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Europe 2018Video Coverage

Nicol Cseko: Innovation in Ad Technology | Casual Connect Video

June 30, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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I relish the fast pace of innovation and experimentation in the Ad Tech industry. - Nicol CsekoClick To Tweet

At Casual Connect Europe, Nicol Cseko (VP of Product at Aarki) gave a talk entitled Level Up Your App Marketing with the Power of Creatives. She advised others on how to take the performance of your mobile app campaign up a notch by leveraging data for creative optimization. She also gave insights into successes and failures for mobile app campaigns and answered why they had the outcome that they did. Learn how you too can optimize ad creatives using data and previous lessons to deliver significant improvements in ad performance. Please see the video below for the full talk.

EventsNews

The 22nd Indie Prize Winners at Casual Connect Europe 2018

June 1, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Prize London 2018 featured many exciting games that we will enjoy playing. The judging is now complete and Casual Connect Europe is happy to announce the winners and nominees in each category.

Best Game Audio award was given to Zebrainy ABCs, created by Zebrainy Limited

The winner of Best Game Audio is Zebrainy ABCs, created by Zebrainy Limited from Ukraine. This is an alphabet learning game for young children that takes them on a journey where they learn to construct each letter and then to know animals, objects and characters that begin with that letter.

Nominees for Best Game Audio were: LUNA the Shadow Dust, developed by Lantern Studio from the United Kingdom, a point-and-click puzzle adventure set in a fantasy world; Nishan Shaman by Next Studio from China, inspired by ancient Chinese Manchu mythology; and Hyperforma by Nord Unit of Russia, an arcade puzzle in a steampunk setting.

The winner of Best Game Design was EnigmBox by Benoit Freslom from France. EnigmBox is a puzzle game that requires you to use all the functionalities of your smartphone to solve the puzzles, including things like the location service, plug-in accessories and much more.

IndustryNews

Presenting the Indie Prize Finalists from Europe Part 2

May 24, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Prize at Casual Connect Europe 2018 has attracted many entries from all over Europe, including Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom. And the innovation in these games is remarkable. Competitive games have a variety of new twists that require speed, precision and skill to succeed. Adventure and narrative games pit the player against novel situations and obstacles. Settings range from the historically accurate (or inaccurate) to fantasy or dungeons or even the player’s mind. And a variety of puzzle games challenge players’ thinking in different ways. Whatever kind of gaming you prefer, there are games here you will enjoy. These fantastic games total 38 from Europe. The finalists have been broken up into two parts. To see the other 19, see this article.

Game Title: Falling Sky
Developer: Falling Sky
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom/Norway

Falling Sky is a cinematic 3D mystery game. It was developed at the National Film and Television School and the project leader and sole developer was Jonathan Nielssen. The game uses Unreal Engine and motion capture technology to create immersive, narrative-driven drama. It has a Twin Peaks influence and elements of open world adventure.

The characters of the game are brothers Daniel and Tommy, who are attempting to solve the mystery of their mother’s disappearance. Guided by a series of cryptic messages, the boys set off on a quest to find the truth.

Falling Sky was nominated for Best Student Game at the Game Awards. It has also been receiving attention in the press.

Game Title: Lost Words
Developer: Sketchbook Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Lost Words is an atmospheric puzzle game that is set between the pages of a diary and a fantasy land. The narrative of the game is tied into the gameplay in an unusual way, having the player running on and solving puzzles by interacting with words.

Lost Words won Best Indie Game, Best Casual Game and and Most Original Game at Game Connection 2017 in France. It was also nominated for Best Idea at AzPlay 2017 in Spain and won UK Game of the Show from UKE at Gamescom 2017 in Germany. It also received the Special Selection Indie Award at Reboot Develop 2017 in Croatia.

Game Title: Super Chicken Catchers
Developer: Game Design : Maxime BODIN, Rafael LOPES Game Art : Benoit RICHARD, Sylvain LACERES, Etienne POV, Marion CHABROL SUPT Game Programming : Alexis COEURDEROY, Yanis HAMEL, Ilyes OUHABI LESURTEL
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: France

Super Chicken Catchers is a 2v2 game set in a multi-player arena. Each team of two players is made up of the mount, who chases the chickens, and the rider, who must catch the chickens with his yo-yo.

