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Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Luuk Waarbroek: That Game Tied the Room Together

December 19, 2016 — by David Radd

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Luuk Waarbroek of Napalmtree Studios helped create Tied Together, which was nominated for Indie Prize by Dutch Game Garden, an Indie Prize partner, to go to Casual Connect. The game was shown off with 37 others at INDIGO, which attracted more than 1,600 visitors on September 27, 2016.

“It’s another confirmation that our gameplay works. We created the prototype and then stopped working on it, but people we know kept asking to start the game so they could play,” detailed Luuk. “The more they asked the more we thought about making it into a full game. We have attended quite some events now and every time the players love it. These reactions confirmed that we had to make this game, and this prize is another beautiful approval for us. We can’t wait to see what it does at the Indie Prize showcase.”

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Stupidi Pixel: Live and Design

December 6, 2016 — by David Radd

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Stupidi Pixel and their game Paintings & Thieves was recognized at Milan Games Week Indie, which is ran by the AESVI. This means that the team will be able to show Paintings & Thieves at Casual Connect Europe and Indie Prize and represent the Italian development scene internationally. Milan Games Week Indie is a partner event with Casual Connect.

“It was a big acknowledgment for the hard work put into this project. Also, it was an important boost of confidence since Paintings & Thieves is just our first game as a team, so it means we have started in the right direction and, hopefully, we can grow and get better,” said Fabio Taurisano, Producer at Stupidi Pixel. “We are humbled by the judges’ decision… we totally did not expect Paintings & Thieves to win! We’ll give our best to represent the Italian community at the event.”

Pixelated Paintings

Fabio says that Stupidi Pixel gave Paintings & Thieves a pixel art style because they love those sorts of games. They also wanted to do a museum theme because it’s under explored in video games and fits the two main phases of the game.

EventsIndustry

Casual Connect pushing casino envelope in Tel Aviv, Berlin

November 28, 2016 — by Casey Rock

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Casino-oriented attendees at Casual Connect Tel Aviv packed lecture hall 2 at The Charles Bronfman Auditorium earlier this month to dive into everything casino – from sweeping overviews of the social casino industry to detail-oriented lectures on building apps to ways non-casino developers can break into the casino industry.

Highlights included a social casino industry overview by industry leader Playtika’s Elad Kushnir in which he predicted casino operators will ultimately find it difficult to capitalize on social casino and will exit the market. Anatolii Henis of rising star Murka dove into how the company crafted a poker game for a younger generation. PlayStudios’ John Lin looked eastward and discussed how social casino is evolving in Asian markets.

Many other industry leaders and experts from companies such as FlowPlay, Gamblit, Eilers & Krejick Gaming, Rocket Games, GSN Games, Super Lucky Casino, Product Madness, iGaming Capital and Google also provided key insights on topics ranging from game mechanics, business acquisitions, skill-based games in casinos, business strategies, user acquisition, emerging markets and much more.

For those that missed out on the conference, lecture videos are available on Casual Connect’s official YouTube page.

Looking ahead to Berlin

Casual Connect will be building on the themes from Tel Aviv as well as reinventing itself in new and innovative ways through its Esports & Casino track during its upcoming conference in Berlin this February 7-9.

In addition to providing the expected high-quality content on social casino games, Casual Connect will also dive into esports – providing game developers with insights on streaming, esports game design, advice from esports teams and more. Finally, key lectures will discuss how the two different realms of casino and esports are coming together.

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Casual Connect Europe 2017 will take place at The Station Berlin.

Currently confirmed speakers include experts from Murka, Gamblit, Twitch, Wargaming.net, ESL, GameCo and more. You can view all currently confirmed speakers for the Esports & Casino track on Casual Connect Europe’s official speakers page.

Casual Connect will also offer actionable insights on next-gen technology such as VR and AR, funding, growth, emerging markets, data, analytics and more. Over 100 gaming leaders are expected to speak at Casual Connect Europe and over 2,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.

In addition to lectures and workshops, the conference will also provide multiple ways to network – including through the company’s Pitch & Match system and high-profile networking parties. You can learn more and register to attend the event now at europe.casualconnect.org.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

A Peak Into the Indie Games at This Year’s INDIGO Showcase

October 12, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, Virtuleap

About 40 indie games were lined up on September 27th to flocks of visitors at the Tivoli Vredenburg music complex in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The 7th edition of the INDIGO Showcase included an international mix of games ranging from prototypes to fully completed, retro 2D arcade to deeply immersive VR simulations, with experimental and applied-research nearly always at the fore.

The annual games exhibition is run by the Dutch Game Garden (partnered with Casual Connect), an incubator funded by the city and province of Utrecht to create employment and economic growth by stimulating the games industry in the Netherlands. Utrecht has quickly become known as the games capital of the country as a result.

