October 9, 2020
5 unique ideas: The projects that make up Games Lift
It’s time to talk teams and projects. They define the Games Lift Incubator’s purpose: The whole point of the program is to help them thrive. In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at each of them. But in order to get a sense of their diversity, let’s start with an overview.
Alchymia – short, hard, and endlessly replayable
The pitch for Alchymia is easy to understand and instantly intriguing: a turn-based sim-game that is not overly long, or plodding, or po-faced. The challenge, however, is serious. Players assume the role of an alchemist who has to research the effects of mysterious ingredients. The ultimate goal of the game is to save the day with a miraculous recipe before a zombie horde arrives.
Solo dev Julia Reberg is all about her game. Julia aims to give players something to chew on, even if it is partly aimed at casual players. To keep it interesting and challenging, resources are randomly generated in Alchymia. What the ingredients do and how they interact is different for every playthrough – a bit like a roguelike. For the incubator, Julia plans to work on the interface and towards a playable prototype.
Crumbling – Remember playing with action figures?
Third-person games work great in Virtual Reality and Crumbling adds a highly original twist. Instead of controlling their characters with a joystick, players literally pick them up by hand, via motion controls. They wield them just like they did with toys when they were kids. The player’s goal is to rescue and collect Crumblings – cute, blobby guys with big swords. They grab their favourite and fight through an onslaught of enemies in entrancing diorama-like game worlds.
Crumbling is the passion project of Ole Jürgensen. With a background in physics and software development, he has a knack for coding. Leonie Brosz is a technical artist who brings additional practical VR experience into the team. Together, they hope to learn about „business management, financing and legal caveats“ – and to make new contacts.
Luna Park – real walking in the 1920s
At the heart of many complaints about VR is player movement. Let the player walk with their actual body and you need a huge playing area – or move the character with a controller and risk motion sickness. Curvature Games are implementing a brilliant solution to the problem. In Luna Park, players experience large environments while playing in small tracking areas. The effect is made possible by a technology called “redirected walking”, an innovation that we will explain in more detail in a future article. The setting is intriguing: an abandoned amusement park on a remote island in the 1920s. Here, players confront memories and try to repair the defunct rides.
Behind the ambitious project is a big team; while three people work at Curvature full-time, eight people with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds are contributing. They are mainly here to learn. They hope to gain input and wisdom from mentors and to connect to other indie devs.
Leif’s Adventure: Netherworld Hero – team work beats brawn
Games can bring people together. In Leif’s Adventure, the often-made claim holds a deeper meaning. At the heart of the action-adventure is a story about a young hero and his ghostly friend. Both of them have to work together in order to overcome enemies and obstacles. But their abilities are very different. While it is possible to play the game alone, the setting makes for a very special kind of coop-game; one especially suited to players of varying skill levels.
Leif’s Adventure is the realization of a decades-long dream. Roman Fuhrer left Switzerland 20 years ago in order to make games. He did – but he never made the game that he himself wanted to play. Now, after three years in development, Leif’s Adventure is approaching a release. And Roman is here to prepare for it.
Ninja Brigade – a real keyboardist in feudal Japan
Let’s get the title right: The game is actually called „Jonah Weingarten‘s NINJA BRIGADE“. The person in question is not a developer, but a real-life composer and the keyboardist of a metal band. The real Weingarten is contributing an 80s-retro-wave-soundtrack to the game. But he also gets to be the main star. In the story, he gets sucked into an arcade game and has to battle through a detailed representation of japanese mythology. In the ensuing metroidvania-style action platformer, players switch between human and yokai forms.
This retro callback is the brainchild of Impawsible Games, a team of students and young professionals that have already finished their first projects. In the months to come, they want to polish up the visuals of the game. They also look forward to meeting up and networking in the coworking space. And they want to learn about founding and promoting a company.