Kevuru Games and EthernalHorizons Will Collaborate on the MechaChain Project
Kevuru Games and EthernalHorizons Will Collaborate on the MechaChain Project
We are glad to announce the cooperation of our game outsourcing studio Kevuru Games with the EthernalHorizons company on the MechaChain project. As a technology partner, our company is responsible for the full-cycle development, including art for the game. About MechaChain Twitter, EthernalHorizons is a French gaming company specializing in the creation of mobile games on the Ethereum blockchain. Their key mission is turning NFT into reality through the metaverse and games. The company’s largest project, MechaChain, is currently under active development. The goal of MechaChain is to push the boundaries of fighting games using different facets of blockchain potential. The ability to assemble a combat robot using NFT parts and its integration into the in-game tokenomics with the possibility of trading and earning is a new unique mechanic, hitherto unavailable in other entertainment products. The use of mobile devices as the main platform for the game is due to their growing popularity around the world and the desire to showcase blockchain-based games to an even wider audience. Subsequently, the game will be adapted for virtual reality headsets to fully immerse players in the MechaChain metaverse. The presentation of the game to future players will take place in several stages. The first quarter of 2022 will be marked by the public auction, where players will be able to purchase Mechanium and spend it on parts for future robots.In the second quarter of 2022, the first assembled robots in 3D format are planned to appear.The third quarter of 2022 will bring the emergence of NTF colonies, which can be set up by players to receive the income generated by other players during battles.In 2023, players will be able to see their robots on their smartphones.Alpha testing and final release of the game are scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. About Kevuru Games Kevuru Games is a Ukrainian outsourcing studio specializing in game art and development. For 10 years of functioning in the gaming market, the studio has managed to work with the world’s leading publishers – Epic Games, Lucasfilm, EA – and earn a reputation as a reliable and qualified partner. In addition to game art and development, the studio’s services include animation, gamification, testing, porting, and motion design. The NFT trend has contributed to the emergence of a new department dealing with blockchain games: the Kevuru Games portfolio already includes several high-profile projects for which our team has created NFT collectibles.
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How to Create an NFT Game: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Essentials
How to Create an NFT Game: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Essentials
You’ve probably already heard about NFTs, even if you haven’t really strive for it. Popular trends tend to penetrate all parts of the information space and catch the eye of everyone, regardless of the level of interest. But since you’re reading this article, it means that you’re definitely interested in what NFT is and how to make an NFT game. NFTs are used in many industries. In 2021, the Hermitage opened a digital art exhibition where 38 NFT projects were presented. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold the NFT token of his first tweet for $2.9 million. Artist Mike Winkelmann received a record $69 million for his NFT painting. So what’s going on? What is NFT and why is everyone talking about it? What are NFTs? NFT stands for non-fungible token. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs appeared as a result of the formation of the blockchain. But unlike, for example, Bitcoin, each NFT is unique and has its own value. If one conventional cryptocurrency unit is no different from another similar one (for example, one Ethereum does not differ in any way from another and is completely interchangeable without loss of value), then this is not the case with NFT. To understand this, let’s start with the NFT environment – the blockchain. Wikipedia says that a blockchain is a continuous sequential chain of blocks containing information built according to certain rules. Simply put, it is a database that is simultaneously stored on a huge number of computers. In the traditional model of the Internet, all devices are connected to centralized nodes in the form of servers or Internet providers, while the blockchain works in a different way. It does not provide any central nodes. In its system, all devices simultaneously store all the information published in the blockchain. Blockchain process Tokens, in turn, represent a ledger entry on the blockchain. These are units of asset accounting, analogous to shares on the stock exchange. A distinctive feature of most tokens is the principle of fungibility. It can be compared to a currency, including a cryptocurrency: one dollar or one bitcoin can be easily replaced with one dollar or one bitcoin belonging to other users. But not all digital assets are fungible. Unique objects, such as a Leonardo da Vinci painting, cannot be identical to a Paul Gauguin painting, even if they are theoretically similar in appraised value. To transfer unique elements to the blockchain, a non-fungible token format was created. Each NFT is unique and exists in a single copy, it cannot be divided. All information about its author, buyer, and all transactions with it is securely stored in the blockchain. In other words, an NFT is a digital certificate attached to a unique object. Only one person can be the official owner of an NFT. NFT Standards Each blockchain has several standards that you can consider as a template for the function you will use in the smart contract. Smart contracts are self-executing pieces of code stored on the blockchain. Each standard offers certain features and attributes that must be filled in when creating an NFT. Ethereum The original non-fungible token standard was ERC-721, built on Ethereum. It continues to be the most widely used blockchain platform for building and running NFTs. It assumes that an asset has certain attributes or characteristics that make it unique and rare. Other standards less common on the Ethereum blockchain are ERC-998 and ERC-1155. They have similar characteristics to ERC-721 but can contain both non-fungible and fungible tokens. ERC-1155 tokens allow users to register fungible (ERC-20) and non-fungible (ERC-721) tokens using the same address and smart contract. This feature can be very interesting for games where fungible in-game currency and non-fungible collectibles can be kept together. Other token standards, such as ERC-1190, which offer the creation of flexible and complex NFTs, have already been submitted for review and are awaiting approval. Flow Flow owes its existence to CryptoKitties. CryptoKitties is an NFT-based game that allows users to buy, sell, collect, and breed digital cats. It was launched using ERC-721 tokens. It became so popular that it started consuming more Ethereum blockchain resources than originally planned. The Dapper Labs game development team solved this problem by creating the Flow blockchain. It was designed specifically for crypto-collectibles and games. Smart contracts in the Flow network are written in the Cadence language. Flow makes it possible to use updatable smart contracts. These smart contracts can be deployed in beta and then incrementally upgraded by the original authors until they are satisfied. Tezos Tezos is a multifunctional decentralized blockchain platform with support for smart contracts and the ability to create tokens and decentralized applications. Tezos has its own cryptocurrency called Tez and a non-fungible FA2 standard that provides more flexibility for handling in-game elements. Other Blockchains There are other blockchains, such as Palm and Solana. Palm Blockchain is a token-based NFT ecosystem that is connected to Ethereum and features low gas costs and fast transaction completion times. It focuses on building an NFT ecosystem for culture and creativity. Solana is the world’s fastest open source blockchain and the fastest-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem with thousands of projects. It aims to use several revolutionary technologies for the next generation of dApps (keep reading to learn more about dApps). What Are NFT Games? NFT games are blockchain-based entertainment products that contain digital objects – non-fungible tokens. In video games, NFT technology can be used to attract investment. Players can create, buy or sell a token of any in-game object and thus support the developer. For example, NFTs can be used to tokenize skins, artifacts, weapons, and other game assets. We’ve already talked about special token standards for games – for example, Ethereum ERC-1155. Not only developers, but also players can benefit from NFTs. For example, they have the opportunity to sell in-game NFTs to other collectors and players, thus earning cryptocurrency and money. Let’s looks at the FPS blockchain game Undead Blocks. Our team created art for it, including characters and weapons. The game offers zombie killers to expand their arsenal of weapons with NFT options and even whole packages at attractive prices. Undead Blocks screen NFT games are mainly featured on Ethereum. To start playing, you need to make some kind of contribution, such as purchasing an NFT in-game product that you can play with. By playing this item or character, you increase its uniqueness and can later sell it to another player or collector for a higher price. Some games don’t require a contribution and are partially free. Usually, they work on a pay-to-win system, when there is a certain part of paid game assets that significantly speed up game progress. So the players have a choice – buy the items and secure the victory, or rely on their patience and a pinch of luck at no cost. For example, you start without investments and develop your character through various actions. Over time, its value will increase. In addition, almost every game has mechanics that allow you to earn bonuses – drawings of tokens within the game, competitions that can also generate income, etc. The features of these games are that you can earn money in them, monetize your gaming experience, and develop the blockchain ecosystem. There are also disadvantages: you need to invest in them, earnings depend on cryptocurrencies and sales of in-game assets, and these are risks. Gamers must constantly improve their characters and most often buy add-ons to win. On the other hand, the cost of upgraded characters can reach crazy values. For example, the most expensive creature from the NFT game Axie Infinity was sold for a modest $1,076,100. Axie Infinity screen How to Create an NFT Game: Preparation Stage How is NFT implemented in the gaming environment? To design and use NFTs in the game, developers create smart contracts with the rules for using such tokens. For example, in CryptoKitties, a small number of core contracts structure the game. The most famous of them –  geneScience – defines the random mechanics of generating new cats. Initially, the developers of the game kept its code secret, so interested players even created tools to analyze the likelihood of cats having certain traits. This helped users increase their chances of getting a rare and more valuable breed. Now let’s talk in more detail about how to create an NFT game. Game Model NFT games can be divided into two large groups: P2E (play-to-earn). To start playing, players must purchase their first NFT. In the future, there is an opportunity to recoup the investment. Most P2E games allow gamers to win so-called utility tokens and buy NFTs representing characters, perks, or power-ups.F2P (free-to-play). There are significantly fewer such games, but they don’t require any initial costs – you can start playing right away. In this case, the possible income will be lower. Such games may not include utility tokens. The utility token method is considered a more stable way of earning than the NFT-only method – winning valuable NTFs is very dependent on chance. In order to help novice players who are unable or afraid to invest, special scholarship funds are established. Experienced players sponsor and train them, after which they are entitled to a share of the profits. Design for Your