Casual Connect USA 2017 is coming up August 1-3 in Seattle, Washington. While it will feature details on all sides of the industry, from game creation to marketing and publishing, the Design Innovation track in particular will take place on Tuesday, August 1 introduced by EMCEE Mike Hines, Developer Advocate at Amazon.
Innovation from Experimentation
Prototyping can be productive but perilous, with great rewards coming from experimental designs. Scott Jon Siegel, Indie Developer and Game Design Consultant, wants developers to not worry about failure and focus on the rewards that can be had from experimentation.
Casual Connect USA 2017 is coming up in Seattle, Washington from August 1-3. The conference will cover a variety of subjects from developing, publishing, and marketing of games for all platforms. Taking place on Wednesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 3 will be the Design & Development track kicked off by morning EMCEE Chris Lefebvre, Head of Business Development at Tapdaq, and afternoon EMCEE Macy Mills, Head of Business Development at GameInfluencer GmbH, with second day EMCEE Jordan Blackman, Founder of Bright Black leading the track on August 3rd.
Riana McKeith is an art director at Berlin based mobile games developer Wooga. She is one of the art directors in Wooga’s internal Puzzle Studio, that focuses on the development of mobile matching games. In her role she’s overseen the visual development of many projects and at the same time served as art lead for FUTURAMA: Game of Drones, a match 4 puzzler that launched earlier in 2016. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Riana dove into story narration through art. Learn more about Riana and game art in our exclusive Q&A below.
By Mike McCann, Creative Director OF Bus Beat Down, GoRound Games
It got me thinking… I like my job. But the commute? Not so much. And if there’s one thing that’s even worse than the wearisome ride, it’s having to share it with so many inconsiderate boobs. I’ll admit, thoughts of thwarting them has at times consumed me. Having commiserated with an army of like-minded commuters at the Park & Ride, it was plain to see I’m not alone in that sentiment. Yet we suffer through it, quietly wishing for a way to avenge the jerks… without getting arrested. That insight inspired the concept for Bus Beat Down. And that army of like-minded commuters may just be a built-in market that’s ready made for this project.
We are proud to introduce our best mobile game finalist Mushroom Wars 2 made by Zillion Whales! As a winner at the GTP Indie Cup event, Zillion Whales has been given the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize Singapore at Casual Connect Asia 2017. The winter season 2017 of GTP Indie Cup has received more submissions than ever. Our jury board was excited about growing professional level of games from CIS indie developers and Mushroom Wars just proved this growth.
This year at GTP, we continue gathering best talents at our event and the summer season will be more helpful for developers not only by a variety of nominations and prizes but also with new Critic’s Choice award from CIS game press critics and journalists. We hope this story about our finalist will encourage you to take a part in the next Cup.
By Ksenia Shneyveys, Marketing Communications Manager at Zillion Whales
Mushroom Wars 2 is the newest game of a popular RTS series with a rich history.
Back in 2009, inspired by good old Galcon, the original Mushroom Wars was released. We polished this gameplay mechanics to a luster, added signature fungal setting, introduced morale notion and different types of buildings for greater depth.
Mushroom Wars 2 preserved the features that made Mushroom Wars so enjoyable and supplemented them with MOBA elements such as hero characters with unique sets of skills and co-op 2 vs 2 mode. The game is out on iOS and Apple TV. It is coming to Android, Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year.
By: Chris Murphy, Unreal Engine Evangelist and Director of Pub Games
Darkness surrounds you, black as night for what seems like light years away. You’ve seen 16 sunrises and sunsets in the past 24-hours. Suddenly, a lightning flash strikes through the quiet. Your head whips around, searching for more under the spotlight. The flash is reflecting off the shiny solar arrays of the space station, and back to the camera. The gravity (and the lack thereof) of the moment hits you: you’re in a 460-ton platform hurtling toward Earth at about 17,150 miles per hour, and you’re a long way from home….or are you?
To prepare and train their astronauts for the surreal experience of living on the International Space Station (ISS), NASA uses a perfect replica of ISS developed in Unreal Engine. The fabricated, three-dimensional environment incorporates many of the tasks and challenges that astronauts will face while in the $150-billion ISS, orbiting 240 miles above Earth. This training is critical to their success and ability to explore space.
If it's ugly and people enjoy it, it will be much more enjoyable once it looks good. - Ron RejwanClick To Tweet
Jelly Button Games co-founder and CTO Ron Rejwan started learning to code at the age of 12 aiming to build games, and has been interested in it since they remember themself. At the age of 18 they were drafted to the ISR army as elite army programmer.
In 2011 Ron founded Jelly Button together with 4 co-founders, and since then has been the company’s CTO. While The Jelly Button team agrees game creation is based on feelings and instincts, they prefer playtesting at early stages to validate it. In their Casual Connect Tel Aviv Ron Rejwan explains their approach to playtesting and prototyping, and shares the tips and tricks one needs to know to follow their footsteps.
The Deep End Games made a splash on the gaming scene in mid-2015 when they announced Perception, their first-person narrative horror adventure game that puts players in the shoes of a blind woman who uses her hearing and wits to solve mysteries and escape a deadly presence inside an abandoned mansion. The game and studio has been featured in publications such as IGN, Kotaku and PC Gamer.
Here is a quick look at how the studio and game came to be – and some key takeaways other developers might be able to benefit from.
The Deep End Games is the husband-wife team of Bill and Amanda Gardner – who run the studio out of their home. Bill has a history in game development – working at Irrational Games in many positions and on multiple projects – while Amanda has extensive history in writing and English.
How does using the game medium benefit the experience I want to create? - Stav GoldsteinClick To Tweet
Stav Goldstein is a freelance game designer and artist who also teaches game art at Mentor College. In 2015, Stav founded Fireberry Studio while releasing the first chapter of their title The Splitting and has since released the second chapter of the title.
Stav really enjoys the advantages of working freelance, including sticking to their own schedule and choosing to work on projects that are interesting and challenging. But there is also the disadvantage of working from home – it can be lonely at times. At Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016, Stav shared their experience of developing their game series, as well as gave tips and tricks to the aspiring developers who also want to create worlds of their own.
“It is basically a huge opportunity to spread the word,” said Jan. “Since I am the only one developer of this game, it is very hard to contact a wider audience and get in touch with the press.”
Mashinky is based on players creating their own transportation empire based around trains over multiple time periods. Jan has always loved railway transportation and the way steam engines worked, even owning a model railroad as a child. Besides that, Jan says the primary inspiration for the game was very simple.