Wishing you a wonderful summer and some well deserved de-connection! Our offices are closed until August 8. Do catch us at gamescom in Cologne from August 24 until 26.
Good news, everyone! With all the space horror floating around recently, you might think a developer called MoonMonster Studios, one of the latest additions to the FLEGA family, might work on something similarly gory. It’s easy to misread, but lean in a little closer – don’t worry, it’s totally safe – and you’ll find almost the complete opposite of that. These monsters just want to make you laugh.
Co-founders Gilles Vancoillie and Seppe Roelandt bonded over their shared love for whacky animated shows like Rick & Morty or Futurama and started their studio with a desire to recreate the epic comedy moments of these shows. Not an easy feat – video games that really make you laugh out loud are few and far between – but it makes their mission all the more recommendable.
And going off what we’ve already seen of their debut Space Control VR, they’re definitely heading in the right direction. Described as a VR comedy sim where you play as a border control officer in space, you’ll have to check (and perform the weirdest tests on) a wide variety of aliens to see whether it’s safe to let them travel to Earth. Or you can just mess around with the talking crayons on the whiteboard. It’s your (and potentially the whole planet’s) funeral.
Just check out the below trailer to see if it tickles your funny bone.
When not building towards the next comedic climax, you can hire MoonMonster for anything from asset creation to the development of educational titles. It’s not because laughter is what drives this team, they can’t be serious when need be. Just talk to some of their B2B clients like Fluvius and Colruyt Groep and they probably will tell you the same thing.
Whether you’re interested in their serious or well, less serious persona, you can keep tabs on whatever MoonMonster is doing through every social media platform known to mankind or simply join their Discord. You know you want to.
Before you blast off, I have one more small announcement to make.
This is a little awkward to write, but this has been my final FLEGA blog post. I’d like to thank everyone who has indulged my silly writing, stupid jokes, and impeccable eighties classics recommendations over the years. If I have ever made you smile, feel fuzzy inside or perhaps even roll your eyes, then my time here has been well spent.
A special thank you to Youri Loedts (previous FLEGA blogger) and David Verbruggen (General Manager at FLEGA) for taking me on board and giving me the opportunity to get to know the #BelgianGamesIndustry inside-out. It was a pleasure meeting and talking to all of you wonderfully gifted people, and I’m sure we’ll see each other again soon.
If you have kids in your family, chances are you’ve seen them play physical puzzle games created by SmartGames. A big part of the Kontich based company’s succes is the unique thematic spin, which speaks to the imagination of the players. They’re not just solving a puzzle, they are Little Red Riding Hood making their way through the forest, a king building their castle or a brave adventurer venturing in and out of dangerous temples. They also offer various difficulty levels, easing players in before giving their brain a proper workout.
Come to think of it, they’re actually designed like video games.
It’s not that big of a leap, then, to see SmartGames join the always expanding FLEGA family. After all, they’ve created an online platform for puzzle-solving that can be accessed on pc and mobile. Over at SmartGames Live, there’s a total of 20 different puzzle types. Some are completely original, others are adapted from the physical versions. Just like their physical siblings, there’s various difficulty levels to tackle, so the same puzzle type can appeal to younger and older children, while the Master difficulty might even give the adults a run for their money.
After creating an account (there’s a 6 months free trial!), the platform will keep track of which puzzles you’ve already solved and you can also rate your favourite ones. The website also keeps track of who’s solving puzzles at the moment, so others can bask in the glory of your kid’s superior intellect.
There’s also a couple of dedicated SmartGames mobile apps, which focus on one title, but it’s clear that the main course of their digital offering is the browser platform, which keeps adding new puzzle types on a regular basis. If you want to be kept in the loop about those, it might be worth signing up for the newsletter or follow SmartGames on Twitter or Instagram.
And now if you’ll excuse us, there’s a pretty big boulder heading our way and we haven’t quite figured out how to escape from it! Might have to call one of the kids.
Do you have an idea/IP you want to transform into a game? Are you open to a collaborative co-production with a Dutch game studio? We might have that little financial push for you. Read on to know more.
Flemish Minister for Media Dalle has made available €500,000 a year -for the next four years- for new initiatives that stimulate co-production between Flemish and Dutch creative teams. Besides podcasts and series, the support scheme also applies to games that are co-developed by Flemish and Dutch teams. The support scheme is handled by VAF Gamefund in collaboration with the Dutch Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.
In addition to the creative inspiration co-production offers, there is also a financial incentive for Flemish and Dutch teams working together on a game. As the project is developed in two countries, both VAF and the Stimulation Fund can offer financial support.
Not sure whom to partner up with? No worries: supply and demand are brought together on a dedicated MeetToMatch page so you can browse through the profiles in search of a good match.
Some important things to keep in mind:
- Core creative tasks must be fulfilled by both studios. This means a balanced distribution of important roles such as game director, technical director, lead narrative, art director, game design lead, etc.
- A work-for-hire construction is not eligible.
- The collaborating teams must share IP, or at least split the project’s revenue based on each studio’s share of the work put into the project.
- Applications can be made for three different types of games: entertainment, artistic and serious games (excluding educational games).
- The maximum amount for an application is €75,000 ex VAT.
- Like all other support from VAF Gamefund, the contribution is an interest-free loan that studios must repay, only after they have deducted their own financial contribution, sweat equity and any other payment obligations from the income.
Application deadline is August 23.
It’s not even June yet but the lovely people over at VAF|GAME have already announced the results of the second funding call of the year. Usually, that doesn’t happen until after the summer, but there’s four funding calls this year instead of the regular three (and on top of that there’s another surprise you will hear about very soon), so there you go. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t the biggest haul ever, but what it lacked in numbers, it more than made up for in quality!
- Language experts Linguineo have received € 75.000 for Hubla, a new video game project where players learn a new language by discovering a foreign culture (educational game)
- They’re still grinding on Spookware, but Beeswax Games has already secured € 75.000 for their next adventure (artistic game)
- After securing pre-production funding for Cherry, we’re happy to see natural born storytellers like Charlie securing € 112.500 for the renamed project All I Ever Wanted (entertainment game).
- Last but not least, Brussels based Studio Tolima is getting € 250.000 to fully realise the potential of their yet to be announced debut title. (entertainment game)
Congratulations to the teams who received funding. We’re sure you will put the funds to good use and create some truly spectacular video game experiences. There’s still two more regular calls this year (and don’t forget about that special surprise!) so don’t worry if you weren’t among the chosen few today. You’ll need to hurry though for the next deadline which will be on June 14th. If you need a little more time, the fourth and final funding call deadline of 2022 will be on October 4th. Whichever you choose, go for it and good luck!