Indie Prize Winners Announced As Casual Connect USA 2018 Concludes

Casual Connect USA 2018 has concluded – and with it, over three days of lectures, workshops, networking, and parties. The conference brought out hundreds of professionals from all walks of the games industry – including console, mobile, PC, casino, VR/AR, and online – providing them with opportunities to connect, learn new skills, and gain valuable insights on a range of topics.

Indie Prize Winners

Sixty developer teams vyed for 10 trophies during the 21st Indie Prize Awards at Casual Connect USA 2018. “It is always a pleasure to watch how excited developers are about showcasing and networking – as well as seeing the energy and inspiration that comes from new connections that are made during the conference,” said Indie Prize Director Yuliya Moshkaryova.

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ZPLAY Ads was the platinum sponsor for Indie Prize USA – and provided $10,000 in UA via playable ads to the Most Innovative Game winner and a mobile phone to the Best In Show winner. Additional prizes were provided by silver sponsor DeepMotion – as well as Amazon Appstore, NVIDIA, OMUK, Inlingo, Photon, Intel, Tenjin, and Appodeal.

Indie Prize USA 2018 winners and nominees.

Winners and nominees include:
Best Game Audio
WINNER: Floor Kids (MERJ Media, Canada)
Stack & Crack (Jambav, India)
Orbit – Playing With Gravity (HIGHKEY Games, USA)
Rumble League (Lorraine Studio, USA)
Best Game Design
WINNER: Molecats (Vidroid, Ukraine)
SIMULACRA (Kaigan Games, Malaysia)
AntVentor (LoopyMood, Ukraine)
The Raven and Orion (Always Player 2 Studios, USA)
Best Game Art
WINNER: AntVentor (LoopyMood, Ukraine)
Past Cure (Phantom 8 Studio, Germany)
Brave Hand (Heart Shaped Games, USA)
Molecats (Vidroid, Ukraine)
Best Game Animation
WINNER: Bushy Tail (Fuero Games, Poland)
Floor Kids (MERJ Media, Canada)
Zebrainy ABCs (Zebrainy, Malta)
World Creator! (Lionbird Limited, Hong Kong)
Best Game Narrative
WINNER: Bushy Tail (Fuero Games, Poland)
SIMULACRA (Kaigan Games, Malaysia)
Past Cure (Phantom 8 Studio, Germany)
Skye (Puny Astronaut, Scotland)
Best Multiplayer Game
WINNER: King of the Hat (Hyroglyphik Games, Canada)
Massive Warfare: Rush (TinyBytes, Chile)
Kluno: Hero Battle (Gameka, Malaysia)
Imposter Drawster (Up at Night, USA)
Best Kids & Family Game
WINNER: Zebrainy ABCs (Zebrainy, Malta)
Pets Race (Kooapps, USA)
Drawing for Kids (Bini Bambini, Ukraine)
Skye (Puny Astronaut, Scotland)
Best Mobile Game
WINNER: SIMULACRA (Kaigan Games, Malaysia)
Corecraft (Retro Principles, Malta)
Warhammer: Doomwheel (Katsu Entertainment, USA)
Grapple Gum (Ali Mehrez, Tunisia)
Most Innovative Game
WINNER: Molecats (Vidroid, Ukraine)
SIMULACRA (Kaigan Games, Malaysia)
Floor Kids (MERJ Media, Canada)
Vocaline (Flatgames, Turkey)
Best In Show: Audience Choice
AlphaBeatCancer (Mukutu Game Studio, Brazil)

“On behalf of Casual Connect and Indie Prize, we congratulate all the finalists, nominees and winners,” said Yuliya. “We are looking forward to discover and support new industry talent at our upcoming 2018 shows in London, Belgrade, and Shenzhen/Hong Kong!”

Speaker Highlights

More than 250 experts and executives lended their talents, knowledge, and experiences to attendees in topics ranging from licensing and legal issues to design and monetization. Ted Price, the CEO of Insomniac Games, was one such speaker. He spoke on a panel alongside Turtle Rock Studios President Steve Goldstein, Skydance Interactive President Peter Akemann, Manticore Games Co-Founder Frederic Descamps, Amazon Head of Business Development Dan Winters, and Boesky & Company Principal Keith Boesky.

Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price, second from right, listens to Boesky & Company Principal Keith Boesky during a panel on January 16, 2018, at Casual Connect USA.

Of the panel, Ted noted, “what was fun for me was that I already knew all but one of my fellow panelists – and of course our moderator Keith. So I felt like the conversation was relaxed and collaborative. In my opinion Peter, Dan and Steve all shared unique insights when answering Keith’s questions. Thus it was an opportunity for me to learn as well.”

Overall, Casual Connect USA 2018 hosted 14 tracks: Industry & Leadership, Casino, Market Navigation, Business of Games, Design & Development, Kids & Family, Esports, Audio, Emerging Tech, Licensing, United in Diversity, United in Action, LiveOps Connect, and the IGDA Mentorship Summit. Speakers came from companies such as Netmarble, Insomniac Games, Xbox, Hitpoint Studios, Atari, Caesars Entertainment, Mattel, Twitch, Blizzard, NBCUniversal Media, Zynga, and many more.

Show Support

The conference also included dozens of exhibitors and sponsors with a wide range of services to help developers big and small. Kristiina Kansen, the Director of Marketing at MoPub (Twitter), a recurring sponsor of Casual Connect, noted that their experience at the show was “very valuable as usual and a great place for us to connect with MoPub’s key audience: up-and-coming as well as leading app developers”.

Publishers, developers, and service providers alike took part in exhibition and sponsorships at the show to find clients, recruit new talent, and build partnerships with others in the games industry. The conference’s three major networking parties were sponsored by DCPI, Game Insight, and Upsight and attended by hundreds; while attendees enjoyed smaller in-venue mingles and drinks sponsored by ConsumerAcquistion.com and InMobi after the conference on Day 1.

Two Casual Connect USA attendees take part in a little indoor climbing during the Official Casual Connect USA 2018 Day 1 Party hosted by Game Insight

London & Beyond

While Casual Connect USA has come and gone, the team at Computer Games Association (CGA) is already hard at work preparing for their next shows. Be sure to catch one or more of Casual Connect’s upcoming conferences in London, Belgrade, and Shenzhen/Hong Kong. If you missed Casual Connect USA 2018, you can find select lecture videos on Casual Connect’s official YouTube page in the coming weeks.

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