Creative content developers earn MDeC boost


  • Technology
  • Monday, 23 Aug 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: We may soon see these Malaysian-made games on various devices next year. They are all winners in the recent MSC Malaysia Intellectual Property Creators Challenge Series 2010 competition.

Featuring exploration, battles and brain teasers, these games are still being developed and their creators have won RM50,000 each to turn their idea into a prototype.

Touch-based adventure game Nikki Holiday and the Pirate Star is the brainchild of Studio 212 Sdn Bhd, which is targeting it for Apple Inc’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Abdul Sani Abdul Jalal, senior software developer at Studio 212, said the game was influenced by Adventures of Monkey Island, a classic PC game developed by LucasArts.

“The player needs to go exploring and will have to overcome all sorts of obstacles, as well as fight enemies, in our adventure game,” he said. “It took us about two to three weeks to conceptualise.”

Nikki Holiday and the Pirate Star also has a local flavour; there are several Malaysian landmarks in it, such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Twin Towers.

“We will be adding more local content over the next six months,” Abdul Sani added.

Then there’s Team P’s TVboy, a 2D game puzzle for the PC. Programmer Lee Thin Guan said it took him and two graphics artists a fortnight to develop the game.

There are 80 levels in TVboy to challenge the player, comprising various puzzles that include mazes and blocks. “The purpose is to test the gamer’s analytical skills,” Lee said.

Apart from game ideas, there were also animation projects in the winners circle.

Enershia Sdn Bhd impressed the judges with its two-minute Flash animation clip about a 60-year-old villager and his pet monkey. The short has environmentalism as part of its theme.

“The story is about Pak Deman who rescues Zulu, a stray monkey, after its jungle home is bulldozed for urban development,” said Hira Zahari, chief executive officer and producer at Enershia.

After that, Zulu will not leave the side of Pak Deman.

“Pak Deman and the monkey then go on an adventure, supporting themselves on their travels by plucking coconuts and doing street performances,” Hira said. And the old man also learns a few things about life from the monkey.

Enershia’s RM50,000 prize money will go towards its dream of making an animated series.

Expert help

The competition was divided into four categories — Animation, Computer Casual Games, Mobile Games and Digital Interactive Comics.

More than 50 finalists were pared down to 26 winners. The winners in the Digital Interactive Comics received RM20,000 each to further develop their ideas.

All the winners have to show results in the next six months.

To help them, they will undergo mentorships with several prominent industry players and receive access to development facilities at the MSC Malaysia Animation and Creative Content Centre (Mac3).

Mac3 is the Multimedia Development Corporation’s (MDeC) incubation facility for content developers that is located in Cyberjaya.

MDeC, which is guardian of the national MSC Malaysia initiative, organises the annual competition. It then markets the developed products at content fairs worldwide, including the MIPTV and Mipcom events in France.

Ng Wan Peng, chief operating officer at MDeC, said 141 entries were received for the competition this year. This is a 32% increase over the number of entries last year.

“With each passing year, the level and quality of the entries show that our local talents are increasing in creativity and skills,” she said.

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