'Servonauts'.

Screen Australia has revealed the first round games to be supported via the Games: Expansion Pack fund, with 31 titles to share $4 million.

Announced in March by former Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher, the fund is designed to provide direct funding to original video games across different platforms with budgets below $500,000.

What was initially a $6 million commitment over a two-year period has since been expanded to provide $4 million in funding this year.

Screen Australia head of online Lee Naimo said this had been due to the quality and depth of the applications received.

“We were blown away by the number of outstanding applications which have demonstrated the wealth of talented creatives and original ideas that are coming out of the Australian games sector,” he said.

“We’re excited to be back in this space and supporting Australian developers to continue to create distinctive games that find traction here and around the world, and help strengthen the local workforce.”

Interactive Games and Entertainment Association CEO Ron Curry paid tribute to Screen Australia and the Federal Government for bolstering support to cater to the high demand and quality of applications for the initial round of funding.

“By assisting early-career developers, products, and studios through Games: Expansion Pack, the Albanese Government is set to facilitate support across the entire game development ecosystem,” he said.

“This will result in growth in employment, promotion of digital and screen skills development, plus increased revenue for the highly talented and reputable Australian game development industry.”

Arts Minister Tony Burke MP said the government was committed to supporting the Australian digital games sector to “create, innovate and flourish and achieve its full potential”.

The funding announcement comes after Screen Australia named Amelia Laughlan as games investment manager in May to oversee the agency’s games funding. Having joined the industry in 2017 with Tin Man Games in a narrative, production and marketing role, she has since held roles at Nintendo Australia as a business development specialist, as well as at Toronto-based indie studio Snowman.

The games to receive funding are as follows:

A HALLOWEEN VALENTINE
Things For Humans
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Music
Creative Director: Jacob Leaney
Narrative Lead: Alistair Baldwin
Platform: PC, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: A Halloween Valentine is a pop-song puzzle adventure set in a haunted amusement park on Valentine’s Day.

AZOIC
Tumbleweed Games Pty Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Puzzle
Lead Developer: Connor Arthur Young
Platform: PC
Synopsis: Play as an Orb…attach…and play as its Golem Body. Use both to explore a ruin, solve puzzles and make the world bloom!

BITS & BOPS
Tempo Lab Games
Genre: Rhythm
Managing Director: Evan Andrews
Art Director: Rose Hammer
Composer: Julian Sanchez
Platform: PC
Synopsis: A collection of original rhythm mini-games.

BONZA PHRASES
Minimega
Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Word
Creative Director: Ben Huxter
Technical Director: Punya Huxter
Platform: Mobile
Synopsis: This word puzzle game celebrates proverbs, idioms and figures of speech that have become part of everyday language.

BOSSWORDS
PlayReactive Pty Ltd
Genre: Puzzle
Creative Director: Harry Lee Shang Lun
Platform: Mobile, PC, Mac
Synopsis: Bosswords is a compelling and challenging word game.

DROS
Emergeworlds Pty Ltd
Genre Action, Adventure, Platformer, Puzzle
Creative Director: Ben Ward
Producer: Tim Molony
Lead Programmer: Deon Chique
Platform: PC, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: Enter a charming and vibrant world filled with adventure, puzzles, and lots of goo.

EARTHLINGO
Earthlingo
Genre: Educational, Platformer, Role-playing
Creators: Raymond Corrigan, Zilin Su
Platform: Mobile, PC, Mac
Synopsis: Explore a planet, learn a language.

ENCHANTRESS
Cactus Jam Games Pty Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Building/Crafting, Visual novel
Creative Director: Nidula Geeganage
Art Director: Julia Ye
Lead Programmer: Audrey Castillo
Artist: Friyana Madon
Platform: Mobile, PC, Mac, Switch
Synopsis: The enchanting adventure of a young woman running a jewellery shop.

ENTER THE CHRONOSPHERE
Effort Star
Genre: Action, Role-playing, Roguelike
Producer/Developer: Rhys van der Waerden
Designer/Writer: Ned Kirner
Platform: PC
Synopsis: A tactical roguelike where each turn is a slice of real-time action.

