Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant

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.

How to apply

The $20k grant is intended for people who are working on a specific puzzle game project, and we will weigh applications more heavily on the strengths of that project.

Apply for
$20k USD

The $5k grant is expected to be a good fit for those who only need a small investment for short-term situations, those without an active project, and those working on smaller projects.

Apply for
$5k USD

If you aren’t sure which to apply for, please feel free to submit the $20k application form and answer yes to the “do you wish to be considered for a $5k grant” question, or you can email us for advice.

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.

  • English is not your first language
  • Person of Color
  • Woman
  • Not from North America, Europe or another western nation
  • Jewish, Muslim, and non-Abrahamic faiths
  • Trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming
  • Indigenous, First Nations, etc. peoples
  • Disabled, neurodiverse, or mental health issues

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 grants@draknek.org.