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A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

IN THIS ISSUE: Lithuanian Game Developers share their opinions and insights. Read on our recent achievements in gamedev, networking and esports. Together with

LITHUANIAN GAME DEVELOPERS ASOCIATION

ACHIEVEMENTS

LITHUANIAN SUCCESS STORIES EVENTS

GAMEON 2018 WHAT TO EXPECT? IN DEVELOPMENT

STREETS OF CYBERWORLD

MAY, 2018, LITHUANIA


CONTENT WHO ARE WE?

A YEAR IN REVIEW: LITHUANIAN PROFILE

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Blaster is a dedicated home for the creative and adventurous to bring their ideas to life. It‘s a community comprised of digital nomads, web and code nerds and change-makers. Blasters’ tribe members make amazing things happen. Read on and delve into our everyday life full of wondrous projects, games and ideas. Projects like GameOn, Rusty Oak studio or collaboration with most decorated Lithuanian sports organization was born out of pure passion for what we do.

LT GAMEDEV KEY PLAYERS

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BLASTER: COMPANIES WITHIN

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HOW DO WE DO THAT? By simply following our motto: if you can imagine this – it can be done! We have 3 companies with more than 200 creative talents who share 3800 cups of coffee per month. We exchange ideas, share our knowledge and support each other in every new project.

WHAT ELSE… We believe that our values can be scaled from a community to the whole local industry. With that in mind, we invited our friends from Lithuanian Game Developers association and prominent studio heads to share their opinions and introduce themselves via our humble magazine. We’re thrilled to show you what Lithuanian game industry is all about. And not only through facts and figures but through our thoughts and everyday experiences.

FACTS: together since 2015 /3 companies / 3,500 square meters / 200+ talents / 3800+ cups of coffee/month WANT TO GIVE US A TASK,OFFER OR AN INTERESTING TOPIC TO DISCUSS? WWW.BLASTER.LT BLASTEROFFICE BLASTEROFFICE

TELESOFTAS #STEPFORWARD

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GAMEON - GAMING CULTURE CONVENTON

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WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS - GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES

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ACT BEYOND STEREOTYPE

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SNEAKY BOX PORTFOLIO

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TWO GUYS IN AN OFFICE

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STREETS OF CYBERWORLD

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FROM THE STREETS

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SUCCESS STORIES: GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

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FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLD-RENOWNED EVENTS

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LITHUANIANS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR GAME

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FAST CASH GRABS ARE DESTROYING INDIES

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PLAYING ECOMMERCE

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5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM BC ŽALGIRIS’ ENTRANCE TO THE ESPORTS STAGE

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REFLECTION ON LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH ADVENTURE GAMES

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The information on this publication is for information purposes only. BLASTER LT assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization without verification by us. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of BLASTER LT. Therefore, BLASTER LT carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. Any form of reproduction of any content on this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. © 2018 BLASTER LT. All rights reserved.

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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LGDA A YEAR IN REVIEW: LITHUANIAN PROFILE

A YEAR IN REVIEW: LITHUANIAN PROFILE In 2017, fuelled by the support from generous sponsors, kind-hearted partners and the help of the game dev community volunteers, LGDA continued to be an integral part of key game development events in Lithuania. In 2017 LGDA organized yet another one Game Jam and it was the biggest Jam in the Baltics. Throughout the year we also provided consultancy and communication support to the largest game development conferences in the country – Login Game Fest, where our representatives formed the line-up of speakers and GameOn

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conference where LGDA had its networking area, held national Video Game Developer awards, shared its network and provided help with active communication; The association also organized free-for-all meet-up events with keynote speakers from the local game development community.

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

Three events of this form were held in 2017 and attracted 40 to 70 participants each. LDGA board also continued the dialogue with the European Games Federation about the policies concerning the video game industry on the EU level and provided support for EGF initiatives by reaching


A YEAR IN REVIEW: LITHUANIAN PROFILE LGDA

out to Lithuanian members of the European Parliament. In 2017 LGDA established a strong dialogue with Lithuanian governmental institutions on topics related to the video game industry. A major breakthrough was reached in the funding policies of the Ministry of Culture: the Council for Culture established two programs, which, for the first time, explicitly lists video game projects as legitimate candidates to receive state funding. With all that taken into account, there is still a lack of attention and support for the Lithuanian game development sector – individuals and businesses – from the government and the society, thus LGDA needs to strengthen the activities

EVENTS AND PUBLICATIONS F.Y 2018 LT Game Industry digest January - December, Electronic Magazine, 3 issues estimated. GameDev Meetups January - December, 6 events in total.

and initiatives that would further improve the status of the industry in the eyes of various institutions and the public, raise the visibility of the opportunities the Lithuanian game industry can create for individuals (career and entrepreneurship), businesses (partnerships and qualified workforce) and the state, also solidify LGDA’s status as the core organization for all game industry related topics. GOING FORWARD For the year of 2018, Lithuanian Game Developers Association prepared a strategic plan, which includes activities and initiatives that would help us reach those goals. We would also love to use this opportunity to promote possibilities of an outreach towards

LevelUp Meetups February - June, 2 events in total. LT Game Awards 2018 November, Vilnius DISCUSSED, BUT NOT YET CONFIRMED: Baltic Video Game Industry’s mid-summer feast July, TBA.

Lithuanian game developers and related communities. We’re still maturing as an industry, thus early adopters will not only benefit the most, but will gain a special place in the history of the Lithuanian game development industry. We’re kindly sharing the list of events approved by the board of the LGDA. Should you like to attend, sponsor or hear more about them, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Same can be said about Your own initiatives. If you’re a speaker, lecturer, business developer, studio head looking for a way to discover Lithuania, broaden your network, run your own workshops or just have a studio tour — we would be thrilled to help!

Baltic Game Awards Regional award ceremony created and executed in co-operation between game developer associations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. November, TBA. FOLLOW FOR MORE NEWS: LIETUVOS.ZAIDIMU. KUREJU.ASOCIACIJA WWW.LZKA.LT

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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LT GAMEDEV KEY PLAYER

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STUDIO NAME:

GOOD AT:

FIND OUT MORE:

Addictum Games

Casual, midcore games

@AddictumGames

AdDuplex

Cross-promotion network for WP and Windows Store games

Adduplex.com

Applava

Indie developer

applava.lt

Atlantis Games

e-commerce solutions to gaming and e-sports

atlantisgames.lt

CGTrader

3D models for VR / AR, 3D printing

cgtrader.com

Charlie Oscar Lima Tango Interactive Entertainment

Indie Developer

@CharlieOscarBiz

Dmitrijus Babicius

Game designer

@dbabicius

Dragonglass

Gamified cryptomining experience

dragonglass.com

Flazm Interactive Entertainment

Indie developer

flazm.com

Game Insight

Publishing. Casual, sofcore, midcore, hardcore mobile games

game-insight.com

GameOn

Game culture event, conference, media, PR services

Gameon.lt

git-apps.com

Casual, mobile games

git-apps.com

Glera Games

Casual, social games for Mobile, Web, and PC

glera-games.com

Gluk Media

VR, AR, Storytelling

glukmedia.com

Goodname

Digital Art

goodname.lt

Greatest Games

Mobile, casual games

greatestgamescompany. com

Grey Cardinals

AR, VR, 3D animation & modeling

greycardinals.com

JetCat Games

Indie Developer

jetcatgames.com

Kedronic

Educational apps for kids

kedronic.com

Melior Games Lithuania

Outsoursing

meliorgames.com

NIEKO

AR/VR solutions

niekoplay.com

No Brakes Games

Indie game developer

nobrakesgames.com nordcurrent.com

Nordcurrent

Casual, midcore, softcore games. Publishing

Not for Pussies

Indie developer, blockchain

notforp.com

Octa

3D, CG, Production

okta-studio.com

On5

Outsource, co-development, casual, midcore games

on-5.com

OSMVR

VR content, hardware solutions

osmgames.lt

Pepi Play

Edutainment, family games

pepiplay.com

RAWG

Video game discovery site, IMDb for gamers.

