Video game, apps incubator set to open

An incubator for fledgling companies that want to make video games and apps is set to open in early March at the Louisiana Technology Park on Florida Boulevard.

About 1,800 square feet will be set aside for digital media companies, said Jesse Hoggard, a spokesman for the tech park.

Right now, new carpet is being installed and walls are being painted in the space in anticipation of the opening early next month.

Hoggard said the plan is to have two to four teams, with as many as eight employees, moving into the space.

The space will have studios for sound recording and motion capture, where actors are filmed and have their actions digitized to animate computer characters.

“The focus will be on things that can be digitally distributed and not just games,” Hoggard said.

This will include Apple and Android apps and streaming video games on networks such as Steam and Xbox LIVE.

The incubator is being funded by a $75,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership that provides economic development opportunities to 252 parishes and counties in the Mississippi Delta. The grant is for 18 months and will be used to bring in video game experts from California and Austin to serve as mentors to the digital media companies.

“We’ll get people who specialize in character design or environmental design to work with teams that are lacking in expertise,” Hoggard said.

Skype conferences will also be held so local start-ups can hear from experts. The hope is the incubator can help digital media companies make the leap from working out of garages and apartments.

“We’re building from the grassroots side,” Hoggard said. “We want there to be a steady stream of teams and products.”