Europe 2018Video Coverage

Brian Schwab: A More Intimate Connection to Technology | Casual Connect Video

October 13, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

I try to not only have a good idea, but to fully understand my audience as far as possible. - Brian…Click To Tweet

Mixed reality is the combination of the real world with digital content, allowing developers to bring games and interaction to the real world around you. This relatively new medium presents a number of unique challenges not normally faced by “normal” game AI. Because both the real world and the virtual world need to understand the other, AI and data parsing are huge areas for AI work. In a talk called Bringing Pixels To The World at Casual Connect Europe 2018 in London, Aleissia Laidacker, Interaction Director and Brian Schwab, Director of Interaction Lab at Magic Leap
discussed the ins and outs of mixed reality. This session explained the “what, why, and how” of mixed reality to develop truly immersive experiences. Instead of bringing you into the story [like screen games in MR] the digital objects are in our world, like Roger Rabbit. Tune in to the session below for more insights.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Bernard Kim: Increasing the Accessibility of Gaming | Casual Connect Video

September 20, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

Focus on what players want, but not too much or too excessively. - Bernard KimClick To Tweet

In an engaging Fireside chat at Casual Connect Europe with Steel Media’s Jon Jordan and Zynga President of Publishing Bernard Kim, discussed the growth of Zynga over the last year and what’s next for the company.  In FIRESIDE CHAT: The Evolution of Zynga and What’s Next, Jon and Bernard discussed growth in the increasingly competitive mobile games market and how a focus on live services, genre expansion and player engagement can fuel a company’s growth. “Our focus is always on players experiences and how to make them more engaging and enjoyable within our existing and upcoming games.” He also spoke about the importance of authenticity, especially regarding branded games, and games like CSR that have real cars in them. To hear more great quotes and insights, see the full session below.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Reko Ukko: Balancing Art and Business in Games | Casual Connect Video

September 18, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

As long as there's creativity involved, I'm happy. - Reko UkkoClick To Tweet

In a highly competitive industry, Best Fiends has managed to grow its mobile entertainment franchise into a $100 million brand. In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled How to Leverage Game Design to Sustain Brand Awareness, Reko Ukko, VP of Game Design at Seriously, shared his insights on how to successfully grow an audience and increase engagement through storytelling, new feature updates and holiday themed events.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Launching Video Games in Land Based Casinos with Darion Lowenstein | Casual Connect Video

August 27, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton


Are you eager to take your video game to the real-money gambling market? What will it take to translate that game into a compelling experience on the casino floor? Darion Lowenstein has the knowledge and experience to answer your questions.

Darion Lowenstein is CMO of Gamblit Gaming, overseeing publishing and marketing for their real-money arcade style games for mobile and for their upcoming hardware launch in casinos. Darion has twenty years of experience producing and directing some of the biggest video games in the industry for companies such as Electronic Arts and Activision.

At Casual Connect Europe, in his session “The Realities of Launching Video Games in Land Based Casinos”, Darion shared his insight into all aspects of bringing video games to the casino floor. These include regulatory hurdles, the size of the market and the lessons learned from creating and introducing original hardware.

Darion insists that there is much more involved than simply taking a video game and putting in the casino. He says, “You really have to make the UI an arcade and casino experience. We take a lot of mobile or known game content and you can’t immediately add gambling and put it on the floor. You’ve got to make it this big, splashy presentation. You’ve got to make it something that really stands out, that competes with a slot machine.

To learn more about how to capitalize on this new revenue stream, be sure to watch the video of Darion’s full session at Casual Connect.


For more on Darion’s careeer and other professional views, see this exclusive article which includes his presentation at Casual Connect USA 2018.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

Lloyd Melnick: Bringing RMG and Social Casino Together | Casual Connect Video

July 20, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

Zynga effectively invented game product management and have made it into an art. - Lloyd MelnickClick To Tweet

As one of the most consistent and profitable areas of mobile gaming, social casino’s success has led to some complacency in the industry. By this, we see less innovation. In a talk at Casual Connect Europe called Lessons from Real Money Casino: How Game Developers Can Apply Best Practices from the Casino Industry to Maximize LTV in All Games, Lloyd Melnick (Director of StarsPlay at The Stars Group) provided strategies and tactics to help developers overcome and succeed in social casino and other genres of games.