FOX AND SHADOW
Paper Cactus Games Pty Ltd
Genre: Strategy, Role-playing, Deckbuilding Roguelike
Producer: Leo Cheung
Lead Programmer: Jackson Michael
Lead Design: Sapphire Van Veen
Platform: PC, Mac
Synopsis: Salvage, scrap, repeat. Fox and Shadow is a deck-builder with roguelike elements. Set in a city ruined by pollution, a few pilots guide their drones to salvage the materials they need to keep their home running.

FUTURE FOLKLORE
Guck Pty Ltd
Genre: Casual, Building/Crafting
Game Director: Hayley Percy Joyce
Art Director: Jarra Karalinar Steel
Lead Design: Phoebe Watson
Producer: Ripley Kavara
Lead Developer: Daniel Dang
Lead Artist: Charlotte Allingham
Managing Director: Kati Elizabeth
Composer: Robert Champion
Community Manager: Matthew Ngamurarri Heffernan
Platform: Mobile
Synopsis: Australia’s first ever Aboriginal-led mobile game, Future Folklore (Working Title) invites you to restore the bush and Care for Country through a uniquely Indigenous lens, all located in a futuristic fantasy Australian-bush-inspired setting.

GUBBINS
Studio Folly
Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Word
Game Director: Darcy Smith
Creative Director: Jessica Shipard
Platform: Mobile
Synopsis: A game about placing chunks of letters to make words, with the help and hindrance of wildcard modifiers.

HOTEL MAGNATE
Arcade Oven Pty Ltd
Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Building/Crafting, Management
Creative Director: James Hindle
Platform: PC, Mac
Synopsis A hotel and resort simulator/Tycoon game.

LEGEND OF VALLEY
Shark Jump Pty Ltd
Genre: Action, Adventure
Lead Programmer: Matt Le Krupa
Lead Design: Matt Trobbiani
Lead Artist: James Pearse
Composer: Kevin Penkin
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: Legend of Valley is a vibrant action-adventure game about exploring a dangerous and mysterious valley, and discovering the secrets of the past.

LEONARDO’S MOON SHIP
Secret Lab Pty Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Narrative
Creative Director: Jon Manning
Narrative and Creative: Jim Capobianco
Producer: Paris Buttfield-Addison
Platform: Mobile, PC, Mac
Synopsis: In Renaissance Florence, famed inventor Leonardo da Vinci is the talk of the town, and his renown grows by the day. But when a mysterious message calls to Leo, he finds himself torn between the love of his fans, the wrath of his enemies, and his boundless desire to learn more.

MACABRE
Weforge Studio Pty Ltd
Genre: Multiplayer, Adventure, Science fiction, Horror
Lead Developer: Ben Sutherland
Creative Director: Jay Topping
Game Director: Jake Davey
Lead Artist: Ricardo Caixe
Consultant: Maximilian Rea
Platform: PC with VR support
Synopsis: Macabre is an immersive multiplayer horror game developed in Unreal Engine 5. You’ll form part of a small research team whose job is to investigate a series of strange events and uncover what’s causing them. Along the way, you’ll gain access to more equipment, upgrades, and skills that’ll prove crucial to navigating and unlocking new areas. As you explore the procedurally generated maps, it quickly becomes apparent there are far greater forces at play.

MATCHMAKER: DUNGEON HEART
Ghost Moth Pty Ltd
Genre: Simulation, Role-playing, Puzzle, Dating Simulation
Lead Developer: Jordan Cook-Irwin
Lead Artist: Kelly Gilkes
Technical Designer: Haydon Bakker
Composer: Dylan Imeneo
Narrative Designer: Blythe Thompson
Platform: PC
Synopsis: Defend the Dungeon. Date the Monsters.

MOON CORP TOWER DEFENSE
Kite Shield Interactive Pty Ltd
Genre: Strategy, Role-playing, Management
CEO/Co-Founder: Saxon Hutchinson
CFO/Co-Founder: Blayne Cuzner
Art Director/Co-Founder: Robert Dickson
Marketing Director: Anna Barrett
Composer: Daniel Poole
Senior Programmer: Xavier Poole
Lead Programmer: Justin Cragg
Senior Programmer: Jake Goodsir
Lead Artist: Meg Groeneveld
Lead Quality Assurance: Daniel Jackson
Voice Director: Kat Bramston
2D/3D Artist: Shay-Lee Atkins
Game Designer: Rhys Adams
Game Designer: Chris Selleck
Character Artist: Alex Murphy
Platform: PC, Mac, Console Release TBA
Synopsis: Moon Corp. Tower Defense, is a Tower Defense and business management game where the player manages their own company to research and build defenses against an alien invasion of the moon. Aliens Down, Profits Up!

