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Presenting the Indie Prize Finalists from Europe Part 2

May 24, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Prize at Casual Connect Europe 2018 has attracted many entries from all over Europe, including Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom. And the innovation in these games is remarkable. Competitive games have a variety of new twists that require speed, precision and skill to succeed. Adventure and narrative games pit the player against novel situations and obstacles. Settings range from the historically accurate (or inaccurate) to fantasy or dungeons or even the player’s mind. And a variety of puzzle games challenge players’ thinking in different ways. Whatever kind of gaming you prefer, there are games here you will enjoy. These fantastic games total 38 from Europe. The finalists have been broken up into two parts. To see the other 19, see this article.

Game Title: Falling Sky
Developer: Falling Sky
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom/Norway

Falling Sky is a cinematic 3D mystery game. It was developed at the National Film and Television School and the project leader and sole developer was Jonathan Nielssen. The game uses Unreal Engine and motion capture technology to create immersive, narrative-driven drama. It has a Twin Peaks influence and elements of open world adventure.

The characters of the game are brothers Daniel and Tommy, who are attempting to solve the mystery of their mother’s disappearance. Guided by a series of cryptic messages, the boys set off on a quest to find the truth.

Falling Sky was nominated for Best Student Game at the Game Awards. It has also been receiving attention in the press.

Game Title: Lost Words
Developer: Sketchbook Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Lost Words is an atmospheric puzzle game that is set between the pages of a diary and a fantasy land. The narrative of the game is tied into the gameplay in an unusual way, having the player running on and solving puzzles by interacting with words.

Lost Words won Best Indie Game, Best Casual Game and and Most Original Game at Game Connection 2017 in France. It was also nominated for Best Idea at AzPlay 2017 in Spain and won UK Game of the Show from UKE at Gamescom 2017 in Germany. It also received the Special Selection Indie Award at Reboot Develop 2017 in Croatia.

Game Title: Super Chicken Catchers
Developer: Game Design : Maxime BODIN, Rafael LOPES Game Art : Benoit RICHARD, Sylvain LACERES, Etienne POV, Marion CHABROL SUPT Game Programming : Alexis COEURDEROY, Yanis HAMEL, Ilyes OUHABI LESURTEL
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: France

Super Chicken Catchers is a 2v2 game set in a multi-player arena. Each team of two players is made up of the mount, who chases the chickens, and the rider, who must catch the chickens with his yo-yo.

Game Title: Naraa: The Living Book
Developer: Game Design : Nicolas DUVAL, David BIRGE-COTTE Game Art : Perrine LOZINGUEZ, Charlotte COUDERC, Julie MIZREH, Violaine BERTHOUMIEU Game Programming : Rémi CARREIRA, Benjamin HADDAD, Matthieu JAGU
Platform: Other mobile platform
Country: France

Naraa: the Living Book uses augmented reality to explore the landscapes of Mongolia with a real children’s book. In this story Naraa wants to become a shaman but she needs help from the player. The realms of the spirits have been invaded by the villainous Iblis. To win the trust of the spirits, Naraa must have help from the player to free them from the Iblis; only then can the player wake up the Great Bear.

Game Title: Planet’s Revenge
Developer: Planet’s Revenge team
Platform: Android
Country: France

In the Planet’s Revenge, the Nias have escaped from their planet and are invading the universe. Only the player can stop this parasitic invasion. To do it you must clean each planet by creating tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and unleashing other destructive powers.

Game Title: QUBE 2
Developer: Toxic Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Q.U.B.E. 2 is the sequel to the first-person puzzle game Q.U.B.E. As Amelia Cross, a stranded archaeologist, the player mysteriously awakens in the ruins of an ancient alien landscape. Your goal is to find your way home, but to do it you must manipulate and travel through this forgotten world. Your only help comes from another, although distant, survivor, Commander Emma Sutcliffe.

Q.U.B.E. 2 has won the following awards: Outstanding Gameplay – Reboot Develop 2016, Game of the Year – Reboot Develop 2016, Global VR Challenge 2016, Kotaku – Best of British 2018.