Europe 2018Video Coverage

In-App Header Bidding and Why with Natalie Portier | Casual Connect Video

July 10, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton


What is happening with monetizing today? What do you need to know to successfully monetize into the future? These are questions that are crucial for everyone in the game industry. Natalie Portier offers the information and solutions that can make the difference to your business.

Natalie is the Chief Operating Officer at ad mediation company Appodeal and has been with the company from the beginning. Innovations and quality game development are Natalie’s passions as they implement their ten years of experience in business operations and tech development.

Currently, everyone is interested in in-app header bidding, the next big thing in mobile development. Appodeal is now implementing this solution, providing closer access the actual highest price per impression for publishers and making it available to all Appodeal clients. At the Casual Connect session Mobile Advertising is Evolving: What You Need to Know to Monetize in 2018 and Beyond, Natalie explained more about this technology and why you should care about it, as well as shared the first industry results of in-app header bidding. You can learn more about this trend by watching the video of the full session from Casual Connect Europe 2018.

For more about Natalie and her career, please see this exclusive article.


Announcing the Indie Prize Finalists from South America and North America

May 25, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton


Casual Connect Europe 2018 Indie Prize Finalists from South America:

Players who enjoy a good fight will appreciate the entries for Indie Prize from South America. All three are based on various kinds of warfare. But each of these three is completely different, taking place in environments that include a world of avatars and minions, the early British time of King Arthur, or present day multi-vehicle war. Each requires strategic thinking and challenging movement and will challenge players’ abilities.

Game Title: Teratopia
Developer: Ravegan
Platform: Console, Desktop Win
Country: Argentina

Teratopia is an action strategy game with the player controlling avatars who spawn different classes of minions. The minions are completely independent; the player can only decide where, when and which one to throw. Players advance through an open-end world as they defeat bosses to unlock new spawning portals. The game has humor, role playing elements and local multiplayer options.

Teratopia is scheduled for release in October 2018 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Kyiv 2017Video Coverage

Dave Rohrl: Making Consistently High Quality Games | Casual Connect Video

May 14, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

Life is too short to make bad games! - Dave RohrlClick To Tweet

Panelists Alex Mendelev (Advisor with DoubleJump Games), Dave Rohrl (CEO & Founder of Mobile Game Doctor), Konrad Stanczak (Promotions Specialist at Power Up Game Studio) discussed finding balance between gameplay and monetization at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017. The panel Designing for Revenue – It’s Not All Fun and Games was moderated by Tapdaq’s VP of Business Development Chris Lefebvre. Together, they shared their experience which varied from industry veterans to newly published indies.


Behind the Title: An Interview with Jessica Tams, Founder and Managing Director of Casual Games Association

April 25, 2018 — by Marina Sapunova


In this interview, yellowHEAD’s Marina Sapunova speaks with Jessica Tams about her life behind one of the most successful events in the games industry, why she moved to a farm and what she was like in high school.

Marina Sapunova: Hi Jessica! I’m happy to have you with me. I don’t think that you need an introduction for our audience, but it would be great if you could say just a few words about what you do.

Jessica Tams: I’m Jessica Tams – I am the Managing Director of CGA. We have a couple of things that we do: Casual Connect; we also organize Indie Prize, which is the scholarship program for indie developers; and a media outlet – We’ve been doing this for 13 years. We do 4 shows a year. So that’s what I do.

Marina: Nice! And you are so good at what you do! But let’s talk about Jessica. Who’s Jessica behind her title?


Game Developers in the Future – How it Will Be

March 29, 2018 — by Industry Contributions


By Robert Everett

Not so long ago, web developers were unwilling to take gaming as a full-time career but nowadays, they are doing it full time. Some who are specialized in designing entertaining programs have become millionaires while others are quitting their jobs due to the allure of big money generated in this field.

