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

Three Questions to: rose-engine - Makers of the Sci-Fi Horror Hit SIGNALIS

Yuri Stern and Barbara Wittmann have been creating games together for 8 years now, on October 27 their Hamburg-based studio rose-engine is releasing their latest game SIGNALIS. Published by Humble Games, this dark Sci-Fi horror game with its retro optic has already stirred up quite a buzz in the international gaming press. We took this opportunity to ask them about collaborating for so many years and how the match with their publisher came to be.

You have been developing games together since 2014, how and where did you start out collaborating and how's your journey been in the past 8 years?

We are originally from Bavaria and moved to Hamburg to study Illustration at HAW Hamburg. Here we attended a games class initiated by Michael Benrad (Beardshaker Games) and later led by Mareike Ottrand (Studio Fizbin). At that time we developed our first prototype of what would turn into SIGNALIS.
Back then there was no game development funding in Hamburg yet, so we worked part-time while studying and working on the game. Once we had signed with a publisher in early 2020 we went into game development full time. SIGNALIS was developed entirely from within our bedrooms and production took place during the COVID pandemic, pretty much in isolation aside from contact with our friends online. Shout-out to fellow Hamburg developers Steven Kaule, Pia Heugel, and Studio Monstrum, who we all met in the HAW games classes, for keeping us sane and helping us with playtesting! Another small game called “Insect Builder” we did on the side was part of the exhibition “Facettenreiche Insekten” this summer at the Zoological Museum in Hamburg.

Your upcoming game SIGNALIS will be published by Humble Games, how was this partnership formed? Do you have any tips for other indie devs on how to approach an international publisher?

In 2019 we had a vertical slice and trailer we felt confident in, and a rough idea of the game’s scope and costs, and finally felt ready to approach publishers. We were granted travel funding from Kreativ-Transfer, which allowed us to go to gamescom to talk to publishers. Humble Games was one of them and they later followed up with a very good offer.

For us, what worked was to create a game which has a lot of visual appeal and is a modern reinterpretation of an established but underserved genre, in our case, this is classic survival horror. We also combined it with dark sci-fi anime and retro pixel art, both of which have a sizable fanbase. We are also quite passionate about all of these things ourselves. Our vertical slice showed off how the visual style, its core mechanics, a few examples of puzzles and combat, and how we use perspective shifts and cutscenes to evoke a mysterious feeling. Knowing your niche probably helps with identifying a publisher who is serving this kind of game. Once you are in talks with a publisher, don’t be afraid to negotiate, ask other devs who are signed with them about their experience, and listen to your gut feelings. Don’t sign a contract you will be unhappy with. And if it doesn’t work out, have a backup plan like an indie fund, crowdfunding, or working part-time. Don’t quit your job before the contract is signed, some publishers just vanish.

Now that SIGNALIS is in the hands of the players, what are your plans for the future of rose-engine? Can you give us a teaser of something that might have sparked your interest already?

Right now, we’re still processing the reception of SIGNALIS with players.


SIGNALIS is available now for Steam, Xbox, Game Pass, PS4 and Switch! Check it out here 

rose-engine managed to secure their deal with Humble Games by meeting them at gamescom, where they travelled to with the help of the Kreativ-Transfer. Since then, Gamecity Hamburg has established a similiar program for the industry, the Games Transfer funding program

News

InnoHub: Hamburg-based developer InnoGames offers work spaces for rent

Game developer InnoGames offers work spaces for rent at their headquarter in Hamburg-Hammerbrook.

HAW Hamburg - A Place Where Indie Game Careers Are Born

Hamburg is home to a great number of vocational schools, private and public universities where people can learn all about games jobs and how to kickstart their career in the industry.

Tips and Resources for your Funding Applications

Are you planning to apply for our funding programs and need some information and tips? Here's a short guide for you.

Road to gamescom 2024

For this year's gamescom Gamecity Hamburg again runs the Road to gamescom program: We offer spots at our joint Gamecity Hamburg booth at the Indie Arena Booth for Hamburg-based studios, teams and devs. Apply now until April 21

Road to Nordic Game 2024

Gamecity Hamburg offers a Road to Nordic Game Conference program: We offer spots at our Gamecity Hamburg booth for Hamburg-based studios, teams and devs. Apply now until April 10!

Apply now for Games Germany Steam Sale for games "Made in Germany" 2024

German Developers, studios and publishers with their headquarter in Germany can now apply for the Games Germany Steam Sale for "Games Made in Germany" 2024 until April 18, 2024.

Hamburg Games Conference Lecture Hall in the Altonaer Museum

Recap: Hamburg Games Conference 2024

It’s a wrap! The 15th Hamburg Games Conference (HGC) 2024 brought us two days filled with inspiring talks, panels, discussions and workshops with 42 speakers and 365 guests representing 255 companies from all over the world!

Prototype Funding 2024: Application Phase from March 7 to April 8 with New Diversity Checklist

Applications for Gamecity Hamburg's 2024 prototype funding are open from March 7 to April 8. This year's funding round provides 400,000 euros in total and up to 80,000 euros per accepted application team.

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.

Everspace Developer ROCKFISH Games Celebrates 10th 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)

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.