Up to $500,000 is available to bring a new game to market.
The Games Production program supports games developers by providing funding for individual projects, with the aim of:
- encouraging the creation and retention of original IP
- supporting business growth via game success for developers who don’t access Games Enterprise Funds
- providing a new source of finance that can trigger the development of innovative games
- assisting developers to increase the ambition and quality of games.
The Games Production Fund contributes finance to games at the stage where a prototype or animated gameplay trailer has been produced to demonstrate the core game mechanic and features, and sample key art has been created. Some commitment from investors may also be in place.
Games Production Funding can contribute towards all aspects of game development including marketing and lifetime content. Any marketing expenditure should not replace, but rather add value to a publisher’s commitment where one is attached.
Games Production Fund Projects may be created for any games platform, and their focus may be commercial (revenue-generating), cultural (issue-raising, educational, artistic) or innovative (breaking new ground), as long as they are intended for public release.
The 21 successful recipients are:
- Animal Dash (SA) Shark Jump Studios
- Animus (VIC) Playcorp Studios
- Assault Android Cactus (QLD) Witch Beam Games
- Big Baby (NSW) Big Ice Cream
- Blight of the Immortals (QLD) Iron Helmet
- Bonza (QLD) MiniMega
- Burden (VIC) Pixelpickle Games
- Defect: Spaceship Destruction Kit (VIC) Three Phase Interactive
- Feng Shui Master (VIC) Many Monkeys
- Framed (VIC) Loveshack Entertainment
- Gems of War (VIC) Infinity Plus Two
- Knowledge Quest Mobile (VIC) Media Saints
- Locomotivation (NSW) Garoo Games
- Muse (VIC) Current Circus
- Ninja Pizza Girl (QLD) Disparity Games
- Oscura: Adventures in the Driftlands (VIC) Chocolate Liberation Front
- Rotorhead (VIC) Trickstar Games
- Siegecraft Commander (NSW) Blowfish Studios
- Snow Spin (WA) Ezone
- Towncraft (NSW) Flat Earth Games
- Zombie Outbreak Simulator (WA) Binary Space
See detailed project information at the bottom of this page.
A total of $4-5 million is available for the Games Production Fund across the year.
Screen Australia will consider Games Production Fund applications for any amount appropriate to the nature and scale of the game, up to a maximum of $500,000 per project.
Rather than supporting an individual stage of development, Games Production funding is intended to contribute to the total budget for getting a game to market (and beyond, depending on the nature of the game and its monetisation strategies), with funds provided in instalments at key milestones that will be set out in the funding agreement.
The level of funding sought should relate closely to the project’s development plan, release plan and market potential, and the share of the budget accounted for by Screen Australia investment could vary significantly, depending on the nature and scale of the game. Screen Australia would expect to contribute a smaller proportion alongside other substantial investors in the case of higher-budget games, and to provide a higher proportion of total finance in the case of lower-budget games that may otherwise be self-financed and self-published.
It should be noted that successful Games Production Fund applicants may not receive the full amount requested. The level of Screen Australia’s funding commitment will be determined by the decision making process and the total demand on funds.
Where Screen Australia funding is $50,000 or under, it will be provided as a grant. Where Screen Australia funding is more than $50,000, it is provided as a recoupable investment, with copyright and recoupment terms in accordance with the agency’s Terms of Trade.
The applicant company must:
- meet the General Eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade; in particular, it must be incorporated and carrying on business in Australia, and have its central management and control in Australia; and
- be able to demonstrate that it:
– is in the business of developing games, and
– has control of the development process.
The creative team responsible for the game must include at least two experienced games practitioners, each of whom has:
- credits in a senior development role on at least two publicly available games,
- at least two years experience in a senior development role on large-scale PC or console game/s.
A ‘senior development role’ is defined as a leading role in the areas of production, design, art or programming. A ‘large-scale PC or console game’ would have a budget around $4 million or more.
A sole developer may apply if they have created and released at least two publicly available games as a sole developer.
If a project has previously been assessed and declined for funding under this program, it is not eligible to apply again unless significant changes have been made, and a statement will need to be provided setting out the major changes made since the previous submission. Screen Australia will consider this statement when deciding whether or not to accept the application and assess it again for funding. (Note: after two unsuccessful submissions, no further applications for this project will be accepted.)
The game that is the subject of the application must:
- be intended for public release;
- incorporate original IP held by the applicant company or key principals; and
The game that is the subject of the application must not be:
- a game made for internal training purposes only,
- an adver-game (commissioned for corporate marketing purposes); or
- -ame involving gambling.
