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From flights on Mars to Frog Detectives

Digital Games  21 Aug 2019

Conor O’Kane has always been interested in space – and now he’s taking it to the next level.

His new game Mars Flight VR (pictured) aims to excite and interest virtual reality drone racing fans and space enthusiasts alike, with the ability for players to visit the 2020 Mars Rover landing site – before the rover even arrives! Using 3D terrain modelling and imagery captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, he imported realistic and expansive Martian terrain into Unity, combining it with designs from the actual rover scheduled to land in the Jezero Crater on Mars in 2020.

With the help of Film Victoria Games Release funding, Conor will travel to the Mars Society’s Annual Convention in Los Angeles in October as part of his marketing plan, to connect with science and technology press and make great contacts in the space-exploration field to further promote the game’s release. Beyond that, he hopes to create installations of the game and 3D printed terrains so players can engage with a tactile model at museums before leaping into the VR experience.

Conor says, “This grant will help the release of Mars Flight VR in many ways - it covers the cost of the release trailer and marketing campaign and it will also allow me to expand the game into a kiosk version suitable for museum display. I'm very grateful to Film Victoria for this opportunity.”

For Grace Bruxner, receiving Film Victoria’s Games Release funding is also about exploration – in this case, exploring new opportunities. Off the back of the hugely successful first release of Haunted Island: A Frog Detective Game, Grace, who is a former Film Victoria Women In Games funding recipient, has been working with collaborators to form Worm Club studio and is now set to take the Frog Detective on new and exciting adventures in Frog Detective 2 – The Case of the Invisible Wizard.

Grace says, “Film Victoria is a huge part of why the Victorian game scene is thriving. I’m so, so grateful for its support with my project because it gives us the space to explore and experiment with marketing and release ideas that we did not have the resources for before.”  One of these ideas includes merchandising – creating unique plushies of the Frog himself, as well as t-shirts, stickers, pins and more, which will be market tested at a number of events internationally.

Also supported in the latest Games Release funding round was Warhammer: Underworlds Online, a huge IP release upcoming from Steel Sky productions, and True Crime Mysteries: Misadventure in Little Lon – an AR true crime history experience set in Melbourne.

Games Release funding rounds are open for application any time. Head to our Games funding page for more information.