rawg.io

Real Welders

Indie Dev, Tycoon games

realwelders.com

Reality Game Arts

Massively multiplayer web game

realitygame.lt

Rusty Oak Games

Indie Game Developer, PC, VR

rustyoakgames.com

Sneaky Box

Outsource, co-development, porting, VR/AR

sneakybox-studios.com

SnoutUP

Quirky mobile games

snoutup.com

Strange Fire

Indie developer, PC, VR

strangefire.lt

Tag of Joy

Outsource, location based games, AR, PC games

www.tagofjoy.lt

TamGames

First person shooter, mobile

tamgames.com

Telesoftas

Outsoursing, AR, VR, Unity, Unreal

telesoftas.com

Tiny Lab Productions

Family games

tinylabproductions.com

Toyze

Toys

toyze.com

TutoTOONS

Family games

tutotoons.com

Unity Technologies Lt

Unity engine

Unity3d.com

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018


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September is your time to come and try Vilnius For more information contact go@vilnius.lt A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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BLASTER COMPANIES WITHIN

TELESOFTAS TeleSoftas is an innovation house that elevates brave business ideas into the future. We help our partners to step forward and adopt digital transformation by utilising our 14 years’ experience delivering software engineering solutions and the know-how of the most cutting-edge technologies from artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data management to virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR). Today our team consists of more than 300 top-level experts, engineers and developers, based in five cities in four markets, including Dubai, San Francisco and Zurich, as well as its two sites in Lithuania. Founded on principles of networking, sharing and open collaboration, we aim to improve society for everyone through cutting edge technology, innovation and know-how.

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GAMEON (PART OF TELESOFTAS) GameOn is yet another autonomous unit incubating within „Telesoftas“. Sparked by sheer coincidence this project grew to be a centrepiece of video games culture in Lithuania, also inspiring other Baltic countries to follow the suit. The most unusual thing about this project is it’s background. Largest Video Game Culture Convention was created by people out of events industry. Game developers, eSports enthusiasts, industry journalists and experts from other areas like cosplay just banded together to conceptualize and create first ever Con in the Baltics. And it just exploded. First event was a complete Sold-Out prompting a quick move from largest arena in the country, to a largest convention centre in the region. It’s mission to uplift and interconnect local talents, while

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

entertaining and educating local audiences is well accepted. You should come and see it!

SNEAKY BOX „SneakyBox“ studio is one of the Lithuania’s darlings. Born back in the day, when local gamedev industry was just picking up its pace, this team was among the first to pioneer, explore and promote the opportunities within it. A small team, or just a bunch of friends at the Kaunas Technology University, played around with tech and dreamed big. This led to a birth of „Never Future“ project, created for „Imagine Cup“ competition. Success happened and „Never Future“ made it to the list of finalists, while the team behind it travelled to Australia. All of this was exotic enough to spark national interest in the story, widely covered in local media, thus serving as a proof of concept for many young talents. Today „SneakyBox“ is a


COMPANIES WITHIN BLASTER

strong development house, always seeking for new opportunities and co-development projects.

RUSTY OAK (PART OF TELESOFTAS) Rusty Oak studio started as a passion project within Telesoftas. During the initial VR hype we aimed to be among the first to toy around with new tech in the region, thus our R&D department was outfitted with developer kits and went on to prototype crazy stuff. Our teams explored various ideas, including super cool, but otherwise clunky and expensive setup of VR and two Kinect cameras for real time communication between two people anywhere in the world. Lithuania, however, is a basketball country, so it’s no surprise that some of our prototypes ended up as ball games. Thus, HURL VR project was born. It’s a simple, yet very immersive, physics based VR puzzle game. It was so good, that the team behind it was spun off into an autonomous unit also known as Rusty Oak studios. Today this team works on a new and truly exciting game and you

can read all about it in the pages of this magazine.

ADEO WEB ADEO WEB has provided 8 years of successful eCommerce solutions with a proven technical and analytical approach. We specialize in Magento application integration, acceleration, search optimization and product data management as well as in creating effective digital

connections with proven UX strategies. Our culture of strong values and transparent service enables us to use metrics that matter and have the agility and focus to help customers take advantage of quick-to-market solutions and multiply their success. Does that scale towards gaming industry in any way? It sure does and you can read more about it within pages of this magazine!

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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TELESOFTAS

#STEPFORWARD

ALGIRDAS STONYS CEO,TELESOFTAS @ASTONYS

The gap between the advancements in technology and its implementations in public or even private sectors is still very large. Faster, more efficient processes, solutions to existing problems and entirely new models exist seemingly within a hand’s reach. But then why many sectors, both private and public, tend to operate under ingrained practices without exploiting the untapped potential of IT technologies? The answer is simple. Established processes have repeatedly proven to work. Meanwhile, innovations always come with additional effort and uncertainties. But uncertainties, whether it’s self-doubt or doubting others, always leads only to stagnation.

Benefits of trusting extend to the whole human network around you, including treating your partners and clients as part of your team and celebrating their success and failure as yours. Trust is what eventually turns bold ideas into reality.

Eventually, I strongly believe that to beat the uncertainty that the technology might bring comes down to trust. Not in the technology, but in individuals. Trust comes with freedoms and responsibilities for others, teamwork and therefore, progress. To induce change, trust in others is crucial.

ON TO GAMING!

We tried it ourselves at TeleSoftas. We give our people the full trust. Since the attitude of constant change is intrinsic to IT business, the freedom that is given comes with exploration, growth, responsibilities, and an ownership attitude of all the projects each of us works on. Result? Best specialists are motivated to stick with TeleSoftas, some for even over 10 years(!), a retention generally quite rare for IT companies and next to that grow the company and share the knowledge.

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Video games and science fiction are two core driving engines within our company. We see gaming culture as a crucial part of our development as human beings. Humans are playing from the moment they’re born and they keep on playing through the rest of their lives. Gameplay is our primary drive to discover the world around us and the first conscious movements of a baby may awfully remind us of the first actions made by a gamer when he launches new adventure game. You know those weird first minutes of observing your surroundings, bumping into walls, looking for items. Then trying to grab every item that’s seems grabbable, inspecting it, trying to connect it with other items and eventually smashing it! It’s the same process and we strongly

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

believe that further evolution and accessibility of games will be the new drives not only in fields like education, exploration, socialization, but will also introduce new concepts for teamwork and inspire empathy. It’s still a very young social phenomenon, but it has huge potential to transform who we are and how we feel about the world and each other. We just have to make it right. And we will. STEP FORWARD ATTITUDE TeleSoftas recently launched the Step Forward campaign as a call to action for companies to go beyond doubts, by collaborating with experts in other fields and embracing cutting-edge digital technologies. We can shake up status quo and better everyone’s lives today! This is why we are in this business in the first place and what Stepping Forward is all about. The change starts with us and with each step, person by person, business by business, together we will create a snowball effect towards a global economy of happiness. As long as we trust. There is no point in waiting. Step Forward - we’ll give you the tools!


#STEPFORWARD TELESOFTAS

TELESOFTAS SHOWCASING INNER CHILD VR AT MWC BARCELONA. A VR SOLUTION FOR FIGHTING ACROPHOBIA, THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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GAMEON OPENING CEREMONY WITH ROCK BAND FREAKY STARS

GAMEON – GAMING CULTURE CONVENTION GameOn is the trailblazing video gaming event in the Baltic region. The team of avid gamers, game deveolpers, journalists and esports enthusiasts was formed in 2015 to establish a high-quality expo in Lithuania. Since then GameOn has grown into a huge gaming festival attracting visitors from all over Europe. The event is split into a few parts with appeal to different audiences. Some come to seek adventure and experience a game that might change the way they think or try a gadget they might’ve not even heard of before. For this type of people GameOn hosts a massive expo stretching over 12 000 square meters of space, filled with dozens of game developer

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studios, publishers, hardware brands booths and new innovative gadgets. Other people crave for knowledge or want to discover wondrous things in lectures and workshops. During the event GameOn hosts a three-part conference embraced by the industry professionals. Gamedevs, business developers and

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

well-known internet personalities share their knowledge about the joys and dangers of the virtual worlds. And some visitors just look for pure fun and want to enjoy a good show. GameOn program includes vast array of esports competitions, cosplay parades and other thrilling performances


GAMING CULTURE CONVENTION GAMEON

GAMEON 2017: IN REVIEW GameOn III was truly stunning! We achieved so much and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our sponsors, partners, friends and most importantly our fans & visitors. Here are some general facts about last year’s GameOn in Vilnius, Lithuania.

