Thirteen German based studios will showcase their games at the international Indie Prize Showcase during Casual Connect Europe 2017 in Berlin this February. One hundred-thirty of the best indie games were selected from 470 game submissions by honorable judges and provided with Indie Prize scholarship to attend the conference. This includes free all-access passes, a spot to showcase the game along with the world’s best indie developers and free accommodation in the indie hostel during three days of conference in Berlin.
One game from Bulgaria and from Republic of Moldova, three games from Romania and from Serbia, six games from Russia and nine games from Ukraine were selected by judges among 470 submission to represent their countries as the finalists at the international Indie Prize showcase in Berlin during Casual Connect Europe 2017! Among these, six games were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: Game Factory Jam Winner which was in Republic of Moldova, DevPlay in Romania, DevGAMM in Belarus, White Nights in Russian Federation, Games Gathering Conference and GetIT! in Ukraine.
Three games from Finland and from Sweden, one game from Denmark, from Ireland and from Estonia, two games from Lithuania and eight games from United Kingdom will be showcased at the international Indie Prize showcase during Casual Connect Europe 2017. Among these games there are two games that were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: Sweden Game Conference from Sweden and by GameOn from Lithuania.
Benoit Prunneaux of Bento Studio is one of the main developers behind unWorded. The game was nominated for Indie Prize at RESPAWN, a conference designed to allow the free exchange of ideas between developers, where lectures happen in open environments that attendees are allowed to freely flow between as they wish with topics including Creative, Game Design, Business and Tech to Culture/Communications and Storytelling. Bento Studio will compete at Indie Prize hosted by Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.
“We are very proud of this nomination and it was a fairly big surprise. This game is really important for Bento because we have placed something special in this title that it is more personal. So this is a real reward for us,” said Benoit. “Honestly we have not made this game to win contests. We registered at random to see if our game could arouse interest in the audience and make it more visible. Since our participation we are very happy to be able to benefit from this support.”
Stav Goldstein is a freelance game designer and artist who also teaches game art at Mentor College. In 2015, Stav founded Fireberry Studio while releasing the first chapter of their title The Splitting and has since released the second chapter of the title.
Stav really enjoys the advantages of working freelance, including sticking to their own schedule and choosing to work on projects that are interesting and challenging. But there is also the disadvantage of working from home – it can be lonely at times. At Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016, Stav shared their experience of developing their game series, as well as gave tips and tricks to the aspiring developers who also want to create worlds of their own.
Yuriy Krasilnikov is the Director of Business Development at TrilobiteSoft, developer of Pig Bang. The game recently took home the best art and Grand Prix prizes at the Indie Prize partner event Indie Game Cup at White Nights Moscow 2016, an international cross-platform business conference for game industry designed to facilitate networking among game developers and publishers from Russia and all of Europe. TrilobiteSoft will present the game at Casual Connect Europe and Indie Prize.
“The team working on Pig Bang sets the highest standards – both related to the visual component of the game, and to the gameplay in general – to those experiences that Pig Bang gamers can get,” said Yuriy. “Awards received during Indie Game Cup at White Nights Moscow 2016 showed that we are heading in the right direction and this definitely is inspiring.”
“We are going to come to Berlin with even better-polished game, and, peeling away the mystery, most likely with additional characters and even with the mode of the game. So to say, we are keeping our hopes up that at the Casual Connect’s Indie Prize, the game will be really appreciated,” Yuriy continued. “On top of that, conferences of this kind are a great opportunity to talk to colleagues in the industry, to the leading developers and potential partners.”
“It is basically a huge opportunity to spread the word,” said Jan. “Since I am the only one developer of this game, it is very hard to contact a wider audience and get in touch with the press.”
Mashinky is based on players creating their own transportation empire based around trains over multiple time periods. Jan has always loved railway transportation and the way steam engines worked, even owning a model railroad as a child. Besides that, Jan says the primary inspiration for the game was very simple.
