Project Joystick opens with the winner backed with AUS$1m budgetAustralia's game portal BigPond and its Centre for the Moving Image has launched a new game design competition that's open to all Australians and promises to turn the winning idea into a mobile phone and online PC game with a big budget.
Although the organisers have yet to announce which developer will produce the winning game, they promise it will be one of the country's leading local teams.
The project has already scored backing from the Game Developers' Association of Australia. The association's president Tom Crago told The Age that the scheme was an "incredibly exciting initiative, one that as an Australian industry, we're really pumped about". He explained that his studio, Tantalus, regularly recieves 100 game ideas a month, and that the competition will help educate the community about getting into games development.
"We need to spread the message that this is a great career path," he said. "It's not about age or qualifications, it's about talent and ability. If your idea is the best it will be selected for development by a leading Australian game developer."
Bill Burton, BigPond's director of media, added: "While mobile and online audiences present a great opportunity for exposure for Australian game developers, a lack of financial investment can be a barrier to bringing ideas to market. [But] if you have a great game idea, even just a concept, this is your opportunity to see it become a reality."