The first cohort of the NYU Game Center Incubator ran from June 2nd to August 29th of 2014 with a showcase event on September 5th. The showcase drew several hundred people to the Game Center to celebrate the launch of the first six projects. You can view the short presentations about each project here.
Stephen Lawrence Clark
Rooftop Cop is a collection of five endless vignette games and a 7-track album. The games are set on a loose metaphysical timeline in which the Cops slowly lose their way.
Each of the five parts is quite different, and varies in theme from environmental terror, to manic industry, to a sort of darkly aloof joy.
Post Incubator: Rooftop Cop was successfully released in the fall of 2014 on PC. Stephen continues to work as a independent game designer, musician, and educator living in New York, and a co-owner of Babycastles.
Awards and Recognition: 2015 IGF Nuovo Nominee, 2015 IGF Student Finalist, 2014 Fantastic Arcade Official Selection
Secret Crush Corp: Aaron Freedman, Diego Garcia, and Toni Pizza
Your ship is gone. Your crew is scattered. One option remains. Gather your crew… and jump into the sun. Reunite your shipmates and lead them to the afterlife in 50+ distinctly dangerous gravity puzzles.
Post Incubator: Suburn! launched on iOS in Fall of 2014, since launch has more than 100k downloads at varying price points. Sunburn! was featured on the App Store multiple times and maintains a 5-star review. Since Sunburn! Secret Crush has become a sustainable as a game studio in New York City, and the founders work together part-time.
Awards and Recognition: 2014 Gamercamp Official Selection, Featured at MAGFest, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the World Science Festival
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Echostone Games: Atlas Chen & Nick Zhang
Gemini is a poetic video game about a journey of two stars and an artistic expression of personal values and beliefs about life and human relationships.
In the game the player guides two stars into the heavens to light up the sky by controlling the movement of a star that interacts with another little star. The two stars dance and surf in fluid motions, explore in a mythical world, interact with a responsive environment, and overcome obstacles. The little star expresses its own intentions and its relationship to the large star. The player learns about its personality and explores how to fly in tandem with it through the adventure.
The story of Gemini is told wordlessly. It gives the player the freedom to determine the meaning of the game’s narrative and metaphors through playful exploration of the game’s setting and mechanics.
Post Incubator: Since the Incubator, Nick and Atlas have continued to develop Gemini. The game launched on iOS in 2016, get it here.
Awards and Recognition: 2015 IGF Student Finalist, 2014 IndieCade Festival Official Selection, 2015 Indie MEGA Booth GDC Offical Selection, 2016 SXSW Gamer’s Voice Finalist
Press Highlights: Polygon
Soft Body is a bullet heaven game set in a meditative, musical world. As the player paints the world’s geometry, levels will vibrantly shift and rearrange themselves. Inspired by the simplicity and joy of twin-stick shooters and other arcade games, every aspect of the game highlights the fluid motion and control of the player’s snake-like avatars, the Soft Body and the Ghost Body. Players can control these two similar characters at the same time. This challenging mechanic not only creates a high skill ceiling but also provides the unique experience of learning how to split one’s mind–like singing and playing an instrument at the same time.
Awards and Recognition: Best Art at the inaugural Belgian Game Awards, 2016 IGF Honorable Mentions in Best Design and the Seamus McNally Grand Prize, 2016 SXSW Gamer’s Voice Award Nominee
Six super hard trollcore quick restart action games that make your brain hurt and grow.
Post Incubator: The Split launched a successfully Kickstarter at the end of the Incubator, and after a break break to win the Ford Smart Mobility Challenge at Jaunt, work for MLB doing techincal QA, and teach game design at UConn, Ilya is back to working on the Splits full time and expects to release for web.
Awards and Recognition: 2014 Global Game Jam NYC Best Game Design Winner, 2014 Vector Art+Game Convergence Festival Official Selection, Featured game on Forrest Ambassador and Gamejolt
Press Highlights: Rock Paper Shotgun
Asterisk is a team-based shooter in which starship crews compete to destroy each other in pitched space battles. Each crew is given the controls of their ship, a number of guns, some drones, and are then tasked with shooting their opponents’ vessel out of the sky. The game is akin to a real-time action FTL, only each crew member is controlled by another player. The concept was also inspired by the manic communication dynamics of Space Team, the simple, accessible, yet deep controls of Star Control II, and the specialized crew tasks of Artemis (a Star Trek bridge simulator). Guns of Icarus and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime are influences as well.
Post Incubator: Michael continues to work as an indie game designer in New York City developing games such as Nothing Good Can Come of This.