MOONLIGHT IN GARLAND
Winters Group Estate
Genre: Simulation, Role-playing, Casual
Developer: Violet LeBeaux
Platform: PC, Mac
Synopsis: Moonlight in Garland is a chill open-ended life sim about finding your feet in the big city. Decorate your apartment, make new friends, grow too many houseplants and love your city life!

PLANETATION
2Bit Studios Pty Ltd
Genre: Action, Adventure, Co-op Online, Building/Crafting, Survival
Lead Developer: Andrew Joy
Lead Artist: Matthew Joy
Platform: PC
Synopsis: On the harmstead you sow crops by day, plough hordes of alien pests by night, and spelunk the “Very Dark” depths whenever you damn well please. This bloodthirsty alien planet doesn’t want you here, but you’re a robot in a tractormech so what do you care?

PROJECT FELINE
Fischer-Cripps Laboratories Pty Ltd
Genre: Action, Platformer, Parkour, Speed-running
Creative Director: Raymond Cripps
Platform: PC, others to be announced
Synopsis: Project Feline is a parkour game where players master Gabi’s abilities to stylishly traverse anime-inspired urban landscapes.

SCHRODINGER’S CAT BURGLAR
Abandoned Sheep
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Managing Director: Martin Binfield
Platform: PC, Mac, Switch
Synopsis: When the world’s greatest cat burglar sneaks into a secret research facility she is caught in a quantum experiment and gains incredible quantum super powers. Now she must explore the facility from top to bottom to uncover the truth…

SERVONAUTS
Maxart Pty Ltd
Genre: Action, Casual, Puzzle
Creative Director: Thomas MacNamara
Lead Artist: Johan Becconsall
Producer: Tom Smeltzer
Managing Director: Peter Clowes
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: As a goofy ‘Servonaut’, manage pipes and avoid hilarious fatalities to provide fuel, air and other necessities to visitors of your space gas station.

STARWISP HYPERDRIVE
Ghost Cat Games
Genre: Adventure, Role-playing
Creative Director: Georgia Patton
Technical Director: Daniel Kirchner
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: Starwisp Hyperdrive is a space exploration adventure role-playing game.

THE DUNGEON EXPERIENCE
BONE Assembly
Genre: Adventure
Platform: PC
Managing Directors: Jacob Janerka, Simon Boxer
Synopsis: Level up your life with The Dungeon Experience. A high fantasy adventure guided by a low level monster.

THE INDIGO INITIATIVE
Caustic Reality Pty Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Managing Director: Clinton McCleary
Platform: PC, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS5
Synopsis: Many years after a cataclysmic event, a scientist is woken from cryostasis to explore the multiverse for a way to undo the worldwide disaster.

THE MASTER’S PUPIL
Pat Naoum Games Pty Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Platformer, Puzzle
Creative Director: Pat Naoum
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: A hand-painted 2D puzzle adventure game set inside the eye of the artist Monet.

TIMESAVERS
Monomyth Games
Genre: Action, Puzzle
Creative Director: Tristram Geary
Technical Director: Quincy Geary
Game Designer/Sound Director: Byron Laschuk
Platform: PC
Synopsis: Business idea: Look into people’s futures, stop accidents before they happen, and get paid. What could go wrong?

TOTEM TELLER
Grinning Pickle Pty Ltd
Genre: Transcendental, Narrative
Creative Director: Benjamin Kerslake
Writer/Narrative Designer: Alexander Swords
Lead Programmer: Jerry Verhoeven
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S
Synopsis: Where does a muse find inspiration? Gather listeners and seek tellers in beautiful, broken places. Retell lost stories or discard them forever. Truth is in the telling.

UNTITLED
Wombat Brawler Pty Ltd
Genre: Casual, Arcade
Creative Director: Mark White
Technical Director: Brendan Watts
Platform: Mobile, PC, Mac, Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, Switch
Synopsis: Crash your way through crazy obstacle courses and create your own to challenge your friends!

UNTITLED
Exbleative
Genre: Racing
Managing Director: Jay Weston
Lead Programmer: Rhys Lindsay
Platform: PC
Synopsis: A racing game.

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