Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the video games space. On May 20 - 22, over 900 industry professionals will come to Singapore for the third annual Casual Connect Asia to listen to lectures from industry experts. Conference content is programmed by a set of industry advisors.
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, Eastern Europe, Singapore or San Francisco, please email Tennille Forsberg.
In a crowded App Store market where mobile games can easily fade into an endless library of titles, Kabam’s Weiwei Geng will conduct a talk on what it takes to build a great mobile game and maintain it for long-term success. Geng is the executive producer of Kabam's biggest mobile games The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, which have grossed more than $100 million each since their 2012 debuts.
How we climbed the charts of SEA's fastest rising markets
Come and hear how to create cross-platform games faster. Learn how to use Facebook Platform and Parse to build great mobile apps and games.
As a platform for free-to-play browser games for core gamers, Kongregate has a unique perspective and a wealth of data on what types of mechanics and characteristics of F2P games are most effective at maximizing player retention, monetization and satisfaction. David will begin by looking at the retention and monetization metrics of free-to-play games by Asian & Western developers. He will then share the best practices and game mechanics that Asian developers can learn from their Western counterparts, highlight common mistakes that Asian developers make in bringing their games to a Western audience, and cover specific DO’s and DON’Ts regarding game themes, gameplay mechanics, community management/customer support and pricing with specific examples. Asian developers will walk away with a better understanding of the Western market, how to avoid costly mistakes and how to maximize success in Western markets.
Asian game developers in 2014 are aggressively developing a strategy to break into the Western game market. Inevitably, they face expansion roadblocks, whether it be localization, insufficient market expertise, or weak partnerships and strategies. Lending from in-house case studies, AppFlood’s global app industry analysis, and raw experience, Si Shen will discuss the trends, obstacles, and strategies that Asian game developers must know in 2014 for Asian game studios to climb to the top of app store charts in Western app markets.
Gaming in South East Asia has attracted a great deal of interest from publishers and developers in the last two years. Many of them are wondering just how big and deep the market is. The key markets in SEA are in the six more developed countries which have seen significant economical growth in the last decade. This session will provide an overview of the SEA online and mobile gaming markets and its projected trends.
China already has over 700 million active iOS and Android smart devices and this number is growing at an unprecedented rate. China has a number of powerful local social networks such as: Wechat, QQ, Weibo etc. The amount of app content shared to all social media platforms by each Internet user every day has tripled over the last six months, with 48% of uploads coming directly from games. Socializing your game has become the key to success in the China market. UMENG is the leading mobile developer service platform in China working with over 210,000 apps domestically. Linda will be using UMENG analytics data to provide some in depth analysis. She will conclude with some practical tips on the best practice to integrate with top Chinese social networking services and to create a powerful in-game community.
With more than 85% of smartphone and tablet owners playing mobile games, this presents the question of how to address this massive market using different marketing tools. This talk asks the question: “How can we use TV together with performance and viral marketing to have either a good market entry or expansion strategy into the western mobile games world?” Tung will discuss the different marketing parameters in the Western World and their interdependences: Which marketing methods can help to extend the lifetime of a product? How can the use of TV support mobile marketing or influence the digital marketing channels? Can TV campaigns support the up sale among existing players?
Learn how to get your mobile apps and games discovered and growing your audience through various Facebook solutions.
Collecting analytics on your players and their experience in your game is a key success factor for free-to-play games. Despite this, most free-to-play games fail to gather the right metrics or do the right types of analysis to understand what players love (and hate) about the game. Learn what companies like Rovio and Supercell are doing today to gather statistics on their players and analyze them in the cloud. Then, learn what the future looks like, as big data analysis and real-time analytics come into play, and the huge untapped potential they can unlock for gaming and mobile entertainment.
Today’s game publishers and marketers are more sophisticated than ever and are eager to make smarter decisions in the fast-evolving mobile app ecosystem. In this new age of apps, marketers must become familiar with a whole new set of channels and metrics to really scale app marketing success. App store data, advertising analytics, and app store optimization are all tools that help publishers maximize revenue and downloads and improve discoverability. Join Junde Yu as he uses real-world examples to provide a full picture of the app marketing opportunities available and to get actionable tips to capitalize on the best ones for your business.
