Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the casual games space. On October 23 - 25 2013, over 850 industry professionals came to Kyiv for the eighth annual Casual Connect in Ukraine. Conference content was programmed by a set of industry advisors. If you attended lectures at Casual Connect and want to see your favorite sessions again, or if you could not make it to Kyiv this time and want to see what you have missed, press the icon to watch videos and download slides (all content is FREE!).
To email any of the speakers below, click on the email icon next to the speaker's name.
If you would like to speak at a future Casual Connect in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Singapore or San Francisco, please email Tennille Forsberg.
Akin Babayigit, Platform Partnerships at Facebook, will talk about how to accelerate user growth, engagement and ultimately drive greater business results by leveraging Facebook’s acquisition and distribution tools – both organic and paid. During his presentation he will touch on local success stories and share Facebook's best kept ''secret''.
Big Fish has grown its F2P business from zero, a little more than a year ago, to one of its strongest revenue generators today. Paul Thelen will discuss this transformation. What traps and pitfalls ensnare most developers who are switching development to F2P. More importantly, he will answer what game design techniques monetize the best. He will also answer what timeline do you need to create and maintain to have a successful F2P game? What are the most relevant data points to grow your F2P IP? What social features should you employ? Those who attend will walk away understanding free-to-play best practices.
The social casino space represents a $1.7 billion market, which, if certain conditions are met, could grow to as much as $7 billion by 2015. The opportunity is huge for social game developers, online gambling companies, and even real-world casinos, all of whom have something to offer to the hordes of players who enjoy playing poker, slots, blackjack, bingo, betting and other types of social casino games. But what will it take to make the market truly succeed and reach its potential? Win’s Barak Rabinowitz explains.
The presentation speculates upon myths and fairytales about free-2-play and dispels them. The free-2-play monetization model is not the competitive advantage by itself anymore. It is not enough just to add in-app purchases… Visit Artem’s presentation and find out what you need to jump over the abyss on your way to launching a successful free-2-play title.
The future of the online gaming and gambling industry is clearly trending towards mobile and tablet gaming, with social gaming being an important acquisition channel and potentially being an important venue in itself. This session explores the key trends, success factors and main issues affecting the industry together with an analysis of the impact on gambling and what it takes to make a profitable business.
New mobile platforms provide easy access to new customers all over the world and, therefore, many smaller developers can successfully compete on global level. However, companies looking to grow their audience into Tier 1 markets like the US or Western Europe, or high growth markets like South America or Asia quickly find these markets demand knowledge, investment and skills different from those required to succeed at home. Join Vlad Suglobov, Co-founder and CEO of G5 as he exposes G5's thinking and research about the opportunities, and challenges Eastern European game developers face today around the world.
The Eastern European social and mobile markets are strong and growing. While monetization rates are lower than the Tier 1 countries, Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe sit strongly in the Tier 2 range (like South America). Even better there are many, many people over here, and increasing penetration of social networks, smartphones, tablets, and cheap celluar data plans. And gamers. Lots and lots of gamers. Join Artur Sakalis for an overview of the current and future games market in Eastern Europe.
Digital distribution and Free-to-Play business models have changed the relationship between publishers and developers. Development funding was once a primary consideration, but open platforms, crowd funding and iterative development reduce the cost and risk of bringing a game to market. Marketing and development were once mostly separate efforts, but are now deeply intertwined in an ongoing combined effort. More importantly: established distribution platforms were once a difficult-to-establish competitive advantage, but today the global reach is only a few clicks away. Join a panel of renowned publishers from around the world, who will discuss the state of the game publishing landscape and how it has changed, and in some respect remains the same in today's top game markets.
Alex Kelly of PLAYSINO discusses why innovation in gaming is coming from startups and what everyone from entrepreneurs to established companies can do to harness the creative energy and potential of startups.
What might seem like just another “slot game” is actually a creative merging of several game mechanics to create a new experience in Tatem Game’s Tower Slots. Join Igor Karev, Founder of Tatem Games, as he shares their experience making Tower Slots and opens your eyes to the possibilities that abound in what might seem like a narrow catalog of casino games.
