Competitive gaming is the latest trend in mobile gaming. It brings the ‘core’ gaming experience from PC and Console to mobile devices. At Casual Connect Europe, the talk entitled The Unstoppable Rise of Competitive Gaming on Mobile, Tom Wijman who is a Market Consultant at Newzoo, described in detail the rise of competitive gaming, the trends that are driving it, and what this means for mobile gaming as a whole. He explored the impact that the growth of competitive gaming is having on mobile esports and how this differs between the East and the West.
We first saw Benoît Freslon’s game EnigmBox at Casual Connect’s Indie Prize in London 2018 where it won the Best Game Design award. Also at Casual Connect Asia 2016 in Singapore, EnigmBox won the Most Innovative Game and Best in Show: Critic’s Choice award. Winning these prizes gave Benoît the motivation to keep working with the experimental game. But as proud as he was of the awards, he was equally happy with the friends he made there.
Benoit believes the prizes he won with EnigmBox gave him credibility with publishers and partners. Specifically, Asian publishers would like to publish the game in China, but he is still in negotiations with them.
A Game With Potential
Now Benoît has a new version of the game, EnigmBox 2.0. He felt that the game, created in 2013, had become outdated in terms of design, user interface, user experience and game feel. As well, he had many new puzzles he would like to experiment with. And a significant number of players and publishers had asked him to create a version for Android. So, with the awards from Indie Prize confirming that the game had potential, Benoît decided to work on a new version of EnigmBox, but this time using Unity 3D.
Benoit began the process of creating the new version by listening to feedback from players and experts. Then he started redesigning and polishing the design, the monetization, the UI, the UX, the tutorial, the puzzles and even the colors.
When entering the European market in the games industry, one faces many challenges. Each country has differing language, legal, culture and demographics which means all of these variables need to be considered. It’s important to keep in mind that success in one country does not equal success in another. At Casual Connect Europe 2018. Tobias Edl, Head of New Business Relations at Whow Games presented the Complexity of the European Market. See the full lecture below.
For any developer who has tried to adapt a board game to a digital game, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced. At Casual Connect Euorpe, we had Philippe Dao, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at Asmodee Digital, address the insights and learns learned from Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Splendor in his speech called The Challenge of Adapting a Board Game to Digital. This included different angles like publishing, marketing and of course game design.
Demagog Studio and their game Golf Club: Wasteland was the winner at Horizon Pitchslap Belgrade 2017. After winning this award, they met with several members of the jury, who all were helpful with suggestions for the next steps to take with the game. One of them, Nikola Ĉavić, introduced them to Apple, giving them new impetus to the project. Now they are collaborating with both Apple and Unity and have won two more awards.
At Casual Connect Europe 2018 Indie Prize, Demagog Studio aimed to shine a light on Golf Club: Wasteland . It was released in June 2018 on iOS. They hope to bring Demogog Studio to the attention of a wider geographic audience.
A Multimedia Project
Igor Simić, who leads Demagog Studio, works in contemporary art and film and is represented by Galerie Anita Beckers in Frankfurt, Germany. The results of the sales of installation and video allow Igor to invest in other projects, such as Golf Club: Wasteland. This project is more than simply a game; from Igor’s perspective it is a multimedia project encompassing a video game, an original soundtrack, and music videos.
Mixed reality is the combination of the real world with digital content, allowing developers to bring games and interaction to the real world around you. This relatively new medium presents a number of unique challenges not normally faced by “normal” game AI. Because both the real world and the virtual world need to understand the other, AI and data parsing are huge areas for AI work. In a talk called Bringing Pixels To The World at Casual Connect Europe 2018 in London, Aleissia Laidacker, Interaction Director and Brian Schwab, Director of Interaction Lab at Magic Leap
discussed the ins and outs of mixed reality. This session explained the “what, why, and how” of mixed reality to develop truly immersive experiences. Instead of bringing you into the story [like screen games in MR] the digital objects are in our world, like Roger Rabbit. Tune in to the session below for more insights.
Are you ready to use Unreal Engine 4 for development in casual genres? Learn how to utilize this amazing tool in smart and effective ways. Tune in to a presentation by Aleksey Savchenko, a licensing manager at Epic Games, at Casual Connect Europe. This session, Unreal Engine 4: Perspectives for Casual, discussed smart and effective ways of using, including tips and tricks of the toolset, optimization and pipeline. Aleksey also concentrated on some specific hypothetical cases in HOG/HOPA genres to give a good example of what can be done with UE4 in this field.
Are you a game developer thinking about live operation in Asian markets? But you know Asian markets differ from each other. So what is the difference in game operation strategy between the different markets in China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia? These are crucial things to know, but it can be confusing especially if you are a western developer.
You could certainly benefit from the experience of Yuli Zhao, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at YOOZOO INTERACTIVE. Yuli is in charge of game and IP licensing, global merger and acquisition deal sourcing and strategy cooperation, and lead game operation for the China and Japan market. At Casual Connect Europe 2018, Yuli presented the session How Operation Influences Game Performance the Asian Markets and What Western Developers Can Learn From It.
In this session Yuli discussed whether live operation is a strategy or a tactic as well as the differences between the various Asian markets in game operation strategy. She also described how the live operation philosophy is influencing western markets and what western developers need to learn from it. To understand more about live operation, be sure to watch this video of Yuli’s session.
In an engaging Fireside chat at Casual Connect Europe with Steel Media’s Jon Jordan and Zynga President of Publishing Bernard Kim, discussed the growth of Zynga over the last year and what’s next for the company. In FIRESIDE CHAT: The Evolution of Zynga and What’s Next, Jon and Bernard discussed growth in the increasingly competitive mobile games market and how a focus on live services, genre expansion and player engagement can fuel a company’s growth. “Our focus is always on players experiences and how to make them more engaging and enjoyable within our existing and upcoming games.” He also spoke about the importance of authenticity, especially regarding branded games, and games like CSR that have real cars in them. To hear more great quotes and insights, see the full session below.
In a highly competitive industry, Best Fiends has managed to grow its mobile entertainment franchise into a $100 million brand. In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled How to Leverage Game Design to Sustain Brand Awareness, Reko Ukko, VP of Game Design at Seriously, shared his insights on how to successfully grow an audience and increase engagement through storytelling, new feature updates and holiday themed events.