We were nominated for German Video Game Award DCP for three awards. When the news hit, we were super excited and slowly we’re turning back to normal mode. After a few days of digesting the news, I wanted to say some words.
What this nomination means to us
The federal ministry of transportation and digital infrastructure, the BIU, the GAME and the Stiftung digitale Spielekultur, the hosts of the show, are using this prize as a recognition and support for games developed in Germany. We have been nominated in the past and unfortunately did not take home the award then. Still, that nomination was one of the many reasons that made us keep developing games. I am very happy to see that the ministry split the pot for the “newcomer” prize between all nominations since then. This will help small studios a lot. 10k can mean a lot for a small studio just in the progress of founding.
The prize is an institution that is worth a lot to studios like us. Not only is the amount of money a very significant funding opportunity for a next title, but also being recognized by a federal institution as a “worthy industry” means a lot.
Most of these companies have been going through some rough times to get where they are now, scraping together a lot of passion and managing their expectations. As a smallish studio, I can only imagine the troubles of running game development at a bigger scale.
Recognition is one of the most important things for small developers. Yes, there is money and yes there is fame. But most developers are very much aware that making games is not the place to get rich, at least the ones I know personally.
We have been working on our game for a long time now
Shift Happens took ten people and about three years to make: We came up and refined the main mechanic, designed and animated the characters, crafted an art-style, made all the thousands of assets, integrated them, added a ton of level content, designed a whole new game mode, made the game fun, added online and network functionality, built user interfaces from scratch and many many more things.
But making a game is also a lot of work which stays invisible to a huge portion of the consumers. Securing funding, finding and managing an office, staying in touch with the rest of the industry, going to trade shows, organizing meetups and events, networking, finding partners for publishing, legal battles, paperwork for all of your employees, trying to get some PR going, feeding ten people on payroll, securing another round of funding, making users happy (especially in Early Access), technical issues with your software. All of this is happening behind the scenes in every single of these companies, whose games you are playing on a daily basis.
Of course, the best case scenario is that these struggles are rewarded by a well-selling game. This is not always the case as the chances for having a best-selling hit on your hands is pretty thin. Overcoming the aforementioned hurdles and being able to finish the game in itself certainly are a reward. Nevertheless, the DCP is a great way of showing support and acknowledging the hard work that was poured into all the games.
We are incredibly happy that the committee found the release version of our game worthy of being nominated. It already means a lot for us and we are really looking forward to the ceremony. It made a lot of our struggles worth it.
So nevertheless what the outcome of this gala will be, we are happy to be standing there among friends, peers and other studios we look up to. Our sincere shout-out goes to all the other game-makers, whose games are also the result of sweat and tears and are not up for an award. A lot of people would have deserved standing up there.
It has been a great journey so far and we’re confident that we’ll be around quite some time.