For the past 10 years, Eastern European developers have dominated the PC casual game markets around the world. But the industry has changed and many companies are now losing ground to content creators from other regions. What are the challenges developers face today? Is it worth working with publishers or is it better to do it on your own? Is raising money for game development the only question? Are we distracted by our domestic consumer market? Do we lack critical skills or information? Perhaps there are cultural reasons? Join Valentin Merzlikin, CEO of Prosto Games, and hear what he thinks we need to accomplish if we wish to hold onto our place in the global games ecosystem.
The opportunity to distribute games using PlayStation®Network has generated much interest from independent studios around the world. The presentation will focus on how studios can register to become developers, the store submission process, Free2Play opportunities, available marketing options and an overview of the new social network capabilities for PlayStation®4. PS4™ is a next generation computer entertainment system that redefines rich and immersive gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features utilizing devices such as PlayStation®Vita.
Big console and PC titles go for $50 and often sell millions. Is the mobile market ready for premium titles? What are the opportunities and costs? Unity Technical Evangelist Oleg Pridiuk outlines recent success stories and explains what the most popular game development engine has to offer for mobile AAA titles.
The session will address the everlasting decision independent developers face--whether to self-publish their games or go with an established publisher. The session will also address what a developer should keep in mind when talking to a publisher to make sure his/her game is getting the best terms and maximize its potential for success.
The constantly changing, ultra competitive, and fast-moving world of Free to Play games on web and mobile platforms leaves little time for luxuries like careful planning and deep research. Publishers and Developers need to become comfortable working with imperfect, incomplete information, where historic data is not necessarily an indicator of future performance. Success in such an environment requires the courage to forge your own path, test live, and react to new discoveries rapidly before opportunities are lost. A mindset of "fast failure" recognizes a goal of constant learning, of accepting disappointing results as new stepping stones on a path toward success. Join Vlad Funtikov, Founder and CEO of Creative Mobile Games as he describes how his company grew from the ashes of failure to the riches of victory and learned along the way that failure is not only an option, it is a requirement.
Join Krešimir as he shows how to use video technology to create many different full frame and high resolution effects in casual games to make your 2D scene come to life, while minimizing memory usage by doing classic full frame animation, which is especially important for today's mobile platforms.
Big Viking Games has used HTML5 to create immersive mid-core games whose gameplay is identical to rival native apps. Join Albert as he talks about what the future holds for HTML5 games and what business and technical barriers need to be overcome for HTML5 to become a more attractive platform to build on.
How did a small Israeli company come to rank as the 7th most downloaded game publisher in the iOS App Store in July? How did this small and relatively young (at just 3 years old) company manage to "tail" giants publishing giants like GameLoft, EA, Disney, King, and Rovio? TabTale has proven itself to be a remarkable success story, creating an immense following with solely its original IPs and without the aid of merchandise, console games, or even Facebook games. TabTale's unique backstory and formula for success is one that marketers, publishers, and developers alike can learn from.
There are so many developers making games for multiple platforms these days. On one hand it looks quite time consuming, on the other hand, devs are keen to simplify porting of existing projects and creating new titles. That is where cross-platform SDKs enter the game. This presentation will describe different approaches to cross platform technology, describe how to achieve performance and try to avoid platform specific development for every single device. It also includes a real-time use showcase.
It is impossible to overstate the dramatic impact that a shift from games-as-products to games-as-services has on nearly every aspect of the games business. As a successful, global premium casual game provider that realized early that the market was shifting, G5 has been working to effect this transition throughout it's organization for the past three years. Such a change requires revising staff mindset, performance measurement and incentive programs, contract parameters, design and production processes, evolving partner relationships, and shifting skill and financial investments to new areas of expertise. Alish Yakubov, Executive Producer at G5 holds up his new free-to-play operational framework against the old-school "premium games" way of life in order to highlight the differences as a roadmap for developers and publishers wanting to make the same journey.
