Bonfire Peaks and A Monster's Expedition developer Draknek and Friends has launched the Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant to support underrepresented groups who are interested in developing puzzle games.
Through the initiative, developers will be able to apply for grants worth $20,000 or $5,000 to help them fund a specific project or navigate "short-term situations." In its first year, the program will offer three to four $20,000 grants and eight to twelve $5,000 grants.
Mentorships will also be offered in partnership with Astra Fund, the philanthropic fund that was launched earlier this year by veterans from 9 Dots and thatgamecompany.
Draknek said creators who are under-invested-in within the games industry or who don't receive much support from existing structures will be eligible for the grant. More specifically, the studio explained it hopes to support women, members of the LGBTQIA community, people of color, creators outside of North America and Europe, trans, non-binary, and gender non-confirming developers, and more.
"We love puzzle games, and see that the community of people who play and love great puzzle games is full of people from a wide range of backgrounds. However, the people making the most successful puzzle games and getting funding to make the next great puzzle games are noticeably less diverse -- even less so than video games more broadly," said Draknek, outlining why it has established the fund.
"We hope that these grants can be a small part of the work of changing that and help more people from underrepresented backgrounds to thrive in this space, and to create experiences that no one else would have."
Those interested can learn how to apply for the Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant over on the Draknek website, where you'll also find an extensive FAQ.