We want to congratulate the winner of the first GTP Indie Cup: The Uncertain. We were thrilled to be able to work with the guys from ComonGames make their dream come true. It was one of outstanding projects among other applied games. Here’s how we made the GTP Indie Cup happen and chose our winner.
Making the Decision
While there have been a few small game events in Ukraine, there have been a few bigger or significant events that will attract the indie game developers and studios who operate in the region. There are lots of developers and studios based here, many of whom are not aware of one another, simply becasue they have no functioning, thriving community like the ones many other areas of the world have. Particularly, there is no way for small developers to get in touc with big studios and publishers. This is why we decided to start our first GTP Indie Cup this spring.
We were surprised, when director of Indie Prize scholarship Yuliya Moshkaryova gave us a partnership opportunity with Indie Prize at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016. Getting that partnership was pure magic and it went a long way to making sure we could make this idea a reality.
We have 'an unlimited supply of ideas, from practical to outrageously ambitious.' - J.C. ConnorsClick To Tweet
Like games are often inspired and driven by the players, engines can be driven by developers and their needs – this is exactly how things are with Amazon’s Lumberyard. Their Head of Product J.C. Connors presented this roadmap and their vision of industry challenged at Casual Connect USA in a panel with MaxPlay, Unity, King and Epic Games.
Vicens Martí is the President of Tangelo Games. Tangelo Games was formed through the acquisition of Diwip and Akamon Entertainment and was formerly Imperus Technologies Corporation. While their time in the gaming industry includes being the Managing Director at Cirsa Gaming Corporation, Vicens has also been CMO at Vueling (a Spanish low-cost airline) and CEO of Custo Barcelona (a fashion label).
Cirsa is a notable casino company in Spain, Italy, and Latin America, helping to operate table games and casino slot machines. Vicens says that the experience in real money gambling was beneficial. “I did so much at Cirsa… You learn by doing,” they said.
While Vicens says they had the childhood dream of being an astronaut, they have no difficultly imagining what they’d be doing if they weren’t at their current position. “Oh, that’s easy. I am a simultaneous entrepreneur,” they described. “I have invested in a company called Appeth. I have interest in electronic music. Fintech is another company that I have going too. I have many projects going at once so if I wasn’t in the industry, I have plenty else I could be doing.”
Run Double Jump is an indie gaming gathering (organized by 2024 Studios and the IGDA) that takes place every year in Egypt. It aims to encourage indie developers, expose their games, and to help the industry in the MENA region flourish and grow rapidly.
The event showcases some of the best indie games in the region for gamers to play and test. In addition to Indie Games Exhibit, there are a bunch of sessions presented by pioneering local indie developers.
RDJ helps indie developers to share their experiences and success stories as well as the obstacles that faces them in their careers. Also, gamers will get to discover these games developed and produced by indie developers, and increase general awareness surrounding these titles. This networking will help boost the regional gaming industry.
This year, RDJ partnered with Indie Prize – Casual Connect for a contest between the submitted games. The game selected “best in show” will be able to take part in Indie Prize Berlin – that winner was Abdullah Alsayed of BNOO Games for the title Pix Hop.
Have a unified lifetime value perspective for user acquisition. - Dave BiscegliaClick To Tweet
Dave Bisceglia is Co-Founder and CEO of The Tap Lab. At this mobile game studio, based in Cambridge, MA, Dave focuses on game design, product management and business development. During the past two years, since Gamesauce last talked with Dave, The Tap Lab has transitioned from self-publishing their own IP to working with major publishers and third-party IPs. Dave’s role as CEO now is concentrated much more on business development and relationships with publishers and IPs. They emphasize, “We’ve been fortunate to work with some great partners on projects we’re passionate about.”
As an indie, 'there's nothing quite like having total control of your own art.' - Edward McNeilClick To Tweet
While big companies are likely to enter the VR space in the big way, it is currently an amusing space for the indies to explore and experiment with. In the Casual Connect USA session simply titled How to Pick a VR Platform indie developer Edward McNeil, the creator of Darknet and Tactera from Indie Prize, explains differences between several new VR platforms, including the Gear VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift and more, drawing on his experience and perspective after launching two VR titles.
Christopher Natsuume is the Creative Director for Boomzap. He helped co-found the studio in 2005, though he has been working in games since 1994 on console, PC and mobile platforms. Christopher calls running his own studio a fulfillment of a dream since he worked with his co-founder Allan in Scotland.
“I have been a game developer most of my adult life – starting as a level designer, then lead designer, then producer,” says Christopher. “The truth is – nothing prepares you for running a game dev studio like working in game dev. I had the benefit of making a lot of my worst mistakes when I was working for other people – and that’s the best way to learn: on someone else’s dime.”
Still, Christopher was dreaming of being a game designer since grade school. Back then, he was designing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, creating modules and the like, but regarded it all at the time as just a hobby. “Later on I discovered that you could actually make games as a career,” said Christopher.