97

hours of esports content broadcasted of which people watched over 30.000 hours

12.000

Square meters of space for expo, conferences, shopping & stages

15.000

Visitors attended GameOn over 2 days of the event

140+

75+

200.000+ Views on post-GameOn YouTube videos by influencers

Media representatives attended the event from 10 different countries

Speakers in entertainment, gamedev & influencer conferences

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Booths and participants on the show floor A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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GAMEON WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES As GameOn is growing, so are the tasks and expectations we set for ourselves and receive as feedback from our partners. Our growth in B2C visitors over the last years has been impressive and we feel like we have been able to always bring new and exciting things for this audience. We want to continue in this tradition but also add more value for B2B visitors. Towards these ends we will introduce two novelties that will raise GameOn’s quality manifold. On the show floor we will erect an Indie Town with the latest and most innovative games we are able to find and gather to our event. This themed area will house teams

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from all over Europe and hopefully beyond. For this purpose we were able to bring one of the organizers of the world’s largest indie showcase on board. As part of the Indie Arena Booth team, Florian Masuth was responsible for bringing close to 80 different games from 26

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

countries to one of the key booths at Gamescom 2018. This beacon of indie showcase culture has blazed the trail of connecting studios from every corner of the earth in growing from 40 to 1.012 sq. m over 5 years and from a mere booth to an event with networking


WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES GAMEON

parties, business platform, live stream and more. The concept itself is not new: small businesses or interest groups will band together to achieve goals they would not be able to reach alone. This does not mean that it is less effective - to the contrary, it is a proof of concept. The question is: how can we translate these learnings to our event and to a region that is not used to seeing anything like it? We see this as our big challenge for 2018. As organizers of a whole expo, we have clear tools to adjust things to our needs and those of participating studios. This will become apparent in fair pricing and the way we are able to modify the area to fit our indies. We have a clear vision of the demands and needs indies have towards showcases. Besides the aforementioned means we are focusing on creating visibility at the event itself and through media coverage. Our close relationship with Lithuanian media channels will benefit attending studios through pre-event coverage, reviews and affordable ways to

advertise in a largely untapped and games-hungry market. Local gamers are eager for new content and open to the idea of innovative concepts. “Human Fall Flat” is Lithuania’s most recent indie hit and shows that this country has a slumbering desire for creative games.

INFLUENCER GRETASWEET DURING THE INFLUENCER CONFERENCE

GameOn provides the stage for Lithuania’s influencers to meet during their yearly Mystical Creatures conference. We want to make use of our well-established connection with these opinion-shapers to bring attention to the Indie Town as well. Plans for a special indie stage and live stream with the games’ creators are underway and form another puzzle piece of our push for indie dominance at LITEXPO. A mantra of the indie culture is being part of a community. We want to propel Lithuania and its indie developers forward to a new level of connecting with this global community. And what better way to do this than inviting international teams to join our attending Lithuanian teams and our friends from the neighbouring Baltic region. Delegations from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland have already confirmed their attendance and we are in promising talks with German, Swiss, Dutch, Israeli and Iranian representatives. If you represent an indie cluster or are a single-developer, please reach out to us to join this promising line-up.

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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GAMEON WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES

FIRST EVER SYMPHONIC PERFONMANCE PLAYING VIDEO GAME SCORES IN THE BALTICSAR GAMEON

Our second big focus this year is creating a more fruitful environment for B2B visitors, introducing our new business tickets. With these tickets, visitors will have access to an access-only business area and a networking party on Friday evening. Numerous local brands and long-time partners are waiting to be introduced to international games businesses with an interest in expanding their network towards the Baltic region. Since this is our first year and we want

to make your decision to join us a no-brainer, we will have a one-time offer that will have you say yes in an instant. As our final puzzle piece, we are proud to announce our partnership with the leading brand of matchmaking systems for the games industry. “MeetToMatch” will be our exclusive business meeting partner, providing their full-service platform to bring you one step closer to new business

opportunities. Fill in your profile, choose from all participating companies, filter for your interests and schedule meetings online ahead of the event. During GameOn the “MeetToMatch” team will be your matchmaking hosts, taking care of your meeting needs in the special meeting area. Two days of exciting opportunities and interesting partners from development, publishing retail, marketing, services and many more fields are awaiting your meeting request

JAKUB VAMBERSKÝ FROM MADFINGER GAMES

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A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018


WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – GAMEON 2018 NOVELTIES GAMEON

BREAKING THE MYTH OF GAMING ONLY FOR GUYS & BY GUYS

EXCITED ABOUT GAMEON? VISIT WWW.GAMEON.LT FOR MORE INFORMATION OR DROP US A LINE AT INFO@GAMEON.LT

AUSTIN WINTORY

“NEVER TOO LATE TO COSPLAY” - COSPLAY MAMA

TWO WEEKS WORTH OF RESEARCH DURING TWO DAYS OF GAMEON

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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JUSTAS ŠALKEVIČIUS & LIUDAS UBAREVIČIUS ,CO-FOUNDERS OF SNEAKY BOX

ACT BEYOND STEREOTYPE

EGLĖ ČIUODERIENĖ CBDO, SNEAKY BOX @EGLECIU

When you hear the words “game” or “gamer”, what are the first things that comes to your mind? Maybe lazy, immature, over-weight nerd in a dark dusty room playing violent video games? At least for me, this was the stereotype image of 99% gamers across the globe. Games in general never looked like a serious activity to me, it has always been just a waste of time, but everything changed three years ago when I met Liudas Ubarevičius and Justas Šalkevičius — co-founders of game development studio SneakyBox. I have never seen such inspirational people before, who could talk for hours about the gaming industry — it’s strengths, benefits and valuable impact on the society. Since then, I became a huge evangelist of the gaming industry myself, because Liudas and Justas helped me understand that this industry is one of the most evolving creative platforms of the contemporary world.

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A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018


ACT BEYOND STEREOTYPE EGLĖ ČIUODERIENĖ

For many years working at embassies and governmental institutions as the international communication specialist - it was quite a challenge to transform my way of thinking and start acting beyond stereotypes and various boundaries as a self-starter business developer in the gradually developing Lithuanian gaming industry. It has never been easy to stand on the other side of the border and challenge the sceptics to broaden their horizons of understanding about the games. However, it seems that at SneakyBox, we have found our way to success. We have stopped thinking about all the stereotypes, governmental boundaries, shortages of financial support, lack of trust and belief in Lithuanian game industry, absence of flagman projects and all the other obstacles that might come to your mind. Instead of that, we have started to build our own, unique way to success step by step. We brought together top young talents from the Lithuania’s gaming industry and started working on the projects we truly believe in. That

is how we began creating games for famous vloggers, to work on educational projects using gamification as a tool to create new communication interfaces for the visually impaired people, experiment with the game development on the different platforms and collaborate with the best talents and game development studios from Sweden, Germany, Russia, UK and the U.S. We are heard in Lithuania now. Numerous awards as to the one of the most innovative game development studios are presented to us year after year, we are invited as the keynote speakers to talk about our

solutions at the main conferences across the Nordic region, we are participating at the decision making processes on governmental level and mentoring others on their fascinating journeys in the gaming industry world. So here we are, extremely ambitious, hard-working, goal-oriented professionals, who are living their dream and turning this world into a better place to live using gamified solutions in education, medicine, entertainment, retail, engineering, aerospace and defense. Wanna jump on the adventure together? Ping me!

EGLĖ ČIUODER

IE

NĖ Chief Business Development O fficer at SneakyBox egle@sneakybo x-studios.com

EgleCiu

ciuoderiene

TEAM OF SNEAKY BOX STUDIO

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SNEAKY BOX PORTFOLIO

SNEAKY BOX PORTFOLIO “SneakyBox” is the awards winning, creative studio focusing on areas of games, custom software and immersive solutions development. While combining cutting-edge technology with strategic thinking “SneakyBox” provides the highest quality software development services worldwide in six major areas: aerospace, education, energy, engineering, manufacturing and medicine. However, long before becoming a leader in software development “SneakyBox” created a lot of games. 6 years ago, company was established as a game development studio, creating an award-winning action RPG game “Never Future”. Later, throughout the years studio made variety of games for mobile, PC and VR and established its name as one of the powerhouses of game development in Lithuania.

