Screen Australia Is Funding These 21 Australian Games

Screen Australia Is Funding These 21 Australian Games

Do you love Aussie-made games? Well, you’re in luck, then: Screen Australia has announced the recipients of $3 million of games funding made available through the First Nations Games Studio fund and the Games: Expansion Pack fund. In total, two First Nations game studios and 21 games have been selected for funding through both initiatives, meaning we’re bound to see plenty more amazing local games projects coming out soon.

Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack first launched in March 2022, and is targeted at small to medium independent games studios looking to fund original Australian games with budgets below $500,000. Since it began, over $8 million has been distributed to 62 Australian games

Two studios were selected through the First Nations Games Studio fund, which launched in May, to receive $300,000 each, and were revealed in a press release yesterday. The two studios receiving funding are GUCK, the Victorian-based developer of the upcoming title Future Folklore, and Awesome Black, a “creative social enterprise developing original First Nations talent and unique storytelling content across a variety of mediums.”

Image: We Have Always Lived In The Forest, darkwebSTREAMER

Graeme Mason, Screen Australia’s CEO said in a press release that the fund has received a “high volume of incredibly strong applications for this latest round,” and that Screen Australia were proud of the games receiving support. “These projects and these studios represent a fantastic mix of exciting games from talented creators across the country,” Mason said.

If you’re wondering which games have been selected for funding, we’ve rounded them all up here for you. The following 21 games are set to receive funds under Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack’s most recent $2.4 million round of funding:

  • Ailuri (NSW) – “A 2D, hand-drawn cooperative exploration platformer where players take on the role of the titular Ailuri, a red panda who rescues endangered animals.”
  • Covert Crew (WA) – “This role-playing, story-driven game is created by solo developer Daniel Pratt and combines the flashy, action-packed world of superheroes with the methodical play of a turn-based strategy game.”
  • darkwebSTREAMER (SA) – “A horror RPG streaming simulator and a spooky love letter to the old internet. Players take on the role of an occult streamer on the dark web, whose mission is to find the weirdest, creepiest stuff on the internet, bring it back to their stream and impress their viewers enough to make it to the #1 ranked streamer on the internet.” 
  • Delphinium (SA) – “A narrative-driven farming simulator with unique, dialogue-based mechanics driving an emotional story from producer Heidi Borge of CinnaDev”
  • Drăculești (VIC) – “A horror-romance visual novel adaptation of the classic novel, Dracula. Set in the frozen mountains of Romania, players take on the role of exiled English solicitor Roger M Renfield as he visits Castle Dracula to meet an eccentric new client.”
  • Dryft City Kings (VIC) – “Set in the eponymous Melbourne-inspired Dryft City during the late 2020s, a lifelong office worker yearns to break out from their mundane life to fulfil their true calling: to become the best drift racer the city has ever seen.”
  • Feed the Deep (QLD) – “An underwater exploration roguelike survival game, where players can dive into the darkness in search of resources, upgrade equipment and discover the strange mysteries and secrets below.”
Little Pink Clouds Letters to Arralla
Image: Little Pink Clouds, Letters to Arralla
  • The Godfeather: A Mafia Pigeon Saga (NSW) – “A mafia pigeon roguelike comedy game where players take on the role of a humble associate in the pigeon underworld tasked with taking back the Old Neighbourhood from its enemies.”
  • Incolatus (WA) – “After crash landing on a strange and alien world now overrun by a despicable corporate entity, players must work their way through the planet and retrieve the parts needed to repair their ship.”
  • Letters to Arralla (VIC) – “Letters to Arralla is an exploration role-playing game where players take on the role of a newly recruited mail-turnip responsible for delivering letters, parcels and packages to the island’s charming residents.”
  • Memory’s Reach (VIC) – “An exploration-based puzzle adventure game from lead developer Ben Droste of 100 Stones Interactive. After a cryptic signal reaches out through the void, players are beckoned to a world of ancient alien megastructures – a beautiful, awe-inspiring sight devoid of even a single sign of life.”
  • Mouse Games (working title) (SA) – “A 2D action-adventure platformer starring a tiny mouse who explores a strange, interconnected world. Players can uncover the truth of this landscape and their place in it through exploration, discovery, combat and platforming challenges.”
  • Neyyah (WA) – “A first-person point-and-click adventure game, set within a mysterious puzzle-laden archipelago. Through unique storytelling, puzzle-solving and world-building, the game offers players hours of non-linear gameplay as they grapple with the ambiguous ethics of truth and illusion.”
  • Outpost (ACT) – “Set in the spine-chilling tendrils of a desolate Antarctic base, Outpost is a psychological thriller game that follows Indian Australian Pete who is running away from a family health diagnosis.”
  • RPG Game (working title) (SA) – “An open-world fantasy RPG created by Killerfish Games.”
Image: David Chen, Spiritwell
  • Shrine House Keepers (WA) – “A rogue-lite, deck-building game where players take on a role as a member of a diverse “found family” of Shrine House Keepers led by The Parriarch. Together, they are tasked with maintaining the Shrinelight network, a spiritual energy that flows through sacred sites, special places and shrine houses.”
  • Spiritwell (VIC) – “A role-playing, story-driven adventure-comedy exploration game from solo developer David Chen where players play as a meek child who runs away from home and falls down a mysterious well into the spirit world.”
  • Sundown (WA) – “This story-driven, exploration adventure game invites players to play as Mary, a would-be astronaut who was never able to go to space. Mary is 93 years old and living with dementia when players pull on her slippers to traverse memories and hallucinations in a last-ditch effort to get to space.”
  • Taming Yore Dragon (SA) – “This educational adventure platformer from My Colourful Mind is set in the fantastical land of Yore, that was once full of colour and life and inhabited by fantastical creatures roaming the lands.”
  • Tempopo (QLD) – “From Witch Beam Games, the studio behind Unpacking, comes the wholesome puzzle game Tempopo where players rescue musical flowers across sky islands.”
  • Tempus Rail (SA) – ” This story-rich, first-person, roguelike deck builder set in the Wild West on a train travelling through a temporal rift. Trapped in this temporal loop, players must use strategies to fight their way to the front of the train and destroy the engine before the day resets.”

This funding is part of the additional $12 million over four years from 2023/23 onwards to support game developers and small to medium independent games studios through Screen Australia. Games funding rounds under the Games: Expansion Pack will reopen on 2 October 2023.

If you’d like to know more about the projects receiving funding, head to the Screen Australia website for a rundown on these local titles.

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