Game Title: Mission 1545
Developer: City Quests Media
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac, Web
Country: United Kingdom

Mission 1545 is a rescue mission adventure set in Tudor London of the 16th Century. Spies are everywhere and players must stay out of sight, avoiding enemy light comes. They must win the eight themed gate towers in a night-long race along the city wall in order to reach the Tower of London. Then they must find and release the prisoner held there.

Mission 1545 is the first game for City Quests Media. The team is dedicated to making games set in English history, using an outstanding cast and a comic book art style, soundtrack, acting and script.

Game Title: Gaze
Developer: Franck Morgand, Clément Mezelle, Grégoire Chamberland, Lothario Areski Peon de Schuyter
Platform: Android
Country: France

Gaze is a game that combines speed, observation and sculpture. Players must find the anamorphic shapes printed on the sculpture using the camera of their smartphone. Once they find the anamorphosis, they take a picture to validate it and receive a score. And the player with the highest score wins.

Gaze was an official selection at Indiecade Europe 2017. It has been reviewed on a number of websites that include Shake That Button, Factornews, Game Side Story, and The Broadcast Show.

Game Title: Over the Alps
Developer: Stave Studios
Platform: iOS, Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Over the Alps takes players on a race through the Switzerland of 1939 in a text adventure/point-and-click adventure. They explore scenes inspired by vintage travel posters and read postcard written in invisible ink. They must navigate the intrigue of wartime Europe, trying to stay undercover while being chased by a Nazi spycatcher. They must escape the spycatcher, rescue the Watchmaker and unlock the secrets of the past.

Over the Alps has been accepted into the Leftfield Collection and has appeared in Gamesmaster.

Game Title: Ruya
Developer: Miracle Tea
Platform: Miracle Tea
Country: United Kingdom

Players of this game find tranquility as they match the characters of Ruya‘s world. They visit surreal landscapes while decorating themselves in flowers and introspect. Ruya offers a calming experience with interactions and color combinations designed to make players feel at ease. And the dreamlike soundtrack pulls you into the state of peaceful flow.

Ruya has been featured in the Top 10 Charts in the App stores worldwide and was rated 9.1 on App Advice. It won Game of the Show at Game Anglia 2017 and was an Official Selection at Casual Connect Asia 2017. And it was a winner at Trazfuser 2016.

Game Title: Disco Flip
Developer: ALL CAPS
Platform: Android
Country: Denmark

Disco Flip has players navigating obstacles and enemies through a unique twist of music and action in an endless runner game. This game is filled with different characters and the players must traverse a dangerous path while everything, even the trees, moves to the beat of the music.

Disco Flip won the People’s Choice Award at GameScope 2017.

Game Title: Swim Out
Developer: Lozange Lab
Platform: iOS, Android, Console, Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: France

Swim Out is a strategic turn-based puzzle game. It takes place in the refreshing, relaxing atmosphere of a sunny day by the pool, the river or the sea. But you must plan each of your strokes wisely so that you never cross another swimmer’s path in order to enjoy the view from a cozy chaise longue.

Swim Out was a finalist for Best Mobile Game at Ping Awards 2017 and was a finalist for Best Puzzle Game at TIGA Games Industry Awards 2017. It has been receiving very positive reviews and comments, for example, “Swim Out is a gorgeous, stylish pool puzzler” from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. It has been featured in the AppStore, Google Play, itch.io and GameJolt.

Game Title: Kawaii
Developer: kickAlive
Platform: Android
Country: France

Kawaii is a game that lets players, with their friends, breed hundreds of creatures such as cats, dogs, dragons. And you build their world.

Kawaii was soft launched in France. It acquired 100 users and gained 100,000 in return.

Game Title: Too Many Cooks
Developer: FINIFUGU && friends
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: United Kingdom

Too Many Cooks is a local cooperative game for 3 – 6 players. The players join together, each using their own phone, no central screen is needed. In the kitchen where the game is set, each player has different job objects – one might have a crate to gather ingredients, one might have a board for chopping, a rice cooker, perhaps the sink for cleanup. But players can also pass around objects or jobs they would rather not have. Each player can help others finish their jobs.