Game Select the genre of the future game. The NFT game is not some scary beast that exists in another reality. This is the same game as the others, but with its own characteristics. So strategy, combat, adventure, simulation, role-playing, or card games – all options are available. After choosing a genre, it is important to conduct a competitive analysis. Find similar games on the blockchain and beyond. Do not mindlessly copy successful games – take the most interesting features and supplement your idea with them. All information about the game should be recorded in the game design document. This way you can avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations within the team. When you precisely define the key milestones of the game, characters, their leveling system, victory conditions, and monetization features, you can move on to design and start creating art. Of course, game art is an absolutely creative field, and you are free to do whatever you want there. But note one thing for yourself. At the moment, the most popular NFT game is Axie Infinity, where the player has to collect fantastic NFT animals that can be bred or sold. We also remember about CryptoKitties, a kind of trendsetter for games with animal breeding mechanics. These games combine bright cartoon art with cute animals. Almost no one in the world can resist cute animals. Keep this in mind. Other popular NFT games are also non-AAA graphics examples. In the future, the emergence of AAA games with the introduction of NFT is planned, but so far the effectiveness of such a combination hasn’t been tested and remains in question. To avoid the risks and huge investments in an untested concept, start with a simpler graphic option. Later, after getting your hands on it and understanding the specifics of NFT games, you will be able to move on to games with a more advanced level of art. CryptoKitties screen Web or Mobile Applications built on blockchain technologies are called dApps – decentralized applications. The main code and data (backend) of a decentralized application are stored and executed on the peer-to-peer blockchain, unlike client-server applications, whose data and code are processed on servers. In fact, all cryptocurrencies are already variants of decentralized applications. But usually, they are considered the basic foundation of the blockchain, on top of which a variety of decentralized applications already work. Decentralized applications are usually open source. We continue to figure out how to make an NFT game. The next question to ask is how do you want your users to interact with the game? Through a web browser or mobile app? Both options are valid. The web application is universal and can be launched from any device, from a computer to a smartphone, anywhere in the world. On the other hand, a mobile app will run much faster on smartphones and may have many more features. Therefore, its development is often more expensive. Mobile applications can be native and cross-platform: Native options are created for a specific operating system and can have access to various smartphone functions: camera, contact list, GPS, and others. Often we are talking about Android and iOS, but there are also Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Bada, Symbian, as well as open source systems such as Mobian and Ubuntu.Cross-platform options won’t be able to access smartphone functions, but they’re much easier, faster, and cheaper to create because you only need one version that will work for all operating systems. Before choosing between native and cross-platform apps, consider whether you need smartphone features for your game. Also, note that the AppStore requires each app to meet a set of requirements and may refuse to list a game on the store if it detects any infringement. There is also a hybrid app option that works as both a mobile app and a web app. Then it makes sense for you to pay attention to progressive web applications. PWA allows you to run the application using a mobile browser. At the same time, the functionality of the native application is almost completely preserved, and the application itself doesn’t need to be placed in the AppStore and go through all the circles of hell with regards to audit. The advantages of PWA are: Sending push notifications (except iOS devices).Working offline.Accessing some smartphone features (except iOS devices).Placing a shortcut on the desktop that doesn’t visually differ from that of a native application. Define your target group and the devices they use. But the simplest solution for your first NFT game would be a web application. It has maximum coverage, is not limited to a specific device and doesn’t require either a complex technological pipeline or compliance with the rules of a specific platform. Suitable Technology To get your feet on the ground in NFT, take advantage of open source. For example, you can go to GitHub and find both ready-made games and templates for NFT games that you can manipulate to better understand the specifics of such games. If GitHub is Greek to you, then pave the way for the initial orientation in it. You will definitely need it in the future. This is the most famous project and code version management system. It allows you to collaborate with other people around the world, plan your projects and track your work. One of the most common dApp development ecosystems is Truffle Suite. It is the leading smart contract development environment. Truffle tools are used by well-known companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and VMWare. Truffle Suite provides blockchain developers with a standardized testing environment and asset pipeline to create high-quality and reliable smart contracts. Truffle Suite consists of three different parts: Truffle. A development environment that uses the Ethereum virtual machine as a basis and specializes in the development, management and testing of smart contracts.Ganache. A tool for setting up a local Ethereum blockchain that allows you to deploy, develop, and test all of our decentralized applications in a secure and deterministic environment.Drizzle. A set of front-end libraries based on the Redux store for developing a more predictable and manageable interface. Truffle Suite For a long time, Truffle Suite only supported blockchains based on Ethereum and Ethereum Virtual Machine. But recently, Truffle has announced support for Tezos. It is the first blockchain outside of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Another dApps development platform is Moralis, which has an infinitely scalable server infrastructure and is able to remove the biggest obstacles in dApp development. The platform provides you with a fully managed back-end infrastructure. This means that you, as a developer, can focus on developing the front end and the main user interface. The Front-End Stage The frontend – the client side of the user interface – can be created using JavaScript. You also need to choose a framework, a ready-to-use set of software solutions, including the design, logic and basic functionality of a system or subsystem. It contains predefined and implemented classes or functions. Also, for specific tasks, you can add your own code to what is already contained in the framework. As frameworks, React and Vue can be good options. Angular, with its huge API, may seem too complicated for beginners. Truffle Suite was originally built to connect to React, but as of 2019 they also offer a Vue plugin. The frontend can be hosted on Netlify. It is one of the most advanced web development platforms that helps programmers publish projects online. It is ideal for small teams or solo developers who are not able to create the infrastructure for their resources on their own, but still want to put their product on the Internet. Besides, it’s free. The Wallet Unlike ordinary money, cryptocurrency is not stored in a real or virtual wallet, it is located directly in the blockchain ecosystem. A crypto wallet is a special software or hardware that allows you to store digital currency, as well as perform various operations with it. Any crypto wallet should have a high level of security. To select a suitable wallet, you first need to go to the website of the cryptocurrency you are going to store and familiarize yourself with the list of recommended applications. Every secure wallet must meet the following requirements: have private and public keys;have several levels of security. For example, CryptoKitties uses the MetaMask non-custodial wallet. It works as an extension for the Google Chrome family of browsers. MetaMask crypto wallet Smart Contract We have already mentioned that smart contracts are programs stored on the blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met. If users want to access their NFT, it goes like this: The frontend receives the user’s address from the crypto wallet.The frontend sends the user’s address to the smart contract.The smart contract gives the user the NFT address owned by the given user. To work with a smart contract, you can use the official Ethereum blockchain library called Web3.js. Web3 allows you to abstract from the internal mechanics of Ethereum and work with the network and smart contracts as if they were ordinary JavaScript objects. The Solidity programming language is used to write smart contracts. Solidity is a Turing-complete language, which means you can create complex contracts in a well-defined code format. All state transitions are logged and stored unchanged. Therefore, you need to thoroughly test the contract before it is sent to the production environment. Fixing bugs can be costly or even cause critical system failures. Smart contracts have the following important properties and advantages: Transparency. Blockchain users can read and use smart contracts through the APIs.Immutability. When a smart contract is executed, logs are generated that cannot be modified.Distribution. The output of the contract is verified and evaluated by many nodes in the network. Information on the status of contracts is publicly available. In some cases, even private variables are viewable. The Back-End Stage So, we have already determined that the smart contract deals with the URL of the desired NFT. With this address, the frontend makes a request to the backend to get the metadata for this NFT. The backend sends metadata to the frontend. They include the name of the NFT, its address and identifier. After receiving this data, the frontend can send another request to the server with the NFT URL. The interface can then display the available data and the user can see their NFT’s name and image. For the backend, you can use node.js. It is a software platform that translates JavaScript into machine code that runs on the server side. So JavaScript can be used to build the backend. The Testing Stage To test your NFT game, you can use special test blockchains like Rinkeby. Ganache by Truffle makes it easy to create a mock blockchain. The types of blockchain game testing can be as follows: Functional testing. This is a test of the overall functioning of the game, data transfer, block and chain sizes to evaluate requirements, processes, etc.Security testing. This is mandatory to check for any threats to the blockchain system.UI testing. It’s important to make sure the game’s workflow and functionality are working properly and to test fonts, colors, graphics, and more for a great user experience.Integration testing. This is a test of interconnection between different software components.API testing. The bottom line is to check the communication of software components with an external API to make sure that the request and response are correctly processed by the system. Conclusion Now you have a general idea of how to make an NFT game. In this case, it is important not to get carried away with the number of NFT assets, but to think about what value they represent for the players. Will players want to buy them and what will be their motivation? If you want to keep up with the trends, but have no idea what NFT features can be offered to jaded players, let’s join forces. Our NFT game development expertise is multifaceted and constantly updated. We have experience in creating unique NFT assets for games of various genres. We have carefully studied the NFT phenomenon and are ready to offer you a bunch of options for using it in games. Contact us and together we will come up with an interesting NFT solution for your game.
