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ContributionsEventsIndieNews

Introducing Eastern and Southern European Finalists for Indie Prize Singapore 2017

April 19, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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Developers from six countries will represent Eastern Europe at Indie Prize during Casual Connect Asia in Singapore. Five games from Poland, two games from Spain and one game from Czech Republic, Russia, Cyprus, Italy and Turkey.

The single representative from Italy is the game Downward. The game was nominated by Indie Prize nomination partner in Italy: Codemotion Rome. Codemotion is the biggest tech conference in EMEA. It is about all programming languages and technologies.

ContributionsDevelopment

A “Real” How-to for Unreal Engine

April 12, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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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?

Virtual Reality

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.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Bill Mooney: The Next Mobile Esports Revolution | Casual Connect Video

April 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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I still hope to think that my proudest moment is still to come. - Bill MooneyClick To Tweet

The three elements which comprise an esport are: competition, organized tournaments and spectatorship. In 1972, esports began with a Spacewar tournament. About 50 years later, esports has evolved into its own entity within the games industry. Join Bill Mooney, CPO of Skillz, at Casual Connect Europe at his talk entitled Esports 101: The Past, Present and Future of an Industry on the Rise as he explores the history behind esports and talks about the future as well. Esports has a projected audience of 180 million by 2019 and over $5 billion in revenue by 2020. Bill described, “Esports drives the committed audience.” To hear more insights into this exciting part of the games industry, tune in to Bill’s full session below.

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.”

ContributionsIndustryPR & Marketing

Six Ways Chinese Mobile Game Devs Can Improve Their Western PR Launches

April 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By James Kaye, Director of Big Games Machine

Lots of attention is given to helping Western developers launch their games in China. Virtually every gaming conference will feature at least one talk on the topic. Yet, there is little focus the other way round. This is largely because Chinese developers will often use a Western publisher. For the few that decide to self-publish, they will often seek the help of an agency partner.

James Kaye is Director & Co-Founder at Big Ideas Machine

Over the past few years, we’ve worked with several Chinese game developers wanting to launch their games in the West. As specialists in gaming PR and marketing, this means we often see developers making the same common mistakes, time and time again.

If you’re a Chinese developer, a publisher or even PR who has never worked with Chinese game developers before, here are six core areas we think deserve your attention. If you’re not a Chinese developer, then many of these tips will still likely apply to you.

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Alexander Nasonov: Why Free-to-Play is the Future of Children’s Apps | Casual Connect Video

April 1, 2017 — by David Radd

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Art is unpractical, but still is the most valuable thing in our life. - Alexander NasonovClick To Tweet

Premium kids apps sales have decreased drastically: even using Dinotrux or Shrek didn’t help Fox and Sheep to achieve planned sales volumes. Bobaka’s Green Riding Hood as well didn’t sell well even through it was named iPad App of the Year by Apple in 2015. Why out? Transform your creation into a free-to-play children’s educational service with episodic content and parents-friendly microtransactions, suggests Alexander Nasonov, co-founder and executive producer at Bobaka in his Casual Connect Tel Aviv session, explaining it on the case of Green Riding Hood. 

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Maurice Wheeler: Seeing Children’s Needs Through Adult Eyes | Casual Connect Video

March 31, 2017 — by David Radd

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Children aren't just small adults, they have extremely different motivations and reward mechanics. -…Click To Tweet

Every time you think you’ve “cracked it” with what children are into, you attend a workshop or focus group and they do something and confuse you again, admits Maurice Wheeler of Little Big Partnership. Maurice also notes we become less creative as we grow up, so the Little Big Partnership is focused on helping other businesses make sure they are creating something that will work with kids and their families. “With digital devices children get quickly the result they could be proud of“, Maurice comments in the Casual Connect Europe lecture below. 

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Planet of the Apps: Winning With a Circle Sweep

March 31, 2017 — by David Radd

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Circle Sweep is a mobile puzzle game from developer Planet of the Apps. While mobile puzzle games is a popular genre, the developer feels like they have an original spin that people will enjoy.

“Planet of the Apps is a small studio and we love doing games,” said Ben Engel-Kacen, Planet of the Apps Founder and CEO. “Our strength and passion had always been innovating new gameplay mechanics. We have released over 30 different games and with each we did our best to create an original gameplay mechanic which we enjoy playing ourselves.”

“At one point, we saw that the matching puzzle genre is a very popular one but with very little innovation. Everyone just keeps copying the same mechanics, and sometimes even art style, from the leading games, making all games feel the same,” added Ben. “We felt the time is right for a fresh game mechanic, and that if we’ll manage to hit the right one, we may even win a large percentage of the players.”

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Robby Yung: Delivering the Power of Brands to Kids Apps | Casual Connect Video

March 29, 2017 — by David Radd

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Kids are a loyal audience. - Robby YungClick To Tweet

Kids games in the app store has some of the most diverse content and business models in the game industry. There are many ways to break into this market whether it is by freemium or subscription services. Robby explained that “Today there is a limited content with Premium in the kids category… Other categories have surpassed the premium category, like the subscriptions platforms”. Developers need to keep in mind that apps for kids need to not only be fun. Join Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands, in his session The Complexities of Creating for the Kids Category during Casual Connect Europe 2017 as he describes the positive side of working with brands. “Kids are a loyal audience” after all and “Working with brands can be very exciting even for the development team” were just some of the wisdom that Robby brought during this session. For more information, see his full session below.

AudioExclusive Interviews

Rich Aitken: Driving for the Right Mix

March 23, 2017 — by David Radd

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Rich Aitken is a composer, producer and sound mixer who has worked on a variety of TV, movie and video game projects over the years. Rich is and in many ways has always been more focused on being a mixer and producer than being a composer of music.

“I’ve had a long career mixing records, TV scores, film scores and game scores,” detailed Rich. “I’ve written for all those media too but games often require a lot of music so there is more opportunity to write more! I’ve been mixing since 1990. The composition part reflects that I was a songwriter on EMI for many years so maybe that’s where the writing part still pokes its head up. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy writing and composing but production is where I contribute the most. I mean, I get to work with wonderful composers like Joris de Man or Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was exclusively a composer…. there are such incredibly creative people out there and I’m stunned at the talents I see in the composition world. I like to work with those people.”

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