Kiwi Games Starter 2016 – The Games!
13 October 2016

Kiwi Games Starter is the NZGDAs annual game development award and startup programme for interactive games businesses. Each year there is a large prize pool in the past including finical, legal and mentoring support for start-up game businesses. The competition aims to help early-stage games businesses to develop prototypes ready for investment or crowdfunding.

Here are some of the entries from this years awards!



By Matthew Gatland.

Forced underground by a devastating attack, you must explore a hidden world and build to survive. But these caves are not empty – the more you expand, the more you’ll come into conflict with the strange creatures and communities around you. Caves is a sandbox exploration RPG, with triangles instead of squares.

Caves creator Matthew Gatland is a game developer in Auckland, New Zealand. After four years working on software for hospitals, he quit his day job to make games full-time. Matthew has made a lot of small games for game jams and 48-hour competitions, but Caves is his first really large project. The game is expected to take a few years. When he’s not working on games, Matthew teaches programming to young women through Girl Code, a tech education business he runs with his sister. He’s also a founding member of Auckland’s Pop-Up Arcade, a collective that exhibits locally made video games in custom, DIY arcade installations.

What’s next?

Over the next year, Matthew plans on adding an RPG-like quest system to the game, with a main quest and many side-quests for the player to discover. New world areas are planned, including a layer of ancient ruins where the player will find remnants of an old civilization that was buried long ago. Matthew will also continue to improve the animations, art and physics. To follow the development of Caves visit

Goblins of Elderstone


By Lost Goblin.

Goblins of Elderstone is a chaotic village builder and goblin tribe simulator!

“We are a very small indie studio formed about 3 years ago. Lost Goblin was officially founded  in 2014 with the dream of making small, high quality, independent games. We have nearly 20 years of game industry experience between us. We really like goblins :D”

Lost Goblin secured some initial funding late 2015 for their current project, Goblins of Elderstone, a goblin tribe simulator for the PC market. This funding allowed them to go full time and add a few talented goblins to the team such as Roy Lye our new lead programmer and Moritz Schlitter our very talented artist. However this funding ended in July 2016 and most of the team has gone back to part or full time work but continuing with the project in the rest of the time available. Only Roy is still working full time with the rest of us working part time on the project again.

“The Kiwi Game Starter has enabled us to keep Roy working full time for longer and secure some much needed marketing funds for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign.” – Gustav Seymore

What’s next?

“We have been accepted into PAX pavilion and will be showing the game their in Australia at the start of November which we are really excited about. We are Launching our Kickstarter campaign in the coming weeks to coincide its ending while we are at PAX Then we plan to launch the game in December/Jan on a limited platform and go to steam Early Access next year and stay in EA until we feel its good enough to go live.” – Gustav Seymore. To Follow the development of Goblins of Elderstone add @LostGoblin on twitter and visit



By Team Ninja Thumbs.

Grabity is a fast paced arena  physics brawler with gravity guns. As a Test Robot you must battle your fellow test subjects with Gravity Guns in an intense squabble over everything grabbable in local party matches or competitive online multiplayer. You may use grabbed objects as ammunition or to shield yourself from incoming Projectiles. Grabbable objects range from simple crates and explosive barrels to more powerful objects such as security drones that can shoot lasers or chainsaws to decimate your opponents. Each Battle Arena will have one or more unique selling points that takes advantage of Unity’s physics system to spice things up, eg. air vents that propel the player into the air or wobbly platforms.

Steve Salmond (Developer): Veteran programmer with a vast knowledge about game-feel through over 10 years of experience working for outsmart and doing a ton of game jams filling many roles from Game design, coding front end, backend, UI design, Sound Design and even concept art.

Moritz Schlitter (Artist): Allround artist with over 5 years experience. Tasks involve Concepting, Modeling, Texturing,Rigging and Animating, also doubling in some Print Design such as the logo for Grabity.

What’s next?

“Our next milestones will be focusing on adding content to diversify the existing experience as well as growing our following on social media.” – Moritz Schlitter. To follow the development of Grabity add @TeaNinjaThumbs on Twitter!

Ten Thousand Coins


By Cynthia Wang.

Ten Thousand Coins is a casual trading sim / RPG hybrid, and can be best described as a mix of the classic PC game Oregon Trails with that of a turned-based RPG. Player will travel from one town to another in order to trade and earn coin, traversing through the dangerous wilderness filled with random and dangerous events, all while keeping the crew alive and fed to complete their ultimate objective: earn ten thousand coins.

Ten Thousand Coins is currently developed Cynthia (Qingxia) Wang. Cynthia’s background includes programming, game art, and game design from a combination of tertiary study and work experience. She’s been passionate about game development ever since high school, and is now entering the New Zealand indie development scene with her first indie title Ten Thousand Coins.

What’s next?

The next major milestone for Ten Thousand Coins is to get the game ready for crowdfunding and Steam Greenlight. If the campaigns are successful, a release date in late 2017 can be expected. To follow the development of Ten Thousand Coins like the Facebook Page Ten Thousand Coins and visit

Seed of Life


By Adam Thompson.

Seed of Life is a meditative game in which you deflect colourful elements to create sacred patterns.

Protect the Seed of Life in the center from incoming elements by rotating a paddle on a circular canvas. Deflecting elements will fill the sky with a dance of colors that form sacred geometrical patterns, but stay vigilant; as elements move and behave in ways that will surprise and challenge you.

With hundreds of unique and dazzling compositions, Seed of Life offers a meditative experience of joy and comprehension through its real-time puzzle gameplay, and atmospheric visual and aural feedback designed to deeply immerse you in a variety of themes and ideas.

In 2014, Adam founded his personal indie game development studio; Emotion Theory. He has gone on to teach game design and programming at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and was a senior games producer at Media Design School (MDS), and now continues to contribute through mentoring and consulting. Dabbling in different fields, participating in various game jams, and taking multiple contracts – Adam has been learning and exploring different aspects of game development, which has led him to his commitment to his current projects.

What’s next?

Adams long term goals are to explore more projectile types and projectile gameplay, refine all game modes, and playtest/iterate more. Adam regularly posts in his development blog, check it out for updates