Explore plants interactively in 3D! Dive into a digital world where you can interact with the vegetation and watch the plants grow. Plants and fungi reflect the well-being of our ecosystem. Even small environmental changes have large impacts on the entire system. With PhoGrow, these changes can be visualized and experienced in advance. For the first time, we make the growth of plants and fungi tangible on the web. Interactively, from all perspectives, and on any end device, years of growth processes can be experienced in just a few seconds. The application areas of PhoGrow are versatile and range from educational institutions to research institutes to the entertainment industry and agriculture. For more information, feel free to visit them on social media channels at @PhoGrow3D.
Fantastic Foe
Fantastic Foe are post-grads from the Cologne Game Lab. In 2019, they were awarded the NRW founders scholarship. They believe that experiences do not have to compromise fun to be meaningful. They want to make games that leave a lasting impact on how people feel about the world around them. They want to challenge perspectives and help people interact with novel concepts.​ Currently, they’re developing a 3D adventure game called Seoul Song, which thematically deals with the social pressure of modern society and the high suicide rate of young people in South Korea. It is being developed as part of a transmedial project alongside a feature film and essayistic documentary.
Death by Broccoli
Death by Broccoli is a small game studio based in Cologne, Germany. It was founded in Winter 2019 and the team loves to work together to create unique experiences for players that feel satisfying and fun. Currently they’re working on their first game “Out of the Mist”, a ball-rolling game where you have to control the environment to navigate through challenging courses. The game is a 3D-Platformer where you take control of the environment in order to move the character through a long-dead world. Explore and uncover the mysteries of its downfall, visiting diverse worlds and fallen civilizations.
CYBER MANATEE – Emotionally Engaging Games from Cologne
An independent game studio based in Cologne focused on creating intense and emotionally engaging video games that leave a lasting impression on players! Floating through space as early as the summer of 2019, Cyber Manatee was officially established in 2021 when a couple of game-loving professionals decided to pursue their dreams together. “Hinterland” is a nerve-wracking first-person mystery-thriller set in the 1980s in which players take on the role of two protagonists following their own leads to uncover a personal truth in the franco-german woodland. Twists, turns, and unease await as players are challenged by strange creatures, odd residents, and otherworldly phenomena.
Achtung Autobahn
Achtung Autobahn Studios is an indie company based in Cologne, Germany making historical social-realistic games that are fun first for players who love to engage with culture in a playful way. Hailing from five different countries, our team of talented developers is hard at work on our debut title, a historical stealth action-adventure game set in 1968 West Berlin. “Berlin Maniacs” is a top-down 3D story-driven action-adventure, where players take on the role of Tina who is stuck in a time loop and she is trying to break free by manipulating the recurring events to save her friend Jonas’ life.
Die Pixelbeschleuniger
The team of Pixelbeschleuniger is developing an adventure game called “Charlie & Morty – Die Mutlichtprüfung”, which deals with the topic of grief. When a loved one dies, whether after a long and serious illness or due to a sudden misfortune, the bereaved often feel left alone. If there are children in the immediate vicinity, many adults feel overwhelmed, as they often do not know how to deal with the topic of death themselves. With this game, the team wants to create a basis to impart knowledge and stimulate a dialogue so that parents and also children learn to talk about death together and to process it. The project is funded by the Film & Medienstiftung NRW and has already received concept funding in 2019. The founders are Carmen Johann & Fee Bonny.
Local Paper Small Town is a 2-player cooperative puzzle game. In it, two players form a team as one player explores a beautiful paper town with the help of VR goggles and the second player solves puzzles with the help of a newspaper.
Giant Door
The physically based puzzle game Derpy Conga by the team Giant Door is a colorful casual game, which is also quickly accessible to less experienced players thanks to its intuitive gameplay. Players must collect their lost friends, take them by the hand, and bring them all to safety. The more friends join in, the more difficult it becomes to control the chain of figures. Only those who leave no one behind can win.
Heart Drive
In HEART_DRIVE, you will assume the role of J08-N, an artificial intelligence sent on a dinner date with an unassuming stranger to prove its ability to blend into human society. Using a keyboard, you can type the sentences J08-N will speak and watch events unfold in the game’s branching narrative with three different endings.
Will you win the heart of your date or expose your true nature?
Impakt is a game studio with a philosophical approach, aiming to transmit values through games that will create a positive impact on society. The current project, called Zero Damage, is an action-narrative-driven cooperative game in which players have to save innocent people and restore peace on a war-torn planet. The message of the game is primarily transmitted through the game mechanics, in which players have to use non-violent actions to change the course of the conflict. The narrative unfolds, adding a layer of depth, and all the characters, locations, and countries have a deep meaning. Even though the narrative will be told through action, the story presents an invitation for the player to know more about the game universe. The target platforms of Zero Damage are mainly Xbox, PS4, and Switch with a portable version for PC.
As one of the first teams who prevailed with their project in the first round of applications for the Cologne Game Incubator, the already-founded Studio Ludopium was working on the final version of their rhythmic puzzle platformer “Isometric Epilepsy”, later renamed Vectronom, when they joined the Cologne Game Incubator. In this game, the level structure and backdrop visuals shift according to the rhythm of the game music. The colorful graphics in coordination with the driving music and the high tempo challenge the player’s reflexes and spatial perception. In 2018, the team was awarded second place in the category “Best Young Talent Concept” at the German Computer Game Awards for this project. Additionally, Ludopium was awarded “Best Game” at the Indie Arena Booth 2018 and the “Best in Play” award at GDC 2019.
Maggese is the Italian word for fallow, and it’s a group of developers willing to experiment with the almost uncultivated land of non-fun games. They aim to grow meaningful narrative experiences that go beyond fun and cover the emotional spectrum of quality entertainment media. Maggese is open to any kind of collaboration and exchanges with similar or different realities that share the same spirit of discovery and independence. The members are Dario D’Ambra, Giorgio Carlino and Nina Kiel.
SLOW BROS. is a small indie studio based in Cologne, Germany, dedicated to thoughtfully bridging analog and digital worlds in the form of interactive experiences. It was founded in 2015 by long-time friends Onat Hekimoglu, Ole Tillmann, Fabian Preuschoff, and Daniel Beckmann. The studio member’s diverse backgrounds including video game production, filmmaking, carpentry, apparel, and illustration give them a unique skill set with various applications, from games, to VR experiences and even art installations. During their time in the Incubator, the studio conceived their first full-length video game Harold Halibut, a stop-motion adventure game made entirely out of craft materials like wood, clay, and metal.
Team Catboy
Super Catboy is about a genetically manipulated tomcat, who has given his creator and now wants to thwart his sinister plans for world domination. The level-based game is kept in the 16-bit style of the 1990s and mixes elements of a jump and run with a beat ’em up. The player runs, jumps, and shoots through colorful 2D levels in constant battle with the mad scientist’s dog people.
TrieTire Games
Jessika by TrieTire Games deals with the murders of the National Socialist Underground (NSU). The player is a nameless Hacker who gains access to a secret database of the NSU. There he follows the development of the fictitious NSU member Jessika and dives into the entanglements of authorities, politicians, and right-wing extremist groups.
The XRNAUT Yacht Simulator is a highly realistic VR simulator for larger sports boats. It has been specially developed for training and educational purposes, but can also be used for events or for marketing purposes. The simulator system consists of software, special yacht hardware, and VR glasses. The VR glasses generate a complete 360° all-round view of the surroundings. They allow three-dimensional vision and much better estimation of distances and speeds than on a screen. What is unique about this system is that despite the VR glasses, the yacht is steered by real yacht components.