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

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.

(Photo above: Selim Sudheimer)

They have a variety of professional credentials and three joint projects under their belt: Team Metacore appear like an experienced team. This may come as a surprise – the group assembled only one and a half years ago while studying at the HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

The first secret of their success is obvious: They seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. "We’re a good fit in terms of character," Leonhard Gläser says. He does 3D art and level design. "Leo and I found common ground first" explains Sarah Inés Roeder. She is the team’s 2D and 3D artist. The remaining additions were quickly made, because they already knew each other: Programmer and project manager Maximilian Götz as well as technical artist and programmer Rody Nawezi had participated in game jams together with Sarah and Leonhard.

After successful smaller projects, the group was searching for "a challenge – in all areas," Maxi says. And one of the biggest challenges for every team is a concise elevator pitch. Rody delivers:

Metacore is a coop FPS playable alone, but at its best with four players fighting their way through ruins using high-tech equipment, cores, and gadgets. Players must find synergies in different combo effects to pin down or eliminate large groups of enemies.”

Key Art for the co-op FPS game Metacore

Finding the Fun

At first, summing up the vision was far from easy. Metacore started out very ambitiously. That was a conscious choice, Maxi explains: Because the project was part of the university’s Games Master program, failure was very much allowed. Metacore did not fail, however; it is stronger than ever. Tough reality checks have shaped it, Sarah explains. Extraneous elements have been identified and cut. In order to check and refine the core of the game, the team plays together on a regular basis, not just their own prototypes, but a lot of coop multiplayer games. Deep Rock Galactic, Left for Dead and Payday are important inspirations. Metacore takes an established coop FPS formula and differentiates itself by emphasizing real teamplay and interaction between players. The team has worked out why and how their game is fun. They have evaluated and refined it. Their belief is palpable. But the biggest challenge may lie in explaining the project to others in a way that makes them take note.

Intensive discussions are part of the development process (Photo: Selim Sudheimer)

Explaining the Fun

"PR, marketing and pitching" all are areas in which the team is picking up knowledge during the incubator, Rody says. The project may still be at an early stage. But it is imperative that all four members can quickly point out and explain what is unique about their game. Repeatedly asking the question has already helped them in refining the elevator pitch.

Identifying Metacore’s strengths, organizing and improving them further is an ongoing project. The four are busy exploring opportunities for team play, gadgets, and enemy types. A crucial gameplay mechanic hides in the spherical cores – teammates can "dematerialize" to become a core.

Leonhard outlines one of Team Metacore’s main goals for the incubator: developing a “final concept,” defining which gameplay mechanics will get expanded and which might be boiled down. Above all, it should be immediately obvious to players what is unique and fun about the game. In playing the game, “the team should feel greater than the sum of its individual members,” Leonhard adds. Everyone nods in agreement. The synergy is at work already.

Team Metacore working together at the Code Working Space, the shared office of the Games Lift Teams (Photo: Selim Sudheimer)

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.


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