The Letter is a non-chronological, horror visual novel game with seven playable characters. It also features full English voice acting, several branching paths with more than 10 endings, highly animated character sprites and backgrounds, and quick-time events.
I wake up after a night of binge coding to a dawn awash in the song of the muezzin. I am on the 27th floor of a glass tower in the midst of a modernist mountain range that is Bangsar South. Below me is all of Kuala Lumpur incredible in the fading night.
Three weeks ago, I received a message asking if I was interested in applying to GameFounders. I said, “Of course.” To my mind, GameFounders is the modern equivalent of the Sculpture Garden of the Medicis. Sculpture not involving marble, chisel and hammer, but interactivity, pixels and code. GameFounders calls digital talent from all over the world to come to Kuala Lumpur to build the future; accelerating the process by providing investment, a first-rate workspace and a three-month mentorship by masters of the various disciplines that comprise game development.
Over the Holidays, I faced a series of interviews. The first was with Christina Begerska, GameFounders Program Manager, sharp as an adamantium blade and kept fresh – no doubt – by the tears of failed applicants. Next was Reinaldo Normand, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor and author. And finally, Kadri Ugand herself, Co-Founder and CEO of GameFounders.
I was sleepwalking throughout the long wait for The Decision. Then I was told, matter-of-factly, that we were in. It took a lot of staring into space before it finally sunk in – our studio, Moocho Brain Interactive, would be in GameFounders Spring 2017!
This cycle is made of nine teams selected from a growing pool of more than a thousand applicants. Three teams are from South America, two are from Europe and four from Asia. Meet the teams of GameFounders Spring 2017:
Chia Jinlence is lead programmer for Jump Smash 15, released by Mediasoft Entertainment in April. In this postmortem, he details his work on Jump Smash, as well as his transition from indie developer to a programmer at Mediasoft, one of the largest developers in Malaysia.
For the last three years that I’ve been at Mediasoft Entertainment I’ve quickly seen it grow from a studio of five to almost 70. Our first game, “Ninja One Shot,” was ranked one of the Top 100 mobile puzzle games in four countries. Encouraged by our success, we pumped out a slew of about 40 casual games in the next two years. Not all the games ended up doing as well as our first did, and in retrospect it all was a learning platform that led to the development of Jump Smash.
'I enjoy every single moment regardless of whether it is bitter or sweet.' – Bazil Akmal BidinClick To Tweet
For game producer Bazil Akmal Bidin, Casual Connect 2012 is where it all started for Terato Tech when they signed a co-development agreement with DeNA Asia Pacific. From there, Terato Tech has been able to launch into quite the journey. Bazil recently spoke to a Casual Connect Asia audience about Terato Tech’s challenges and victories with Darkness Fallen, a battle card game for mobile. Read on for background on Bazil and his outlook on the games industry.
'The worlds that we have created in our minds are alive when the game is completed.' - Yiwei P'ngClick To Tweet
At the recent event in Singapore, Casual Connect Asia 2015, Yiwei P’ng reflected on the whirlwind of events that led to how Tiny Guardians came to be. There were things that went right and some things that went wrong. “It’s actually quite scary when you prototype something to be fun, and it turns out not to be fun.”