Space Dust Studios, veteran developers gone rogue

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Our good friend, Mark Flanagan, posted a tweet recently suggesting everyone to keep an eye out on a new Melbourne indie game studio called Space Dust Studios, and after checking out the concept art that appears as a teaser on their website and the pedigree of their staff, you can consider our curiosity certainly piqued!

Space Dust Studios is one of many new local indie game startups formed by veteran developers who have many years of professional studio experience behind them, and like those who have emerged before Space Dust Studios, are aiming for a higher 'AAA' quality for their indie titles. The make-up of Space Dust Studios is impressive, with senior staff previously from well known big studios/publishers...

Space Dust Studios is a new 'AAA indie' video games studio located in Melbourne, Australia.
We are a team of senior developers previously from EA, Crystal Dynamics, Criterion and Atari.
Now we're 'going indie'... and making the games we've always wanted to make!

A tiny bit of sleuthing on Space Dust Studios shows that one of the senior developers in the team is Nathan Thomas, a former Lead Artist from Transmission Games and more recently, Visceral Games Australia. You may have attended his sessions back at Freeplay 2009. Nathan provided feedback on the proposed draft guidelines for the Australian Interactive Games Fund, pushing for pre-production funding. In his letter to Screen Australia, Nathan gives some insight on his new studio, their project, and how a pre-production grant would be extremely beneficial for them...

In our particular case, our core team consists of 5 senior developers, with collectively over 50 years of AAA local and international development experience (including programming on the recently released Dead Space 3). Our medium scale PC project has a planned 18 month development cycle, and will require significant localstaffing resources during production. We also have interest from talented senior developers who are eager to return to Melbourne and join our project.

We would benefit immensely from a pre-production ‘seed’ investment to produce the materials needed to attract the production investment required to complete the project.Our overall production budget will exceed AUD1million (inclusive of a professional marketing plan budget).

Unfortunately for Space Dust Studios, Screen Australia did not introduce pre-production funding into final guidelines which were released earlier this month.