SNEAKYBOX AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS: Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012, Australia - Top10 Finalists

King GDC Awards 2017, United States - Top6 Finalists

IBM Business Run 2012, Lithuania – 2nd Place Winners

Microsoft AppStar 2017, Ukraine – Top10 Finalists

Appcampus 2012, Finland – Hottest Developer Program

European Digital Women of the Year™ Award 2017, Belgium Top3 Finalists

Startup Weekend Lithuania 2013, Lithuania – Best Game Startup Weekend Kaunas 2014, Lithuania - Winners Microsoft AppStar 2015, Lithuania - Winners LOGIN Internet Awards 2016, Lithuania - Best Game Knowledge Economy Forum Innovation Awards 2017, Lithuania - Top10 Finalists

FOLLOW SNEAKY BOX ON FACEBOOK

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A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

Knowledge Economy Forum Innovation Awards 2018, Lithuania - Top5 Finalists Knowledge Economy Forum, Lithuanian Leaders of Innovation 2018, Lithuania - Top3 Finalists Technorama 2018, Lithuania 2nd Place Winners

SNEAKYBOX


PORTFOLIO SNEAKY BOX

LATEST GAME PROJECTS

BASKET BATTLES Basket Battles is a location based gamified loyalty platform, designed to promote sports and physical activity. The player searches for virtual cards of athletes in the real-world environment (playgrounds, stadiums, arenas, sports shops). When a virtual card is close enough, the player can enter augmented reality mode and take it by tapping the basketball button. Collected virtual cards are upgraded and developed throughout the game.

KAKĖ MAKĖ AKA NELLY JELLY “Kakės Makės nuotykiai” was among the first cases of co-op between game developers and local traditional business. Publishing house „Alma Littera” had a massive success with novels and activity books for kids, driven by a charismatic character Kakė Makė. Mobile game, (done in partnership with Lina Žutautė, creator of original character), became a digital hit too, Lithuanian version of the game got more than a 100K downloads! Nelly Jelly is a westernised name for the same character and it hit App Stores just last month

LFF LEGENDS It is a very first official sports game in Lithuania. LFF Legends is a mobile cards game, where people that are significant to Lithuanian football history are portrayed as cards. The game encourages players to know better the history of Lithuanian football, as well as makes a nod to die-hard fans. Game was also acknowledged in LOGIN Internet Awards, grabbing a win in Best Lithuanian game category.

SLIDE CIRCUS VR GOALIE It is a virtual reality game where the player serves as a goalkeeper. The main objective is to protect the gate. It has a variety of difficulty levels. The highest scores of the player will be automatically saved on the leaderboard. Game is developed with Unity game engine for “HTC Vive”.

ROBO SETTLERS Robo Settlers is a 2D management game. The game is set up as a tower, where the player builds different types of floors, hires robots and levels them up, while solving different kinds of puzzles.

A puzzle game with a twist. It has over 90 beautiful carefully crafted levels and lets players to create their own puzzles by importing custom images. Slide Circus has range of editing features like color filters and surface modification.

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KAROLIS BALČIUS

TWO GUYS IN AN OFFICE

TWO GUYS IN AN OFFICE

KAROLIS BALČIUS MARKETING MANAGER, RUSTY OAK GAMES @KAROLIS_GAMEON

Couple of years ago me, Karolis met this another guy Petras in the office of TeleSoftas – an IT company that we both currently work in. One thing led to another and with the blessing of our company we were making our very first game – Hurl VR. We didn’t expect much of the game but had a clear and pretty unique vision for it. Virtual reality was trending at that moment and our company, being as innovative as it is, gave their full support for making an interactive physics based puzzle game in VR. As long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to become PC Indie developer, producing niche,

but well balanced and polished games, that may re-invent existing concepts or offer new ideas to the developer community. In the country where most of the developers focus on mobile, this challenge is harder than one can imagine. We faced challenges in every area, since our country is shining in tech and artistic approach, but lacks experience in PC publishing, business development, so our first

KAROLIS IN ICELAND (BY LINAS KRISIUKĖNAS)

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project meant that we’re becoming somewhat of a pioneer. We’ve finished the game, released it and managed to get some pretty good reviews. We’ve kept on showing the game in various gaming exhibitions, VR lounges and cafes, and generated some warm buzz in Lithuania’s gamedev scene and among the partners of TeleSoftas as well. But a single project


TWO GUYS IN AN OFFICE KAROLIS BALČIUS

sure as hell wasn’t going to be enough for us! We’ve armed ourselves with a full-on team of talented individuals and branched of our IT company we are working in, creating an independent game studio Rusty Oak Games. The studio name implies the interconnection of nature and technology, life and decay and how it is necessary for a new life and creation to emerge. The core

Rusty Oak team is made of artists such as musicians, painters and designers, who came together to realize their ideas in the form of beautiful games. “Streets of Cyberworld” is our second project which began from our love to cyberpunk culture and digital card gaming. Our team consists of longtime trading card game players so we wanted to create another unique world where

gaming collides with storytelling and involve players into building their gaming world together with developers. It has been a little bit over than half of the year since we all are together joined with the single purpose that binds all independent video game studios together – making the game we’ve always wanted to make. And we couldn’t be more happy about it

Hurl VR is a Pinball-like puzzle game for HTC Vive. Hurl VR is a ball throwing simulator in virtual reality with a touch of tactical puzzler, requiring skill, logical thinking and precise timing. The game embraces the physical aspects of individual players, which are generally neglected in modern game development. A shorter player might find it extremely easy to complete a certain level that requires a low and tactical throw, whereas a tall player might find it more challenging to tackle the same level. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

RUSTY OAK GAMES

FIND OUT MORE : WWW.RUSTYOAKGAMES.COM A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

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KĘSTUTIS SAMSONAS STREETS OF CYBERWORLDS

I BELIEVE

STREETS OF CYBERWORLD I believe, many casual and hardcore gamers at some point of their lives had an idea of making their own game – THE game, where every good thing seen in countless games they played will merge creating a perfect masterpiece. I also believe, that many of those ideas were just a daydream, with no real intention of making it come true. That’s not the case with me, and that’s a story I want to share. ING LOOK WE’RE BLISHER! PU FOR A

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KĘSTUTIS SAMSONAS GAME DESIGNER, RUSTY OAK GAMES @S_OF_CYBERWORLD

It all began when my friend Martynas (who was living close to the place I used to work at that time) called me and invited for dinner, I gladly accepted invitation not realising at that moment, that this is the evening that will have influence over my life for quite some time. That evening we created the very concept of “Streets of Cyberworld” – a computer card-board game, that is now almost ready to be presented to the public. I still wonder sometimes; how naive we were at that time and how lucky we were for many times later. I want to introduce ourselves – we are two guys who like gaming, fantasy worlds and daydreaming. We have no skills in programming, computer design and neither of us can paint well enough. You


STREETS OF CYBERWORLDS KĘSTUTIS SAMSONAS

guessed right, we are two guys most unlikely to successfully finish (or even start) making a computer game. It was obvious that we needed help. First comes an idea. An idea of a fantastic world, which is so familiar, yet very different from a place we live in. We spent hours and days talking about how Cyberworld should look like, what are people doing in there, how technology has improved over years to come. The world we created so far is far from finished, I doubt it will ever be completed, and our biggest dream as concept designers is that the people who will play our game will also add stories of their own, helping to improve the Cyberworld we are giving to them. After an idea game mechanics followed, but I won‘t bore you with summaries of long talks about balance, meta or similar things. I just wish you to know, that we did what we always wanted to do – game that is simple and yet very complex, that allows as much freedom as it was possible to think off and has as little influence from god of random as we could do it.

