While we wait for the federal government to get on board, state governments have done a great job supporting the local games industry. Queensland is stepping up to the plate today, opening up a new round of funding for studios totalling up to $50,000 per grant.
Queensland has been investing in games locally since 2013, with a fairly strong track record over the last several years. Recent games developed with Screen Queensland funding include the platformer Damsel; last month's Speaking Simulator; Blueberry, an upcoming narrative adventure about dealing with trauma while growing up; the upcoming Unpacking from Assault Android Cactus creators Witch Beam; and the next, currently unannounced, game from the makers of Satellite Reign.
Walk the show floor at PAX Australia, or listen to any of the touring developers, and you'll hear a lot of chatter about games that are "good for PAX". It's basically shorthand for the kind of game that plays well on the show floor, but doesn't necessarily do well commercially. Couch co-op games often fall into this category: they're fun at a show, but that's it. Unpacking is the opposite. It's singleplayer only. It's slow paced. It's not good for cycling a lot of players through a packed booth, and it doesn't compete for attention with loud visuals, sounds or mechanics. And yet, out of all the indies I saw at PAX Australia, it's easily got a better chance than most of being commercially successful.
For developers looking to apply, Screen Queensland recommends going attending the "Building A Pitch Deck" seminar on February 26 at the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre. The event is run by Jon Cartwright, the former director of production for THQ Australia and commercial director at Prideful Sloth, makers of Cloud Catcher Chronicles.
The requirements for applying are as follows:
- Lives and works in Queensland (and has been a resident of the state for more than six months);
- Is an Australian resident working with someone in a key creative role (writer, director, producer) who lives and works in Queensland;
- Has a Producer or Line Producer who is a Queensland resident;
- Can provide the required detail/documents for the program they are applying for – more information can be found on each of the program pages
- Owns the rights to the story they are telling
- Has read and complies with our Terms of Trade