Industry Initiatives

ACMI + RMIT Games Prize

A unique opportunity to support the next generation of Australian game developers and graduate students to hone their skills and transition into the games industry.

2021–22 winner

We are excited to announce that the ACMI + RMIT Games Prize selection panel – Arieh Offman, Programmer and Curator (Videogames), ACMI; Jini Maxwell, Curator, ACMI; and Dilan Gunawardana, Website Coordinator, ACMI – has selected a winner and a runner up for the 2021–22 Prize.

The winner of the 2021–22 ACMI + RMIT Games Prize is Caleb Noller for his work on the game Sussurus which was created in collaboration with Sarah Carlton. The panel found the game to have a strong and unique approach to world building, art direction and design, and was particularly impressed with the sophistication of the transitions between environments and scenes. The game has a clear narrative direction with great potential for development into an episodic series. The use of atmospheric sound and music also helped to immerse the player in the environment. One of the panel’s considerations was Caleb’s intention to use the prize to continue to develop Sussurus with a view towards creating a vertical slice with which to apply for future funding, and the panel feels that there is commercial viability for the game.

The panel would also like to commend the runner up Chase Profaca for their work on the game Butterfly Dollhouse, created in collaboration with Joshua Bowyer, Jessica Schembri, Jessica Tuohey and Jam Walker. The panel found the environment, mechanics and puzzle construction to be both charming and inventive, and was particularly impressed with the quality of the animation of the player character. We would like to offer the runner up a three month residency at ACMI X.

Finally the panel would like to commend all of the applicants for this year’s prize, and wish them all the best in their careers going forward. We look forward to working with the winner and runner up at ACMI X in the near future.

Susurrus (2021) | Audience Lab Sat 27 Nov + online


Winner of the 2021–22 ACMI + RMIT Games Prize.

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Butterfly Dollhouse (2021)

Butterfly Dollhouse

Runner up of the 2021–22 ACMI + RMIT Games Prize.

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2020–21 winner

Daniel Ferguson has been awarded the 2020–21 ACMI + RMIT Games Prize for his work titled Completely Stretchy and Uncomfortably Sticky.

The 2020-21 ACMI + RMIT Games Prize is awarded through a judging panel consisting of Arieh Offman, Programmer and Curator (Videogames), ACMI; Seb Chan, Chief Experience Officer, ACMI; and Paulina Samy, Co-Founder and Creative Director of DragonBear Studios to a graduating student from the RMIT Bachelor of Design (Games) for a work exploring the artistic potential of the medium.

The judging panel were impressed with the unique characters, witty and charming dialogue and impressive world-building. Daniel’s work seamlessly inspires further exploration in a fun, engaging and often hilarious way. Venturing through the world you encounter bizarre life forms, encouraging players to engage further and uncover more.

Daniel will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a coveted 3-month spot at ACMI X to develop his game and prepare it for commercial release.

We would also like to congratulate this year’s runner up, Morgan Meehan-Lam, for her work on the game Doorway OS, designed with fellow student Kiri Wright. The gamified construction of an early internet community was both nostalgic and clever, and the writing was of an incredibly high calibre. Morgan will also receive a three-month residency at ACMI X.

About the wining game

You’ve woken up feeling Completely Stretchy and Uncomfortably Sticky. Explore the vibrant Grombi Isles using your new found floppy abilities such as your stretchy arm, sticky fingers, and more! Talk to the eccentric inhabitants and participate in their playful activities. You may even piece together the story of The Grombi Isles.

About Daniel Ferguson

Daniel Ferguson is a game developer and animator based in Melbourne who likes making eccentric games with a strong focus on characters and movement.

Follow him on Twitter @danfergusonn.

Visit Daniel's page.

2019–20 winner

A screenshot from Spiritwell by David Chen - hero image

David Chen – Spiritwell

The 2019–20 Games Prize winner was David Chen for his game Spiritwell who has gone onto receive Film Victoria’s production funding to continue developing his work. Close runner up Rebecca Dilella was also offered residency in ACMI X to further develop her game CHALKBOARD.

READ: Take your time and live life: David Chen on developing the Pokémon-inspired Spiritwell
Amber Gibson, ACMI Stories & Ideas, 2 Sep 2020

About the ACMI + RMIT Games Prize

The ACMI + RMIT Games Prize is awarded to a graduating student from the RMIT Bachelor of Design (Games) for a work exploring the artistic potential of the medium.

The First-Place prize includes $5,000 cash award, and both First Place and runners up prize includes a three-month placement at our ACMI X co-working space for creative screen practitioners. In addition, the prize recipient will receive their own dedicated Audience Lab where they can take advantage of valuable audience testing to refine their game prior to its release.

The prize has proven to be a launch pad for previous winners to go on to seek additional funding, industry recognition and the ability to commercialise. ACMI and RMIT are proud to be supporting young talent, ensuring the Victorian games industry continues to thrive within a global market place.

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