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How Much Does It Cost to Make a Video Game: Clear Formula and the Highest-Grossing Genres in 2022
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Video Game: Clear Formula and the Highest-Grossing Genres in 2022
If you’re planning to make a game, it’s hard to imagine a question that can dislodge the undisputed leader from the top spot – how much will it cost? And what could be more annoying than the “it depends on many factors” answer? We will try to tell you more about this, clarify the pricing factors, and give examples of the cost of well-known games. Top Secret: Why There Is So Little Information About Game Pricing The first thing to understand and accept is that all games are different. Developers are striving for authenticity and novelty with all their might to surprise the players. Accordingly, there can be no static cost of making a video game that can be announced immediately after the first request. Second, few people disclose this information. The number of development studios that kindly provided reports on the money spent is negligible. Most of the research we find online is the opinion of analysts or research groups based on a rough estimate of the time it took to make a game and the sum of the salaries of the development team members. Thirdly, the range of prices may shock you. For example, talking about mobile development, we know that the cost of Angry Birds is estimated at $140,000, while the legendary Pokémon Go cost developers $600,000 due to the introduction of a large number of geolocation features. And that’s just mobile games. And PC giants like GTA 5 have a completely different make an AAA video game that requires the participation of all studio employees. How Much Do Video Games Cost to Make: Simple Math We often hear the words “cost of developing a video game depends on the complexity”, but do not really understand their meaning. In fact, everything is very simple: the difficulty is equal to the time spent on creating the game. And more time means big salaries for team members. The conclusion is simple: complexity is directly proportional to duration. Is it possible to calculate the cost to make a video game yourself? Why not, this math is very simple. You need to get the following data: The number of people who will work on your project.The average salary for a developer in the region of your choice.The approximate duration of the project. As a result, you get a figure that reflects the net average wages of people. You can depart from it, but definitely not take it for the final cost. First, the composition of the team can change throughout the project. The concept artist, having completed his or her work, leaves the project, but at the same time, animators and sound designers join the work. Secondly, focusing on how much does it cost to build a video game, do not forget about marketing costs, which can vary from 20 to 100% of the development budget. Let’s try a little calculation. Let’s say 10 people from an Eastern European company will work on your game. The studio’s stated estimated development time for the game is six months. Taking into account the average salary of a developer about $40 per hour, working day 8 hours, and an average of 20 working days per month, we have the following calculation: (40 x 8) x 10) x 20) x 6 = $ 384,000 We have received the amount that should be paid for the work of the team, provided that the composition of the team is stable throughout the project. In the same way, you can make your calculation by substituting the required numbers into the formula: (Rate Per Hour x 8) x Number Of Employees) x 20) x Number Of Months Of Work This is your easy way to find out the answer to the question “how much does it cost to develop a video game?” without any hassle and headaches. By the way, what do you know about the composition of the team that will work on your game? Let’s go over this issue. Video Game Creation Team When looking for an answer to the question of how much does it cost to make a video game, you need to understand that the cost is largely formed from the rates of the team members who are working on the project. The core team for creating a game looks like this: Game designers. These people think over the idea of the game, its content, rules, conditions of victory or defeat, plot, characters, and in general everything connected with it. When it comes to a small mobile 2D game, the responsibilities of the designer can be divided among other team members. But for larger projects, designers are needed: they make up a special game design document, which is approved by the customer and becomes the main reference point for the rest of the team.Artists and animators. The game can be 2D or 3D, and the second option is always more expensive due to the greater complexity and duration of development. Artists also work on interface and menu elements. Animators add movement to static art. Depending on the complexity of the project, the game may require from 1 artist and 1 animator to a whole department of specialists.Developers. Most often, video games are made on engines like Unity or Unreal Engine, so it is important to find specialists who understand C++ and C#. Mobile games for Android and iOS require knowledge of Java and Swift languages, respectively. Development is, in fact, coding an interactive element, so before starting it, you need to know everything you want from the game and have ready-made art.Sound designers. Every game, even the most elementary one, has a soundtrack. There are special paid and free sound bases where you can get ready-made options. But if you want to stand out, then your way is to create music and sound from scratch with the help of sound designers.Testers. Checking the quality of the game is a very important part of development, as here it is examined for errors and bugs. Testers check its functionality, the response to any player’s action, the balance, game processes, the correct display of visual elements, etc. Testers cannot be replaced by other team members, and it is better not to save on their services. Let’s look at an example of forming a team for a game creation project. Working on the mobile game Crazy Roosty in the arcade puzzle genre, designed for Android and iOS, the Kevuru Games team chose the most convenient and common Unity engine and gathered the following command: 1 game designer1 3D artist1 3D animator1 developer1 tester From the beginning of development to release, it took 20 weeks to create the game, that is, 4.5 months. More than 10 years of experience in one of the most played PC games around the world thanks to its multiplayer mode and stunningly detailed world. It is also the third best-selling game ever, with over Guinness World Records for the most successful launch in the entertainment industry. Star Wars: The Old Republic Based on the Star Wars universe and developed by BioWare Austin, this MMORPG was released in 2011. It never revealed its official budget. However, the researchers do not sleep: it is estimated that more than 800 people on 4 continents worked for 6 years for this game to see the world. Several thousand characters in the game required voice acting from about a thousand actors, which also affected the cost of the game. It is valued at approximately approximately $1 billion. It is still available for PC today and continues to attract players who are also looking forward to a new Star Wars IP based game called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The estimated Eric Barone created this simulation role-playing game alone. He really wanted to understand what it was like to do everything on his own, from art to music. How much does it cost to create a video game like this? It’s hard to say, because it was made by one person, and the only resource here is his time. He started working on the project in 2012 and finished it in 2016. In its first year, it was acquired by over 2 million Steam users. Based on this information, it was estimated that the game earned more than $25 million. Since it was later released for Android, iOS, Xbox One, PS4, and Linux, this income could most likely be doubled. These are the wonders that just one person can do! Minecraft It’s hard to ignore another gaming phenomenon, also originally developed by one man, Swedish developer Markus Persson. The release of the demo version of the survival sandbox game took place in 2009. In 2011, a full-fledged release took place, and in the same year the millionth copy of the game was sold. The second million was sold a few months later, and the third after some time. In 2014, Microsoft acquired Minecraft for $2.5 billion. Over the years, Minecraft generated over 130 million monthly active players, ahead of Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. Tetris This is one example of a video game budget that you can’t help but talk about with respectful reverence. Tetris is a puzzle game originally invented and developed by Soviet programmer Alexei Pajitnov back in 1984. Particularly famous in the United States, Europe, and Japan is the version for the handheld GameBoy console produced by the Japanese company Nintendo. The game consistently appeared on the lists of the best PC games by platform and throughout history. With over 500 million copies sold, Tetris surpassed Minecraft to become 2021 game design trends in our large research. Now let’s recall which genres will rise to prominence and set the pace for the gaming industry. Battle Royale The most popular genre of 2020, Battle Royale requires constant attention and fast reactions from the player. Many games competed to dominate the genre in 2020, and many developers jumped on the genre as they try to ride the wave of its incredible popularity. And while PUBG and Fortnite are trying to determine which of them is cooler, players are looking forward to new products: Farlight 84, Scavengers, and Naraka: Bladepoint are coming out very soon. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena MOBA games continue to showcase the wonders of character refinement and their skills in multiplayer battle arenas. Despite the fact that the battle royale genre has pulled off the blanket and attention of fans of active and dynamic battles a little, the genre remains at the top, largely due to the success of Mobile Legends. Players are waiting for replenishment in the ranks: Ignis: Duel of Wizards, Rise of Winterchill, and Circuits and Shields are on the way. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game MMORPG is one of the oldest game genres. Thanks to the improvement in the technical qualities of smartphones, these games now feel great in the mobile segment and continue to collect millions of players. In 2022, we expect to see new titles such as Blue Protocol, Corepunk, New World, and Project TL join the genre. It also makes sense to celebrate the rise of the survival genre combined with FPS. Several new products are
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How to Spice up Match-3 Games With 2D Animation
How to Spice up Match-3 Games With 2D Animation
Match-3 games are one of the most popular genres, which does not stop replenishing with new samples with a variety of art. Whatever the setting, the mechanics remain the same – the game world consists of a table or grid of elements, and the player’s task is to manipulate the elements in such a way that the template combinations specified by the game match, and after the condition is met, the collected elements disappear. Match-3 games are classified as casual, they are quite simple, do not tire the player and allow relaxing after a working day, passing the time in line or transport, or competing with friends. Librasoftworks is a Turkish game studio that makes casual games, and the best of them is a match-3 game called Joy Blast. To make it as attractive and appealing to the player as possible, it needed a lively and eye-catching animation. This became the task of the 2D animation team of Kevuru Games. GOAL CHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITION Character animation for a casual match-3 game Create 2D animation for game characters: fox, bear and bunny Lead 2D animator     2D animators     Project manager Initial Data The key initial information was the art of the game’s characters provided by the client. The essence of the game itself, its mechanics, locations and style were also clear, so the 2D animation team immediately got to work. The task was to create two types of animation – in-game and pop-up. The in-game animation dealt with all the in-game movement of the characters. Pop-up animation is the addition of character movements in a special pop-up window that appears after a certain player action: completing a level, moving to a new area, and so on. Workflow Taking into account the availability of all the necessary art, the work was very quick and easy. After a couple of first approved animations, our team understood what approach was required and did all the necessary work in 1 month. Communication took place daily with the founder of the studio, who monitored progress and gave feedback. Whenever we had questions or clarifications, the response from the client was immediate, allowing us to minimize downtime and avoid work at random. Value Delivered For 1 month of work, our 2D animation team made all the necessary in-name and pop-up animation for the characters of the casual match-3 game. Communication was detailed and positive, thanks to which it was possible to achieve results that satisfied the client in a short time. Conclusion Creating art and animation for modern match-3 games can be a big challenge. Judge for yourself – almost every third game in markets is a variation on match-3, the competition is huge, the presentation varies from the story of a man restoring his mansion to an RPG story with the destruction of zombies. At the same time, match-3 games for mobile devices have a special magnetism, since it is impossible to complete one level and postpone the game for later. As statistics show, more than 76% of users who started playing this type of mobile application do not stop after 10-15 completed levels. Of particular interest and excitement is the complexity of the game, which increases with each level passed. In order to capture the attention of the player in such a highly competitive environment, you need to come up with an interesting story and offer players bright and eye-catching art. Animation plays an important role. It allows players to immerse themselves in the game world, believe in the story, empathize with the characters and strive to help them achieve their goals. We look at each game as a story and try to bring to it the maximum of our capabilities, based on many years of experience and passion for the gaming industry. If you want to create games that resonate with players, stand out from the crowd, encourage players to return to them again and again, stimulate interest in learning more about the developer, but do not know how to do it – just contact us. We have gathered game designers, artists and programmers who know all ins and outs of the game industry and the psychology of the players – they are aware of what people are looking for in games and why they download them. We will help you bring your idea into the world. Drop us a line and let’s implement it together.