Séverin Larose of SoulGame Studio has created multiple titles, including Rogue Soul II. SoulGame recently received the bronze medal at Ludum Dare gamejam, which Séverin was extremely proud of since it was the studio’s first time participating in the event.
“The concept we came up with was new to me, I had never worked on a pure puzzle game before so it was nice to check that we could do puzzles as well,” said Séverin. “It also meant that the experience I had accumulated working with Flash was allowing me to ‘impress’ people with high quality polish in just 72 hours of work, since many comments were actually skeptical about the possibility of achieving such a result in such a short time frame… that was really satisfying and motivating.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Séverin, having to work as a part-time music teacher during the creation of SoulGame’s first release: The Soul Driver. There were other games before that, but Séverin was willing to scrap partially complete projects in order to put something out at the level of quality they wanted.
“I think most of us aim at perfection when we create things even if we never reach it, but I think some devs are just more reasonable than I am when it comes to budget and deadline. I did spend a lot of time, hard work and money just to make our games better, when they could have been released. Sometimes I spend a whole day on an invisible detail… I basically only stop when I’m so out of cash that I can’t continue!” detailed Séverin. “It’s just that I really value players’ enthusiasm, a lot. It’s extremely rewarding for me, even more than money. It’s really quite logical after all, we just want to make games that people love, and yeah sure, if I get rich in the process, awesome! But that will be a consequence, not a goal.”
Séverin has also participated in Indie Prize, after talking to Khail Santia from Moocho Brain who talked about how great the experience was for them. “Indie Prize to me was an unique occasion to meet in person a lot of people from the industry. It was kinda epic, to be honest!” said Séverin. “I got so used to working on a remote basis, dealing with email and invisible people, so meeting them after all those years was a kind of ‘real world’ confirmation that everything we lived was actually true. I especially loved meeting and share experiences with my fellow game developers from literally all around the world, some I’m still in touch with.”
Kamil Orman-Janowski is a composer who has provided music to games such as Warplane Legends, Beyond Space and Isleron: The Rending. Probably his most famous works at this point, however, have been to Path of Exile and its various expansions.
“My vision of music for Path of Exile is still evolving, but there are some major sources of inspiration,” said Kamil. “I try to find proper balance between music from games such as Diablo 1-2 and movies or TV shows with similar setting. I’m always looking for something dark, ethereal, deep, sometimes weird and strange but at the same time epic and noble, so it’s mostly fusion of symphony orchestra, guitars, ethnic and many experimental instruments.”
Article by Florencia Orsetti
PH: Marisol Estevez
Designers Logos: Carola Lucía and Agustín Cordes
EVA 2016 (Argentine Videogames Exposition) has been reuniting game developers from all over Argentina and other countries since 2003. The event is an incredible opportunity for devs to showcase their games, attend lectures by regional and international speakers, assist to workshops and access to business networking meetings with publishers and influencers from all over the world. The latest edition of EVA was held on November 4th and November 5th, earlier this month, in Palermo, Buenos Aires, at Centro Cultural de la Ciencia, a cultural venue that hosted hundreds of assistants, including game developers, entrepreneurs, gamers, and press, among other actors from the video game industry.
EVA 2016 in Numbers
Event organizer ADVA (Argentine Videogames Developers Association) estimates an attendance of more than 1500 visitors. EVA Play, the exhibit booth area, hosted more than 80 Argentine videogames, including a VR-ready area. The complete event program included over 30 lectures from regional and international speakers and networking meetings attended by more than 50 studios, including Epic Games/ Unreal Engine, Unity, Globant, NGD, Pixowl and reputable Universities such as UAI and Image Campus. Those lectures that were deliver at the central auditorium from 2pm to 5pm were live streamed on EVA official Website and can be watched now on YouTube: Day 1 video here, and Day 2 video here. ADVA also give away prizes worth $150,000 ARS.