2024 Games Resident
Owl Machine

Project partner: Tex Barnes

Screen Queensland’s Games Residency is a year-long program for early-career game developers, focused on developing the skills and knowledge required to develop new games and games studios.

The first of its kind in Australia, the residency program is run in partnership with Workforce Australia Self-Employment Assistance provider Birdifi Bridge, with participants provided with co-working space, access to leading industry experts, business mentoring and income support.

About Mars

Mars is a queer Australian-Filipino artist who’s passionate about exploring the dynamics of play, art, politics and self-expression. They’ve been studying game development at the Queensland University of Technology and for the last five years have been involved in the design and development of a variety of self-published games of different genres and scopes. She’s specialised in programming, skilled at level design and system design, though is currently primarily focused on developing their illustration skills. Their illustrative work features in Key Fairy, The Curse of the Mizzling Grove RPG adventure, and numerous community volunteer art programs such as the In.scribe Youth Arts Mentoring Project. She wants to create opportunities to collaborate with the talented folk around her, to build community and creative potential.

Primary skillset: illustration, programming

Residency Goals

Through the residency program Owl Machine hope to make significant progress on the development of Key Fairy. I am also using it as a platform to develop my personal brand and work, opportunities as a freelance illustrator in the games industry and to gain the necessary skills in marketing and business needed for a small game studio.

Residency Project

Key Fairy is a 2D pacifist bullet hell with hand drawn black and white art and an air of eerie whimsy. Play as a dancing fairy tasked with bringing peace to the fairy-tale forest, making friends with the monsters trying to eat them while discovering the world’s trinkets and secrets. Armed with a sewing needle grappling hook and a big heart, Key Fairy is a game made to delight and deeply challenge in equal measures.

We are halfway through development of a vertical slice, and have had several rounds of play-testing and iteration so far.

Screen Queensland Games Residency