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The Witness studio offering $20,000 grants to underrepresented developers

Jonathan Blow's team keen to see more women, people of colour, disabled people and LGBTQIA making puzzle games

The developers behind acclaimed puzzle title The Witness are now offering grants to indie game makers from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Independent studio Thekla announced the new initiative via its website and is promising lump sums of between $3,000 and $20,000 to between three and six people.

The funds are to be used on finishing their games - primarily grid-based puzzle games. This is in part because the studio is working on one such game now as its next project.

"These grants are intended to support creators who are underrepresented in today's game industry, or who do not receive much support from the existing structure," the team wrote.

In Thekla's eyes, this applies to women, people of colour, disabled people, trans or gender non-binary, LGBTQIA, or people with mental health issues. The studio is also keen to reach indies from outside North America, Europe and other Western nations, as well as those who do not speak English as a first language.

"This list is not exhaustive," the team notes, adding that developers may question eligibility when they submit.

While the studio is keen to find brand new projects, it has said it will consider funding teams porting their title to new platforms if a solid case is made.

Smaller grants will be given up front (i.e. developers will get the full amount) while larger sums may be delivered in milestones. Thekla also stresses that developers retain ownership of their project.

The deadline for submissions is April 23rd, with recipients expected to be notified by May 18th.

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