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Announcing the Indie Prize at Casual Connect USA Participants from Europe and Asia Part 1

December 27, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Europe and Asia are bringing some exciting participants to the Indie Prize during Casual Connect USA 2018 at Disneyland® Hotel. The games bring a variety of worlds and experiences, imaginary, realistic and even historical. The story lines are as varied as the environments, and challenge, adventure and learning are involved in all of them.

Game Title: Bushy Tail
Developer: Fuero Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: Poland

In Bushy Tail, three children are processing their experiences when refugees and foreign cultures suddenly arrive. They dive into the fictional world and tell the story of their hero, Little Fox, who goes through, adapts and overcomes the challenges of change. The game is constantly transforming, depending on which child is telling the story, giving the player the sense of influencing the plot.

EventsNews

Indie Developers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands Flock to Kyiv

October 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Developers from Northwestern countries in Europe including one team representing each of these countries: Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands will compete at the 20th Indie Prize which will be held in conjunction with Casual Connect Kyiv 2017.

Sweden’s participant in Indie Prize is an unusual adventure game that is already attracting attention in several categories in the app stores.

Game Title: Castle Cats
Developer: PocApp S
tudios
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.pocappstudios.com/

Castle Cats is a cat collection adventure. The player takes the role of the guild leader and works to defeat the ultimate enemy: The Evil Pugomancer. But you will have to play the game to find out how cat collection is such an adventure.

Castle Cats was featured as 8th in the New and Updated category of Google Play and 20th place for New Games We Love on Apple. It also received 15th place in the Action and Adventure category at launch on June 15th 2017.

Denmark’s entry in Indie Prize 2017 is an endless runner that adds the twist of music to the excitement of surmounting obstacles and defeating enemies.

Game Title: Disco Flip
Developer: ALL CAPS
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.allcapsgames.com/

Do you like action? How about music? Disco Flip combines the two with an endless runner world. There are countless characters, each with their own music and visuals. And the player must navigate both obstacles and enemies to succeed in this game.

DevelopmentExclusive Interviews

Oskar Burman: Finding the Magic in VR

July 27, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Oskar Burman is CEO of Fast Travel Games

Oskar Burman is CEO of Fast Travel Games, a company they founded with some friends from EA DICE during the summer of 2016. As CEO of a small company, their role includes everything from janitor to project manager and business developer. Fast Travel Games is a VR games studio, and after twenty years in the game industry, Oskar found the opportunity to do VR, something they felt compelled to try. “It’s been a childhood dream,” they say, “and the future is finally upon us!”

During Oskar’s years in the game industry, they have been Development Director at Avalanche Studios (the creators of Just Cause), COO at EA Easy, a part of EA DICE, and General Manager of Rovio (creators of Angry Birds 2). All of these positions built the experience that led to the position Oskar fills today.

These days the most enjoyable aspect of Oskar’s work is “finding the magic in VR.” At this stage all the rules are being established; this is a new medium they are exploring, trying to understand which genres will work and how the UX/UI should be structured.

Fun Times Making Games

Oskar has been fascinated by gaming from childhood and by age twelve was already making games. These early games were in Basic and were small games for family and friends. The experience was incredibly enjoyable, particularly the ability to control the computer.

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Esports for Indie Mobile Developers: Mad Skills Motocross Championship Deep Dive

April 4, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Simon Sundén, head of Esports at Gumbler

With over 31 million downloads, Mad Skills Motocross 2 has continued to be a success for developer Turborilla since its launch in 2014. This is primarily due to a loyal player base, many of which are involved in real-life Motocross, as well as partnerships with the likes of RedBull for exclusive events. Looking to drive more community engagement, Turborilla decided to up the ante in October 2015 by introducing real-money challenges via Swedish skills-based esports platform, Gumbler.

Based purely on a player’s skill, Gumbler brings esports to mobile games by enabling players to win real cash through placing money on their abilities. After integrating Gumbler, Mad Skills Motocross 2 saw players win upward of $900,000 in 2016 – with some individual players earning as much as $6,000 per month.

Having seen the high levels of engagement from the Mad Skills Motocross 2 community, Gumbler worked with Turborilla to host its first World Championship at the beginning of 2017 with a prize pot of $20,000.

For Gumbler, the goal was simple as its Head of Esports, Simon Sunden explains:

EventsNews

Indie Prize Europe 2017 Winners Revealed

February 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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Photo by Lera Polska

Casual Games Association has announced the winners of the Indie Prize showcase. The honorees were revealed during a awards ceremony at Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, a tactical stealth game set in Japan’s Edo period by Mimimi Productions, won Best Game Design. Anshar Wars 2, a VR space shooter game by Ozwe Games, won Best VR Game. FRU, a puzzle platformer that that uses Kinect to make the player’s silhouette into a “portal” between two worlds by Through Games, won Most Innovative Game. Blink and Die, a VR rhythm title where the music defines the level by Sureksu, won Best Game Audio and Best Kids & Family Game

“Indie Prize is becoming bigger and bigger year by year – it is amazing and overwhelming to see indie talent and spirit growing so very strong all over the world,” says Yuliya Moshkaryova, Director of Indie Prize. “On behalf of Casual Connect and Indie Prize, we cordially congratulate all the finalists, nominees and winners, and are looking forward to seeing more games in the future.”

