November 8, 2022
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.
A FPS game in which the players can completely destroy the game world, combined with high graphical detail, as well as a competitive multiplayer mode: With this vision for their debut game "Rocket Science GONE WRONG", the Hamburg-based studio Soapbox Interactive was able to convince the awarding committee of the Prototype Funding that a grant of 48,000 euros for the development of a prototype is in good hands with them in 2021. Their goals are ambitious: They are not only working on the game itself, but are also developing their very own game engine, which makes the special game mechanics possible, in which the game world, built of millions of voxels, can be completely taken apart by the players. Ultimately, the game also serves as a showcase for the underlying technology.
The studio’s two founders certainly have the necessary skills for this: Clemens Runge is currently pursuing his master's degree in electrical engineering and has already gained years of experience with hard- and software development as well as image processing, and James Rucks, in addition to pursuing his computer science master's degree, has experience researching the use of Deep Learning in 3D environments and designed levels for a successful open source project.
Their own project is progressing well and the team is growing - now Soapbox Interactive was able to secure further financial support with their convincing concept: The state-owned Hamburger Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB) has accepted them into its "InnoRampUp" program, which supports technologically particularly innovative start-ups in Hamburg. Through this program, the studio will receive additional funding of 144,000 euros to support development over the next 1.5 years. We spoke to co-founder James about this.
What motivates you to develop this game in particular?
James: We are fascinated by games in which the worlds consist of small cubes (voxels). They make it possible to easily create complex worlds, like with Lego bricks, as well as dynamically destroy the game world with tools - or explosions. Rocket Science GONE WRONG will be the first game to bring the benefits of a high-resolution and dynamic voxel world to multiplayer!
You received a grant though Gamecity Hamburg’s Prototype Funding program for your project in 2021. What has happened to you and your project since then?
James: Both of us as founders were able to dedicate ourselves to the project full time thanks to the Prototype Funding. In the first year, we developed a new game engine from scratch, which can display worlds made of over 100 million small cubes with real-time light rendering. Also, all the core game mechanics of Rocket Science GONE WRONG, such as movement, weapon mechanics and multiplayer, are already prototypically implemented on this basis.
And just now, you successfully managed to secure a grant from another public funding program for Hamburg-based companies - InnoRampUp: Can you give some insight into what InnoRampUp is and what steps it will enable you to take?
James: InnoRampUp is a grant for technology-based innovative startups from IFB Hamburg. It will fund us for the next 18 months and has already enabled us to hire two new employees. The additional manpower will allow us to bring both our game engine and our game to market much faster.
Find out more about Soapbox Interactive on their website: https://soapbox-interactive.com/ or their LinkedIn-Profile. You can also read a short portrait of their project Rocket Science GONE WRONG here in our project database.
And you can find everything about our Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding program right here.