After we were done with first version of concept we started thinking what is most important for a card game. I think you would agree with me saying that card game must be beautiful. So, we needed an artist. After searching over and over whole internet for artists profiles and sending countless of letters (not many were answered, and this made the discovery even more satisfying) we met our very first artist, for which I am grateful till this day. Gintas Galvanauskas was one of the first people who actually believed in our idea. He agreed to create few characters so we have something to begin with. With the art we got from him, we could already show the world that we are here for real. With the contacts he gave us, we were able to find two more amazing artists – Eglė Zioma and Justas Krasuckas, who work with us still. I won’t lie to you, if you‘d ask me to name the day that I started believing in Streets of Cyberworld, I‘d tell you without hesitation – it was

the day Gintas finished drawing Bonzi, the ScrapHead – our first character. After seeing it done, I had a glimpse of what our game can really become and that was a goal worth fighting for. We met many people afterwards – programmers and composers, artists and designers, marketing specialists and reporters, I will not bother you with names, but trust me when I say, that each of them has my greatest appreciation for time they gave to two random guys with nothing but a dream. Nothing what was achieved couldn‘t have been done without many helpful, kind and incredibly talented people we‘ve met on our journey and Cyberworld is a child of them all. But the child must grow and for that he will need new friends, new people to meet, new places to visit, and I invite all of you to raise that child together by saying: Welcome! Welcome to the Streets of Cyberworld

FIND OUT MORE: STREETSOFCYBERWORLD.COM

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ANDRIUS GUZAITIS

FROM THE STREETS

FROM THE STREETS ‘‘

Thunder cracked like a whip-tail of an angry cyberdog. Rain was pouring as if the heavens decided to wash away all the sins of this world. Big Boss above obviously had no idea how much the world has changed since Adam and Eve. Or how little. From thirty feet she looked gorgeous. From ten she looked like somebody, who should be looked at from thirty feet. Makeup was too thick, colours were too garish, and she was too much dead for my liking. I knelt beside her thin broken body, but didn’t touch anything. There was no need to check for pulse or cause of death. Nobody can survive loss of some six pints of blood. There was an oddity though - she had no serious injury. Or at least I could see none. Only thirty or so shallow cuts on her face, neck, tiny breasts and belly. I could easily see each of them, as she was stark naked, unless you want to count the no-brand veerd-patches behind ears. I wanted to think, that veerd was ‘on’ when somebody carved her, I wanted to hope, that she didn’t feel a thing. I knew better. Her screams pissed of the neighbours so bad, that they bothered to call the commissariat. An indistinct noise from a wardrobe roused me up. I’ve pulled my service thirty-eight from the holster and slowly opened the door. My gun was unnecessary – the man inside of the wardrobe was armed with a short knife but in a deep veerd. His left forearm sported shallow cuts, similar to ones on the whore’s body, but at least he was fully clothed. Small blessings of my life. I’ve holstered my thirty-eight and pulled his veerd-patches off of him. They looked very much alike to the no-names on the dead body. Must be same batch. I decided to keep slapping the junkie until he came round. “I have you red handed”. I told him. He may have missed that part. “It will cost you fifty if you want to get some visible police brutality. And another half hundred if you want to call your pals right now. They will have about half an hour to make me an offer.” He paid for a phone call but refused on my police brutality offer. I did my best to avoid lasting injuries. But not my best “best”. After half an hour his gang came up with enough cash. More than enough. Made me wonder who else was after him. Rain has stopped as suddenly as it started. Big Boss above got bored.

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‘‘


FROM THE STREETS ANDRIUS GUZAITIS

DR. AILISE | ART FROM STREETS OF CYBERWORLD

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SUCCESS STORIES GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION People always tend to underestimate the improvement and progress of the game industry in smaller countries like Lithuania. It’s easy to see why - there are no huge triple A studios in our country and a lot of time will pass before one will surface. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and the early signs point towards a very bright future. Lithuania already has numerous success stories in indie and mobile sectors of the industry. We have companies like “Tag of Joy”, who managed to create an augmented reality video game “Monster Buster” prior to “Niantic” popularizing this genre. Or Lithuanian studio “Nordcurrent” counting hundreds of millions of players worldwide – it’s quite an achievement for a country that has only been creating games for less than 20 years. Also, some other huge milestones by the industry should be noted – they have been well received internationally – educational games for the family by “Pepi Play” has accumulated around 6 million downloads worldwide, “TutoTOONS” has more than

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300 mobile games and around 200 million downloads in total. Inspired by these examples even more developers are starting to create their own things. And that’s just mobile… Other platform players can also try out games made by Lithuanians which are quite successful. Most recent additions to Lithuanian-made-games hall of fame being Strange Fires’ “Shoppe Keep” series or “Human Fall Flat” developed by “No Brakes Games”. Both titles were universally praised and paved their way into Steams’ top sellers’ charts. Furthermore, Shoppe Keep was released on PS4 and became first Lithuanian PlayStation 4 title to have a retail edition, while Human Fall Flat enjoyed success on Nintendo Switch

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initially offered as digital purchase and later got boxed retail version as well. All these success stories show that we’re going in the right direction. We can be joyous about the things our game studios in Lithuania have achieved, but there is still much to learn. We learned not only to prototype but also to finish and self-publish our games. We moved from parents flats and dorms to studios. We formed teams, relationships, and local culture, but as with every business, same goes with video games. We still need to evolve into global players, expand beyond our borders, discover new connections, form new alliances and publisher relationships. We’re coming in, and we’re coming in strong, Europe!


GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION SUCCESS STORIES

COOKING FEVER DEVELOPED BY: NORDCURRENT

The most popular game created by Lithuanians already has well over 200 000 000 downloads. Cooking Fever is an addictive time management game where player has to cook various cuisines in different restaurants to become the best chef in town. There are over 100 different ingredients with a variety of settings and cooking styles to keep the game interesting and challenging.

CODE OF FREEDOM: 1991 DEVELOPED BY: GLUK MEDIA

It’s a 15-minute long experience where you may step into the boots of a journalist, covering dramatic events of 1991 January 13th in Vilnius, Lithuania. It’s an honest and noble attempt to refresh tragic events of a bloodshed that happened while Soviet troops stormed the Vilnius TV Tower to seize control of the broadcasts. Soldiers confronted peaceful protesters so while immersed in VR experience you’ll get a chance to experience those events first hand, witness historic footage and make some difficult decisions.

MONSTER BUSTER DEVELOPED BY: TAG OF JOY

Before Pokemon GO there was Monster Buster. It is a location-based action adventure game, in which players have to explore real-world environments to find various monsters from other universes. The game is heavily based on the story of monster invasion, and each monster has a story of its own. The game introduces augmented reality and lets the players look for a monsters in a real environments.

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SUCCESS STORIES GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

HUMAN: FALL FLAT DEVELOPED BY: NO BRAKES GAMES

Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics based puzzle game in which you take control of builder Bob helping him resolve the mysteries behind his recurring dreams of falling. The game was released on PC, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch and already sold over 2 million units.

CATOMIC DEVELOPED BY: ON5

Each kitty (at least in this game) is born with an ambition to dominate outer space. They drink milk, attend school and craft items in their preparations to launch into space. It’s a meowtastic Match-3 game, where you mix and match various kittens to help them fulfill their dreams. Catomic received an award for the best Art Direction during „LT Game Awards 2016” ceremony.

HELIBORNE DEVELOPED BY: JETCAT GAMES

Heliborne marks the great return of a nearly forgotten genre - helicopter action games! Players can dive into historical conflicts, explore maps inspired by real-world locations and engage in ruthless air-to-air and air-to-ground combat with players from all around the world.

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GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION SUCCESS STORIES

SCRAP GARDEN DEVELOPED BY: FLAZM

Scrap Garden is a charming puzzle platformer about the adventures of Canny, a lonely robot, who awakens in a post-apocalyptic world to find all other robots shut down and seized up. This game won the best art style award in the annual LT Game Awards ceremony and it still continues to charm its players with a wonderful world and fun gameplay.

BLAZING BEAKS DEVELOPED BY: APPLAVA

Blazing Beaks — retro-styled 2D shoot’em up game that excels in gameplay dynamics. Even though this game is on par with western Indie culture it is somewhat exceptional in the context of Lithuanian game development. Crispy, fast-paced and loved by those who tried it. A proper shmup! It is also among the first Lithuanian games to embrace international partnerships. In this case, the soundtrack was co-developed with Ivo Sissolak, a composer hailing from South African Republic.

SHOPPE KEEP SERIES DEVELOPED BY: STRANGE FIRE

Shoppe Keep is the Lithuanian Steam success story, and the first game to get its physical release on the Playstation 4 platform. In the game player runs an adventurers shop – a serious business in a fantasy environment. Recently, Shoppe Keep released its second entry in the series adding multiplayer functionality and improving upon other areas from its original release.

