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DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndieStudio Spotlight

Demagog Studio and Golf Club: Wasteland

November 20, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Demagog Studio and their game Golf Club: Wasteland was the winner at Horizon Pitchslap Belgrade 2017. After winning this award, they met with several members of the jury, who all were helpful with suggestions for the next steps to take with the game. One of them, Nikola Ĉavić, introduced them to Apple, giving them new impetus to the project. Now they are collaborating with both Apple and Unity and have won two more awards.

At Casual Connect Europe 2018 Indie Prize, Demagog Studio aimed to shine a light on Golf Club: Wasteland . It was released in June 2018 on iOS. They hope to bring Demogog Studio to the attention of a wider geographic audience.

A Multimedia Project

Igor Simić, who leads Demagog Studio, works in contemporary art and film and is represented by Galerie Anita Beckers in Frankfurt, Germany. The results of the sales of installation and video allow Igor to invest in other projects, such as Golf Club: Wasteland. This project is more than simply a game; from Igor’s perspective it is a multimedia project encompassing a video game, an original soundtrack, and music videos.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Brian Schwab: A More Intimate Connection to Technology | Casual Connect Video

October 13, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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I try to not only have a good idea, but to fully understand my audience as far as possible. - Brian…Click To Tweet

Mixed reality is the combination of the real world with digital content, allowing developers to bring games and interaction to the real world around you. This relatively new medium presents a number of unique challenges not normally faced by “normal” game AI. Because both the real world and the virtual world need to understand the other, AI and data parsing are huge areas for AI work. In a talk called Bringing Pixels To The World at Casual Connect Europe 2018 in London, Aleissia Laidacker, Interaction Director and Brian Schwab, Director of Interaction Lab at Magic Leap
discussed the ins and outs of mixed reality. This session explained the “what, why, and how” of mixed reality to develop truly immersive experiences. Instead of bringing you into the story [like screen games in MR] the digital objects are in our world, like Roger Rabbit. Tune in to the session below for more insights.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Reko Ukko: Balancing Art and Business in Games | Casual Connect Video

September 18, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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As long as there's creativity involved, I'm happy. - Reko UkkoClick To Tweet

In a highly competitive industry, Best Fiends has managed to grow its mobile entertainment franchise into a $100 million brand. In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled How to Leverage Game Design to Sustain Brand Awareness, Reko Ukko, VP of Game Design at Seriously, shared his insights on how to successfully grow an audience and increase engagement through storytelling, new feature updates and holiday themed events.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Owen McCarthy: Pushing Boundaries | Casual Connect Video

September 4, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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There is a little bit of instinct involved in this and mine hasn't failed me yet... - Owen McCarthyClick To Tweet

If you have ever been to a theme park or large carnival, you know first hand how crowded such places can be. As a game developer, have you have tried to tackle simulating something like that in a game? Frontier Development’s Principal Programmer Owen McCarthy Traditional has some pointers. In a talk at Casual Connect Europe in London entitled Simulating 10,000 Guests in Planet Coaster, Owen gave an overview of how Frontier did it in Planet Coaster. They were able to successfully simulate over 10,000 park guests in a player-created environment by using potential field research based on continuum crowds. In the presentation, he takes a deep dive into the studio’s development process to show how they took this system from prototype to full production. See the full session below.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Richard Bartle: Games Are a Force for Good | Casual Connect Video

August 15, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Games are a force for good, and the more know how to design them, the better games will be. - Richard…Click To Tweet

The idea of Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic for many but for game developers in particular. Enjoy this non-technical presentation which draws on recent work by a Professor at Essex University, Dr Richard Bartle. At his presentation AI for Games and AI for Gamers at Casual Connect Europe, he outlined how AI can help game development right now as well as how it will be able to help and/or hinder it in the near future. “A must read when learning AI technology is Yannakalis & Togelius: Artificial Intelligence and Games”, he recommended. Tune in for highlights on: testing game balance, prediction of player experiences, rapid testing AI opponents, data mining, story generation and automatic game creation.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Tim Shepherd: Using Social Science in Games | Casual Connect Video

July 16, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Not all great ideas are quite as interesting the next day. - Tim ShepherdClick To Tweet

In 2017, the team at Wooga began an 18 month long journey to ‘bring Diamond Dash back from the dead’. The game did quite well but ended up being retired in 2015 as the market changed. Learn from Senior Product Manager at Wooga Tim Shepherd as he tells the story of resurrecting a 7 year old game. Join Tim for his talk entitled Bringing a 7 Year Old Game Back to Life at Casual Connect Europe 2018 in London.