In 2014, applications may be submitted at any time. The turnaround time from application until decision will be approximately 10 weeks.
Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.
The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.
Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.
Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation.
Call us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.
We have significant experience in applying for grants. Typical areas where we can be of assistance include:
- Demonstrating the identified need;
- Highlighting the relevance to current government policies and priorities;
- Complete the Project Plan and Budget Projections;
- Identify Outcomes that are measurable;
- Detail the applicant organisation’s experience or expertise in undertaking the project/s;
- Calculating the value for money; and
- Demonstrating capacity to deliver quality outcomes
Genre Endless runner
Shark Jump Studios
Developers Matt Le Krupa, Brad Wesson, James Pearse
Synopsis Animal Dash is a game in the ‘runner’ genre, developed for modern mobile devices and targeted at a young audience. The game takes place in a bright, cubic world, with the player taking control of a series of different animals in rapid succession. The player hops from island to island, gathering power-ups along the way, through a procedurally generated world that ensures that every game is unique and full of fun and interesting elements.
Genre Real-time strategy
Developers Chris Mosely, Eamon Logue, Pip Robbins, Alex Boylan
Synopsis Animus is a multiplayer real-time strategy game of planetary conquest. With an emphasis on slower-paced, tactical combat and chess-like decision-making, Animus is a game of deep strategic options that rewards players who out-think their opponent.
ASSAULT ANDROID CACTUS
Genre Action, arcade
Witch Beam Games
Developers Sanatana Mishra, Timothy Dawson, Jeffrey Van Dyck
Synopsis Assault Android Cactus is a twin-stick action game with an emphasis on high pressure gameplay and stylish moments. With screens of opponents, danger everywhere and high-scoring combo chains, it is a finely-tuned arcade style experience for one to four players.
Cactus, an enthusiastic police android, is responding to a stranded space freighter only to discover it under siege by its malfunctioning robot workers. Cut off from the outside and in over her head, Cactus and the androids she recruits along the way battle through the crippled freighter to reach the ship’s Nexus and put things right before it’s too late.
Genre Toy, simulation
Big Ice Cream
Developers Caroline Kinny-Lewis, Gabrielle Banks, Daniel Horth, Adam Sofo, Helen Iacurto, Trudy Cooper
Synopsis Big Baby is a digital toy baby designed for three to six-year-old children, delivered on iOS devices and soon to be launched in international markets. Big Baby brings four babies to life via a mobile device, and is ultra responsive, designed around their reactions, emotions and needs. In the application children interact with a baby using familiar open-ended activities in an environment that provides a highly individual play experience.
BLIGHT OF THE IMMORTALS
Genre Real-time strategy
Developers Jay Kyburz, Penny Kyburz, Alex Ries
Synopsis Blight of the Immortals is a web-based strategy game that is played over several weeks. You can log in once or twice a day to recruit new heroes, command your armies, and fight back the blight. Players lead a host of fantasy creatures in a war against a plague of immortality. For every fantasy creature there is an undead counterpart, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. Blight of the Immortals is a web-based game and can be played on any modern browser, including on desktop and mobile systems. Play when you want and how you want.
Genre Word puzzle
Developers Ben Huxter, Punya Huxter
Synopsis Bonza is a simple and unique word puzzle game that’s easy to learn but also challenging to even the savviest linguists. If you like word puzzle games like 7 Little Words or 4 Pics 1 Word then you will love Bonza. Each puzzle requires the player to arrange word fragments to solve it, like a reverse crossword! Puzzles are specially crafted with a theme so players must use their vocabulary as well as spatial awareness. The game initially features over a hundred puzzles and puzzle packs can be purchased in-game along with coins as consumable currency.
Genre Strategy, tower defence, action-adventure
Developers Robert Dowling, Clinton Shepherd
Synopsis Burden is tower defence meets Shadow of the Colossus. Huge creatures roam the land carrying a mysterious cargo. Along the way rampaging armies and monsters launch assaults on these gigantic creatures out of fear and in an effort to steal the fabled treasure they are rumoured to carry. The Observers have bestowed the player with the duty to protect the massive creatures by building traps and defences directly onto the giants’ colossal frames and ensure these beasts of burden arrive at their destination.
