Casual Connect Europe is coming up on 4-6 February in Amsterdam, with last preparations underway and speakers already hurrying to submit their presentations. “We are thrilled to be hosting Casual Connect in Amsterdam this year,” says Casual Games Association MD Jessica Tams. “Attendees should look forward to packed schedule of learning and networking, as well as discovering the talent Europe has to offer.”
While the freshest industry trends, insights and conclusions are to be made or updated after the event, the key topics that will be discussed can already be outlined. Here are just a few examples of sessions not to miss at Casual Connect Europe in Amsterdam:
• Independent teams can still be indie. While there is certainly a trend of games on major distribution platforms to become more complex with high development budgets, there is still a place for developers in the market to focus on fun gameplay. Matt Hall and Andy Sum from Australia are proving this in their session “The Road To Crossy Road.”
• The market is changing. It is more important than ever for content creators to navigate the myriad of distribution technologies, user acquisition, and monetization strategies. The Growth: Platform and Distribution Options track with many stories from content creators and the Advertising, Monetization and Retention track with how-tos from leading providers including Google, Twitter, Facebook, IBM and Unity.
• Platforms and gameplay thought of as “casual” are now the largest part of the market. Emily Greer of Kongregate from the US will tell more about this in her “Breaking Labels, Core, Casual and other Misconceptions” session and Dan Fiden of China’s FunPlus will prove that “The Gaming World is Flat.”
• Next-generation design and research is becoming more important than ever. A considerable amount of lectures will cover the emerging trends in the industry, including the Evil Game Design Challenge and Teut Weidemann’s analysis of King’s games. These are both very popular and as such, they are recurring in Europe and the US.
In general, nearly 200 speakers will cover a variety of topics covering the emerging trends in game development, distribution and marketing. Conference attendees are also able to attend workshops from Google and Unity.
In addition to insightful lectures, attendees can also look forward to the games displayed in the Indie Prize Showcase and the IDEA Showcase. Over 130 independent and new development teams from over 40 countries will be presenting their creations at the conference. Participants will be judged for a number of awards to be announced during the conference.
Further information on the Indie Prize Showcase can be found at www.indieprize.org. Among the games showcased you’ll see original worlds created by hands, glass art, musical adventures, approaching zombie slaughter with dark humor, a social puzzle, crosswords, taken to the next level, British humor made live and lots more!
Established developers will be exhibiting at the International Design, Entertain and Amaze (IDEA) Showcase. This showcase was created to provide the opportunity for established developers to find international partners for publishing, user acquisition, game performance monitoring and logistical support.
Casual Connect is a Nordic Game 2015 media partner.