Morale is high in the Western Australian games development community today with the announcement of an $100,000 pilot program to kickstart the WA games industry.
With the Australian Interactive Games Fund out of the question with result federal election this new fund comes at a good time for Western Australian game developers.
It’s no surprise that many WA based developers had good things to say about the new fund.
Matt Dyet - Chair Let’s Make Games: Game developers in Western Australia always manage to surprise with just how much they can achieve with very little. We hear the phrase “punch above our weight” thrown around so often when it comes to our community. So it’s incredibly exciting that we now get see these already incredibly skilled and experienced game developers given the opportunity to go to the next level. With the support of Screenwest and the state government, just imagine much higher and harder can we punch! I can’t wait to see what we accomplish.
Ellie Balson - Hobbyist Game Developer: Normally I’m not able to work on game development much due to my full time role. Funding opportunities like this give me the option to take time off work and put all of my energy into making a game, rather than being restricted to a few hours every week. I think a lot of game developers will be very happy about this funding.
Tim Veletta - Lead Developer Teleblast: This is a fantastic initiative by Screenwest and the government, it’s important to recognise the hard work that Vee Pendergrast and everyone involved has put in to make this happen. We only need to look at the thriving development community in Melbourne to see the impact of such investment. We know we have the talent here to make things happen but too often we see these people look to other fields to be able to make a living. If part of the $100,000 helps a team get off the ground and successfully release something, then people will identify Western Australia as place where game developers can build and thrive
Colton Onderwater - Game Developer / Pot Luck Collective: Being a game developer in Perth more often than not relies on developers funding their own games. I’m very excited for this initiative, not only allowing some very talented local developers to produce some great content, but also allowing game devs like us that little bit more resource to hire out local talent. The fund is also promising for those currently studying Game Design in WA, in the past a career in games was much more of a possibility if you moved over east creating a talent exodus.
Rin Mcbeath - President at Co-Op, Secretary at Let's Make Games and Games Design Student at Murdoch University. I think this fund has been long overdue, and it's a hopeful sign that the industry in Perth is about to start moving up and expanding. It'd be amazing if this fund meant our local talent wouldn't have to move interstate or overseas to find good work.
With more money and a strong industry Perth could one day see some of its home grown talent return to the state, such as artist Stephanie Lee who wishes to return to Perth to work in games someday.
Stephanie Lee - 2D game artist concept artist in Tokyo, Japan: Even though it’s a small step I’m very happy that the Australian government (especially WA) is finally recognising the industry and talent that has been nurtured from Perth. Hopefully in the years down the road we will get full support from the government and build a booming industry. One day i would love to come back and be able to work in my home country. Working overseas has been fun but it comes with the cost of leaving your family and close friends.
However for some developers, there was still a lot more work to be done in order to catch up to the offerings interstate.
Oscar Brittain - Lead Developer, Desert Child: I think it's a good first step to establishing a healthy industry in WA, and maybe slow the brain drain we have to Victoria. Note that I said first step. It's not just enough to encourage people to stay in WA; for this to work, we need to attract people to WA.