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

Games Lift: Meet you at the top

For its 2023 edition, the Games Lift Incubator launches with a new space, new concepts, five brand-new teams - and with years of experience.

If there is a single moment when the Games Lift Incubator 2023 really starts, it is this one: In the new office location SPACE, Nenad Slavujevic takes his place next to a huge screen, smiles, and makes eye contact with the audience. His five years of experience in the industry become evident in his short pitch. The project of his studio Monodot is called "Chaos Royale", and Nenad wastes no time in getting to the point. "Vampire Survivor x Binding of Isaac x Battle Royale" is written in italics on the screen. 

Nenad Slavujevic presents "Chaos Royale" at the Games Lift Kick-off event in SPACE

Five teams have been selected to participate in this year’s Games Lift Incubator. By design, they cover a wide spectrum. Team sizes, backgrounds, genres, and goals of each project are different. 

At the SPACE, the variety is instantly apparent when the next project takes the stage: "Map Map" is a cozy game following in the footsteps of "Geoguessr". Pipapo Games are a team of four and take turns while presenting their title. Project Manager and Environment Artist Clara Müller starts by introducing the unusual concept, then Game Designer and Programmer Lukas Hort follows up: He explains the core loop around exploring, measuring, mapping and placing buildings.

Games Lift keeps getting better 

The Incubator has become a fixture of Hamburg’s gaming scene. A remarkable twenty-four teams applied this year. Just being able to attend is a proof of success. Each of the projects has an original direction, an unusual twist, a unique idea. 

Bagpack Games are developing "We the Valarii", a co-op racer with innovative controls. Markus Koepke's "Journey Beyond the Edge of the World" is a moody first-person adventure with a special focus on his self-made music. And "Dottobeau" is a gorgeously illustrated adventure that turns changing the mood into a game mechanic. 

After giving their presentations, the teams huddle, asking questions and handing out compliments. But a certain tension remains palpable. The Games Lift Incubator is a demanding support program. This first meeting marks its beginning. The plan for the coming weeks includes breaks and time off; space the teams need to take on big challenges. They all hope to make important steps in their projects. 

Many of the workshops in the program have been refined through experience. New names have been added, such as Chris Zukowski, known for his highly regarded program "How to Market A Game". And the many speakers returning incorporate learnings from previous iterations of the Incubator. While biz dev expert Cassia Curran draws on her management experience at NetEase and Jagex, she looks at each team individually. Some workshops divide teams into groups to facilitate this approach. 

Room for ideas 

This year, the Games Lift Incubator can put a new emphasis on working together – with a new location. The open offices of SPACE in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt have been an excellent setting for the kick-off event. It will remain available to the teams during the Incubator. Numerous startups from out of Hamburg's the local creative industry have already booked in at Am Sandtorkai. The location offers open spaces, opportunities for retreating into a more concentrated setting, and good coffee. Flowing colors and variable furniture serve as a reminder to search for a new perspective from time to time. And a short climb up the stairs leads to the roof terrace with a clear view of the horizon. 

The teams in discussion with the mentors; Photo by Jan-Marius Komorek

But we will have to wait. Now, the teams are hard at work. In a few weeks, we will begin to present them and their projects in more detail. Until then, the teams have workshops to complete, projects to develop and learnings to take in. Their plans are big. Now, they are put into practice.


School Internship Games 2024: Hands-on Video Game Development

During the Games internship, 17 Hamburg school students - 9 girls and 8 boys - were able to get a taste of real game developer life from June 24 to July 12. During the three-week internship, they gained insights into various Hamburg games companies and developed a game from their own ideas at the end.

Games Lift 2024: These are the five teams

For 2024, five great teams of Hamburg game developers impressed the awarding committee of the Games Lift Incubator with their exciting projects.

Gamecity Hamburg and Hamburg Game Studios at Gamescom 2024

Gamecity Hamburg brings five indie studios to the next gamescom 2024 from August 21 to 25. Find out more about the indie teams at gamescom 2024 and our "Road to Program".

Road to Polaris 2024 - Apply until August 25

The community convention Polaris takes place on October 11-13 with a three-day program including gaming, e-sports, anime and manga, cosplay, and content creation. Gamecity Hamburg provides free booth packages for Hamburg-based developers, teams, and studios. Applications are open until August 25!

Recap: The Game Playtest Night #2 was a blast – and will return

Let's look back at our Game Playtest Night #2 in June: We cooperated with the gaming and esport location Play Bay in order to offer participating indie developers an opportunity, to test their work in progress games with the help of motivated test gamers.

Why LGBTQIA+ visibility in games is so important

Journalist Lea Irion came out about her sexuality thanks to a video game. Here she tells her own story and that of two LGBTQIA+ devs from Hamburg.

Third "Games Made in Germany" Steam Sale launches on June 20

The "Games Made in Germany" Steam sale by Games Germany will feature 250 great games made in Germany, starting on June 20 with a big showcase on the IGN Youtube-Channel and an exclusive vinyl with the best soundtracks from German games.

Goodbye Gamecity Hamburg Online Hub

The time has come for the Gamecity Hamburg Online Hub. We are closing the virtual home for Hamburg's games industry on our Gamecity Hamburg website. Join us for a trip back on memory lane.

Queer Games Bundle 2024 - Our top 5 Games

In the Queer Games Bundle you can find about 500 games, assets and more in support of LGBTQ+ games, creators and game devs. We picked some highlights for you.

Gamecity Hamburg & four Hamburg indie game studios and developers at Nordic Game 2024

Recap: Road to Nordic - Gamecity Hamburg at the Nordic Games Conference 2024

Let's look back at our Road to Nordic program: We attended the Nordic Game Conference 2024 in Malmö, with four Hamburg indie game developers and their game projects.

Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding 2024: Hamburg funds five prototypes of digital games

Gamecity Hamburg supports five game projects in the 2024 funding round as part of its Prototype Funding program. As early-stage funding for companies and start-ups based in Hamburg, the funding enables the development of prototypes of digital games with high market potential.

Job Spotlight: Bytro

Bytro is a well-established institution in the Hamburg games industry and the mobile and browser games market. Their first game, Supremacy 1914, will turn 15 years old in May of 2024. This is a rare milestone for any game, especially considering that this historic war strategy game might not exactly be a mainstream product. The key to running a successful company for a long time is, of course, the people. As Bytro is currently hiring, we spoke to Felix Schröter, the interim Lead for Analytics and Monetization. He has had many different opportunities at Bytro and gave us deeper insights into the company and their current job openings.

More News
Cookies are used to make this website work and to enhance your experience.

To learn more about the types of cookies this website uses, see our Cookie Policy. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Cookies are used to make this website work and to enhance your experience.

To learn more about the types of cookies this website uses, see our Cookie Policy. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.