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Colt Canyon crowned ‘Best Game’ and LUNARK ‘Most Anticipated’ at GameMaker Awards 2021

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The judges have deliberated. Over 33,000 votes have been cast. And we can now reveal that Colt Canyon has been crowned ‘Best Game’ and LUNARK ‘Most Anticipated’ game of the year, at the GameMaker Awards 2021.

Created by German-based developer Retrific, Colt Canyon is a stylish western-themed pixel art shooter combining roguelike elements with real-time combat. The judges were impressed with Colt Canyon’s highly engaging gameplay and heavily pixelated artist style. While in the popular vote, members of the GameMaker and Opera GX communities voted Colt Canyon the clear winner.

The other finalists for ‘Best Game’ included: Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Jet Lancer, Post Void and Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!.

The winner of ‘Most Anticipated’ game is LUNARK, from Canari Games. LUNARK is a 2D cinematic platformer, designed in the vein of ’80s and ’90s classics. The game challenges players to run, jump, hang, climb, roll, and shoot their way through a kaleidoscope of different environments. These include mysterious alien ruins, a flying penitentiary, a high-tech megalopolis, and a majestic forest.

The judges were blown away with how the Canari Games team have pushed the creative limits of cutscenes and pixel art in GameMaker, to create a game that is both visually stunning and great to play. Set for release later this year, LUNARK also made a big impression with the voters – who overwhelmingly crowned it the ‘Most Anticipated’ game of 2021.

The other finalists for ‘Most Anticipated’ game included: NYKRA, Jitsu Squad, APICO and Toodee and Topdee.

The GameMaker Awards, in partnership with SpecialEffect, a charity that uses video games to enhance the lives of those people with physical disabilities, celebrate creativity and innovation in Indie game development, honouring the best games created using GameMaker Studio 2 as well as the Indies and Studios that designed them.

From over 200 entries, only 5 games for each category were selected by an expert panel of industry peers, including GameMaker Studio CTO Russell Kay, Opera GX Product Director Maciej Kocemba, and Into Indie Games Editor Harry Cole.

Russell Kay, CTO, GameMaker Studio, said: “This year’s GameMaker Awards has redefined what we’ve come to expect from the indies and studios that choose GameMaker as their creative engine of choice. Each of the finalists have demonstrated  both amazing creativity, plus the technical ability to harness GameMaker’s powerful functionality to design a game that really pushes the boundaries. Given the incredible standard of this year’s entries, I am only glad that the final decision was left in the hands of our loyal GameMaker and Opera GX communities.”

Jonathan Mannshoven of Retrific, said: “Colt Canyon wasn’t a bestseller when it launched last year. It wasn’t free from criticism either. But by working closely with the community, I’ve been able to make many improvements to the game which have helped turn a lot of criticism into positive feedback. Having all that hard work now paying off with Colt Canyon winning ‘Best Game’ at the GameMaker Awards 2021 is an overwhelming and surreal feeling – just incredible!

“GameMaker has always been my engine of choice as it is just so easy to use yet also powerful, enabling me to reach maximum productivity. Which as a solo developer is extremely valuable. Put simply – I wouldn’t be a game developer now if it wasn’t for GameMaker.”

Johan Vinet of Canari Games, added: “LUNARK started as a passion project to create a game in the genre I loved in my youth. Making it a reality became so clear that I decided to quit my job, start my own studio and launch a Kickstarter campaign. Winning the “Most Anticipated Game” award is an incredible recognition from the players and the GameMaker Community, which brings some welcome legitimacy and a massive confidence boost to actually finish the game! Thank you!”

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StackUp! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking Sensation Party-Platformer, launches its first major update on Steam Today

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StackUp! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking Sensation Party-Platformer, launches its first major update on Steam Today
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PixelConflict enthralls us with new surroundings as StackUp Update One launches at the peak of Spooktober – Enter the haunting Halloween makeover and enjoy the brand new 4-player co-op experience!

Check out all the frighteningly awesome features, such as free limited time cosmetics and a Spicy new Power-Up, starting today!

Udine, Italy – October 28th 2021: Italian indies PixelConflict are pleased to announce that StackUp! (or dive trying), a stack-your-way-up casual party-platformer, is officially receiving its first major update coupled with a limited time 30% off on Steam from tonight!

Key features include a fresh out the box co-op game mode, allowing up to four players to collaborate and stack up in true team-like fashion. See where your friends are stacking, use power-ups smartly or take a dive for the team in this new exhilarating experience. The too-hot-to-handle Tabasco Power-Up also makes its debut: drink it to speed up the water speed considerably, helping you reach objects that were too far or a great trick to drown out your opponents in PvP.

