Game Hub is aimed at supporting independent game development in Israel. The program is three months long and includes financial support of up to 80,000 NIS, an open plan work space, guidance and advice from topnotch mentors, Lectures and meetings with key players in the gaming industry, Exposure, marketing, and investment possibilities, business opportunities, and collaborations.
Dani Bacon is a designer and developer, founder and CEO of the Israel Game Hub. Dani has over 20 years of experience in creating interactive experiences in a wide variety of mediums. In 2007 Dani co-founded the BaconOppheneim design studio. His work includes projects such as PiTSi, a game with over 100 million installs that was acknowledged as a Webby Honoree; the design of the new Tel Aviv Museum website; the design of the FWA winning musical project Thru-You; and, as a member of the Sh.Pixel art group, worked on various interactive mapping projects that were presented in museums and festivals. Dani has more than 15 years of experience as a professor and mentor for games and interactive media courses and projects. Dani is the founder and the head of the Game Studies programs in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and in the Hebrew University as part of the BA in Computer Science.
Jason Della Rocca is a game industry entrepreneur, funding advisor, and cluster expert. He specializes in business/partnership development, pitching/funding, and ecosystem/cluster development. As the co-founder of Executions Labs, he was a hands-on early stage investor to over 20 independent game studios from North America and Europe. Between 2000-09 he served as the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and was honored for his industry building efforts with the inaugural Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Conference. In 2009, Jason was named to Game Developer Magazine’s “Power50,” a list which profiles 50 of the most important contributors to the state of the game industry. As a sought after expert on the game industry, Jason has lectured at conferences and universities worldwide.
Peter Vesterbacka is an entrepreneur from the Finest Bay Area at the Heart of Eurasia, Helsinki, Finland. Branded communities co-created and initiated by Peter include the HP Bazaar, Mobile Monday, Slush and Startup Sauna to name a few. He was the Mighty Eagle at Angry Birds for many years taking that brand to unprecedented heights. Peter is also currently adjunct professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Tongji University, one of the leading universities in China. In 2011 Time Magazine named Peter one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.
Gideon Rimmer is a Game Designer, the Content and Operations Manager of Game Hub, and an adjunct professor at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Holds a B.Des from the Department of Visual Communication at Bezalel, and an MA in Visual Game and Media Design from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Rimmer began his professional career in games in 2013 as the co-founder of Upopa Games; since then, he has worked on more than a dozen games in Israel and abroad with over 25 million players. Since 2017, he has been a lecturer on Game Design at Bezalel, in the department of Visual Communication, and formerly in the Master’s degree for Industrial Design. Rimmer is particularly interested in the psychological effects of games and how they can make players experience a range of negative emotions - a topic he has explored in projects such as Shepherd, Sunstroke, 1984, and more.
Omri Halamish is VP Global Operations at ironSource (NYSE: IS). With nearly a decade in various roles at the company, ranging from VP Mobile Sales and Operations to the General Manager of ironSource’s U.S. operations, Omri has an unparalleled understanding of the business side of apps and games. At GameHub, Omri works with the creators on the tools and strategy needed to turn great games into successful businesses, from building a business plan, to the go-to-market strategy, to the technological tools needed for a strong business infrastructure. Omri has a bachelor’s degree in finance from ESG Paris.
Eran Hilleli is a graduate of the Screen-Based Arts Department, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, where he is currently a lecturer. He began his career as an animation director and founder of the Israeli-Swedish studio IORAMA. Hilleli is deeply impacted by Japanese anime of the 1980s and the aesthetics of early video games. His works integrate animation and code to create films, games, and software. Awarded several animation prizes, among them Digital Ehon, Tokyo (2021); Apple Design Prize (2020); and the Gross Prize for Animation (2020). Hilleli participated in festivals and exhibitions around the world, and has been a guest lecturer at prestigious venues such as the RCA, London (2020); Ludicious Zurich Game Fest, Switzerland (2020); and more.
Eric Lerner, animation director, animation artist, and illustrator, graduated from the Department of Visual Communication, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. His animation was awarded the BTAA for a young director following his CocaCola® clip for the Shanghai Olympics. He also worked with large clients such as Carphone Warehouse, 02, Puma, and others. He then established the Soul Royale Studio, Tel Aviv, for design and animation. Eric’s independent animation films were screened at numerous international festivals, among them: Pictoplasma, Berlin, and Pecha Kucha, Tel Aviv. He has been teaching animation and game design for 12 years and is currently head of the specialties Movement & Animation in the Department from which he graduated.
Barak Shelef is the Director of Game Design, Jelly Button Games (acquired by Playtika) and currently leading all of the company’s new games in Israel and worldwide. Among the games Barak led are huge successes such as Pirate Kings, Board Kings, and Merge Stories. In his “spare time,” he also works on a variety of indie games. He is a former lecturer on game design at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and among the founders of the courses collaborating with students from the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Game Hub is designed solely for the development of digital games in one of the following tracks:
Apply to this track with a minimal working demo of a good concept. At the hub, the teams will continue to develop the concept to the first playable prototype that will prove the quality of gameplay, demonstrate the stylistic direction, and test its commercial potential.
Apply to this track with a first prototype of a game that demonstrates its gameplay and stylistic direction (First Playable). At the hub, the team will develop the prototype to a vertical slice of the complete game, including all of the game’s mechanics and final design direction.
Apply to this track with an advanced prototype, gameplay and stylistic direction (vertical slice), as well as a clear plan for completing the components missing to finish the game. At the hub, the team will complete the production of the game and prepare for release.
With this track, Game Hub wishes to lead social change through gaming or the community of game creators. You can apply to this track if you are working on games with a social agenda, or if your team members belong to an underrepresented sector in the community. In both cases, you can apply to any of the tracks detailed above – basis / foundation, advanced, or production.
The kickoff session is the opening shot launching Game Hub. It is three months long (beginning of April–end of June, 2022) and involves five teams in the different support tracks.
From the Brink is a fast-paced Action Roguelite inspired by 2D Platform Fighters. Battle against a multitude of enemies using an ever-changing arsenal of powers.
Traverse dangerous regions and unleash deadly combos as you battle against a multitude of enemies at the same time.
Block, Load, Shoot!
Adventure across the desert as the Nameless Sheriff - outsmarting and outdueling outlaws, while collecting bounties and restoring order to the Shadeless Wasteland.
Team members: Mati Ernst, Itamar Ernst, Nimrod Kimhi, Dima Pshoul, Yuval Vilner