As social and mobile games continue to explode, developers are now armed with more tools, and can reach a wider audience, than ever before. Unfortunately, competition is fierce, and most games launched will not succeed. How can developers give themselves the best chance to beat the odds? This talk will share perspective from a publisher's perspective and highlight key issues developers should be mindful of when getting ready to launch and grow their games globally.
Choy Wai Cheong will discuss the current state of the Android market throughout Asia, highlighting what changes we have seen in the past 6-12 months. He will analyze the market on both a macro- and micro-scale, reviewing the sales and growth of the region as a whole, and will also identify which marketing methods are successful in specific regions and why. Finally, Choy will present regional case studies to demonstrate how to effectively market your app and pinpoint particular market differences within the region.
The $3 billion North American mobile gaming market represents an enormous opportunity for Asian game developers looking to expand overseas. And yet, the North American market is markedly different from Asian markets, demanding a whole new approach from developers. How can Asian developers “westernize” their games for US audiences? What are the best strategies for marketing to US users? What type of partnerships must developers forge, and which platforms offer the best chance for success? Animoca’s Yat Siu answers these questions and others as he helps Asian mobile game developers understand what it takes to break into the US market.
Asia is the leading app market in the world that makes almost 40% of the total revenue globally. This session will give effective marketing methods in user acquisition of East Asian markets including a new advertising model that has gotten a lot of attention recently. This session will also go through the rise of Southeast Asian market especially focusing on the most emerging market in Thailand. Adways will share real data and case study from its experience in supporting UA for a major mobile player.
As a two billion dollar industry with 100% annual growth, the mobile gaming market has become very lucrative for developers who understand the analytics behind the Great Wall. There are so many questions for people outside China. What gaming genres are successful in China? What are some of the KPI's and benchmarks of successful titles in China? Are behaviors of Chinese players vastly different from western players? TalkingData, China's leading data service provider on Mobile Internet, has all the answers.
This session explains step-by-step how Ski Safari, a little-known casual single player game from the indie Australian studio Defiant Development, became one of China’s most played mobile titles on both iOS and Android, gaining 80 million players in under two years. Attendees will learn what's required for other Western mobile games to also become well-monetized hits in China - from design principles to localization and culturalization methods, to marketing and social media promotion, to publishing and monetization strategies.
Given the unstoppable growth of mobile penetration and pervasive trend of shifting from desktop to mobile, it will be up to the quickest and cleverest to survive. In this age of mobility, old Flash Game Portals will either go extinct or climb to new revenue heights by adapting new mobile strategy. Alexander, an expert in mobile monetization, will share a quick and experience-based introduction to HTML5 gaming strategy. This presentation can easily be adopted into your own work, and might be a cure for your declining flash games business.
Games and online communities designed specifically for kids are a big business in the US, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for marquee IP holders like Disney and Nickelodeon. Many developers and publishers shy away from this market, however; in part because of perceived hurdles in marketing, privacy protection, monetization and design that come with the under-12 audience. This session examines how the MMO game world Animal Jam has dealt with these challenges to become one of the most valuable online properties for children, and how developers in Asia and elsewhere can succeed in the US with this multibillion-dollar market segment.
How can app developers use app store optimization to take advantage of easily obtained organic traffic? By understanding how different app store algorithms work, developers will be able to identify market opportunities and easy victories in a very competitive app game ecosystem.
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.
After receiving investments, Touchten is embarking on a new challenge to build a game platform for smartphone users.
Timing is everything when deciding the next strategic steps to take with your company. This talk presents an overview of the industry’s buying trends, investment rounds, drivers of value and interest and our expectations for the coming years in-and-around gaming, content and media.
Finding the key partners, which markets to start with, or how to address fraud concerns are a few of the key considerations to go global. As a key partner, PayPal has helped some of the most successful Gaming companies in the world grow beyond geographical limits, and gained a deep understanding of what made some companies successful and some other fail. This speech will be the opportunity to share the key trends in the digital space to keep in mind to successfully go global.
