Basic Facts

Die Gute Fabrik


Johann Sebastian Joust
Tower No Tumble


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Die Gute Fabrik (which is German for "The Good Factory") is an independent games studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Founded by Nils Deneken in 2008 to be a home for a wide constellation of collaborators, the studio is now led by Creative Director Hannah Nicklin, and is currently focussed on developing story-driven games.

Die Gute Fabrik aim to draw inspiration from a variety of disciplines and histories, and to continue to push the boundaries of our ideas about what games can be; from multiplayer games based on folk play, to story-driven games which draw inspiration from soap operas, ensemble cast storytelling, television and theatre.

We make work which is driven by excellence, intentionality and care.

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Gute Fabrik was founded by Nils Deneken in 2008, a couple of years after completing his first game Rückblende, a final project for his visual communications studies at Essen University.

Nils then met Doug Wilson in Seattle at IndieCade 2008. 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 realise his adventure game Mutazione. Doug was also joined by his then-housemate Christoffer Holmgård, who signed on to help manage business affairs.

Over the years, the company has come to collaborate with a number of talented friends from around the world, and in January 2017 Hannah Nicklin was brought on board to help with the writing of Mutazione. Her role quickly grew to Lead Writer and Narrative Designer, with an increasing involvement in production and support to Christoffer in bizdev, before the owners offered her the role of CEO and Studio Lead in January 2019, for which she moved to Copenhagen in April 2019.

Hannah now runs Die Gute Fabrik, with the support of the Owners as both collaborators and as an advisory Board of Directors.


Saltsea Chronicles

Saltsea Chronicles

Saltsea Chronicles is a new story-driven adventure game developed by Die Gute Fabrik. Set in a post-flood world, Saltsea Chronicles allows you to guide a misfit crew in search of their missing captain. The investigation and the decisions you make will see you explore a series of beautiful andintriguing islands, meet different communities, and see the lives of people built on the ruins of what came before – all as you unravel the mystery at the heart of the game.
To be released in 2023.



Mutazione, a mutant soap opera, is an adventure game where the juicy personal drama is just as important as the high-stakes adventure part of the story... They can survive an apocalyptic meteor strike, but can they survive their small-town drama?
Released September 2019.



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.
First released 2014.

J.S. Joust

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!
First released 2014.

Tower No Tumble

Tower No Tumble

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!
Released in 2013



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). Jump up and down, wrestle over the controllers, cheat your competitors, and above all, expect the unexpected.
Released in 2010.



Rückblende is an interactive short about a man who visits his familiy's abandoned summerhouse and confronts memories of the past.
Released in 2006.

Recent Awards

Mutazione has won the following awards and nominations:

Independent Games Festival WINNER - 2020 Excellence in Audio
Independent Games Festival NOMINATED - 2020 Excellence in Narrative
Independent Games Festival NOMINATED - 2020 Excellence in Visual Art
Independent Games Festival NOMINATED - 2020 Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Spilprisen WINNER - 2020 Best Narrative
Spilprisen NOMINATED - 2020 Game of the Year
Spilprisen NOMINATED - 2020 Best Visuals
Spilprisen NOMINATED - 2020 Best Audio
Nordic Game Awards WINNER - 2020 Best Audio
Pocket Gamer Awards NOMINATED - Best Storytelling
Pocket Gamer Awards NOMINATED - People's Choice
Pocket Gamer Awards NOMINATED - Game of the Year

Older Awards

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 - B.U.T.T.O.N.  |  Finalist for Nuovo
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
2008 - Rückblende  |  Developers Choice Award

(Doug also worked on 2008 Fun Award game Dark Room Sex Game)

Media Coverage (Highlights)

"One of 2019’s best-written games was a gorgeous soap opera."
The Verge, 2019.

"Mutazione is a game about the importance of tending to gardens and people"
Polygon, 2020.

"Mutazione review - warm-hearted gardening in a neglected world"
Eurogamer, 2019.

"What to play: ‘Mutazione’ finds harmony in nature as we become plant-loving mutants"
LA Times, 2019

"Mutazione is a Contemplative, Quiet Adventure."
Forbes, 2019

"Mutazione's gardening reminds me that when video games give me order, I want chaos."
Eurogamer, 2019.

"Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen"
NPR, 2014

"How mutants, monsters and Baroque swordsmen inspire Die Gute Fabrik's games"
Polygon, 2013

Us And The Game Industry

Pewdiepie, 2014

"Johann Sebastian Joust' Saves Gaming From Video"
Forbes, 2013

"Johann Sebastian Joust: Making a video game without video"
Polygon, 2012

"Portræt: Den usynlige spilskaber"
Politiken, 2012

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 (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.


Nils Deneken
Founder, Co-owner & Lead Artist

Douglas Wilson
Co-owner & Consulting Designer

Christoffer Holmgård
Co-owner & Chair of the Board.


Hannah Nicklin
CEO, and Studio Lead.


Die Gute Fabrik is founded on a principle of collaborating with talented people from many different disciplines, often particularly because they bring a perspective from a different art form or practice. Under the leadership of Hannah Nicklin we are also working hard to greater diversify our pool of collaborators to better include LGBTQ+, BIPOC and other marginalised people working in and around games. For a current list of our team and collaborators, please refer to our website.

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer)