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

Games Lift: SUPERNATURAL GAMES and their little green friends

Good things come to those who start: SUPERNATURAL GAMES are Gerrit and Patrick Henschel. The brothers have been successful in their separate careers. Now, they are working together on their personal dream game. With “The Treepoids”, they are winning over even skeptical experts. Find out more in our Games Lift Log!

Ask them about „The Treepoids”, and SUPERNATURAL GAMES’ co-founders Gerrit and Patrick immediately spring into action. When the two of them are together, you get the impression that their extraterrestrial friends are never far off. The brothers are brimming with inspiration; they can describe game scenes and PR initiatives as if they were ready to go. In reality, there is still a way to go. But the vision keeps growing day after day.

Getting to this point meant taking some detours. SUPERNATURAL GAMES may be a new studio, but the people behind it are seasoned professionals. Gerrit has been working as an art director and illustrator in advertising for over 20 years. Patrick has been a game developer for 12 years. They have been thinking about their creation for a long time, doodling characters and discussing game concepts. But their successful work elsewhere always meant that the Treepoids had to be relegated to “something like a hobby”, Gerrit sighs. For a long time, the Treepoids remained painted characters without a game. Their future was written in the stars.

Gerrit and Patrick working on their game concept | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

2019 finally brought about the next step: “Patrick had just decided to go into self-employment, so this was the perfect opportunity”, Gerrit says. The brothers founded SUPERNATURAL GAMES and threw themselves into their first big challenge: Applying for the Indie Pitch Battle. The event is hosted by game industry veterans Wolfgang Walk and Michael Hengst who have infamously called their agency “Grumpy Old Men”. SUPERNATURAL GAMES really went into the deep end. “We didn’t even have a prototype to show”, Gerrit recounts. But then the luminaries commended the project and called it “the best idea with the worst presentation for years”. Behind the backhanded compliment, there was a genuine recognition: There’s much work to do, but it really might pay off.

The Treepoids are funny from the get-go. The friendly-looking aliens each have three legs, but no arms, so “they must solve their problems differently than us humans”, Gerrit explains. They are not just clever, they even have telekinetic superpowers. And they are all about teamwork.

“For us, characters come first”, Gerrit notes. “The Treepoids” demand a friendly atmosphere. SUPERNATURAL don’t want “to make a game in which anyone dies”. The welcoming tone is meant to invite younger players, but adults, too. At the center of attention sits the story, with the alien visitors packing a complex background when they come to earth. Alongside teenage girl Biola, players will get to know the Treepoids, and reveal an ancient secret on the mysterious island of Flora Bora.

Title visual from "The Treepoids" | Image: SUPERNATURAL GAMES

Players will have to use their brains. A lot of time will be spent in adventure mode, with an emphasis on tricky, but solvable puzzles. The brothers know of the point-and-click-genre’s worst impulses and promise that “at no time you’ll carry around 20 keys without having found a door yet”. Patrick is teasing an “additional challenge” with brain battles – a strategic game mode which has players competing “in their heads”. The mix will bring more diversity into the hand-painted adventure.

Gerrit and Patrick share a clear vision. First and foremost, they want their Treepoids to be fun. Serious topics around nature and environmentalism will be addressed, but in humorous ways. „The Treepoids encourage you to think for yourself, to root for nature.”, Patrick explains. He and Gerrit both have kids. They know from experience that you can fan the fire of enthusiasm, but you cannot force it. As a result, interesting facts about nature will make the game’s “Greeny World News”. Players can come here to be entertained or informed, but they don’t need them to advance.

SUPERNATURAL GAMES still have big plans for the Incubator’s second half. They want to use their newly-gained knowledge in order “to get a crowdfunding campaign off the ground”, Patrick says. While that was part of the plan all along, now it is finally being fleshed out. Patrick sees two concrete goals: To „work on building a community”, and to get “great assets from our game world” ready for the campaign. Gerrit and Patrick are both taking in the advice on community management and marketing.

The duo still has some hurdles left to clear. But the strong feedback so far is a big motivation for both of them. They have a clear goal in their sight: Making the Treepoids grow.

SUPERNATURAL GAMES in Hamburg's HafenCity | Photo: Selim Sudheimer


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! 

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.

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!

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