Paintbucket Games
Based in Berlin, Germany

Founding date:
April 24, 2018


Press / Business contact:



Through the Darkest of Times is a strategy game, that lets you play a resistance group in Third Reich Berlin. The game covers the entire time from Hitler’s seizure of power 1933 to Germany’s unconditional surrender 1945. You plan actions of your group while at the same time try to balance the morale of your members, get resources needed for the actions and avoid getting caught by the Gestapo. Big political events follow the actual historical time-line and influence your options and what happens to your group. Your members are fictional and procedurally generated on each playthrough. They come with different personalities, abilities and views. As leader of the group, it's your job to fight the regime by winning hearts and minds of the people, holding your group together and leading them through the darkest of times.


Who we are

We are Paintbucket Games, a Berlin based Indie Game Studio founded by two ex-AAA developers who met at YAGER, making Spec Ops The Line. We also worked on Dead Island 2, Dreadnought, Albion Online, Drakensang, Yager (the game), Desperados 2 and others. Joerg Friedrich does Design and Code and Sebastian Schulz does Art and Design. Each of us has been making games for more than 13 years and we worked 10 of those together.

Why we do this

We are developing Through the Darkest of Times, because we truly believe it needs to be made. Civil resistance in Third Reich Germany is such a fascinating and relevant topic, and it is source of so many interesting stories of true human heroism in a truly horrible time, that we think it’s a shame there is no game about this yet. We are also convinced, that most games still tackle this period of history poorly and leave out the important parts. Nazi Germany is too often just shown as another faction and its aesthetics are used without commentary or context. Games are a narrative medium just like film or books, they can do better than that – we hope that Through the Darkest of Times will help to move the medium forward and encourages more developers to go there.

State of the game

We have playable version, that we let people try at events and conferences to gather feedback. This version contains one of four planned chapters but is still lacking some gameplay and content. The game is published by HANDYGAMES.

Where you can meet us

We are a proud member of Saftladen Berlin, a collective of indie game developers that is home to some great Berlin indie studios and solo developers and is located at the heart of Berlin-Kreuzberg. 2019 the game (and some of us) are travelling to a lot of events to show the game, such as: PAX-East, EGX or Gamescom. If you are a journalist interested in playing the game or talking to us, please contact us or our publisher HANDYGAMES.



download all screenshots & photos as .zip (43MB)

There are far more images available for Paintbucket Games, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!


Awards & Recognition

  • "Funded by the Medianboard Berlin Brandenburg" -
  • "German Developer Award: "Best Studio" - won" -
  • "Gamescom - Award: "Best Indie Game" - "nominated"" -
  • "Welcome to Last Week - Best Indie Games - Award: "Best Story" - won" -

Selected Articles

  • "For all the games we have set in World War II, precious few have attempted to capture the realities of life under the Third Reich. Through the Darkest of Times is a strategy game by two seasoned Berlin-based developers who are attempting exactly that""
    - Ian Boudreau , PC GamesN
  • "Are games suitable for addressing hard real life problems? For example, the war and its consequences? The Holocaust? Jörg Friedrich and Sebastian Schulz have found an answer to this question. "
    - Andre Eymann, Videospielgeschichten
  • "History can work differently in games."
    - Matthias Kreienbrink, Zeit Online
  • " In the historical context you experience your very own personal history, which makes the structures and processes of that time seem so incredibly tangible and real."
    - fraulametta, Welcome To Last Week
  • "Telling things as they happened instead of hiding them will help ensure that history can never repeat itself like this. A video game in which Nazis are fought (...) is certainly a useful tool to put these groups in their place and to destroy their desire to bring us back to the darkest times in world history."
    - Assaf Gavron, Die Welt

Team & Repeating Collaborator

Joerg Friedrich
Code and Design/Founder

Sebastian Schulz
Art and Design/Founder

Vivian Maria Koehler

Jan-Dirk Verbeek
Code and Design

Andrew Nolen
Narrative Design

Almut Schwacke
Sound Design

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks