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Europe 2018Video Coverage

Baris Ozistek and Turning Your Idea into a Successful Game | Casual Connect Video

July 11, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Are you someone with an idea that you believe could be a successful game? Do you plan to create your own indie game studio? Unfortunately, no matter how great the idea is, it takes more to turn it into a success; you need to know you can get from here to there. You will have to figure out what you have to do to make it happen.

Baris Ozistek has the experience to help you make the crucial decisions that will help you succeed. Baris is the CEO of Netmarble EMEA and a board member of StartersHub. He has also been President of Turkish Digital Games Federation and a board member of Turkish Informatics Foundation.

Baris Ozistek at Casual Connect Europe 2018

StartersHub, one of the largest venture building funds in Turky and the Middle East, focuses on areas such as gaming, IoT, digital content and fintech. At Baris’ session at Casual Connect Europe, he shared some of the things they have learned from investing in forty-one very early stage startups in the past 2½ years. If you would like to find out more from Baris with insights into what you need to do to succeed as an indie game developer, watch the video of this session Learnings from StartersHub: From Ideas to Successful Games at Casual Connect Europe 2018 in London.

For more about Baris’ insights and career, see this exclusive article.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Lamia Shreim: Using Data to Enhance Monetization | Casual Connect Video

July 9, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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This wasn't just a job I settled for, I enjoy everything about what I do. - Lamia ShreimClick To Tweet

Over time we have seen MENA’s mobile gaming market to be one of the world’s top profitable markets. This is particularly surprising given the fact that it has not been tapped into very much. In the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa region) market, whales make up less tha 10% of total users yet they generate nearly 60% of a given game’s revenue. Join Tamatem Inc.’s Monetization & UA Manager Lamia Shreim at Casual Connect Europe as she described how to manage whales from the MENA which have proven to be more challenging than whales in other areas of the globe. Language barriers and cultural sensitivity and two big contributors to this challenge. This talk titled The Importance of Managing Whales in MENA focused on the importance of managing whales from the MENA with an emphasis on why localization is the key to unlocking this market.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

The Office Quest: A Story of Success

May 31, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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By Lior Bruder, Founder and CEO of 11Sheep.com

I guess that every single games developer in the world could say that everything started when they were kids and, with gleamy eyes but steady hands, played their first game. But I’d like to finish this post before the year is over, and that’d be a bit cheesy anyway, so let’s fast forward a little bit. In some sense, everything started when I decided to found a small development company. But then I would have to talk of 10 years of hard (but rewarding) work, during which we developed more than 50 products and saw many of our clients succeed – one of them sold his product that we developed for him for 50 million USD to NASDAQ!

So, fast forward again to the moment when we decided that the time had arrived to create our own “baby,” to make a game for us and not for others. The idea had crossed our minds before, but it wasn’t until some random day, having some coffee, when I saw a beautiful demo that Oren Rubin and Alon Simon had created. Back then it was something really tiny, but I instantly saw that it had something special – it was eye-catching, quirky, and funny. So I contacted them and told them that maybe we could make a mobile game out of it. We all agreed that it was worth a try.

And here we are, one year, one nomination to the Google Indie Prize, 20 times featured by Apple and Google (even featured once in the “Today” tab), and 4 million downloads later. It was definitely worth the try, don’t you think? But let’s see how we got here – the path is as important as the destination!

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Pressed Escape: The Making of Path Out

March 7, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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In 2015 a young Syrian artist who had just arrived in Austria bumped by accident into a game designer that had somehow specialized in political games. He joined the designer and his team first as an apprentice, but soon after they decided to embark on an adventure: to make an autobiographical adventure game about escaping from the Syrian Civil War.

The project in a nutshell:

Path Out is an autobiographical narrative adventure, that allows the players to follow the journey of Abdullah Karam, a young Syrian artist that escaped the civil war in 2014. In the game, Abdullah is giving insight to his real-life adventure via video comments that appear throughout the game. While looking like an adorable retro RPG the game attempts to draw the players into the harrowing experiences that Abdullah had to endure during his journey. It also wants to function as an empathic connection between the player and the all too real protagonist. The first chapter of the journey was made available for free on Steam, itch.io and Gamejolt in November 2017.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Leonard Frankel: The Future of Game Clans | Casual Connect Video

June 2, 2017 — by David Radd

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A clan system really is a 'turbo button' for game design. - Leonard FrankelClick To Tweet

In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled Guide to Clans: Setting Up a Strong Clan System in Simulation Games, co-founder and CEO of ClanPlay Leonard Frankel highlighted how to design a clan system for simulation games like celebrity life, farming and city builders. In this session, Leonard reviewed existing systems as a way to understand the adaptations developers need to make to give casual players significant social interaction. Clan system design begins with, “The five pillars of clanship (which) are: communication, collaboration, rewards, benefits and competition”, explained Leonard. To learn more, be sure to tune in to the full session below.

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.”

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Eitan Reisel on How Google Can Help Developers Grow | Casual Connect Video

March 24, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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85% of app revenue has been from games. By 2020, that's a $75 billion ecosystem! - Eitan ReiselClick To Tweet

Data is key for better targeting, as you need to know who to monetize, Google Israel’s Head of Gaming Eitan Reisel suggests, and warns: small companies need to make careful decisions when addressing monetization issues, and it’s better to be cautious about what platform will suit you best. Solution? Break down the game to different stages along the funnel to maximize targeting and insights. They explain more in their Casual Connect Tel Aviv talk. 

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Mark Shovman and the Sci-Fi Feel of Designing for AR | Casual Connect Video

March 20, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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An AR gamer is a mix of a gamer and an athlete. - Mark ShovmanClick To Tweet

Right now it’s safe to say that Virtual Reality (VR) is redefining gaming like no other force out there. On the other hand though Augmented Reality (AR) is due to arrive in 5 – 10 years, so how will gaming change when it’s here? What new games and new breeds of gamers can we expect? Pokemon Go is the first little glimpse of that future according to Mark Shovman, who explains more in their Casual Connect Tel Aviv session,

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Guy Hasson and the Math Behind the Success of Social Slots | Casual Connect Video

March 19, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Guy Hasson is Social Gaming Consultant of Old Man Productions, specializing in game popularity

What makes a social slots game attractive to users? What are the factors that increase the chances of succeeding in this genre? Can the profitability of the game be improved? If these are questions that are important to your business, you can’t do better than to listen to advice from Guy Hasson, social gaming consultant of Old Man Productions.

While working at Playtech, Guy learned everything there is to know about how to create a good slot game. At Playtika their emphasis was on analyzing how to create the most popular games. And as a consultant, Guy can show you the important factors that can help a slots game succeed. You can discover how to tremendously improve the average revenue per user, to increase the time the user will spend on machine and to boost the number of coins the user will bet, all important measures of the game’s success. At Casual Connect Europe, Guy’s session demonstrated the mathematical model that can lead to these results. One point that Guy emphasized was “Rate of Exhaustion (ROE) represents the game experience, RTP doesn’t. If you leave here today with one thing: RTP doesn’t matter. RTP is passé.” To learn more, watch this video of the full session.

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For more about Guy Hasson, see this exclusive article.

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