Below is the list of games Indie Fund has funded so far (click on the title to go to the game-maker’s website):
“That Dragon, Cancer” is a game unlike almost any game we’ve seen or funded before. Ryan and Amy Green created this very special title to tell the story of their son Joel and his 4-year fight against cancer. They, along with Josh Larson, crafted an adventure game that is poetic, playful, full of imagination and of hope — honoring Joel and his memory. The game address a wide audience and has been discussed in the LA Times, NPR, and in the powerful documentary “Thank You For Playing”.
Alone in the dark, isolated, surrounded by old gritty tech that can only give you a partial picture about what’s going on around you – a motion sensor that goes off, but doesn’t tell you exactly what’s out there. Duskers, currently on Steam Early Access, is a deep dive into the feeling of complete dependence on technology in a (somewhat) fictional era in which tech can limit you almost as much as it empowers.
Developed by Misftis Attic (a studio led by Tim Keenan, who also made A Virus Named TOM), Duskers is a game in which you pilot drones into derelict spaceships to find the means to survive and piece together how the universe became a giant graveyard.You are a drone operator, surrounded by technology that acts as your only eyes and ears to the outside world. What you hear comes through a remote microphone. What you see is how each drone sees the world. Motion sensors tell you something’s out there, but not what. And when you issue commands, you do it through a command line interface.
Remember flashlight tag? You didn’t play it like this. Vogelsap’s The Flock is a brutal first-person asymmetrical multiplayer game where three to five people compete for control of an artifact containing the last bit of sunlight left in the world. Only one player can be “it.” The rest remain monsters, trying to claw that person apart. By combining stealth with seamless motion through a dark and stifled atmosphere, The Flock manages to be as fast-paced as it is suspenseful.
Armello is a procedurally generated, turn-based strategy game where one to four players vie for the throne of a mad king through loyalty, hostility, or treachery. It combines the best elements of card and board games with the capabilities of digital platforms for an experience that’s simple to start but deeply complex and replayable. While stories within individual sessions will differ, Armello is set in a rich and beautiful world reminiscent of Game of Thrones- were the warring houses of Westeros replaced by clans of woodland creatures.
A game about reopening a cold case set within a lovingly-crafted period interface, no other game has focused so unforgivingly on the words of a single “NPC.” It’s a game that rewards a certain kind of detective work on the part of the player, the type of work that we don’t often see on the screens of popular drama. Through careful listening, cross-reference, and archiving, you’ll begin to forge a version of the truth that others have failed to see.
It’s a bit like watching a TV show where the scenes are connected by your own ingenuity and logic rather than the dramatic missteps of others. Yet Her Story also forces the player to question their excitement for the cold dissection of an alien subjectivity—here played with nuanced desperation by Barlow’s friend and collaborator Viva Seifert.
Part puzzle game, part drawing tool, Engare is a all about your geometric imagination (tellingly, it means “unfinished pattern” in Farsi). By selecting a point on a moving object, players trace delicate shapes in the air (and hopefully match the target glyph for that level). It’s a meditation on the dynamics of simple machines and the beauty buried deep within repeating motion.
Manifold Garden is a first-person puzzle game set in a world of impossible architecture, where space wraps around itself as the player manipulates gravity in order to progress. Many have described the game as “Escher-esque” on account of its clean visual design and curious exploration style, which involves shifting your plane of reference to see every room in a new light—and, of course, there do seem to be a lot of staircases.
Soft Body is a twin-stick shooter that asks players to split their brains and thumbs, navigating two unique “bodies” through a beautiful, minimalist shoot-em-up space at the same time. The game’s designer calls it a “bullet heaven,” because the emphasis isn’t on memorizing bullet patterns so much as reacting to them creatively as the arena shifts and changes.
Robin Arnott’s audio-visual exploration game abandons design convention by imposing no goals on the players. Instead, it uses hypnosis techniques to entrance the player while they explore an abstract musical environment generated by their voice.
Although Gorogoa initially appears to be a simple point-and-click adventure with sliding tile elements, players tumble down the rabbit hole when they realize that pieces of the scene can be pulled from one picture to another. Each delicately-illustrated panel operates under its own unique logic, and players must gently tease out their curious inter-relationships in order to progress.
Ernesto is a “puzzle crawler” focused on survival, character progression, and strategic scoring. Jonathan Blow has this to say about the game: “It’s a single-player RPG condensed into a focused and powerful pill. Every minute you’re making interesting choices, and the decisions are often tough, which makes for a lot of fun.”