What are some of the key success factors for a mid-core title? We will explore the most important mechanics in this genre around retention, virality and monetization.
Talking about Storytelling in games is an emotionally charged topic. There is a battle between different designers about the balance between narrative and gameplay. Some even question if classical storytelling has any place in games at all. In this session, Oscar Clark will explore how we can use Storytelling as a tool to communicate a sense of progression and purpose which is essential in many games. He will explore the role of structured themes like the Bond Opening, the Flash Gordon Cliffhanger and the Columbo Twist to help convert, sustain and retain users playing your game. Like all tales, on this heroes' journey there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome as we fight to balance Narrative, Gameplay, Revenue and Retention... but dear reader if you accept the challenge and join this session... you might just learn how to save the day.
Top Eleven: Be a Football Manager is the most popular online sports game in the world, with more than 12 million active users. In this presentation, Nordeus’s Nemanja Posrkača will explain the strategy and tactics used to double the number of users from five to 10 million, while doubling the engagement rate from 2 to 4 percent.
There is no magic recipe. For Pearl’s Peril production, we put in a lot of effort prior to production: Choosing a partner, defining common objectives and setting up production processes and communication pipelines. Moreover, we considered the relationship between the studios as a production partnership rather than just outsourcing. The challenge was ambitious, yet we are releasing the equivalent of 65 man-days of content every week!
Whether you are serving up game data to players or analytics data to your product managers, designing and architecting scalable, efficient back-end systems is critical to the success of your goals when you are running an online game service. Join Ivan Lavoryk, CTO of Joyrocks, as he talks about how he built the back end to support today's traffic and tomorrow's growth.
Your community is your most precious asset. This session will focus on the ways Tacticsoft incorporates its community into the design & development process of its games, and how to harness your community and turn it into your hivemind for ideas, balancing, QA, PR, translation, and HR.
“Data is becoming the new raw material of business”, M. Carig Microsoft
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine” P. Sondergaard, Gartner
“Data is the Next Intel Inside” Tim O’Reilly
“What gets measured, gets managed", P. Drucker
The whole concept of free to play games is based on data and data driven decisions. Implementing the right methodologies is critical to success. During this session, I will share our experience and insights to help you master the most important asset of your company – your data.
In a fast-growing and highly competitive market with spiraling user acquisition costs, developers constantly seek new engagement methods and innovative gameplay mechanics to improve retention and increase conversion. As the go-to provider of Branded Virtual Items, Iconicfuture has created value and generated additional revenues in titles such as Goalunited, Farmerama and Galaxy Life. With over 3.6 million item transactions to draw on, find out how to leverage rights, aid discoverability and monetize users; plus tools, techniques and tips to navigate this complex licensing space.
Casual games are generally not subject to specific regulatory oversight. However, in the monetisation trend for casual games, these games may be crossing into the online gambling field, which is heavily regulated. Moreover, some countries are considering regulating casual games or skill games with prize. All these trends require game developers’ attention, as to ensure that they games are or will be compliant.
Companies with a small number of mobile games - Supercell, Gungho, and King, are currently beating larger companies such as EA and Gree. Focusing resources on fewer games that have a lot of potential are becoming more important, and developers need partners for various reasons - financial, user acquisition, global distribution and most importantly for live operations. This session will cover the values that the mobile game publishers are providing in various ways in different parts of the world.
Making his latest game, Quad, has been an extraordinary journey from which Francesco has learned important lessons and gathered valuable experience. In this presentation, he'll share some tips with you to hopefully help you make a better game and avoid the same errors he made. Learn how to boost your productivity, foster your creativity, enhance your gameplay, improve usability and keep your sanity in the process!
Mobile gaming is a tidal wave headed toward the living room... Ouya, Gamestick, GamePop and others are launching - will they succeed? Should your games be a part of them? In this talk, we'll look at why mobile and TV are on a collision course and what it means for your content now and in the future.
