Introducing the Tentacle Zone Incubator Cohort 2022
The Tentacle Zone Incubator is a four month virtual games incubator programme for early stage developers from underrepresented backgrounds from across the world. Competition for places was strong again this year and so we decided to increase the number of founders on the programme from 12 to 13!
We wanted to introduce you to this incredibly talented group:
Founder/participant: Moses Adamu, Co-founder and Game Designer
Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
I am the Co-founder and Game Designer at Alheri Games. I am very passionate about gaming and entrepreneurship. I have a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has worked as an Android Developer. My skills include Game Design, WordPress Development, Android App development and Data Science with Python.
Alheri Games is a West Africa game development company currently specialising in the development of hyper casual mobile games and partnering with the biggest hyper casual game publishers in the world to build hit games. We were part of the first game accelerator in Africa, the CrazyHub Cape Town, sponsored by Crazy Labs and Carry1st.
Founder/participant: Conor McKenna, Founder/ Solo Developer
Location: Trim, Co. Meath,Ireland.
I recently founded my company, Aphelios, with the intention of making and releasing meaningful games with characters that people can relate to and take comfort in. CyberThreat is currently the studio’s main focus, but there are more projects in the pipeline that I hope to be able to spend more time working on afterwards.
CyberThreat is a modern-day,
turn-based RPG set between the real world, and the depths of cyberspace. The game revolves around a calendar based system, where each day the player can choose how to spend their time, between dungeon crawling, side
stories, or other activities.
The game features a cast of 25+key characters, each with their own story to tell. The game is being developed for PC, with other platforms targeted after.
Founder/participant: Tania Shamova, Co-Founder/ Narrative Designer | Nick Sukharichev, Co-Founder/ Developer
Location: Riga, Latvia
We are a tiny-yet-mighty game studio set out to make whimsical simulation games that are accessible and fun for everyone! Housefolk is a two-person team consisting of Tania Shamova and Nick Sukharichev. We are both artists in different disciplines, working in gamedev for a combined 10 years, and during this time we’ve worked on several cool games, like Space Engineers, Empyrion and Hustle Castle. One faithful day in 2021 we decided to team up and make a long time idea of ours a reality!
MonsterCare is a management-simulation game for PC and Nintendo Switch, where the player oversees a shelter for neglected and homeless monsters. Starting from a room in the attic and a single lost monster, develop your shelter into an expansive operation, housing multiple monsters with different traits, needs and abilities, at numerous locations around the world. Customize, optimize, and prioritize!
Founder/participant: Beatrice Ionascu, Co-Founder and Producer | Dora Palfi, Co-founder / CEO
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
We are Dora and Beatrice, a Designer and
Engineer duo and the founders of imagi. We started imagi with great passion for building the ultimate product for girls and non-binary kids to get excited about and engaged with coding. The realisation that part of the solution is an educational game led us to the games industry and to now creating our first mobile game. Everything we do at imagi comes from our desire to inspire girls to reach their potential and create a more equitable future.
We live and breathe our mission, and build our products to appeal to girls by design, but to not exclude anyone.
At imagi, we empower girls to unlock the tech industry’s full potential and reimagine the future. We do this through inspiring young girls to become creators. Our products span across the physical and digital. The imagi mobile game (developed for iOS and Android) is a social sandbox game that teaches coding through pixel art, games, and a one-of-a-kind, positive community.
The experience is enhanced by the imagiCharm, a programmable accessory that brings code to life. The imagi mobile game and our other educational products allow us to partner with schools, foundations, and NGOs to multiply our reach.
Founder/participant: Huda Mahdi, Co- Founder, Technical Director | Walaa Mahdi, Co-Founder, Designer
Location: London, UK
Huda and Walaa are two sisters sharing the vision of creating meaningful and inclusive games and experiences. Huda is a software engineer and entrepreneur and is today teaching games programming and business to diploma and university students. Walaa is a highly creative graduate in games art and design, with a knack for R&D. While not working on her game ideas, she tutors in Unreal Engine.
Intrinsic Evolution – IntEvo – was founded as a space to tell their stories and perspectives on life as female Muslims in the West.
We’re creating a franchise of mobile AR murder mystery games set in real locations. Starting in London, players move between and interact with selected Muslim-owned businesses to find clues and solve the mystery using their phone to interact with and progress in the game. As part of the gameplay, we involve businesses in the mystery solving, to truly make the experience come to life. Businesses get more exposure while players get a safe and Muslim-friendly game experience.
Mohammad Ashour, Director & Tech Lead
Location: Morocco, North Africa
My name is Mohammad, and I have always had a passion for creativity and expression. I have spent a career programming and designing. Over the last few years, I have been learning game development and meeting talented, amazing people who want to make games.
An easy-to-learn, hard-to-master, combat deckbuilder with short play sessions and layered strategy. Simple synergies (e.g. yellow cards activate other yellow cards), novel board mechanics like spatial effectors, and a North African sci-fi motif are our hooks so far.
Many Cats Studio
Founder/participant: Chris Goodyear, Solo Developer
Location: Saltburn-by-the-Sea, UK
I am Chris Goodyear (he/him) a deaf developer and producer, I started Many Cats Studios to help bridge the gap between disabled & neurodiverse people and the games industry. I am passionate about highlighting the amazing skills and talents of disabled and neurodiverse people within the industry creating a podcast DNA of Games to create a platform for such people. Many Cats is creating games with better disabled representation and themes with accessibility as a core pillar.
