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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.

Exclusive InterviewsIndieStudio Spotlight

ALL CAPS and Disco Flip: When Music is a Key Element of the Game

March 6, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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ALL CAPS is a startup game studio based in Aalborg, Denmark. They focus on creating exciting, entertaining games that keep players coming back to play again. Their first game, Block Amok was released in early 2015 and has been nominated for a number of awards. Now their new project, Disco Flip, has won the Audience Award at Game Scope, an Indie Prize Partner event and Denmark’s largest games festival. As winners, the ALL CAPS team was invited to Casual Connect Kyiv and Indie Prize Kyiv. Recently Gamesauce enjoyed asking Brian Nielsen, CEO of ALL CAPS, about their indie studio, their experience at Game Scope and, of course, Disco Flip.

Gamesauce: Tell us about ALL CAPS. What was your reason for founding this game studio? What would you say makes it different from other studios?

Brian: Well, to be honest, we hadn’t thought about founding a game studio. We were just four guys who loved making games and who had been working on a prototype for our first game, Block Amok, while we were attending Aalborg University. We didn’t have a plan for exactly what we wanted to do except we wanted to make Block Amok as awesome as possible as we felt a great game would have an easier time attracting attention from both players and the press.

EventsNews

Announcing the Indie Prize at Casual Connect USA Participants from Europe and Asia Part 1

December 27, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Europe and Asia are bringing some exciting participants to the Indie Prize during Casual Connect USA 2018 at Disneyland® Hotel. The games bring a variety of worlds and experiences, imaginary, realistic and even historical. The story lines are as varied as the environments, and challenge, adventure and learning are involved in all of them.

Game Title: Bushy Tail
Developer: Fuero Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: Poland

In Bushy Tail, three children are processing their experiences when refugees and foreign cultures suddenly arrive. They dive into the fictional world and tell the story of their hero, Little Fox, who goes through, adapts and overcomes the challenges of change. The game is constantly transforming, depending on which child is telling the story, giving the player the sense of influencing the plot.

EventsNews

Indie Developers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands Flock to Kyiv

October 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Developers from Northwestern countries in Europe including one team representing each of these countries: Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands will compete at the 20th Indie Prize which will be held in conjunction with Casual Connect Kyiv 2017.

Sweden’s participant in Indie Prize is an unusual adventure game that is already attracting attention in several categories in the app stores.

Game Title: Castle Cats
Developer: PocApp S
tudios
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.pocappstudios.com/

Castle Cats is a cat collection adventure. The player takes the role of the guild leader and works to defeat the ultimate enemy: The Evil Pugomancer. But you will have to play the game to find out how cat collection is such an adventure.

Castle Cats was featured as 8th in the New and Updated category of Google Play and 20th place for New Games We Love on Apple. It also received 15th place in the Action and Adventure category at launch on June 15th 2017.

Denmark’s entry in Indie Prize 2017 is an endless runner that adds the twist of music to the excitement of surmounting obstacles and defeating enemies.

Game Title: Disco Flip
Developer: ALL CAPS
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.allcapsgames.com/

Do you like action? How about music? Disco Flip combines the two with an endless runner world. There are countless characters, each with their own music and visuals. And the player must navigate both obstacles and enemies to succeed in this game.

EventsNews

Indie Prize Europe 2017 Winners Revealed

February 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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Photo by Lera Polska

Casual Games Association has announced the winners of the Indie Prize showcase. The honorees were revealed during a awards ceremony at Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, a tactical stealth game set in Japan’s Edo period by Mimimi Productions, won Best Game Design. Anshar Wars 2, a VR space shooter game by Ozwe Games, won Best VR Game. FRU, a puzzle platformer that that uses Kinect to make the player’s silhouette into a “portal” between two worlds by Through Games, won Most Innovative Game. Blink and Die, a VR rhythm title where the music defines the level by Sureksu, won Best Game Audio and Best Kids & Family Game

“Indie Prize is becoming bigger and bigger year by year – it is amazing and overwhelming to see indie talent and spirit growing so very strong all over the world,” says Yuliya Moshkaryova, Director of Indie Prize. “On behalf of Casual Connect and Indie Prize, we cordially congratulate all the finalists, nominees and winners, and are looking forward to seeing more games in the future.”

Photo by Lera Polska

Other winners include Figment, a 3D isometric action-adventure where players fight against the anxieties of a 40-year old man by Bedtime Digital Games, won Best Game Art. Empathy, an adventure game where you explore the memories from people of the path by Pixel Night, won Best Game Narrative. Lightfield, an omnidirectional racing game described as parkour with a space ship by Lost in the Garden, won Best Multiplayer Game. Super Pet Hero, a voxel game about dodging traffic and pet saving by Amused Sloth, won Best Mobile Game. Lastly CoverFire by 1MBand had the honor to win the Best in Show award which was voted for at the event. 

