The Definitive List Of Screen Australia's Recently Funded Aussie Games

We mentioned recently that a whole bunch of local indie developers received funding from Screen Australia, as a part of their huge initiative to boost the industry, but we didn't mention all of them. Here we have a triumphant list of all those who made the cut, and there are a few surprise hints at what's to come.

While there was an earlier group of developers funded on the 18th of June, this post covers the more recent announcement on the 30th of September. Iron Helmet, the makers of Neptune's Pride 2, are there with their new game Blight of the Immortals. We saw Burden at Pax Aus and were very impressed, so it's good to see Pixelpickle Games there. We also recently covered Towncraft creators Flat Earth Games, and Slap! creators Minimega. And it looks like there's a new Siegecraft on the way, as well as Gems of War, a new match 3 game from Infinite Interactive.

And all 'round, it's just a good list to see in terms of knowing who is doing what.

Animal Dash Genre: Endless runner Shark Jump Studios Developers: Matt Le Krupa, Brad Wesson, James Pearse

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.

Animus Genre: Real-time strategy Playcorp Studios Developers: Chris Mosely, Eamon Logue, Pip Robbins, Alex Boylan

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

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.

Big Baby Genre: Toy, simulation Big Ice Cream Developers: Caroline Kinny-Lewis, Gabrielle Banks, Daniel Horth, Adam Sofo, Helen Iacurto, Trudy Cooper

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 Iron Helmet Developers: Jay Kyburz, Penny Kyburz, Alex Ries

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.

Bonza Genre: Word puzzle MiniMega Developers: Ben Huxter, Punya Huxter

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.

Burden Genre: Strategy, tower defence, action-adventure Pixelpickle Games 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

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 Genre: Puzzle Many Monkeys Development Developers: Matthew Ditton, Kevin McGrath, Tom Killen, Tim Best

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.

Framed Genre: Narrative-driven, puzzle Loveshack Entertainment Developers: Joshua Boggs, Adrian Moore, Ollie Brown

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

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 Genre: Educational Media Saints Developers: Michael Woods, Per Bredenberg, Liam Rott, David McLeod, Mark Coombes

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.

Locomotivation Genre: Puzzle Garoo Games Developers: Derek Proud, Stephane Bertout, Aaron Hoffman

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.

Muse Genre: Adventure Current Circus Developers: Andrew Jones, Jake Savona, Jim Moynihan, Josh Jenkins, Josh Birse, Keir Meikle, Marcelo Zerwes, Paul Seedy, Peter Burns, Stefan Allaki, Yossi Landesrocha

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 Disparity Games Developers: Nicole Stark, Jason Stark, Bruno Rime, Raven Stark

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

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.

Rotorhead Genre: Action, first-person shooter Trickstar Games Developers: Mike Fegan, Tony Parkes, Andrei Nadin, Tommy Mayer

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.

Siegecraft Commander Genre: Strategy, tower defence Blowfish Studios Developers: Benjamin Lee, Aaron Grove, Glen Forrester

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.

Snow Spin Genre: Endless Runner Ezone Developers: Simon Edis, Jamie Edis

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!

Towncraft Genre: Strategy, city-builder Flat Earth Games Developers: Leigh Harris, Rohan Harris, Joshua Wright

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 Genre: Simulation Binary Space Developers: Saxon Druce, James Filippone

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.

[Funding] Image by Shutterstock


    How much money did each entity get? Or are they all receiving equal funding?

    Any actual games, not this iOS crap you palm off to kids to get them to quieten down, or stuff you play whilst commuting to work? You know, actual, intricate complex games, played on consoles or a PC that you invest time in, not kill time with... You know, good ones

    ...sorry, the bitterness comes from my time working with a PC dev and constantly hearing about how our form of 'entertainment' wasn't comparative to entertainment like film. Because, you know, flight and soldier sims derived from complex commercial simulators are kids stuff. I shouldn't be bagging others in the industry, given the almost complete lack of support they've had from State and Federal Governments until recently, and they're only doing their best to survive in a relatively unsympathetic climate. Um... so, you know... sorry.

      iOS crap is cheaper to make, faster too :( that's the way it goes unfortunately.

      Are you serious? I would say that a majority of the industry is made up of people working on games for Mobile. The Mobile industry has been the one major factor for keeping people employed and the aussie games industry somewhat alive.

      To diss devs and call their work crap makes absolutely no sense, we should be encouraging people to develop on that platform and hope for the next Halfbrick to emerge in some other states to hopefully house struggling developers.

        Majority of the industry? In Oz? Are you kidding??

          There aren't that many studios left in Australia working on AAA titles anymore. iOS/mobile games are relatively easy/cheap to make and can be extremely profitable.

          Sounds about right to me. Their isn't many of the big studios left (Torus and big ant are the only 2 I can think of straight off). The reason that there is support for smaller devs with smaller games is that all we have had success with. Screen australia don't have a huge budget so they are hoping to support the next firemint or halfbrick, get a good return on the investment and hopefully get more funding next year.

      I suggest you re-read the article carefully. Not all those titles are mobile device titles. That being said, not all mobile device games are time-wasters or kid-occupiers, just as not all PC games are in depth, complex, time-consuming games. It's being disrespectful to the developers to dismiss a game as shallow and pointless based purely on whether it is a mobile device or PC game.

      My annoyance comes from many years of software development and talking to and reading about many other people who make their own games on many different platforms, none of them "bad" just because of the platform they appear on.

    Big ups to Framed and TownCraft. Played them at PAX and was super impressed. I could see TC especially being a big hit, it's just compulsive enough to ruin ones' life.

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