15 min
2094
Guild of Guardians: 2D Avatars for the NFT Marketplace
Guild of Guardians: 2D Avatars for the NFT Marketplace
Recently, NFTs have been increasingly used in video games due to the huge amounts of money they bring in. The Play-to-Earn industry is actively developing. Blockchain technology has organically fit into the mechanics of multiplayer games and has expanded the possibilities for users both in terms of immersion in the game world and in terms of opportunities for real income. Guild of Guardians is a mobile RPG where players can team up and compete in a guild to earn epic tradable rewards. The game is scheduled to launch in Q1 2022 and already has over 130K players on the waiting list. Our task was to create 2D digital avatars for players that would be set as their profile pictures and could be purchased on the NFT marketplace. GOAL CHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITION Game monetization using NFT avatars that can be purchased on the marketplace Create 2D traits of creatures of different races to form digital avatars Project manager   Create an algorithm for generating avatars from individual traits Creative director     Concept artists     Unity developer Initial Data The key initial information was the game itself. Guild of Guardians is built on the Immutable X platform developed by the blockchain company Immutable. It has already established itself as an active player in the gaming blockchain market by releasing the successful Gods Unchained card game. In turn, the Immutable X cryptocurrency it created is the first Ethereum layer two solution for NFTs on Ethereum with instant trade confirmation, significant scalability (up to 9,000+ trades per second), and zero gas rate without compromising user data storage. Our team had to create 2D digital avatars that would be minted as NFTs and could be purchased on the Immutable X marketplace. These avatars could be used by players as their profile pictures and avatars on social media and messaging sites such as Twitter and Discord. Players would also have the option to sell their avatars to other players. Avatars had to match the style of the game and include creatures of different races: goblin, orc, ogre, human, elf, demon, skeleton, dragonborn, and serpentkin. They had to be randomly generated from different traits, characteristics, and styles. The customer had a brief and references, but they did not fit the style. Therefore, first of all, it was necessary to adapt to the game style and find a visual approach that would suit the customer. Workflow The client identified 2 key phases of work: Creation of mockups, style guide or moodboard on the style of future avatars.Creation of avatar concepts with different traits, characteristics and styles, randomly combined via engineering work. Accordingly, the first stage of work was to find a suitable visual style for avatars. The client had the following requirements: Plain background colours. Visible face and torso.Appealing traits without negative: no crying, beatings, sadness, etc.No gender bias.True to the Guild of Guardian style without duplicating it.Obvious and intuitive rarity – it should only take a glance for the player to figure out which hero is rarer. The team offered various options, and ultimately the design was approved. The choice was made in favor of an angular design in the spirit of the low poly style, characterized by an emphasis on the use of geometric shapes and the fragmentation of real objects into stereometric primitives. The subject of discussion was the attributes of the characters behind their backs: swords, axes, wings, and so on. Their original size required them to be taken outside the borders of the avatar, which seemed unacceptable to the client. In this regard, it was decided to reduce all such attributes so that their main part remained within eyeshot. Initially, the client wanted to create one trait for all characters. However, we showed that this was impossible since each race had a different head shape and facial features. In addition, some traits were only available to men or women. It was necessary to adjust the traits for each race. Our Unity developer created a custom algorithm that combined artist-created traits from different races to generate full-fledged images. Communication mainly took place with the marketing manager, who evaluated the results of the work. The final versions of the avatars were approved by the game director. Value Delivered For 2 months of work on the project, our artists, together with the Unity developer, succeeded in generating more than 40 thousand avatars. We created a huge number of traits in the following categories: Head shape.Headdress.Eyes.Mouth.Body.Back.Background FX.Background color. Thanks to the algorithm created by our developer, the combination of different traits and attributes of characters was implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible. Conclusion The number and quality of NFT games continue to increase. More and more game developers are trying their hand in this direction. Given the popularity of games such as Axie Infinity, it can be noted that many players favorably accept the integration of the blockchain into the gaming environment. However, there are still many questions regarding the rules for the sale and use of such assets in marketplaces and their scope. Therefore, when developing NFT games, it is important to carefully study their specifics or choose reliable and experienced partners who have implemented NFT cases under their belt. Kevuru Games quickly picked up the NFT trend and has already implemented several similar projects. In particular, the team took part in the creation of characters for the FPS game Undead Blocks on the Ethereum network. The team boasts specialists who are well versed in the blockchain and its integration into games, as well as a carefully written pipeline both for creating individual NFT attributes for a finished game, and for developing an NFT game from scratch. if you also consider NFT a promising direction, but have questions or need help in implementing your idea, feel free to drop us a line – together we will implement any of your concepts and make it work.
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1776
Your Food Majesty or 2D Environment Satisfying Visual Hunger
Your Food Majesty or 2D Environment Satisfying Visual Hunger
Mia Games is an Israeli mobile game developer that has grown from a small company of game enthusiasts to a well-known game studio in Tel Aviv. Artists, designers and programmers have gathered to have a good time and unleash the inner child of all gamers who come into contact with their games. Inspired by the genre of merge games, the studio founded the Merge Lords direction. It included a number of games with different themes: cars, fashion, food, etc. And when they needed help redesigning one of these types of games, our team came to the rescue. GOAL CHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITION Creating 2D locations in accordance with the game concept Create a 2D environment for food court and amusement park locations Project manager Increasing game variety with new food courts and attractionsCreate food courts for different types of cuisineLead 2D environment artist Boosting player engagement by increasing the amount of game contentCreate multiple types of amusement park rides2D environment artists Redesigning 3D content in 2D while maintaining key featuresCreate companion props for the food court and amusement areaArt director Initial Data The merge game genre is not new, it features games that overlap with many other genres. Merge games involve combining resources and other elements to create completely new elements that are critical to the gameplay. In some of these games, you may need to combine 3 or more items, similar to match-3. In other cases, you may only need to concatenate two or more elements. What makes merge games so special is their ability to keep the player hooked, wanting to know what update the next merger will produce. It was the constant interest and passion of the players that became the main priority of Mia Games when they developed Merge Lords: Foodcourts. In this game, players had to manage food courts, combine them, sell food and expand their food network. Initially made in 3D, the game seemed to the developers not bright enough and appealing. A large number of 3D elements turned out to be cumbersome and made the casual game heavy and clumsy. Therefore, it was decided to transform it into 2D. The client provided a list of desired food courts: Asian food, hot dogs, ramen, pizza, and more. Their visual representation in the game was completely left to the artists. Workflow The process of working on locations was as follows: Providing several options for sketches for food courts.Making corrections and recommendations.Location approval.Location coloring.Location rendering.Preparing for animation. Due to the fact that the customer continues to think about the optimal presentation of the location with food courts, there is no final render – the work was limited to approved sketches in the amount of 18 ready-made food courts. The customer plans to add a 2D constructor to the location, allowing players to customize the space and add trees, flowerpots, fences and other elements at their discretion, as well as to make a combination of 2D and 3D – leave 3D figures of people who are food buyers in the game. After the players complete the work on the food courts, they get access to the second location – an amusement park with carousels and other types of entertainment. Our team completed work on this location up to the rendering according to the above pipeline. In addition to locations and their content, our artists developed a juicy appealing logo for the game, as well as a bright and eye-catching splash screen that perfectly represented the essence and atmosphere of the game. For the customer, speed was a priority. Therefore, the original team of one environment artist gradually expanded to three people. Delivery took place every day – every day, one artist provided the client with three versions of the sketch for consideration. And if the approval of the location itself without filling was a matter of one week, then the work on countless elements of food courts, attractions, trees, fountains and benches significantly increased the time required to complete the project. For example, coloring elements took half a day, and rendering took several days. From the client side, their art director was the communicative link. He contacted our lead
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1428
Top Game Testing Companies in 2022: 10 Professional Teams to Pay Attention To
Top Game Testing Companies in 2022: 10 Professional Teams to Pay Attention To
