The independent developer who brought XBLA gamers BattleBlock Theater, Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers has announced that, in addition to game development, it has two other ways it hopes will result in the best indie games possible making it “from conception to physical reality in the industry.” The Behemoth is now providing quality assurance and usability testing and what it describes as “no strings attached” funding for external indie developers.

Its testing lab, which the Sand Diego developer previously talked to XBLA Fans about at PAX East 2013, has been dubbed The Research Centaur and is said to staff testers with an average of six and a half years worth of experience in game testing. When he spoke of the testing center last year, The Behemoth President John Baez told us that it started as a purely internal department. Things went so swimmingly when testing BattleBlock Theater, though, that the developer decided to begin offering its testing services to external indie studios.

“I mean, one of the things we’ve done to kind of contribute to that [indie developer survivability] is we built a usability lab for Battleblock Theater, which has gone really, really well,” Baez said last year at PAX East. “It’s about a year old, and it’s only internal, and now we’ve opened it up. Well, there’s that and a QA department — very small, four people — but they’re very, very good at what they do. And now we’re beginning to open that up to other developers. So Bastion for all of iOS, we tested [it] and certified [it] to make sure that [Supergiant’s] game was good.

“So we’re opening that up to independent developers as a resource so they don’t have to go — I mean it’s not any cheaper than going to a big, gigantic test firm — but you’ll get the absolute attention to detail.”

In a blog post yesterday, The Behemoth’s Megan Lam explained that The Research Centaur will be continuing as a boutique service, and that it will only take projects from a “limited number of developers each year.” In addition to helping Supergiant with Bastion it’s also worked with it on its forthcoming Transistor as well as provided services for Capybara Games on Super Time Force and Alientrap on Apotheon.

With its other new venture, The Gold Egg Project, The Behemoth offers what it says “is an alternative funding option for game developers with great ideas and a proven demo or game in progress.” The Behemoth promises that it will stay out of the way of developers who accept funding through the project, handing them money but allowing them to develop their own game their own way.

Though it is not currently accepting pitches from indie studios to receive funding through The Gold Egg Project, the developer says it’s keeping a watchful eye on independent developer contests and handpicking games it feels are worthy of a monetary investment from The Behemoth. The first recipients of those investments are Asteroid Base for its forthcoming Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and developers Tyler Glaiel and John Schubbe for Closure.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime will be playable at PAX East in Boston next weekend. Closure is currently available on Steam.

Source: The Behemoth