main

AudioExclusive Interviews

Mikolai Stroinski: Making Bewitching Music for Witcher 3

May 15, 2017 — by David Radd

Mikolai-Stroinski-1-New-1-960x540.jpg

We spoke to Mikolai Stroinski, an award-winning Polish game composer based in Los Angeles, about his music for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter as well as Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, The Witcher 3 expansions Wild Hunt and Blood & Wine. Mikolai describes working on the most famous of Polish development franchises in The Witcher as “a dream come true.”

“Each time I’ve experienced an amazing game, film or TV show, I felt a desire to illustrate it with my music and therefore be a part of it,” said Mikolai. “However, in case of The Witcher it was more than that. When I read the Sapkowski’s books in the mid ‘90s I loved them, but was aware that one needed to know Polish language to appreciate it and therefore felt bad about those who didn’t. Now not only am I able to share the world of Geralt but also my music attached to it. What a joy!!!”

Poland has itself grown into a hub for gamedev in Europe over the past decade. He’s also at the forefront of a growing Polish game music composer scene, including Kamil Orman-Janowski and Arkadiusz Reikowski. Mikolai attributes this rise to the use of personal computers from Spectrum, Atari and Commodore in Polish apartments in the ’80s.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Anton Gauffin: Succeeding with Social Casino | Casual Connect Video

May 10, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

Anton-Gauffin-960x540.jpg
Anton Gauffin is CEO of Huuuge Games

Are you interested in the social casino space in the game industry? Do you want to know what it takes to succeed in this market? If so, you want to listen to Anton Gauffin, CEO of Huuuge Games.

Anton Gauffin founded his first mobile game company, Gamelion, at the beginning of the mobile games era in 2002. In 2007 he sold the company, but in 2014 had the opportunity to buy it back and didn’t hesitate for an instant. Anton renamed it Huuuge and changed focus to social casino where he knew there was a lot of room to innovate.

At Casual Connect Europe, Anton, participated in a discussion of the latest topics in the social casino industry. You won’t want to miss this insights from this CEO of the fastest growing social casino company of 2016 who claims, “We just need more players playing social casino games.” Be sure to watch the video of the session to see the interview by Adi Hanin of Playtika.

For more about Anton’s insights and career, see this article.

AudioExclusive Interviews

Rob Zahn: Making the Most of Music

May 7, 2017 — by David Radd

serial-cleaner-hero-car_9yuu-960x540.jpg

Rob Zahn is a composer that has worked on a variety of genres including horror, fantasy, science fiction and more. Rob says that more than enjoying it, this makes him into a better composer.

“Regardless of whether you like it or not, it’s absolutely essential to know how to handle different styles of music if you want to get hired on a consistent basis,” noted Rob. “Having said that, I don’t think it’s an especially healthy habit to get too comfortable with labels like ‘horror’ or ‘fantasy’ because they’re much too broad and imply the overuse of tropes that can quickly make your stuff sound extremely tired and generic. But yeah, obviously variety is spicy, or something!”

One of the various musical experiences Rob has had is with the band Dead Wake. “I kind of grew up on rock and metal and there was a time when I didn’t listen to very much other than Dream Theater and Opeth and guys like that…but after a while I sort of abandoned it for various reasons,” said Rob. “I’ve gotten to stretch out a bit with Dead Wake as a bassist, vocalist, lyricist and arranger. Metal is definitely not a style I’m often asked to write in for gigs – hopefully that’ll change though! We recently finished tracking our debut album ‘Ghost Stories’ with Kevin Antreassian of The Dillinger Escape Plan and are looking forward to releasing it within the next few months.”

ContributionsIndustry

Let’s Play: What it Means for the Gaming Industry

May 5, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

Depositphotos_84981286_l-2015-960x540.jpg

By Sara Parker, Writer and Editor

Gaming has become much more social and communal in recent years. Instead of being limited by your physical location and the number of controllers you have for a gaming console, you can connect and play with other gamers around the world. With this type of connection, new gaming platforms and types of interactions have emerged, such as Let’s Play. But what does this mean for the gaming industry?