The sale of your gaming company has the potential to be the most important transaction of your life—don't launch this final step without a walkthrough from the experts. We’ll share lessons learned, tips for preparing and proven processes you need to sell your company—and the negotiation pitfalls and deal disasters that can vaporize value. Built from the largest body of technology mergers and acquisitions, this presentation will help you prepare for battle when considering selling in the next three years.
Publishing as we know it evolved long ago and has become obsolete. It doesn't fit in the age of digital distribution and shared economy. Crowd funding was the begining but the future is much brighter for self published games. Open source tools are disrupting game development and shared data is leveling the playing ground.
Find out what the industry's top buyers are looking for in partner companies, and get the inside scoop on how they evaluate gaming companies for an acquisition. How about after the transaction closes? How will your company be integrated into the mother ship? This panel gets you deep inside what the buyers are thinking when approaching companies.
The Amazon Appstore for Android represents millions of downloads and in-app purchases every year, and being metrics-driven, we couldn't let all that data go unanalyzed. Using cohort analysis, we identified key predictors of top-earning mobile apps and games, and offer practical insight into maximizing monetization.
Social Media has exploded the digital landscape and mobile has made digital advertising accessible to many in the developing world. Now we have real-time connection with real-time conversation. Programmatic real-time bidding allows marketeers to tap into real-time advertising. Gaming companies have the ability to monetise inventory in real-time and acquire new users. The app store rankings can change overtime. Is the gaming industry ready to take advantage of real-time?
While publishing in core markets, such as the English speaking market, continues to be the goal for most larger gaming companies, alternative markets are becoming increasingly inviting. The slim margins in the regulated markets lead operators to seek out opportunities in alternative markets- with Asia being one of them. It is important to understand the cultural similarities and differences and have a deep knowledge of the local game scene. Come and listen to Vicenç Martí, the CEO of Akamon, explain how the emerging markets are an exciting opportunity in the social gaming industry.
As the mobile gaming industry matures rapidly, with over sized acquisition budgets, fast scale and multiple monetization options, a wrong decision can be fatal. This multiplicity in viewpoints can be intimidating for even the most seasoned of app developers, especially when it comes to mobile advertising. Jayesh will walk the audience through the Key Decision Variables that every app developer needs to consider while embracing mobile advertising. The app developer will understand a.) how to choose the right ad formats based on his desired user experience and app type, b.) key ratios (ARPDAUs, session times) that influence mobile ad revenues compared to IAP revenues, c.) maximizing the audience base in a sustained manner and not just traffic, and d.) winning globally.
As the first platform that enables developers to offer real-money play into their own games, Betable has gained important learnings. Join Betable’s EVP of BD Jonathan Flesher to get a better understanding of what is working for real-money game developers, and what should be avoided. What are the best implementations of real-money play? Can or should you bolt real-money play onto an existing game? What about marketing? Is the landscape similar to that of free-to-play games? This and more from Jonathan who knows developers’ deepest concerns firsthand having worked at both Zynga and EA.
Successful developers think carefully about user experience when implementing non-IAP revenue -- often less is more when it comes to ad monetization. Developers who leverage player data and incorporate enticing, creative monetization hooks to enhance the user experience tend to make more compelling games and more money. Jonathan Zweig, president & founder of mobile video advertising platform AdColony, will discuss five key dimensions of monetization: creativity, frequency, eCPM, session time, and app profile to present best practices for creatively weaving monetization mechanisms into the game experience.
The creativity of the games industry can transform the gambling industry, whose core offerings have not changed for a long time, and give the gambling world the dose of innovation they need to attract audiences for future growth. Developers in turn gain access to a lucrative new market. However, gamblifying an interactive game is not as simple as just adding gambling. The gameplay and triggers within the game need to be very different to operate within the laws. This session will take a deep dive into how to structure games as well as the gambling technology infrastructure to be in compliance with legal regulations. Games will be demonstrated to show what types of play or gambling can occur at which points in the game, and how they need to work to comply with legal regulations.