Photo by Lera Polska

Other winners include Figment, a 3D isometric action-adventure where players fight against the anxieties of a 40-year old man by Bedtime Digital Games, won Best Game Art. Empathy, an adventure game where you explore the memories from people of the path by Pixel Night, won Best Game Narrative. Lightfield, an omnidirectional racing game described as parkour with a space ship by Lost in the Garden, won Best Multiplayer Game. Super Pet Hero, a voxel game about dodging traffic and pet saving by Amused Sloth, won Best Mobile Game. Lastly CoverFire by 1MBand had the honor to win the Best in Show award which was voted for at the event. 

Indie Prize has partnered with many local game contests from around the world. This grants the opportunity for various regional winners to showcase their games at Casual Connect. All told, developers from 63 countries submitted 470 games for the international Indie Prize scholarship, an increase of 20 percent compared to last year’s Indie Prize Europe 2016. Forty-two judges selected the 130 indie games to be showcased in the Indie Prize area during Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Celebrating a well earned moment of triumph, photo by Lera Polsky

Fantastic Nominees:

BEST GAME AUDIO
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 developed by Crazy Monkey Studios
The Long Reach developed by TLR Team
Beat the Game developed by Worm Animation

BEST GAME DESIGN
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
FRU developed by Through Games
The Adventure Pals developed by Massive Monster
Okhlos developed by The Adventure Pals

BEST GAME ART
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Vive le Roi developed by Seccia
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games

BEST GAME NARRATIVE
Empathy by Pixel Night
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Code 7 developed by Good Wolf Studios
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
LIGHTFIELD developed by Lost in the Garden
Super Rocket Shootout developed by Oddly Shaped Pixels
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
Akuto: Mad World developed by Hut 90

BEST KIDS AND FAMILY GAME
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
House of Languages developed by Fox3D Entertainment OU
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Trains VR developed by The House of Fables

BEST MOBILE GAME
Super Pet Hero developed by Amused Sloth
VOI developed by Yunus AYYILDIZ (gamebra.in)
unWorded developed by bento
Euclidean Lands developed by Miro Straka

BEST VR GAME
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
The Biumbis developed by 3OGS
Wrath of Loki VR Adventure developed by The House of Fables

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
FRU developed by Through Games
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes

You can find the full list of Indie Prize Berlin 2016 finalists at indieprize.org.

Photo taken by Lera Polska

Join Indie Prize Facebook community to stay updated about Indie Prize https://www.facebook.com/groups/870174783048528/

The winners are supported by Unity (Platinum sponsor), Korean Game Developers Association (Gold sponsor) and the prizes for winners are provided by: Tenjin, Photon, Amazon Appstore, Appodeal, SpeedLink, ironSource and IBM.

ContributionsDevelopmentEventsIndieNews

Nordic Countries & Northern Europe at Indie Prize Berlin 2017

January 14, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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Three games from Finland and from Sweden, one game from Denmark, from Ireland and from Estonia, two games from Lithuania and eight games from United Kingdom will be showcased at the international Indie Prize showcase during Casual Connect Europe 2017. Among these games there are two games that were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: Sweden Game Conference from Sweden and by GameOn from Lithuania.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Mattias Lindblad: Gaming is Art in Passpartout

December 29, 2016 — by David Radd

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Mattias Lindblad is the CEO Flamebait Games, makers of starving artist simulator Passpartout. The game recently scored a spot to compete in Indie Prize at Casual Connect Europe by winning the Swedish Game Conference, whose theme this year was inclusive game development.

“It is very exciting and we’re looking forward towards showcasing Passpartout in Berlin,” said Mattias. “We’re also looking forward to meeting other developers and playing their games.”


Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Gustav Edberg: Obsession with Horror

November 11, 2016 — by David Radd

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Gustav Edberg at the SGA gala
Gustav Edberg at the SGA gala

Gustav Edberg with Creaky Stairs Studio is the creator of Notes of Obsession, which recently won the top prize at the Swedish Game Awards 2016 in June, winning them a place in the Indie Prize competition at Casual Connect in Tel Aviv. Gustav considers this a great honor, and sees it as the first step in a path towards making games as a career.

“My dream is to make a living out of game developing. By winning Swedish game awards I felt like I actually had a chance at this,” said Gustav. “I felt like this might actually be my job someday. It was no longer a farfetched dream that will never happen. So by getting recognized by the SGA gave me a lot of confidence that I could be part of creating a much better game. Be part of an indie studio and working full time with it.”

“I am really excited to go to Indie Prize and meet all the wonderful developers and hear their stories and to learn from them,” he added. “I also think that the event is a great thing to show ourselves to the world, we managed to do this game in 10 weeks and we are damn proud of it!”

EventsNews

Nordic Countries are Coming to Indie Prize Tel Aviv

October 11, 2016 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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The international Indie Prize showcase for independent developers will take place on Nov 1-3, 2016 in Tel Aviv. Sixty games from 21countries were provided with Indie Prize scholar27ship by Casual Connect and will be showcased at Habima Square during three days from 9 AM to 5 PM.

This year at the international Indie Prize showcase Nordic countries will be represented with one game from Finland and two games from Sweden at the 2nd annual Casual Connect Tel Aviv.

Europe 2016Video Coverage

Building Learning Experiences for Kids with Jaana Nykanen | Casual Connect Video

April 22, 2016 — by Steve Kent

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'We see our games as interactive toys. Children learn a lot from playing with toys.'–Jaana NykanenClick To Tweet

Game Producer for Divine Robot, Jaana Nykanen explains how to make a successful mobile game and raise twins simultaneously. Jaana’s main advice: “Do what you love and love what you do.” Jaana guided the audience at Casual Connect Europe through the journey from being a child with a love of computers and games to being a mother and a game producer who now is making games for children. “Don’t worry, you will fuck up,” and that’s okay.

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