“A bunch of my friends also happened to work for a game company and when they broke off and started their own company, I used to play with them at their offices every week,” Chris detailed. “I didn’t work for them but I was their dungeon master, so they asked me to join and I got a job as a Level Designer, which was my first stint in the game dev industry.”
the love of making games
Christopher is definitely living the dream by being a game developer. he says that it was his dream as a child, even if he didn’t know he could make money doing it. Christopher notes that since entering game development, it’s occupied most of his time and he is happy for it.
Despite this, Christopher is quick to say that game development is not for everyone. “You should think very carefully before pursuing it. Most people want to develop games because they think it’s about coming up with great game ideas and making fun decisions. It’s not. It’s 5 percent that and 95 percent ‘figuring out how to make it work’. Be a game developer not just because you love games, but because you love MAKING them, and whatever type of game it is.”
All I do is develop games and exercise to prevent the physical decay caused by a life at a computer.
Along those lines, Christopher notes he has very little free time for hobbies, though it is a sacrifice he is willing to make. “In all honesty, essentially all I do is develop games and exercise to prevent the physical decay caused by a life at a computer,” Christopher notes. “I run, swim, bike, and do a good bit of climbing. Depending on how things are going with the company I am either very fit, or very unfit. The size of my gut is inversely proportional to the current success of the company. I also do some work with a charity organization that builds schools in the mountains of Nepal.”
Making the Legends of Callasia
Christopher’s creative process is one of iteration, looking at different games, whether made by him or someone else, and trying to find something that he can improve. “Our strategy game Legends of Callasia actually started as a trading simulation game, but you couldn’t fight anyone,” noted Christopher. “We decided it was boring, so we redeveloped it into a fantasy-themed multiplayer world conquest game.”
Experience in making games for a long time is less relevant than time spent playing different games.
Along those same lines, playing old games is also a huge inspiration for Christopher. He claims that his experience in making games for a long time is less relevant than his time spent playing different games. “There’s value in the fact that I have played a metric ton of games such as Ultima Online, Wing Commander: Privateer, and Zork. I was into tabletop games such as Axis & Allies, D&D, and Diplomacy before I became a computer gamer,” said Christopher. “I get a lot of my inspiration from games I grew up playing with, and when we built Legends of Callasia, I wanted it to look like the traditional fantasy games.”
Legends of Callasia is a game that is near and dear to Christopher’s heart, so it’s not surprising that he would love to expand on the idea if he had unlimited resources. “I have always loved playing strategy games like Crusader Kings, but I never have enough time play that anymore,” said Christopher. “Legends of Callasia is the answer to that. It has all the fun of grand strategy games condensed into one to two hours, and it’s the game I’ve always wanted to make. Maybe one day if I do have unlimited resources and time, we’ll make an MMO of it? That would be the ultimate project.”
Unfortunately, financing is the hardest part of making games, between getting a publisher and paying everyone. It’s very rewarding in the end, though, especially since there are always new ideas to explore in new games. “The time between having an idea and implementing that idea is too long,” Christopher says. “I have more game ideas in my head that I can ever make in my lifetime.”
you have to leave the nest to grow
Christopher is very proud of what the company has built over at Boomzap. The studio being virtual is a huge convenience for him and other members.
“I get to see so much of my family, and be part of my family life so much more than other people I know, especially in the game industry,” said Christopher. “I work where I want to. I don’t waste time or money commuting. I don’t have to spend a fortune going out to eat. And in the winter I work every day in a very comfy pair of fleece pants and a Japanese hanten jacket… it’s like I never got out of bed.”
Managing a studio is always a challenge, and can often involve people leaving to pursue their own ambitions. When that happened at Boomzap it was hard for Christopher, but eventually that feeling was replaced with pride over what the former team members accomplished. “Two years ago, three of our senior staff left our studio. At the time, I was pissed off, but over time I realized that it was a dream they had and one they could never achieve while at my studio,” he said. “I’ve been watching them develop their games and some of the processes they use are from what we did together in Boomzap. It is fascinating to watch them build their company and go their own direction.”
Eva Cordoba! IS like… ABOUT TO HAPPEN, and you shouldn’t miss it!
Eva Cordoba will be happening on September 17 in Cordoba Argentina and it’s the biggest game industry event of the region! Isn’t that beautiful?
what is Eva Cordoba?
Eva Cordoba unites game developers from all over Argentina to showcase their games, attend lectures from local and international speakers, assist to meaningful workshops and talk with publishers from all over the world.
Darkness in music is really inspiring. - Arkadiusz ReikowskiClick To Tweet
Arkadiusz Reikowski is a composer who’s made music for horror games such as Kholat and Layers of Fear, in addition to their own unique material like Inner Silence. They cite Akira Yamaoka, the famous Japanese composer of the Silent Hill series, as a major inspiration along with other Japanese composers.