NSW announces funding for 20 Digital Media Initiative projects

1 June 2011

The NSW Government has announced funding grants to support 20 projects under its Digital Media Initiative, to help build the State's digital economy.

The Digital Media Initiative, part of the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy, will support creative digital content projects.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner announced the 20 Digital Media Initiative projects at the launch of Digital Sydney, a new campaign to promote Sydney and NSW as the Asia Pacific's leading digital business and investment location.

“NSW has the major share of Australia's digital industry but needs to build its share of the high value electronic games sector which will increasingly be involved in not just entertainment but the development of serious games in sectors like e-health and education," Mr Stoner said.

“Turning the stereotype of games upside down, one of the projects we are supporting is Hear Right Now, an online serious game which detects hearing loss in children.

“Hear Right Now is a collaboration between a digital agency, media producer and the country’s first indigenous surgeon, ear, nose and throat specialist Associate Professor Kelvin Kong, and we are delighted to be helping them make it a reality.

“Proving that regional NSW can also benefit from a growth in the digital media sector, another project supported by the NSW Government is Terminus, a game to be produced by Queanbeyan-based start-up company Uppercut Games.”

The Digital Media Initiative will help NSW build its share of the high value electronic games sector which, going forward, will increasingly be involved in not just entertainment but the development of serious games with sectors like e-health and education.

It will provide support at various stages from early stage development up to completion of a functioning prototype, or to take a market ready project into production.

The Chief Executive of the Games Developers Association of Australia, Antony Reed, said the Digital Media Initiative will position NSW as the country’s leading supporter of digital media enterprises.

"There is no doubt that NSW will see exponential growth in the sector in the years to come. I also believe that there will be increased investment interest in NSW as a result of this initiative,” Mr Reed said.

The initiative is designed for commercially oriented projects that are destined for distribution on internet, wireless, mobile, or other emerging platforms or devices.

20 Digital Media Initiative projects to be supported by NSW Government

  • Storm Surfers 4D - a multi-media project by 6ixty Foot Productions providing a digital wraparound for the feature and documentary series Storm Surfers 3D, by the Emmy-award winning Firelight team. Includes an interactive application that will allow users to spin the globe and select big wave breaks; 20 webisodes including 10 in 3D; and a rich media eBook.
  • Hear Right Now - online serious game to detect hearing loss in children. Collaboration between a digital agency, media producer and the country’s first indigenous surgeon, the ear, nose and throat specialist Associate Professor Kelvin Kong.
  • Terminus - the first in a series of AAA quality action games for mobile devices and later Xbox 360, to be produced by Queanbeyan start-up company Uppercut Games.
  • Harley - A transmedia augmented reality and mobile phone game, to be developed by The Playroom as part of an international children’s television program and world-class animation series called Harley the Game.
  • Swords and Sandals - Persistent World - A multi-platform game by 3RD sense Australia based on the successful ‘Swords and Sandals’ game series.
  • Swishboard - A multiplayer online role playing game for children aged 2 - 7 which allows children to communicate with avatars in novel ways. Designed for iPads, tablets, PCs and touch screen devices.
  • Dream Channel - A highly innovative transmedia collaboration between experienced practitioners from the film and games industries, blending TV and interactive formats (webisode series, futuristic game show and feature film/telemovie).
  • Lost Larry Lizard (Wasabi Production) - Animated, interactive children’s book app for iPads, iPhones, the iPod Touch and Android mobile devices which will build on the success of two previous e-stories.
  • Frozen Hearth - The first chapter of a trilogy of real time strategy games by Epiphany Games to be released onto a multiplayer digital download site in 2012.
  • FlavourCrusader –  a multiplatform project to be developed by RIchappelfool consisting of a smartphone application, blog and social media platforms that helps the urban shopper/cook make delicious and healthy choices.
  • DigiZen – A 3D action-puzzler PC game by VagabondArmy where the player, a DigiZen hacker, is infected with a digital parasite which they must cure in a race against the clock.
  • Mobile Game apps - Dinoroar Interactive will develop a series of mobile games applications for platforms including Apple and Android smartphone and tablets, with possible expansion to Symbian and others.
  • Grasshopper Say - A multi-platform interactive media initiative by Raspberry Frog Pty Ltd involving a series of interactive webisodes and mobisodes, and an associated mobile game for smartphones and tablets. Will use screenhopping technology allowing web characters to “jump” to mobiles.
  • Digital Motion Comics - Early development of four digital motion comic screenplays and production bibles by Digital Motion Comics. Will involve innovative iPad and Android apps that enhance the story experience and provide a central place for NSW filmmakers, animators and other artists to create and sell motion comics.
  • The Toll - An innovative six part app series by Tui Studios designed for Apple users aged 14+. The animated series will feature task-based interactive gameplay.
  • Blowhole Bay – Innovative and interactive e-comic surf series designed for e-readers by joint venture partners Box Communications Pty Ltd and Five by Five. The e-comics will be supported by a website portal to distribute and market e-comics along with complementary material, merchandising and community/social media links.
  • Dungeon Map 2.0 - Designed by Ambitious Software to expand upon a pen and paper role playing game, this project will be a combat and encounter tool designed specifically for tablets.
  • Plunder (Uppercut Games) - AAA quality single player real-time strategy game allowing the player to order an array of iconic characters to navigate ancient ruins, gather gold and fight off a rival team of adventurers.
  • My Life - Envelop Entertainment will create a functional prototype for a Facebook application involving an online community-contributed diary of an individual.
  • Little Space Heroes - Bubblegum Interactive will develop a massively multiplayer virtual world for children played over the internet, with transmedia components including a series of animated motion comics in web, iPad and HD (cable) formats.