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

Games Lift: From one milestone to the next

In our Milestone Pitch event, our Games Lift participants presented their progress from the lessons learned in the Incubator program and pitched their development status in their games projects and concepts to mentors and the awarding committee. Find out more about our teams' progressions in our Games Lift Log #7.

The excitement was palpable. You could see tension in the faces of our teams. In their milestone pitch, the teams have to demonstrate what they have learned so far and show their project’s progress. But no worries: They were ready for their moment on the stage.

Looking from the outside in, the milestone pitch can seem irritatingly early. The teams, members of the awarding committee and mentors cram into one video conference in order to check on progress and ask critical questions. But the Games Lift Incubator just started a few weeks ago! What can there be to show already?

As it turns out, a lot. Timo from tool1 got to go first. “The Invitation is a looter shooter with a sandbox quest system”, he started. It was an effective way of showing an important step his team has taken. Being able to find the essence of your game and put it into an appetizing elevator pitch is important, and surprisingly hard. 

A first glimpse of the Invitation

“There is still so much to improve”, Timo sighed. He highlighted the help and inspiration tool1 have found in the workshops so far. He also showed the results of a critical evaluation the team has made regarding their social media strategy. They now aim to “focus on the platforms that fit where our project is” – do you want to talk to fans, or show them new assets? And finally, Timo had mentors to thank and new plans to tease.

Painting a picture

The showing was impressive, but short. Each team only gets ten minutes. Denise Koch put her timeslot to good use by setting the mood. “Picture this…”, she started, and went on to describe how her interactive rock musical Monstersongs VR opens, how it looks, what players are going to do. Then she hurried through a variety of areas in which her project has advanced – including a special thank you to mentor Dr. Christian Rauda for helpful advice about licensing music in games.

Monstersongs VR will challenge the player in a part rock concert part story game. 

Denise also set herself a new goal: To be able to present a scene from the game in the graduation pitch. Since her project is still early, the goal is an ambitious one. But making progress is what the Incubator’s all about. The audience was convinced. Plan of Attack’s Aidan Minter identified Denise’s theatre background as a big plus for the project: “She brings a lot of passion, but also a lot of knowledge”, he smiled.

Anca from Symmetry Break Games was next. Her team is developing “Prospector”, an adventure game with fresh ideas. Anca, too, showed progress on defining the game’s hook. Beyond that, she had learnings to show on aspects ranging from dialogue implementation to concept art to production management.

What game will Prospector be in the final version?

But an important lesson has stuck with her: Mentor Wolf Lang’s advice to find the fun in a game project early on. “Demo time!”, she cheered and gave a detailed outline of how an early scene plays out using animations and artworks, including detailed descriptions of game mechanics. The next goal for the team is to make a demo fully playable. Everyone was impressed. Wolf was, too: „You’re definitely getting closer”, he said.

Focussing the design

Next up was Timo from consider IT, developers of supernightshift. He quickly went through stylish animations, showed their progress on developing a social media profile and talked about their drive to get inspiration and ideas from the outside.

Timo from consider IT showed the progress of their ideas

Supernightshift is going to be a minimalist racing game for mobile. A lot of the game concept still has to be fleshed out. That is where Timo has set himself a challenge: He wants to “turn a tech demo into a game demo” – their showcase so far looks eye popping, but there are still design questions to be answered about what kind of game Supernightshift will be exactly. The demo is meant to shine a light on the question. “We are focussing heavily on it”, Timo explained.

And then it was Gerrit’s turn to present the progress he and his brother Patrick have made on their project, “The Treepoids”. Defining all the aspects of the adventure game around these friendly-looking aliens has been a challenge, and it was remarkable to see Gerrit make a slick pitch for his “plantastic” game.

The audience learnt new aspects about "The Treepoids"

Gerrit highlighted the usefulness of advice in the workshops, singling out Michael Schieben and his Product Field approach. But Gerrit made the effort to specifically show, in writing, what he had learned from which workshop. It was a lot. He followed it up with a sprint through areas ranging from his PR strategy to project management to a first glimpse on a planned crowdfunding campaign.

Seeing all the progress presented wall-to-wall is a rush. And seeing how enthusiastically the teams take up the Incubators’ various services is a great motivation for the people running the program. Gamecity project manager Daniel Hericks chimed in afterwards to show how impressed he was. Not only the eager participation in the workshops made him happy, but also the “optimal” way in which the teams applied their learnings. Directly after that, he went into reminders and planning details concerning the workshop schedule. A lot has been accomplished so far, but a milestone is just that: A milestone. We cannot wait for Graduation.

News

3 years of Games Lift: Getting better with age

Three successful years lie behind the Games Lift Incubator. Before we start the fourth one, we take a look back. Our alumni have a lot to show.

Games Lift Incubator: Grown together

The graduation pitch has marked the finale of Games Lift Incubator 2022. All five teams got to present what they achieved in the last three months. Not an easy task – but everyone came well-prepared. The setting was relaxed, the presentations strong.

Games Lift: Team Marty aim outside the box

The heroine may seem young and hot-headed, but there is an experienced team standing behind her: Babsi Bullet is an action-packed puzzle platformer for touchscreens. Team Marty are pouring their hearts into the game – and real craftsmanship.

Games Lift: Team ACAS get along with nuts and sledgehammers

Few games look as disarming from a distance: About Cannons & Sparrows is a metroidvania that starts with a small cannon hatching from an inconspicuous egg. The seasoned animation pros of Team ACAS may not have a finished game yet, but they do have a strong vision.

Games Lift: Elin Meinecke on sowing diversity

One person is behind farming sim RPG Evergreen Garden: Elin Meinecke is solely responsible for the art and game design of her project. She brings a degree in illustration to her work in the incubator – and inspiration from her garden.

Games Lift: Team Metacore is up for a challenge

Their hands are full. Their goals are big. But that is no reason to fret for Team Metacore. During our conversation, finding good answers comes to them as easily as sharing a laugh. The mood might make it into their project.

Games Lift: People make the Incubator

The Games Lift Incubator can only exist because many experts support it, teach and coach in it, and keep networking in it. Over 35 veterans from all areas of the games industry are with us. We have asked them why they are doing it and what keeps them coming back.

Games Lift: Team Godcomplex have thought this through

Would you have guessed that Team Godcomplex are already working on their third game? The four young professionals found each other at the university and have worked together ever since. With their party action game Stack’em up, they want to show what they have learned.

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.   

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