Too Many Cooks won the Very Big Indie Pitch 2018 in London and was nominated at the SXSW’s Gamers Voice Awards.

Game Title: Still Here
Developer: David Smit
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: Germany

Still Here is 2D flight game set in the near future and focused on a central question: Why did mankind leave the earth? The game takes the player, as the character Pip, on a journey through a dystopian world full of secrets and unique locations. As Pip journeys, he befriends and helps artificial life. Their plight sets the course for the adventure among the remains of the long gone human civilization. But there are rewards to unlock that will help Pip on his journey.

Still Here was featured in Early Access for over eight months. It gained more than 200,000 players and a 4.5 rating from Tip Tap in China and similar players and ratings throughout the world.

Game Title: Smash Tanks
Developer: Dumpling (Design Ltd)
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: United Kingdom

Smash Tanks is an augmented reality game with destructive its defining feature. Players take turns to launch their tanks into enemy territory to take out the enemy, grab supply crates or topple the towers. The game continues until only one team is left.

Augmented reality turns Smash Tanks into an ultra-exciting experience. Anywhere can become a battle arena, the living room, kitchen or even outdoors. Soon players are moving around and getting close to line up the trick shots.

SmashTanks was selected by The Guardian as one of the best games of EGX 2017. It was demoed as part of Apples AR Showcase and it was the #1 selling AR and board game app during the Christmas season.

Game Title: Silent Streets: Mockingbird
Developer: Funbakers
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: Ireland

Silent Streets: Mockingbird is a detective adventure game that features augmented reality. The immersive story is set in the Victorian Era and has crime scene investigation with ARKit technology. The game includes beautiful artwork and impressive sound and voice over. It has been localized in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Silent Streets: Mockingbird has received positive coverage from Touch Arcade and Pocket Gamer as well as other media.

Game Title: Castle Cats: Epic Story Quests
Developer: PocApp Studios
Platform: iOS, Android, Other mobile platform
Country: Sweden

Castle Cats: Epic Story Quests is a humorous RPG narrative game blended with cat collecting and hero management. When you play this game, you become the leader of a guild of cat heroes saving the Kingdom of Catania by defeating the evil Pugomancer. You can recruit from over one hundred cat heroes including knights, mages or flying dragon cats, and send them on quests to earn prestige and loot for your guild. You train your cat heroes and send them on dozens of different quests and to fight enemies such as wolves and zombie chihuahuas.

Castle Cats has a rating of 4.8 on both iOS and Play Store and almost 2 million downloads. It was featured on NewsWatch TV and has raised $17000 for animal charities.

To view all of the Indie Prize finalists for Casual Connect Europe, visit indieprize.org.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Fhacktions: Mapping the Way

March 14, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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By Juan de Urraza, Ceo of Posibillian Tech

Fhacktions is a location-based mobile MOBA game developed by Posibillian Tech, a Paraguayan startup founded in 2015. Set in a near future where the world is ruled by factions of hackers, players must battle each other to maintain control of strategically placed servers that provide them with currency and power. The core of the game is its location based mechanic, with servers placed in real world places, like your local coffee shop or the laundromat next door. Conceived before Ingress and Pokemon Go were launched, Fhacktions had an uphill road to follow in order to finance, code and promote a game with mechanics no one yet understood.

The game received several awards, like winning the “Best Audio” category in Indie Prize USA, and being finalist in Indie Prize in Asia and Europe in the “Best Multiplayer Game” category. Google selected Fhacktions as one of the 15 best games in the Google Indie Games Festival LATAM in 2018.

USA 2018Video Coverage

Floyd Bishop: Transforming Games with New Realities | Casual Connect Video

February 25, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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A dead face can kill an otherwise expressive character. - Floyd BishopClick To Tweet

As an Art Lead at Microsoft, Floyd Bishop chronicled how to create expressive characters and their setup in Unity at Casual Connect USA 2018. He advised, “Use every part of the buffalo.” To learn more about how you can make this work for you, be sure to watch the video of the full session.

