main

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

Loteria Latin Bingo: Bartering Through Game Development

August 18, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

LoteriaLatinBingo1-960x540.jpg

By Misael Armendariz, Founder, Gorilla Bean Games

Loteria Latin Bingo started as a bargain between Jeff Jensen of Megafuzz in Denmark, and myself in El Paso, Texas. We met at PAX South 2015 in San Antonio, Texas, and exchanged contact information. A few months later we agreed that I would create art for Jeff’s game (not released yet), while Jeff would program for my game, Loteria Latin Bingo. I chose to make this game because it is a link to my Mexican roots and I wanted to bring the old game of Loteria to a new audience in a new light. I wanted to give it my own take on the art, as well as update the gameplay for a satisfying mobile experience. So, I created art for two games at at the same time. In two years, the project was complete and on July 20, 2017, Loteria Latin Bingo was published.

Size matters

I had the idea of making a small game – just something to put up on the App Store – but it seemed ridiculous to just make a game and not go as big as possible. So, after thinking about it, I added all the features that I could think of to the design of the game. I added in-app purchases, helper characters, a map to encourage progression, and XP system to level up and unlock abilities, multipliers, different modes and in-game currency. Then, I talked to Jeff and showed him what I was thinking. It blew him away, I could hear him get nervous. He had agreed to a small game and then I came to him with a huge project. “Hang on”, I told him, “I don’t expect you to do the whole game”. I explained to him that this was the grand vision for the game. I wanted to see how much he was willing to tackle. At this point, I had already done a large portion of the art for his game, so, he knew I was not going to go back on my end of the deal. Being the awesome guy that he is, he agreed to add a map, helper, characters, multipliers, a leader board, a store, an XP system and star system. I was amazed by his generosity. In exchange, I did more artwork for him as well.

Be adaptable

So we got right to work, sort of. We both have clients and other projects to do to pay the bills, so this was sort of a side project. Over the span of a few months he worked on the first playable build and I created the art he needed for both games. We communicated over Skype and shared files via Dropbox. Being on opposite sides of the globe, Jeff was up at crazy hours talking to me most times. There were changes I made to the game design that pushed Jeff’s buttons, but we worked it out and kept going. As we worked, we found that we had to reduce the scale of the game, We were using the Game Maker engine because that’s the platform Jeff knows. It happened that at that time support for in-app purchases and a leader board was lacking in Game Maker, and since we had to cut the store and leader board out, things like XP, levels, a map and star system made no sense. So, the game changed once more. We took all of it out and made it a points-based game. It hurt to do that because the programming for most of it was finished and so was the art. But, looking back, it makes the game easier to get into. Sometimes, games have too much going on and that takes away from the experience. Also, we wanted to finish this journey we had embarked on.

Unforeseen value

Finally, after many ups and downs, we finished the game! It is now up on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It’s my first game, outside of a studio, and I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve had the privilege to work on great games like Peggle, Bejeweled3, and Plants vs Zombies; but Loteria Latin Bingo is special – and not just because it’s mine. The collaboration between Jeff and I across opposite sides of the world, as well as the voice actor, Fernando Lamb, and musician from Venezuela, Lion3l, whom I found on Fiverr, made this an international collaboration. I’m blown away by what is possible not just with the technology available, but by trusting people and following through with promises. Trust is a difficult thing to give; I’ve been burnt many times. But, when mutual trust works out, the end product is much more valuable. I don’t just have a game that I can monetize and potentially expand, I also have a friend in Denmark. Now that I have to market this game with an “indie” budget, more friends are showing up, more connections are being made, and more opportunities are available.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Michael Albertshauser on Influencer Marketing: An Area of Explosive Growth | Casual Connect Video

August 12, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

Michael-Albertshauser-featured-image-960x540.jpg
A good influencer is not a YouTube, Twitch or Instagram star, but a star. - Michael AlbertshauserClick To Tweet

“Influencers are not as concerned about price as you might think,” stated GameInfluencer’s Head of Influencer and Campaign Managment Michael Albertshauser at Casual Connect Europe 2017. In this lecture, Michael highlighted the results of their survey involving 500 influencers. With insights on influencer perspectives and marketing deals, Michael educated publishers and marketers on how to be a better business partner for influencers and secure better deals and content.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Daniel Tozer: New Technologies, New Legal Questions, New Solutions | Casual Connect Video

August 11, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

Daniel-Tozer-speaking-at-CC-Europe-2017-featured-image-960x540.jpg
You can't properly advise on virtual reality if you've never tried a VR headset. - Daniel TozerClick To Tweet

Virtual reality has brought about a plethora of opportunities for hardware manufacturers, advertisers, content providers and many other types of business in the games industry. With these opportunities come legal risks too which is where firms like Harbottle & Lewis can provide specialist advice. Daniel Tozer, a Partner at Harbottle & Lewis, spoke at Casual Connect Europe 2017 on the key questions facing developer’s real-world responsibilities in relation to VR.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Tara Mustapha: Thriving in the World of Esports | Casual Connect Video

August 2, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

taramustapha-960x540.jpg

Tara Mustapha is currently a consultant after spending over a decade in the game industry as a game designer at Playabl, EA, Microsoft and Foundation 9. Tara’s fascination with esports began with Starcraft: Brood War, to travelling to Las Vegas for IGN Pro League events, Madison Square Garden for League of Legends, and achieving 12 wins in Hearthstone Arena 1x.

