The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has developed a new promotion model with which it will, in a first instance, support 23 game design, virtual reality and other interactive media related projects. They emerged as winners from the Arts Council’s call for innovative projects combining creativity, technology and marketability. The international jury responsible for the selection was impressed by the high quality and the diversity of the 103 projects submitted overall.
The new promotion model for interactive media attracted a high level of interest. No fewer than 103 projects were submitted following a call for applications, with styles ranging from pixel art to hand-drawn games for platforms such as mobile, PC, console and virtual reality. The bandwidth of genres was equally impressive, including adventure games, geometric puzzles and travels through futuristic worlds. What particularly struck the international jury was the high overall quality of the creative output made in Switzerland. «On my look-out for the next world hit in game experience, I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on the Swiss independent scene», concluded juror Erin Reynolds, creative director at the renowned game studio Flying Mollusk in Los Angeles.
Bridging the divide between creation and market
The jury picked 23 projects that will subsequently receive financial backing at various stages along the value chain – the concept phase, the development of a prototype, and the step into production and/or distribution. The overall grant sum amounts to CHF 400,000. Besides financial assistance, the new model also offers coaching and mentoring measures as well as possibilities to present a product at national and international trade fairs and festivals. Pro Helvetia thereby aims to close the gap between creation and establishment on the market. «The Swiss game designer scene is both young and promising, and requires support to be able to fully unleash its potential», says juror Jason della Rocca, co-founder of Execution Labs in Montreal, a consultancy for game design start-ups.
The new promotion model for interactive media practitioners is part of the Arts Council’s special focus on the coordinated promotion of design and interactive digital media («Culture and Business») in accordance with the Swiss government’s cultural policy statement 2016-2020.
The jury for interactive media projects was made up of: Marie Blondiaux, producer at the game design firm Red Corner (France); Marc Bodmer, journalist and lecturer for media literacy (Switzerland); Tobias Kopka, art director at Ludicious – Zurich Game Festival (Switzerland/Germany); Erin Reynolds, creative director at the game studio Flying Mollusk (USA); Jason della Rocca, co-founder of the consultancy Execution Labs (Canada); Pascal Sieber, president of the corporate consultancy Sieber&Partners (Switzerland); Erinrose Sullivan, digital marketing expert (Switzerland/USA).
The following 23 projects have been selected for support:
- Tabea Iseli, «AVA» (Zurich)
- Robbert van Rodden, «The Journey of Europe» (Zurich)
- AR Flowers, «AR Flowers»(Zurich)
- Xavier Heimgartner, «Scrap Bots» (Hinwil ZH)
- RMDD GmbH, «Foolhardy Company» (Zurich)
- Quentin Lannes, «Far-Fetched» (Geneva)
- Maria Guta, «iMultiply» (Neuchâtel)
Grants for the production of a prototype
- Max Striebel, «Retimed» (Ramlinsburg BL)
- Philippe Kuhn, «Stop, Ampeltime!» (Herrenschwanden BE)
- Hidden Fields GmbH, «Mundaun» (Lucerne)
- Martina Hotz, «Letters» (Wermatswil, ZH)
- Koboldgames GmbH, «Baba Yuga» (Brugg)
- Jessica Friedling, «DarkLight» (Geneva)
- David Roulin, «Colorful Darkness» (Lausanne)
- Okomotive GmbH, «FAR: Lone Sails» (Zurich)
- Stray Fawn Studio, «Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor» (Zurich)
- Jérémy Cuany, «Don’t Kill Her» (Fribourg)
Distribution or project expansion grants:
- Ink Kit, «DERU – The Art of Cooperation»(Zurich)
- Melodie Mousset, «HanaHana 花華» (Zurich)
- Struckd AG, «Build Your Game» (Zurich)
- David Stark, «Airships: Conquer the Skies» (Zurich)
- Team KwaKwa, «Splash Blast Panic» (Chavannes-près-Rennens VD)
- Tourmaline, «Oniri Islands (Part 1)» (Geneva)
A press kit containing a description of five selected games, links to trailers and visual material can be accessed here: https://datatransfer.prohelvetia.ch/#/public/shares-downloads/zWL4akrl0pie4vpFMmaRdPyRhDsGptaq
Lisa Stadler, Communication
firstname.lastname@example.org; +41 44 267 71 51
Media Release by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 26 October 2017