USA 2018Video Coverage

Kimberly Rodatos and the Importance of Online Services | Casual Connect Video

February 23, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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The more knowledge we share, the more doors we open for new ideas and technologies. - Kimberly RodatosClick To Tweet

At Casual Connect USA 2018 Kimberly presented information about the differences of LiveOps on different platforms, and especially what it means to launch a game on console and/or PC. It is important to know how users interact with your system and how much ownership you have concerning that interaction. Kimberly offered some tools and strategies to finding the right setup, improving a running setup or doing a quality check on you current system. To learn more, watch the video of the complete session. By the end you should understand what to expect from LiveOps on any platform. 

EventsNews

Casual Connect USA 2018 Indie Prize Participants from North America Part 2

December 21, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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This set of games from North America are more exciting entries for Indie Prize at Casual Connect USA 2018 at the Disneyland® Hotel. They include incredible variety, from arena fighting to digital board games; shooters and puzzle platformers to arcade adventures; beautiful explorations of orbital mechanics and collaborative art games to trivia games, games that extend the AR genre and even games designed to explore empathy and communication. Indie Prize will definitely be a great experience!

Game Title: Rumble League
Developer: Lorraine Studio
Platform: iOS
Country: United States

Rumble League is a real-time PVP game taking place in 1987 in a internationally sanctioned fighting competition. You can assemble a team of brawlers, travel to exotic locations around the world and fight other teams for glory and cash. You will enjoy the hand-crafted arenas and fighters, as well as the retro-futuristic synth soundtrack.

EventsNews

Discover the Latest in AI and VR on Casual Connect Kyiv’s Tech Track

October 15, 2017 — by Casey Rock

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Moore’s Law is still in full-swing since Gordon Moore first made his now-famous observation in 1965. Technology continues to change at a nearly breakneck pace – not only getting smaller and faster, but also more advanced and intricate. From artificial intelligence to high fidelity, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. In Casual Connect Kyiv’s Tech track, attendees can expect to receive numerous insights to help them keep on top of the latest technology so they can make their games the best they can be.

EventsNews

Casual Connect Kyiv Industry Insights to Provide Developers with Latest Gaming Expertise

September 30, 2017 — by Casey Rock

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Alexis Kennedy has a storied career in gaming, literally. He has done guest-writing gigs for such prominent studios as BioWare, Telltale, and Paradox – and as the creator of Failbetter Games, he grew a two-person startup into a studio with 16 employees and over $1.3 million a year in revenue. As part of the Industry Insights track, Alexis will open the conference at Casual Connect Kyiv with a keynote lecture on game narratives and how to better marry stories with game systems. Many other experts will join Alexis in sharing their expertise with attendees over the conference’s three days of lectures and workshops.

Game DevelopmentPostmortem

Fhacktions: Sailing through uncharted waters

September 11, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Juan de Urraza, CEO of Posibillian Tech

Posibillian Tech is the game development studio behind Fhacktions, a location-based MOBA mobile game set in a future world ruled by factions of hackers. The studio is based in Asunción, Paraguay, with 12 full time employees. It was founded in 2015 by two software engineers and lifetime gamers, Juan de Urraza and Gabriel Villalba, who previously developed some small games while studying at university, but never as professionals.

The beginning of all

Exclusive InterviewsIndustry

Barak Regev on Using Google Cloud Platform to Scale and Succeed

March 26, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Barak Regev, Director of Google Cloud Platform for EMEA of Google, says that the best things about working for Google are the amazing people, as well as the culture, goals and freedom of working at Google.

Barak Regev is Director of Google Cloud Platform, EMEA of Google

Barak had worked for Microsoft for seven years when Meir Brand, GM of Google IL, called, offering the opportunity to apply for a position establishing Google Enterprise in the EMEA region. This was six and a half years ago, and Barak was, of course interested. For the past four years, he has been leading the Google Cloud Platform business in EMEA, building and scaling the EMEA team responsible for sales and business development of Google’s Cloud Platform solutions. In this position, Barak must also hire the talent, expand Google’s ecosystem, evangelize Google’s solutions and, as he said, “inspire my people to think big.”

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