December 21, 2021
Our year 2021 - Full speed ahead
We’re looking back on an exciting and eventful year 2021, which once again presented many challenges to our methods, workflow and implementation of our programs and offers - but also brought along so many interesting encounters, new projects and opportunities!
So naturally, we are all the more pleased that we were able to tackle and advance many things this year with good teamwork and fresh ideas, such as the digital world of the "Gamecity Online Hub" or the "Indie Dev Insights" video series. Read (and see) here what was on Gamecity Hamburg's agenda for 2021 and which projects we've taken on this year.
Whether it was a digital cruise with the Hamburg Games Conference or a new opportunity for school students through digital internships - the challenges of the last two years created sustainable changes and opened new ways in which the active games network in Hamburg can further grow and develop. The games industry once again showed its creative adaptability and we are very excited about what awaits us next year.
A digital home: Gamecity Online Hub
2021 showed us once again that big events like the Hamburg Games Conference or gamescom - as much as we miss them - are not feasible as in-person-events yet. But what if we still invited the world to explore Hamburg, network, and get to know the diverse Hamburg games landscape? In cooperation with the Hamburg-based event agency Super Crowd Entertainment, we made it possible: The Gamecity Online Hub opened its virtual doors in May 2021 as an interactive browser game that is freely accessible online all year round.
Those who come aboard can choose their avatar with a custom digital outfit and wander freely through the colorful games world of digital renditions of the port of Hamburg, St. Pauli, the Stadtpark and the Speicherstadt. Here, visitors will find over 40 different games companies, educational institutions and studios from Hamburg and can chat personally with developers, visit a video call table or click through demos and videos.
The fact that digital networking "on site" is very well possible on the Gamecity Online Hub was shown by some of our events in the virtual Online Hub event space, such as the final presentation of the HAW Games Master students of 2020 and 2021 as well as the presentation of the nominated games of the Creative Gaming Awards supported by Gamecity Hamburg at the PLAY21 Creative Gaming Festival.
Gallery Gamecity Online Hub
Indie Dev Insights - valuable Tips from Hamburg's Indie Scene
Insights into Hamburg's multifaceted games industry from a personal perspective are at the core of our new video series "Indie Dev Insights", which was launched in 2021. Here, experienced game makers, developers and studio managers from Hamburg-based indie studios answer questions that concern indies beyond pure development topics. We started the series because we want to help share practical knowledge - in areas that are important if you want to start an indie studio, but where first-hand insights are difficult to come by. Also, we want to let those speak who have proven expertise in how to run an indie studio, how to successfully develop indie games or bring them to market: the creative and enterprising minds from Hamburg's indie companies!
This year, we have already published the first three episodes of the series on YouTube: Jonas Hüsges, Publishing Director at publisher and indie developer Daedalic Entertainment, gives practical advice on what publishers are looking for, how to make publisher contacts as an indie dev and how to pitch successfully as an up-and-coming indie studio.
The view from the other perspective was given to us by Manny Hachey, COO at indie studio THREAKS. She shares her years of experience on how to find the right publisher as a studio and what studios should really look out for when negotiating publishing contracts. The third episode is all about working in small teams: Daniel Marx, CEO, co-founder and game director at Osmotic Studios, explains what roles should be filled in every indie team, the challenges but also the advantages of working in small teams, and what advice he wished he had given himself when he founded Osmotic Studios in 2014.
We would like to thank Jonas, Manny and Daniel for their time and openness, Daedalic Entertainment, THREAKS and Osmotic Studios for the opportunity to shoot in their offices and moodmacher for producing the videos.
And now: Happy watching!
Watch Indie Dev Insights Videos:
New games from Hamburg - supported by our funding & incubator programs
In the Games Lift Incubator 2021, our five participating teams showed a steep learning curve and evolution in their project concepts this year, adapting ideas from the numerous workshops and mentoring sessions and finally presenting their final pitches live in front of an audience for the first time at Games Lift Graduation at the Factory Hammerbrooklyn in December 2021. Missed the live stream? Then watch the live event, hosted by Twitch streamer and Youtuber Nina "OddNina" Dreßler and Dennis Schoubye, again on our YouTube channel.
Watch the Games Lift Graduation:
Your entry into the games industry
In order to get the young talent of tomorrow off to a good start in the games industry, we launched two new programs this year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions in office operations, it wasn't easy for students to look into different professions through internships. Together, the Hamburg games industry launched the digital internship, where 12 participants from different schools were given insights and practical exercises for a week in Hamburg-based games companies. Gamecity Hamburg supported this great initiative with networking and PR efforts. Following this, the Gamecity@School program started in June: Together with two experts from the industry, Dennis Schoubye, Head of Gamecity Hamburg, visited several schools digitally. They showed the students various job profiles and possible paths into the industry, which were met with great interest.
Also, we continued our Game Starter event series for students and young professionals, delivering four new events in 2021 on the topics of Game Audio, Quality Assurance, Project Management and Level Design.
The number of participants increased again compared to the previous year and we were also able to attract many international viewers. With a total of eight Game Starter events, the series is becoming a successful permanent fixture in our event calendar.
We are already planning another four Game Starter online-events for 2022 and will host the first game Starter in February.
Our Highlight Events in 2021
gamescom 2021: Digital Edition Part 2
This year we once again supported the digital, exciting and completely new online multiplayer world of the Indie Arena Booth Online and presented five Hamburg game studios in our own area in the apocalyptic "Wasteland"-themed setting through our "Road to gamescom" program.
With our equally successful "Road to Nordic" program, ten game studios and developers were able to network, present and exchange ideas at one of the most important events in the games industry in the Baltic countries: The Nordic Game Conference. In addition, we provided tickets to 38 students from the games sector.
We hosted three digital events in 2021: Rebekka Niederländer from the initiative "Keinen Pixel den Faschisten" gave a talk on representation of diversity in games in May. At our panel discussion in August, Trinidad Hermida (Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Niantic) and Maurice Hagelstein (Co-founder & Game Director at Tiny Roar from Hamburg) discussed together with games journalist and researcher Nina Kiel about diversity management in games companies. And in September, Manuel Manhard from the initiative "Keinen Pixel den Faschisten" shared best practices in diversity-sensitive community management.
The "Gamecity Forecast" format looks from the present into the near future: Here, leaders from Hamburg games companies discuss upcoming developments and challenges and exchange ideas on possible solutions and trends. A first edition took place in May on the topic "Is work still a place?". Together, representatives from studios and media companies discussed the future of their office spaces. Six months later, we met again for an update on what changes have been implemented in the meantime and which concepts have proven successful. For 2022, we are looking forward to further exciting exchange rounds on topics that move games companies currently and in the near future!
Watch Gamecity Impulse:
2022 will be an eventful year and, in addition to our "long-running series" as well as our support programs like the Prototype Funding, the Games Lift Incubator and Road to, we will be developing further events and formats for the games industry in Hamburg. Whether we meet again at our traditional and legendary Gamecity Treffs and exchange ideas together or get a taste of the trade fair air at gamescom 2022, we are looking forward to seeing each other again.
One event is already firmly etched in our calendar: The Hamburg Games Conference 2022! Meet us on March 2 and 3 on our online conference platform or on site in Hamburg at the Zeise cinemas.
Here's to a good 2022!
Your Gamecity Hamburg Team