‘Commute’ explores the experience of deaf and Hard of Hearing people on public transport through narrative and puzzles to overcome the frustrations of an inaccessible society. The distinct visual and colour use, complimented by a minimal soundscape helps the player empathise with a disadvantaged group that is rarely at the front of interactive media.
Founder/participant: Sandra ‘’Maxi’’ Molina, Creative Director, Art Director and Voice Director
Staff: Solo Developer
Location: Alicante, Spain
I am a Spanish trans masc / non-binary freelance Creative Director, Art Director and Voice Director, with experience providing casting and direction services in English, Spanish, Catalan and Japanese.
Before switching the focus to management exclusively, we often took roles as 2D Artist, Writer, Editor, Translator, and Comic Book Colorist, gathering over 9 years of experience working across different artistic industries. In my free time between hats, I am a vocal trans activist and mental health advocate, warning newcomers against the dangers of crunch while giving lessons on core “soft” skills, such as public speaking and confidence coaching.
Though my eclectic career has taken me from major companies such as Blizzard and DC Comics to a wealth of indie games, my greatest love and claim to fame lies on my own passion project, The Hayseed Knight, for which I am the sole developer.
The Hayseed Knight
The Hayseed Knight is a fully voice acted and animated Visual Novel where you’ll join a ragtag band of misfits as they piece together how Ader, a one-eyed farmboy with seemingly impossible dreams, becomes the most celebrated knight the kingdom of Acazhor has ever known. This gorgeous, fully voice-acted and animated visual novel unravels in unexpected ways with a perfect blend of mystery, comedy and romance!
Sleepy Mermaids Studio
Founder/participant: Izabela Krasimirova, Founder & Developer
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Hello world! I am Izabela and I love making weird art 🙂 I remember that since I was a child I was obsessed with making up stories and drafting my own characters. I went to study business in university as I really did believe that here in Bulgaria one can make a good living out of a career in arts, so I spent the last 10 years in the fields of finance and data analysis. However in the last few years making concept art and music really reshaped my life and how I imagined my career would progress.
I started Sleepy Mermaids Studio not only to prove myself wrong that one can actually make a living by just following their wildest dreams but to also show other folks from marginalized communities like me that it is possible to make it in an industry that is largely male dominated.
Vagabontia is a story driven game for PC that expands on the “find the hidden figures” genre by setting levels as moving scenes with hand drawn cartoon style art, being backed by nonintrusive lo-fi, jazzy music. I am creating the story narrative, concept art and writing the music. It follows the story of a group of 12 tiny aliens- the Vagabonts who live on the dwarf planet Vagabontia in the Kuiper’s belt and show how they are experiencing humans’ pop culture over the ages through the scrambled radio signals they manage to collect from Earth.
The player will be engaged with their edgy personalities and learn how they are trying to save their planet from space monsters, go on tiny adventures and live their alien but still very familiar to human lives. The game would serve as a prism of earthly pop-culture and show how all the strange things we do as a society could be perceived if they are taken out of context.
Founder/participant: Lisa Maurer
My name is Lisa Maurer, I’m a solo gamedev currently working on a 3D platformer: Wick & Flare. I make and release games under the name Princess Hype, where my goal is to make tight and stylish games heavily inspired by Japanese animation, a medium that shaped my imagination.
My ambition is to be able to continue to work on my over the top ideas and stories while collaborating with the people who inspire me.
Wick & Flare
Solar Flare London Ltd
Founder/participant: Max Elmore, Founder
Location: London, UK
Solar Flare London was formed in June 2021 of 6 members who wanted to make games that were new and unique as well as true to our passions and what inspired us to get to this stage. We first participated in the Tranzfuser Enterprise Pathway, ran by the UK Games Fund, whereby we were thankfully selected as one of the 2021 winners thus helping fund the studio. Evaluating our options, we decided it was necessary to put the project we worked on during Tranzfuser on hold, while we explore some other options to hopefully secure a publishing deal. We worked on some smaller games and put them out there as well as started to focus our attention to our main project, Fool’s Gold.
The game we’re developing is called Fool’s Gold. It’s a chaotic couch co-op tomb-raiding game in which two players work together to grab as much treasure as they can and use a variety of transportation mechanisms to get the treasure back to their escape vehicle before time runs out.
It mashes the frantic, quickfire co-op play of Overcooked with Indiana Jones-style tombs, traps, and adventure to create a uniquely tumultuous teamwork experience. We’re developing the game primarily for PC and looking to port to console if the game sees success.
Founder/participant: Seyed Nasrollahi, Founder & CEO
Location: London, UK
Hi! My name is Seyed and I am the founder and CEO at Unifiq Games. After completing my PhD in physics, I embarked on an entrepreneurship journey and founded Unifiq Games with the ambition to make fun science-based games. Currently we are working on our debut title Operation Outsmart. I am most passionate about three topics: games, physics and machine learning, and Operation Outsmart features all of them. My ultimate vision is to create a fully interactive, persistent and emergent science-based world where players can unleash their creativity in meaningful ways.
Operation Outsmart is a physics-based sandbox RPG primarily for PC. The game inspires creativity and learning while engaging players through comedic combat, joyful characters, compelling story, and easy controls that can be picked up and mastered by all ages.
In the game, you build machines to complete puzzle and combat quests. You can reinforce your builds with new parts and materials, recruit koalas to operate your weapons and save the island from pesky robotic minions.
WinWin Game Studio
Founder/participant: Zeynab Mizadeh, Founder & Game Developer
Tale of Chak Chak
We are working on creating a companion game that aims to cultivate inner happiness. It offers interactions that create self-love, groundedness and calmness. It also contains a narrative for representing the story of a drop of water, searching for happiness.