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

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.

(Photo above by Selim Sudheimer)

Stack’em up looks like a family friendly fun time: In this multiplayer game, cute and chubby animals slip into strange space suits and stack on top of each other. The funny concept art belies a surprisingly intricate design. That’s to be expected, according to 3d artist Annabel Brand: “We learned a lot from our mistakes during our master studies.” During the interview, the team keeps circling back to insights from earlier projects that inform the new one.

Team Godcomplex do indeed have years of professional experience. Concept art, art direction and game design are the domain of Suzan Azakli. Annabel is “translating Suzan’s work into 3d“ – she is the environment and character artist. Lukas Schneller is mainly responsible for coding and tech art, but also helps designing the game. Daniel Stehlik is the team’s backend developer and project manager. Music, sound, and animation are not done internally, but with returning external partners.

The team comes off as well-rehearsed, even when the conversation is informal. Team Godcomplex know each other well. And they know what they want from the Incubator.

Team Godcomplex enjoying a break at the Code Working Space, where the incubator teams can work together | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Quick start

The first weeks of the program have been intense, which is a positive to Daniel: He has gotten “a lot of input.” The team is full of anticipation. Suzan explains that the team’s focus was on the incubator program’s early workshops and that they are now finding more time for production work. Lukas is already looking forward to more coding.Keeping several balls in the air is just what this team is used to. They have worked in internships and paid positions at different studios, but the HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences has been playing a pivotal role. The team has assembled while still fresh at this university. Networking and meet-ups were hampered by the COVID pandemic. Getting to know each other was a process akin to “speed dating,” according to Lukas. But the team was quick to notice that they work well together.

Their first-ever project made it to the market; Enoki is an appealing mobile game about a mushroom collecting points and avoiding spikes. The game was developed as part of a university course. Next up was Forlorn – an atmospheric horror game. “One and a half years of our time at the university” went into the project, Annabel explains. That’s easy to see – the 3d game looks suitably unsettling. But Daniel is eager to criticize: The game was “out of scope” for the small team, he says. And during development, Team Godcomplex had to make tough decisions because they could not, as it turned out, turn Forlorn into “everyone’s favorite game.”

Team Godcomplex always discuss important decisions for their project together | Photo: Selim Sudheimer

Quick rounds

Stack’em up is a whole different game, in a completely different genre. And yet, it sounds like the logical next step. Instead of one team member getting what she or he wants, everyone got to pitch in. After brainstorming for ideas, the team chose the best combination of fun and doable. The winning concept: Animals run around, fighting each other with a variety of power-ups. Hitting an opponent nets you a point. But if an opponent is hit, they are stunned. Stunned opponents can be sucked in „Kirby-style“, Suzan explains, and stacked up on top of each other, which too is worth a point. After this hostile takeover, the former opponents have to work together as a team. Even the stacked-up animal can still use its power-ups and earn points that way. The result is a free-for-all of changing alliances and quick rounds. No one ever dies or gets eliminated from the game. Everyone can play.

Key Art for Team Godcomplex' game "Stack'em up"

The actual game is just a prototype by now, but the vision is clear. Suzan is eager to explain her project in relation to titles like Overcooked and Moving Out. And she can explain the lessons learned from earlier projects. An example: With Forlorn, the team learned about the importance of “more test sessions” with external people to gain more “fresh feedback.” This time, they plan to keep a highlight on testing.

Developing a playable demo version is one of Team Godcomplex’s main goals during the Incubator. This is important for getting a clear definition of the game’s look, Suzan explains: Developing “at least a character and a power-up” to a publishable state would help a lot in communicating the game to a broader audience. Daniel wants everyone to understand “what the idea is and why it is fun.”The team brings a certain humor and realism to their work. Asked about a possible release date, Suzan immediately answers “tomorrow,” before Daniel carefully lays out that right now, about two years seem like a good bet before a possible Early Access start. It’s not more than that – plans can change. But Team Godcomplex seem like they have thought this through.

Want to stay up to date what Team Godcomplex are up to? Then join their Discord server and follow their Twitter and Instagram Accounts!

This article is part of our Games Lift Log series, in which we share peeks behind the scenes of our Games Lift Incubator program and portrait the teams that joined the incubator program this year.


More Games Lift News

Games Lift: Playtests & Pizza

The Games Lift Incubator has evolved. We have plans for an entire year. That's why we've met with teams, mentors, and alumni months after the end of the workshop schedule.

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.

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! 

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.

Games Lift: Nenad Slavujevic on calculating chaos

His game idea looks like a well-tuned formula. And he can explain it like a pro. Nenad Slavujevic impresses us in the incubator with strong credentials and a clear plan.

Games Lift: Bagpack Games keep moving

They've been around for a few years now: Bagpack Games have successfully established themselves in the Hamburg scene. Now they are bringing a real eye-catcher of an idea to the Games Lift Incubator.

Games Lift: Markus Koepke stays the course

Years of experience have led him here: Alone, on an abandoned ship in the middle of the ocean. Markus Koepke's project "Journey Beyond the Edge of the World" in the Games Lift Incubator lures us in with its melancholic vibes.

Games Lift: Pipapo Games get the joke

Pipapo Games know how to make a concerted effort. The team behind "Map Map" reports to the interview in a bright mood, helps each other out on every question and still manages to take their own plans very seriously.

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.

Games Lift Kick-Off 2023 in New SPACE Innovation Rooms

On Monday, September 11, 2023, the official kick-off of the Games Lift Incubator 2023 took place in the new SPACE innovation space of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft.

The five winning teams of Games Lift Incubator 2023

Games Lift 2023: These are the five teams

For 2023, five great teams of Hamburg game developers impressed the awarding committee of the Games Lift Incubator with their exciting projects.

Games Lift: No expiration date!

This year, Gamecity Hamburg's Games Lift Incubator is doing the same as in previous ones: it's evolving.

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.