The Company

LudInc and “Professor S.” have been developed by Jan von Meppen since May 2009. Jan had the idea for “Professor S.” while he was helping to install a server at the Mark Twain School in Berlin. His background, having worked in the areas of technology, TV, film and new media production as well as musical composition made the invention of the concept possible. The key insight was that the use of computers and learning games in the class room were not fundamentally different from the way that school books were used – the only difference being the presentation medium: one is analogue and the other digital. Jan's experience with new media, gaming and technology suggested that, rather than presenting educational content in exactly the same way (only digitally), a fully immersive learning environment could be created, in which the pupils were able to engage with fictional characters both in the real and in the virtual world – a big leap from the two-dimensional nature of book-based teaching. Such a learning environment would also enable teachers, children and parents to communicate with each other on an entirely new level. A game like “Professor S.” would also allow the for the school and home environments to become more closely intertwined. After a draft of the concept was presented to the school’s administration, the go-ahead was given for the development and first trial runs of “Professor S.” in a real classroom environment.

For the first two years of development, “Professor S.” was realised with minimal resources. Teaching staff and rooms were provided by the schools. Jan invested his own capital into the development of software and content. In 2011, “Professor S.” received a 17.000 EUR funding award from the Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung (a project fund for cultural education in Berlin). That same year, LudInc also started a partnership with the Flying Moon Film Production. Together with Flying Moon, LudInc developed a transmedia concept for World Skills 2013 in Leipzig which was funded by the MDM and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

In 2012, “Professor S.” received a 50.000 EUR funding award from the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg. Shortly thereafter, Jan von Meppen was invited to present “Professor S.” at the annual conference of school principals in Berlin-Reinickendorf. At this point, the number of participating schools had risen to a total of five. All schools contributed to the project by providing teaching staff and facilities. Since then, the interest of Berlin schools in “Professor S.” has continually increased and 16 additional schools are now waiting to play “Professor S.”