This presentation will focus on how Asia has played a significant role the evolution of carrier billing from virtual goods to digital goods to payments in the real world, a deconstruction of the carrier billing ecosystem, the value proposition for consumers, merchants, and MNOs, and the future of carrier billing including opportunities throughout Asia.
Social casino games are one of the fastest growing markets ever. This market evolves so fast that changes, new trends and new products can be found on a daily basis. It is very hard to stand out in the crowd and, more importantly, make money with your product. This talk is about actual trends and opportunities (ideas) on how to raise your revenue, retain your customers, and increase your chances to have a hit.
With tablets and smartphones steadily chipping away at the computing device market, developers worldwide are successfully capitalizing on the trend toward personal computing devices – showcasing over 1 million apps in both the Apple AppStore and Google Play, respectively. As this trend becomes increasing global, savvy app developers are looking for ways to best monetize their apps for success and sustainability. In this panel, Millennial Media SVP of Global Monetization Solutions Jeff Tennery will present the golden rules for monetization by outlining strategies and examples for appealing to the right audience at scale. Panel attendees will leave equipped with pinpointed steps to take their apps to the next level.
Unity gives you a rich set of building blocks that can be used to construct any type of game. As a result it can sometimes be difficult to know how to architect your game in a way that's easy to iterate and build upon. This talk will cover a basic architecture structure for your game and point out some commonly overlooked details that can have a major impact on performance. The talk is geared towards programmers at all skill levels, but will be the most beneficial for beginner or intermediate programmers.
As the industry has evolved around the rise of the freemium model, many indie developers are faced with an important question. Do I take the plunge too? Unlike bigger studios, a single title could make or break a newly founded indie. Having tried both premium and freemium, Ian hopes to share his experiences and perhaps point people in the direction best fitting for them. While both are valid methods, one would fit better than the other for different indie set-ups.
With the rise of online game platforms, the possibilities for game developers become limitless, yet success in some markets remains a mystery. Why does one game succeed in one region over another? Learn about the power of culturalization and how to use the unique aspects of the indie scene to find success in Japan and abroad.
Increasingly, indie developers are recognizing that it pays to budget for a Sound Designer (not just a Composer) early in the development process. But as a developer, what do you look out for in a game sound designer? How can you make your game more immersive, memorable, and even more profitable? Now that audio middleware has been made highly accessible to indies, how can your game benefit from it? Join Gwen from IMBA Interactive, as she shares about how awesome audio often equates to a successful game!
A comprehensive view of the time saving tools and methods of animating characters and game elements in Unity. The talk will cover animation retargeting, blending and transitions, and animating 2D elements.
You're investing countless efforts into making a great game, now how do you go about bringing it to the market and making a living from it? Which platforms and channels should you focus on? Should you publish the game by yourself or partner with a publisher? How do you spread the word about your game? If you self-publish, how do you attract and retain users? If you go with a publisher, how do you find the right one, and what are the pitfalls? In this session, veteran indie studio managers who have all taken very different routes to the market will share their experience and their thoughts on the business side of game development.
The session will discuss the use of cliches in video games. Instead of trying to avoid them altogether some games have used them to their advantage. Diptoman will also discuss the design principles used in his game Meanwhile In A Parallel Universe in detail - how the game idea gradually developed based on this concept and what design-related problems needed to be addressed.
This presentation will bring together examples and strategic perspective on how gaming design capabilities combine into a single digital campaign unit, focusing on high-quality, cost effective implications in digital media. The presentation will also cover the latest concepts and practices in the profession of gaming and the digital world.
An App Store feature is one of the greatest things that can happen to an independent mobile developer. Front and centre placement means an enormous audience will see and play your game. We will review do's and don'ts to ensure that your game has the best possible chance of a feature.
This session will look at some of the technology and techniques behind NaturalMotion’s Clumsy Ninja. We will examine the most advanced character animation system in mobile gaming and look at what the team learned about using it to create an engaging, dynamic and believable character.
