Here at Kolibri Games, we’ve been making efforts over the past few years to be as active as possible when it comes to social impact and green initiatives. Berlin, the city we call home has several organizations and collectives that work towards improving both the local community, along with the planet, and over the course of our time here, we’ve been privileged enough to work closely with some of those groups as we expand our activities in the field.
The launch of our volunteering initiative with Vostel, where we give back to the community through a series of volunteering events where Kolibris are encouraged to participate was the first of these. It continues to be a great cause, and it ultimately led us to the launch of our sustainability program. Starting last year, we effectively tracked our carbon footprint, made meaningful reductions to our emissions, and compensated our remaining emissions with investment into green projects around the world.
We’ve long waited for the opportunity to extend our company’s dedication to sustainability and green initiatives to our products, and that’s why we’re very excited to announce that we will be taking part in this year’s Green Game Jam, organized by Play4thePlanet!
The Green Game Jam brings together games studios from around the world to leverage their games’ reach with the aim of supporting environmental initiatives. This year is our first year of participation, and we want to make the biggest impact possible, that’s why we are introducing some exciting new changes to our flagship product, Idle Miner Tycoon.
As a company, we’re excited to be a part of this initiative, which allows us to develop stronger connections with the rest of the industry and use our games to promote a good cause. To learn more about the range of activities we’re moving ahead with, we got in touch with Boris, our Lead Game Designer for IMT to tell us more about all the exciting things we are doing.
Into the Forest
Our initiative is centered around a series of thematic event mines that highlight the potential of transitioning to sustainable mining, as well as a timed event that will inspire our players to participate in reforestation efforts. Additionally, they’ll be encouraged to contribute to such reforestation initiatives as Ecologi. They’ll be able to make in-app purchases whose profits will be partially donated to the initiative.
Focusing on reforestation, and the effects real-world mining has on the environment played a major part in us choosing to work with Ecologi. As Boris Heisserer, the Lead Game Designer on IMT notes, “real-world mining plays a big part in deforestation, and given how vital trees are to combating climate change, it seems like a perfect fit for us, as a game, to revert some of the damage done by mining by planting trees”.
The Event Mines themselves showcase some unique art and represent various environmental themes. “We try to display different biospheres that are impacted by traditional mining”, says Boris. “We want to turn the process upside down and actually clean up these environments within the game. Jungle, urban, underwater, and “forest” theme that players can enjoy”.
A Team Process
As Boris reveals to us, along with being in support of a good cause, creating this Event Mine was also a fun process for the whole team. Part of this came down to the approach the team adopted. “We had the opportunity to have more of a narrative-driven experience from the creation of the themed progression event. In the game, you’re fighting against the evil “MegaMiine Corp” that operates on Impossible Island. Creating an exciting storyline, and a new Super Manager was very fun for our artists”.
He continues, “it was a really exciting and creative process. With event mines, we have the ability to play to our strengths of being flexible with themes”.
In addition to being an opportunity for the team to utilize their talents on a new series of Event Mines, working towards a good cause like that of the Green Game Jam, also allowed them to connect more with each other and bond as a team. Boris states, “when the idea was brought up to the whole team, everyone was really excited and motivated to work on something so impactful in the real world, and an initiative that games studios from around the world are also taking part in”.
A New Superhero Emerges
Another highlight of the activities we’re unveiling as part of our GGJ participation is the launch of a new Super Manager. These are the most powerful characters to be found in the IMT universe, and our participation in a game jam like this wouldn’t be complete without one.
The ‘Green Idler’ is the Super Manager players will be able to unlock through IAP. Katherine, our Lead Artist on IMT shares her thoughts on the process of creating the character, along with the team’s inspiration for doing so.
“When one of the other artists suggested a Superhero for this Manager during our brainstorming session, I was immediately hooked on the idea. I’m a long-time fan of comics and superheroes and I grew up watching shows like Captain Planet. The most interesting thing about having created this Super Manager was how we had to make sure that they were very distinctly different from our two latest managers which also sported heavy plant-related themes”.
She adds, in relation to the creative freedom that the art team enjoys, “we now have the initiative to make our characters more diverse, meaning that I could try more things in terms of character designs. From the shapes of their eyes to the color of their skin, and even their build.
Though of course, we have our inspirations in creating this character, it still gave rise to a very unique character that I really enjoyed working on”.
Enjoying the Art
With that being said, we’d like to showcase some of the most exciting designs and game art from the project. Of course, we hope that you choose to enjoy the real in-game version while playing Idle Miner Tycoon, but as a sneak peek, here is a collection of themes and super managers to enjoy!
Congratulations to the entire IMT team for their great work!