New Year’s Zeppelin

By Michael Benda

As we see the coming and going of Christmas decoration everywhere, from busy shopping streets to their digital counterparts, once again we realize that the year’s end is at hand and a new one arises. As always, this comes together with a mixed feeling about the speed of time. On the one hand it flows clearly too fast, as we just got accustomed to writing 2015 instead of 2014 and suddenly it is already outdated. On the other hand, it feels like half a century ago that we promoted Schein’s release on Steam, which was just around this time last year. Thus, once again, we think it is necessary to recap our year – for you as a little summary of our doings during the last admittedly quiet months, and for us to keep our sanity over the flow of time.

Early 2015 served us mainly to promote Schein and expand our business network. Apart from numerous smaller local events in Vienna and Berlin, we love to think of two events as the highlights of this time: the Central European Conference in Vienna and the Casual Connect Europe in Amsterdam. They will be remembered, not only because of the attention they brought to Schein, but mainly because of the multitude of still lasting friendships to other developers that we managed to establish and to intensify.

CEGCCEGC in Vienna (January 22nd to January 25th)

Casual ConnectCasual Connect Europe (February 2nd to February 7th)

Some of you might wonder how Schein finally fared in the huge scary world of worldwide digital distribution and we still owe you a proper post mortem. This still has to wait for a different time and we are looking forward to share our thoughts with you. Still, one big milestone of the post-release development of Schein was the establishment of a partnership with the Canadian publisher Meridian4, whom we first met in Paris in late 2014. They took over the marketing and digital distribution of Schein, thus allowing us to focus on the thing that we are good in: creating games.

This brings us to a big talking point of today’s indie games industry – working for hire – a topic we will cover in our next blog post.

In the early months of the year, it was a big honor for us to be approached by Making Games, a German game development magazine where we were invited to share our experiences in the development of Schein with the readers in a two-parter.

We made use of the slightly quieter time this year to be part in the organization of two international events: The indie game festival A MAZE. in Berlin, which is a fixed point of the yearly International Games Week Berlin and the A MAZE. Johannesburg, which aims for supporting video game culture and its development in South Africa. From the latter event, arose another cooperation in Regina Kgatle’s project 67games that will bring well-crafted games and playful media experiences to kids in South Africa as a conduit for educational content.

amaze_berlinAMAZE Berlin (April 22nd to April 25th)

amaze_joburgAMAZE Johannesburg (September 9th to September 11th)

The year was rounded up in an unexpected but highly artful manner. Christian Bazant-Hegemark, ex-game developer, artist, curator and much more, made the adventurous approach to unite game dev culture in the context of classical art. In the last weeks of autumn, Schein and many other original Viennese game developers were honored in a screenshot exhibition at Hollerei Gallerie. The medial interest and the crowd of people on the first day showed that the advance of games towards art is progressing greatly and we hope to see more of these and similar endeavors in future.

HollereiScreenshot Exhibition Hollerei (October 19th to November 13th)

As we are recovering from our humble new year’s festivities, and as we are thinking back on our past time in the games business we want to say thank you to all of you – fellow developers, friends, partners, clients and players. We are looking forward to spending the next year in as a marvelous fashion with you as the past ones.