VicScreen Originate Games applications are now open

Originate Games is a new program designed to support emerging game developers and fresh, original ideas.
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Originate Games, the latest funding project from the Victorian Government via VicScreen, has officially opened its first round of applications, with emerging developers encouraged to submit their early stage projects for consideration.

The fund is designed to support ‘the development of original early-stage concepts from Victorian game developers, with a focus on new voices and new projects’. While developers will need to support their application with evidence of a strong idea, and have the talent to see it through to completion, the submission itself does not have to be ‘complete’. It can be an early prototype, proof of concept, or other creative work.

Before applying, it’s best to check the funding criteria – only those who’ve lived and operated in Victoria for at least six months are able to apply, for example.

Read: Victoria’s games industry continues to thrive, and other states must take note

AU $10,000 to AU $50,000 worth of funding is available for eligible applicants, with each project submitted being assessed by an expert panel. Considerations for successful applications include:

  • Talent and team – Projects must have appropriate experience for their proposed project, and the capability of putting it together. In addition, diverse teams are highly considered – in skills, background, experiences, and perspective.
  • Design and development – The projects should have a high level of ambition and show off new ideas, including new mechanics, innovative use of tech, artistic flair, or other fresh approaches.
  • Project outcomes and benefits to Victoria – There should be a long-term plan for the project, and a clear understanding of how it may benefit the wider Victorian games community.

It’s also important to know there are some kinds of projects that are currently not being considered for funding, including any games that contain ‘gambling, exploitative play-to-win mechanics, play-to-earn mechanics, or high risk and volatile trading products or technologies’, any projects including Indigenous culture that do not have ‘Key Creatives’ from an appropriate background, and projects designed for educational, training, or other B2B marketing purposes.

Those with questions about the application process and eligibility for submission are encouraged to get in touch with the VicScreen Games and Interactive Coordinator, Lise Leitner, for more details.

Applications are open now until 9 February 2023. Successful applicants will be informed by mid-April 2023. Head to the VicScreen funding website to find out more.

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.