Be patient. Jumping the gun and developing your own videogame will only make you "burn cash." That was the message at a knowledge sharing session on gaming, organised by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).
Many established Malaysian gaming companies started in the 90s with outsourced projects work before moving on to create original IPs, said gaming guru Tan Chin Ike.
Tan, the head of school for KDU University College’s School of Computing & Creative Media, was one of the 12 regional participants.
Another participant, Bazil Bidin, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Malaysia chapter coordinator, said budding videogame-makers should begin with commissioned projects from established publishers.
“From there you learn, build your team and by the time you are confident enough, go ahead and develop your own dream games,” he said.
“If you have an experienced team of developers, you can build the games you want,” said Bazil, adding that with the experience, speed and tenacity, the team can actually work very well together and less time is needed for development.
Representatives from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the speakers who gave insights into their own markets at the forum.
Thailand’s Tidarat Thanapakpawin (Ann), president of the Thai Game Software Industry Association, said there was plenty of crowdfunding and government support for game developers.
Angel investors provided up to 3mil baht (RM334,000) for start-ups, while the total seed funds in Thailand ranged from 10mil to 30mil baht (RM1.1mil-RM3.3mil).
In Vietnam, Le Giang Anh, founder of Vietnam Game Developers Network said games were subjected to strict regulations and government approvals as violent, political and sexual elements are prohibited.
Singapore’s gaming industry offers good salaries that attract top developers, observed Allan Simonsen, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Singapore chapter coordinator.
He told the 100-odd crowd of game industry professionals that in videogames, the most important element apart from the gameplay, are graphics, followed by sound and storyline.
Too much of a good thing can be bad as too many text pop-ups may distract from the game.
Representatives from the region also agreed that mobile is the focus area in the region.
Southeast Asia’s games market is the fastest growing in terms of revenue, according to Newzoo’s 2015 report Introduction to the Southeast Asian Games Market; Opportunities in the World’s Fastest Growing Games Region.
It is expected to double from US$1.1bil (RM4.3bil) in 2014 to US$2.2bil (RM8.26bil) by 2017, with an compound annual growth rate of 28.8% (2013-2017). Newzoo is a global market research body on gaming.
The sharing session was held in conjunction with the official launch of GameFounders Asia, in partnership with the MDeC in Kuala Lumpur.
GameFounders Asia is a game development hub based in Kuala Lumpur that offers funding. Successful applicants will receive EUR15,000 (RM63,312) seed capital. In exchange, GameFounders will take a 9% share in each company. MDeC would not disclose the total funding available.
To qualify, a team of individuals needs to have at least two or more people in it. Companies that want to apply can show its demos or existing games.The teams will have to go through a three-month programme, which provides access to 120 mentors from the industry consisting of gaming gurus
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