James takes the challenge of covering 10 or more random topics within 24 minutes. To be discussed: from bedroom to boardroom - how he went from just himself to a full studio in 12 months; cross-platform with c# - building games on mobile and console with a unified codebase; living the dream, what it's really like to code a game on a beach in paradise, and many more.
Games have an immense potential to be a powerful means to influence the world around us by representing social, economic, political and personal issues through an interactive medium that allows the player to experience the world we live in from a unique perspective.This session focuses on how we can represent such issues through examples and the incredible opportunity it opens up for gameplay mechanics and narrative.
Explore the transition of an experimental strategy game as it makes its way from the browsers to mobile. The King’s League and its sequel have been played by many for free on game portals, what did going mobile do for the game? A walkthrough of the development and thoughts behind The King’s League games: from game mechanics and assets, player retention and exposure, to platform transition and thoughts behind its model.
Stories and narrative in most mobile games today tend to be simplified, linear experiences, if there is any at all. Conventional wisdom says mobile players don't like to read. Yet, is that really the case? Is there an opportunity for more interactive dialog and stories where user choice matters? This talk will examine some of the new directions in story design, and take some examples from the last 12 months to show as a potential future for the space.
A game development studio is something totally new for Cambodia, even though the citizens are passionate gamers enjoying various mobile and PC titles. There are not even books or schools on gamedev there! So, in order to create our company Osja Studio we had to start and learn everything from absolute zero. Even though, it’s our new journey, we always keep a few things in mind: quality being of highest priority, integrating Cambodian cultural features into our games and fixing all issues that come our way.
What matters is not the story, but how you tell it. This talk will go over the effective ways to narrate your story to the player in order to make it a more engaging and personal experience. Beginning with a novel, yet simplified approach to interaction design, the session will move on to the seemingly complex topic of stepping into the player's shoes and invoking his/her emotions, and will conclude by talking about "connecting the dots" by using examples from Spellbound.
- Demo of getting a sample game compiled and working on Windows 8 / WP8.
- Demo of the submission process flow for Windows 8 / WP 8.
- How Microsoft BizSpark can help new indie studios - software / hosting & DreamSpark for students.
Jakob Lykkegaard will discuss how Pocket PlayLab went from nearly closing to becoming a top grossing mobile developer in less than half a year. Jakob will detail the full story and elaborate on which techniques he focuses on in the mobile free-to-play space.
Infectonator: Survivors is a randomized permadeath survival simulator, an indie game about survival where death is permanent and worlds are randomly generated. This session will cover Toge Productions’ journey in developing Infectonator: Survivors from a Flash game to Steam and later mobile platforms.
Go behind the scene with KJ, the lead designer for Dusty Revenge, as he answers 10 most common questions he received. Find out about the design challenges and production experience of developing the game.
In this session, you will learn about Microsoft Azure and why game companies are interested in moving their platform to a public cloud platform. Learn how to migrate your game services to a public cloud environment through several case studies with various game types (MMORPG, mobile SNG and FPS). Additionally, this session will cover the most important points for system architects to consider when designing for the public cloud.
Game Slam is a special discussion panel where game industry experts will speak about highs and lows of the presented indie games. They will discuss the drawbacks in game design, visuals and user experience. Will developers be able to defend their games? Come and see for yourself!
Game jams are so much fun! Apart from drinking as much coffee as you want, you can actually go from zero to hero in a couple of days. This talk will overview the history of game jams: how it all started and what was the initial purpose. The history part will be short, promise! I will also shed some light on the importance of game jams and how they can help people, especially indies, to stand out from the crowd. I will gladly share some key techniques to have the best game jam experience and how to make the most of it.
Designing an app for the global market is a task that requires much consideration and planning. Chris Mills will discuss specific issues about publishing apps for the Chinese market related to localization, market fragmentation and payment systems. The challenges he will address are things he has personally experienced and can provide tips to other developers looking to expand globally. Chris single-handedly orchestrated the grueling processes of creating a Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (WOFE) in China.