Game on for young developers seeking to make 'waves'

Participants in the annual Global Game Jam, which kicked off here yesterday. They have 48 hours to develop games based on the theme "Waves", which they can interpret in any way they want. More than 40,000 participants from 95 countries and territorie
Participants in the annual Global Game Jam, which kicked off here yesterday. They have 48 hours to develop games based on the theme "Waves", which they can interpret in any way they want. More than 40,000 participants from 95 countries and territories are taking part in the event this year.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

The game is afoot for about 240 young game developers at Republic Polytechnic (RP) this weekend, as they join thousands of other developers globally in the world's largest game development event.

As participants of the annual Global Game Jam, which kicked off here yesterday evening, they will spend the weekend designing and developing all sorts of games.

Participants are given 48 hours to develop games based on a secret theme revealed only at the start of the event.

This year's theme is "Waves", which participants can interpret in any way they want, such as ocean waves, sound waves or people waving to one another.

Previous themes include "Extinction", "Ritual" and even the question, "What do we do now?"

Anything is fair game for development, from digital games for the computer, to mobile apps for Android or iOS, to non-digital games such as board or card games.

Mr Anthony Chong, RP's programme chair for the diploma in game design, said: "We want to encourage the participants here to learn, have fun and be creative together."

Last night, the crowd of young developers, mostly aged between 17 and 25, made themselves comfortable in one of the polytechnic's halls, furiously brainstorming and programming away.

Third-year RP game design student Lourdes Chin, 20, said: "Part of the fun is in how to keep working without sleep."

The Global Game Jam is in its ninth year globally and in its eighth edition in Singapore. It is open to all members of the public.

More than 40,000 participants from 95 countries and territories are taking part, beating the record of 36,000 participants set last year.

About 230 game developers created a record 48 games at last year's event here.

Mr Chong hopes the participants this year can reach more than 50 games.

Returning participant Ryan Ng, 20, a third-year RP game design student, said: "I won't be too ambitious - I know now to focus on the main idea of the game, because we actually have only a short time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Game on for young developers seeking to make 'waves''. Print Edition | Subscribe