This game does a fantastic job of adding joy to its procedurally generated wild-life exploration and puzzle solving, with careful attention paid to its mix of beautiful and dangerous environments and creatures. Previously, Spaces of Play created the magical-in-nature puzzler Spirits and is now ready to take on a bigger challenge. The team says Future Unfolding “is a much more experimental project with design questions that will be harder to solve for us. It is also a game that is much bigger in scope.”
Due Process is particularly interesting because maps are randomly generated, and teams spend half of every 4-minute round drawing out attack plans. Giant Enemy Crab already has a background in multiplayer games, with members having worked on the IndieCade- and IGF-nominated Super Space ______ and Grand Theft Flying Object. Here, the team took a very simple concept and built depth by facilitating human interaction and teamwork, which we see as very fertile ground for play.
What caught our eyes initially was how Nova-111 smoothly blended the mechanics of real-time and turn-based games into one. Players will witness these mechanics evolve through innovative puzzles and strategic battles while searching for scientists who were lost in the cosmic REAL-TIME vortex.
Set in a “noir comic book world,” each panel of Framed depicts an important action or event. The game then allows you to rearrange these animated windows to change the outcome of a silent narrative. The first project from Melbourne’s Loveshack Entertainment.
FRACT OSC is a musical exploration game. Players explore an abstract world built on sound, solve puzzles to rebuild its forgotten machinery and then are able to create their own sounds and music within the game. The game features a vast open world, real-time player control over sound and draws inspiration from Myst, Tron, electronic music, and most importantly, synthesizers.
Donut County is a whimsical physics toy that explores negative space by allowing players to manipulate a hole in the ground, swallowing up animals and spitting them back out elsewhere. For each object players swallow, the hole grows a little bit larger – evoking a sense of childlike wonder through order & scale. The action takes place on the stage of the American Southwest, exploring the relationship between modern American and indigenous Pueblo cultures through themes of erasure & discovery.
We are super excited to announce our support of Panoramical, a collaborative project by Fernando Ramallo, a game developer from Argentina, and David Kanaga, best known for his work on Proteus and DYAD. Panoramical, with its collaboration with different artists and musicians, has the ability to cross-over into other active communities who don’t generally define themselves as gamers (even though they play with interactive experiences all the time). It is also an experiment in discovering how to sell this kind of game, and we hope Fernando and David can help discover new ways that artists can distribute and become financially successful in this genre.
The design space being explored by Mushroom 11 is not something we’ve seen before. It’s engaging and tactile and we’re excited to support Itay and see where his design exploration leads!
In Spacebase DF-9, you build a home among the stars for a motley population of humans and aliens as they go about their daily lives. Mine asteroids, discover derelicts, and deal with the tribulations of galactic resettlement in Earth’s distant future.
The Splatters is a good example of one of the reasons we created Indie Fund. The team’s talent is evident. They created polished and vibrant artwork, charming characters, and have demonstrated exceptional technical skill with the game’s intuitive and realistic feeling simulation.
A deserted island… a lost man… memories of a fatal crash… a book written by a dying explorer. Dear Esther is the brainchild of Dan Pinchbeck. It was initially released in 2008 as a Half-Life mod, and is now visually re-imagined by Robert Briscoe, previously an Environment Artist on Mirror’s Edge.
A first person puzzle solving game set in a structure made from white cubes. Coloured cubes in the environment can be manipulated by the player using a pair of technologically enhanced gloves. The player is able to pull and push red and yellow cubes, launch themselves using blue cubes and move around green cubes. Using these coloured cubes as tools, the player must complete a series of challenging puzzles.
Truly mind bending and surprising puzzle design aside, what makes Antichamber feel very special to us is that its development chronicles Alex’s development as a game designer. We’ve played the game multiple times over the last few years, at various states of completion, and each time the design and feel of the game shifts, and feels more refined. Kudos to Alex for iterating on his work and incubating it until it’s really ready.
The Swapper is the 6th game to receive Indie Fund backing. It is quite literally a hand crafted game, and clearly a labor of love by its creators, Facepalm Games. Olli, Otto, and Carlo have already a achieved a remarkable level of critical acclaim with their game, garnering awards at IndieCade, Develop Conference, Freeplay, and GameConnection.
Steal from the rich, keep it for yourself! Monaco is a 4-player co-op crime caper inspired by classic French heist movies and set in modern day Monte Carlo.