The Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant is a grant opportunity for game developers from traditionally underrepresented groups and backgrounds who are interested in designing and developing puzzle games.
Jiheh Ritterling, Spicy Rice Cake Studio
Steam / Website / Trailer
Jiheh is a solo dev working on “ISLAND_NAME_HERE”, a puzzle adventure about a game designer making a tropical island.
Urooj Iqbal, Playdew
Lost Twins II
Steam / Website / Trailer
Urooj is part of the team of Pakistani devs working on “Lost Twins II”, an immersive puzzle-platformer with lush visuals and elegant problem solving.
Arka Tu, Queensguard Games
Castle of Glas
Cartomancy Anthology / Website / Trailer
Arka’s team made plant-themed puzzle game “Castle of Glas” for the Cartomancy Anthology, and are planning to use this funding to develop a sequel.
Runyu Zhong, Icetoad Studio
Demo / Website / Trailer
Runyu is part of a team of 3 creating “AiliA”, an emotional narrative puzzler focusing on themes of grief and acceptance.
Paquerette Down the Bunburrows
Bunstack are developing “Paquerette Down the Bunburrows”, a pathfinding game about capturing bunnies.
Youssef Tobah, Flip Alive Games
DokiToki: Time Slows Down When You're In Love
Steam / Website / Trailer
A US based team making the visual novel / puzzle game mashup “DokiToki: Time Slows Down When You're In Love”.
Breogán Hackett, Blindbug Interactive
Catacomb Creeper: Re-Vined Edition
An Irish studio making the plant-growing puzzle adventure “Catacomb Creeper: Re-Vined Edition”, available as part of Indiepocalypse 27.
itch.io / Website
Rowan is an accomplished solo dev, having previously released the abstract puzzler “yarne”. Their next project is a mind-bending puzzler called “Timeclone”.
Ryo Kurama, Notan
Based in Japan, Notan is making “Cutting Edge” (working title), a puzzle game about digging holes.
Glen Henry, Spritewrench
On the Perils of Parrots
Steam / Website
A one man micro-studio based in Kingston, Jamaica, making the narrative puzzle experience “On the Perils of Parrots”.
Samarth Hattangady, Chapliboy
Konkan Coast Pirate Solutions
Steam / Trailer
A solo dev from India making “Konkan Coast Pirate Solutions”, a puzzle game about helping pirates accomplish their pirate goals.
Mohammed Al Najjar, RD interactive
Steam / Trailer
Mohammed is a solo dev based in the Middle East. His project “Hackshot” is a twisted puzzle take on artillery games.
About the grant
- How to apply
Applications have now closed.
- Application Deadline
The Application Deadline is 23:59 PST Sunday 3rd July 2022.
We expect to make decisions by Friday 12th August. If we have to extend this timeline, we will inform all applicants.
- Who’s eligible
These grants are intended to support creators who are under-invested-in within today’s game industry or who do not receive much support from the existing structures. If any of the following descriptions apply to you, you are eligible.
- Indigenous, First Nations, etc. peoples
- Person of Color
- English is not your first language
- Disabled, neurodiverse, or mental health issues
- Jewish, Muslim, and non-Abrahamic faiths
- Not from North America, Europe or another western nation
- Trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming
This list is not exhaustive. If you feel like your identity and/or culture are not supported or are underrepresented in gaming, then you are eligible.
- What do you consider to be a puzzle game?
- Any videogame which is primarily about thinking/logical reasoning — and not primarily challenging due to execution/timing elements — is likely to be a good fit for what we're looking for. If in doubt, please apply.
- What is the grant offering?
- In its first year, the Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant is offering 3-4 grants of $20,000 USD and 8-12 grants of $5,000 USD. We are also offering, in partnership with Astra Fund, multiple opportunities for mentorship throughout the next year, as well as advice for next steps.
- Does Draknek & Friends or Astra Fund have a stake in what I produce?
- You own what you make with this grant. We seek no rights to the resulting games and there are no strings attached. You can release your game commercially or non-commercially. We do not care what platform you build your game for (PC, console, mobile, etc.), or what the revenue model is if the game is commercial.
- What can people spend the grant money on?
- Anything — from development tools to rent for your home, the grant money is intended to help people interested in creating puzzle games in whatever way makes sense for the individual.
- I’m part of a team. Can we apply?
- Please choose one individual to apply on behalf of a team. You should talk about your team on the application form and cover your respective roles.
- Where is the money coming from?
- Draknek has put aside $60k USD from profits of its games, which is being matched by $60k USD from Astra Fund (distributed by Games for Change), for a total of either four $20k grants and eight $5k grants, or three $20k grants and twelve $5k grants.
- Why are we offering this?
We love puzzle games, and see that the community of people who play and love great puzzle games is full of people from a wide range of backgrounds. However, the people making the most successful puzzle games and getting funding to make the next great puzzle games are noticeably less diverse – even less so than video games more broadly.
We hope that these grants can be a small part of the work of changing that and help more people from underrepresented backgrounds to thrive in this space, and to create experiences that no one else would have.
- Is this money intended as a game budget?
- No. While $5k to $20k USD can go quite far in certain parts of the world, this is not intended to be a budget for a full game, which is usually quite a bit larger. This money is intended to help you in whatever way makes the most sense for you. If selected, we do not expect you to change the scope or ambition of anything you’re working on.
- Is this connected to the Astra Fellowship Grant?
- We are working with Astra Fund to take advantage of similar mentorship/support structures available for Astra Fellows, but this grant has its own selection committee and process. It is a smaller amount of money but does not expect you to work full-time. We hope that this grant will set people up in a strong position to apply for an Astra Fellowship.
- Is this connected to the 2018 Thekla Puzzle Grant?
- Draknek’s creative director Alan Hazelden helped organize the 2018 Thekla Puzzle Grant and was on the selection committee. We have reused some of the language from that FAQ, but there is otherwise no connection.
- Any other questions?
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.