Tech Journalism. 3rd Year UTS Student, previously a writer for the AU Review and Gamers Classified.
The arts and culture scene in NSW has received a boost in the just-released State Budget, but if there is anything for interactive games developers, it is yet to be extracted from the detail.
Games developers in Australia have to rely on state funding, as federal initiatives are almost non-existent and private sector support isn't yet strong enough.
One state has decided to lead the charge when it comes to supporting the potentially lucrative games industry.
Western Australia's Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries has partnered with Screenwest, to announce a $100,000 fund for Interactive Media.
📣 We are delighted to announce the $100,000 Interactive Pilot Fund for WA projects! 😍🎮👾— Screenwest (@Screenwest) May 27, 2019
Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen! 🙏@V_garpend @stirfirestudios @blacklabgames @letsmakegames @gdaa_oz @igea @lotterywest
Find out more 👇https://t.co/EPgZKCagGK
Vee Pendergrast is a games developer and co-founder of WA-based Stirfire Studios.
She has been consulting for Screenwest for some time - and was the driving force behind the interactive media fund.
"The interactive sector in Western Australia is crazy and amazing," she explained. "It's been utterly huge and the community has been very forgiving.
"We want to be able to support all forms of creative interactive work."
Ms Pendergrast is used to working with government.
During the 2016 WA Election, she consulted on video games policy for the Greens.
She recalled an interaction at her games studio last year, with former Screenwest CEO Seph McKenna.
Mr McKenna wanted to know why Screenwest should consider funding the interactive scene.
"I pointed to a TV screen behind us and it was a YouTube clip of a game made in Western Australia," she said.
"[I said] "That's why Screenwest should be supporting our industry.' A small grant can go on to change developers' lives."
Ms Pendergrast's efforts paid off, with the joint project to focus on video games and interactive storytelling.
And she says it is just the beginning, with plans for a much larger program.
"We are already talking to the government about forms of infrastructure to support the games industry.
"What we are doing is creating a pathway... a stepping stone to something much greater." - Zachariah Kelly