The creators of a unique game called The Forest Song have won a free trip to GamesBeat 2016 as part of a contest.

Colabee Studios, the maker of The Forest Song, was the first-place winner of an indie game contest at the Intel Buzz Workshop in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. A panel of judges chose The Forest Song for its creativity, originality, and beautiful graphics.

Dima Veryovka and Sean Vesce founded Colabee in Seattle in 2015, after they left E-Line Media, maker of Never Alone. Never Alone was an award-winning title that captured the mythology of native Alaskan tribes. It came from a partnership between E-Line Media and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council. The goal was to create “world games” that taught everyone about native cultures of the globe.

Veryvovka and Vesce broke off on their own, but they still want to make world games and become “social entrepreneurs” who are making games that make a difference. Their first effort is The Forest Song, a video game adaptation of the Ukrainian classic drama, Lisova Pisnya. In the game, the player assumes the role of a peasant who has an extraordinary encounter with a powerful forest spirit. The encounter opens a connection to the spirit world and sparks a clash between the supernatural inhabitants of the forest and the humans. Ukrainian culture experts who are contributing to the game include the faculty of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Among the prizes from Intel that Colabee has won include a free trip to Los Angeles for the GamesBeat 2016 conference. The judges included Kate Edwards, executive director of the International Game Developers Association; Jordan Weisman, CEO of Harebrained Schemes; Jay Moore of the Alacrity Group; and Raja Bala of Intel.

Other winners who will receive free trips to GamesBeat 2016 from Intel include Radu Muresan of Vivid Helix and maker of Semispheres, Sydnie Ritchie, and Kasra Rofouei.




We still have our own contest underway to give five free demos and five additional free admissions for game developers at GamesBeat 2016. The deadline for applying is July 8. Winners for this contest will pay their own way to the event, but their admission will be free. In addition to Edwards and Meloni, judges for this contest include Megan Gaiser, co-CEO of Spiral Media, and Maarten Noyons, CEO of the International Mobile Gaming Awards.