Apart from playing online, if you are talented in a real sport and you would like to take it as your career, here is a comprehensive guide on how you can apply for an athletic college scholarship. According to this guide, if you are accepted, you will have to balance between excelling in sports and your academic work. If such a workload scares you, do not hesitate to contact for academic assistance.

That said, the future of the playing industry appears uncertain and it is hard to tell how it will be like in years to come. Nevertheless, this article will briefly look into the past, the current and the future of gaming technology in a bid to understand the trends of this industry.

1) The Past

As they say, you cannot plan your future if you do not know where you are coming from. Many current entertainment enthusiasts may think that web development aimed at entertainment is a recent phenomenon but they are wrong. Video games have been in existence since the 1950’s but were being designed as a hobby and not for money.

In the 1970’s, production moved a notch higher with the establishment of arcades and a decade later, video games were extended from arcades into homes thereby ushering an era of home consoles championed by companies like Atari, Sega and Nintendo.

2) The Present

From the 1980’s, the industry continued to evolve as new technological inventions came up. It is as a result of this that we are able to play high quality video options unlike those of the past.
Despite this growth, it is disturbing to note that game development jobs have been decreasing since 2014. According to recent surveys on job postings, available positions have been reducing at an alarming rate and the possible could be:

  1. The recent technological inventions are altering the ways we are doing things. For, example, most developers are making more mobile applications than in the past.
  2. In the past, designing of games was being done in studios funded by key publishers like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony etc but that stopped, leading to job losses. Today, most developers today work either in small teams or independently.
  3. Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) seems to have completely changed the whole playing perspective.

3) The future of virtual games

New technological inventions have created a myriad of opportunities for designers as a huge number of them are now concentrating on making mobile-friendly entertaining apps.

(a) Current trends on Mobile phones

Today developers prefer GPUs graphics as opposed to CPUs as it was the case in the past, as they offer the much needed processing power.

Software developers – Google, Microsoft and iOS are also aware of the industry’s potential and they are constantly improving their platforms to lure more developers into their platforms.

Currently Android has the most developers due to the unlimited flexibility it offers as compared to its closest competitor iOS. The problem with the latter is that its app store is not open to developers and thus testing and publishing software isn’t free. Microsoft is also investing heavily in its new platform – Windows 10 OS to make it more appealing to developers and it is hoping its efforts will eventually pay off.

(b) Computer games

Current trends show that PC games are declining but to counter this, hardware manufacturers are now manufacturing portable computers that are not only lighter in weight than their predecessors but also highly efficient just like smart phones to lure developers back.

Back to the Future the game will probably change as we move on and we might see many developers concentrating more on computer programs.

(c) Clouds computing

This is another front that will determine players’ future. Most of them prefer options with clouds’ storage system. This is because you can play on one device and continue playing from where you left on another one. This is because results are uploaded in the clouds and are synced with any device you logon thereafter making those games more efficient and we expect more adoption of this technology in the future.

(d) Game development courses

Years back, to become a game developer, you had to undertake a 4-year computer science course but today, most young developers are preferring studying on coding boot camps which can be done within 12-14 weeks. Due to the increased adoption of these short courses, many developers are graduating and it is exciting to see how this will impact on the future of virtual playing.

(e) Trending games 2018

Xbox owners can now enjoy the latest releases like the Burnout Paradise Re-mastered, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7. Others expected in 2018 are: the Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty, Titan Fall 2 and Assassin’s Creed Origins.

The Star Wars games are also trending in 2018 and are available both on PS4 and on the new Xbox. These are not the only new ones available, visit IT news sites and subscribe for latest updates.


Although the future appears uncertain, developers are optimistic about brighter times. They are counting on manufacturers to produce highly efficient gadgets that can play complex and high-resolution programs like Halo but for now, we can only wait.

Author’s bio: Robert Everett is an ardent writer with a specialty in the web development field. He offers deep insights when it comes to games. Apart from writing the said articles, he is also skilled in generating web content as well as writing academic masterpieces such as term papers, capstone projects, research papers, dissertations etc.