The gaming industry continues to grow rapidly. Some major releases are expected for several years, while hundreds and thousands of indie projects are released every day. All these projects, including AAA, have one thing in common – absolutely each of them must be tested before release. An untested game is a pig in a poke that can go badly for any game studio’s reputation. Why Choosing a Game Testing Company is so Important? At first glance, it may seem that everyone can test the game. supposedly After all, you just need to play a lot, find errors, and report them. But it’s not that easy. Most often, players find bugs by accident, at some point getting stuck in textures or finding a shortcut where it should not be. Let’s look at a few examples of the difference between a player and a tester. Player’s actions Tester’s actions Completes the main story and ends the game Passes the main story and all additional tasks several times in different sequences Beats the game on the selected difficulty level Beats the game on all available difficulty levels consecutively Chooses a specific hero upgrade style and sticks to it Must try and combine different hero upgrade styles on different difficulty levels Follows game rules and on-screen instructions (in most cases) Systematically violates game rules to create preventive scenarios for each unplanned action Tries to find and use game loopholes and shortcuts to simplify or speed up the game process Tests all possible game loopholes and shortcuts to prevent the player from breaking the game mechanics The last point is especially funny: many players love to find bugs and shortcuts to create funny videos or speedruns. Therefore, it is especially important for testers to calculate all possible scenarios for treacherous players. Frankly, this often does not work out very well, and in most games, players still find the opportunity to use some kind of bug to record the desired speedrun. So what do we see? We see that the tester must actually turn the game mechanics inside out and do everything that the player can theoretically do: climb into the most unthinkable place;do not follow the script of the game;use an alternative skill to the one suggested;change the sequence of the proposed actions;try to get into a zone that opens only when you reach a certain level, etc. After that, the results of the checks are entered into a special checklist. Such a monotonous routine activity can only be done by assiduous and scrupulous people. Who, of course, also have an idea about the theory of testing: types of testing, test cases, test plans, bug reports, methods for determining the required amount of tests, databases, SQL queries, and so on. We’re not here just to play your game and find a couple of bugs along the way. We have gathered to select a qualified team of testers who will study your game inside and out. Why is it so important? The fact is that the cost of correcting any error and the time that needs to be spent on it increases with each stage. What takes an hour at the prototyping stage can take days, or even weeks, if it’s done, say, after release. Remember the rule, which is the same for all types of games: if at the initial stage several seemingly insignificant mistakes are made, then in the end we will probably miss the deadline or spend much more money on fixing them. QA specialists investigate the game at all stages, prioritizing bugs and preventing them from accumulating in a snowball of pain, horror, and fear. How to Choose the Most Reliable Studio? Among a large number of
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Corporate Culture: How to Make Every Employee Happy
Corporate Culture: How to Make Every Employee Happy
What is the difference between a good place to work and a great place to work? Hint: culture. According to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that corporate culture is important to business success. Another study by CultureIQ shows that employees’ overall assessments of their company’s attributes, including collaboration, environment, and values, are 20% higher in companies that display a strong culture. What does it mean? If a company does not have a culture that is focused on employees and promotes their well-being, it will not be able to see the success that it dreams of. One of the indispensable and paramount tasks of modern business is to make employees happy and provide them with a great experience. The HR department of Kevuru Games talks about how the corporate culture was built in the studio, at what stage they are now and what else they plan to do. Kevuru Games Corporate Culture: Beginnings In 2018, when Kevuru Games had 24 employees, the corporate culture was more of an intuitive and unanimously shared experience – employees worked in a positive atmosphere, socialized outside of work, and had fun corporate events. But when the staff tripled a year later and outgrew its original intimacy, there was a need for a clear and structured system that would become a universal guide for any employee and would provide comprehensive instructions on issues regarding learning, adaptation, motivation, growth and more. The HR team analyzed the current state of affairs, collected feedback from the heads of departments, and actively engaged in filling the knowledge base. Everything was going well, but the 2020 pandemic made adjustments to the process of building a corporate culture. The safety and health of employees required radical measures – the transition to a remote work mode. At the same time, most of the people hired from that moment not only did not see the office and could not appreciate the atmosphere in the team, but did not even have the opportunity to get to know their immediate supervisor other than through video communication. Quarantine Realities The remote mode largely nullified the previously established corporate traditions. Short informal negotiations in the kitchen over a cup of tea dissolved into harsh realities. And the task of “stitching” the team came to the fore, especially given the large number of newcomers. Feedback mechanisms have changed – communication with employees has become more regular and systematized. This was especially important for people not to consider themselves abandoned and not interesting to anyone, but to feel like full-fledged members of the team. Since the beginning of remote work, the practice of common Friday calls with the participation of the CEO has been introduced. All teams take part. The point of these team calls is to keep the company up to date on current tasks, innovations, completed projects, and to give everyone the opportunity to collectively welcome new hires. Also, marketing and HR departments are sure to prepare special layouts about completed projects and successful tests, where they thank the team that took part in the work. Such layouts are published in the general chat of employees. Well, after discussing business issues, employees periodically arrange remote cocktail parties, communicate on non-work topics and play online games. In 2021, the size of the Kevuru Games team exceeded 300 people. It would seem that in such a large team, you can easily get lost and go unnoticed. But nothing of the kind. The HR department always reminds in time when someone has a birthday or an anniversary of work and which of the employees receives a promotion. And this is only a small part of what is being done to make each of the huge team feel important and needed. And it all starts with the first job interview. Hiring: From the Offer to the First Meeting In a month, the recruiting department deals with hundreds of responses to open vacancies. The team tries to process all letters within a day. Kevuru Games recruiters are sure that positive communication with a pleasant aftertaste should be established with each person, because even if the candidate does not fit, they may have contacts that will be useful for the company in the future. As for candidates who showed great zeal in getting the desired position, but who lacked certain knowledge or skills, they are not left to chance: recruiters clearly prescribe what exactly needs to be improved, or they can even offer another position that is more suitable in according to skill set. If a person applied for a position that is not currently relevant, recruiters record the appeal and promise to contact the candidate if a corresponding vacancy appears. And these are not empty words. Often you can hear the mysterious phrase “candidate base” from different companies. In the case of Kevuru Games, it really exists and consists precisely of those people who at some point, for certain reasons, could not take the desired position. If the vacancy is still relevant for them, recruiters get not only a perfect match for the right skills, but also the opportunity to save time on an acquaintance – after all, it has already taken place. Such a system makes it possible to close vacancies at a speed of two weeks, although sometimes it turns out faster. A positive reputation and HR brand contribute to the fact that today about 25% of candidates themselves are looking for a company that they have heard a lot of good things about. Recruitment lifecycle analytics is conducted by Head of Recruitment. He captures the stages of the search, analyzes the rate of closing vacancies, takes into account the ratio of offers to refusals, etc. In general, the recruitment process looks like this: Posting a vacancy on the website and external resources while simultaneously searching for suitable candidates in the database.Getting to know a recruiter.Test task for certain positions. If this is not provided, then automatic transition to the next stage.Interview with the head of the department and a representative of the HR department.The result is an offer or a detailed explanation of the refusal. The online interview is conducted using Google Meet. The first interview with the recruiter is of an introductory nature – he or she tells the candidate about the company, the vacancy and upcoming duties, asks about work experience and conducts an initial analysis of the correspondence of the person’s values ​​to the values ​​of the company. The second interview is a more detailed and in-depth conversation with the recruiter and a conversation with the head of the direction, which may include more narrowly focused specific questions in accordance with the candidate’s specialization. After it, the company indicates the date by which the result of the interview will be ready. In case of a positive outcome, the newly minted employee moves on to the next stage. Onboarding and Adaptation In remote mode, onboarding requires especially close attention and focus on all the little things, from providing access to work accounts and mail to an instant answer to any question that a person has. Thanks to the formed database, answers to the most common questions no longer cause problems, and the well-established procedure for the technical introduction of employees into the company’s ecosystem makes them quick and easy to appear in all work chats. The arrival of a new person is always accompanied by posting a postcard in the work chat with their name, position and interests, which they considered necessary to tell about themselves. Of course, they also get to know their team, for which a separate call is organized, where even in remote work mode, new employees see the faces of their colleagues and communicate with each of them personally. Since January 2022, the company has been providing all newcomers with welcome packs – sets of branded merchandise designed to help employees quickly get used to the idea that now they are real team members. During the trial period, HR holds regular meetings with the newcomer to keep abreast and correct various issues that arise. Calls are scheduled after the first 2 weeks, a month, two months or more, if required. The Smallest Turnover in Gamedev: Why Is the Relationship Between Specialists and the Company is Serious and Long-Lasting? Adapting to the new quarantine realities, improved communication systems, increased attention to new employees and the desire to constantly keep each person up to date with the life of the company – all this is done because people are the main value of the company. The