After last year’s huge success, German Indie-Developers again got the chance to present their games at PAX East 2018, one of the largest Games Festivals in the US. About 60 German Studios and Developers applied for a grant to attend PAX East from April 5-8, 2018. The booth had room for nine. Not an easy choice for our jury, made up of leading experts of the German gaming scene: Thorsten Hamdorf (Director of Marketing, BIU), Sebastian Bulas (Founder, Art Director and Producer at Threaks), Björn Bartholdy (Director Cologne Games Lab). The following studios participated – chosen to represent a cross section through Germany’s budding gaming scene:
Hamburg, Studio: rose-engine
Game: Death Trash
Indie Game Developer, self-taught artist and programmer. Creator of dozens of small games, including a series of 'One game a week'. Creator of Death Trash, a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game. Painting daily art for over 1000 days now. Known on Twitter and at events for his tools development and pixelart style. Member of the first German Indie Games Collective Saftladen Berlin.
Hamburg, Osmotic Studio
Game: Orwell - Ignorance is Strength
Daniel is a game designer and producer at Osmotic Studios, a small Hamburg team of game developers. In 2016 the studio launched their award-winning debut project "Orwell," an interactive thriller about data espionage. Originally Daniel studied computer science at the University of Paderborn. After graduation, he made his first steps in the games industry at the Hamburgian game developer Daedalic Entertainment, before continuing his studies at the HAW Hamburg in the "Games Master". In the study program he developed in a team the project "GroundPlay", which won the German Computer Game Award in 2013. Although "GroundPlay" was discontinued, the award win made it possible to found Osmotic Studios. Daniel is currently working on the sequel to Orwell on disinformation and fake news titled "Orwell: Ignorance is Strength."
Berlin, Studio Mad about Pandas
Game: Hitchhiker Patrick has developed and produced several award winning games for various platforms. The game “The Great Jitters: Pudding Panic” was 5th best reviewed iPhone Game 2011 with a Metascore of 95. Patrick visualizes his role in the interactive design and game industry as a designer, game-designer, author and producer.
Munich, Studio Cubinauts
Caroline is the level designer for the 3D-Puzzle Adventure “Cubiverse”. Furthermore, she is working as a freelance producer for several projects in Munich, organizing the Gamecamp Munich and the Games/Bavaria Vernissage. As a producer, she believes that genuine passion and teamwork are as essential for game development as skill and dedication.
Berlin, Studio: Megagon Industries
Game: Lonely Mountains: Downhill
Daniel Helbig works as a Game Designer in the German Games industry since 2008. In 2010 he became part of the founding team of the game thinking agency „Die Hobrechts“, who went on to develop the critically acclaimed children game „Karl’s Castle“. In 2013 he became co-founder of the independent development studio Megagon Industries. Since the release of “... and then it rained” and “Twisted Lines” the studio works on their new downhill mountain biking game „Lonely Mountains: Downhill“.
Frankfurt am Main, Studio: LeadFollow Games
Game: Tiny Tanks
Lukas is currently finishing his bachelor‘s degree in games programming. Since the age of 7 he has built a firm understanding of programming in general and is continuously expanding his already deep knowledge about the Unity engine. Although being very technical, he also has an eye for aesthetics and polish.
Hamburg, Mooneye Studios
Game: Lost Ember
Sinikka originally studied English Literature and Media at the Universities of Hamburg and Manchester. After graduating, she started working in voice-over for games like Skyrim, Dishonored and Rage, after a while she decided she wanted to be closer to development and spent the following years at Goodgame Studios, Hamburg, before joining Mooneye Studios in 2017. They are currently working on Lost Ember and planning for release in Fall of 2018.
Cologne, Studio: Ludopium
Game: Isometric Epilepsy
Utz Stauder, born in 1989 in Gelsenkirchen, is a German programmer and Co-founder of the design studio Ludopium in Cologne. After finishing high-school he moved to Cologne where he studied Media Science and Digital Games at the Cologne Game Lab. He also worked on film and TV productions. In Game Design he found the perfect combination of technical aspiration and artistic freedom. Together with three friends from Hungary and Columbia and with the support of the promotional program SpielFabrique, he founded Ludopium. Their current project Isometric Epilepsy was awarded second best newcomer concept for the German Computerspielpreis 2017. In addition to his work as a game designer, Utz Stauder teaches Game programming at the School of Games in Cologne.
Breaking News: Struggling Dreams is the winner!
The game was chosen from the three best games created during the 48-hour Game Jam on May 19-21 at the Goethe-Institut Boston by a jury of German game developers: Struggling Dreams will represent Boston at the finals in Germany in 2018 and will receive mentoring in preparation. Congratulations!
German Computer Game Designers at PAX East in Boston, March 2017.
The ‘’gaming phenomenon’’ plays a significant role in the academic center of Boston: top universities such as MIT, Northeastern University or Dartmouth College have been integrating gaming modules into their academic teaching programs for years. Meanwhile, gaming is also a prominent economic competitor to, for instance, the movie industry. Likewise, impressive gaming centers have been established at Germany universities (Cologne Game Lab, Berlin, Kassel, Stuttgart….).
Our project focuses on the exchange of important players in the German and US gaming scene. We’d like to introduce German game designers to their US counterparts and foster connections between them. We’d like to establish a transatlantic network of leading players, primarily in the Indie Game Scene. An exchange of ideas and products and cooperation across borders is our goal. Building on the academic potential in the Boston/Cambridge area, we are especially reaching out to academic counterparts in Germany. Together with our partners we are exploring the following questions:
How can the limits of games be expanded?
How can you bridge the divide between academia and the real world?
How do you market new, playable ideas?