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FLORIAN MASUTH FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLD-RENOWNED EVENT

INDIE ARENA BOOTH AT GAMESCOM

FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLDRENOWNED EVENTS HOW INDIE GAMES HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE

FLORIAN MASUTH BRAND AMBASSADOR, GAMEON @FLORIANMASUTH

When I reconnected with an old friend a few years back, I was at a point in my life where I did not know where to go. I was not content with the place I lived, the town that was located in and the options that place had in store for me when deciding how to spend my time in a productive way. Being a German native with family connections to the accounting profession and some high school experience in economics it felt like ‘Ordnung’ (order) was what was missing and I had decided to start an apprenticeship at an accountant’s office. I wouldn’t say it was an entirely wrong decision because many aspects of that work are interesting to me, but it still did not fit me, so after six months, I quit.

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FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLD-RENOWNED EVENT FLORIAN MASUTH

He told me about this company he had started with people from university, developing their own games and having successfully launched one on Steam earlier that year. I was intrigued, since I had always been playing games and they had been a constant companion for me in one way or another. He invited me to spend a weekend with them, checking out the office and the city and catch up on each other’s lives. So, I went and I was

impressed. This group of motivated, creative people had built a small business and sustained 7 people by making a video game, which was actually fun to play and refreshing in its approach and mechanics. This game is called Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers and the studio’s name is Black Pants. And these guys were thinking of hiring someone part-time to help with accounting and office management. BINGO!

It took me a few weeks to figure out things at home, find interesting studies in Kassel, Germany to have some other purpose than a parttime occupation and I started my adventure as a part of the games industry. At that point I obviously had no idea what the games industry was and what it meant to be an indie in that industry. But I quickly learned. A month after I had started a games festival took place in town, with many German and international indies attending. My mind was blown and I was hooked. This creativity, vigour, knowledge and enthusiasm condensed into one place was like a drug. I had to have more. And so, I started taking on more responsibilities in the team, posting to social media, traveling to events to represent the company and writing about my experiences on our blog. I remember that, after a few months, I already stated in a post that I had found my dream job and nothing would move me away from this great place. A Maze in Berlin completely knocked my socks off. I went to my first gamescom as a professional (I used to visit Game Convention Leipzig since it was close to my home). I travelled to Poznan for GIC 2014 out of a sheer coincidence as part of a German business delegation and met people with years and years of industry experience and made some great connections. And although these experiences were very different, two things never changed: people were extremely passionate about what they were doing and extremely open and friendly towards me and what I brought to the table.

TINY & BIG: GRANDPA’S LEFTOVERS BY BLACK PANTS

As things go in life and this industry, indie development is one of the more volatile fields to work in and after three years I had to look for a new challenge. I found one in Hamburg with another studio that also developed their own games but had also been branching out into the event business.

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FLORIAN MASUTH FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLD-RENOWNED EVENT

Again, the energy that the team from THREAKS emitted was breathtaking and I felt like my ship had entered a new orbit just to be slung out into the games industry space to achieve great things. And greatness we achieved. Within my first three months, and on a laughable budget, we planned and executed Hamburg’s first games and manga convention for 5,000 visitors. The thrill of welcoming industry veterans and indie studios alike to my own event and presenting to the world what my small part of work had contributed to had guests laughing and cheering for weeks.

INDIE ARENA BOOTH AT GAMESCOM

The next project was right around the corner, or had already simultaneously started and we joined in with the rest of the Indie Arena Booth team for its 2018 5th birthday edition. THREAKS had always been a part of that team and I had dreamed of pitching in on that project for quite some time. The dimensions of this event are mesmerizing. In one way it is ‘just’ a booth at a ‘real’ event called gamescom, but in reality, it is its own universe. Creative, inspiring, talented and just plain beautiful people from all corners of the world gather on roughly 1,000 sq. m that we rent from Koelnmesse for a ridiculous amount of money (from the perspective of one person as a cog in the machine that calls itself the games industry) and create an island of happiness and feel-good moments in a sea of 350,000 visitors. And the most fascinating thing to me: everyone just gives overwhelmingly great feedback. Be it publishers who find the most interesting games of the whole expo, or media who bring home fascinating quotes and insights from imaginative creators, or politicians who seem baffled when I lead them around the booth, showing them what a small team of organizers and small businesses

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AGNIESZKA SZÓSTAK SPEAKING AT GAMEON 2016

MADFINGER GAMES DOING A LIVE PRESENTATION OF THEIR RECENTLY RELEASED GAME SHADOWGUN:LEGENDS ON GAMEON ESPORTS STAGE

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FROM ACCOUNTING TO CREATING WORLD-RENOWNED EVENT FLORIAN MASUTH

in general can build through sheer willpower, sweat and sleepless nights. I will not claim that everything in this industry is love and harmony and the toll these countless hours of work takes can push you to your limits and beyond. So, at the end of 2017 I was exhausted and seriously considering to leave for good. After a break and revisiting my options I reached out to people I had built connections with and asked if they knew of opportunities to explore. Once again, a random message to a random person changed everything (or had to happen exactly this way as followers of the church of simulated reality would state) and I was offered a chance to join a team of young, hungry and talented people to organize an event in a place that most of Europe must ask twice about before figuring out that it is actually part of the European union.

I will try to bring my network here to GameOn and to Lithuania as well. I will try to connect people in the most natural way I know: through games. We will build a town for indies in an event and a location that has never seen anything like it. I will lose hours and nights of sleep and wake up after planning business opportunities for game creators who will meet their first publisher contacts, figuring out how to persuade

wealthy businesses that the best investment of their fiscal year is to give money to a place for creative games or writing articles for magazines the evening before its deadline. But I will wake up, travel to an event, meet the most interesting people the world has to offer to me and I will be blown away and happy to be a part of this weird and wonderful family we call indie games

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MANGIRDAS BENIUŠIS LITHUANIANS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR GAME

EGLĖ & VAIDAS FROM ŽAISMO DNR CHANNEL REPORTING ON IEM KATOWICE IN POLAND

LITHUANIANS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR GAME

MANGIRDAS BENIUŠIS MEDIA MANAGER, GAMEON @GAMEONEU

Lithuania is known to be obsessed with high-quality video games and boasts strong traditions in the region. It is home of the largest video game convention in the Baltics — GameOn, Lithuanian Global Game Jams are second largest in the world (counting attendees per capita, 2017), and it’s the only country in Baltics, that has almost a dozen of dedicated video game media outlets in local language.

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LITHUANIANS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR GAME MANGIRDAS BENIUŠIS

To put this into perspective, our country has only 3 million people, while the biggest local internet gaming community consists of well over 100 000 registered users talking about games daily. It‘s one hell of a number for such a small country. Even our mass media don‘t shy away from gaming related topics. As a GameOn media manager I‘m getting weekly requests from IT journalists to comment on various topics related to gaming culture.

But there are some who do not. Active regional marketing by studios like Wargaming.net, Blizzard, Riot Games ensured establishment of stable local communities who are willing to spend a lot of money for the game they like. For example, Lithuanians spend more than a million euros per year on Wargaming.net titles alone. We also buy a lot of indie games through Steam and other Internet shops.

Lithuania is one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU, and is rapidly reaching the technological, economical, cultural and political level of its Western counterparts. Game developers and publishers who recognized this are already picking fruits. So next time when you‘ll think about your audience, keep in mind that there are millions of players in the Baltic region. And that I‘d love to tell them about your game

Recently, I pondered the main reasons for such fascination with games. We regained our independence in 1990 and immediately got access to all the Western culture which was developing in foreign countries over the years. However, most of the Western games industry hasn‘t even noticed our entry and usually forget that there‘s millions of potential players in the Baltics.

