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Indie Prize Winners at Casual Connect USA 2018!

January 18, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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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.

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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.

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Casual Connect USA 2018 Indie Prize Participants from North America Part 1

December 20, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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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.

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Winners of the 20th Indie Prize at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017

October 30, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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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.

Best Game Audio Kenshō developed by Fiftytwo was awarded by Natalie Portier and provided with prizes from Amazon and Appodeal at the 20th Indie Prize Awards during Casual Connect Kyiv 2017

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.

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Indie Prize Participants from Argentina and Canada in Kyiv

October 7, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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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.

Game Title: Darkestville Castle
Developer: Epic Llama
Platform: Desktop Win
Website: https://www.facebook.com/epicllamagames/

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.

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Indie Prize Finalists from Brazil, Canada, Paraguay and Iran at Casual Connect Asia

April 27, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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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.

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Jason Della Rocca and Why You Will Never Get Funding | Casual Connect Video

April 15, 2017 — by Emily Baker

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Jason Della Rocca is
Co-Founder at Execution Labs

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.

Jason speaking at Casual Connect Europe 2017, photo taken by Lera Polska

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:

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For more information about Jason Della Rocca and his career, see this exclusive article.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Matthew Paxman: Brawl For Fun with Cowbots and Aliens

April 6, 2017 — by David Radd

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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.

Wizard Games’ Booth at IDGA Victoria

“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.”

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Esports for Indie Mobile Developers: Mad Skills Motocross Championship Deep Dive

April 4, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Simon Sundén, head of Esports at Gumbler

With over 31 million downloads, Mad Skills Motocross 2 has continued to be a success for developer Turborilla since its launch in 2014. This is primarily due to a loyal player base, many of which are involved in real-life Motocross, as well as partnerships with the likes of RedBull for exclusive events. Looking to drive more community engagement, Turborilla decided to up the ante in October 2015 by introducing real-money challenges via Swedish skills-based esports platform, Gumbler.

Based purely on a player’s skill, Gumbler brings esports to mobile games by enabling players to win real cash through placing money on their abilities. After integrating Gumbler, Mad Skills Motocross 2 saw players win upward of $900,000 in 2016 – with some individual players earning as much as $6,000 per month.

Having seen the high levels of engagement from the Mad Skills Motocross 2 community, Gumbler worked with Turborilla to host its first World Championship at the beginning of 2017 with a prize pot of $20,000.

For Gumbler, the goal was simple as its Head of Esports, Simon Sunden explains:

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