Casual Connect Asia starts tomorrow from May 20 to May 22 and it’s heralded as the biggest Southeast Asian gathering for game developers and publishers in the mobile gaming space. e27 will be there to cover the highs and lows of the event that’s held at the Shangri-La Hotel (22 Orange Grove), Singapore.

But if you’re thinking to yourself: “Gee, there are so many awesome panels to attend and check out, so which one should I prioritise and make time for?” Here’s a quick list of talks and panels that we feel is worth your valuable time.

Budding developers and startups who want to make it big in the mobile gaming space in Asia should do well to check them out. By default, all panels take 20 minutes unless otherwise stated. Floor plans for the exhibition are as follows via embedded links: conference overview, Platinum and Gold tables, Silver and Bronze tables, IDEA Showcase and Indie Prize section.

May 20

line rangers

LINE: Riding the new wave of game distribution

Speaker: LINE International Business Development Jun Otsuka

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 10 AM

Description: Jun Otsuka talks about how to use chat app LINE as a great way to distribute and promote mobile games. Like KakaoTalk and WeChat, LINE is a popular chat app that happens to have a number of games under its wing like Cookie Run and Zookeeper.

Building cross-platform games on Facebook

Speaker: Facebook Head of APAC Platform Partnerships, Games, Richard Song

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 10.30 AM

Description: Come and hear how to create cross-platform games faster. Learn how to use Facebook Platform Parse to build great mobile apps and games.

Great sound. Great game.

Speaker: IMBA Interactive Co-Founder Gwen Guo

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 10.30 AM

Description: Indie developers are recognising 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? IMBA Interactive’s Gwen shares about how awesome audio often equates to a successful game!

How to develop PlayStation games with Unity

Speakers: Koji Tada, Director of Developer Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment Asia; Chong Yunn, Game Developer, SUTD Game Lab; Hiroki Kaminaga, Developer Support, Sony Computer Entertainment Asia

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 11 AM

Description: This session will focus on the sequential process from development to publishing a game for PlayStation platforms with the latest demo and actual development experiences presented by a Singapore game developer, SUTD Game Lab. Also, the VR device Project Morpheus will be available hands-on for participants.


Also Read: KakaoTalk nets a whopping 500 million downloads on iOS and Android

Diving deep into Southeast Asia’s gaming market

Speaker: Asiasoft Online Head of International Business Robin Sagacious

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 11.30 AM

Description: This session will provide an overview of the SEA online and mobile gaming markets and its projected trends. Asiasoft is responsible for bringing a huge number of Blizzard Entertainment games to Southeast Asia; its upcoming MMO title is Phantasy Star Online 2. This marks the first time the game will be out in the English language.

How Asian mobile game developers can break into the US markets

Speaker: Animoca Business Development Robby Yung

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 2.30 PM

Description: The US$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. What are the best strategies that Asian developers should use for marketing to US users? Animoca’s Robby Yung answers these questions and others.

Mobile gaming market overview in Asia

Speaker: KakaoTalk Director of Global Business Development Alex Kim

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 1 PM

Description: After Kakao pioneered the integration between messenger services and mobile games, the company quickly learned this integration would turn into a key business model on mobile. Join Alex Kim, as he explores what needs to happen for developers to make profit on this market and how Kakao can help.

Monetisation: What differentiates top earners from everyone else

Speaker: Amazon Technical Evangelist Peter Heinrich

Venue: Tower Ballroom Acacia

Time: 1.30 PM

Description: 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 unanalysed. Using cohort analysis, we identified key predictors of top-earning mobile apps and games, and offer practical insight into maximising monetisation.

Why game jams are the best practice for indies

Speaker: Lucid Labs Founder Chirag Chopra

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 4 PM

Description: 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 briefly overview the history of game jams: how it all started and what was the initial purpose.

Chirag will shed some light on the importance of game jams and how they can help people, especially indies, to stand out from the crowd. He will share some key techniques to have the best game jam experience and how to make the most of it.


May 21


Freemium vs. premium: An indie dilemma

Speaker: Witching Hour Studios Co-Founder and Creative Director Ian Gregory

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 10 AM

Description: 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, Witching Hour Studios (Ravenmark series) Co-Founder Ian Gregory will 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.

