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Casual Connect Asia 2015 Show Report

Last May, Jed and I had the privilege of attending an event called Casual Connect. It’s an event where game developers for all platforms come together and share their experiences developing games in this highly competitive market. Consumers also get a sneak peak into up-and-coming  indie game titles since the event also hosts the Indie Prize entries.

Jed and I were both excited to go to the event as this gives us a chance to see how the gaming industry works from an outsider looking in. Plus, this gives us an excuse opportunity to go visit our Singaporean bros as well!

Making games is serious business!

The event ran for 3 days and each day was jam-packed  with talks that you can attend. The topics of the talks consisted of tips on how to get your game picked up by a publisher, monetization platforms through ads & videos, and my favorite, insights in running a game development studio. It was also interesting to note that the speakers mostly came from all over the region. There were representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Creating games now is not all fun and games as I initially assumed. It takes a lot of deliberate planning (from your monetization strategy, budgeting, marketing) before one can make a successful game. All of these were thoroughly discussed and personally I was a bit overwhelmed with the topics. But what’s fascinating to me is that whenever owners of game development studios would talk, they all had one common message: keep on making games. It’s slightly “pie-in-the-sky” way of talking, but the logic there is that the more games you do, the more you get to learn the ins and outs of the process and the industry.

Indie game developers of SEA

It was nice to see a big rise of indie developers in the region. A lot of talented game studios from all around Southeast Asia gather annually  in Casual Connect to compete in the Indie Prize contest. We were lucky enough (well mostly Jed) to be able try some upcoming games games. Here are some notable games that caught our attention on the show floor:

Kill the Plumber

A parody of the popular platformer, Super Mario Bros., but with a twist! You play as the baddies this time and the objective is to, uhh… Kill the Plumber! It’s out  now for mobile and there’s currently a Kickstarter campaign to bring it to Steam!

Kuna

A first person horror game / tech demo that uses the Oculus Rift (for added jump scares!).  Jed bravely volunteered  while I cowardly documented his experience on film!

Hachi Hachi

A rhythm game for mobile with a unique way of interacting with the game. Not only do you have to tap, but also drag and let go off buttons / markers that’s displayed on the screen at certain periods of the song. Admittedly, the songs were mostly for the Chinese speaking market, but nevertheless, with the right beat, it was quite fun and engaging!

Casual Connect Asia 2015 was a good experience and an eye-opener to a person who consumes games. It was very interesting to see the other side of game development which  usually most people tend to gloss over when playing a game. If you’re an aspiring game developer or just curious about game development, be sure to attend Casual Connect! You can find information on their site. You might also want to keep an eye out on when the next Casual Connect Asia 2016 will be!

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