More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft
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More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Games Lift 2021: Graduated!

​​​​​​​For the people behind the project, Games Lift Graduation is a cause for celebration. After three intense months, they can pause for an evening and marvel at the accomplishments of the five incubator teams. For the actual team members, celebration comes only after the presentation. Find out all about our Games Lift Graduation event in this Games Lift Log.

The mood was relaxed when Head of Gamecity Dennis Schoubye joined host Nina Dreßler on stage. Dennis shared a few key facts: Our five teams had to make two successful pitches and take part in 13 workshops to be here today. After three months of work, they had to put their results in focus now.

Hosts for the evening: Dennis Schoubye and Nina Dreßler | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Dennis has been with the Incubator from the start, which is why he could bring deep knowledge to his moderation duties. Presenting the teams and asking questions was a job for OddNina herself – that’s the moniker Nina Dreßler is known for on Twitch and elsewhere. Her disarmingly casual style made it easy for the teams to shine.

Invitation to a shootout

First up was Martin Kleingräber from trio tool1. He introduced "The Invitation", a "looter shooter with a sandbox system": in the future, people will be invited by aliens to join them in the stars and leave the blue planet behind. What’s being played here, though, is the life of those left behind. Humans fight with, for and against each other for survival on a wild planet; "The Invitation" is meant to live by the players’ interactions.

Martin from tool1 presenting "The Invitation"  | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Martin didn't have to explain much, because he had brought something better: a trailer that was dramatic, funny and technologically impressive. Player-generated missions, cheerful drones and grunting  monsters all fit into one video. Gasps were audible – and readable, in the accompanying live chat. As if nothing special had happened, Martin went on to explain design decisions and future plans for the game. People curious and willing to test should keep an eye on tool1’s Discord server.

Finding the right words

Anca Tutescu went to bat for Symmetry Break Games; three permanent team members and two contractors are working together on "PROSPECTOR". Up to this point, the game concept has turned heads for being innovative. It has also raised questions, though. Anca came with answers. She explained her "2D sci-fi narrative adventure game" about a city on the edge of a mysterious crater concisely, bringing up inspirations from "BladeRunner" to "Oxenfree".

Team Symmetrry Break Games presenting "PROSPECTOR"  | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Symmetry Break Games started into the incubator program with a concept. For the final presentation, they brought a live demo with them. It focused on the conversation between two characters, because that is a pillar of the game: What people can and cannot say to each other is determined by their openness towards each other. The demo example felt like a real human conversation – much more so, than the multiple-choice systems of classic point-&-click-adventures.

For the Q&A that followed, Team members Julian Heinken and Jan Barow joined Anca on stage. But instead of tough questions, they received rich praise from the chat.

New Moves

Next up was the solo artist of this year’s Games Lift Incubator. Denise Koch started her presentation of the interactive VR rock musical "Monstersongs VR" with a short video to set the mood. That’s especially important for her project: the audience  wanders through an abandoned theatre and experiences each song as an encounter with a monster.

Denise Koch presenting Monstersongs VR  | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Denise explained freely how her idea grew out of her experience in London’s theatre scene. And we learned how the modern Medusa from the intro video was brought to life: 3D character artist Terry Fischer developed the model, motion capture artist Leilani Franco breathed life into the character. Denise hopes to continue working with the newly-added artists on her project.

Enthusiastic praise for the project came from mentor Sasha Volkohon, Business Development Manager of remote control productions: „It will be amazing. I can feel it.“ As an aside, Sasha remarked that now was a perfect time for putting musicals in new places and contexts – pandemic or not.

Putting style on the map

Timo Schneider from consider it entered the stage with a request from OddNina – to explain to her how his game actually works. That's precisely what Timo did: "supernightshift" „supernightshift“ is a minimalist puzzle racer in which players haul strange goods over a map using different means of transport. The choice of means is free. But time and money are tight.

Timo Schneider from consider it presenting "supernightshift"  | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Again, it was the moving images that made everything clear. On a stylish city map, bikes and busses drew bright lights onto a dark grid. It looked so beautiful, people wanted to reach out and touch it; a good thing, since Timo and his colleague Kevin Westphal are developing a game for mobile phones.

After the short demo and a small discussion of possible sales partners and exploitation strategies, things got even more real. Timo and Kevin told us to expect a playable demo soon. It is a high priority for the devs because it can provide valuable feedback. But after this showing, it was a high priority for the audience, too.

