and made it better.
As the developers were writing the story, the lights at their office went out. “We’re in pitch darkness and – I’m not sure, but I think something is scratching at our door”, says Roman Tomilin, the producer and programmer, as he shares the game development story.
Rangi is a game developed by Funsoft. This studio recently won Digital Games Conference in Dubai (DGC). The DGC is an Indie Prize nomination partner. As winner, Funsoft has the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize Seattle at Casual Connect USA 2017. The following is a postmortem of Rangi and the journey in to VR behind it.
By Hatim Bensaid, CEO and Founder of Funsoft
Funsoft is based in Casablanca, one of the largest cities in Africa bordering Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean coast. The team is composed of several ex-Ubisoft employees who have contributed to titles such as Rayman Legends, Rayman Origins, Prince of Persia, Raving Rabbids, and CSI Hidden Crime.
It all started when Funsoft’s current creative director prototyped a VR demo during his spare time with a couple of colleagues. They presented the idea to the studio. The reaction was good, and so the adventure began. Initially intended to be a small game, the enthusiasm around it gradually grew with time, this urged to expand the ambitions and the team on the project, which led to a memorable journey.
Overkill VR is a result of cooperation between two teams: Game Troopers & Starloop Studios.
Game Troopers is the official publisher of Overkill VR, managing promotion, marketing and distribution. Game Troopers is also an experienced publisher in mobile gaming, with a strong background in the Windows phone & Windows PC markets. While Starloop Studios is a multi-platform studio formed by developers and artists. Starloop has had many successful projects on different platforms, including PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, mobile, VR, and more. This experience gives Starloop a unique perspective on game development in different environments and, as the devs state, increases their potential for success.
Starloop’s biggest title to date is Make it Rain – The Love of Money, a mobile clicker with more than 20-million downloads across its three platforms, Android, iOS and Windows phone. These are the teams that created Overkill VR. Here’s how it happened.
With over a decade of experience in the game development industry, Eipix Entertainment is currently the most productive cross-platform developer of HOPA games in the world, developing more than 20 new titles a year, and employing more than 300 creatives. The company is also deep into the process of expanding onto other fields of the gaming industry, such as adventure games, text-based adventures and VR games. In 2016, it has set its sight on new territory – self-publishing and the free-to-play casual gaming industry.
New beginnings are tough. Eipix has worked on a variety of projects since its inception back in 2005, but for the past five years the company has almost exclusively worked on HOPA titles released by its publisher, Big Fish Games. These games put us on the map, and it is their success that allowed us to consider branching out and venturing into unknown territories.
Once we were able to consolidate our operations and create a steady pipeline for such a massive output of HOPA games, the next logical step was trying our hand in a different genre. Finally, in 2016 we chose to enter the self-publishing arena.
By Bobby Patteson, CEO&Founder of Highcastle Studios
Turns out that making an indie game is somewhat like the process of brewing a good beer. Through a series of tedious steps, water and malt are transformed into the beverage that is commonly consumed after a good old Canadian hockey match. My name is Bobby Patteson and my latest game Beer League Hockey has been fermenting for the past two and a half years. After being brought back from the dead on several occasions this pugilistic sports game has eventually found its way on iOS and Android.
Cells Games is a small indie team of professionals that got together a few years ago. But it was just in the beginning of this year that they found time to focus on a project. The team got even more tight-knit when they started preparing for the Game Jam Kanobu 2016 contest where they eventually won the Unity Special Award there.
“We work remotely, everyone being in different parts of the world: I’m in Kyiv, our programmer Sasha is in Krasnoyarsk, another programmer Misha and artist Andriy are in Dnipro, and sound designer Anton is in St. Petersburg. So yes, it’s all remote, but this doesn’t get in our way to communicate and have good workflow”, says the studio’s CEO Eugene Lavrinenko as he shares the story of Madness Road, a mobile racing game inspired by post-apocalyptic movies about total destruction.
By Benoit Freslon
I’m Benoit Freslon, I’m 31, based in France, and I’ve liked making games since my childhood. I studied in a gaming school and earned experience in a game studio in Paris before becoming a solo indie game developer in 2009.
EnigmBox on iOS is a compilation of 56 different puzzles that make you “think outside the box”. Use all the iPhone functionalities: move it, touch it, take pictures, capture videos, plug in accessories, use location service, all buttons and the mobile features.
At Casual Connect Asia this game won the Best in Show Critics Choice and the Most Innovative Game awards.
How do startup companies begin? It’s different for everyone. For some people, having lots of brilliant ideas is the thing, and sooner or later one of them is brought to fruition. Some people polish their single idea for many years before finally finding the resources to bring it to life. For some, it’s happenstance. OWL-Studio’s CEO Vera Velichko shares her experience.