corporate culture of Kevuru Games promotes a special scheme of interaction between leads and the team – they motivate their employees, communicate personally with each of them, and always meet halfway when questions or difficulties arise. For studio leads, the mood of each team member is important, and they are ready to deal with each specific case. Constantly improving your skills and keeping up with the latest trends is very important for game industry workers. For example, some teams organize interactive courses in which each artist, who has some unusual or exclusive skills, gives lectures to the whole team. This happens several times a month. Artists talk about some unique tricks, pipelines that are successfully practiced, for example, features of sculpting organic structures, texturing. At Kevuru Games, no one is left alone with burnout: employees can be offered a transition to another project that is more interesting to them, or, in case of exclusivity and indispensability, the company can create all the necessary conditions for comfortable work. It can be a special schedule, special conditions, even a kind of psychological help from PM. When interacting with a customer in an inconvenient time zone, teams use the individual duty format for calls. If a person no longer really has the strength or creative enthusiasm, then he or she can use the sabbatical option – an individual career pause that allows to completely turn off the processes for a certain time, relax and reboot, and then return to the workplace fresh and full of energy. The staff turnover rate at Kevuru Games is incredibly low and does not consistently exceed 4%. Kevuru Games Values Almost every successful company has strong corporate values that define the company’s identity, distinguish it from competitors, and help attract the right employees and customers who share these principles. At Kevuru Games, they are as follows: Diversity. The company is equally glad to see people of any gender, age, race, orientation and religion. Offensive or derogatory jokes, allusions and memes on such topics are unacceptable.Transparency. The company strives to make all processes and decision-making procedures as clear and transparent as possible. Open communication within the team is maintained, and all decisions and expectations are always discussed together.Corporate spirit. All departments work together for a common result and are always ready to help each other in case of difficulties. No one is left alone with their problem: teamwork implies a joint solution of any issues.Confidence. The work is built on mutual trust. Employees trust their colleagues as real professionals who are responsible for their work, and they are firmly convinced that the company will fulfill all its obligations to them.Creative passion. All specialists are dedicated to their work, so each project is supported by exceptional involvement and creative enthusiasm. Thanks to this, the company manages to achieve results that exceed customer expectations.Open door policy. The company has developed an open door culture, when any request, offer or desire can be addressed to any of the leads, heads or directly to the CEO. New ideas are welcome: those are always implemented if they are useful for streamlining workflows and achieving excellent results. Taken individually, these values are nothing extraordinary, but collectively they are the force that moves the company forward, makes it unique, and attracts people to it. This is the reputation of the company, those qualities that first of all come to the mind of those who think about it. Employee Care Work takes up most of the life of every person, and it is important to understand that in addition to interesting tasks and a comfortable environment, each employee needs support and motivation. This is how the company operates care programs, the purpose of which is maximum care for employees. Among the main ones are the following: Performance appraisal program. Every six months, starting from the end of the trial period, a Performance Appraisal meeting is held with each employee based on the results of their work and the level of their skills to determine points of growth and development. Career growth can be both vertical and horizontal. For example, a 2D artist who is carried away by 3D and a little tired of his or her tasks is free to move to the position of a 3D specialist, provided there is an open vacancy and relevant proven skills. It is important for the company to support the creative fervor of employees and give them the opportunity not only to grow within the same position, but also to update themselves, look for tasks that are interesting for them and not get hung up on what has lost interest due to habit or fear to speak out. Once a year, based on the Performance & Professional Development Plan (PPD), the employee may also be reviewed the level of monetary compensation.Personal schedule and overtime program. Each employee, in agreement with the lead, can choose a convenient work schedule for themselves and start their day from 8 to 11 am with a non-fixed lunch break (you can also choose whether it will last 1 hour or 2). Such flexibility of the work schedule was developed, among other things, because the company employs a lot of creative specialists, whose productivity and inspiration depend on biorhythms, time of day and quality rest. Another banal, it would seem, but at the same time a very important nuance of overtime is that Kevuru Games value the time and work of employees. Therefore, if there is a need for overtime work, the PMO office can make an offer of this work and, if the employee agrees, mandatory compensation for these hours.Training and development program. Everyone in the company has a personal training budget that can be used to pay for professional courses, seminars and conferences.Health program. If an employee has been with the company for more than a year, the company offers them voluntary health insurance. Also once a year, the company compensates employees for the cost of vaccination against seasonal flu.Birth support program. For employees who are expecting a child, the company offers additional paid vacation days after the birth of the baby, as well as material compensation monthly during the first year of the child’s life. Team at Work and Out of It: Spending Time Together Joint events are a separate component of the corporate culture – it is difficult to imagine a more appropriate moment to get to know each other, communicate, and just feel like part of a large team in reality. The lack of personal meetings was especially pronounced in the first year of quarantine. After the first wave of the pandemic receded, the company’s office opened its doors to everyone who wanted to restore the disturbed social balance. So, despite the fact that most of the team continues to work remotely, each employee can work from the office if they have such a need. Recently, HR began to note that the craving for socialization and common pastime with colleagues has become more and more noticeable. About once a week after the end of the working day, the colleagues from different teams present in the office have began to gather for board games. If desired, they are joined by others who prefer remote mode, but do not mind coming to the office in the evening for live communication with colleagues. Twice a year, Kevuru Games hosts large corporate events. In summer, this is a joint trip to nature with many sports activities; in winter – an interesting theme party with bright photo zones, New Year’s contests and incendiary dances. The pandemic has made adjustments to this schedule, and in 2020, offline events had to be abandoned for the safety of employees. But in 2021, the team managed to catch up – both summer and winter. An interesting fact is that employees want to see each other live so much that they come to common corporate events even from other cities of Ukraine (and the company compensates for all travel costs). But since the last two years have not been without online parties, Kevuru also likes this kind of entertainment: for example, the Halloween party was held on Zoom, where everyone showed off their cool image. The company gave prizes for the best. Gifts will be discussed later. Sources of Motivation At Kevuru Games, first of all, employees are motivated by a common goal and their involvement in the creation of cool gaming products. It’s hard to hide your delight when, for example, Lucasfilm, the American film studio of Walt Disney Studios, adds your name to the credits of their new game, because you created 3D characters for it. It’s also impossible to keep your hands from trembling as you flip through endless pictures of cosplayers wearing the Fortnite skin suits you designed. Involvement in the global gaming industry inspires, and the visual results of the work, the delight of the players and the sincere gratitude of customers motivate more than any other awards – they are priceless. However, the matter is not limited to this. The HR department of Kevuru Games is confident in the strength of the balance between the intangible and the material. Therefore, employees regularly receive pleasant gifts from the company for all holidays: Easter, New Year, St. Nicholas Day, etc. In the nearest plans for 2022: valuable gifts for anniversaries of work in the company, birthdays and other important events in the life of each employee. Team Path to Success In two years of quarantine restrictions and remote work, the company managed to grow almost three times. The number of implemented projects has passed over a hundred, and more and more world-famous publishers are paying attention to a professional and, most importantly, enthusiastic team. The results of the company became possible only thanks to people – in their hands are both the success already achieved and further development. As BizDevs at Kevuru Games say, for many foreign clients, not only the company’s portfolio is important, but also its corporate culture, attitude towards employees, and social policies. In the West, for many companies, these are essential components of success. Kevuru Games is very close to such a format, when professionalism and humanity are equally important and necessary. The team is against the toxic atmosphere and immediately stops it. A comfortable work environment for everyone is valued above one specialist with brilliant hard skills, but an unpleasant or specific character. The main philosophy of the company is that a person can be taught everything. The main thing is the conditions in which the employee will be. If this environment is supportive, then a wonderful specialist will grow up. Empathy and the ability to create the right atmosphere in a team are very important values, but they must be inside a person. CEO of Kevuru Games Oleg Goncharenko expresses this idea in the following way: “Our business is built on people. We do our best to make people feel as comfortable as possible in our company. We create conditions under which at each level people must have certain leadership qualities and inspire the teams they work with. This allows us to grow excellent motivated specialists and attract new talents. We do not micromanage and control every human action. We give maximum freedom in work, but we focus on the result, the achievement of which is important for each member of the team. This is the only way the company can expect that the employee with interest and great motivation will go towards all the ambitious goals that it sets for itself.”