„Plantastic!“

When Gerrit and Patrick Henschel entered the stage, they wore  their characters on their bodies. The duo behind "The Treepoids and the Island of Prof. Flora" are working on a hand-drawn adventure that lives by the charm of its characters. Friendly green aliens grinned from the brothers' longsleeves.

Gerrit and Patrick Henschel from SUPERNATURAL GAMES presenting "The Treepoids" | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Gerrit explained his game in a few words: The insane Professor Flora wants to heal the world, unwittingly making everything worse. The Treepoids and a human girl join forces to stop him. Gerrit explained essential game elements, highlighting puzzles and brain battles. And he brought into focus who "The Treepoids" are for: Everyone who likes adventures with a bit of action, who is enthusiastic about nature and friendship.

Stephan Beier from Deep Silver FISHLABS couldn’t hold his excitement. He found the project "plantastic" and is now keeping his fingers crossed for a crowdfunding campaign. That is exactly what the brothers have planned in order to attract new fans and finances.

All members this year's Games Lift Teams | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

After about 90 minutes, Nina confessed to feeling a bit sad that the show was already over. But help is on the way. Anyone wanting to see more of Nina’s presentation style can find her on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/oddnina, among other places. And people looking for fresh new game ideas should stay with Gamecity Hamburg. Applications for next year’s Incubator are starting in May 2022!

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Games Lift: Quick Start in Year 3

Wait – the third iteration of the Games Lift Incubator is already well underway. How is it going? Like clockwork. Bolstered by two years of experience, the program has had an intensive start. Fortunately, this time there also is a break coming up.

Games Lift 2022: These are the five teams

​​​​​​​Five teams have convinced the Games Lift awarding committee of the promising potential of their games projects with their pitch. They will start on September 12 with a three-month workshop and mentoring program with international industry experts, 15,000 euros in financial support and places in a Hamburg co-working space. Congratulation to all teams, and we are very much looking forward to seeing your projects evolve!

Games Lift: Good for you?

If things go well here, we like to keep them going. That is certainly the plan with our Games Lift Incubator. After two successful runs, preparations for the third are well underway. We are still open for teams with a strong vision and ambitious goals. But there’s only a few days left.

Games Lift Incubator - The Alumni's Experiences

The Games Lift Incubator is going into the third edition in 2022 already, so we took the opportunity to ask three alumni of the past two years about their experience with the program. These are three very different projects so we were especially curious about their impressions. You can currently apply to the 2022 edition of the Games Lift Incubator until June 14. We hope these reports on the Incubator will help you with your decision to apply.   

Games Lift Insights with Cassia Curran on May 24

Join our Games Lift Team and Cassia Curran, Founder and Strategic Advisor at Curran Games Agency, for insights into our Games Lift Incubator program and a workshop about games market analysis for indies on May 24 at 4:30 pm. The event will be held online and in English.

Apply now for Games Lift 2022

From May 9 to June 14, you can apply for our Games Lift Incubator 2022! Take the chance to bring your game ideas and concepts for digital games to the next level!

Crumbling releases first VR-demo

“It’s action time! Woosh! Bam! Pow!” – this is how the official trailer adequately announces the freshly released demo of the third-person action-roguelike “Crumbling” by Games Lift Alumnus Ole Jürgensen and his team.

Our year 2021 - Full speed ahead

We’re looking back on an exciting and eventful year 2021, which once again presented many challenges to our methods, workflow and implementation of our programs and offers - but also brought along so many interesting encounters, new projects and opportunities! 

Live today: Games Lift Graduation 2021

Five teams from Hamburg participate in our Games Lift Incubator 2021 with their promising games porjects from September to December - and now it's time to see what they have achieved and what they're up to. Join us for their final presentations on December 2 - live via stream or on-site in Hamburg!

Games Lift: ‘consider it’ get the green light

Timo Schneider and Kevin Westphal have been developing software successfully for years. Then something unexpected happened: An app of theirs was way too much fun to just be useful. With "supernightshift", they are taking the next step. Read more in our Games Lift Incubator Log.

Games Lift: Symmetry Break on finding words and time

Making games is a team effort. Symmetry Break are our biggest team this year; they have thought a lot about what their game is, and how they want to make it as a group. “Prospector” seems to reflect that. Communication is a crucial part of the game. Talking, it turns out, is harder than picking the right option. Read more about them and their game project in this issue of our Games Lift Incubator Log!

Games Lift: Denise Koch and her wicked plans

Her project casts a big shadow. But the artist is taking part in the Games Lift Incubator 2021 on her own. Denise Koch is here to kick-start her project "Monstersongs VR" – an interactive musical for virtual reality. More about her and her project in this issue of our Games Lift Log.

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