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

Recap: Games Compass 2022

On November 23, InnoGames and Gamecity Hamburg invited decision makers from the games and digital industries of Hamburg and beyond to their jointly organized, exclusive networking event Games Compass.

Road to Hamburg Games Conference 2023: Apply until January 30

For this year's Hamburg Games Conference, Gamecity Hamburg once again opens its Road to program: We offer a number of physical showcasing spot packages for Hamburg-based studios, publishers, teams, and devs. Apply until January 30!

Hamburg Games Conference: Focusing on the topic “Invest in Games” on March 1-2, 2023

The Hamburg Games Conference will return as an on-site event in a new location in Hamburg. The conference theme "Invest in Games" will shed light on current and future developments in the international games industry.

Games Lift: Team Marty aim outside the box

The heroine may seem young and hot-headed, but there is an experienced team standing behind her: Babsi Bullet is an action-packed puzzle platformer for touchscreens. Team Marty are pouring their hearts into the game – and real craftsmanship.

Games Lift: Team ACAS get along with nuts and sledgehammers

Few games look as disarming from a distance: About Cannons & Sparrows is a metroidvania that starts with a small cannon hatching from an inconspicuous egg. The seasoned animation pros of Team ACAS may not have a finished game yet, but they do have a strong vision.

Three Questions to: Soapbox Interactive, working on "Rocket Science GONE WRONG"

Soapbox Interactive aim high: With support of the Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding, they have not only been working on a multiplayer first-person shooter with new game mechanics - they are even developing their very own game engine. Now, the team is celebrating its next funding success: They have been accepted into IFB Hamburg’s "InnoRampUp" program, aimed at particularly innovative start-ups from Hamburg.

From Prototype Funding to a Publishing Deal: Tiny Roar and Daedalic Entertainment partner up for Wanderful

A partnership forged in Hamburg: after receiving 80,000 € in prototype funding for their cozy worldbuilder (then called HEXAGONE) from Gamecity Hamburg, Tiny Roar just announced the game will now go by the name Wanderful and is being published by Daedalic Entertainment! An early build also premiered at the new Polaris convention on the last weekend of October. Here's all you need to know about this upcoming indie darling from Hamburg.

Games Lift: Elin Meinecke on sowing diversity

One person is behind farming sim RPG Evergreen Garden: Elin Meinecke is solely responsible for the art and game design of her project. She brings a degree in illustration to her work in the incubator – and inspiration from her garden.

Recap: Road to Polaris 2022

The Polaris Convention, Hamburg's new community convention centered around gaming, e-sports, and Asian pop-culture, attracted around 10,000 visitors to the Hamburg exhibition halls for its first edition from October 28 to 30. Gamecity Hamburg participated with a joint booth, where we featured five indie developers from Hamburg though our Road to Polaris program, presenting their game projects to a broad audience.

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.

Games Lift: People make the Incubator

The Games Lift Incubator can only exist because many experts support it, teach and coach in it, and keep networking in it. Over 35 veterans from all areas of the games industry are with us. We have asked them why they are doing it and what keeps them coming back.

Road to Polaris - five Hamburg indies at the convention

Polaris Convention is approaching - 3 days with numerous key players and artists from gaming, e-sports, cosplay, and content creation from October 28 -30. Through our Road to Polaris program, we present five indie developer teams and their games at our joint Gamecity Hamburg Booth and enable them to be part of the Polaris.

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.