Xsolla Accelerator helps independent studios kickstart their industry success

Xsolla Accelerator helps independent studios kickstart their industry success

February 28, 2023
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There are a lot of factors independent gaming studios have to take into account when they begin their game development journey, from finding and pitching to publishers or investors, to the design and creation of the actual game. This can be a lot to juggle as the studio tries to establish itself and also gain traction in the industry.

With the ultimate goal of tackling these challenges, as well as early-stage funding support, the Xsolla Accelerator program was created. Partners who apply for the program unlock access to a trove of resources and support that can boost their chances of success. This includes expert-level industry insight, developmental guidance from educational programs, and even the opportunity to receive a bridge fund of up to $100,000 to help their game business thrive.

Since its launch, Accelerator has worked closely with a variety of innovative independent studios to support, guide, and educate them as they prepare to launch their games. You can learn more about each studio, the projects they’re working on, and how Accelerator helped them equip their business for their future launch.

Project Timi: Sasha’s Curse

ABOUT

Born from an imaginative discussion with colleagues that evolved into a prototype created during a Hackathon weekend, Project Timi is a colorful adventure game filled with magical creatures, evil bosses, and fun puzzles created by the team at Ephemeral Cube.

Founded in 2019, the independent studio prides itself on the belief that games should be made for the love of the craft. And with the development of Project Timi, the company’s goal to be a studio that focused on beautifully crafted experiences that delighted players and left spectators in awe is within reach.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With a growing team of talented professionals from around the world dedicated to the studio's goal, Xsolla Accelerator became a vital resource for them as they laid the foundation of their company:

  • Ephemeral Cube took a process-focused approach throughout the program. With the need for internal structure and a team that was ready to scale, Accelerator was able to support them as they defined the company’s mission and values, revamped internal documentation to help incoming team members get started, and organized accounting and legal paperwork.
  • Streamlining the technical department was also an important improvement for the company as they started recruitment for their planned full production cycle in 2023.
  • Accelerator also supported the team as they learned to adapt and sharpen their pitching skills as they prepared to seek future funding opportunities.

Project Timi: Sasha’s Curse is planned for release in the last quarter of 2023. It will be available on Nintendo Switch and on PC via Steam.

Ritual Night

ABOUT

Inspired by both Avalon and Among Us, Ritual Night is a multiplayer social deduction game where players try to outsmart their friends. The concept started in a game design class at New York University and, through experimentation with mechanics and themes of different games, evolved into a digital prototype. The game is a unique take on a traditional game night, centered around a group of friends who can play as monsters that are participating in a ritual.

The game is being developed by Outfox Games, an independent studio that creates games where players can tap into their wit and shrewdness by outfoxing their opposition. The company is headed up by Mike Zhang, who teamed up with a group of friends he met at a freshman game design class in university. Their goal is to be known for games that delight audiences and inspire unique experiences.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

To set up both Ritual Night and Outfox Games for success, the company needed some tools and guidance from Accelerator:

  • The team at Outfox Games was able to hone their pitch presentation that helped emphasize and highlight the unique features and potential of Ritual Night.
  • The program helped the team accelerate the game development process, resulting in the completion of all props and rooms for the game’s first map, a spooky collection of Halloween-themed cosmetics, and four polished, animated cutscenes.
  • The Outfox Games team also improved the game’s user experience with a clearer UI and tutorials, finalized the UI to match the game’s art style, prototyped five new minigames, and even implemented language localization.
  • Finally, the team attended three in-person events – GamesweekBerlin, PlayNYC, and TechDay New York – to showcase Ritual Night and the company.

Ritual Night currently has a demo available on Discord and an early access launch is planned for Spring 2023 on Steam.

Flame Keeper

ABOUT

Flame Keeper is a unique, multi-faceted game that follows the journey of its main protagonist: a piece of coal. The main motive of the game is to keep the coal’s fire burning as things like wind and other obstacles try to get in the way using features like combat, weapons, skills, and other items that add a dynamic feel to the game.

Created by Kautki Cave, a studio of developers headquartered in Poland, the game’s journey started with a group of friends who participated in TK Game Jam and won second place based on their answer for game jam keywords: hiding and wind. Taking pride in the project they’d created together, the team decided to pursue it further and came together to form the studio. After a few years of spare time development, Untold Tales, the team’s first investor and publisher, helped the group create Kautki Cave and dedicate their full efforts to the creation of Flame Keeper.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

Even though they became part of the Untold Tales group, the team at Kautki Cave was still starting fresh as an independent game development studio. The Accelerator program became the guide they needed to achieve their game’s goals and ensure it succeeded when it launched.

