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

Games Lift: Team Dottobeau have an eye for emotions

The game feels particularly warm and empathetic – and its team is a reflection of those values. “Dottobeau” is a game about searching and finding one’s own place in the universe. And it demands emotional intelligence.

Two teenagers are sitting on a planet. Dotto is on the verge of launching into space for adventure. Beau doesn’t know exactly what he is preparing for. That is the premise of “Dottobeau”, a point & click adventure that looks captivating from the very first illustration. 

It all started with a pitch that sounds differently depending on who you ask. Rae Ginkul describes it as “terrible” herself. It took her hours to explain what she wanted to do. “But apparently, I’ve managed to inspire those around me here.” 


Rae came up with the idea for the project – she is the illustrator and world builder. She and her team found each other at a game jam. Josie Steuernagel co-hosted it and saw a “perfect fit” for her goals in Rae’s idea. Now, Josie is the project manager and coder of the team. Niklas Loose didn’t find the pitch terrible at all. He felt himself “swept along” by Rae’s detailed vision. He is the team’s audio designer and is collaborating with Josie on project management. He is making the music together with Yannick Clausen, who in turn helps Josie with coding. 

Space nomads and musicians 

The vision: A hand-drawn point & click adventure that evokes the genre’s nostalgic past. What makes it stand out in the crowded genre are a new focus on empathy and a special core mechanic. Rae’s illustration style and the motif of impossibly small planets are reminiscent of “The Little Prince” and modern genre favorites such as “The Inner World.” 

Niklas describes the adventure as a “classic coming-of-age story”. Like her ancestors, Dotto wants to become a “space nomad” and “travel across space”. The game will center around travel preparations. Beau is helping Dotto’s efforts while he himself is “not quite sure yet what he wants.” This uncertainty is one of “Dottobeau’s” main motifs. Yannick explains the game’s core questions: “Where is my place? Who am I?” The dev team may be significantly older than the teenagers at the center of this story. But people return to these questions of self-determination and purpose at different points in their life. For the team behind Dottobeau, this project marks a starting point of their professional careers. 

Talking with a Kalimba 

The music does a lot of the talking in “Dottobeau”. It is the actual “core mechanic” that the team keeps coming back to during the interview. In the game’s story, Beau is a musician. He keeps finding moments of inspiration that are the basis of the songs he creates. In conversations, the songs may return as a dialogue option. They can change a conversation’s mood and Beau’s relationship with the characters he’s talking to. 

Players won’t have to actually play a digital Kalimba. That is Beau’s job. The game will also feature “classic mechanics” expected from adventures. “Players will pick up objects and solve puzzles”, Josie clarifies. But when it comes to music, there won’t be a challenge, but rather an invitation to express yourself. Beau has to listen, choose and interpret what he hears and sees. Through the choice of songs, he will decide who he himself is. 

For a long time, this idea proved hard to grasp. It was, after all, new and unproven. The team used the time in the Games Lift Incubator to examine the deeper meaning and intentions of their new core mechanic and developed it further. After two iterations and an internal playtest inside the incubator, they appear more confident than ever. 

However, the public will have to wait a little longer before they can experience the core mechanics for themselves. A demo of the game is planned for a later date, but the graduation pitch on December 5 will focus on explaining the development of the concept. A vertical slice and the possible demo come later in the schedule, Niklas explains. This could prove to be a distinctive strength of the team: Careful thinking leads them to sound decisions.


Everspace Developer ROCKFISH Games Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

What began in 2014 with the idea of the two experienced developers Michael Schade and Christian Lohr and an empty office has become a permanent studio fixture in Hamburg 10 years later. ROCKFISH Games now has 25 employees and established itself as an institution in the Hamburg studio landscape.

Successful third Pitch Level Up 2024 in SPACE Hamburg

For the third time, about 80 participants were able to gain valuable expert knowledge from our talks at our Pitch Level Up event and review and optimize their pitch decks and pitches for their game projects in 1:1 feedback sessions. 

Hamburg Games Conference: 5 Things to Do in the City

Are you visiting our beautiful city for the Hamburg Games conference? We recommend to stay a while and explore some of the unique sights Hamburg has to offer. After all, it is one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe. Here are five things you should do when travelling to town for the Hamburg Games Conference (besides visiting the conference of course)

Road to Hamburg Games Conference - 7 Hamburg indies present their games

The Hamburg Games Conference is just around the corner - 2 days of expert insights, talks, panels, roundtables and networking from March 5 to 6 at the Altonaer Museum. With our Road to HGC program, we present seven Hamburg indie studios that will showcase their games on the conference expo floor.

Senator's Roundtable 2024 brings industry decision makers and politics together

As in previous years, Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, and Gamecity Hamburg invited executives from the gaming industry to the Senator's Roundtable 2024 to discuss current challenges and topics within the industry.

Get your ticket now for the HGC 2024

Hamburg Games Conference: Gaming meets Business 2024

On March 5 and 6, the Hamburg Games Conference (HGC) will become the meeting point for international games companies and start-ups, as well as all those who want to understand the underlying issues and are aiming for cooperation with games studios.

Internship Games at Hamburg Game Studios

School Internship Games January 2024: Learned a lot

For three weeks, 16 young people from Hamburg schools were able to get a taste of the games industry in a games internship. They visited two Hamburg game studios and the HAW Hamburg.

Ole Jürgensen, Founder & CEO of Crumbling

Three Questions to: Crumbling on their Release Day

Crumbling has been with Gamecity Hamburg from the start: Part of the first round of our Games Lift Incubator in 2020, they then convinced the jury of the Prototype funding in 2021. In addition, we have fond memories of sharing a booth at different conventions with the lovely Crumbling Team - so we are beyond excited about the release of this VR gem on January 18 and took the opportunity to speak with Ole about his (game dev) adventure.

Pitch Level Up 2024: Boost your pitch with expert feedback!

The Pitch Level Up is back! Join in on February 16, 11 am - 6 pm: Get individual feedback on your pitch deck from seasoned games industry professionals with different perspectives - to optimize your pitch for publishers, media, investors or funding institutions.

School Internship Games 2024 starts on January 8

From January 8 to 26, 2024, Hamburg games companies will once again open their doors for the School Internship Games: a comprehensive three-week internship for 16 students from 9th grade. Game developers and media educators provide practical tasks in game design, programming, audio and many other professional fields, in order to give the interns valuable insights in the process of creating video games.

Recap 2023 and Lookout for 2024

One minute we're celebrating Gamecity Hamburg's 20th anniversary, then 2024 is just around the corner. So it's time for us to take a look back at the milestones of 2023 and set new goals for the coming year! And because most of us have little time in the last few weeks of the year, here are the most important periods and application deadlines for our projects and funding for 2024 at a glance. But first things first: Let's briefly summarize the year 2023; after all, you don't celebrate 20 year anniversaries every year.

Games Lift: We’ll keep in touch

Is the Games Lift Incubator 2023 already over? Not exactly. But the first phase is, and on the occasion all teams presented their projects and progress: It’s the graduation pitch on December 5 at Design Zentrum Hamburg! 

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