What is Let’s Play?

Let’s Play is a style of videos that gamers make of themselves playing video, computer and mobile games. You can watch these videos on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. There also are different styles of Let’s Play. For example, Rooster Teeth has a whole series devoted to them playing video games badly. Twitch, on the other hand, usually shows off some of the most skilled players you can learn from and admire. Let’s Play videos are easy to watch from your computer at home or while you’re on the go with streaming options for smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus. If you pre-ordered the device from T-Mobile, you can get the Gear VR, controller and Oculus bonus content for free. Plus, with VR becoming more popular for smartphones, you may also be able to watch Let’s Play videos on VR headsets in the near future.

It’s Entertaining

Gamers love watching Let’s Play videos because they are a good source of entertainment. There are brands, podcasters and YouTube stars, such as PewDiePie, that put out these videos as part of their media and entertainment series. Many of these people became popular because they are funny, witty or sarcastic.

You also may be interested in these videos because many of the players are truly amazing. This is how Twitch exploded onto the scene. You can learn tips and tricks from these players, or you can just see how professionals play some of your favorite games.

It Encourages New Game Play

One of the main benefits for Let’s Play videos is that it gives you a way to find new games you want to play. Many Let’s Play streamers try to hit a wide variety of games that fall under different genres and styles of game play. For example, they may upload videos for several horror games one week and then focus on fantasy games the next week.

If you’re looking for something new to play, this is a great way to preview games. If you like the look of the video game world or the game-play style, then you’re more likely to feel confident about spending money on the game.

It Could Affect Sales

Many people within the gaming industry are against Let’s Play videos, though. Their argument is that you may get your fill of the game by watching someone else play it, or you may see how the story line plays out and not want to play it yourself. This would then mean that you wouldn’t spend money to buy the game, which affects game developers’ bottom lines. The result in the industry could be that developers produce fewer games.

Let’s Play videos have been around in various forms for some time and don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. The gaming industry needs to keep this trend in mind when they’re developing games and find ways to use them to their advantage. In the meantime, enjoy watching your favorite personalities show off their skills (or lack thereof)!


Sara started her writing and editing career in the world of technology and gaming. She has written numerous articles about the tech world and knows more about the cloud than she ever thought she would. She’s an Android enthusiast and is always looking to learn about the next big thing in tech. She is an experienced writer and editor who’s always up for a good Oxford comma debate.

EventsIndustry

Alternative Markets: Out-of-Home Applications for VR Gaming

April 30, 2017 — by Casey Rock

VRgaming-960x540.jpg

While GiGse touched on virtual reality’s place in the casino industry last year, this year it was a major focus. In its Day 2 opening lecture, KWP Limited Director Kevin Williams dove into VR gaming and what it could mean for the casino industry.

Kevin comes from the digital out-of-home entertainment (DOE) industry which, historically, has not overlapped much with the casino industry – although the two industries have sometimes competed for customers. However, with consumer trends toward entertainment shifting, the two industries have recently started working together. Kevin noted, for instance, that people are beginning to see casinos as experience destinations instead of gaming centers.

Alternative Markets

Kevin brought his experiences with VR from the DOE industry to share with those at GiGse who might be mulling VR setups in their casinos – listing various ways VR is already being used. He noted that many places are looking to VR to supplement their current entertainment options or provide something new for guests.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Melinda Montano: Helping Developers Go Cross-Platform | Casual Connect Video

April 19, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

CCBerlin2Day-362-featured-image-960x540.jpg
Going cross-platform can keep a game alive and played for years to come. - Melinda MontanoClick To Tweet

Going cross platform is an opportunity to increase your potential audience. It can please your current userbase and it can grow your lifetime revenue. Such a leap needs to be considered carefully. As Melinda Montano, Business Development Manager at Kongregate explained during their presentation at Casual Connect Europe, “Before you decide to go cross-platform, understand why you’re doing it. Figure out the opportunity – do you want more revenue, users, prestige?” The complications developers often encounter when going from mobile to PC and vice-versa. These include perceived game value, freemium/premium, to the specifics of UX/UI changes. Melinda’s talk, PC and Mobile: Going Cross Platform Post-Launch provides actionable insights for your cross-platform PC and mobile plans. One simple tip Melinda offered was: “In UI, the biggest thing to remember when going from PC to mobile is that we have hands. They cover the screen.” For more, see the full lecture below.

