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”.
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.
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”.
“If you split up while doing something — you’re less likely to start doing the same thing”, said Alexander Birke in his session at Casual Connect Europe 2015. “Paper prototyping is cheap and easy, no need to make sure everyone’s on the same page”.
At Casual Connect Europe 2015, Brjann Sigurgeirsson spoke about how to be successful in self-publishing. Among the many golden nuggets of advice was this: “If you are very small and you’ve decided to do it yourself, one of the best things you can do is . . . cooperate with companies that are close to you”. He further explains that if you are geographically close, you can meet a lot in order to exchange ideas.
Justin Wenczka took a look at marketing strategies during his session at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014. “Video ads are an obvious choice at the moment, because 53 percent of mobile traffic is now video”, he says. “We found there are above average engagement figures around video content.”