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2097
10 Most Trusted & Highly Professional Game Art Outsourcing Companies in 2022
10 Most Trusted & Highly Professional Game Art Outsourcing Companies in 2022
The game truth is as follows: in the beginning was art. The visual component of the game is the first thing that players see and evaluate before starting the first game session. Trailers and screenshots fueling interest in the upcoming entertainment project give rise to a discussion of the level of graphics and its compliance with modern realities. Of course, then conversations about the plot, gameplay, mechanics, bugs (if any), and other value judgments will be added. But graphics come first. According to Newzoo, in 2022, the number of players in the world exceeded 3 billion people with a total value of the global gaming industry over $300 billion. People are ready to part with money if you offer them a high-quality interesting product that stands out and catches the eye. That is why it is so important to make game art at the highest possible level. Art embodies the idea, creates an atmosphere, it is responsible for the style and evokes specific emotions. Art should surprise, attract attention, and meet the needs of modern gamers. And if you are not sure that you can create such flawless art on your own, then art outsourcing services are the best thing that can happen to you. Why Should Art Tasks Be Outsourced to Video Game Companies? Game art outsourcing companies are, first of all, strongholds accumulating qualified specialists within their walls. People who specialize in game art, have a solid portfolio and, moreover, are collected in one place look much more preferable than lonely freelancers who drift in the game art ocean without guides, leads, and a special goal other than making quick money. This doesn’t mean that freelancers don’t perform well. It’s just that the likelihood that they will be inspired by your project and will work at full capacity is much lower than that of experts from some outsourcing company. The latter care at least not only about their earnings, but also about the image of their art outsourcing studio. In a highly competitive environment, image and reputation sometimes play a decisive role. So, we’ve already noted that art outsource studios have a ready pool of experienced professionals. In addition, they will offer you: Adaptability. A team of specialists will be selected specifically for your project.Profile. The studio will select artists who are best versed in the type of art you need.Speed. By accepting obligations and concluding a contract with you, art outsourcing companies will complete everything on time or promptly report any delays.Quality. This is about the already discussed image – art outsource studios will try to do everything at the highest level so that you refer to them in the future or recommend them to your friends.Convenience. The game art outsource company takes care of all organizational issues, team management, technical equipment, etc., adjusting to your needs – you just follow their progress by providing adjustments, additions, or updates.Security. All your materials are safe, because the common practice of game art outsourcing companies is to sign a non-disclosure agreement before starting work. The advantages are obvious, but how do you make the right choice? Why Is Choosing the Right Game Outsourcing Company So Important? You couldn’t help but notice that there are a lot of game art outsourcing companies out there. The list of their services is about the same, in any case, 2D/3D art and animation are definitely on this list. Then how to choose a partner who will do everything at the highest level? After all, art outsource studios are also different. Some may be new to the market and lack experience. Some may not have expertise in the art direction you want. Some may have problems with management and, accordingly, timing. How to Choose Most Reliable Studio? Let’s not be cunning – we have already created a checklist of key questions, the answers to which will help you decide on the choice of a reliable partner in the gaming field. Studying the portfolio, checking the company profile on independent data-driven platforms such as GoodFirms and Clutch, researching technical expertise, and clarifying the look of the standard workflow – here are a few points that will light up dark spots in the appearance of the chosen studio. You can see the rest of the points in our checklist for choosing a reliable and responsible game design company. In short, here are the main points to pay attention to: Portfolio in specific expertise. Self-respecting art outsourcing studios should have a multi-category portfolio with works of different directions and styles and convenient, intuitive navigation.Released projects. In addition to individual artworks in the portfolio, it is important to see the results of work in released projects to understand the big picture and product performance.Customer reviews. Feedback from people who have used the company’s services can give good insights about the quality and speed of work, as well as how expectations meet reality.Guarantees at every stage. A 2D and 2D and Testing games for PCs, mobile devices, consoles and the web in terms of functionality, compatibility, performance and compliance.Enterprise gamification, which means adding game mechanics to non-game contexts of various business applications for greater customer engagement.marketplaces creation, which includes both the creation of game projects from scratch, and the provision of any of the above services separately. ZVKY Location: India Established: 2009 Employees: 100+ ZVKY is an Indian game art studio that specializes mainly in 2D and 3D art. Over the past 10 years, the company has worked on more than 350 different game projects with publishers such as Zynga, Ubisoft, and Activision. The game art outsource company has a particularly strong portfolio of slot art and extensive experience with art for HOPA games. So if at this stage you are only interested in good quality art at an affordable price, then this company will be a good choice. Room 8 Studio Location: Ukraine Established: 2011 Employees: 600+ Room 8 Studio is a full-cycle game studio offering all the services you need to create a complete game. A special feature of the studio is the photorealistic AAA-level art – this is confirmed by the numerous photorealistic works in their portfolio, from game assets to vehicles and characters. The team also ranks with professional video game film art outsourcing companies: they deal with cinematics, background scenes, and game trailers for PC/console games, and UA videos for mobile games. The company partnered with major publishers such as Remedy, Ubisoft, Gameloft, and others to deliver high-quality artwork. This studio would be an excellent choice if you are planning a large-scale game with realistic graphics. if you want simpler art, for example, for casual games, it is better to pay attention to other game art outsourcing companies. Starloop Studios Location: Spain Established: 2011 Employees: 150+ Starloop Studios is a Spanish game development and art company. It offers flexible terms of hiring game developers and artists in accordance with different collaboration models, develops games from scratch and ports them to different platforms. A special feature of the company is AR/VR development. Game art services are classic here: 2D and 3D art and animation, concept art, and UI/UX design. Notable clients of the studio include Disney, Ubisoft, and Blizzard Entertainment. N-iX Game & VR studio Location: Ukraine Established: 2002 Employees: 200+ N-iX Game & VR studio is one of the oldest game companies in Ukraine, specializing in the creation of full-cycle games, VR solutions, as well as outsourcing 2D and 3D game art and animation. The team is engaged in both simple art for mobile games and photorealistic art for advanced 3D games. The studio’s clients are Wargaming, Paradox Interactive, Trese Brothers, and others. The team includes the majority of top-level specialists, which allows them to perform tasks of varying complexity. The art outsourcing studio also has an in-house OptiTrack motion capture system that helps to create top class animations. Melior Games Location: Ukraine Established: 2010 Employees: 30+ Melior Games is a Ukrainian game art outsourcing company that specializes in 2D art. Their portfolio includes many stylized and realistic 2D works. Over the years, the company has delivered more than 120 projects in 2D and 3D art, animation, and game development for mobile devices and PC. The team has a separate department dealing with the creation of art for slot and card games and has good experience in this area. It is also one of the few art outsourcing studios that are blockchain-oriented and ready to provide blockchain development services. Stepico Games Location: Ukraine Established: 2014 Employees: 100+ Stepico Games is a Ukrainian art outsource studio that is engaged in the creation of game art, game programming on the Unity engine, as well as the creation of AR/VR-based applications. The company’s clients include Rovio, NBC Universal, and Section. The team has completed over 25 successful projects. Among the features of its expertise is blockchain game development – their portfolio contains a similar project in the form of a mobile blockchain-supported RPG game. The team has positive customer reviews and a large enough team to implement projects of various sizes. Pingle Studio Location: Ukraine Established: 2007 Employees: 400+ Pingle Studio is a Ukrainian game art studio that deals with 2D and 3D art and animation, concept and character creation, , as well as full-cycle development and co-development. But its main feature is porting games using Unity and Unreal Engine. It has a lot of experience in this area, including porting to PS4, PS5, and Xbox One, so be sure to pay attention to this studio if you want your game to be released on more than one platform. The team has worked with clients such as Qualcomm, SquareEnix, and 505 Games, providing co-development, porting, creating art and animation, and game testing services. Whimsy Games Location: Ukraine Established: 2018 Employees: 100+ Whimsy Games is a small but inspired and professional Ukrainian team of developers and artists specializing mainly in the development of mobile games and the creation of art for them. They already have a fairly large portfolio of projects related to 2D art, so if you are interested in this area, then it makes sense to pay attention to this studio. The team is very customer-oriented and attentive to the wishes of their customers. Due to this, over 4 years of work, they managed to successfully deliver more than 150 projects for 70+ clients. In addition to 2D art, the studio also offers the services of 3D artists and animators. Pixune Location: Poland Established: 2018 Employees: 30+ Despite its small size and relatively small age, the Polish company Pixune has already established itself as a real pro in the field of game art and especially animation. Animation is a special pride of the studio – it has a number of awards for its animated works. The team offers professional services in the areas of character creation and 3D animation. The number of characters created by the studio has exceeded 2000. In addition, it is engaged in 2D and 3D game art. Here you will find more than affordable prices without sacrificing quality and a very inspired team that is very attentive to every project, no matter the size. How Kevuru Games Will Help You Achieve the Best Results As you can see, most of the companies offer roughly the same set of services, but almost each has its own feature, a strength that you should pay attention to if you are looking for a specific service. Some are particularly good, fast and skilled at 2D art, while others are more focused on photorealistic 3D art and animation. Some companies have never dealt with slots and HOPA games, while the portfolio of others is replete with art representing these genres. Explore the profiles of game art outsourcing companies and choose the partner that suits you best in terms of the expertise you need. In this regard, Kevuru Games is a versatile choice. There was a time when the company focused on 2D art, but now, for more than 10 years of work, strong teams have been formed here for each direction of art. Concept artists work with Epic Games on skins for Fortnite, 3D artists create characters for Star Wars by Lucasfilm, and 2D artists support EA in HOPA projects, taking part not only in creating locations and objects, but even in writing scripts. The company doesn’t stand still and constantly strives to develop in new directions. This is how outstaffing directions appeared, which are preferable for some clients in terms of hiring artists, as well as game testing and porting services, and a major new enterprise gamification department, which is already actively functioning and gaining clients. Whatever art you need, Kevuru Games will make it. A
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Kevuru Games Launches Cooperation With BNP Paribas Cardif on a New Gamification Product
Kevuru Games Launches Cooperation With BNP Paribas Cardif on a New Gamification Product
The gaming outsourcing studio Kevuru Games has started a cooperation with BNP Paribas Cardif, an international insurance company, part of the BNP Paribas Group, on a new innovation project. The essence of the project is to explore new ways to make insurance more accessible through new ways of engaging people in a fun and educational way. The innovation activity collaboration that Kevuru supported involved engaging players in a series of activities that helped them better understand their needs and simulated experiences where they can learn more about how insurance functions in a game. Players will learn by doing, not by reading a lot of texts or watching instructional videos which can quickly disengage some players. About BNP Paribas Cardif BNP Paribas Cardif is a global insurance company. As part of the BNP Paribas Group, BNP Paribas Cardif plays an important role in the lives of its clients and business partners by providing insurance solutions that empower clients and protects clients from unforeseen events. The company’s unique business model lies in strong partnerships and strong expertise: it creates modern insurance solutions together with global partners in various business sectors, including banks, financial institutions, mobility sector, commercial retail chains, telecommunications companies, among many others.BNP Paribas Cardif has a global presence in Europe, South America, and Asia. BNP Paribas Cardif has a global presence in Europe, South America, and Asia.