Game Title: Naraa: The Living Book
Developer: Game Design : Nicolas DUVAL, David BIRGE-COTTE Game Art : Perrine LOZINGUEZ, Charlotte COUDERC, Julie MIZREH, Violaine BERTHOUMIEU Game Programming : Rémi CARREIRA, Benjamin HADDAD, Matthieu JAGU
Platform: Other mobile platform
Country: France

Naraa: the Living Book uses augmented reality to explore the landscapes of Mongolia with a real children’s book. In this story Naraa wants to become a shaman but she needs help from the player. The realms of the spirits have been invaded by the villainous Iblis. To win the trust of the spirits, Naraa must have help from the player to free them from the Iblis; only then can the player wake up the Great Bear.

Game Title: Planet’s Revenge
Developer: Planet’s Revenge team
Platform: Android
Country: France

In the Planet’s Revenge, the Nias have escaped from their planet and are invading the universe. Only the player can stop this parasitic invasion. To do it you must clean each planet by creating tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and unleashing other destructive powers.

Game Title: QUBE 2
Developer: Toxic Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Q.U.B.E. 2 is the sequel to the first-person puzzle game Q.U.B.E. As Amelia Cross, a stranded archaeologist, the player mysteriously awakens in the ruins of an ancient alien landscape. Your goal is to find your way home, but to do it you must manipulate and travel through this forgotten world. Your only help comes from another, although distant, survivor, Commander Emma Sutcliffe.

Q.U.B.E. 2 has won the following awards: Outstanding Gameplay – Reboot Develop 2016, Game of the Year – Reboot Develop 2016, Global VR Challenge 2016, Kotaku – Best of British 2018.

Game Title: Mission 1545
Developer: City Quests Media
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac, Web
Country: United Kingdom

Mission 1545 is a rescue mission adventure set in Tudor London of the 16th Century. Spies are everywhere and players must stay out of sight, avoiding enemy light comes. They must win the eight themed gate towers in a night-long race along the city wall in order to reach the Tower of London. Then they must find and release the prisoner held there.

Mission 1545 is the first game for City Quests Media. The team is dedicated to making games set in English history, using an outstanding cast and a comic book art style, soundtrack, acting and script.

Game Title: Gaze
Developer: Franck Morgand, Clément Mezelle, Grégoire Chamberland, Lothario Areski Peon de Schuyter
Platform: Android
Country: France

Gaze is a game that combines speed, observation and sculpture. Players must find the anamorphic shapes printed on the sculpture using the camera of their smartphone. Once they find the anamorphosis, they take a picture to validate it and receive a score. And the player with the highest score wins.

Gaze was an official selection at Indiecade Europe 2017. It has been reviewed on a number of websites that include Shake That Button, Factornews, Game Side Story, and The Broadcast Show.

Game Title: Over the Alps
Developer: Stave Studios
Platform: iOS, Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

Over the Alps takes players on a race through the Switzerland of 1939 in a text adventure/point-and-click adventure. They explore scenes inspired by vintage travel posters and read postcard written in invisible ink. They must navigate the intrigue of wartime Europe, trying to stay undercover while being chased by a Nazi spycatcher. They must escape the spycatcher, rescue the Watchmaker and unlock the secrets of the past.

Over the Alps has been accepted into the Leftfield Collection and has appeared in Gamesmaster.

Game Title: Ruya
Developer: Miracle Tea
Platform: Miracle Tea
Country: United Kingdom

Players of this game find tranquility as they match the characters of Ruya‘s world. They visit surreal landscapes while decorating themselves in flowers and introspect. Ruya offers a calming experience with interactions and color combinations designed to make players feel at ease. And the dreamlike soundtrack pulls you into the state of peaceful flow.

Ruya has been featured in the Top 10 Charts in the App stores worldwide and was rated 9.1 on App Advice. It won Game of the Show at Game Anglia 2017 and was an Official Selection at Casual Connect Asia 2017. And it was a winner at Trazfuser 2016.

Game Title: Disco Flip
Developer: ALL CAPS
Platform: Android
Country: Denmark

Disco Flip has players navigating obstacles and enemies through a unique twist of music and action in an endless runner game. This game is filled with different characters and the players must traverse a dangerous path while everything, even the trees, moves to the beat of the music.

Disco Flip won the People’s Choice Award at GameScope 2017.

Game Title: Swim Out
Developer: Lozange Lab
Platform: iOS, Android, Console, Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: France

Swim Out is a strategic turn-based puzzle game. It takes place in the refreshing, relaxing atmosphere of a sunny day by the pool, the river or the sea. But you must plan each of your strokes wisely so that you never cross another swimmer’s path in order to enjoy the view from a cozy chaise longue.

Swim Out was a finalist for Best Mobile Game at Ping Awards 2017 and was a finalist for Best Puzzle Game at TIGA Games Industry Awards 2017. It has been receiving very positive reviews and comments, for example, “Swim Out is a gorgeous, stylish pool puzzler” from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. It has been featured in the AppStore, Google Play, itch.io and GameJolt.

