Interview

Tommy Palm's vision for Stugan game accelerator

Tommy Palm's vision for Stugan game accelerator

Fresh off the stage at London's F2P Summit, and it's been a busy couple of months for Tommy Palm.

King's former Games Guru – and CEO of Swedish VR gaming start-up Resolution Games – revealed that the cream of the games industry's crop had signed up to mentor at the Stugan accelerator he's founded.

Pronounced Stoor-gan, Stugan roughly translates in English into "cabin."

This is apt, since Palm is inviting 20 aspiring developers to spend two summer months in a cabin deep in the Swedish woods to work on their upcoming games.

Under the tutelage of big names from top Swedish developers such as King, Rovio, Mojang, and Avalanche, these developers will not only craft their creative ideas, but learn the tricks of marketing, business models and entrepreneurship.

"I'll be popping in and out over the summer," Palm tells us, "I have a cabin myself about an hour away, which is pretty convenient!"

Springboard for innovation

Stugan is a venture born out of Palm's passion for gaming, and as such it's a non-profit initiative.

Inspired by creative hotspots like Project Horseshoe and The Factory, he wanted to "give back" to people in the industry and provide a no-strings-attached place to make a game.

"One of the projects that came up when we talked about Stugan is Minecraft," he says.

"It was developed in Sweden and at the time when Markus Persson started working on it, he was with King. It was a whole big project and he didn't really know how he would develop that.

"If he could have had a place to go and focus and get some support maybe that would have been valuable for him at that time. I haven't spoken to him about it, we just use it as an example – and it's not a good example because Minecraft is a one in a million game!"

This year, the aspiring Notches will receive advice from Minecraft's current lead developer Jens Bergensten, who is one of Stugan's mentors.

Apply now

So far applications have been flooding in from all corners of the globe – though not as many from Asia, a shortage Palm attributes to translation issues.

People can apply with games on any platform, whether mobile, VR, or console; all they need to supply is the hardware they're working with.

Of course, the magic ingredient will be their passion to do something new.

"I'm very passionate about my work and I try to reinvent myself a little bit in the things I do," Palm says, and that's why he hopes Stugan could help usher in the next wave of industry innovation.

If you want to apply, applications have been extended until 15 April 2015.


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