LOCAL INFLUENCERS AFTER A SUCCESSFUL DAY AT GAMEON

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ARVYDAS ŽEMAITIS FAST CASH GRABS ARE DESTROYING INDIES

FAST CASH GRABS ARE DESTROYING INDIES

ARVYDAS ŽEMAITIS CEO / LEAD DEVELOPER, STRANGE FIRE @STRANGEFIREDEV

Back in the day, before I even started realising that I can have a career in game development, we had these small teams of fun guys/ gals around the world who were making video games that went the other way opposite most AAA video game development studios. Everyone seemed to find their genre and played it safe without creating any big revolutions but making a killing in the market. These so called Indie developers brought fresh ideas, interesting premises, and created niche markets for video games that no one have dreamt about or even thought they needed in their life. As those indie games gathered critical and financial success, more and more people saw game development as av viable career path. During those days we could see a few indie games by small teams launched every month, and those numbers started growing. Not a single soul had anything against that, the more game choices the better right? With indie revolution up we also got easily accessible video game engines that cater to people who do not want to spend time in making their own engine for a game they envision, instead letting the developer spend all the time in the world realising their vision. With them came asset stores, with asset stores came premade templates by proper developers of video

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games such as shooters, top down RPG, connect 3 type games and so on. That small number of monthly games rose to 2 figures quite fast. Now here is where things get weird. Imagine a classical “Hello World” which every programmer must do to start the path towards being an expert in development. Most of them start off with a tutorial how to do that. Now replace the programmer with a person who has some free cash, change the “Hello World” program into a game template on the asset store, and you would think you got a person who invested in learning how a game functions? I would love it if that was the truth, sadly we are seeing 360+ video games being

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released every other week these days, the majority of them are video game templates bought on these asset stores, a Frankenstein monster combination of Asset X and Asset Y, cobbled together in a single hour and published as the next big thing on digital game distribution platforms with an actual price tag. Gullible people actually spend money on these games that try their best to disguise themselves as actual video games, but in truth do not have any value to them or any effort put into that, but at the end of the day the “developers” who made these “bundles of joy” are called Indie game developers. Now what is the problem you might think – some people play the market and gain a quick buck from gullible


FAST CASH GRABS ARE DESTROYING INDIES ARVYDAS ŽEMAITIS

UNITY ASSET STORE

consumers, most of the industries have similar practices in one shape or another. The issue arises where a dedicated small team of true indie developers spend their free time away from their day jobs, doing what they love, talk to the people who support them, and envision releasing either an Early Access title to help with development or testing, or completing a fully-fledged title within 2-4 years. What could we tell these teams, that pour years upon years of their time, talent and soul into a project which when launched is buried beneath hundreds asset flip video game templates released on the same very day, the visibility of small video games has never been worse than it is now. Now let’s talk about what happens to that dedicated team that has zero visibility at the moment when they launched. No visibility means little to no one will find their game and buy it if it is their cup of tea. Small sales lead to studios not being able to pay salaries, rent, utilities, pay for licenses of software they use to make the game, eventually declaring bankruptcy and crushing their dream. A cer-

tain video game distribution platform is trying to combat such low quality, asset flip games that are made just for a quick cash grab, as the whole gaming community are not enjoying the waves upon waves of them. One of the ways was removing a social platform where gamers themselves voted which non AAA indie games will get the ability to sell their titles on the platform, you came in, saw a game, read about it, checked out the trailer, screenshots and voted yes or no. Depending on the amount of votes you could be let in. What said platform did was removed voting in favor of paying a certain amount to get listed at the store and established a pay X amount and you will be let on the platform no questions asked service. This actually tripled the amount of asset flips. As it is really cost effective to pay a certain amount and you will still profit from uninformed consumers buying your asset flip. That’s fine they did not give up. The majority of such games are being sold for around 0.99$ so as many people buy it as possible, said platform have digital rewards for playing games which then can be traded

or sold on their market, a cut from these sales go to the developer of the game, that’s why asset flippers main goal is to sell it as cheaply as possible to as many people as possible who will later on sell those digital rewards and increase the developers profit. The next logical step is to make sure only real games get the ability to issue these digital rewards, the change meant that the platform deems every non AAA developer as an asset flipper and you now have to sell enough copies to be even allowed to issue the digital rewards. Consumers do not read a lot of information, they do not like doing research as to why X is happening in a game or Y is locked. And no one can blame them, most of them do not know how a game is made, what is required to actually publish it, it’s something that is not their problem and they would be right to say so. They pay their hard earned money for a product they expect to have X or Y in it, and if they do not see it mentioned as available, most of them will turn away or even have a negative reaction in the forums which in turn lead to less visibility and trust towards dedicated indie teams.

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ARVYDAS ŽEMAITIS FAST CASH GRABS ARE DESTROYING INDIES

At the end of the day those asset store bought crudely cobbled up game templates that are launched and ask money for it, the developers behind them if we can call them that are considered Indie developers in front of consumers, and consumers associate these shady practices with anyone calling themselves indies. These “games” that are using popular viral world events such as Uganda knuckles, tide pods and the bunch are a plague on any platform that deals with selling video games. I have recently seen a game called “Tide Pod Challenge” which was a generic free police car asset you can download right now yourself with a makeshift vehicle controller which is again free on these asset stores, and you can drive around a flat single coloured plane, that game asks for money, and most developers of these games release around 40 similar ones a month, most of them are reskins of a few that they already had in their project folders, others are more ambitious having 3 assets combined into a “game”. They are earning a profit considering how much effort/time and finances was put into them for the return, those who truly want to further their career, learn and use

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their talent are going broke and having to look for a way to support their families outside game development, as such we are loosing talent in the industry. What if we already lost the next Minecraft developer, or the next guy who will create such a niche genre game, that only an indie has the courage to do so without being burdened by big studio paperwork behind it? Everyone in this industry who actually care about the products they make and enjoy seeing people play them can wish for is that we find a solution to this, and fast, our reputation as developers and the future of awesome games are at stake. I am happy that we

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are able to feed and support our employees for the last few years, and having optimistic outlook on the next few. Who knows, maybe the situation will get worse, and in a few years time ill be back selling sport clothes in a corner shop, once again dreaming about making video games, but just not having the means to survive in the industry anymore


PLAYING ECOMMERCE GODA KERŠYTĖ

PLAYING ECOMMERCE

GODA KERŠYTĖ EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, ADEO WEB @ADEOWEB_MAGENTO

The feeling of winning is highly satisfying to all of us and may seem obvious when it comes to gaming, but what if by putting extra time into creating a concept of winning would increase your eCommerce sales? Creating a game itself takes time, and most of the time the creators strive to create a game that players can (and wish to) come back and play anytime. While a larger gaming strategy can incorporate ongoing play, a brand-new gaming strategy to drive eCommerce should include a sense of urgency. For example, a retail operator Rimi created a spinning wheel type of attraction during the Advent period. The customers had a possibility to win different prizes every day using their loyalty cards. The game was placed on the retailer webpage as well as their self-service terminals. Using Rimi example, they tied the spinning wheel game to a holiday sale with a deadline (creating a sense of urgency). Collecting email addresses is a critical part of the gaming to drive eCommerce sales process. Another small feature added by Rimi – if you wanted to play, you had to become a loyal member (use their membership card), which at that period was free of charge. Two birds with one stone? We think so! While most eCommerce companies focus their digital marketing strategy on the basics such as analytics, pay-per-click advertising, SEO, social media marketing,

email automation and A/B testing, only a few others have begun experimenting with gaming as a form of digital marketing to attract customers. According to Khuram Zaman, CEO of Fifth Tribe - “E-commerce companies should focus on gaming because it enhances brand engagement, creates a lasting memory, and helps the brand stand out from the crowd and attract new customers. “ Although it all sounds fun and games, when it comes to playing in eCommerce, there are five pillars of success to remember: timing, partners, data analysis, personalization and returning customers. Regardless of your industry – an eCommerce gaming

strategy will help you to distinguish your brand in the market and in your customers’ eyes. THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: When trying to rejuvenate the audience, it is important to communicate in the right direction. Concentration on a few industries enables us to deliver the best and already proven solutions in the most effective way. We are able to expand project teams and speedup the delivery process to bring instant value to our clients. Working with our professional developers and project managers, Adeo Web can form cross-functional teams of specialists working with different programming languages and frameworks

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ADEO WEB AT ADEOWEB.BIZ

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ŠARŪNAS KUBILIUS 5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM BC ŽALGIRIS’ ENTRANCE TO THE ESPORTS SCENE

5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM BC ŽALGIRIS’ ENTRANCE TO THE ESPORTS SCENE

ŠARŪNAS KUBILIUS PR & MARKETING, GAMEON

More than a month has passed since the biggest announcement in Lithuanian esports market. The biggest traditional sports organization in Baltics has decided to have an esports department. From a first glance, the start looks more than optimistic, but let’s take a deeper look at what we can take away from BC Žalgiris’ stride into esports. EUROLEAGUE IS READY TO DIVE INTO ESPORTS During the press conference, where Kauno “Žalgiris” have announced their plans for esports, club director Paulius Motiejūnas

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has stressed that this action was driven by the Euroleague competition. Back in 2016, rumors surfaced, that the most prestigious basketball competition in Europe was planning to expand into esports markets. Out of 16 teams that are currently playing

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

in the Euroleague, Fenerbahce, Žalgiris, Panathinaikos, Baskonia and Crvena Zvezda have already established esports departments and I can see Euroleague pushing for a unified league to connect with the younger audiences.


