Europe 2015Video Coverage

Alexey Alexeev: Traversing the Gaming Minefield | Casual Connect Video

September 1, 2015 — by Casey Rock

'The most rewarding part is feedback from community.' - Alexey AlexeevTweet Me

Alexey Alexeev explained how Wargaming squeezed World of Tanks from PC into mobile, and the challenges they faced, at his Casual Connect Europe lecture. “Millions of people enjoyed tank battles on PC, and mobile was like a new passport,” he said. “A lot of companies moved there, and a lot of successful titles earned a lot of money.” For a walkthrough of the game’s journey to mobile, see the video below.

USA 2015Video Coverage

James Blaha: Improving Vision with Games | Casual Connect Video

September 1, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

'I just decided I would try to do it and dove right in.' - James BlahaTweet Me

Imagine not being able to see a 3D movie or having little to no depth perception. In his session. James Blaha CEO of Vivid Vision is familiar with ambliyopia (lazy eye) and is working to treat it. In his session during Casual Connect USA, Perceptual Learning Games in Virtual Reality, James shares the leaps and bounds that his company is conducting on VR treating lazy eye. Rather than patching the good eye when you are young and “willfully blinding yourself”, Vivid Vision applies the techniques to treat lazy eye using virtual reality. In one of their games, “the bricks outside the arena are shown brighter to the weak eye and dimmer to the strong eye so this helps overcome the suppression of the weak eye . . .. [To paly this game], we are basically requiring that you have to use both eyes together and they have to be fused on the same image.” It is with this technology that James has seen vast improvement in his own vision.

Europe 2015Video Coverage

Anwar Dalati: The Crucial Question Is Why? | Casual Connect Video

August 31, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

'It’s gaming, so what’s not to like?' - Anwar DalatiTweet Me

If you are a beginner game designer or game developer, this session, Game Mechanics and Mathematics for Beginners, is for you. For a tour of practical and proven concepts and approaches to design, balance and maintain your game systems, join Anwar Dalati, Game Designer at Innogames for his talk at Casual Connect Europe.  Designing and balancing game systems can be a challenging task. Anwar highlights his approach to dissecting games, analyzing them for flaws and some best practices in choosing mathematical models. Anwar approaches balancing the game by identifying what he calls the pacemakers, “the pacemakers are the starting point for your balancing and they are the things that drives your economy . . . Controlling the pacemaker is critical for controlling the flow of your game.”

USA 2015Video Coverage

Greg Costikyan: Designing from Board Games to Boss Fight | Casual Connect Video

August 30, 2015 — by Casey Rock

'I never had enough sense to get a real job.' - Greg CostikyanTweet Me

In his talk: How to Birth New Games Without Cloning, at Casual Connect USA, Greg Costikyan discussed four different ways of devising truly novel games. Greg stressed how we can use these methods to improve designs even when you’re working under tight design constraints. “We are not truly agile in the games industry. We are a waterfall with agile frosting.”

USA 2015Video Coverage

Jason Loia: Pioneering New Space | Casual Connect Video

August 28, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

'You can take me out of the games industry, but you can’t take the gamer out of me'. - Jason LoiaTweet Me

The explosion of Tinder with its social aspects has ushered in a wave of dating apps, each with their own unique twist. Jason Loia, COO of Unravel, gave a lecture entitled How Dating App Design Can Enhance Your Mobile Game at Casual Connect USA. This included analytical insights which Unravel, a mobile dating and social discovery app built by a team of seasoned gamers, has amassed over almost a year of in-market data. While designing a game, Jason advices, “Attack your biggest funnel leaks first”.

USA 2015Video Coverage

Entrepreneur Le Xu Aims to Disrupt Casino Games | Casual Connect Video

August 25, 2015 — by Steve Kent

'What constitutes a good game today will not even make it to first base soon' - Le XuTweet Me

What do you do when you have a new company but little success? You shift gears. At Casual Connect USA, George Zaloom, led a candid and fun conversation with the CEO of China’s leading social casino gaming studio, Le Xu. After experiencing little success in casual games six years ago, Le started to search for something his new company Topgame could do that would keep them in business. In his search, Le Xu discovered casino games. He played many games, a lot successful and some not so successful. With each one, he asked himself what made made it so they were or were not successful? “Each game had a special thing, [for one] you need to love your game”, he explains. From there, he was able to see the good in each game and make it better in his own work.


Spil Games Brings Unsung Heroes Campaign to Casual Connect

August 7, 2015 — by Steve Kent

Gamers and game developers can seem like they’re on different planets. Developers wonder why deserving games don’t get noticed. Gamers wonder why popular features don’t make it into many of the games they play.

Publisher Spil Games is looking for a solution. At Casual Connect USA in San Francisco, they’re hosting a roundtable discussion between a mobile games player, a developer and a publisher to help suss out what gamers want and what makes a game successful. The discussion is part of the publisher’s Unsung Heroes campaign, which includes a already-underway competition for indie games. More than 300 games were entered, and the winner, which will be announced in September, will receive a publishing deal worth $50,000.

Exclusive Interviews

Kids in a Candy Store: David Brevik on Marvel Heroes 2015 (Part 2)

August 4, 2015 — by Steve Kent

'Every day, I look forward to coming to work and working on a Marvel product.'–David BrevikTweet Me

This is part two of a two-part interview with Gazillion Entertainment CEO David Brevik. You can find part one, which examines the Marvel Heroes 2015 annual rebranding strategy and community-building efforts, here.

In part two, we ask David what it’s like to work with some of the hottest and most complex intellectual property out there — and property that he’s personally been a fan of for most of his life.

Europe 2015Video Coverage

Jendrik Pösche: Leading Teams for Success | Casual Connect Video

July 28, 2015 — by Catherine Quinton

'Treat the project as the sole of the company.' - Jendrik PöscheTweet Me

Even if you possess the most stunning design, genius developers, a super-engaging idea and a well-developed strategy, a game for a celebrity can still fall flat on its face. Find out Kuulu Interactive Entertainment AG’s secret with Jendrik Pösche at Casual Connect Europe 2015. In his presentation, he advised, “Treat the project as the soul of the company, meaning that everyone has to know what the game is about, has to play the game, has to like the game”. He offered many other key points in making any game, especially when working with celebrities.

Exclusive Interviews

From 58 to 81 on Metacritic: David Brevik Discusses the Marvel Heroes 2015 Rebrand

July 28, 2015 — by Steve Kent

Reviewers have yet to adapt to the games as a service model, says Gazillion CEO David BrevikTweet Me

This is part one of a two-part interview with David Brevik. David is CEO of Gazillion Entertainment, the company behind the massive online ARPG Marvel Heroes. If you’ve noticed a similarity between the gameplay in Marvel Heroes and Diablo, that’s because David co-founded Condor (later Blizzard North) and helped design Diablo and Diablo II.

Last year, Gazillion rebranded the game as Marvel Heroes 2015. Recently, we asked David about the strategy, about the company’s open approach to PR and about how the company continues to rapidly crank out new content for the game.