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  • 01/18/18 04:30 PM
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    Casual Connect 2018 Coverage

    Event Coverage

    • Posted By khawk

    GameDev.net has a small presence at Casual Connect this week, and we're posting our coverage of interesting developers, lectures, workshops, and more from the show. Check back for the latest updates.

    Alpha Beat Cancer Mobile Game

    We spoke with the developer of the Alpha Beat Cancer mobile game, available on iOS and Android, found at booth 1054.  

    This casual game was developed by a Brazilian team of developers, including numerous health professionals and children's caregivers, their parents, grandparents, and siblings - and most amazing the patients themselves to include children that have cancer and are going through cancer treatment. Alpha Beat Cancer is based on Beaba’s A to Z guide and helps explain the treatments in a fun way starting with the ABCs of cancer. 

    Alpha Beat Cancer is a single device multiplayer game providing a colorful, educational, and fun experience for learning more about cancer treatment. The game contains over 160 terms of oncology world with illustrations and clear explanations presented with a positive vibe.

    So what makes a free mobile game in cancer treatment engaging?  Alpha Beat Cancer can be used anywhere where the child is, whether the child is in bed, waiting for treatment, or elsewhere. It provides a quick way to navigate to important issues you may need to know about cancer for kids of all ages through “need to know” cancer facts. The original inspiration for the idea came from Co-founder Ludmilla Rossi's own experience.  Ms. Rossi was diagnosed with tongue cancer at the 29 years old and through her treatments came up with the idea of Alpha Beat Cancer.

    The Not-so-simple Problem of Throwing VR Fireballs

    presented by David Rogers, Lead Designer inXile Entertainment

    In this lecture, David Rogers discusses using VR as well as discussing how to determine the correct formula in VR for how someone throws fireballs in The Mage's Tale, available on the Oculus store at https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1018772231550220/.

    Of course, everyone knows that it is important to get the blocking and content right as well as throwing content.  What do you want to toss? What kinds of objects?  What is the background that you are throwing from? Is it a carnival game and what do you want your player to throw?  What is the ideal throw? The algorithm to get the throwing down for David Rogers took over 6– 8 months to get it down.

    So what is involved in calculating a throw in Virtual Reality? What if the character is throwing a fire ball? One problem in throwing an object such as a fire ball is some people have a late release than others when throwing the object such as a fireball. Secondly, how you ever noticed that others when they  throw,  flick their wrists which changes the curve of the throw.  Thirdly, such people are not good at throwing, especially the first time player.  This makes the fact that when you throw a baseball and you can’t find the moment of release (a period of time) such as when the thumb disconnects itself from the tracjectory of physics.  Therefore, it is probably best to take a weighted average to get a period of time of the throw to get it correct ratios.  Keep in mind that it is most important to make the game player  feel like a “badass” and a great thrower!

    Have you ever thought about what people do when they throw objects during a VR game?  Rogers believes that most people throw where they are looking.  Mathematically, the dot product of two normalized vectors with range between 0 and 1 in the throwing trajectory is best to aim for.  Another option that is involved in calculating throws is ergonomics.  Ergonomics includes how do players wear their headsets?  Do they wear it looking down? What about head position.  Most important putting this data together to make your game player be the best “badass”.

    Other lessons that Rogers learned when creating this game and passes on to his Casual Connect audience:

    • Bouncing is fun when throwing and keep hitting things and rebounding objects to hit things
    • Don’t ignore haptics and the touch base feedback
    •  Sometimes the players themselves ignore the haptics

    The Next Big Platforms: Business vs Venture Reality

    presented by Eric Goldberg, Managing Director, Crossover Technologies

    Eric Goldberg has developed for and worked with series of new Venture Reality platforms over 35 years veteran of the game industry, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive for Crossover Technologies. According to Crunchbase, " Previously, he was co-founder and president of Unplugged Games and of Crossover Technologies, the consumer online firm; and president of West End Games, an adventure game company. His award-winning games include Paranoia, Tales of the Arabian Nights, The Tom Peters Business School in a Box, and MadMaze, the first online game to draw one million players. "

    Goldberg believes that game entrepreneurs and makers see the same candidates for next game platforms as Venture Reality.  He sees people often are chasing for the next bright shiny project.


