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Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Anucha Aribarg: Making Things Pixel Perfex

February 17, 2017 — by David Radd

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Anucha Aribarg of Pixel Perfex is the lead designer for Earth Atlantis. The game was given an award for graphics at the BIC Festival 2016 and was selected to show at Tokyo Game Show 2016.

“I was surprised when it happened,” said Anucha. “I knew that my game art style was very ‘different’ but I didn’t expect to win an award for Excellence in Art. I didn’t even stay for the award announcement.”

“When I first thought about making a game that looks like an old explorer sketchbook from 14th century, I only thought that the idea was interesting and it would be so much fun to do it.” Anucha continued. “To know that people acknowledged and liked it, that was just awesome.”

ContributionsDevelopmentIndustry

How to Become the Next Big Thing in Video Gaming

February 14, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Hiro Taylor, Founder of HeroPay

Take it from me, starting a business can be hard. There are hundreds of things to think about and while you’re thinking about those hundreds of things, another thousand or so will come to mind. Being an entrepreneur is really a 24/7 job and it can be a total roller coaster ride. You’ve secured funding: yay! You’ve missed your target client acquisition number: **tears**.

At HeroPay, we’ve created a platform that gives business owners the ability to compare different credit card processors. We’ve experienced many of the ups and downs, the flips and dips of starting a business, so now is the time for a road map of the awesome tools available to all types of entrepreneurs!

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.

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Suhail Habib: Make Games, Have Fun

February 7, 2017 — by David Radd

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Suhail Habib is the sole game designer of 87, creating games for mobile, web, and desktop. Having worked with few resources and mostly solo, they noted that it’s a challenge to reach a level where you get success and recognition, but it’s worth it.

Suhail Habib is the sole game designer of 87

“My most successful game to date was a webgame I released in mid-2015, titled Drink Beer, Neglect Family. It went on to be played by several hundred thousand people, and was highly rated. When I think about what set it apart from other games I’ve created which did not go on to be successes, one thing jumps to mind above everything else: its personality,” said Suhail. “I feel that, for a game to be successful, it needs to be brimming with personality. This can manifest in either a quirky premise, striking visuals, or an interesting mechanic that is explored. This is the way small-time developers can set themselves apart from bigger studios, which are more averse to doing something that’s off the beaten path, and in turn garner some coverage as well.”

“I was inspired by a combination of elements. I was always into games and into programming, so my becoming a game developer was sort of inevitable. But here is what actually struck the spark:

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Headbang Club: Making Indie Games Metal

January 31, 2017 — by David Radd

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Headbang Club are the creators of Double Kick Heroes. The indie game recently won two awards at Indie Games Play 7 including the Jury’s Choice Award; the event is designed to honor indie developers from France and the surrounding region. As winners, they have also been given the chance to compete again at Indie Prize which is part of Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

“It was unexpected! Every time we win an award we are like WTF?,” said David “Blackmagic” Elahee. “There were so many good and very serious games beside ours!! Awards are an acknowledgment that we can stand our chance before the pros and the public. They gave us self confidence to dare more things. It’s a push to go further and better.”

“It feels incredible, like we have found a super weapon in a MMORPG!” added Guillaume “Gyhyom” Breton. “We can continue our daily struggle with more confidence! It means a lot because it’s both a public and professional award! That means the game can touch a really large audience!”

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Amir Dori: Make Kids Happy! | Casual Connect Video

January 29, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Games in education are not killing the passion for learning and that’s a huge achievement. - Amir DoriClick To Tweet

Amir Dori, Senior Game Designer for Matific, had strong advice: forget grades. During Amir’s session at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, he explained ways failing is important, how grading takes the fun out of learning and how games can help kids extend their potential with engaging educational content – without killing their passion for learning. Amir stressed, “They are teaching you to be afraid of being wrong rather than seeing your mistakes as an opportunity to improve. Failure is extremely important, especially for kids because if you want to better at what you are doing, you need to know what you are doing wrong.”

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

Revamping the Little Vampire

January 25, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Clinton Wong, MD at PARIUNOS

I was dreaming of making games, 20 years back, and here I am today. It all started in early 2014 where my dream starts to shift into reality when the right time and the right people stumble together. Being an indie game developer is really fun. You hold the cards on every single bit of the game. You call the shots for the development, the visuals, and most of all, the gameplay. No Dracula! is one of the early games from Pariunos. The game focuses in Romania with the protagonist helping the townsfolk of a village to hunt down the infamous blood-sucker, Dracula. I can still remember the excitement of releasing No Dracula! in Google Play and the next thing is to wait. Waiting for people to download and play. It was not a hit and so the bumpy road sets in.

The game took us three months to completion encompassing the first brainstorm session to the release date. When I mentioned ‘us’, I meant a graphic artist, a freelance programmer and myself back then. It was definitely not a good start since we lacked experience on game development and marketing but giving up is not in the list. I started to gather information and comments on the game and I set my journey again but this time with a brand new team. We decided to revamp No Dracula!, thus the name, No Dracula! Revamp. The game was successfully released on 23rd December 2016 just before Christmas with a whole new gameplay, evolved visuals and with on-going updates of different mythical creatures and monsters to be defeated just by tapping.

Meet Dracula and his villains from Romania

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Konstanty Kalicki: Demonic Paper Craft

January 24, 2017 — by David Radd

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Konstanty Kalicki is the producer and co-founder for Thing Trunk studio. The studio’s Return 2 Games: Book of Demons (part of the R2G Series) won the Best Game Art award at Indie Prize in Tel Aviv and Best Game at FreeGalaktus. The FreeGalaktus contest is run by the Galaktus PR Agency, giving indie developers a chance to win PR coverage and earn slots in indie gamedev events around the world, with sponsors provide additional prizes such as Unity Pro plan for a year or access to the Brand24 social media monitoring tool. As winner of Best Game from FreeGalaktus, Thing Trunk has won a spot at Indie Prize during Casual Connect Europe.

“For Tel Aviv edition we got accepted with the help of the Fundacja Indie Games Polska foundation. Those awesome people work really hard towards promoting and helping Polish indie devs. We really had no expectations, the competition was fierce,” said Konstanty. “We just wanted to show our game. That’s why we were surprised and delighted when we won Best Game Art. We certainly feel more confident about the game now. We can take part in Indie Prize Awards Berlin thanks to Galaktus, a PR agency that organized contest for best indie games. Book of Demons won and as a result we got nominated for this edition of Indie Prize. Really excited to see how we will fare this time.”

EventsIndustry

GREE CEO to Speak on Industry Change at Casual Connect Europe

January 23, 2017 — by Casey Rock

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Andrew Sheppard has had a productive career – playing key roles at companies like Kabam, hi5, Electronic Arts and Outspark. Now, as the newly appointed CEO of GREE International Entertainment, Inc., he will share his expertise and insights with the audience at Casual Connect Europe in Berlin, Germany, as its keynote speaker on February 7.

So what type of experience does Andrew bring to the conference and what can developers and other games industry professionals hope to learn? Here is a quick look back at Andrew’s career and what to look forward to at Casual Connect Europe.

ContributionsDevelopmentEventsIndieNews

Devs Coming from India, Turkey, Korea and Egypt to Casual Connect Europe

January 19, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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Three games from India and Turkey, one game from Republic of Korea, two games from Tunisia and one game from Egypt at the international Indie Prize showcase in Berlin during Casual Connect Europe 2017. Among them three games were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: NASSCOM Game Developers Conference in India, Run Double Jump in Egypt and Tunisian Game Awards in Tunisia.

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