  • The group continued adding main features and facets to the game such as weapons, items, and new ability upgrades.
  • The program’s feedback also prompted some balance and mechanic tweaks to the game.

Flame Keeper will be available in 2023 on both PC and consoles, with exact dates and specific platforms to be announced soon.

The Fallen

ABOUT

A unique, atmospheric game where the player is a soul that’s fallen from heaven into a strange new world, The Fallen is a first-person adventure that requires players to save other souls in order to gain strength and make their escape.

Developed by Berlin-based indie game dev team, Visionkeeper Studio, The Fallen was inspired by the many iterative idea sessions between the studio’s founders, Samir and Käthe. The two created the studio in 2019 with the dream of creating emotionally-charged games that were short, yet convey powerful messages that inspire players to think and reflect. The concept for the game started with a simple premise like "carrying something further" or "having to rise after crashing down" which then evolved into the rest of the game’s design.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With another game, A Game About a Flame, also prototyped and planned to launch after The Fallen, it was critical for Visionkeeper Studio to build a strong framework for their budget and production funding. Accelerator not only helped establish this framework, it also helped the team acquire user feedback they can utilize in their development process.

  • With The Fallen as the team’s debut title, the team created several prototypes to test different elements and dynamics of the game. This also allowed for the team to survey all the mechanics of the game and plan ahead how all the pieces might fit together, ensuring the highest-quality end result when it’s launched.
  • The team successfully finished pre-production and was even able to exhibit the game publicly for the first time at NERDIC in Berlin in November 2022. Here the game was played by real users for the first time, which also generated promising feedback.
  • Finally, the Visionkeeper Studios team secured its whole production budget with the help of Xsolla Accelerator Investment and the German Game Fund.

The Fallen is still in its development stages and is estimated to be available in 2024.

Cognition Method

ABOUT

Cognition Method is a first-person physics puzzler that highlights unique perspectives and focuses on the alteration of space and gravity. This dynamic game has an aspect of self-awareness and conveys an atmosphere of loneliness, where the environment itself tests the player and touches on questions that make people think about human nature and the limits of humanity.

The concept for Cognition Method started with the experimentation of gravity mechanics that turned into such a captivating experience that the team at the development studio, Team Cognition, turned it into a full-fledged game. The basis of the plot centers around the idea that perceptions and meanings can change based on the characteristics and personality of each  player.

Team Cognition was founded in 2021.  With a team that’s united by a passion for both sci-fi and video games, their vision is to create a unique gaming experience that experiments, pushes limits, and explores new horizons by showcasing shared experiences and emotions within video games.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With a fresh team on board and the game on its way to being completed, it was time for the team to establish a foundation for Team Cognition as a studio, which is where Accelerator was instrumental.

  • The team was able to organize their workflow and processes, which allowed them to put into perspective the advantages, limits, and potential of the team.
  • Accelerator’s educational resources also helped the team make progress with their pitching strategy as well as how to communicate effectively with future business partners or publishers.

Cognition Method is due to be released on Steam in the last quarter of 2023. Other platforms are yet to be determined but will be announced along with the release date of the game.  

Memory Lost

ABOUT

Memory Lost is a third-person action shooter where the player is a cyber assassin that has the ability to infect their enemy's mind, seizing control of their body and weapons. It was inspired by the concept of the game’s mechanics, where relocating into the enemy’s body could have a story function in addition to a gameplay function. In the game, each body relocation creates a new collection of information from the enemy’s memories, knowledge, and emotions, which is what inspired the name to allude to something related to memory.

The game is being created by Magic Hazard, a team of indie developers based in Russia that was formed in 2020 by a collection of friends with a unique idea. Though the group that was assembled by Sergey Kuznetsov, the team’s director, was inspired by the concept, they were all young and inexperienced in the realm of game development. The dedication of the team members, however, was overwhelming, leading to months of every member learning new skills, discussing the concept of the game, looking through reference materials, and even studying the gaming market to make the idea work.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With the team established and the game development in motion, Accelerator helped to optimize the game and make it ready for launch.

  • The team was able to add elements to the game like the main character’s progress system, new enemies with unique abilities, improved impact and animations, and other tweaks that improved the player’s experience.
  • New play tests were also taken into account to improve certain aspects like the representation of special abilities for new enemies, animations of more cutscenes and cinematics, as well as the overall improvement of the UX and UI.
  • General refinements that will make the game more successful after launch were also implemented such as localization into 10 languages, adding a full voiceover in two languages, and stabilizing the fps by decreasing the build size of the game from 24 GB to 14 GB.
  • Finally, the team released Memory Lost: Chapter One, an incentive that garnered 153 positive reviews, more than 24 thousand plays, and more than 130 thousand players who added the game to their library.