DEFECT: SPACESHIP DESTRUCTION KIT
Genre Customisation, action, battle
Three Phase Interactive
Developers Drew Morrow, Paul Baker, Chris Burns
Synopsis Defect is a game of building spaceships, from small fighters up to planetsized space stations. After every mission the crew will defect and steal the ship, leaving you to build a bigger and better ship to take them on. Part construction game and part combat game, the player takes on the role of a commander in the Suppressed Systems Navy, tasked with defending a planet that the whole universe wants to own.
FENG SHUI MASTER
Many Monkeys Development
Developers Matthew Ditton, Kevin McGrath, Tom Killen, Tim Best
Synopsis Feng Shui Master is a tongue-in-cheek, touch-centred game where the player takes on the role of Teacup, a humble pig, wise in the ways of Feng Shui. Teacup uses his skills to direct the flow of energy through his village to ensure good fortune, and joyful laughs, for all. Only after foiling the dark chi plots of ‘The Master of Negative Space’ can you truly claim the title of Feng Shui Master.
Genre Narrative-driven, puzzle
Developers Joshua Boggs, Adrian Moore, Ollie Brown
Synopsis Framed is an innovative narrative-puzzle game set in a noir comic book world. Presented as an animated graphic novel, each panel depicts an important action or event. After watching the scene unfold, players can rearrange the order of the panels, changing their meaning and the context of the actions within them. This results in a unique interactive narrative where every action is framed by the last, and the player’s imagination carries the story between each panel.
GEMS OF WAR
Genre Puzzle, strategy
Infinity Plus Two
Developers Steve Fawkner, Andrew Castenmiller, Rhiannon Jones
Synopsis In Gems of War, players experience a grand strategy game in a high-fantasy universe. The unique hook is that unlike other strategy games, the battles here are played out on a match-3 puzzle board. Exactly as Puzzle Quest did for role-playing games, Gems of War will open strategy gaming to a whole new audience. Gems of War will also take full advantage of social features to make the game even more amazing than the developer’s previous break-out title, Puzzle Quest.
KNOWLEDGE QUEST MOBILE
Developers Michael Woods, Per Bredenberg, Liam Rott, David McLeod, Mark Coombes
Synopsis Knowledge Quest Mobile brings together the worlds of education and gaming as a fun way to master key English literacy skills. KQ Mobile draws on the power of digital learning to create an interactive, fun and fully supported online English game. With literacy being such a vital component in students’ education, KQ helps motivate and engage students to improve their literacy confidence by providing a new and exciting environment in which to explore in depth the core English language elements of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling and reading, and comprehension. KQ Mobile will introduce a world of opportunity for students to improve their English skills in an agile format suitable for all global curricula and testing frameworks, such as CEF, TOEFL, CCS, IELTS, as well as our very own NAPLAN.
Developers Derek Proud, Stephane Bertout, Aaron Hoffman
Synopsis In Locomotivation, you use your team of hyperactive engineers to build a train line to Central Station! You will need all your wits to stay ahead of the train, deliver the most passengers, and pick up the most coins along the way. Collect special abilities, including lumberjacks to cut down trees, energy drinks to speed up your team, or bridge builders to cross rivers and lakes.
Developers Andrew Jones, Jake Savona, Jim Moynihan, Josh Jenkins, Josh Birse, Keir Meikle, Marcelo Zerwes, Paul Seedy, Peter Burns, Stefan Allaki, Yossi Landesrocha
Synopsis Muse is a single-player audio-visual experience, a genre-bending adventure game and a collaborative creative playground. In the game, players take the role of a young inspirational deity, a Muse. Players are urged to explore an emergent musical world and balance its driving forces, the Wonder Muses.
NINJA PIZZA GIRL
Genre Platformer, action
Developers Nicole Stark, Jason Stark, Bruno Rime, Raven Stark
Synopsis In the not-too-distant future, rampant urban congestion has resulted in only one way of delivering a pizza across town in 20 minutes or less…. underpaid teenage ninjas! Ninja Pizza Girl follows one such pizza ninja and her family Pizzeria’s struggle for independence against the uncontested might of the pizza mega-corporations. Ninja Pizza Girl features an old-school action platformer vibe, a health system that tracks Ninja Pizza Girl’s self esteem, upgradable ninja skills, comic cut-scenes, and a storyline that’s thought-provoking and funny.
OSCURA: ADVENTURES IN THE DRIFTLANDS
Genre Platformer, action-adventure
Chocolate Liberation Front
Developers Frank Verheggen, Dan Fill, Ole Alfheim, Stuart Flanagan
Synopsis Oscura: Adventures in the Driftlands is the follow-up to Oscura. In this exciting action-platform game the player uses light-based game mechanics to guide an unlikely hero on a quest to bring light to a dark and magical world. A series of unfortunate events has plunged the world into darkness and given our lead character – the impetuous Oscura – an eternal flaming hand, as well as the responsibility to save the world from his evil nemesis, who is determined to take over the Driftlands.