5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM BC ŽALGIRIS’ ENTRANCE TO THE ESPORTS SCENE

A TURNING POINT FOR THE MARKET Just after the announcement, the popularity of esports in Lithuania has hit new heights - every bigger news outlet in the country has covered the story, even the more conservative ones, in a positive light. Players have attended dozens of interviews, told stories about their careers and success. During the press conference, club director Paulius Motiejunas said that expanding into esports felt like a natural next step in order to keep up with the current events in the sports world and expressed his hopes that Zalgiris name will soon be known among the esports fans as well as it is known in the traditional sports world. Such expansion and validation of esports, in general, have definitely increased the interest of non-endemic to join esports here in the Baltics, so there are many reasons to feel optimistic.

ESPORTS ORGANISATION LIKE NO OTHER IN THE REGION With more than 20 people working on 3 different disciplines Žalgiris esports department is nothing like you can see in the region. Players have regular bootcamp sessions at Žalgirio arena, home of the basketball club, professional fitness experts and sports psychologists help them to prepare for the biggest tournaments. With such a vast amount of resources, the organisation is destined to succeed.

THE MARKET NEEDS MORE Despite the fact that during the recent years Baltics have enjoyed a fair share of big esports tournaments like GameOn, PlayFair, BESL or Infoshow Lan Party, a proper national league infrastructure is essential to unlocking the potential in the region. Although there are talks about creating it, no

ŠARŪNAS KUBILIUS

organiser went and did it, leaving a hole in all esports setup in the Baltics, where mid-level teams can only play in tournaments two or three times a year.

GET READY FOR NEW TALENTS Arguably, the most positive thing from the announcement - the steps that were taken to legitimize esports as a form of sports. Growing up as a video game enthusiast in a post-soviet country might be a challenge, sometimes to a point where the public can see you as anti-social or an addict. In a setting like this, one of the most premier brands, basketball club, adored by everyone, acknowledges video games as a form of sport. This is a big step in growing new talents, where parents might find just a little bit more patience and understanding by seeing their child putting hours into the game and that might make a huge difference

TOMAS TOMAS DAILIDONIS & DŽIUGAS S8RIS MARTINKĖNAS ARE THE TEAMS HEARTHSTONE DIVISION. THEY ARE THE ONLY TWO PROFESSIONAL HEARTHSTONE PLAYERS OWNED BY A SPORTS TEAM IN THE WORLD.

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ŠARŪNAS LEDAS REFLECTION OF LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH ADVENTURE GAMES

REFLECTION OF LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH ADVENTURE GAMES

ŠARŪNAS LEDAS CEO / CO-FOUNDER, TAG OF JOY @DOMINO_ONE

Crowns and Pawns is an exciting project that we’re currently developing at Tag of Joy. It’s a classical point-and-click adventure that tells a story of a girl from Chicago – Milda, who suddenly receives the last will of her grandfather from Lithuania. He left her his old house somewhere in his home country, as well as a cryptic message, stating that from now on she’s the guardian of their family’s secret. What secret that is, it doesn’t say. And so Milda’s life is about to take an adventurous turn! Crowns and Pawns is a fruit of our love to the point-and-click genre, as well as affection for something else – the country that we live in. It has many interesting stories, beautiful imagery and a majestic history, so we wanted to share it with the world through an exciting detective story. And this is actually the reason this little article was born. Lately I have noticed an interesting trend among many adventure games. There are tons of adventure games coming out every month, including many classical point-and-click adventures. But what’s really interesting is that many of those games are heavily and very directly inspired by the country or city the developers are from. It’s especially intriguing

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when you notice that even such successful adventure games as Firewatch from Campo Santo followed the same trend. You did know that one of the creators, Sean Vanaman, actually grew up in Wyoming, where Firewatch takes place? But it’s obviously not the only case like that. So, what about games that are currently in development? Take a look at Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure for example, a game that is being developed in Transylvania, Romania. According to the developers, their in-game architecture and visuals were inspired by their own city’s design. And you can even find actual landmarks in the game. It’s obvious that the developers are proud of the place

A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018

they live in, and that it inspired them a lot. A little further from release but also a promising game is Saint Kotar, which takes place in Croatia. From what I read, the actual town of Sveti Kotar doesn’t exist but, as Marko Infovich, one of the developers, stated, the town’s name was based on a mountainous region in Croatia – Gorski Kotar. Besides the name, it seems the developers are trying to make the overall game’s atmosphere as similar to the Croatia they imagine as possible. Another indie company, Anate Studios, which is already

ING OOK ER! L E R H WE’ PUBLIS A R FO


REFLECTION OF LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH ADVENTURE GAMES ŠARŪNAS LEDAS

A SCENE FROM CROWNS AND PAWNS

DIRECTED BY THE LEAD ARTIST OF A HIGHLY ACCLAIMED FAN ADVENTURE BROKEN SWORD 2.5 / A BLEND OF HISTORY AND MYTHS SET IN A MODERN WORLD / A CONTROL SCHEME PERFECTLY ADAPTED FOR EACH PLATFORM: THE BEST POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH A MOUSE AND WITH GAMEPADS / HD HAND PAINTED GRAPHICS WITH A TOUCH OF MODERN GRAPHICS FEATURES / FULL VOICE-OVER.

MILDA IN AN OUTSIDE ENVIROMENT

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ŠARŪNAS LEDAS REFLECTION OF LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH ADVENTURE GAMES

known for the Little Kite game they made, announced its sequel – a game called Repentant. Both of these games take place in Ukraine, where the studio is located, and you can really recognize the sad post-soviet atmosphere that, unfortunately, some districts in Eastern Europe still have. And finally, we come back to our own game – Crowns and Pawns. The game is heavily inspired by our home country – Lithuania, its rich history and significance to Europe. We will mention some medieval Lithuania’s leaders, and most of the game takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania. We hope to show our country in beautiful colors – just the way we see it!

– the video game industry is a big and important part of the cultural industry after all. Also, we have to admit – playing an adventure game in a place that exists in real life, gives off this realistic feeling, as if you, the player, are actually there, doesn’t it? But you know what the best part is? The player gets to experience a specific country from the developer’s eyes – in the most authentic way possible

CHECK OUT THE GAME FROM THIS ARTICLE: CROWNSANDPAWNS.COM AND THE PORTFOLIO OF THE COMPANY: TAGOFJOY.COM

I believe all of this proves that video games can be a great way to show your own culture to others

CONCEPT ART OF A SCENE IN LITHUANIA, THE GATE OF CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

PARTLY FUNDED BY:

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A TASTE OF LITHUANIAN GAME INDUSTRY 2018


LIETUVOS ŽAIDIMŲ KŪRĖJŲ ASOCIACIJA

LITHUANIAN GAME DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION Lithuania is a good place to do your business, so if you are thinking about starting a company, opening a branch of your studio or just reaching out to Lithuanian video game industry, LGDA will help you to identify and effectively achieve your goals.

CONTACT US

LZKA.LT

INFO@LZKA.LT

LTgda


NOVEMBER 2-3, VILNIUS, LITHUANIA

Profile for Blaster Office

A Taste of Lithuanian Game Industry 2018 Blaster  

Lithuanian Game Developers share their opinions and insights. Read on our recent achievements in gamedev, networking and esports.

A Taste of Lithuanian Game Industry 2018 Blaster  

Lithuanian Game Developers share their opinions and insights. Read on our recent achievements in gamedev, networking and esports.

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