Guillaume will share his story of developing an educational title Algo-Bot that helps people grasp the essential skills of logic that the programming craft requires.
During this presentation, Alexander will give you some insights
on Studio Fizbin's approach to the processes of interactive storytelling and 2D-animation
in games. You'll also get an exclusive look at beautifully hand crafted animations,
both linear and interactive, the latter one being powered by Studio Fizbin's own
Adventure-Game Engine "AdventureFonk".
We want to briefly show the way until today and focus on the special characteristics seen from an economic, content and technological perspective. Why didn’t we choose a technology which is already available? What are the differences between a mouse controller and a touch device? How did we plan to publish our first big Indie-Project "The Inner World" and how it reached its audience without a big marketing budget?
You will see a lot of visual examples to underline the definitions and expressions.
The lipsync is a lie!
Flurry will draw upon the latest data and insight to show how consumers are using mobile games, what existing behavioral trends mean for mobile game usage in the future, and how developers and publishers can use analytics to boost the performance of their apps in order to drive retention and revenues.
In this game, a knight with amnesia fights for the only thing he remembers: the love for his princess.
Challenge your foes to uncover the truth.
Yoeri Staal twists what you know about two unconventional topics: artificial intelligence, and story driven gameplay.
Make sure you remember to visit this lecture.
With radical changes to standard practices of game distribution and revenue generation, it is clear that the role of the publisher, their services and the relationship with the developer are changing to meet the needs of today's game publishing. But is this an evolution or a revolution? Can established publishers leverage existing skill-sets and expertise to serve new kinds of games and game services, or is a whole new organization and working model indicated? A panel of publishers distributing and/or operating a variety of mobile game products talk about what product/service parameters most impact the scope of publishing efforts and how fundamental these parameters are to the publisher's and developer’s success.
What is important to remember before you go indie and what you shouldn`t forget after? How do indie games affect their developers and the games market, and why you should not miss this trend?
Our game, Nihilumbra, has been one of Apple's best games of 2012. Right now the game is available on PC as well and soon it will hit Wii U too. But what happened behind the scenes? How were the sales on iOS? What kind of tricks helped us to turn Nihilumbra into a success? How did we manage to appear on a Nintendo Direct? Some insights of our experience and a lot more in "The dark story of Nihilumbra".
Creating really great cross-platform game experiences is complicated and challenging. Designers need to understand the differences between play on-the-go vs. sitting at home, account for input preferences across both mildly and radically dissimilar devices and find the way these devices communicate with servers and with each other. Product managers need to think of the cost of maintaining these connected experiences and discover effective ways to simplify that puzzle. Early technological choices determine what design pathways remain open and those design options may be critical to create a flawless compelling experience. Roei Livneh, Founder and CEO of Gingee, shares his experience developing cross-platform games and tools to help developers meet this challenge.
In her speech, marketing expert of Room 8 will talk about effective, low cost tools and general principles of game promotion using Cyto’s Puzzle Adventure as a case study. Margarita will share marketing strategies evolution after the release of the first successful product and will also talk about non-standard offline methods of game promotion.
China is the world's largest and fastest growing mobile and gaming market with over 250 mobile gamers. Given high market entry barriers (technical, cultural, regulatory, and trust) what does it take to monetize your game in China and how do you take on the pirates? Welcome to a world where there is no Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, a world where there are 400+ app stores. With 538+ million Chinese people online, who is really “behind” the “Great firewall of China”?
During this mid-fall, Goo Technologies has set out to release Goo Create to make advanced WebGL development available to the web creators of the world. Leveraging a decade of high end graphics engine development, Goo Create is built for performance and scalability while at the same time being easy and accessible for both novice web creators and the hard core web graphics coder. With it, HTML5 creators can build advanced games, ads and interactive graphics with stunning quality.
In this session, Sara will present the capabilities of Goo Create and give the audience a sneak preview of the upcoming Open Beta features and functionality as well as some glimpses of applications built on the platform.