Memory Lost’s scheduled release date on Steam and PC is  March 2, 2023. Its release on Xbox will be determined at a later date, and its release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation platforms depend on a partnership with a publisher.

Neanderthalica

ABOUT

A quirky puzzle-Metroidvania being developed by Cheers LLC, Neanderthalica is a game that allows you to alter and modify a prehistoric, procedurally generated world through elements like weather.

The Ukrainian indie game studio was founded in 2017 with a vision to develop fascinating stories and immersive worlds. Though it’s released a few hyper-casual games, Neanderthallica has been the team’s main focus.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

Xsolla Accelerator was critical in providing expert feedback and insight on the development of the game. Throughout the team’s participation in the program, they were able to recreate the game after Xsolla Accelerator provided expert feedback and insight on the development of the game, which included bug fixes and more. This means the team’s upcoming demo will be ready to showcase to potential publishers, investors, and even players.

The game is estimated to be released mid to late 2023 on Steam and potentially on some consoles as well.

Hydropunk

ABOUT

Hydropunk is an action-adventure game created by the team at Nova64. Set in an underground world of hydro-powered machinery with sim-inspired mechanics and a Steampunk aesthetic, the story centers around Saper, an engineer and the main protagonist who searches through the unknown monsters and horrors of his civilization to rescue his sister.

Nova64 operates with a mission to create worlds that tell stories and a goal to release games for players who seek a challenge within deep, immersive virtual worlds. Powered by the philosophy that every game is an inspiring form of art and media that sends an important message to their players, the studio of indie developers created Hydropunk with the intent to tell a unique and captivating story.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With such an intricate story to tell, the Nova64 team was able to take advantage of Accelerator’s expert guidance and advice in getting the game to its final stages of development.

  • One aspect of Hydropunk that was created during the program was the development of the game’s vertical slice.
  • The team managed to tighten and optimize their pitch through feedback, making their presentation much more informative and accurate in describing the vision for Hydropunk.

The game will be available on PC and consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

There are a lot of factors independent gaming studios have to take into account when they begin their game development journey, from finding and pitching to publishers or investors, to the design and creation of the actual game. This can be a lot to juggle as the studio tries to establish itself and also gain traction in the industry.

With the ultimate goal of tackling these challenges, as well as early-stage funding support, the Xsolla Accelerator program was created. Partners who apply for the program unlock access to a trove of resources and support that can boost their chances of success. This includes expert-level industry insight, developmental guidance from educational programs, and even the opportunity to receive a bridge fund of up to $100,000 to help their game business thrive.

Since its launch, Accelerator has worked closely with a variety of innovative independent studios to support, guide, and educate them as they prepare to launch their games. You can learn more about each studio, the projects they’re working on, and how Accelerator helped them equip their business for their future launch.

Project Timi: Sasha’s Curse

ABOUT

Born from an imaginative discussion with colleagues that evolved into a prototype created during a Hackathon weekend, Project Timi is a colorful adventure game filled with magical creatures, evil bosses, and fun puzzles created by the team at Ephemeral Cube.

Founded in 2019, the independent studio prides itself on the belief that games should be made for the love of the craft. And with the development of Project Timi, the company’s goal to be a studio that focused on beautifully crafted experiences that delighted players and left spectators in awe is within reach.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With a growing team of talented professionals from around the world dedicated to the studio's goal, Xsolla Accelerator became a vital resource for them as they laid the foundation of their company:

  • Ephemeral Cube took a process-focused approach throughout the program. With the need for internal structure and a team that was ready to scale, Accelerator was able to support them as they defined the company’s mission and values, revamped internal documentation to help incoming team members get started, and organized accounting and legal paperwork.
  • Streamlining the technical department was also an important improvement for the company as they started recruitment for their planned full production cycle in 2023.
  • Accelerator also supported the team as they learned to adapt and sharpen their pitching skills as they prepared to seek future funding opportunities.

Project Timi: Sasha’s Curse is planned for release in the last quarter of 2023. It will be available on Nintendo Switch and on PC via Steam.

