Karel Crombecq is a huge believer that “Game design should not take place in your basement, but out there in the wild, as a social interaction between your audience, your friends and your team!” He told his audience at Casual Connect Europe 2015, “If you listen to other people, to strangers and you really listen and you accept their feedback and their critique, your game will be better for it”.
Plexonic, a casual and social game development company currently developing multiple titles, was a sponsor of the 2014 Casual Connect conference and showcased SALTR, a game personalization platform, at the event.
COFA Games is a game development company from Serbia, currently working on a pretty ambitious project for an indie studio, called Awakening of Heroes. This is an unusual multi-player game that combines elements of team fight, strategy, arcade, town development and pre-game unions. Although still in the Alpha phase, Awakening of Heroes has appeared on Steam Greenlight waiting for your thumbs up to help it enter this huge PC game download store.
COFA Games’ CEO Nikola Mitic shares the story of their game taking place in a dreamlike city, and featuring a sweet old lady obsessed with extreme sports such as tombola and knitting, a mellow-heart butcher with an alter-ego of a math genius, a sexy chimney sweeper with a vendetta against Santa, a hipster in an atypical bad mood, and a grandpa daredevil. And of course the craziest superpowers one can come up with.
Tanja Evdokimendo Nika Entertainment COO spoke at the Casual Connect Europe 2015 conference. In her lecture, she delved into the Indie perspective. In explaining how to get into various markets, she said, “It is impossible to enjoy success in the Japanese market without very deep culturalization. What we are used to is just localization. We translate the words and so on and so forth . . . but in Japan, it is absolutely different. You need to add emotions and you need to change the type of art and emotion”. In her experience, the benefit outweighs the cost. To this, she says, “Yes, it takes time. It takes money. However, the deeper you culturalize your game for the Japanese market, the more profit you get”. A new approach to the team formation helped Nika Entertainment work effectively on projects and successfully promote games for different platforms. “We’ve created the Core Team that develops the model system for the whole heap of new products. It helps the Multiple Platform Team to cope with all the tasks on porting to different platforms and successfully fill the roadmap of the project. It teaches how to do it fast and in a proper way. As a result, we have a scalable business now. It works!”, Tanja stresses.
By Nick Thomas, Head of Gaming at Immersion
Over the coming months, I’ll be posting a blog series exploring untapped opportunities to increase engagement in mobile games, along with a few predictions on the future of the mobile gaming industry. We’ve been buzzing about this concept since the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) in San Francisco, where Immersion was given the opportunity to host the panel “Left Brain + Right Brain = Engagement.” This session featured industry leaders from both the creative and analytic side of mobile gaming spectrum, and I was delighted to philosophize with industry experts Jeff Drobick of Tapjoy, Jeffrey Cooper of Samsung, and David Zemke of DeNA. Our wide ranging discussion uncovered a rich tapestry of ideas that illuminate some of the core mechanics in both designing and analyzing mobile games, which in turn provided insights for game developers on how to improve engagement in their games. This series will touch on some of the key takeaways from the panel and our work since, and will offer game developers some actionable ideas to implement in creating the more creative and engaging games.Tweet
In Dejan Omasta’s session at Casual Connect Europe 2015, Dejan explains what you should know when starting an indie studio, including project management and client communication. He says. “We really try to give 100% of ourselves because this is basically who we are. When you are a small indie studio, you really have to use your strengths”. He further explains, “Splitting between client and indie project is key”.
At Casual Connect Europe 2015, business partners Alina Constantin and Michael Rosel, spoke about what happens after a successful Kickstarter. Their focus is on their game Shrug Island and the way it captures nature and the imagination. To this, Alina said, “The goal from the start of a project that has been built for years, from an animation film, to a story, to interactive media is to connect to the imagination of people in the way that when you were a child, you see the world around you as alive. You go out in nature and it is alive and you can imagine things. The game that we are making right now is based on that feeling and trying to make it into a digital experience”.
During Casual Connect Europe, Andrej Golovkov and Ivan Krechňák spoke about montetization and optimization using data analysis. In reflection of how monetization worked when he first started, Ivan stated, “Companies had their business model based on advertising which was the main income”. It was thought that charging for online games was impossible. Now, there are many possibilities. Andrej gives this advice to companies: “Don’t be afraid to try various programs (of data analysis) in your game”.
GamesOnly.com is a Dutch game studio and game portal founded in 2009 by Robin Ras. Located in Amsterdam, Robin started to work with other game devs to develop Unity 3D games like the Orange Jet Fighter. “Being a big fan of jet fighter games, it was great to finally be able to develop something similar”, Robin says as he shares the story of Orange Jet Fighter.
52 Hertz Whale are 3 guys from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. They were once working at the same local IT company and decided to create an indie game together. Inspired by titles like Limbo, Badland and Ridiculous Fishing, these developers tried to create something unique and gorgeous, and they got it. JELLIES!, a color-matching arcade game. “It has a great simple design, unique entertaining gameplay and awesome little wicked jellies”, says Mikhail Shagin, the co-founder and developer in 52 Hertz Whale, as he shares the story of the game.