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Celebrating December Holidays by the Kevuru Games Team
Celebrating December Holidays by the Kevuru Games Team
The first month of winter continues to light up bright lights on its flickering garland of long-awaited holidays and permeate the air with familiar New Year melodies. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 1 and filled with an uplifted, solemn mood, Kevuru Games acts in unison with December, masterly accompanying the solemn echoes of past and future special days: 🎄 on the Saint Nicholas Day, all the children of our colleagues received delicious sets for creativity in the form of gingerbread for coloring;🎄 until December 25, colleagues managed to exchange gifts in the Secret Santa format – they wrote their wish list and were sincerely, childishly happy was sincerely, childishly happy to receive the coveted present by mail;🎄 On December 26, the Kevuru Games team gathered for a festive Gatsby party, where they celebrated both the upcoming New Year and the company’s birthday.
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Advanced High-Tech Video Game Companies in North Carolina: 7 Best Examples for Fruitful Collaboration
Advanced High-Tech Video Game Companies in North Carolina: 7 Best Examples for Fruitful Collaboration
With its sandy beaches, rolling mountains and bustling cities, North Carolina is rich in natural beauty, culture and industry. Although its name blows cold, in fact, these lands are not that far from Florida, and the climate here is subtropical with hot summers. In winter, ski resorts await lovers of descending on a snow track and fans of snowboards. North Carolina is one of the ten most economically developed states in the United States. It is characterized by a well-developed financial sector, agriculture, tourism and industry. North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, is the second largest banking center in the United States of America after New York. In addition to banks, several other Fortune 500 companies are based in Charlotte: Lowe’s retail chain, Nucor, one of the leading US steel producers, energy company Duke Energy, major car dealer Sonic Automotive, etc. The state is home to one of the largest research centers in the United States of America – Research Triangle Park, founded back in 1959 in the area of ​​the Triangle metropolis formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Dozens of organizations are engaged in research in the field of information and biotechnology here, including such well-known companies as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, BASF, Bayer, Cisco Systems, Sony Ericsson, Red Hat, Verizon and many others. Advantages of Choosing Video Game Companies in North Carolina The gaming industry of this region extends precisely to the cities of Research Triangle Park. The Triangle is home to a large contingent of technology companies, as well as 3 large universities. Duke, UNC and NC State are located here: they help provide game develoment studios in North Carolina with a steady stream of new talent. This is not to say that the region is very rich in game studios – it has a slightly different technical and industrial specialization. However, a certain pool of game developers has nevertheless gathered here, and they have something to show – first of all, technological advancement. For example, Durham houses the office of the American game developer Insomniac Games, famous for the Spyro game trilogy, the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance series of games, and the action-adventure game Spider-Man. And Red Storm Entertainment, the video game studio owned by Ubisoft, has chosen the city of Cary for its headquarters. The famous writer Tom Clancy worked here: most of the studio’s games are based on his literary works. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting gaming companies in North Carolina and what they have to offer you. Universal and Narrow-Profile Gaming Companies in North Carolina Kevuru Games Location: US, Ukraine Established: 2011 Employees: 350+ Kevuru Games is a gaming outsourcing studio with offices in the USA and Ukraine, a ten-year history and a large staff of specialists offering a full development cycle or individual gaming services. Selected services include 2D and 3D graphics and animation, programming, testing, game design, interface and sound design, and gamification services – adding a game element to a non-game environment. If necessary, the studio can port your game to other platforms or develop a game from scratch aimed at multiple platforms at once. The studio is sharpened for games like a sirloin knife is sharpened for perfect fillet cutting: there are Unity and Unreal developers, as well as C++ and C# specialists who know all about game engines for creating entertainment products for PC and mobile devices. The team deals with both casual projects and AAA-level tasks – there is a separate department of artists involved in the creation of AAA-level graphics. The studio’s famous case is a collaboration with Lucasfilm on 3D characters for the game Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Kevuru Games held a large number of roadshows throughout America and managed to earn a reputation as a reliable and dedicated partner in the implementation of gaming projects of all complexities. Grover Gaming Location: Greenville, North Carolina Established: 2003 Employees: 250+ Grover Gaming, based in Greenville, North Carolina, has grown from a small gaming business to a company with over 250 employees dedicated to providing a variety of gaming services. All art work and programming of the studio are 100% implemented in-house by a team of artists, sound engineers, programmers and .NET developers. The studio’s key specialization is slot games: in the portfolio, you will see more than 50 samples of such games. Bright graphics, the original design of any theme and great experience in slots make this team an excellent option if you are interested in slot art or creating slot games from scratch. Imangi Studios Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Established: 2008 Employees: 50+ Among other gaming companies in North Carolina, Imangi Studios is notable for its small size and an initial focus on making iPhone-based fun games for the whole family. Its founders are the spouses Natalia Luckyanova and Keith Shepherd, who were later joined by the artist Kiril Tchangov. Now the studio has expanded the list of platforms to include Android and Windows Phone. The team is known for creating the free Temple Run series for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which has been downloaded over 1 billion times by people worldwide. This is an endless runner game where the player controls a treasure hunter who runs away from the treasure guards in a maze, trying to run as far as possible. Hazardous Software Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Established: 2007 Employees: 50+ Hazardous Software is a consulting firm offering game and simulation development solutions. The studio creates technology that encourages people to act strategically in uncertain conditions, whether it is a game, a simulation, or a real event. Specializing in serious games with great strategic depth or the implementation of unconventional innovations, Hazardous Software also offers services for creating and establishing game balance and advanced gamification: building a reward system, markets, game mechanics and other systems of online interaction so that people are involved and act in the right way. Puny Human Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Established: 2007 Employees: 50+ Puny Human is another representative of a small game studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their mission is to provide players with an interesting and lasting experience in a healthy, open and versatile way. Studio services include a full development cycle or individual programming services, art creation and logistics services to maintain order in the project, determine priorities and correctly allocate tasks and resources. Notable games from the studio are the space shooter Galacide for PC and consoles and the action game Blade Symphony for PC. Six Wing Studios Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Established: 2017 Employees: 50+ Six Wing Studios is a small game studio located in Raleigh. Its mission is to combine the best features of wellness apps and video games to create a fun and engaging experience. This original approach works well in gamification projects, so it makes sense to turn to this studio if you are planning to create games or gaming applications with emotionally compelling, pro-social storytelling that does not skimp on interesting game mechanics. Their famous project is Amaru: The Self-care Virtual Pet, an application designed to introduce the player to the practice of self-care with the Amaru virtual pet. Amaru helps players customize their self-care goals, including breathing exercises, mindfulness practice, exercises to increase concentration and resilience, and gratitude journaling. Players are encouraged to play the game for 15-30 minutes every day. Those who play daily can expect to master basic game content in about 2 months, which is the time it takes for new habits to become commonplace. Mighty Rabbit Studios Location: Cary, North Carolina Established: 2010 Employees: 50+ Our last representative of game studios in North Carolina is Mighty Rabbit Studios, an independent game developer based in Cary. The company released its first major project, Saturday Morning RPG, on the Apple App Store in 2012. It subsequently became available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch. Their second release, the turn-based strategy RPG video game Breach & Clear, was released in 2013 for mobile, PC and PlayStation Vita. Both games were well received by critics and players alike. To date, Mighty Rabbit games have been downloaded by over 2 million players. The team collaborated with other studios on their projects, such as working with inXile Entertainment on the RPG Wasteland 3 and the dungeon crawler The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. Mighty Rabbit Studios has also contracted AT&T and Carnegie Learning clients for a Kinect-based crime scene investigation prototype and a 2D flash learning game to track student progress. How to Choose the Most Reliable Partner? The final choice is always yours. But it can be simplified by keeping a few key guidelines in mind. Look for studios with the specialization you need. If you are interested in developing a mobile game, then your search query should include the words mobile game development – so you will see in the search results those companies that are definitely engaged in mobile development. Look for proof of specialization or any other service. If a studio says that it makes AR/VR games, but it doesn’t have a single example of such games in its portfolio, then it is either disingenuous, or the projects that have been created are under the NDA. In this case, it makes sense to clarify whether the studio really worked with projects of the type you need. Explore the portfolio. If you need art for your game, pay attention to the skill level of the artists of the chosen studio, presented in its portfolio. Think about whether this style, this approach, this kind of creativity suits you. If you do not find what you want and you have the appropriate financial capacity, you can try to negotiate a paid test assignment. Then it is possible to set the exact requirements and see how the artists deal with them. And of course, read the reviews. If there are no reviews, this is not yet a reason to sound the alarm, but often studios that care about their reputation still collect feedback from previous clients so that potential ones have fewer doubts. Conclusions Any of the game studios in North Carolina we’ve reviewed are worthy of your attention. But if you don’t have time for research, long negotiations, doubts and uncertainties, then the Kevuru Games studio will be the universal choice. And there are specific reasons for this. The peculiarity is that it is a multi-instrumentalist studio with a full range of
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