VicScreen has opened applications for its Originate Games funding program.
As spotted by our mates at GamesHub, the program is designed to support video game projects that are still in the early or prototype stages.
“By supporting projects in their critical early stages, Originate Games builds new Victorian original IP by giving developers the space to iterate on new ideas through creative experimentation, prototyping, industry mentoring, and early audience feedback,” reads the mission statement on the VicScreen website.
To be considered for Originate Games funding from VicScreen, applicants must not only provide evidence of an especially strong concept but also demonstrate a level of talent that can get the project over the finish line. As Leah points out in her piece at GamesHub, applicants don’t necessarily have to submit a ‘complete’ work for consideration — it can be a prototype or another solid proof of concept. The goal is to communicate the strengths of your idea, and its potential as a finished game.
Interested parties should obviously do their homework and pore over the funding guidelines before packing their prototype into a zip folder and sending it over. For a start, you’ll have to have lived and worked in Victoria for at least six months to even be considered.
But what is VicScreen actually looking for? Luckily, they’ve been quite clear:
What are we looking for? Early-stage projects from emerging and established Victorian developers with a focus on one or more of:
Diverse and underrepresented backgrounds and experiences
Innovative approaches to game design and development
New approaches to audiences and experiences
Funding will be made available to successful applicants from $10,000 to $15,000, and each will be judged by a panel of industry experts before getting the green light.
Here’s the full list of selection criteria. If you can satisfy the following, you should be set to apply:
- Talent / Team – The makeup and experience of the applicant or team in achieving the project’s proposed outcomes, including:
- Creative and technical experience
- Diversity of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and voices
- Opportunities for skills development, including project leadership and key creatives, industry access and opportunities for training/career progression/mentoring
- Design and Development – the level of ambition and new ideas in the project, including, but not limited to:
- Mechanics and interactions that produce unexpected or novel player experiences
- Innovative uses of screen technology – Expressive aesthetic experiences including visual style, narrative, or audio
- New approaches to organising the development process
- Project Outcomes & Benefits to Victoria – The impact of the project’s outcomes and next steps, as well as the overall benefits to Victoria, including, but not limited to:
- Plans for the project’s next steps, including future funding, development, and audience engagement
- Potential audience and public outcomes for the project, including showcasing events, festivals, and exhibitions
- Contribution to the vibrancy and unique character of the Victorian game development community
Just as important are the things that VicScreen is not looking for. Things to avoid: Games that contain gambling or pay-to-win mechanics, or “high-risk and volatile trading products or technologies” (aka crypto or blockchain games), projects that feature significant Indingeous content without having any key creatives from an appropriate background on staff, and projects that have been designed expressly for B2B markets (aka apps designed with product education, training, research, and marketing in mind).
Applications for Originate Games funding from VicScreen are open from November 30th, 2022 to February 9, 2023. Applicants that make the cut will be contacted by the end of April. Head on over to the VicScreen website to get involved.
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