Game Title: Kawaii
Developer: kickAlive
Platform: Android
Country: France

Kawaii is a game that lets players, with their friends, breed hundreds of creatures such as cats, dogs, dragons. And you build their world.

Kawaii was soft launched in France. It acquired 100 users and gained 100,000 in return.

Game Title: Too Many Cooks
Developer: FINIFUGU && friends
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: United Kingdom

Too Many Cooks is a local cooperative game for 3 – 6 players. The players join together, each using their own phone, no central screen is needed. In the kitchen where the game is set, each player has different job objects – one might have a crate to gather ingredients, one might have a board for chopping, a rice cooker, perhaps the sink for cleanup. But players can also pass around objects or jobs they would rather not have. Each player can help others finish their jobs.

Too Many Cooks won the Very Big Indie Pitch 2018 in London and was nominated at the SXSW’s Gamers Voice Awards.

Game Title: Still Here
Developer: David Smit
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: Germany

Still Here is 2D flight game set in the near future and focused on a central question: Why did mankind leave the earth? The game takes the player, as the character Pip, on a journey through a dystopian world full of secrets and unique locations. As Pip journeys, he befriends and helps artificial life. Their plight sets the course for the adventure among the remains of the long gone human civilization. But there are rewards to unlock that will help Pip on his journey.

Still Here was featured in Early Access for over eight months. It gained more than 200,000 players and a 4.5 rating from Tip Tap in China and similar players and ratings throughout the world.

Game Title: Smash Tanks
Developer: Dumpling (Design Ltd)
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: United Kingdom

Smash Tanks is an augmented reality game with destructive its defining feature. Players take turns to launch their tanks into enemy territory to take out the enemy, grab supply crates or topple the towers. The game continues until only one team is left.

Augmented reality turns Smash Tanks into an ultra-exciting experience. Anywhere can become a battle arena, the living room, kitchen or even outdoors. Soon players are moving around and getting close to line up the trick shots.

SmashTanks was selected by The Guardian as one of the best games of EGX 2017. It was demoed as part of Apples AR Showcase and it was the #1 selling AR and board game app during the Christmas season.

Game Title: Silent Streets: Mockingbird
Developer: Funbakers
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: Ireland

Silent Streets: Mockingbird is a detective adventure game that features augmented reality. The immersive story is set in the Victorian Era and has crime scene investigation with ARKit technology. The game includes beautiful artwork and impressive sound and voice over. It has been localized in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Silent Streets: Mockingbird has received positive coverage from Touch Arcade and Pocket Gamer as well as other media.

Game Title: Castle Cats: Epic Story Quests
Developer: PocApp Studios
Platform: iOS, Android, Other mobile platform
Country: Sweden

Castle Cats: Epic Story Quests is a humorous RPG narrative game blended with cat collecting and hero management. When you play this game, you become the leader of a guild of cat heroes saving the Kingdom of Catania by defeating the evil Pugomancer. You can recruit from over one hundred cat heroes including knights, mages or flying dragon cats, and send them on quests to earn prestige and loot for your guild. You train your cat heroes and send them on dozens of different quests and to fight enemies such as wolves and zombie chihuahuas.

Castle Cats has a rating of 4.8 on both iOS and Play Store and almost 2 million downloads. It was featured on NewsWatch TV and has raised $17000 for animal charities.

To view all of the Indie Prize finalists for Casual Connect Europe, visit indieprize.org.

EventsNews

Presenting the Indie Prize Finalists from Europe Part 1

May 22, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Prize at Casual Connect Europe 2018 has attracted many entries from all over Europe, including Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, as well as the United Kingdom. And the innovation in these games is remarkable. Competitive games have a variety of new twists that require speed, precision and skill to succeed. Adventure and narrative games pit the player against novel situations and obstacles. Settings range from the historically accurate (or inaccurate) to fantasy or dungeons or even the player’s mind. And a variety of puzzle games challenge players’ thinking in different ways. Whatever kind of gaming you prefer, there are games here you will enjoy. These fantastic games total 38 from Europe. The finalists have been broken up into two parts.  To see the other 17, see this article.

Game Title: Circle of Sumo
Developer: Yonder
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: Italy

Circle of Sumo is a fast-paced competitive multi-player game where players alone or in teams fight for supremacy in the ring. This intense challenge requires power, precision, quick reflexes and cunning. Yonder describe the game as “a real mini-games box, a sort of kaleidoscope of playable pills with a joyful and inclusive soul.” But the competitive aspects are always retained. There are dozens of different arenas and the ring could be anywhere a circle could be imagined, even a traffic circle.

