Time Travel Squared, Sheep for Young and Old

»The game industry‘s turnover by now is higher than what the film industry makes.« Thomas Bedenk and Johannes Giering, Brightside Games UG

Foto: Volker Döring

Thomas Bedenk and Johannes Giering met in 2008 in a seminar at the Technische Universität of Berlin (TU).

The coursework included programming computer games. Together, they developed Zeit², a shoot‘em up game, which allows traveling back in time.

In an intelligent manner, Zeit² combines elements from proven games with a new idea and new strategic capabilities. With Zeit², Bedenk and Giering managed to reach the final rounds of important international gaming competitions. Brightside Games, the company they established in 2009, should get the game ready for market. Support was provided in terms of both ideas and financing by the business startup services of TU, the Exist stipends from the Federal Minstry of Economics and the collaboration with the established company from Munich, Remote Control Productions. At the beginning of 2011, Zeit² was published on the XBox 360 game console, which is an enormous success for a debut game.

The conditions for successful development of the business are good. The computer gaming market is growing continuously. “The game industry‘s turnover by now is higher than what the film industry makes.”, Thomas Bedenk explained. He and Giering are betting on long-term growth. They want to remain independent and develop technically demanding games with niveau. Sheep Shack, a game that can be played on any device with a touchscreen and entertain young and old alike, will appear on the market next. From the earliest product development stages on the games are tested to meet the right balance between difficulty and manageability. Bedenk possesses the background knowledge needed for this. After earning his diploma in media design, he took a course in human factors at the TU of Berlin, which was an interdisciplinary study of engineering, design and psychology. As an information technologist and programmer, Giering takes care of the technical perfection.

Brightside Games resides in the Charlottenburg Innovations Centrum (CHIC). As a CHIC renter, the company enjoys a broad spectrum of support services for spin-off companies from the TU and UdK. Startup companies, like Brightside Games, receive economic support in the form of consultation, moderate rent prices and central services in the former Gerling Building on the Charlottenburg campus.

In April 2010, CHIC was able to transfer the 1,500 square meters and has been completely reserved in the meantime by thirteen companies. The renovation of the second part of the building, consisting of 4,500 square meters, should be completed by 2013.

The proximity to the TU and its students is important for the game makers and the further development of their networks. However, they also value the short ways for other reasons. As of this year, they are leading the Game Programming seminar at the TU.

Dr. Michael Schäbitz
Kluge Köpfe 2011