The Indie Dev Grant

by Bundle In A Box
Adventure Bundle

Smudged Cat Games

smudged cat
David of Smudged Cat Games, an indie PC and XBLIG games developer, has written games like The Adventures of ShuggyTimeslip and Gateways, but feels he’s never really managed to reach a wider audience. He’d love the grant in order to be able to carry on making the indie games he loves. Games like a sequel to Shuggy.

“Unfortunately sales of my games aren’t really strong enough for me to do so much longer”, says David and goes on to add: “I’ve got a baby now so it’s looking ever more likely that I’ll need to abandon indie development and get a ‘regular’ job. Give me the grant and help me continue to make great games like Gateways“.

Novastar

novastar
Nathan of Binary Freeze is applying for the Indie Dev Grant, as he’s trying to start developing indie games full time. He’s been learning programming, graphic design, and music composition, with a heavy emphasis on developing games for almost 9 years now. What’s more, he’s getting married on June 9th, and in the coming fall his wife and he will be starting a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Entrepreneurship, specifically for starting an indie game studio.

Recently Nathan released Arena of Fire on Microsoft‘s Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace. Designed as a test, it was his first game developed on Windows and he wanted to go through a complete development-release cycle.

Lately, Nathan has been working on a top-down space exploration action-adventure game codenamed Novastar. Its major focuses are missions, exploration, and space combat. Some planned features include: 4-6 coalitions (2 major, 2 minor, 2 other), lots of spaceships to purchase or commandeer, many weapons and ship upgrades, and multiple singleplayer storyline endings. He’s also been wanting to add online multiplayer and missions to accommodate 2+ cooperating players. Although he has developed a physics engine, he does not yet have the resources to focus on this as a major feature. Moreover, he seems to be running out of time.

“With getting married, and moving in the middle of June, I can’t afford to continue pursuing my passion of development full-time. I hope to get funded so that I can continue on my game, and provide a great resource for others”, says Nathan.

He then adds: “Finally, one of my dreams, in being a game developer, is to empower and help realize the dreams of my family and friends. My sister is an aspiring sci-fi novelist. I have hired her and given her the creative freedom to do the storyline, history, and background. This has the possibility of turning into a short novels project, and the higher development of a sci-fi world. And again, I’ve been in contact with a music composer, whom I quote, ‘I just think it would be cool to be able to have my stuff in a video game!’”.

Here is an early video of the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v8FETS6R08&feature=youtu.be.

Perling

perling
Chris is working on a game codenamed Perling. It is an 8-directions arcade shooter based in a completely randomly generated world (the name comes from the Perlin noise generator). The world is randomly populated with various things and the way in which they behave is also randomly generated (as a crude example, a dog might be really aggressive towards you on one level, or, a crab might try its hardest to get set on fire and chase after anything). The levels will also feature randomly generated quests.

All of this is generated by the level name the player specifies at the start. This can be a single word, or a full-on sentence.

Chris likes the idea that people will, through experimentation, find really fun levels and share them with friends. Something along the lines of “You should totally play ‘Secret Cow Level’, there’s this island full of dogs and if you get too close, they vomit up cats and then fight amongst themselves!”.

Here is a very early glimpse of the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kme3ZKx26w.

The game in being created in Monkey and is aiming for a XBLIG, PC/Mac, AndroidiOS and PS Vita release.

As for the grant… On to Chris: “I guess I am not comfortable saying I SHOULD get the grant, but I’d certainly love to get it :) I work on Perling part time and I would really love to be able to work on it full time. I am trying to scrape some money together that will leave me secure financially for a few months and this would certainly help”.

Spellirium

spellirium
Ryan Henson and Untold Entertainment would apparently love to be the recipients of the Indie Dev Grant. They are working on a graphic adventure / word puzzle hybrid called Spellirium, which handily can be found over at http://www.spellirium.com.

