Who are the runners and riders from Stugan 2017?
Stugan takes place in a cabin in the woods. No, not the Cabin in the Woods – that’s something else entirely – but an actual cabin, in the Swedish countryside.
It’s a developer incubation programme, a residential scheme that runs for seven weeks, that gives 15 teams of indie devs an all-expenses paid immersion into an environment focused towards improving, achieving, and creating games.
It’s not all fun and games. Yes, there’s probably a fair amount of Swedish vodka, meatballs and general merriment – but not whacking each other with twigs in a sauna like most people think; that’s Finland – but there’s also a supportive and encouraging environment, and most importantly, time and space to focus. You can’t underestimate the value of getting away from daily life and public transport; hanging out with like-minded folks and getting great technical and business mentoring is a massive bonus.
So, who’s in the Stugan 2017 lineup, and what are the elevator pitches for their games?
Team 1: Ben and Cukia of Nyamkop (South Africa) – Semblance
Semblance is a ‘playdough platformer’ with deformable terrain, set in a beautiful minimalist world. It’s a game that asks, what if you could deform and reshape the world itself?
Team 2: Henry Hoffman (UK) – Splitscreen
Splitscreen is a first-person puzzle game about fractured memories. Playing across multiple screens, different characters must bridge their divides, piecing together fragments of each other’s pasts.
Team 3: Mario Carballo Zama (Mexico) – Pack n’ fold (working title)
Pack n’ fold is a rhythm packing simulator where you have to pack clothes and other objects depending on the trip you were assigned, the time you will be away, and where you are going.
Team 4: Lucy Morris (New Zealand) – Icebürg (working title)
Icebürg is a non-violent multiplayer collaborative game where players live the lives of penguins to build and support their own huddles. Waddling along with your friends, you explore, build a home, procreate, and grow your huddle.
Team 5: René Rother (Germany) – RK3000
RK3000 is a Megazord and Godzilla inspired 3D action game about being a huge robot destroying a colorful and stylized city together with up to four players.
Team 6: Amar and Ivan of AI Interactive (Bosnia & Herzegovina) – The Enchanted World
The Enchanted World is a puzzle game set in world torn asunder by grief in which our hero is searching for his lost love. On his journey puzzle piece by puzzle piece he brings order back to the world and peace to its various inhabitants who lost their way in the chaos.
Team 7: Anders Nord (Sweden) – The Lost Light of Sisu
The Lost Light of Sisu is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in different alien environments. The gameplay is heavily physics based and driven by cubes that alter your abilities as you navigate across the galaxy to get home.
Team 8: Kubra and Yunus (Turkey) – Cube3
Cube3 is a very simple endless puzzle game based on the ability to think in three-dimensions. It is played on isometric view. The game is played in a 3D 4x4x4 cube, and the player can roll, pitch, yaw that main cube with 6 swipe directions.
Team 9: Sos Sosowski (Poland) – Mosh Pit Simulator
Mosh Pit Simulator is a game about wobbly humans that you can punch stretch or throw, in a world full of boneless brainless creatures that are out to get you.
Team 10: Doanna Neville (Singapore) – Trials of Torden
Trials of Torden is a strategy RPG game for mobile where you get to play dungeon master in bite sized sessions. Develop NPC heroes by throwing challenges in their path while bestowing aid and treasure. Keep them alive long enough and they may become legend.
Team 11: Andrea, Marta and Anna of Tahutahu Studios (Spain/Czech Republic/Japan) – Idearum
Idearum is a 3D puzzle platform game for PC. Main character Eidos is a soul trapped in nothingness who got a chance to become a citizen of a perfect city – the Atlantis. Eidos must pass series of tests which are educating and preparing her for the duties of an Atlantean citizen.
Team 12: Mads Vadsholt (Denmark) – The Forest Quartet
The Forest Quartet is an experimental single player game about getting a jazz band back together. You play as the deceased lead singer of the band who in her spirit form has to metaphysically inspire the band members to make them play again.
Team 13: Karina Popp (USA) – Ten Mississippi
Ten Mississippi is a narrative web game about the mundane motions of a single day, for a single person, in three lives. Wordless, Ten Mississippi tells its story through photographs and sound in ten second increments. The day begins as any other: brush your teeth, drink your coffee, walk the dog… but as Ten Mississippi proceeds, differences between each life emerge.
Team 14: Lucas, João, Victor and Thommaz of Long Hat House (Brazil) – Dandara
Dandara is a direction-less exploration game. Designed initially to be a mobile game that requires the player’s attention, the game ended up being a weird gravity-bending, dream-like adventure in an open labyrinth.
Team 15: Marcus, Fredrik and Rasmus of Coastalbyte (Sweden) – Puppet Fever
Puppet Fever is a game about managing a puppet theatre using paper cutout puppets. The player can act and play through pre-made adventures or create original stories to share with friends outside of VR.
26 developers, 15 teams, 15 games, and several industry mentors, locked away in the Swedish countryside for seven weeks making interesting indie games? Sounds like a cracking way to spend the summer (if you’re an indie developer).
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