Speaker Spotlight: Arcane Circus co-founder Molly Heady-Carroll to present a Westerner's guide to Japan at PGC

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd

Speaker Spotlight: Arcane Circus co-founder Molly Heady-Carroll to present a Westerner's guide to Japan at PGC

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC London and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

In today's Speaker Spotlight we're talking to Arcane Circus co-founder/artist Molly Heady-Carroll, one half of a two-person development studio based in the Netherlands.

They are the creators of Crap! I'm Broke: Out of Pocket and are currently developing Kaijack Card Attack, a kaiju-themed digital card game for Switch, iOS and Android.

Combining a fascination for art, intrigue and games, Arcane Circus strives to create games that are peculiar, varied, quirky, and lovingly crafted with a strong, creative voice. The Circus brings together all sorts of curious oddities for your entertainment. Could you give us some details about your presentation at PGC London?

Molly Heady-Carroll: A Westerner's Guide to the Japanese Games Market.

Japan has a fast-growing mobile market and an increasing interest in Western games, presenting many exciting opportunities for Western developers to bring their games to the country.

But as an outsider looking in, the Japanese market can seem daunting. Where should you start? What is mobile games development like in Japan? And what do I need to know when planning my entrance into the Japanese mobile market?

While developing their kaiju-themed game, Kaijack: Card Attack, Arcane Circus has been trying to answer these very questions.

Arcane Circus will share their experiences of the Japanese mobile game development scene and share tips on starting your dive into the Japanese market.

This presentation is intended for developers at the beginning of their adventure entering the Japanese market. Expect practical advice based on the personal experience from a small and resourceful two-person studio.


What does your role entail as co-founder and artist?

I am one half of the studio, so I take on half the responsibilities. Those responsibilities tend to be art, animation, pitching, PR and worrying.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I actually wanted to be a herpetologist until I was 16! But drawing creatures was a bad habit I had since childhood that I realised brought me a lot more happiness.

My parents are artists and my dad is a gamer, so both these aspects were always a part of my life. I knew I wanted to invent imaginary creatures and that games were a place to do it as a career, but I was worried that my style would make me unhirable.

After playing Psychonauts and seeing the concept art of Scott. C, that convinced me: “If an artist like him can work in the games industry, so can I.”

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Don’t feel like you have to fill a pre-assigned role. It is most important that you are doing what makes you creatively fulfilled.

After finding out what that is, get really good at that. Then, you can make a career out of that, either at a company or independently.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Honestly, I have been so busy working on getting Kaijack to a presentable state that I haven’t had time to really take in 2018.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Current trends of me working loads is likely to continue for throughout the majority of 2019...

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

When Erik and I started Arcane Circus, everyone wanted to be the next Vlambeer in the Netherlands. There was a real rush, an all-or-nothing (dare I say “reckless”) approach to independent games development, where your game had to be an indie mega-hit or a total failure.

I feel like as time has passed, that attitude has cooled off and people are taking a more sensible approach to building their company, putting effort into expressing their own creative voice while also building a sustainable business.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

Seeing our English game developer friends and getting to show off our brand new game! We are also participating in the Big Indie Pitch and I'm giving a talk. It’s going to be a busy PGC for us, that’s for sure!

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 on the website.