Genre Action, first-person shooter
Developers Mike Fegan, Tony Parkes, Andrei Nadin, Tommy Mayer
Synopsis Rotorhead is an action flying game with fast-paced, action-oriented cinematic gameplay, which places the player in command of one of the most deadly pieces of military hardware – an assault gunship. Take control of the sky as you and your squad – a crusty band of ex-special-ops warhorses known collectively as ‘Rotorheads’ – make sure no man is left behind.
Genre Strategy, tower defence
Developers Benjamin Lee, Aaron Grove, Glen Forrester
Synopsis Siegecraft Commander is a new strategy game in the Siegecraft™ universe for one to four players, in which player action, whether building, attacking or defending, is achieved by flinging a projectile from a tower. Players must carefully plan the location of the towers and walls of their fortress network, because walls connecting launched towers may not intersect and if a tower is destroyed, all towers built by that tower (or built by its children) are eliminated in a cascade of destruction. Simple controls and an easy-to-learn set of game units interact in subtle ways to yield a rich tactical experience.
Genre Endless Runner
Developers Simon Edis, Jamie Edis
Synopsis In Snow Spin, our little hero stumbles upon a giant mammoth frozen in a block of ice while exploring. His lifelong search for a preserved mammoth is finally over. In his excitement he strikes his pick axe into the massive ice block, smashing it to pieces and releasing a fully thawed and now angry mammoth! Jumping on his trusty snowboard, the explorer makes his escape and takes to the safety of the slopes – but not for long… The grumpy mammoth is hot on his trail and ready to turn him into an explorer-shaped pancake!
Genre Strategy, city-builder
Flat Earth Games
Developers Leigh Harris, Rohan Harris, Joshua Wright
Synopsis TownCraft is a genre-blending game which takes grass roots crafting mechanics (popularised by games like Minecraft), and uses them as the foundation for a much larger city-builder game, where the player runs their own medieval town. Each map is procedurally generated, meaning that no two games will ever be the same. It’s a game about exploration and discovery, completely free of distractions like survival elements, scores and achievements, and in-app purchases – all are done away with to give a very pure gameplay experience.
ZOMBIE OUTBREAK SIMULATOR (for Android)
Developers Saxon Druce, James Filippone
Synopsis Zombie Outbreak Simulator is a sandbox app where you can customise your own zombie outbreak in real world locations! Watch a zombie outbreak unfold in 20 different real world environments and then bomb them into the ground with Mk81 and Mk82 bombs, delivered by A-10 Tank Killers! Keep track of ‘zombies killed’ and unfortunate ‘collateral damage’ statistics. Alter the outbreak parameters to your liking; customise your own outbreak then watch the chaos unfold. Zoom in and out on the action to keep track of the infection as it spreads across the map! Keep track of the people’s only hope, local law enforcement, as they fight back against overwhelming odds.
Screen Australia has provided $2.6 million to 21 independent Australian game developers to support original games and allow local companies to tap into an $80 billion global market.
Screen Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Fiona Cameron said, “Game development is the fastest growing sector of the worldwide audiovisual market but Australian independent studios have faced a shrinking workforce and extremely tough terms of trade. Yet the sector continues to showcase its creative force with breakthrough mobile games including Fruit Ninja and Ski Safari.”
Screen Australia’s latest support to the fledgling sector targets a diverse range of genres, audiences and platforms. Projects range from the educational Knowledge Quest Mobile, innovative puzzle games such as Framed, a word game, Bonza, and preschool content such as Big Baby, to strategy games Gems of War and Blight of the Immortals, an experimental music-based game, Muse, 2D platform games such as Oscura, and arcade games Assault Android Cactus and Animal Dash. Platforms include iOS, Android, next-gen consoles and PC.
“The sheer volume and quality of applications showed that there is no shortage of talent or great ideas in Australian game development,” said Ms Cameron. “The projects in this round demonstrate Australia’s unique point of difference in creative game design, and our world-class technical ability.
“This support for the independent Australian games sector will help grow creative businesses, develop original ideas and retain a skilled workforce in Australia.
“In this way we facilitate a shift from a reliance on work-for-hire to developing original projects,” Ms Cameron said.
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