Indie Prize has partnered with many local game contests from around the world. This grants the opportunity for various regional winners to showcase their games at Casual Connect. All told, developers from 63 countries submitted 470 games for the international Indie Prize scholarship, an increase of 20 percent compared to last year’s Indie Prize Europe 2016. Forty-two judges selected the 130 indie games to be showcased in the Indie Prize area during Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Celebrating a well earned moment of triumph, photo by Lera Polsky

Fantastic Nominees:

BEST GAME AUDIO
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 developed by Crazy Monkey Studios
The Long Reach developed by TLR Team
Beat the Game developed by Worm Animation

BEST GAME DESIGN
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
FRU developed by Through Games
The Adventure Pals developed by Massive Monster
Okhlos developed by The Adventure Pals

BEST GAME ART
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Vive le Roi developed by Seccia
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games

BEST GAME NARRATIVE
Empathy by Pixel Night
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Code 7 developed by Good Wolf Studios
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
LIGHTFIELD developed by Lost in the Garden
Super Rocket Shootout developed by Oddly Shaped Pixels
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
Akuto: Mad World developed by Hut 90

BEST KIDS AND FAMILY GAME
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
House of Languages developed by Fox3D Entertainment OU
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Trains VR developed by The House of Fables

BEST MOBILE GAME
Super Pet Hero developed by Amused Sloth
VOI developed by Yunus AYYILDIZ (gamebra.in)
unWorded developed by bento
Euclidean Lands developed by Miro Straka

BEST VR GAME
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
The Biumbis developed by 3OGS
Wrath of Loki VR Adventure developed by The House of Fables

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
FRU developed by Through Games
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes

You can find the full list of Indie Prize Berlin 2016 finalists at indieprize.org.

Photo taken by Lera Polska

Join Indie Prize Facebook community to stay updated about Indie Prize https://www.facebook.com/groups/870174783048528/

The winners are supported by Unity (Platinum sponsor), Korean Game Developers Association (Gold sponsor) and the prizes for winners are provided by: Tenjin, Photon, Amazon Appstore, Appodeal, SpeedLink, ironSource and IBM.

ContributionsDevelopmentEventsIndieNews

Nordic Countries & Northern Europe at Indie Prize Berlin 2017

January 14, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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Three games from Finland and from Sweden, one game from Denmark, from Ireland and from Estonia, two games from Lithuania and eight games from United Kingdom will be showcased at the international Indie Prize showcase during Casual Connect Europe 2017. Among these games there are two games that were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: Sweden Game Conference from Sweden and by GameOn from Lithuania.

Europe 2016Video Coverage

Kim Sloth Bengtsen: New Opportunities and New Challenges in the Gambling Sector

April 21, 2016 — by Catherine Quinton

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'If you have no one to share your achievements with, then what’s the point?' - Kim Sloth BengtsenClick To Tweet

Do subscription-based business and casual gaming go together? Discover the what, when, where and how to monetize one of the more alternative ways of working with casual gaming in this lecture from Casual Connect Europe by Kim Sloth Bengsten. As the CEO of Lotto24, Kim revealed that they try to be both in the emerging market and the established market. To do this, Kim advises, “try to outmaneuver your competitors by price and quality but also being innovative and thinking about new products that you can add to your portfolio.” To hear more insights, tune in below.

USA 2015Video Coverage

Jakob Lykkegaard and How Data Transformed Teams and Games at Playlab | Casual Connect Video

October 25, 2015 — by Emily Baker

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Jakob LykkegaardJoin the CEO & Co-founder of Playlab Jakob Lykkegaard as he spoke at Casual Connect USA last August. He talked about how Playlab manages their internal teams in Bangkok and Manila with data and how they have created an internal economy to give game teams and producers freedom to pick while still keeping accountability and high creativity alive. He also touched on how Playlab is scaling this way with help from external game teams. He iterated, “Vietnam and Malaysia are South-East Asia’s fastest growing markets for mobile gaming and revenue.”

Europe 2015Video Coverage

Max Sorensen: Identify Legal Risks Early | Casual Connect Video

September 8, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

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'You have to show that you can actually deal with people's privacy.' – Max SorensenClick To Tweet

Max Sorensen, legal counsel and data privacy officer at LEGO Group, contributed his legal expertise on data privacy to a Casual Connect Europe panel on children’s online privacy. “If you look from a European perspective, data privacy and privacy is, in fact, a human right,” he said. To watch the entire panel discussion, see the video below.

Asia 2015Video Coverage

Jakob Lykkegaard: Building a Sustainable Business | Casual Connect Video

June 9, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

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'Playlab will do only freemium; that is the only way forward.' –Jakob LykkegaardClick To Tweet
Jakob Lykkegaard
Jakob Lykkegaard, CEO of Playlab

Last year, Playlab grew from 20 people to 100, and CEO Jakob Lykkegaard detailed what the company is doing to make sure success doesn’t crush out creativity in his Casual Connect Asia 2015 lecture. “One of the reasons for that [growth] is that last year, we at Casual Connect also met Niel [Dagondon] from Anino Games, and we acquired that studio in Manila a month after Casual Connect or so,” Jakob says.

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