If you’ve read any of my other posts about the province of Ontario backing up the money truck, you know the score: the provincial government doles out a bunch of cash every year to the Ministry of Culture, who disperses it through an organization called the OMDC (Ostentatious Mixers of Daquiri-like Cocktails). The OMDC doesn’t hand the money out to just anyone: film, television, music, and interactive companies have to battle it out, bare-knuckled and shirtless, in gladiatorial combat, like in that documentary about Thunderdome.
It’s as if the camera crew wasn’t even there.
In addition to that, you have to draw up a very meaty, very challenging document explaining what you’re going to do with the non-refundable grant. (A whole entire document?? The nerve!) The mandate of the OMDC is to divvy the cash among companies who will create jobs in Ontario – preferably, jobs that will stick once the project has ended.
Oh Frabjous Day
For us, the project is just beginning: after two unsuccessful attempts across two different OMDC funds, i am VERY happy to announce that we’ve been approved for funding on our upcoming word puzzle/adventure game hybrid, Spellirium!
You may remember playing a very early prototype of the Spellirium game mechanic last September. (It’s still up for playtesting in the Rubber Room). Despite the rejections, i remained convinced that we were going to build Spellirium with or without funding. Given the choice, we can probably produce a much better game with.
My earlier criticisms of the OMDC still stand: it’s still too difficult for small start-ups to get funded, and the organization should still consider parceling the funds into much smaller amounts, making them available year-round, and spending less money adjudicating them. But i’ve got an opinion on how a LOT of other people should do their jobs. Don’t get me started on those pastry chefs over at the bakery.
Overall, i’m happy and nervous, as if i have butterflies in my stomach before performing my grade 4 bassoon recital for the Royal Conservatory. The OMDC was quick to point out that our application was far from perfect, our budget was possibly unrealistic, and that all in all, it wasn’t a “slam-dunk.” i’m totally fine with that. The application may not have been a slam dunk, but wait til you see the game! :)
(Note: Spellirium is NOT a word puzzle/basketball game)
I Can Play Too?
As days go by, we’ll put together a designer diary for Spellirium, and we’ll hit you with more mechanics to try out. If you’d like to be involved in shaping the game and determining its outcome, or if you’d like to hear first-hand accounts from the trenches (the good, the bad and the ugly), we’re happy to share that all with you.
Big thanks to the OMDC for giving us a boost, and to our adjudicators for having faith in us. We won’t let anyone down!
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