Greater Games

I finally decided to commit to my original dream and found the game studio Greater Games under which all new game development efforts are now running, including the Punzel franchise as well as any future developments of Investnuts.

Currently, we have a new game under development called “Uuugh”. This is a game project in collaboration with the University Clinic of Ulm that tackles the topic of sexual violence in social youth clubs.
The game is scheduled to release in late 2023 or early 2024 and will be tested and evaluated together with various youth clubs around Cologne: “Evangelisches Jugendreferat”, “Jugendhaus TREFFER”, “anyway e.V.”.

Gonku GbR - Investnuts, Kubun, Heya

In 2019, together with Raphael Martin, a computer scientist from KIT, we founded the company GonKu (stemming from an amalgamate of PolyGON and KUbus (cube)).

This company was more generally focused on the development of digital products. On the one hand, we continued to develop games with a purpose. The most notable of which is the game “InvestNuts”, a game teaching the basics of financial education via the metaphor of a cute squirrel planting nuts. This game has won the biggest German Award for children's games (1. Platz TOMMI 2021), received outstanding reviews, and is consistently growing its player base.

On the other hand, we created innovative digital platforms that support human cognition and research.

The first of these projects has in big parts been influenced by my Ph.D. research. It focuses on a new and innovative User Interface and Algorithm for similarity-based browsing/database-navigation.

We named the project Kubun - based on the Japanese word for classification. Ku Bun Explanation

The project won the Ideenstark award in 2020.

Its game- and movie-based prototypes are currently disabled but the game design elements & playing incentives databases that I accumulated during and for my PhD are still available:
Kubun.io

The second project is HEYA - a visio/spatial bookmarking tool.

This project is based on the understanding that people with visio/spatial memory use images and locations to mark and locate memories. For such people, the possibility to use visual layouting for bookmarking websites would serve as a large benefit to their productivity and their respective peace of mind in being able to retrieve information that would otherwise be lost to them. Link Prototype: Gonku-HEYA

The project was presented at the Falling Walls science competition in Karlsruhe and managed to achieve the 3rd prize.

After a growing difference in vision, we decided to close the company in July 2023.

Bunny & Gnome - Müll AG

In my diploma project, which later became my first fully fleshed-out game release, I aimed to combine the two most prevalent topics of my studies: the topic of recycling (the main focus of my product design projects) and the topic of digital games (all of my ventures in the realm of media art).
Together with Brice Clocher, a computer scientist from INSA, we decided to create a game that teaches waste sorting in the most colorful, engaging, and stimulating way (think “Pokémon” but with waste sorting).

From the conception of the idea until release the overall development took two years. During that time, we founded the company “Bunny & Gnome” - with Bunny representing Brice and Gnome representing me. We found great collaborators in the waste department of the city of Karlsruhe and with their support successfully launched the game in July 2014.

Trashmonsters

Since then, the game has won several prizes (XXX), been featured in German TV (XXX) and has accumulated over 66.000 downloads across the three mobile platforms it has been published on (Links).

Prof. Dr. Greta Hoffmann - the head behind all these operations

I am a person that fiercely enjoys well-crafted games and media - most of all if they manage to stimulate the mind, afford learning, and spark curiosity while offering a blissful audio-visual experience.
I do believe that both can be true at the same time and that those books, games, movies, and series that achieve this are the pinnacles of their field.

I refer to this principle as “Vollkorn”.

Vollkorn-Brot (whole-grain) is German bread made from lots of different grains. Its digestion takes longer than common wheat-based bread, thus it prevents you from overeating while offering more nurtural value. At the same time - if prepared right - it offers such a rich taste that a piece of butter and a sprinkle of salt are enough to afford the most delightful culinary experience.

To be able to achieve this level of richness in my products I decided to proceed with my academic career with a self-funded Ph.D. that I finished in July 2022
(https://publikationen.bibliothek.kit.edu/1000149775)

I now also work as a professor of game design in Cologne and therein strive to continuously teach as well as learn.
(https://colognegamelab.de/about/faculty-staff/professors/dr-greta-hoffmann/)