INDIGO Showcase 2016 by Dutch Game Garden
INDIGO Showcase 2016 by Dutch Game Garden

A total of 110 titles were submitted this year and 38 were accepted to exhibit at the Dutch games exhibition. The organizers in fact decided to widen the eligibility criteria this year to include international studios, which ended up representing one-third of the final lineup.

Here’s a taste of the featured games:

EventsNews

Indie Prize USA 2016: What to Expect

June 30, 2016 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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One of the developers has just contacted me (yes it is 2 am 🙂 ) and has asked me to give him some information to persuade his investor to make his trip to Indie Prize USA possible as his investor doesn’t think it is a good idea to fly from Australia to San Francisco just to visit the conference. This article is my reply to those who are still hesitating whether to showcase their games or not.

First, let’s highlight WHO WILL VISIT INDIE PRIZE USA 2016.

  • Color Switch (75 millions downloads)
  • The infamous Liyla & the Shadows of War (a game based on the story about Palestinian people and rejection from AppStore)
  • The Forest Song (based on the Ukrainian folk novel, created by an American with Ukrainian roots)
  • Choices: Stories You Play which was #35 on the App Store’s Top Grossing Games list the first week after launch
  • Winners of local games’ contests from our Indie Indie Prize Nomination Partners
  • Up to 20 VR games in the showcase, as well as the opening of a new nomination genre Best VR Game!

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News

Indie Prize USA Submissions Due May 31

May 26, 2016 — by David Radd

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Attention all indie game developers! Submissions for Indie Prize USA are due May 31, 2016. The awards will be handed out during Casual Connect USA, taking place from July 18 – 20.  Click here to apply!

What Is Indie Prize?

Indie Prize is a great opportunity for indie developers. A scholarship designed specifically for indie developers, the goal of Indie Prize is to give indie developers from all over the world a chance to meet, talk about their experiences and showcase their games to each other and with other game industry professionals.

ContributionsGame DevelopmentIndie

FROM THIRD WORLD TO WORLD-CLASS: THE STORY OF “KILL THE PLUMBER” CO-DEVELOPER BARI SILVESTRE

January 9, 2016 — by Khail Santia of Moocho Brain and The Bamboard Game Project

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Pampanga, Philippines. Bari Silvestre’s games have been played 60 million times around the world. He has circumnavigated the globe as a recipient of various honors from Singapore to Amsterdam to San Francisco to Tokyo and, most recently, to Shanghai where territorial tensions between host and recipient countries were set aside in celebration of great game design. That celebrated game is “Kill the Plumber.” And this is the story of how one of its creators fought and stumbled his way from the fringes of the fringes to end up at the center in triumph.

Bari Silvestre (middle) winning the “Director’s Choice Award” at Indie Prize San Francisco 2013

ContributionsDevelopmentGame DevelopmentIndieOnline

Rising from the Wreckage: How Casual Connect Brought Us Back

November 30, 2015 — by Khail Santia of Moocho Brain and The Bamboard Game Project

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After eight arduous years trying to learn the craft of gamemaking, our work finally began to gain traction. One of our games was featured in Newgrounds and was positively reviewed by a game critic at Jay Is Games. Another game won an award from the Philippine Game Festival. We even had a European publisher to back us up.

But we took on too much too soon. Our expectations regarding cash flow were too high and having a team working from distant islands didn’t help either. We hung on as long as we could, but our studio simply disintegrated.

Asia 2015Video Coverage

The Double Life of Juan Karlo Licudine | Casual Connect Video

September 6, 2015 — by Casey Rock

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'Now, we are making sure to test as early as we possibly can.' – Juan Karlo LicudineClick To Tweet

In his lecture Dev by Day, Dev by Night, Juan Karlo Licudine explained how he’s managed to work full-time as a game developer and simultaneously work on his own indie projects at Accidental Rebel Games during his recent Casual Connect Asia speech. Find out how he struck a deal with his employer, what he learned about time management and whether he recommends the double workload in the video below. If you are thinking of going down this road, Juan has some great tips for you. He pushed himself very hard to get his game done as fast as possible. Looking back, he points out that, “People aren’t really going to care how long it took you to make the game. . . They are not going to care. [How long it took you] won’t matter at all.”

Europe 2015Video Coverage

Elad Kushnir: Strategy Is Important But Execution Is Everything | Casual Connect Video

July 17, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

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There's a lot of growth still coming' in the social casino niche, according to Elad Kushnir.Click To Tweet

The Social Casino industry changes rapidly, and developers need a strong understanding of the market to make an impact, Elad Kushnir explained in his Casual Connect Europe 2015 lecture. “In 2014, the (social casino) niche generated $2.84 billion of revenue,” he says. For more figures on social casino’s performance, see the video below.

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