We all know that making the game is the easy part – the hard one is selling it, and you can only do that by building a network of people who actually know about it. The best way to establish the base of a network is to attend events; us people are social creatures and we react better when we can associate a face and, even better, a nice real life conversation, to a title we might not only buy, but also talk about, or even review, publish or finance.
But attending industry events is not cheap.
Which is why no sane indie should say pass to Casual Connect.
Now, Casual Connect is a rather confusing name. All developers I talk to put Casual Connect in the free to play mobile games category and don’t give it a second thought. Even if it were so, I would still advise anyone to attend, because it is a very cost effective opportunity to meet important people (just look over the events’ speakers). But Casual Connect hosts Indie Prize, a competition open to any developer and the heart of the Casual Connect events.
As an indie developer, you can submit your game almost anytime to showcase to the next Casual Connect event. This series of trade shows happen four times a year, in Europe, Asia, USA and the Middle East, which makes it easy to pick and choose the nearest location to you. If you get admitted in the indie showcase, you receive free space, drinks and food throughout the entire event, access to impressive parties and even free lodging in hostels nearby the venues. You also compete to Indie Prize, which has quite a generous prize pool. All you need to do is to cover your travel costs.
Who you get to meet at Casual Connect is an interesting mix of people. I think one can split them in three distinct parts: the indies, over 100 teams from all over the world present for every show, the video games industry people such as publishers, investors and press, and the service people, who offer lots of user acquisition, data analytics, ads and ad network kind of services.
In terms of indies and the Indie Prize, which is open to pretty much any kind of game, last year the showcased teams were about 50/50 PC and mobile games, this year the percentage of PC games has certainly increased – I estimate some 70% PC titles. It is true that the business people attending Casual Connect have not quite caught up with the trend, so most of them still seek to publish and offer services to mobile games, but things change and that was quite obvious this year, both in terms of publisher presence and press.
To summarize, just submit your game to Casual Connect. If you are lucky enough to get admitted, the least you’ll get is a completely free opportunity to show your game, to meet well connected people and to experience what I think of as the nicest indie gathering in the world. The best involves huge checks with 6 figure sums.
If I convinced you, just know that the next Indie Prize submission is for Casual Connect Singapore, which will take place in May 17-19, 2016. The due date for submission is March 31st, 2016 and the submission form is here.
For photos from the event feel free to access the links bellow:
All photos – Sebastian Bularca’s website
Facebook – Casual Connect 2016 – Parties!