Fifteen years ago John Criswick and Joshua Ostrowalker founded the game company Magmic. They both had experience in a mobile startup and they had worked on what became one of the most installed mobile operating platforms at Sun Microsystems. Then they realized there was a tremendous opportunity in the consumer market.
They believed that early adopters would be dominant in this initial phase of the mobile app market and that the content most easily monetized by early adopters would be entertainment. So they chose to take advantage of this opportunity by founding Magmic as a mobile game developer and publisher.
The Indie Prize competition at Casual Connect USA 2018 featured many exciting and innovative entries. Casual Connect is now announcing the nominees and winners.
Best Game Audio
The winner of Best Game Audio was Floor Kids, developed by MERJ Media from Canada. Floor Kids is a break dance battle game that rewards musicality, originality and style. It can be played in solo freestyle mode or in two player battles.
Also nominated for Best Game Audio were Stack & Crack, a 3D puzzle game by Jambav from India; Orbit – Playing With Gravity, a game that has players launching planets and attempting to get them into stable orbits around black holes, by HIGHKEY Games from the United States; and Rumble League, a real-time, action packed strategy game by Lorraine Studio of the United States.
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.
This year’s entries from North America for Indie Prize will certainly be highlights at Casual Connect USA at the Disneyland® Hotel. These innovative games range through a variety of genres – puzzles of various kinds, dancing, fighting, shooters, even genres that may be unique combinations, such as horror-sports-tragedy. The games are fun, intense, and challenging.
Game Title:CubeWorks Developer:TinMoon Studios Platform: VR desktop/console Country: USA
Could you solve puzzles in a VR environment? CubeWorks gives you the opportunity to find out with challenging spatial puzzles in a fully immersive VR experience. As you progress, you discover new environments and you aim for the top with the highest score on a leaderboard.
CubeWorks launched into early access the same day it had a playable demo at New York’s PlayNYC convention. There is was voted a fan favorite and the top VR title.
Casual Connect Kyiv 2017 has been going strong in beautiful Kyiv, a city known for its history, creativity and culture, October 24, 25 and 26. And now we have the results of the exciting 20th Indie Prize competition.
Best Game Audio
Best Game Audio was awarded to Kenshō developed by FIFTYTWO, a Russian game studio. Kenshō is a mysterious game that takes place within a ruined room with doors opening onto beautiful landscapes. It is an addictive puzzle game with the player matching blocks and overcoming challenges to unfold the narrative.
Nominated for Best Game Audio were Melody Streaks by Beeble Games of India, a game where the player creates music with every move the character makes; Talking ABC by Hey-Clay of Ukraine, which uses animal characters to make learning fun; and Guns ‘n’ Stories: Bulletproof VR by Mirowin of Ukraine, bringing VR to the Wild West Era.
Two participants from Argentina and one participant from Canada will join the competition at Casual Connect Kyiv and Indie Prize. The two excitingly different games from Argentina is represented at Indie Prize Kyiv both demand skill and determination but are very divergent types.
Darkestville Castle has graphics reminiscent of the twisted aesthetics of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Add to that the classic point-and-and click techniques of games like Monkey Island and you are ready to follow the comedy narrative of Cid, the mischievous demon of Darkestville.
Developers from Brazil, Canada, Paraguay and Iran will come and showcase their games at the international Indie Prize showcase during Casual Connect Asia 2017 in Singapore!
Game Title:Lila’s Tale Developer: Skullfish Studios Platform: VR mobile Website:www.skullfishstudios.com Country: Brazil
Immerse yourself in a fantastic and artistic experience, inside a dungeon crawler, crafted for Virtual Reality. Explore the mysteries lying beneath the dungeon, solve chain reaction puzzles and keep Lila safe to find her lost little brother.
The game was selected to Indie Pitch Arena during GMGC Beijing 2017 and will be released in 2017.
Why You Will Never Get Funding may sound like a very depressing session from Casual Connect Europe but it was very insightful. Funding is tough to come by, especially for indie developers. Helping indies find their way to funding is Execution Labs‘ mission.
Jason Della Rocca, Co-Founder at Execution Labs, spoke on the sad reality that most games and studios do not get the funding they seek. Although we hear of million or even billion dollar deals happening these are rarer than you may think. It is a hard thing for most developers to penetrate. Jason gave a fresh perspective on the real reason for this: you. Discover with Jason the top reasons investors are holding back the cash and gain insight on how to improve your chances.
Rather than pitching a problem (e.g., lack of funds to finish the game) to a potential publisher, Jason advises developers to “reframe it as an opportunity, understanding that what they are doing is an opportunity and pitching that in talking to us about the game/studio. Now, that may mean they still have some cash flow issues but don’t pitch the problem, pitch the opportunity. That is a red flag right from the beginning.” Jason offered many other gems during this session:
Matthew Paxman is a developer at Wizard Games, maker of Cowbots and Aliens. The VR game won the IGDA Victoria contest, meaning Wizard Games will able to show the title off at Indie Prize Seattle and Casual Connect USA.
“We were super excited to see people enjoying Cowbots and Aliens so much at the IDGA Victoria contest,” said Matthew. “Being able to show the game off at Casual Connect Indie Prize will be a great opportunity to gather feedback, gain exposure, meet other indie game makers and just have a ton of fun.”
This might not of been possible without releasing Cowbots and Aliens on Steam Early Access. Matthew confirmed that doing so has allowed Wizard Games to have some great community feedback that has helped with the direction of how to develop the game.
“Our vision of what Cowbots and Aliens will be when we release the final version out of Early Access has changed dramatically and we think for the better due to the community’s feedback,” Matthew detailed. “It’s helped us understand what fans really care about and want to see more of.”