There’s a lot that’s gone into this game to get us to this point. From software, equipment, hiring external talent, and sheer time – none of this would have been possible without money.
Back in 2013 both Tristian (artist and writer) and Lex (designer, programmer, and Certified Unity Wizard) began study at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. AIE is a vocational college with campuses from Sydney to Seattle that teaches digital art for games and film, as well as programming and game design. Alumni have gone on to work at game and film studios like Rockstar, Weta, or Dreamworks.
In 2016 we successfully applied for the AIE Incubator Project Grant, a program that provides financial support for alumni students to bring their prototypes to a commercial release, and were awarded funding to work on Death of Magic.
It’s hard to overstate the impact this funding has had. While much of it has gone toward essential software or tools we needed to make our game, we’ve been able to stretch it much further than that. Here’s just some of the things we’ve been able to accomplish.
We’ve put a lot of money back into the Australian game’s industry by hiring –
- a vocal talent and production company
- a voice acting director
- seven different voice actors, some of them in their first role
- a background artist
- a sound designer and composer
We’ve been able to support and attend a number of different conventions –
- GX Aus
- attended in 2016 as an exhibitor
- attended in 2017 as a sponsor
- backed the 2017 follow-up Kickstarter by buying pay-it-forward tickets
- GaymerX 4
- sponsored the original Kickstarter campaign
- travelled from Australia to San Diego to attend the convention
- gratuitously over-tipped at every opportunity
- GaymerX East
- we supported the recent Kickstarter for their New York event
- Melbourne International Games Week (twice!)
We’ve also put our money behind other game projects and Kickstarters we believe in, including –
- The CheckPoint Series
- this is an upcoming web series about the importance of mental health in games
- we supported the Kickstarter campaign as a Decorated Flagbearer
- Remarkable Rhymes of the Traveller’s Times
- this is a wordplay card game by Humblebee Games
- we were a Superstar sponsor in their Kickstarter and our logo is in every pack
- Alcyone: The Last City
- an interactive fiction game by Joshua Meadows, co-founder of GX Aus
- Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
- a 3D reimagining of an 80s classic by Tin Man Games
- Who We Are Now
- a queer post-apocalyptic visual novel
- Women of Xal
- a political visual novel with a diverse cast
- Blue Rose
- a new edition of a progressive tabletop gaming system
- Word Smith
- a steampunk fantasy graphic novel by Sydney local Stephen Kok
And this isn’t even including what we’ve put toward Australian and indie games on Steam and Humble Bundle, the creators we back monthly on Patreon, or the individual artists and writers we’ve supported at conventions.
The AIE grant has allowed us to take time to work on this project, to hire experts, and to pay them promptly at proper industry rates, but one of my favourite things is that we’ve been able to lend us our support to other developers. There are so many talented and hardworking game devs in Australia, and many of those people don’t have the resources they need. When someone asks, “Hi, can you buy this thing I made?” it’s been awesome to be able to say “Yes!” I am immensely grateful for that.