by Michael Benda
Now it’s my turn to wish you all a happy New Year! I know it’s already mid-January but while performing tweaking- and polishing-tasks on the game we hardly get the opportunity to talk to you guys. So I’m just going to jump at the chance to share a quick flashback of the last year with you – 2013 one of the most eventful years of our young life so far.
Honestly, when I look back to January 2013, it kind of feels like 5 years ago. The year started off with elaborate preparations to show the world that we really meant it: The founding of the company behind the project Schein. After weeks of online research and personal consulting we finally made it through the densely entwined jungle of bureaucracy and in April Zeppelin Studio saw the light of day.
Daring dive into bureaucracy
Finally we had it officially on paper: Zeppelin Studio was founded
The visionary pictures were obligatory
And it didn’t take much time until our mailbox was bursting with advertisement
Armed with our newly founded Start Up we moved on and prepared for our first real step into publicity. With great ideas and huge goals we aimed for establishing our presence on Steam Greenlight and starting a Crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo at the same time.
The making of the title video: We really took it seriously – even make-up was involved
And our setup was close to professional
Eager to achieve our financial and business goals we spent the whole month of May pestering family and friends for support, updating the profiles like crazy and simultaneously publishing as much content as in any way possible. Furthermore we were invited to participate at the GameStage – a great gaming event in Linz, Upper Austria. We made good use of it to further propagate our crowdfunding campaign.
Someone had to test the game – really.
It was the first time we got in touch with the games community in Linz. There were many new faces to remember but all were worth the trip!
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it through our fixed funding campaign. The reasons for that were diverse, the main one being our lack of public experience. But this was about to change.
The Subotron Live Pitch 2013 in June was a perfect chance to work on our publicity skills. We were nominated for the second time in a row – this time however in the “Business Category”. We presented our game and got valuable feedback which we could make good use of surprisingly soon.
I completely blocked out that we were dressed in matching clothes
… in July the bells sounded for the breakthrough of Schein. We made it into the finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 – and if nothing else, at least we had won a free trip to St. Petersburg in Russia. But as always, our goals went higher, so, as most of you may have already witnessed: We won the first place in the Games Category of the worldwide finals!
It’s hard to spot the difference, but we were really in Russia
We even met some celebrities
Especially it was a huge pleasure to get to know Alexej, the inventor of Tetris
We met so many friendly people from all over the world, some of us even forgot whom to cheer for
Did we ever tell? We had our own special secret dinner
Bulky, but worth it
This success paved our way to even more publicity. In September we received the opportunity to present Schein at the Game City in Vienna – the biggest Austrian games festival. I am still amazed about the number of people who played our game and found it worth their precious time. Again we received awesome feedback and the feeling that we were creating something really great.
I find it especially cute, that the poster reminded pupils not to miss school
We put a lot of preparation into the event
And we were very pedantic in doing everything right
So finally everyone could enjoy the magic of Schein
And the icing on the cake: We received an offer to be featured on Austrian national TV ORF – again enhancing our reach, strengthening our publicity and … having a lot of fun 😉
We never had as many people working at our office as that day. I mean actually working.
In October, as an interlude, we were able to present our game and the company at The Open Days of the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Vienna to show what it meant to be a good student (which I never was).
Bernie’s love to Schein is easily spotted
The same week we got invited to give a keynote speech at the Microsoft Education Conference 2013 in Vienna, which was very exciting for us. We were used to speeches, but the phrase “keynote speech” really makes it sound special.
It was a little bit weird to see pictures of oneself during the presentation all the time
To top it off, the year ended with another meaningful success for Schein. We got awarded the prestigious German Game Developer Award in the Newcomer Category.
While standing on the stage you REALLY can’t see anything – it was like talking to a radiant spirit of light and fog
After so many events somehow we were happy to see the year finally end. The team took some time off over the Christmas holidays to regain strength. Well and now – fully motivated we are about to tackle another ambitious and hopefully highly successful year. 2014 beware, here we come!
Good luck, and love to you all.