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DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Benoît Freslon: Thinking Outside the EnigmBox

December 5, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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We first saw Benoît Freslon’s game EnigmBox at Casual Connect’s Indie Prize in London 2018 where it won the Best Game Design award. Also at Casual Connect Asia 2016 in Singapore, EnigmBox won the Most Innovative Game and Best in Show: Critic’s Choice award. Winning these prizes gave Benoît the motivation to keep working with the experimental game. But as proud as he was of the awards, he was equally happy with the friends he made there.

Benoit believes the prizes he won with EnigmBox gave him credibility with publishers and partners. Specifically, Asian publishers would like to publish the game in China, but he is still in negotiations with them.

A Game With Potential

Now Benoît has a new version of the game, EnigmBox 2.0. He felt that the game, created in 2013, had become outdated in terms of design, user interface, user experience and game feel. As well, he had many new puzzles he would like to experiment with. And a significant number of players and publishers had asked him to create a version for Android. So, with the awards from Indie Prize confirming that the game had potential, Benoît decided to work on a new version of EnigmBox, but this time using Unity 3D.

Benoit began the process of creating the new version by listening to feedback from players and experts. Then he started redesigning and polishing the design, the monetization, the UI, the UX, the tutorial, the puzzles and even the colors.

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.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Joyseed Gametribe: Creating a Winning Game

March 2, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Joyseed Gametribe is a game development company based in Jakarta, Indonesia and founded by Bernardus Boy Dozan and later joined as co-founder by Joseph Putra Wibawa. The founders’ dream was to spread the joy of gaming throughout the world, to offer people the opportunity to enjoy and learn from this media. Locally, Joyseed has become known for the high quality of the execution of their games; they won’t release any game until it is fully finished and polished. Compared to other games, the art of Joyseed’s games is quite graphical.

Focus on Surviving

Despite their mission to spread the joy of gaming, Joyseed Gametribe quickly discovered that there are a lot of business decisions necessary as they work to find an effective way to distribute their products. So their short term focus is simply to survive in the very tough game industry, and then to expand, growing bigger and better.

The company now consists of three people. Boy Dozan is responsible for the business direction, the office and production and is involved in everything else the company does. Joseph supports all of these functions but focuses mainly on production. They also have a programmer involved in productions as well as web back end coding. With only three people they must all be very flexible, working as a team and supporting each other even if what they are doing is not technically the area they are responsible for.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Perfectly Paranormal and Creating a Winning Game: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously!

March 1, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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What is the Indie journey like? What does it take to come up with exciting ideas, create your own company and develop a winning game? Recently Gamesauce was fascinated to learn from writer/animator Ozan Drøsdal about the process that began with a group of friends making a game and led to a company called Perfectly Paranormal  developing the winning game, Helheim Hassle, at Konsoll Connect. As winners, the indie team has won the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize London which will take place at Casual Connect Europe on 29-31st of May 2018.

Gamesause: Tell us about Perfectly Paranormal. What led you to found this game studio?

Ozan Drøsdal: It all started during a boring semester in school back in 2011, where we decided to make an adventure game instead of doing homework. It was called Dudefish, it was made in Flash, the dialogue was recorded in our dorm rooms and it took us two years. We entered a competition or something with it back then and needed a company name (we weren’t a company yet at all) and we came up with Perfectly Paranormal. It’s inspired by the perfectly normal beasts from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We didn’t form the actual company in a legal way before around 2015 when we were in the middle of working on Manual Samuel. A game everyone reading this should totally buy. It came out last year.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Filip Žarković: At the Nucleus of Serbian Game Development

October 17, 2016 — by David Radd

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At ICT Hub on August 13th 2016, several top Serbian indie developers presented their games at an event Serbian Game Community which is organized by companies that included Bincode Entertainment, Thoril and COFA Games. Judges from several veteran Serbian game studios picked Kiss Hero, winning a spot to present at Casual Connect Tel Aviv as a result.

Filip Žarković has used Indie Prize as a motivating factor, pushing them to raise the quality of their games. “I found out about it two years ago when it was held in Belgrade, my hometown,” Filip said. “I’ve been following Indie Prize ever since, and participated in CC Tel Aviv last year.”

For Filip, representing the Serbian game development community at Casual Connect means a lot and its a huge validation. “We’re a recently formed studio, and this really feels like a verification that we’re doing something right, especially because the day we were chosen to go to Casual Connect Tel Aviv, our first game, Nukleus, was getting some great results on the AppStore,” Filip noted. “It also means a lot to us because the competition in the Serbian part of the contest is really awesome!”

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Jammin’ on Bolt Riley with Creator Oded Sharon

August 26, 2016 — by David Radd

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Five years in the making, Bolt Riley: A Reggae Adventure Game was recently released. Set in Jamaica in the 1970s, it tells the story of the titular main character who wants to become a reggae star. Bolt Riley is a point-and-click adventure game set in the Caribbean with a soundtrack tinged with local flavor, which despite the different subject matter and time period, is evocative of the seminal Monkey Island series. Creator Oded Sharon is open in saying that Monkey Island is an inspiration for the Bolt Riley game.

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“Yes, I’m a huge fan of both Monkey Island and its creator Ron Gilbert. In fact, Monkey Island is the game that inspired me the most when becoming a game developer,” said Oded. “I was actually one of the first people online to do a crowdfunding campaign, a joke website called ‘Buy a car for Ron Gilbert’ which raised money to buy Ron Gilbert a car.  We ended up raising enough money to actually buy Ron a toy car which I gave to him at GDC 2008.”

DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Rasheed Abu-Eideh: Bringing the Shadows of War to Light

June 11, 2016 — by David Radd

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Liyla and the Shadows of War is a game that wasn’t made with profit in mind. It’s a free mobile game, and one that has a serious message to it about the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.

The game was recently the winner of Reboot Develop Indie Award in category of “Visual Excellence”. It was also nominated for Best in Show & Most Innovative Game and Best Game Narrative for ‪Indie Prize at Casual Connect Asia 2016. But talking to Rasheed Abu-Eideh, the creator of Liyla and the Shadows of War, it was not a easy road to the game’s release.

Exclusive InterviewsIndieStudio Spotlight

Gert-Jan Stolk: Feeling the Need for Speed

May 8, 2016 — by David Radd

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SpeedRunners recently sprinted across the finish line to a full release after five years in development. It’s been a long process, but after a few years using Steam Green Light, awards from SXSW and Indie DB and various play-throughs by famous YouTubers, it’s now fully released for Steam, with an Xbox One release coming later.

We talked with Gert-Jan Stolk of DoubleDutch Games about SpeedRunners. They detail how publisher tinyBuild helped with the game’s aesthetic, how SpeedRunners eventually became an eSport and why indie developers should have a back up plan because their first game probably won’t be profitable.

Studio Spotlight

Fishing Cactus: Bucking Trends for Something New Yet Traditional

January 19, 2016 — by Casey Rock

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Fishing-Cactus-Final-Brand_colorFishing Cactus is getting serious about games. The studio, based in Belgium, has been creating games since 2008. In that time, they have gone from a small team located in a basement, to a sprawling 30-person team with their own two-floor building. The studio has released 50+ games.

The entire team, bosses and employees, works in an open space – making it easier for everyone to communicate and feel like more than a number in a company. They also do their own internal game jam every year to foster new ideas and inspiration.

Along with many other games, Fishing Cactus has been living up to their promise to make “real serious games” for seven years now. But in some ways, they’re just starting to get down to the serious business of making games. While the company has long been in the business of making mobile free-to-play (F2P) games for others, they are also currently creating their very own game: Epistory.

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