Tara is also vitally concerned with the progress of women in the games industry and has been a board member of Women in Games Vancouver. At Casual Connect Europe Tara and Christina Dunbar participated in a fireside chat discussing the challenge of finding leading women in the industry and how they can thrive in the world of esports. Recently Tara described her life and career with Casual Connect in this exclusive Gamesauce Q&A.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Artur Grigorjan: Develop Local While Selling Global | Casual Connect Video

August 1, 2017 — by David Radd

TS_2-960x540.jpg
If you can’t see the value of a certain tool, then most likely you don’t need it. - Artur GrigorjanClick To Tweet

As one of the biggest mobile publishers in the world, Playrix has a lot of insight on how to resonate on a global scale. Tune in to an interview at Casual Connect Europe between Catherine Mylinh, VP of Marketing at Vungle, ad Artur Grigorjan, Marketing Growth Director at Playrix, in a discussion on how to grow a loyal player base and how to scale this approach to drive engagement and monetization. One of many tips Artur shared was: “More money will be pumped into user acquisition so as a smaller developer try to look out for optimizing your game for smaller volumes. Do not compete with higher budgets. Focus on your game first, UA (user acquisition) second.” See the full session below.

DevelopmentExclusive Interviews

Oskar Burman: Finding the Magic in VR

July 27, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

Oskar-Burman-featured-image-960x540.jpg
Oskar Burman is CEO of Fast Travel Games

Oskar Burman is CEO of Fast Travel Games, a company they founded with some friends from EA DICE during the summer of 2016. As CEO of a small company, their role includes everything from janitor to project manager and business developer. Fast Travel Games is a VR games studio, and after twenty years in the game industry, Oskar found the opportunity to do VR, something they felt compelled to try. “It’s been a childhood dream,” they say, “and the future is finally upon us!”

During Oskar’s years in the game industry, they have been Development Director at Avalanche Studios (the creators of Just Cause), COO at EA Easy, a part of EA DICE, and General Manager of Rovio (creators of Angry Birds 2). All of these positions built the experience that led to the position Oskar fills today.

These days the most enjoyable aspect of Oskar’s work is “finding the magic in VR.” At this stage all the rules are being established; this is a new medium they are exploring, trying to understand which genres will work and how the UX/UI should be structured.

Fun Times Making Games

Oskar has been fascinated by gaming from childhood and by age twelve was already making games. These early games were in Basic and were small games for family and friends. The experience was incredibly enjoyable, particularly the ability to control the computer.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Riana McKeith: The Art that Helps Define the Vision | Casual Connect Video

July 21, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

2016-10-07-RianaMcKeith-featured-image-960x540.jpg

Riana McKeith is an art director at Berlin based mobile games developer Wooga. She is one of the art directors in Wooga’s internal Puzzle Studio, that focuses on the development of mobile matching games. In her role she’s overseen the visual development of many projects and at the same time served as art lead for FUTURAMA: Game of Drones, a match 4 puzzler that launched earlier in 2016. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Riana dove into story narration through art. Learn more about Riana and game art in our exclusive Q&A below.

DOWNLOAD SLIDES

Exclusive InterviewsPR & Marketing

David Mohr: Summoning Mobile Success

July 20, 2017 — by David Radd

SW-spot-02-960x540.jpg
David Mohr is the General Manager at GAMEVIL COM2US Europe

David Mohr is the General Manager at GAMEVIL COM2US Europe. They manage the European operations for Korean parent companies GAMEVIL and COM2US and are responsible for localization, community management, customer support and business development in the region.

“We also provide a lot of marketing and PR support for GAMEVIL and COM2US titles, Summoners War being a very high priority,” David said. “I was very fortunate to meet Kyu Lee, the president of GAMEVIL USA, at Gamescom a few years back, and everything started from there.”

“I really enjoy working for a Korean company and being in close contact with our U. S. and Korean operations on a daily basis,” David added. “It’s great to be connected with so many people all across the world.”

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Eva Vonau: Navigating the Complexity of IP Law | Casual Connect Video

July 17, 2017 — by David Radd

eva-960x540.jpg

Eva Vonau is currently an intellectual property (IP) lawyer at Hogan Lovells and will be opening her own law firm, Slopek Vonau PartG mbB this September. Before pursuing a career in law, Eva worked at one of the biggest TV production studios in Germany as a technician, something that serves her well to this day. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Eva laid out a roadmap for navigating the differences in IP law between countries.

logo
SUPPORTED BY