Die Gute Fabrik
NYC / Copenhagen
Die Gute Fabrik (which is German for "The Good Factory") is a small games studio based in New York City and Copenhagen, Denmark. We take classic play forms from the past - be they physical folk games from the playground or adventure games from old consoles - and breathe new life into them with music, 21st century technology, and our own sense of style and storytelling. We strive to develop games that are hand-crafted, synaesthetic, offbeat, and above all, personal.
The studio is co-owned by Nils Deneken, Douglas Wilson, and Christoffer Holmgård. Nils and Christoffer live in Copenhagen, though Nils is originally from Germany. Doug is American, and currently resides in New York City.
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Gute Fabrik was founded by Nils in 2008, a couple of years after completing his first game Rückblende, a final project for his visual communications studies at Essen University.
Nils and Doug first met in Seattle at IndieCade 2008. Then, in January 2009, Doug moved back to Denmark (he had lived there in 2007-08 on a research grant) to pursue a PhD at IT University of Copenhagen. Doug and Nils started jamming on games together at the 2009 Nordic Game Jam, where they worked on 5 Minute MMORPG. Over the next couple years, they would work on a number of projects with the Copenhagen Game Collective, including their physical party game B.U.T.T.O.N. (which would go on to earn a 2011 IGF nomination).
In 2011, Doug officially joined Gute Fabrik with an eye towards publishing his motion control game Johann Sebastian Joust, as well as helping Nils realize his adventure game Mutazione. Doug was also joined by his then-roommate Christoffer, who signed on to help manage business affairs.
Since finishing his PhD in May 2012, Doug has been full-time on Gute Fabrik. Christoffer is currently working on his own PhD (also at ITU), while our day-to-day operations and game productions are run by Doug and Nils.
Over the years, we've collaborated with a variety of talented friends from around Europe and North America. Most our work is coordinated remotely.
Sportsfriends is a tight-knit compendium of local multiplayer games. Features: retro-styled fighting game BaraBariBall, QWOP-like pole vault dueling game Super Pole Riders, high-velocity sports game Hokra, and face-to-face physical party game Johann Sebastian Joust.
Johann Sebastian Joust is an award-winning, physical, music-enabled playground game for motion controllers. Jostle your opponents' controllers while protecting your own!
Where Is My Heart is a puzzle-platformer in which the world is broken up into fragments. Play the story of a family of forest spirits who one day they lose their home and thus embark on a great adventure. Help the three spirits find their home tree again!
Tower No Tumble Tower No Tumble is a physical Sifteo game for 1 to 4 players. Stack, blast, and bobble a tower of cubes - just don't knock it down! Players take turns flicking one cube at a wall or tower built out of the other cubes. The harder you jostle the tower, the more points you earn. But careful, you gain no points if you topple the tower!
Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now (B.U.T.T.O.N.) is a physical party game for 2-8 players, developed w/ the Copenhagen Game Collective. Race to your controller through physical space, and do whatever it takes to win (or to avoid losing). Act like a monkey, jump up and down, wrestle over the controllers, cheat your competitors, and above all, expect the unexpected.
Rückblende is an interactive short about a man who visits his familiy's abandoned summerhouse and confronts memories of the past.
Mutazione is our forthcoming adventure game - a character-driven, music-filled "swamp opera" set in a strange tropical world. The game is still in early development.
2012 - Johann Sebastian Joust | Innovation Award, Game Developers Choice Awards
2012 - Johann Sebastian Joust | PAX 10
Independent Games Festival
2012 - Johann Sebastian Joust | Finalist for Grand Prize and Nuovo, Honorable Mention for Design
2011 - Where Is My Heart | Honorable Mention for Grand Prize, Design, Audio and Nuovo
2011 - B.U.T.T.O.N. | Finalist for Nuovo
2009 - Where Is My Heart | Student Showcase
2008 - Rückblende | Student Showcase
(Doug also worked on 2007 Student Showcase game Euclidean Crisis)
2013 - Edgar Rice Soirée | Nominee
2013 - Tower No Tumble | Digital Select
2011 - Johann Sebastian Joust | Technology Award, Impact Award
2010 - B.U.T.T.O.N. | Wild Card Award
2009 - Where Is My Heart | Student Showcase Winner
2008 - Rückblende | Developers Choice Award
Media Coverage (Highlights)
"Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen"
"How mutants, monsters and Baroque swordsmen inspire Die Gute Fabrik's games"
"Johann Sebastian Joust' Saves Gaming From Video"
"Johann Sebastian Joust: Making a video game without video"
"Portræt: Den usynlige spilskaber"
Logos & Images
Let's Play Videos, Live-Streaming, Monetization
We, Die Gute Fabrik, give permission to anyone who wants to use recorded video material from any of our games for the purpose of monetization in Partner Programs such as YouTube or stream sites such as Twitch.tv. (Actually running the games themselves at for-profit events is a different matter. For inquiries about that, send us an email).
We'd also appreciate it if you link back to our website and/or the game website!
And to be clear, you may not claim ownership over or sell any part of the games themselves (including art assets, music, sounds, code, etc).
If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks for making and sharing videos! We really appreciate people spreading the word.
Founder & Creative Director
Producer & Lead Designer
Some of our closest collaborators include:
Mutazione, Sportsfriends, Tower No Tumble,
Where Is My Heart
Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren
J.S. Joust, B.U.T.T.O.N.
Where Is My Heart