Alongside the brand new co-op mode, the once bright and colourful StackUp house turns dark and gloomy in the game’s first holiday makeover. Spiders dart across the walls with their webs, broken windows with shattered glass lie across the creaky wooden floors, and new special soundtracks will fill your already fast-paced experience with goosebumps! Can this rundown house handle the power of its burst pipes, or will players succumb to a watery tomb?

In the first edition of TidyUps, many quality of life changes and stability improvements are made to further improve StackUp’s foundation. And last but not least new customisation options are added to the game, including last season’s winner cosmetics, allowing players to customise their own unique StackUp guy in more ways than ever before!

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OKTO signs with MERKUR Slots and MERKUR Bingo to extend growing cashless relationship with UK machine players

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OKTO signs with MERKUR Slots and MERKUR Bingo to extend growing cashless relationship with UK machine players
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The OKTO brand continues to build its status and reputation as UK gaming’s premier cashless payments provider having secured agreements with both the MERKUR Slots and the MERKUR Bingo brands. The deals, which were completed and signed by Simon Dorsen, Chief Commercial Officer at OKTO and Sascha Blodau, General Manager, MERKUR UK at last week’s ACOS exhibition in London, will see the OKTO.WALLET available in 200 venues throughout the country stretching from Hereford to Harlow, Dundee to Dunstable and Cardiff to Coventry.

The first implementations, which will see OKTO integrated with the existing in-venue cashless infrastructure via the GeWeTe hub, will take place at the 2,200-seat capacity MERKUR Bingo Hall in Cricklewood North London – the biggest bingo club in Europe – and the state-of-the-art MERKUR Slots high street gaming centre in Shepherds Bush, west London.

Simon Dorsen, CCO at OKTO who is responsible for directing the roll-out of the OKTO.WALLET in the UK said: “This is another major agreement and one that we are incredibly pleased to confirm with MERKUR, one of the most respected and recognised names in world gaming.

We started our relationship with MERKUR UK less than six months ago in May 2021 when we signed an agreement with Regal Gaming and Leisure. Adding to the relationship in this way means that we are now active in the Pub, AGC and Bingo sectors which I believe reflects the appeal of the app with players, what it can deliver from a commercial perspective but also its’ role in delivering a safer gambling experience with tools including age verification, time-out periods, a profit and loss calculator, the ability to set spending limits and access to helplines for the small percentage of machine players who experience problems gambling. Through its 360 Program, I know how seriously MERKUR UK is about delivering a safe gambling experience and I am delighted that the OKTO.WALLET will be able to contribute to that commitment and philosophy.”

Sascha Blodau, General Manager, MERKUR UK added: “Our goal as a Group is to strive to be the very best in everything that we do. As well as the obvious criterion such as the best venues, people, and machines it also means providing our customers with the best experience and the best choice of options to play and to pay. Everything is led by our players – delivering choice will always be at the very top of the agenda and that includes a recognition that new demographics are seeking a smooth, seamless digitalised customer journey.”

OKTO, which has a pipeline of 250,000 contractually integrated gaming machines across Europe, has hit the ground running in the UK. The latest agreements with MERKUR Slots and MERKUR Bingo, join those secured with Regal Gaming and Leisure, Inspired Entertainment, and Bob Rudd.

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Fast Track announces launch of the Singularity Model

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Fast Track announces launch of the Singularity Model
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Fast Track has revealed a game-changing product that enables iGaming operators to deliver 1:1 experiences to players. The technology is the first of its kind for the industry.

“We have been working towards delivering this solution since the early days of Fast Track. Within the iGaming industry we have spoken about creating 1:1 experiences with our players for many years but have not had access to the right tools to make it a reality. I am excited and proud that Fast Track is making 1:1 player experiences possible for the first time with the Singularity Model,” commented Simon Lidzén, CEO and Co-founder of Fast Track.

The Singularity Model features an engine that observes every action the player makes in real time and uses advanced machine learning and computations to establish a comprehensive player profile. Once this is established, the Singularity model hand picks the content, times and channels that are best suited to the individual player and creates a relevant, timely engagement.

The Singularity Model is built specifically to make fully automated, real-time, 1:1 experiences possible.

The model has been designed with maximum flexibility in mind. Operators are given full control of the data, decision-making framework and tech stack and can customise every aspect according to their unique needs.

This technology marks the beginning of the next generation of player engagement within the industry; fundamentally changing the way operators interact with players.

To further support 1:1 experiences, Fast Track is also rolling out a completely new data analytics platform: Fast Track Data Studio. Sitting on top of Fast Track’s real-time data feed, the Data Studio will allow users to carry out complex queries in lightning-fast time, assisting users to make more informed decisions about their business with easily digestible and customisable dashboards.

Fast Track’s partners will also have access to the Singularity Project, a comprehensive intelligence hub managed by a dedicated data science team. The team will be publishing the results of relevant experiments and sharing insights that can be used with the Singularity Model.

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