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Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Vova Boddiul: Boldly Game Jamming with Colonizer

May 8, 2017 — by David Radd

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Screenshot of Colonizer

Boddiul is the developer of Colonizer, which was made at Game Factory Jam 2016. The game was the top rated title at Game Factory Jam 2016 and Vova was not surprised by this showing.

“Frankly, I was expecting my game to be top rated game among other participants from Moldova,” asserted Vova. The reason is that I am most experienced in Game Jams, like Ludum Dare, but this happened last time, because we managed to involve more and more local developers to participate in large-scale game jams. Experience of my competitors increases, in future it will be tougher to compete even locally.”

The showing at Game Factory Jam 2016 guaranteed Colonizer a slot at Indie Prize Berlin at Casual Connect Europe. “Indie Prize may help me find investors interested in my future projects, but will unlikely help me enhance my current project in this stage of development,” noted Vova. “I will release Colonizer by myself.”

ContributionsIndiePostmortem

Rangi: the Making of Funsoft’s VR Debut Title

April 27, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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Rangi is a game developed by Funsoft. This studio recently won Digital Games Conference in Dubai (DGC). The DGC is an Indie Prize nomination partner. As winner, Funsoft has the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize Seattle at Casual Connect USA 2017. The following is a postmortem of Rangi and the journey in to VR behind it.

By Hatim Bensaid, CEO and Founder of Funsoft

Funsoft is based in Casablanca, one of the largest cities in Africa bordering Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean coast. The team is composed of several ex-Ubisoft employees who have contributed to titles such as Rayman Legends, Rayman Origins, Prince of Persia, Raving Rabbids, and CSI Hidden Crime.

It all started when Funsoft’s current creative director prototyped a VR demo during his spare time with a couple of colleagues. They presented the idea to the studio. The reaction was good, and so the adventure began. Initially intended to be a small game, the enthusiasm around it gradually grew with time, this urged to expand the ambitions and the team on the project, which led to a memorable journey.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Juliet Tzabar: Plugging Kids in to Mobile Education Apps | Casual Connect Video

April 21, 2017 — by David Radd

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Creativity is a muscle and you have to keep flexing it! - Juliet TzabarClick To Tweet

Transmedia is an entertainment super-system that enables children’s favorite characters to travel across media platforms and it’s now an audience expectation in children’s entertainment. How do you approach this daunting expectation? At Casual Connect Europe, Plug-in Media’s CEO Juliet Tzabar shared how the company approaches IP for kids games across platforms. In Juliet’s talk entitled Approaching Transmedia in Children’s Entertainment, Juliet observed that “Kids love to play as THEIR preferred characters”. For more details of how Plug-in Media tackles transmedia, tune in to Juliet’s full session below. Please note that there were some technical difficulties during the session which effected sound quality.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Planet of the Apps: Winning With a Circle Sweep

March 31, 2017 — by David Radd

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Circle Sweep is a mobile puzzle game from developer Planet of the Apps. While mobile puzzle games is a popular genre, the developer feels like they have an original spin that people will enjoy.

“Planet of the Apps is a small studio and we love doing games,” said Ben Engel-Kacen, Planet of the Apps Founder and CEO. “Our strength and passion had always been innovating new gameplay mechanics. We have released over 30 different games and with each we did our best to create an original gameplay mechanic which we enjoy playing ourselves.”

“At one point, we saw that the matching puzzle genre is a very popular one but with very little innovation. Everyone just keeps copying the same mechanics, and sometimes even art style, from the leading games, making all games feel the same,” added Ben. “We felt the time is right for a fresh game mechanic, and that if we’ll manage to hit the right one, we may even win a large percentage of the players.”

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Brett Taylor: Drawing a Line of Light

March 8, 2017 — by David Radd

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Brett Taylor and his dog Zorro as a puppy

Brett Taylor is the developer of Linelight, which won Gameacon 2016’s Best Digital Game Award. This means that the game will be presented at Indie Prize as part of Casual Connect USA 2017 in August. Gameacon combines business-to-business networking and educational with the entertainment and public access for independent game developers from around the world.

“Winning the Best Digital Game Award was an honor! It was also exciting and invigorating to see my efforts recognized,” said Brett. “It will be another honor to show the game off at Indie Prize. It’s heartening to see the community gets a kick out of this thing I’ve spent so long on.”

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Roman Semenov & Irina Ignatovich: Cars, Carnage and Racing on Mobile

February 27, 2017 — by David Radd

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Roman Semenov and Irina Ignatovich is the Co-founders of Velcro Games, maker of caRRage. By winning the GetIT! Indie Prize, Velcro Games was given the opportunity to show off caRRage at Indie Prize Berlin 2017, as part of Casual Connect Europe.

Winning at GetIT! Indie Prize Kyiv 2016

“Winning GetIT! Indie Prize and being invited to Indie Prize Berlin 2017 were big accomplishments for our team,” said Irina. “We’re thrilled to be taking part in an international exhibition of this scale. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our project, get some feedback from players, developers, and publishers, and share experience with other people who love games as much as we do. And take selfies with icons of the video game industry, of course!”

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.”

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Ron Rejwan: Mastering Prototyping | Casual Connect Video

February 6, 2017 — by Orchid

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If it's ugly and people enjoy it, it will be much more enjoyable once it looks good. - Ron RejwanClick To Tweet

Jelly Button Games co-founder and CTO Ron Rejwan started learning to code at the age of 12 aiming to build games, and has been interested in it since they remember themself. At the age of 18 they were drafted to the ISR army as elite army programmer.

In 2011 Ron founded Jelly Button together with 4 co-founders, and since then has been the company’s CTO. While The Jelly Button team agrees game creation is based on feelings and instincts, they prefer playtesting at early stages to validate it. In their Casual Connect Tel Aviv Ron Rejwan explains their approach to playtesting and prototyping, and shares the tips and tricks one needs to know to follow their footsteps.


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!”

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

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.”

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