For those of you out there who are game developers, or are interested in making games, you’re probably aware of how much time and effort goes into crafting any interactive experience. From the basic design of worlds, characters, mechanics and interfaces, to the creation of art and music assets to bring a world to life, from initially sitting down, creating the programming framework for a game’s systems to the frustrating, headache-inducing work of discovering, replicating and fixing bugs, making even the simplest game can be a herculean endeavour.

This is even more so when one is an indie developer, especially if one is new to the field or is making games on the side, as the distractions and troubles of everyday life (rent, food, work, etc) often get in the way of creativity and finding the time to work on a project, meaning that many talented developers never get a chance to finish their games.

Fortunately, Stugan, a non-profit accelerator for talented game developers that shares its name with the Swedish word for “cabin” or “cottage”, and not coincidentally, with the first commercial game ever created in Sweden, is here to help change that, giving those new to the industry a chance to take make their game idea into reality by removing the need to worry about food, rent, internet or other costs for two months.

The exact dates for Stugan are yet to be announced, but it will run from approximately the end of June 2017 until mid-August. This might not sound like a long time, but one can get a lot done in 8 weeks, especially when one both has a plan and does not have to concern oneself with the constant distractions of everyday life – or indeed, of an urban lifestyle.

Stugan doesn’t offer subsidies or other means of defraying one’s living expenses. It offers those selected a chance to spend the summer in a large cabin in the Swedish countryside, far from from the distractions of civilization, (located between Falun and Borlänge, in the municipality of Dalarna, for those interested), a cabin with food, fast internet, and enough living space/work space for a cohort of around 20 people.

The only cost to participants is arranging for travel from their home city to Stockholm (and possibly the fee for a visa, if one is from a certain set of countries), and whatever computer equipment or software/tools needed to complete their project goals. Everything else, including travel from Stockholm to Stugan, housing, utilities, and more, are all included.

To sweeten the deal, participants keep full ownership over what they create, as Stugan, being a non-profit program, takes no stake in projects or companies.

Requirements

If all of this sounds interesting, here’s the run-down on what they’re looking for in applicants:

  • Be over 18 (for legal reasons)
  • Have a great idea for a game, with at least a tiny bit of code or paper prototype to prove your project (all platforms / genres welcome!)
  • Have a team of one, two or – at most – three people
  • Be committed to spend this summer in Stugan, in the countryside in Sweden
  • Have a clear goal to reach during at Stugan (i.e. a demo, a Kickstarter build or a game ready for release, etc)
  • Be willing to have your development documented through video and text while at Stugan

Applying

Meet the qualifications? You’ll need to send [email protected] the following:

  • A short written description of you/your team (max 200 words)
  • A short written description of your game (max 200 words)
  • A short written description of your goal. What will you try to achieve in Stugan? (E.g. Create a Kickstarter build, create an Alpha, create a finished game to publish on Steam) (max 50 words)
  • A link to a video presentation of your team and your game project that you want to work on in Stugan (Max 90 seconds long!)
  • Contact details for you and your team (email, phone number and Skype ID)

And of course, spreading the word by linking to the program’s Facebook page or Twitter, is always good for one’s chance of being selected.

The application period runs from February 8th to March 31st 2017, so good luck – and perhaps we’ll be seeing you at Stugan!