Ritual Night

ABOUT

Inspired by both Avalon and Among Us, Ritual Night is a multiplayer social deduction game where players try to outsmart their friends. The concept started in a game design class at New York University and, through experimentation with mechanics and themes of different games, evolved into a digital prototype. The game is a unique take on a traditional game night, centered around a group of friends who can play as monsters that are participating in a ritual.

The game is being developed by Outfox Games, an independent studio that creates games where players can tap into their wit and shrewdness by outfoxing their opposition. The company is headed up by Mike Zhang, who teamed up with a group of friends he met at a freshman game design class in university. Their goal is to be known for games that delight audiences and inspire unique experiences.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

To set up both Ritual Night and Outfox Games for success, the company needed some tools and guidance from Accelerator:

  • The team at Outfox Games was able to hone their pitch presentation that helped emphasize and highlight the unique features and potential of Ritual Night.
  • The program helped the team accelerate the game development process, resulting in the completion of all props and rooms for the game’s first map, a spooky collection of Halloween-themed cosmetics, and four polished, animated cutscenes.
  • The Outfox Games team also improved the game’s user experience with a clearer UI and tutorials, finalized the UI to match the game’s art style, prototyped five new minigames, and even implemented language localization.
  • Finally, the team attended three in-person events – GamesweekBerlin, PlayNYC, and TechDay New York – to showcase Ritual Night and the company.

Ritual Night currently has a demo available on Discord and an early access launch is planned for Spring 2023 on Steam.

Flame Keeper

ABOUT

Flame Keeper is a unique, multi-faceted game that follows the journey of its main protagonist: a piece of coal. The main motive of the game is to keep the coal’s fire burning as things like wind and other obstacles try to get in the way using features like combat, weapons, skills, and other items that add a dynamic feel to the game.

Created by Kautki Cave, a studio of developers headquartered in Poland, the game’s journey started with a group of friends who participated in TK Game Jam and won second place based on their answer for game jam keywords: hiding and wind. Taking pride in the project they’d created together, the team decided to pursue it further and came together to form the studio. After a few years of spare time development, Untold Tales, the team’s first investor and publisher, helped the group create Kautki Cave and dedicate their full efforts to the creation of Flame Keeper.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

Even though they became part of the Untold Tales group, the team at Kautki Cave was still starting fresh as an independent game development studio. The Accelerator program became the guide they needed to achieve their game’s goals and ensure it succeeded when it launched.

  • The group continued adding main features and facets to the game such as weapons, items, and new ability upgrades.
  • The program’s feedback also prompted some balance and mechanic tweaks to the game.

Flame Keeper will be available in 2023 on both PC and consoles, with exact dates and specific platforms to be announced soon.

The Fallen

ABOUT

A unique, atmospheric game where the player is a soul that’s fallen from heaven into a strange new world, The Fallen is a first-person adventure that requires players to save other souls in order to gain strength and make their escape.

Developed by Berlin-based indie game dev team, Visionkeeper Studio, The Fallen was inspired by the many iterative idea sessions between the studio’s founders, Samir and Käthe. The two created the studio in 2019 with the dream of creating emotionally-charged games that were short, yet convey powerful messages that inspire players to think and reflect. The concept for the game started with a simple premise like "carrying something further" or "having to rise after crashing down" which then evolved into the rest of the game’s design.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With another game, A Game About a Flame, also prototyped and planned to launch after The Fallen, it was critical for Visionkeeper Studio to build a strong framework for their budget and production funding. Accelerator not only helped establish this framework, it also helped the team acquire user feedback they can utilize in their development process.

  • With The Fallen as the team’s debut title, the team created several prototypes to test different elements and dynamics of the game. This also allowed for the team to survey all the mechanics of the game and plan ahead how all the pieces might fit together, ensuring the highest-quality end result when it’s launched.
  • The team successfully finished pre-production and was even able to exhibit the game publicly for the first time at NERDIC in Berlin in November 2022. Here the game was played by real users for the first time, which also generated promising feedback.
  • Finally, the Visionkeeper Studios team secured its whole production budget with the help of Xsolla Accelerator Investment and the German Game Fund.

The Fallen is still in its development stages and is estimated to be available in 2024.

Cognition Method

ABOUT

Cognition Method is a first-person physics puzzler that highlights unique perspectives and focuses on the alteration of space and gravity. This dynamic game has an aspect of self-awareness and conveys an atmosphere of loneliness, where the environment itself tests the player and touches on questions that make people think about human nature and the limits of humanity.

The concept for Cognition Method started with the experimentation of gravity mechanics that turned into such a captivating experience that the team at the development studio, Team Cognition, turned it into a full-fledged game. The basis of the plot centers around the idea that perceptions and meanings can change based on the characteristics and personality of each  player.

