Screen Australia announces $3 million support for selection of local games

Screen Australia has revealed the recipients of its latest round of digital games funding.
Tempopo Best of 2022 Screen Australia funding

Screen Australia has announced the recipients of over AUD $3 million in digital games funding, with this initiative aiming to elevate Australia’s creative output, regardless of state boundaries. An array of studios and developers have been chosen as part of the funding program, with each receiving a share of the fund to aid production and development on upcoming games.

In addition to AUD $2.4 million provided to individual developers, AUD $600,000 has been allocated to support two First Nations-led game studios: Guck, which is currently developing Future Folklore, and Awesome Black, a social enterprise aiding First Nations creatives in developing content.

Read: Screen Australia launches First Nations Game Studio Fund

‘It was amazing to see the high volume of incredibly strong applications for this latest round of Games: Expansion Pack and also for the inaugural First Nations Games Studio fund,’ Graeme Mason, Screen Australia CEO said in a press release.

‘These projects and these studios represent a fantastic mix of exciting games from talented creators around the country and it is great to be able to support them to accelerate their skills and talent, and to bring their creative visions to life.’

The following games have been funded as part of Screen Australia’s latest round of support:

  • 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) –  ‘Set in a near-future fantasy world, the Covert Crew is a team of unconventional heroes, motivated by good rather than fame and greed.’
  • darkwebSTREAMER (SA) – ‘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) – ‘This is a narrative-driven farming simulator with unique, dialogue-based mechanics driving an emotional story from producer Heidi Borge of CinnaDev.’
  • Drăculești (VIC) – ‘Drăculești is 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) – ‘This story-driven adventure game combines role-playing and racing elements to create a unique open world where the player can progress and explore at their own pace.’
  • Feed the Deep (QLD) – ‘Feed the Deep is 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 – waiting to be found and understood.’
  • The Godfeather: A Magia Pigeon Saga (NSW) – ‘The Godfeather is 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) – ‘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) – ‘Mouse Game is a 2D action-adventure platformer starring a tiny mouse who explores a strange, interconnected world.’
  • Neyyah (WA) – ‘Neyyah is 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.’
  • Shrine House Keepers (WA) – ‘This is 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.’
  • 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.’

You can read more about each game on the Screen Australia website.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.