ContributionsDevelopmentExclusive Interviews

Behind the Title: An Interview with Olga Khomenko, Co-Founder and COO at PlayToMax

July 12, 2018 — by Marina Sapunova

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In this interview, yellowHEAD’s Marina Sapunova speaks with Olga Khomenko about her life as a drummer in an indie band, what exotic places she wants to visit and why she loves playing board games.

Marina: Hi Olga! So we are at Casual Connect Kyiv. Could you please share with us what you do?

Olga: First of all, I want to say that I’m so excited that Casual Connect is back at Kyiv because it’s my native city and I adore it. A lot of new people come to your city and see how cool and beautiful it is. I work at PlayToMax and we create HMTL 5 games. We develop our own games, as well as provide outsourcing services. And I’m also here at the conference together with my friend – he’s an indie developer who’s working on his own game and I’m helping him, so please vote for him.

Marina: Sure! I still haven’t voted so I will do it. Are you a gamer?

Olga: Yes, I am.

Marina: What kind of games do you play?

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

The Office Quest: A Story of Success

May 31, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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By Lior Bruder, Founder and CEO of 11Sheep.com

I guess that every single games developer in the world could say that everything started when they were kids and, with gleamy eyes but steady hands, played their first game. But I’d like to finish this post before the year is over, and that’d be a bit cheesy anyway, so let’s fast forward a little bit. In some sense, everything started when I decided to found a small development company. But then I would have to talk of 10 years of hard (but rewarding) work, during which we developed more than 50 products and saw many of our clients succeed – one of them sold his product that we developed for him for 50 million USD to NASDAQ!

So, fast forward again to the moment when we decided that the time had arrived to create our own “baby,” to make a game for us and not for others. The idea had crossed our minds before, but it wasn’t until some random day, having some coffee, when I saw a beautiful demo that Oren Rubin and Alon Simon had created. Back then it was something really tiny, but I instantly saw that it had something special – it was eye-catching, quirky, and funny. So I contacted them and told them that maybe we could make a mobile game out of it. We all agreed that it was worth a try.

And here we are, one year, one nomination to the Google Indie Prize, 20 times featured by Apple and Google (even featured once in the “Today” tab), and 4 million downloads later. It was definitely worth the try, don’t you think? But let’s see how we got here – the path is as important as the destination!

Kyiv 2017Video Coverage

Dave Rohrl: Making Consistently High Quality Games | Casual Connect Video

May 14, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Life is too short to make bad games! - Dave RohrlClick To Tweet

Panelists Alex Mendelev (Advisor with DoubleJump Games), Dave Rohrl (CEO & Founder of Mobile Game Doctor), Konrad Stanczak (Promotions Specialist at Power Up Game Studio) discussed finding balance between gameplay and monetization at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017. The panel Designing for Revenue – It’s Not All Fun and Games was moderated by Tapdaq’s VP of Business Development Chris Lefebvre. Together, they shared their experience which varied from industry veterans to newly published indies.

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndieStudio Spotlight

Studio Spotlight: Dropout Games in Pune, India

April 24, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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The Biggest Lesson

Dropout Games is the studio that created Neo Angle, the game that won at the NASSCOM Game Developers Conference in India. As winners at NASSCOM which is an Indie Prize Partner event, they will be competing at Indie Prize London next month at Casual Connect Europe.

Dropout Games had its origin when Ankush Madad and Sujeet Kumar were both studying Game Design at college. During their second year, both of them, along with several other students, were working on a game that was a big hit in one of the college game jams. At the same time, things weren’t going as well at the college, with staff leaving, curriculum changes and a lack of relevance to the game industry. But they persevered, juggling courses while working on the game in the evenings and on weekends. As the end of the year approached, the project was now a polished game and they believed it had potential. So they took their game, ROTO, to Casual Connect 2014 in Singapore, where it was nominated for Best Free-To-Play Game, and on the final day they met a publisher. The team learned a great deal with ROTO, from starting a game and working it through to completion, including PR, marketing and the publishing process. As Ankush says, “It was the biggest lesson we had taught ourselves that year.”

ROTO screenshots

When it came time to return to college, Ankush realized it no longer seemed worth the cost. He had applied for internships, using ROTO‘s success as an example of his abilities, and was fortunate to receive one at a great company. He also began investigating other Indian game studios making noteworthy games but couldn’t find many. A few were doing great work and there were also a few indie studios, but nothing seemed particularly exciting. Then some new indies began emerging in different corners of the country; their games were small, but they were willing to experiment. This gave Ankush the idea of starting his own indie studio.

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