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Our Game Jam Experience

23 December 2015


Diploma in Information Technology (DIT) students from the School of Digital Media & Infocomm Technology at SP are both passionate and smart about their craft – game development. 2nd year DIT student, Lee Zhen Wei, shares he and his team mates’ experience in participating in the Digital Game Jam 2015, organised by DBS.
We've got Game!
We decided to join the game jam to challenge ourselves and create something new, while learning along the way. The event held at the Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Li Ka Shing library, lasted three days from 11 December 2015 to 13 December 2015.
 
Singapore's young talents in Game Development
When we arrived at the event, we realized that the event was immensely popular and that the competition would be tough, with teams from all the tertiary institutions all eager and ready to go. The theme was revealed to be “Bulls and Bears”, a term foreign to most of us, but a cursory search revealed that it was a finance term influenced by the organisers of the event.
 
We began ideating and went through many ideas rapidly. As a team, we settled on our final idea of “Music Ship”. The game concept was inspired looking at the stock market charts. We thought they looked similar to audio waves, and decided to take a giant leap and challenge ourselves to generate the level from a user’s music collection. After a few iterations, we realized that Virtual Reality (VR) may be suitable for our game and decided to implement a version which utilized the Google Cardboard and a Bluetooth controller.
The Rainbow Unicorns!
The other team from SP created “Stock Gambling Race”, a two-person race that challenged the player to choose the correct gate based on the stock charts displayed above each gate.
 
Music Ship, made for the Google Cardboard
After spending the 3 days to build our games, we uploaded our final build with only minutes to spare. It was tough but we managed to complete the game within the time limit. We returned on the 18th of December for the Grand Finale where 10 teams would be picked to present their ideas to the judges.
 
Waiting with bated breathe!
We held our breaths while waiting for the list of teams to be announced. To our delight, we saw our team name “Spinning Star” listed, and we began preparations for the presentations in earnest. During the presentation we were all very nervous, but our belief in our creation drove us to demonstrate it smoothly, without any major hiccups.
 
Afterwards, we observed the rest of the finalists’ presentations and were impressed by everyone’s creativity demonstrated through their games. While all teams incorporated the common theme of "Bulls and Bears", no two games were similar to each other.

We were awarded with the prize for “Best Technology” and got a lot of valuable feedback from the judges, with which we would utilize in polishing our future games.
A Great Learning Experience!
In conclusion, I feel that the Game Jam was a great experience; I highly recommend budding game developers (like us!) to participate so that they too, may test their skills to practise working in an intense team environment to create great games.
 
About the DBS Digital Game Jam
The Digital Game Jam was a competition to bring together young, talented individuals who have a passion for digital game development. Participants had 45 hours to create a brand new digital game based on a common theme that was revealed only at the jam.

Team Spinning Star was made up of: Benedict Khoo, Hardy Shein, Tan Keng Iuan, Nicolas Choo, Lee Zhen Wei

Team Rainbow Unicorns included: Han Xing Jian, Mark Tan, Benjamin Goh, Samuel Tan

 

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