Hamburg's Mooneye Studios going international
A wolf is roaming around the apocalyptic countryside. Human beings have been wiped out and only animals are left alive. The player aka the wolf becomes an animal and in Lost Ember, the gamer flies the skies as a parrot, climbs steep slopes as a mountain goat or dives into ocean as a fish. Transformation unlocks the secrets to the fall of the old world. Mooneye Studios made a name for itself with Lost Ember in 2019 and scooped all kinds of awards and accolades. Meanwhile, the studio has secured a grant of almost EUR 344,000 to turn its “Into the Cold” adventure into a completed game. The team previously received a good EUR 184,000 for the prototype. “Into the Cold' was one of three projects considered for federal funding.
Into the Cold - adventures of an explorer
"'Into the Cold' is due on the market in 2024. The basic framework i.e., prototype is in place and we are now finalizing the story," said Tobias Graff, who founded Mooneye in 2014 with three others students in HAW Hamburg Master's degree course in games. "Like Lost Ember, it will again be an adventure game focusing on exploring the world. However, we're taking our players to the Arctic this time." Users are survivors of a wrecked polar expedition and have to face their past and the wilderness of the Arctic Ocean. While Lost Ember is also playable in VR, which makes sense given the animal immersion, the company has yet to decide on another dimension to "Into the Cold". "VR programming is complex and expensive, but we are, of course, continuing to experiment," said Graff.
Conquering global markets
The team did another Mooneye experiment last year and began publishing under the Mooneye Indies label. Haven Park by developer Fabien Weibel was the first game published and there are many more in the pipeline. The company is also keen on releasing its own games, marketed under the new "Mooneye Originals" label, on global markets, Graff stressed. Hamburg is great for that and noted: "Interesting talent can be found here and, in addition to universities such as HAW Hamburg, Gamecity Hamburg offers founders and budding developers great supportive infrastructure."
Hamburg Games Conference on March 2 -3, 2022
Graff misses the many networking events and events by Gamecity Hamburg (which is part of Hamburg Kreativgesellschaft), suspended by the pandemic. However, the Hamburg Games Conference is expected to go ahead on March 2 and 3, 2022 as a hybrid event under the motto of "Moving Markets". Emphasis will be on the challenges and opportunities of the international games industry.