When we talk about important gaming events in Serbia, and in South-Eastern Europe generally, a couple of events stand out significantly. Of course, international events like Casual Connect and ESL events are always incredibly important for both game developers and gamers. However, there are lots of other events that can really help developers with the promotion of their game, as well as with its development.
One of such events is most definitely the event we’ve visited last week - Mad Head Games’ GameUp. This event first took place in Belgrade in 2014, and since then it only grew in size and importance. Today, GameUp is one of the most important events for indie game developers and small studios in this region. Esoter team got an opportunity to become a part of this year’s edition of GameUp, and we jumped straight into it.
For this year, Mad Head’s team really worked hard, and with the help of SGA (Serbian Games Association), they’ve managed to get some of the most important companies in the gaming industry as partners, lecturers, and judges in this year’s Indie Prize competition. Local and regional game developers had the chance to present their projects and portfolios to some of the most important names of the industry like Unreal, Nordeus or Reboot.
Aside from indie developers showcase, this year’s GameUp conference was filled with incredible lectures. Throughout 8 hours, GameUp visitors had the chance to listen to industry’s experts on game development, business development, and general approach to this industry. Professionals from companies like Epic Games and Wargaming used their time to try and explain some aspects of the entire game development process.
This year’s GameUp was also packed with live art showcases where visitors got the chance to see real game artists at work. The entire event took place in Belgrade, in Yugoslav Film Archive building, and the entire event was incredibly well-attended. As a studio, we were involved in this years’ indie prize competition, and even though we, unfortunately, didn’t get the prize, this event was more than useful.
It has been a couple of months since our last big event, and we had a lot of work to finish during those few months. We worked on implementing most of the changes we got from players’ feedback, but we’ve also worked on developing a bit more complicated system in our game. One of the biggest changes Children Of Lir went through, ahead of this year’s GameUp is the visual change. Our incredible artists worked quite hard in order to make Children Of Lir more appealing, and much more interesting than it was earlier. We’ve also worked on some slight changes in the game mechanics, as well as on game’s cinematics.
We are proud to say that our booth at GameUp was quite crowded all day, and we even managed to meet with some of our fans who had the opportunity to play our first pre-alpha demo we presented in last year’s Games.Con. We got the opportunity to talk directly with the people interested in our game, and we managed to find new fans. By the end of the day, we had quite a lot of visitors who managed to try out our game, and they all gave us some incredible feedback.
As we approach the release of our first official demo for Children Of Lir, the players’ opinion is incredibly important. We’re using all the comments and all of the received feedback in our development process, as we’re trying to make the best possible version of our game. Luckily, every year brings something new, and the gaming industry is quickly expanding in our region. With so many important events and quite a lot of experts coming to Serbia year after year, we finally have the opportunity to find our own place in the world map of game development.
This year’s GameUp was quite an event. We managed to finish out playable content in time to present it in front of a wider audience, and we got the chance to talk with industry experts. We managed to surprise some of our fans with our latest demo, while we were also collecting all of the feedback and comments people shared with us. Even though we haven’t won, this experience was incredibly useful for our team, and we’re proud to say that, according to the people at our booth, we’re definitely on the right track.
We would like to express our gratitude to each and every member of Mad Head’s GameUp team for the amazing organization and realization of this event. We would also like to give a huge shoutout to our new family from SGA, for really doing everything in their power to help indie developers. We are happy so many people were interested in our game and the process behind it, and we wish to say congratulations to all of this year’s indie prize winners. We really had a blast, and it’s now time to take the input we’ve got and implement it in the game. One last huge thank you to everyone involved in this amazing project, and we can’t wait for the next one!
Have you been to this year’s GameUp? Have a question about Children Of Lir’s development? Make sure you check out our social media and contact us with feedback, questions, ideas or suggestions. And, of course - stay tuned.
Children of Lir is a turn-based RPG based on ancient Irish and Celtic legends. Our story is placed in medieval Ireland where the darkness has taken hold of the country. Monsters, dark creatures, and foul men took over the land, fear is growing and it seems there is no hope for once beautiful Emerald Island.
Since the death of King Lir centuries ago, things were only becoming worse, but now it seems the human race is at its last stand. The King of Emerald Island called all brave men, women and children to stand together and fight against the magic that devours the land, and this is where our story begins.
Become a medieval hero, gather your allies and form a party to defend your home. Get immersed in the ancient magic and a hero’s journey from despair to salvation. Use your skills to defeat all of the enemies and help our heroes bring joy back to the Emerald Island. Follow the story, make choices and the hope might still return to our lands. Help our heroes save their world, you’re their only hope!
Children of Lir is developed for PC, and will be available on Mobile as well. It’s a single player turn and story based role-playing adventure where the main focus is on the story and players’ choices. Game art style is quite unique and original, as well as the sound design. The game aims to awake specific emotions at specific game points through the clever use of story, sound, and art elements.
Movement and battle mechanics are very intuitive and easy to master. The story of the game will be balanced in such a way so that every player can get immersed as soon as they start their adventure. The game should have around 10 to 12 hours of gameplay, filled with exciting encounters, battles, and unexpected story twists.
For this year, Mad Head’s team really worked hard, and with the help of SGA (Serbian Games Association), they’ve managed to get some of the most important companies in the gaming industry as partners, lecturers, and judges in this year’s Indie Prize competition.
As we’ve dug deeper, we realized there are some misconceptions that have no root in logic. We will be trying to break down those misconceptions and show you the real face of Celtic culture.
We’ve shared a lot about our game through our social media, as well as through our Kickstarter campaign, but we think that the time has come for us to show what we’ve done so far. Probably the best opportunity to do this is through gaming events.