Julianne Becker brought The Rabbit to life, a one-month residency program for indie game developers. In our interview, she talks about the first edition of 2022, what one can expect the second time around, and the Coconat, the workation retreat in Brandenburg where The Rabbit is takes place.
What inspired you to create the Rabbit?
A lot of things came together for The Rabbit to be born. In general, our place has been set up to host a melting pot of people, from as diverse of backgrounds as possible, working seperately on their own projects, in the same space. Another inspiration were artist residencies. We had this really unique offer to create a program for the indie games industry, and the whole thing kind of grew out these ideas.
How did the first round go?
Oh wow - the first round was such a delight! The timeline was pretty fast paced, we were still in the midst of Corona and dealing with all of that, but we got the call out there, and blasted it like nobody's business. People applied!
Our jury made the choice, and then we got ready to host. If the inagural group is representative of the industry, well, I cannot wait to host the next generation Rabbits. They were the most friendly, supportive, active group of people. We all had so much fun, the Rabbits, the team, our whole community!
What will be different this time?
This time we have refined some of the criteria, we are searching for games that are already in protoype phase or production, for teams who are already actively looking for publishers. The programme this time around will have a lot of focus on pitch-readiness, creating content, and a bit of surprise at the end :-)
Why is a program like this important?
Games and game-making are at the forfront of so many new technologies. Indie developers really run the line with artists, as far as creativity, and no fear for pushing boundaries and definitions go. It is the perfect industry to promote if becoming a place that hosts true innovation, and the people who are pushing it. To give space and support for science, art, and even philosophy (almost all of the teams from the last edition were working on specific social themes), is, in my opinion, the best way to lead. The Berlin Brandenburg area is at the heart of Europe, easily connected to the world, and the perfect place to host creative people from everywhere.
Brandenburg offers literal space for so much. The landscapes, the people who are discovering this place, settling here, are active and creative, and I just love to open the doors, and give people from all over the world a peek to it. A lot of people stay much longer than planned when they come here, a lot of people move here.
What do game studios need to bring to the table to be approved for the program?
The application process includes sending us a short video to intro your team and game, combined with a written summary of you/your team, and what you would like to achieve with one month of focused work in The Rabbit program. We accept all platforms and game types.
We look forward to international and local Berlin/Brandenburg applicants; chosen participants will be 50% local and 50% non-local. We have secured a travel budget to enable participation from all over the globe.
The Rabbit is committed to enriching the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We look forward to international and local Berlin/Brandenburg applicants. We expect to create a mixed group of individuals and teams. Candidates who demonstrate an ability to forward DEI goals are encouraged to apply.
- Games should be outside of concept phase, ideally teams are working on the prototype or already in production of the game.
- Detailed project proposal, game and team intro and summary of you and your team for game-related work to be completed over the course of the residency.
- Projects should be close to publisher pitch, already signed teams will also be considered.
Please tell us more about the Coconat.
Space for anyone to be inspired, concentrate, work, and play in the countryside!
Coconat is a social business and impact driven company, with a purpose of being: Inviting. Inspiring. Inventing sustainable stuff. Coconat stands for Community and Concentrated work in Nature. We combine workation, coworking, coliving, and special projects on rural development.
We opened in May 2017, and hosted over 10,000 people for anywhere from a day to a year, and have a thriving community of people who walk through the doors.
How can one apply? What’s the deadline?
Best is to go to the website - https://coconat-space.com/the-rabbit/
Deadline is 8 January!