Mushroom 11 was born earlier this year as part of Global Game Jam 2012. That early prototype was developed by Itay Keren (with Itay’s wife, Julia, contributing artwork) at the GGJ event held at NYU, where it was recognized with the Best Game Design award from among 30 games that came out of that event.
That, along with the great reviews it received from jurors, encouraged Itay to see how much further he could take this concept, and he began developing it into a more fleshed out game.
Itay is not new to game development. His most recent game, Rope Rescue, was published by Chillingo and made it into the top 10 chart on the US app store. Mushroom 11, however, represents a more personal and experimental approach to Itay, as he questions much of what he knows about the art and process of game design.
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!
For those curious to see how this game has changed since the GGJ prototype, here is an early gameplay video with preliminary art:
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.
Despite this, the game’s launch did not generate enough revenue for the team to be self sustaining. It is our hope that by backing Spiky Snail in bringing the game to Windows, Mac, and Linux we will get them on a self-sustaining track.
In general, we shy away from funding ports and adaptations of games because if the initial release didn’t generate enough income to fund a port, then backing a port may not be a wise investment. In this case, however, there is a good reason to break our pattern.
SpikySnail aren’t just making a port. They’ve learned from their design and believe they can improve it. They want to release a better game on a different platform. This is interesting to us for two reasons:
This is exactly the kind of development we want to encourage: promising teams with low overhead who are focused on design.
If a release with an improved design leads to significantly higher revenue, this would provide support for something we already believe: that a focus on design isn’t just an aesthetic preference, but an important factor in creating a financially successful game. It would suggest that shipping a game early because it is over budget or over schedule may not be an effective way to protect one’s profit margin.
We applaud Niv and Sagi for their hard work and determination and wish them (and us) success in this endeavor
Antichamber is the 7th project to receive Indie Fund support. Those with an eye on the indie scene probably know it’s been years in development, and we’re happy to provide its talented developer, Alexander Bruce, with finishing funds to help the game across the finish line.
This game has been honored with so many awards it’s hard to keep track, from its initial selections for Sense of Wonder Night and as a Make Something Unreal Grand Prize winner, through to its more recent PAX10 selection and IGF Technical Excellence award. The full list of honors this game has received throughout its development is impressive.
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.
You can check out Antichamber at PAX East this week, booth 770. Alex will be there with the latest build, stop by and say hello!
The Swapper is the 6th game to receive Indie Fund backing. It is quite literally a handcrafted 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.
We are very happy to announce that Indie Fund is now backing this beautiful, atmospheric, mind bending game, which has already come very far on the passion of its creators alone.