According to Ryan the game is shaping up nicely, but it’s very slow-going, and the team has to keep taking contract work while trying to squeeze out enough of a margin to keep working on Spellirium. “Most of the time, the contract work we take is just barely enough to keep the lights on, so Spellirium sits collecting dust. We were originally funded by the Ontario government to work on Spellirium, but the project scope and our own admitted lack of experience running large-scale projects saw the money run out quickly with very little to show for it” says Ryan. Now that they are apparently back on track, they’re dedicated to being far more careful with money and project management.

As for the game itself it takes a fun word-building grid and folds it into a puzzle-based adventure story. To shear a sheep, you have to spell synonyms for “cut”: TRIM, CLIP, CHOP, TRIM, etc. To defeat a two-headed monster, you have to spell palindromes. To turn a wheel, you have to spell words across, down, back and up in a circular motion. To defeat a green monster, you have to spell words using only the green tiles. These challenges are all tied into a story about a post-apocalyptic world that’s been busted back to the Dark Ages, where reading and writing have been outlawed. You play Brother Todd, an apprentice Runekeeper, who is tasked with curating a secret underground library of “findage” with writing on it. When the other Runekeepers go missing and one turns up dead, it’s up to Todd and his motley band of companions to unravel the mystery.

Spellirium: It’s the End of the Word as We Know It.

Dwarf Miner

dwarf miner
Triston has thrown his hat in for the Indie Dev Grant! The project for his entry will be the first game he has ever made and one that he has been developing on the side in his spare time: Dwarf Miner. You can already play the work-in-progress demo of the game and read a post on the Stencyl community forums about it here.

Why does he need the grant though? Well, for obvious reasons: “This grant would afford me the ability to not only work on the game more;  I’d also be able to hire a a couple people to help with art and music”.

Karst

Karst
Minionworks Games are a small basement operation in Victoria, BC (Canada). They have been working full-time for just over a year now on their headliner game, Karst. It’s a first-person physics puzzle game, with a survival-game ambiance and unique graphics.

Here’s what they are saying: “We really love what we’re doing, and will keep making games we think you’ll love for as long as we can; but we could use your help. For more information on us and our games, check out our site“.

Head of the Gorgon

Project Overboard is all about creating Head of the Gorgon, which is a graphic adventure game re-telling of the myth of Perseus, with a visual style that matches ancient Greek blackfigure pottery. It will be very faithful to the myth, but also pretty jokey. It can also be described as The Greekest of Monkey Islands.

All of the money for Head of the Gorgon will go to charity.

Find out more about it by watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On4qdBc3gzE.

Backworlds

backworld
Juha Kangas is one of the developers on a game called Backworlds (www.backworlds.com). The team were nominated for the 2012 Independent Propeller Awards in three categories and also selected for the Nordic Game 2012 Indie Night. There is a trailer of the game you can watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auZ4Llk3EAU.

Juha is “interested in the grant so that I can continue working on this game as much as possible, as I will otherwise have to start working full-time for others and thereby having less time for Backworlds. My co-developer already works full-time on other things, but he will continue with that and have Backworlds as a hobby”.

45 A Day Project

45 a day

Ben Simms is working on a game that, as you can see from this link, is progressing along nicely. It obviously bears resemblance to Jetpack Joyride, but, unlike Jetpack, Ben wants to make a game that appeals to both old school gamers wanting a story and social gamers wanting something to pick up and play. The game will try and stand out based on its unique story, themed acts and ranking system.

Laser Missile Bomb

LMB_screen
Tyler Owen is the sole developer (artist, programmer, and designer) for a puzzle game called Laser Missile Bombwhich he’s frantically trying to finish. The game is aiming to be unlike any puzzle game out there right now, and you can play its early beta version over at www.lasermissilebomb.com.

Here’s what Tyler also let the BIAB team know: “If I were to get the grant I would be able to release the game without the need for a sponsor and I could pay the composer for his continuing work on the music. There are currently 13 levels in the beta demo, but I have plans to release 25-30 in the final version”.