Kyiv 2017Video Coverage

Emmanuel Carraud and appChocolate: Succeeding with Games and Festive Apps | Casual Connect Video

April 11, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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I like selling something that makes people happy. - Emmanuel CarraudClick To Tweet

With over 50 million downloads and having been #1 in App Store general ranking in over 40 countries for multiple apps, appChocolate shared their story at Casual Account Kyiv. Emmanuel Carraud, CEO and Co-founder of appChocolate also shared practical tips on how to launch successfully mobile games for independent studios and indie developers including KPIs, localization, ASO, analytics, PR, monetization, user acquisition, App Store ranking on iOS and Android. Listen to the full lecture entitled How to Make Your Next Game Go BIG below.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Ruya: We’re All One

March 11, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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Founded in 2016, Miracle Tea is an independent game developer made up of Bradley Smith, Tom Andrews, Enrico Ercole and Gav Amante. Based around Ipswich, they met at the University of Suffolk and Brains Eden game jam. The team aspire to make games that tap into deeper emotions to touch players in meaningful ways. Ruya was their first release. Bradley shares some insight.

Tranzfuser Days

Tom and I were both freelancing on the same project together. He showed me an old prototype he built from Uni. I had just competed in the Indie Speed Run and produced some artwork that I thought had some potential, so we pretty much combined two. Our goal was to re-imagine match style games with positive vibes and bring elements into the genre that you might not normally see.

Ruya team at Tranzfuser 2016

We submitted the original prototype to the Tranzfuser programme back in 2016 – it’s a national funding scheme for graduates in the UK. We were fortunate enough to be one of the teams selected with a successful pitch for funding. This floated a chunk of our development. The team that rxun it have been lovely to us and amazing to work with.

EventsNews

Indie Prize Participants During Casual Connect USA from Europe and Asia Part 2

December 31, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Europe and India are bringing a fascinating variety of games to Indie Prize during Casual Connect USA at Disneyland® Hotel. This group of games include beautiful puzzle games, games requiring skills, learning fairy tales for children, games of suspense and, of course, games of competition. Indie Prize is seeing amazing innovation and diversity in these new games.

Game Title: Stack & Crack
Developer: Jambav
Platform: iOS
Country: India

Stack & Crack is a 3D puzzle game with beautiful levels. There is no tutorial; the levels are designed in a way that makes a tutorial unnecessary. But it is not an easy game. Each chapter introduces a different creative element that makes cracking the game a challenge to the brain.

Stack & Crack was shortlisted in the “Upcoming Game of the Year” section of NGDC 2017, Hyderabad, India.

Asia 2017Video Coverage

Nicole Seymour on Creating High Quality Content for Preschoolers | Casual Connect Video

November 26, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Respect your team and treat them like they are a key part of the process because they are. - Nicole…Click To Tweet

As an emerging early learning digital brand for children, Pacca Alpaca has a lot to teach about how their small production company developed this premium brand, launching with apps, then videos and onto various platforms. Join Nicole Seymour, Creative Director and Executive Producer, as she describes the challenges and the successes, adjusting objectives based on outcomes, and looking to the future as the brand evolves, all within the exceptionally competitive and crowded children’s media market.

EventsNews

Indie Developers from Switzerland, Latvia and United Kingdom Coming to Indie Prize

October 6, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Switzerland is being represented by two participants in Indie Prize Kyiv during Casual Connect Kyiv. One explores the possibilities of the VR headset. The other offers game choices leading to many different outcomes.

Game Title: Devader
Developer: Falkenbrew
Platform: Desktop Win
Website: http://www.falkenbrew.com

Your civilization is dying. The relentless invaders known as the Krim will soon take over. But you, the Devader, will be the one to make a difference. This game has multiple endings depending on the choices you make. It has 42 waves and every 6 waves you must fight a new boss. If you are successful you can upgrade your robot and a new mechanic is added, such as nukes or turrets. There are 12 different upgrade paths; each will alter the robot, play style and outcome.

ContributionsDevelopment

Soar: Lessons in Building a Game for Mobile & VR

September 13, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Karyn Murray, COO, eLearning Studios

In 2014, eLearning Studios was invited to be a partner in a European partnership project called Stay Active which was a project looking at reducing stress in older workers in the workplace. As part of this project we worked collaboratively with Dr. Gail Steptoe-Warren, Occupational Psychologist and Principal Lecturer at Coventry University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and Nigel Wilson Principal Lecturer at Coventry University to research and explore ideas for the development of a new game designed to reduce stress for those over 45. This initial project was later to evolve and develop into Soar: Tree of Life.

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