Teotl's Sjoerd DeJong has said the firm entered its puzzler The Ball into the Make Something Unreal contest just for fun, with no intention of releasing it publicly at the time.
Speaking with RPS, DeJong said the team was inspired to make a first-person puzzle game after playing Portal.
"We didn’t always intend [to release the game commerically]," he told RPS. "We originally started the project just for fun, but as the game was received so well by both Epic Games and the public, we began to realise that we could do more with it. The contest has been very important for us. It strengthened our confidence, got us publicity, and it got us money.
"We used the money we won in the contest to fund our company and our game.
"When I first played Portal I was impressed by how memorable and unique that game is, despite its very simple nature. Portal has only one 'weapon', there are no real characters, everything revolves around a single core mechanic, and the art style is very simple and straightforward. And yet, it manages to create a more memorable experience than many big budget titles with dozens of weapons and cutscenes do.
"That is quite an achievement, and that has really inspired me. You don’t need millions of dollars and hundreds of features to make a cool game."
The Ball is out now, and you can also try out a demo of it.
There's a trailer through here.