    A good description of Virtual Reality (VR) is a giant smoking room. Most people don't even know what is VR, right? For example, headsets.  Headsets are slowly improving. Concept of headset wrapped around head is very geeky and an average person does not like. Also it takes time to put a headset on a person that can be a problem.  Headsets  can be disappointing to most users. 

    Artificial Reality (AR) has huge problems that competitors of Pokemon Go have not figured out. But  Google Maps is an example of a successful use of Artificial Reality. Goldberg mentioned that he believes that Artificial Reality is going through a porn stage.  Yes he mentioned porn.  I don't believe that this is casual friendly, right?  Some people are confusion with VR and AR. For AR, you need a lot of money for development and maybe now in the beginning only few will get the financing. People are trying to claim game genres such as Match3 games under development. Game business has highly applicable experience with establishing the virtual value.

    AR can be a "Blue ocean" stage, if you like risk take this.  So what is blue ocean?  It is like the Steven Spielberg movie!  No apparent path to revenue.  You are a true believer and the games will definitely work.  Conversational computing is a good thing to see if their platforms of games are working for them.  Need to proof your bases case such as using Amazon.

    eSports is rapidly establishing sector as well as a third wave of start-up formation. Divides into: businesses with wide moats (e.g. teams), good business, but not high -growth, opportunities and nitches with venture worthy prospects  (with possible exceptions of mobile and community).  Maybe if too much capital can kill a company and make them fail.  We are now seeing specialist funds available for sports.  Professional sports investments such as the NFL.  When Robert Kraft buys a team, it is pocket change and he is one that has too much capital in Goldberg's opinion.

    So what are the general rules of the VR game? VR games generally operate on 7-10 year time horizons driven by fund cycles (not investments). Right and too early - or, of course, too late - is functional the same as a failed investment.

    Don't forget that you need to Up Your Game.  Build your business on what you think will work and use your own rules. 

    Casual Connect Europe 2014: The Game Industry Game Changer:

    Indie Prize Nominee: 562 Interactive

    Do you have brothers?  Have you ever considered working together yet creating a VR game?cc2.png

    The Weiler brothers together with their compassion about VR and games created colorful Snailens by 562 Interactive.

    Growing up Ray, Will and Preston Weiler loved playing fun action adventure games such as Ratchet & Clank and Jak.  This lead them to realize together as brothers and family together as adults they could work together to create an amazing and fun VR game together.  Each brother has a fascinating background as well to add in their passion when creating Snailen. Ray studied computer science and fine art and then later entertainment design.  Will studied architecture and 3D modeling.  Preston studied business and finance.

    What exactly is Snailens?  Snailens is an adventure strategy-shooter VR game where it’s up to you to defend the world from a strange new threat.  The graphics is quite impressive with adorable terrifying monsters that aim at stealing all of the Earth's cabbages. Why cabbage as who would really invade a planet for cabbages, right?  In this VR tower defense game, you play as the commander of the S.A.L.T. defense network. In virtual reality you construct towers, equip guns, and fight off the Snailen invaders. Note the text is even funny and charming. For example, the big real frozen tank says do not lick?  Would you ever ever lick a frozen anything?  I don't think so.

    Snailens have traveled from across the universe in search of a scrumptious snack. Who could have known it would be Earth's succulent cabbages? They'll stop at nothing to get their mucus covered tentacles on our little green treasures!

    cc3.pngSnailens is a high energy, tower defense shooter built from the ground up for VR. It combines the intensity of a shooter with a more tactical approach in tower placement and upgrades. A powerful weapon and tower elemental system offers nearly limitless ways to play! Get the Snailins wet and then zap them or cover them in flammable goo then blow them up! You choose how you want to fight off the tentacled invaders.

    The Weiler brothers Snailen VR game has been nominated for the Casual Connect 2018 21st Indie Prize award. Stop by their booth in the expo hall and to get a special vial sample collected from a snailen near you!  Keep in mind they were collected at different places such as Cabbage Fest, Temple of the Jade tentacle.  Come  and get your collected "snailia" which is a dangerous specimen as well and check out their VR game! Be sure not to eat the vial though as you will for sure get a stomach ache.

    The Snailens Game is played in chapters and each chapter is in a different place of the world such as Georgia (small town and farms) and Japan (big temples).

    Snailens is available on Steam.


    Check back for more coverage!

    Edited by khawk

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