The GDD Indie Award 2020 was awarded on October 1st via live stream in eight categories. A total of 10,000 euros was distributed among young developers and up and coming studios. In the course of the event CGL-Professor Odile Limpach was admitted to the GDD Hall of Fame.
The rhythmic puzzle game “Vectronom”, developed by Ludopium – CGL-alumni Utz Stauder, Juan Orjuela, Bálint Márk and György Droste – was the winning game of the evening, being successful in three categories: Best Game Mechanics (endowed with 1.000 Euro), Best Sound (endowed with 1.000 Euro) and finally Best Game (endowed with 3.000 Euro)
Ludopium is an independent game studio based in Cologne that specializes in music games and ludic audiovisual installations. They were one of the first teams to join the Cologne Game Incubator, still working on their rhythmic puzzle platformer “Isometric Epilepsy”, later renamed Vectronom.
Utz Stauder, programmer and one of the four founders of Ludopium states: “We are super proud of what has become of this so simple idea. It all started in 2016 in my room when the four of us participated in a game jam and developed the first ‘Vectronom’ prototype, an abstract, colorful game world that changes to the beat of groovy electronic music and challenges the players.”
This simple basic concept has not changed since the first version. The development mostly took place during the founder’s studies at CGL.
“That’s where we got to know each other and fell in love”, says Utz. “All four founders graduated from the Cologne Game Lab in the so-called Digital Games course of studies and since it is a completely English-speaking course of studies, we are also a pretty international team. And that of course also led to a pretty international project.”
Most of the development was done by the founding team: Music & Sound are from Colombia, the two level designers are from Hungary, and the only German person in the team did the programming. But of course, they also had help: The project manager comes from Italy, the colorful shaders were done by Austrians, and an intern from the Netherlands created the 3D assets in the main menu. The animator, who was able to give the main character – a cube – its characteristic features, has Peruvian roots.
“So, in total, eight people from seven different nations worked on this simple project and with the help of our French publisher Arte we finally released our niche debut on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS and Apple TV. And we are damn proud of that. I firmly believe that our project wouldn’t have been half as cool if it weren’t for all these great people with all their different quirks. I wish everyone such a great and colorful team. Because at the end of the day it’s exactly these people who develop cool games!”
About the game:
In Vectronom, the level structure and backdrop visuals shift according to the rhythm of the game music. The colourful 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.