Astra fund announces 6 ‘thinky’ game projects

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Astra is a new philanthropic fund that aims to create more “thinking games.” The company announced six of those projects today as well as its plans to mentor growing, young studios.

These projects will work with new and existing studios to produce their thinking-person’s projects. Astra’s stated goal is to unlock the potential of games with “thinky mechanics.” The fund wants developers to help players master concepts and make their own insights. Astra is also attracted to games that pose “intriguing problems” and “wondrous worlds.”

The first six games to take advantage of Astra funding include the following:

  • Paper Trail — A paper-folding puzzle game.
  • Star Stuff — A coding puzzler that takes place in space.
  • Rytmos — A puzzle game that emphasizes music and rhythm.
  • Schrodinger’s Cat Burglar — A heist adventure.
  • Unannounced game from Furniture & Mattress.
  • Secret project from Zach Gage and Orta Therox.

Furniture & Mattress is a new studio from some games-industry veterans including former PlayStation producer and 1UP.com editor Nick Suttner.

All of Astra’s games so far have a puzzle element to them, and that theme will likely continue. Instead of fixating on twitch reaction times or clicking on heads in an action setting, Astra wants to slow things down and give people time to play games with consideration.

If you are working on a game like that, Astra has opened up funding. You can apply for a chance to get support for your game on its website. In addition to that funding, Astra will also put devs in touch with experienced advisors who can provide guidance. And because Astra’s aims are philanthropic, the end goal is about enabling creators and not necessarily about maximizing its own returns.

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Jeff Grubb

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