EventsIndustryNews

GiGse 2017 Looks Toward Next Generation in Casino Gaming

April 17, 2017 — by Casey Rock

gigse-featured-960x540.jpg

When GiGse 2017 touches down in San Diego later this April, it will be with an unflinching eye toward the future. While there will be a variety of topics discussed at the conference – virtual reality, social casino, skill-based games, esports, mobile integration, and more – all of it will focus around the next generation of casino gaming: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Bill Mooney: The Next Mobile Esports Revolution | Casual Connect Video

April 10, 2017 — by David Radd

Skillz-Official-Employee-Group-Photo-960x378.jpg
I still hope to think that my proudest moment is still to come. - Bill MooneyClick To Tweet

The three elements which comprise an esport are: competition, organized tournaments and spectatorship. In 1972, esports began with a Spacewar tournament. About 50 years later, esports has evolved into its own entity within the games industry. Join Bill Mooney, CPO of Skillz, at Casual Connect Europe at his talk entitled Esports 101: The Past, Present and Future of an Industry on the Rise as he explores the history behind esports and talks about the future as well. Esports has a projected audience of 180 million by 2019 and over $5 billion in revenue by 2020. Bill described, “Esports drives the committed audience.” To hear more insights into this exciting part of the games industry, tune in to Bill’s full session below.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Clark Stacey: Taking Advantage of Licensing | Casual Connect Video

April 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

Clark-Stacey-featured-image-2-960x540.jpg
Clark Stacey presenting at Casual Connect Europe 2017.

So you’ve made it! Your game is a success, and now you’re thinking of taking that success farther. Could licensing the game for consumer products be a good move? What are the advantages? What pitfalls do you need to watch for?

Clark Stacey is a person you might want to ask. Clark is Co-Founder and CEO of Wildworks, a developer of games for children, based in the US and Amsterdam. WildWorks IP Animal Jam has grown to become the world’s largest online social network for children. In 2016 they extended Animal Jam to include toys, consumer products and other media.

At Casual Connect Europe, Clark discussed what they learned from this process and how to position your game and your development teams to succeed with licensing. One important takeaway from his presentation is that connections back to your game can be more valuable that the product royalties. But equally important, “Don’t assume that because a company is big they know what they are doing.”

For more insights into the licensing process watch the video of Clark’s full session at Casual Connect.

DOWNLOAD SLIDES

To read more about Clark Stacey including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Matthew Paxman: Brawl For Fun with Cowbots and Aliens

April 6, 2017 — by David Radd

Featured-image-screen3-960x540.jpg

Matthew Paxman is a developer at Wizard Games, maker of Cowbots and Aliens. The VR game won the IGDA Victoria contest, meaning Wizard Games will able to show the title off at Indie Prize Seattle and Casual Connect USA.

Wizard Games’ Booth at IDGA Victoria

“We were super excited to see people enjoying Cowbots and Aliens so much at the IDGA Victoria contest,” said Matthew. “Being able to show the game off at Casual Connect Indie Prize will be a great opportunity to gather feedback, gain exposure, meet other indie game makers and just have a ton of fun.”

This might not of been possible without releasing Cowbots and Aliens on Steam Early Access. Matthew confirmed that doing so has allowed Wizard Games to have some great community feedback that has helped with the direction of how to develop the game.

“Our vision of what Cowbots and Aliens will be when we release the final version out of Early Access has changed dramatically and we think for the better due to the community’s feedback,” Matthew detailed. “It’s helped us understand what fans really care about and want to see more of.”

logo
SUPPORTED BY