The Witness developer offering grants to minority game developers

Thekla Inc. has opened submissions for underrepresented game designers to gain access to a cash injection into their puzzle projects. The studio has opened a fund that will see between three and six devs receive $3,000 to $20,000 to help them develop their games. The aim is to help “independent game designers from traditionally underrepresented groups” (according to the announcement blog post) and give them a boost.

The criteria for the types of games eligible for the grants are quite specific, with a focus on “puzzle games that take place on a discrete grid where the interesting gameplay comes from unique rules governing the behavior of the objects”. The grant theme is based on Thekla’s next game, giving us a little insight into what we can expect next from the studio that brought us The Witness.

It’s great to see a developer supporting underrepresented creators in an industry where the variety of voices still needs to be improved. While the criteria for the projects themselves may be super specific, eligibility for the recipients themselves is much more broad. Thekla is offering the grants to the following groups of people, though the studio is keen to mention that this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Women
  • Trans or Gender non-binary
  • People of Color
  • Not from North America, Europe or another western nation
  • English is not your first language
  • Disabled
  • People with mental health issues

“These grants are intended to support creators who are underrepresented in today’s game industry or who do not receive much support from the existing structure,” the announcement states.

Submissions are open until April 23rd, after which a jury of independent game designers will decide on who gets the money. Developers will be notified May 18th. You can find full details, including submission requirements, on the announcement blog post.

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