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Screen Australia announces over $1.6 million in support of the games industry

21/03/2024

21 03 2024 - Media release Screen Australia announces over $1.6 million in support of the games industry

Which Way Up: Galaxy Games

Screen Australia has announced over $1.6 million in support of 12 games through the Games Production Fund and 15 games through the Emerging Gamemakers Fund. This is in addition to the five recipients selected to travel to San Francisco to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) through Screen Australia's Future Leaders Delegation, which is taking place this week.

Announced in October, the Games Production Fund, Emerging Gamemakers Fund and the Future Leaders Delegation were introduced by Screen Australia to provide Australian independent gamemakers with direct funding for original games with budgets below $500,000, support new projects from emerging gamemakers and offer additional opportunities for professional development. The new programs are supported by the Federal Government's National Cultural Policy Revive, which includes a commitment of $12 million over 4 years of dedicated games funding through Screen Australia.

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke said, Australia has a proud history of game development going right back to The Hobbit. What this does is support the future of Australian game development, making sure we don't miss out on the next Unpacking or Untitled Goose Game. Many of these games might not be set in Australia or even on this planet but they do show the best of Australian creativity and storytelling.

CEO of Screen Australia, Deirdre Brennan said, Australia is home to some of the world's most talented, independent gamemakers and we're thrilled to support this dynamic community. We're seeing unprecedented demand for these programs, and as Screen Australia's focus on games expands, it will allow our domestic industry to demand attention at an international level. This innovative funding support, as part of the National Cultural Policy, enables bold local-storytelling that will engage gamers around the world.

Since reopening in March 2022, Screen Australia's games funding has provided over $10 million in support of the local games industry, including Gubbins, Earthlingo and The Master's Pupil. The agency has supported games across a variety of platforms, such as PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch and iOS/Android, with games aimed at release on App stores, Steam, itch.io, Nintendo eShop and more.

GAMES PRODUCTION FUND The Games Production Fund provides grants of up to $100,000 towards supporting the development of original, Australian independent games, with a budget of up to $500,000 at the time of applying to support the game towards a significant milestone of its development.

The funded projects are:

Ascending Inferno (ACT): A 2.5D precision platformer that blends voxel and pixel art together to reimagine Dante s Inferno. Players follow the journey of the recently deceased Dani, and her sibling Vincent who is oddly shaped like a soccer ball. Dani must kick, header and juggle Vincent to ascend out of Inferno. The team includes the four co-founders Isaac Iozzi, Rebecca Haller-Trost, Ben Anderson and Bas Anderson, 3D artists Martin Daniel Widdowson, Ricky-Lee Huddson-Stephens and Lachlan Smith, 2D artists Chris Ottey and Fauzi Raisyuli, community manager Div Randev and composer Dan Poole.

Anvilheart (SA): In this story-driven shop management game, a vagrant's dream of a better life is suddenly realised when they find themselves stumbling into a blacksmithing apprenticeship. As if from nowhere, they suddenly have everything they were missing - a warm home, friends and a mentor. But they soon discover this miracle is founded on a monstrous secret: the house fire which triggered it all was masterminded by a madman, who made this life for the vagrant after peering into their dreams. Anvilheart is from co-founder and creative director Sean Dee, co-founder and programmer Emma Waters, programmer Elle Valentine, character artist James Hobbs, environment artist Harry Mickan and composer John Oestmann.

Finch and Archie (WA): A co-op murder mystery where players become one half of a crime-fighting duo: Jack Finch the detective or Archie the police dog - using skills to find evidence, interrogate suspects, and catch the culprit in a gritty, noir 1930s setting. Attached are producer Dickson Dic Shen Hee, developer Aubrey Vigus, level designer Tom Lorenti, composer Harry May, writer Liz Glass and designer Rhys Veale-Chan. It is financed with support from Screenwest.

K domon: Hyper Auto Battlers (SA): In this auto-battle deckbuilder roguelike game, players can collect and battle over 180 unique creatures called K domon. They can level-up, evolve and assemble their K domon into the ultimate team, creating synergies to beat big bosses and discover secrets. K domon: Hyper Auto Battlers is from CEO/MD/founder Patrick Sigley and producer Rhiannon James.

Lighthaze World (TAS): A story-driven puzzle game where players adopt the role of anxious Nym. Nym is on a mission to retrieve food for his pet dog Chewie at their local shopping centre, Lighthaze World. Overwhelmed by the crowd, Nym passes out and, after regaining consciousness, finds himself in a new mental realm crafted by his own mind to cope with the overwhelming reality - requiring players to complete puzzles and navigate this surreal mall to obtain the dog food. Lighthaze World is created by CEO/MD/founder Anthony Hilkmann, composer Lynden Woodiwiss and 3D artist Liam Gibbs.

Momento (QLD): A room decorator game that invites players to decorate their space and choose meaningful objects that influence the life they experience. With branching narratives, Momento will be a warm ode to the challenge of following dreams down the winding road of life. Attached are lead artist Jasmine Phillips, lead narrative Jessica Lyon and lead developer Julian Beiboer.
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2024/03-21-ove...
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