Tomorrow one of the industry highlights of the year is upon us, so just before Pocket Gamer ConnectsHelsinki kicks off we are getting to know some of our star speakers and giving you a flavour of what they'll be discussing at the event.
Tali Tzukerman is the Product Director of Madness Ventures, who recently launched a new game development incubator programme, ‘Madness Ventures’ and is the lead sponsor for this year’s Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki. We caught up with Tali Tzurkerman, the Product Director of Madness Ventures to learn a bit more about the new incubator programme and why they see the Big Indie Pitch as the perfect platform to shine a spotlight on the next generation of mobile game dev talent.
Pocketgamer.biz: What is Madness Ventures?
Madness Ventures is a one-of-a-kind development incubator programme designed to support mobile game developers to help them build, test and market their new free-to-play mobile games where gameplay is based on a strong element of chance.
It offers funding towards prototype development of early concepts accepted by the programme, and uniquely empowers teams with full creative independence, ownership of IP and ongoing support and guidance from a panel of expert mentors from the Product Madness Senior Leadership Team.
What is your role in Madness Ventures?
I’m Tali, the Product Director, which means I run the overall programme, from the process of managing candidate teams from submitting of their applications to the programme all the way to getting their prototypes built and tested in the market. And a multitude of support and mentoring, from feedback and support to screening and pitching. I’m the main point of contact for those teams accepted into the programme as they work through prototype development.
What is this new programme and how can people apply?
Madness Ventures is an incubator programme looking for experienced teams to submit early-stage mobile game ideas. The games can be any genre within the F2P market, but the core gameplay must be based on a strong element of chance or the probability of random outcomes. Specifically, we’d be looking for these concepts to also include an innovative edge that can easily distinguish them from the competition, and be ambitious and scalable. There’s detailed information on our website for interested teams - we’d love to hear from you!
Why are you sponsoring the Big Indie Pitch?
It’s the perfect match. We’re both doing the same thing, shining a spotlight on future mobile game development talent. Madness Ventures has been set up with that firmly at its core, to find the next superstar developers of mobile games. Our mobile phones and tablets are a fundamental part of our lives. Creating games that capture the hearts and minds of players who already own these devices rather than those that require specific hardware opens up huge opportunities in terms of scale and reach. We find that potential so exciting, so we were delighted to be involved in the Big Indie Pitch and we can’t wait to see a whole host of new hidden gems.
Why is it important to shine a spotlight on future talent?
We’ve been very fortunate at Product Madness to have some incredible industry talent within our business, which has helped us grow as a market leader in our core genres of mobile gaming. We also feel we have a responsibility to nurture and invest in innovation across our industry, supporting the pipeline of future talent along the way. There are many exciting new game concepts out there, but we know that some gaming entrepreneurs might lack the contacts, resources and support needed to bring these games to market. That is where we can add value, and help bring great ideas to life through our incubator programme. By doing this, we will not only bring fresh and fun games to millions of players around the world, but also play our part in supporting top talent and our thriving industry.
What are you hoping to see?
I’m very excited to see new, innovative concepts, in particular some unexpected mashups of ideas, and also to meet the indie dev stars of tomorrow. I feel there’s a lot we, as established publishers, can learn from cool ideas that are born everywhere from teams that have that pure passion. Teams with great innovative concepts that take inspiration from today but also put in a fresh and unique perspective that us veterans can sometimes overlook.
What do you think of PGC Helsinki?
This will be my first time in PGC Helsinki, and although I've been to the London PGC many times before - I am very excited about this Helsinki trip after hearing so many great things. PGC Helsinki used to be the place to meet game studios all around the Nordics. It probably is because it’s very easy for young startups to gather, but it has also become another international “must-go” event where great partnerships form and new deals take place, which makes it a great spot for Madness Ventures in our quest to find great new talent to help launch into the world.