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Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Jammin’ on Bolt Riley with Creator Oded Sharon

August 26, 2016 — by David Radd

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Five years in the making, Bolt Riley: A Reggae Adventure Game was recently released. Set in Jamaica in the 1970s, it tells the story of the titular main character who wants to become a reggae star. Bolt Riley is a point-and-click adventure game set in the Caribbean with a soundtrack tinged with local flavor, which despite the different subject matter and time period, is evocative of the seminal Monkey Island series. Creator Oded Sharon is open in saying that Monkey Island is an inspiration for the Bolt Riley game.

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“Yes, I’m a huge fan of both Monkey Island and its creator Ron Gilbert. In fact, Monkey Island is the game that inspired me the most when becoming a game developer,” said Oded. “I was actually one of the first people online to do a crowdfunding campaign, a joke website called ‘Buy a car for Ron Gilbert’ which raised money to buy Ron Gilbert a car.  We ended up raising enough money to actually buy Ron a toy car which I gave to him at GDC 2008.”

BusinessExclusive InterviewsPR & Marketing

Wally Nguyen: Why Downloads Are Dead

August 25, 2016 — by David Radd

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Wally Nguyen, CEO of mNectar, helped found the company about three and a half years ago. Inspiration hit while on iTunes, they were able to listen to a song for 30 seconds before buying it or the album. Wally had a “light-bulb moment” that if you could do that with a song, then why not with a game.

“My co-founder comes from a technical background and there were ads that let you manipulate an image back then, and I asked if they had that, why can’t you play a game?” Wally said. “Back then we raised a little bit of a money with developers like with Kabam being our first customers. With playable ads, 99 percent of our customers are game developers or publishers, giving people a sample of their games.”

Asia 2016Game DevelopmentVideo Coverage

IMBA Interactive: Sounding Off in Singapore | Casual Connect Video

August 24, 2016 — by David Radd

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Sensitivity, empathy and grace should be (equal to) assertiveness and confidence. - Gwen GuoClick To Tweet

When it comes to working with sound designers/composers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way of having an effective audio pipeline; it depends on which practices suit your company’s working style or culture the most to bring out the best in your game. In their Casual Connect Asia 2016 lecture, IMBA Interactive’s co-founders Gwen Guo and Sharon Kho shared various project postmortems from small, bite-sized casual games to AAA titles, and discussed how you can find the best audio pipeline for your team. They mentioned: “(Sound designers) ask a lot of questions. Besides technical requirements, we ask to understand the soul of the games.”

Editorial

DEV 101: Four Things Not to Do to Your Players

August 16, 2016 — by David Radd

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Recently, Ska Studios announced that the PS Vita port of their title Salt and Sanctuary has been delayed. It was originally released for PS4 and Windows PC in March. The game is being ported to Vita by Sickhead Games, while Ska Studios (a team of only two people) ports Salt and Sanctuary to other regions.

While this seems normal enough, the developer James Silva (in explaining the delays as being a result of middleware issues), attempted to cut off any toxic reactions. “Sanity policy: I’m going to delete any post berating us for not having the Vita port done,” said James on Facebook. “Another studio is working on the Vita port. Yelling at either studio isn’t going to speed up anything.”

Not only does it really turn a good mood sour fast, but I just hate to see the industry becoming such a toxic place. – James Silva

“As a general plea, I wish everyone could be civil to developers. In my nine years of professional indie game development, I’ve seen attitudes go from 95 percent supportive/5 percent meh to 50 percent supportive/50 percent angry, impatient, and downright hurtful,” they added. “Not only does it really turn a good mood sour fast, but I just hate to see the industry becoming such a toxic place.”

EditorialEventsNews

VR: Investing, Exclusives and Mobile’s Future

August 7, 2016 — by David Radd

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Recently, we posted an article talking about the near future of VR. Given the statements made on the state of VR from various industry luminaries at Casual Connect USA, we’re taking a look back at the market to reflect on its current state.

“Scary” VR Investment

Mitch Lasky, who has had multiple successful investments in their career including Riot Games and Snapchat, considers the current state of the VR market as overfunded. They’re a bit gun-shy about investing in VR, and it goes back to Facebook acquiring Oculus.

“When I look at it more structurally, I’d say something that may sound a little strange: perhaps the Facebook acquisition of Oculus wasn’t the greatest thing for the development of virtual reality in the long-run,” said Mitch. “It set such a high watermark, and it rung the bell so loudly for the industry, that it sort of forced the hand.”

AudioExclusive Interviews

Rob King: The Might and Majesty of Sound

August 6, 2016 — by David Radd

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Rob King has been doing sound work in the video gaming industry since the early ’90s. While he’s probably best known for his work on the Might & Magic and EverQuest series, he’s also done work on Prototype 2, Jade Empire, and the Fable series.

Rob’s work extends out from music composition to general sound production, having won the Grand-Prize for the 2004 Yamaha International Music Production Contest and winning of the 2004 Los Angeles Music Awards for “Best Engineer”. He has also worked various film and TV projects, including The Legend of Korra. Rob has also made music with various bands, winning “Modern Rock Album of the Year” for his work on the CD Addictions & Scars by his band Red Delicious.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndieUSA 2016

The Best and Brightest of Indie Games Were Announced at the 15th Indie Prize Awards

July 20, 2016 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST OF INDIE GAMES WERE ANNOUNCED AT THE 15TH INDIE PRIZE AWARDS
in San Francisco during Casual Connect USA.

I will take you through the the best and the brightest games in game industry to make sure you are introduced to the new upcoming hits in game development! From 293 game applications, Indie Prize judges selected 100 the best indie games. These winning teams were provided with a scholarship to participate in the biggest showcase for indie developers along with other finalists. From there the judges narrowed the games down further to the top ten games, worthy of recognition!

ContributionsDevelopmentIndustry

ZPLAY Participates in Casual Connect: Committed to the Globalization Strategy

July 17, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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Casual Connect USA will be held in San Francisco on 18th-20th July 2016. Talents in casual games will gather here, displaying a diversified window in the game industry. ZPLAY, with its popular mobile games PopStar! Official Version, BBTAN, Daddy Long Legs and new games BBTAN 2, Inner Circle, etc. will participate at Casual Connect USA, focusing on its diversified formats within game industry with game developers all over the world.

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DevelopmentEditorial

Street Fighter V Update Attempts Second Impact

July 13, 2016 — by David Radd

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Capcom has updated Street Fighter V with a massive patch that includes a large Story Mode and other features were absent in the launch of the game. We’ll examine the issues surrounding the way the game launched, the roll out of features and what takeaways developers can have from this experience.

What Street Fighter V Had Initially

The launch of the game felt very focused on the hardcore fighting game community. To those players, most won’t touch single-player content at all – as long as the game is interesting and competitive to play with good net-code, that will be enough. For some, Street Fighter V seemed to be a success, and the game has received well over 4,000 entrants into the 2016 Evolution Championship Series (EVO), which is a record number of entrants. The release timing in February was key to give players enough time to practice Street Fighter V for the Capcom Pro Tour series.

News

Design Innovators Talk Next-Gen Solutions

July 9, 2016 — by David Radd

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Successful designers will tell you, it’s not just how good your game is, but also how it’s advertised to get the word out, if it’s monetized properly to generate enough revenue, and if it’s sustainable enough in the long term.

Our various speakers have experienced the breadth of the industry and will look to share their secrets to success at Casual Connect USA. In the Design Innovation track, they’ll look at the future and prognosticate where the industry is going with some of the most creative people in video gaming.

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