Building a game platform in Indonesia: Touchten’s story

Speaker: Touchten CEO Anton Soeharyo

Venue:  Tower Ballroom Acacia

Time: 11.30 AM

Description: After receiving investments, TouchTen is embarking on a new challenge to build a game platform for smartphone users.

Demystifying Southeast Asia

Speaker: Gumi Asia CEO David Ng

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 10 AM

Description: Gumi Asia’s CEO David Ng talks about how the company climbed the charts of Southeast Asia’s fastest-rising markets.

Publishing and distribution: What are your options?

Moderator: Sanuk Games CEO Yan Marchal

Speakers: Boomzap Creative Director and Co-Founder Chris Natsuume, Witching Hour Co-Founder and Creative Director Ian Gregory, Joju Games Studio Director Juan Gril

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 11 AM

Description: 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? In this session, veteran indie studio managers who have all taken very different routes to the market will share their experience and thoughts on the business side of game development.


Also Read: 3 top mobile gaming trends by Outblaze’s Yat Siu

How to succeed in the west: Stats, best practices and common mistakes for F2P core games

Speaker: Kongregate Senior Director of Developer Relations and Business Development David Chiu

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 11 AM

Description: 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 maximising player retention, monetisation and satisfaction. David Chiu will talk about the best practices Asian devs should use in Western markets and what they can learn from Western developers in the same business space.

You were the chosen one! 

Speaker: Secret Base Founder and Producer Raymond Teo

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 12.30 PM

Description: We all have a gazillion fantastic game ideas, or so we think. But which one of these is the game to make? This session explores some of the considerations involved when deciding our next big thing, and how those decisions affect the development in the long run. Raymond Teo is known for creating Bitejackers and Tobe’s Vertical Adventure.

The first Cambodian game development studio: It all started from zero

Speaker: Osja Studio Founder Uy Ear

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 2.30pm

Description: A game development studio is something totally new for Cambodia, even though the citizens are passionate gamers who enjoy various mobile and PC titles. Osja Studio’s Uy Ear talks about how his team had to learn everything from scratch while adhering to making a quality product. Definitely worth checking out if you’re thinking of making games in Cambodia.

May 22


KOEX – The new dynamics of a publisher and developer’s co-existence

Speaker: DeNA Asia Pacific Producer in Multi-Region Game Department Tatsuya Komuro

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 10 AM

Description: Tatsuya Komuro will share his experience in handling several projects under an initiative they called KOEX, an initiative to partner with developers in the West to localise their games for the Japanese market. He will share what he has learned from this exercise, being a producer in the middle of the all the activity.

Retaining and monetising your mobile gamers in a hypercompetitive market

Speaker: Google Strategic Partner Lead in Gaming Vineet Tanwar

Venue: Tower Ballroom Banyan

Time: 1 PM

Description:  In this talk, Vineet will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the new games ecosystem, and seek to dispel some myths surrounding gamers and game monetisation. He will also address how game developers can keep their users engaged and monetise them effectively in the long term.

Ten reasons why your app won’t succeed

Speaker: Moonfrog Labs Director Oliver Jones

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 11 AM

Description: The recipe for success on the app store still eludes most of us. But at least at this point we have a decent grasp on the recipe for disaster. From a game design viewpoint, Oliver gives us 10 reasons why mobile apps will tip and fall on the rocky road to the top 10.

Painful but necessary – Key disciplines to manage your social game well

Speaker: Tecmo Koei Singapore Senior Vice President Raymond Wong

Venue: Island Ballroom Katong

Time: 2 PM

Description: Data, data everywhere. Top that up with the tons of feedback your customers give, the incessant schedules of features you intend to roll-out, plus the stress of managing your bottomline. We all know we need to do these things. The real key to success comes from not only doing these well, but doing these in a disciplined fashion. Come share with Raymond as he talks about the pains and lessons gleaned from the development teams, both from a business and operational perspective.

For the rest of the talks in Casual Connect Asia, check out the link here. Know of any noteworthy ones we missed out on? Ping us on the comments box below. 

*Disclosure: e27’s games editor has worked with Witching Hour Studio on a part-time basis