Team Cognition was founded in 2021.  With a team that’s united by a passion for both sci-fi and video games, their vision is to create a unique gaming experience that experiments, pushes limits, and explores new horizons by showcasing shared experiences and emotions within video games.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With a fresh team on board and the game on its way to being completed, it was time for the team to establish a foundation for Team Cognition as a studio, which is where Accelerator was instrumental.

  • The team was able to organize their workflow and processes, which allowed them to put into perspective the advantages, limits, and potential of the team.
  • Accelerator’s educational resources also helped the team make progress with their pitching strategy as well as how to communicate effectively with future business partners or publishers.

Cognition Method is due to be released on Steam in the last quarter of 2023. Other platforms are yet to be determined but will be announced along with the release date of the game.  

Memory Lost

ABOUT

Memory Lost is a third-person action shooter where the player is a cyber assassin that has the ability to infect their enemy's mind, seizing control of their body and weapons. It was inspired by the concept of the game’s mechanics, where relocating into the enemy’s body could have a story function in addition to a gameplay function. In the game, each body relocation creates a new collection of information from the enemy’s memories, knowledge, and emotions, which is what inspired the name to allude to something related to memory.

The game is being created by Magic Hazard, a team of indie developers based in Russia that was formed in 2020 by a collection of friends with a unique idea. Though the group that was assembled by Sergey Kuznetsov, the team’s director, was inspired by the concept, they were all young and inexperienced in the realm of game development. The dedication of the team members, however, was overwhelming, leading to months of every member learning new skills, discussing the concept of the game, looking through reference materials, and even studying the gaming market to make the idea work.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With the team established and the game development in motion, Accelerator helped to optimize the game and make it ready for launch.

  • The team was able to add elements to the game like the main character’s progress system, new enemies with unique abilities, improved impact and animations, and other tweaks that improved the player’s experience.
  • New play tests were also taken into account to improve certain aspects like the representation of special abilities for new enemies, animations of more cutscenes and cinematics, as well as the overall improvement of the UX and UI.
  • General refinements that will make the game more successful after launch were also implemented such as localization into 10 languages, adding a full voiceover in two languages, and stabilizing the fps by decreasing the build size of the game from 24 GB to 14 GB.
  • Finally, the team released Memory Lost: Chapter One, an incentive that garnered 153 positive reviews, more than 24 thousand plays, and more than 130 thousand players who added the game to their library.

Memory Lost’s scheduled release date on Steam and PC is  March 2, 2023. Its release on Xbox will be determined at a later date, and its release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation platforms depend on a partnership with a publisher.

Neanderthalica

ABOUT

A quirky puzzle-Metroidvania being developed by Cheers LLC, Neanderthalica is a game that allows you to alter and modify a prehistoric, procedurally generated world through elements like weather.

The Ukrainian indie game studio was founded in 2017 with a vision to develop fascinating stories and immersive worlds. Though it’s released a few hyper-casual games, Neanderthallica has been the team’s main focus.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

Xsolla Accelerator was critical in providing expert feedback and insight on the development of the game. Throughout the team’s participation in the program, they were able to recreate the game after Xsolla Accelerator provided expert feedback and insight on the development of the game, which included bug fixes and more. This means the team’s upcoming demo will be ready to showcase to potential publishers, investors, and even players.

The game is estimated to be released mid to late 2023 on Steam and potentially on some consoles as well.

Hydropunk

ABOUT

Hydropunk is an action-adventure game created by the team at Nova64. Set in an underground world of hydro-powered machinery with sim-inspired mechanics and a Steampunk aesthetic, the story centers around Saper, an engineer and the main protagonist who searches through the unknown monsters and horrors of his civilization to rescue his sister.

Nova64 operates with a mission to create worlds that tell stories and a goal to release games for players who seek a challenge within deep, immersive virtual worlds. Powered by the philosophy that every game is an inspiring form of art and media that sends an important message to their players, the studio of indie developers created Hydropunk with the intent to tell a unique and captivating story.

HOW ACCELERATOR HELPED

With such an intricate story to tell, the Nova64 team was able to take advantage of Accelerator’s expert guidance and advice in getting the game to its final stages of development.

  • One aspect of Hydropunk that was created during the program was the development of the game’s vertical slice.
  • The team managed to tighten and optimize their pitch through feedback, making their presentation much more informative and accurate in describing the vision for Hydropunk.

The game will be available on PC and consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

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