Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsFunding NewsFirst funding session digital games and interactive content

First funding session digital games and interactive content

Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supports 17 projects with 2.05 million Euros

The results of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW's first games funding session are now available: a total of 17 video games and VR experiences could be supported, of which eight received production support, six prototype funding and three concept funding with a total of 2.05 million Euros.

In January, the federal state of NRW and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW presented their own guidelines for the funding of digital games and interactive content, together with a doubling of the funding to 3 million Euros. This means that production companies based in North Rhine-Westphalia are entitled to apply for up to 50 percent of the production costs of a project as funding. The maximum funding amount is 500,000 Euros and is granted as a conditionally repayable loan. Interactive projects in the fields of VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality), web and mobile can also be supported on the basis of the new guideline. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW’s development support programme, which had already been a success over the past few years, was also restructured under the new guideline. Funding for the development of concepts and prototypes are allocated as a grant for up to 80 percent of the development costs and a maximum amount of 100,000 Euros.

The funded projects at a glance:

Production funding

  • In the tactical role-playing game Knights of Fortune (based on html5 for mobile devices), the player takes over the leadership of a band of adventurers to complete missions on adventurous excursions. The heroes always have to defeat challenging opponents, but this means that they gain experience and develop even further. (Flying Sheep Studios, 350,000 Euros)
  • The puzzle platformer Shadow of Steam for PC and console tells the story of Owlgirl, a little girl, half human, half owl, who wants to escape from life in the battery farms of the Black City. When she flees from the White City’s hooligans, the grotesqueness of a mad, totalitarian order reveals itself – as well as the lie that holds this world together. (Monokel, 350,000 Euros)
  • The main character of the historic role-playing game Faith + Honor: Barbarossa for PC and console is the son of a patrician from Cologne who sets off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. During the journey, he is captured near Damascus. After escaping, he returns to Cologne via Italyand helps to transfer the remains of the Three Kings to Cologne… (Encurio, 300,000 Euros)
  • SchumannVR is an interactive journey through time to Düsseldorf in the 1850s where Robert and Clara Schumann’s life and work can be experienced with the help of virtual reality and multi-immersive components such as movement, interactivity, smell and temperature. It is being realised as a location-based entertainment installation in Düsseldorf. (A4VR, 200,000 Euros).
  • You take on the role of the demon Brian in the 3D platformer Hell Pie. He receives the order to obtain rare cake ingredients for Satan’s 666th birthday. Since his task leads him at times into heavenly realms, the captured angel Celio accompanies him and is chained to his horn. This gives the player an innovative swing mechanism as an essential gameplay feature. It is being developed for PC and console. (Sluggerfly, 180,000 Euros)
  • Fata Deum is a "godsimulation" for PC and console in the tradition of Black & White or Reus. The player is a god in a fantasy world and tries to gather the most followers on his side before competing against other gods. The people of the fantasy world have their own will and develop their settlements independently. Each god can influence his development through skillful manipulation and the use of miracles. (42 Bits Entertainment, 125,000 Euros)
  • Resort is an interactive short story about escaping reality, introspection, emotions and dealing with difficult situations. The writer Laura Tanner is on her way to the small health resort of Laburnum Creek which is doomed to extinction because a comet is heading straight for the area. The writer wants to interview locals, who are refusing to leave the area, for a column and witnesses mysterious events. Resort is being developed for PC/Mac/Consoles. (Backwoods Entertainment, 100,000 Euros)
  • OMNO is an atmospheric single-player puzzle adventure with platformer elements for PC and console where you embark on a journey through an ancient world full of miracles. The player is taken through lush forests, sunny deserts, cold tundra and the power of an ancient civilisation will even carry you to the clouds. The world is full of riddles, puzzles and secrets. A magic wand is the key here to gliding and flying across the land, and much more. (Studio Inkyfox, 70,000 Euros)


Prototype funding

  • Port Royale 4 is the continuation of the successful business simulation for PC and consoles set in the Caribbean during the colonial era. The colonial powers Spain, England, France and the Netherlands are fighting for supremacy in the colonies. The closed, huge 3D game world simulates production, trade, city building and the lively hustle and bustle of merchants, pirates, buccaneers, bounty hunters and military convoys in the Caribbean.  (Gaming Minds Studios, 80,000 Euro)
  • With Balance of Nature, a serious game for mobile devices is being developed to increase the motivation for aftercare in chronic pain patients. The player’s task is to use an in-game currency to unlock and develop various animal species and to ensure that their natural environment remains in an ecological balance. The player receives the currency by completing the therapy modules on a daily basis, and the amount is calculated based on the therapy time/score achieved.  (Routine Health, 60,000 Euros)
  • Idle Industry Tycoon is a business simulation game for mobile devices combining Idle Game mechanics with an instructive teaching of production processes and economic dependencies. The game playfully explains how a car is produced, what its individual components are, which resources are needed for production and which ecological connections exist.  (Game Bros., 50,000 Euros)
  • BIG Bobby Car Racing is a fast-paced multiplayer racing game in which you have to assert yourself against your opponents with skill, cleverness and the use of aids. You can play alone against AI opponents or with up to four players in splitscreen. The original Bobby Cars from BIG provide the starting point.  (Independent Art Software, 50,000 Euros)
  • Idle King is about conquering a world and filling the king’s coffers. The player earns gold by mining resources from the fields and quarries of his kingdom.  With the earned gold, he can train knights, who then conquer new land for him. The expanded kingdom can now be used to mine further resources. The Idle managemeNt simulation is developed for mobile devices. (Mr. Mango, 50,000 Euros)
  • O.L.L.Y Alone is an adventure game with arcade sequences about a unique journey through space. As the space junk collector and reseller going by the name of Captain Utgang Gangway, he has to save himself and a whole planet. His only companion is the artificial intelligence M.O.L.L.Y., his on-board computer, until they both come across a cowbot , an artificial animal which looks like a cow and starts the ball rolling about the story on space junk. (Ducks On The Water, 25,000 Euros)


Concept development

  • Noclip is a spiritual, rogue-like first-person flight game. You play the soul of a deceased ruler of the Galactic Empire, have to try to ecsape from the mausoleum and reach the other side. The players have to navigate through complex, three-dimensional labyrinths with non-Euklidian geometry. With fast gameplay, they have to steer their characters in breakneck speed and avoid various obstacles. Noclip is being developed for PC and consoles. (Ludopium, 20,000 Euros)
  • Pen & Paper Stories: Morriton Manor plans to be the first game version of one of the RocketBeans TV formats. Based on pen & paper, a genre mashup is being developed that will consist of point & click, a role playing game, traditional pen & paper rounds, and modern, narrative and explorative games. The game will tell an exciting mystery story set in Victorian England and is being developed for PC and consoles. (Backwoods Entertainment, 20,000 Euros)
  • Shadows over Selenia is set in a medieval fantasy world where everything appears to be idyllic until it starts being haunted by a shadowy creature. Game character Shai has freshly graduated from the school for magicians and is now looking for an order of magicians to then train her to become a fullly fledged magician. She realises that the shadowy figures are manifestations of people’s suppressed feelings and cannot be met with violence. The topdown role playing game with a mechanism for trading cards is being developed for PC and consoles. (Goodwolf , 20.000 Euros)

The funding committee, chaired by the Film- und Medienstiftung CEO Petra Müller, included Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth (Director Cologne Game Lab), Ronald Kaulbach (Studio Brand Director Ubisoft Blue Byte), Julia Pfiffer (Managing Director astragon Entertainment) and David von Galen (Adviser, Media Ecomomy, State Chancellery of the State of NRW).

The complete funding results can be found in the attached funding overview.