Singapore, 28/10/2011 – Are you an aspiring game developer looking to develop your first game but are faced with challenges from looking for a suitable development platform to commercialising and marketing your fully playable game?
The Games Solution Centre (GSC), a new facility by the Media Development Authority (MDA) and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), will lower these barriers of entries for game developers. The GSC is a one-stop resource centre that provides a rapid prototyping development environment for Singapore-based small-medium games enterprises at no cost on a first-come-first-served basis.
A centre like GSC is timely given the growth of the games sector in Singapore. According to the Department of Statistics, the game sector’s value-added increased at a compound annual growth rate of 50.5% from S$7.7 million in 2004 to S$59.6 million in 2009.
The GSC was officially launched today by Mr Aubeck Kam, Chief Executive Officer of MDA and Mr Chan Lee Mun, Principal & CEO of NYP. Mr Tetsuhiko Yasuda, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Asia (SCE Asia) attended the opening ceremony as a special guest.
Mr Aubeck Kam, CEO, MDA, said: “Industry and government collaboration has always been key to growing the media sector in Singapore. MDA’s partnership with industry partners such as Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, Nanyang Polytechnic, Autodesk® and Hewlett-Packard Singapore on the Games Solution Centre will benefit more than 500 game companies and developers over the next three years. Game developers can enjoy the resources, commercialisation opportunities and mentorship available at the Centre to accelerate the development of their games. ”
The GSC is home to Southeast Asia’s first ‘PlayStation ® Incubation Studio Singapore’
With the launch of the ‘PlayStation® Incubation Studio Singapore’, Singapore game developers can now gain ready access to development tools for PlayStation® platforms such as PlayStation®3, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and soon for PlayStation®Vita. Both the PlayStation®3 and PSP® enjoy extensive reach with gamers worldwide.
Mr Tetsuhiko Yasuda, President, SCE Asia, said: “We are dedicated to providing innovative excitement and a high quality game experience to users, and that is the reason why we are fully in support of the incubation program in Asia. We are very happy to launch Southeast Asia’s first ‘PlayStation® Incubation Studio Singapore’ and to have MDA and NYP with us to achieve this phenomenal mission.”
Collaborations between SCE Asia and local game companies are not new and have been gaining traction. Ratloop Asia, a company supported by MDA, launched the first Singapore-made 3D stereoscopic game Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken on the PlayStation® Network earlier this month, and it is now available to download on the PlayStation®Network globally. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken builds upon the previous browser-based game Rocketbirds: Revolution! which received three finalist nominations for “Excellence in Audio”, “Excellence in Visual Art” and the “Seumas McNally Grand Prize” at the 2010 Independent Games Festival. The Independent Games Festival Awards is an annual event held in San Francisco to celebrate the best in indie gaming, attracting hundreds of high quality games submission.
Middleware, soft and hardware support
The GSC is also supported by global leading technology partners such as Autodesk and Hewlett-Packard (HP). As a strategic partner to this Centre, Autodesk will provide its Digital Entertainment Creation solutions for game development. With this, game developers at the GSC will be amongst the first in Singapore to be exposed to Autodesk’s innovative middleware tools, which will cut-down development process significantly and boost productivity. Developers will also have access to and be trained on HP EliteBook w-series Mobile Workstations, designed for compute-intensive activity. These machines are powerful specialized tools that ensure maximum reliability throughout the content creation process.
Mr. V R Srivatsan, ASEAN Managing Director, Autodesk, said: “We are honoured that the MDA has partnered Autodesk’s Digital Entertainment Creation software and middleware for its Games Solution Centre. For over two decades, leading game developers have relied on Autodesk technology. Access to Autodesk’s industry standard game technology through the Games Solution Centre will help more Singapore-based companies compete on a global scale, whether they are creating casual or console games.”
Ms. Serena Yong, General Manager, Personal Systems Group, HP Singapore, said, “For the past 41 years, HP Singapore has been committed to cultivating local creative talent. As a global leader in the workstation market, HP’s solutions empower end-to-end Digital Media and Entertainment content creation, transforming visions into reality. HP is proud to be working with the MDA through the Games Solution Centre, to nurture the next generation of serious game developers for the world stage.”
Marketing, Mentorship and Management
To help developers market and pitch their games to potential publishers, the GSC introduced a 3D virtual world known as the Singapore Games Village. Locally developed games can be showcased in the Village to prospective publishers who can then select the titles which they wish to license.
In addition, companies housed within the GSC can look forward to mentorship by NYP and one of the pioneers in the field of Serious Games, the Serious Games Institute from United Kingdom. The GSC will also organise monthly networking, seminars and developer conferences to share methodologies and best practices in games development and production. This will help ensure that game developers are more productive and will develop innovative products that are more likely to succeed in the market place.
NYP with its established track record of developing skilled professionals in leading edge technologies, has been appointed the Centre manager of the GSC. Having managed the NYP Games Resource Centre set up in collaboration with SCE Asia and Premium Agency Inc in 2009, NYP brings with it the necessary expertise and knowledge to run the day-to-day operations of the GSC.
Mr Chan Lee Mun, Principal & CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic said: “Since 1996, NYP has been complementing Singapore’s efforts to grow the interactive and digital media sector through our various programmes and initiatives. Over the years, with the strong endorsement from MDA and various industry partners, we have developed our capabilities and expertise to support the game industry. Our students, alumni andSMEs have also benefited from the NYP Games Resource Centre, set up two years ago. We are pleased that MDA recognises our efforts and success, and has entrusted NYP to manage the new Games Solution Centre (GSC). The GSC, will allow us to offer more opportunities to students to broaden their capabilities in game development and for some, to experience starting up their own companies in the game industry.”
MDA Grant Schemes
Apart from accelerating the game development process through partnership with the industry, the MDA also recently launched the new Grant Schemes to help game developers. The MDA’s new Grant Schemes provide grants to promising game developers seeking to improve game-writing, story-boarding, and helping companies with innovative ideas to create game prototypes for pitching to potential publishers. Those with the backing of publishers will have the opportunity to seek MDA to co-fund the development of a fully playable game. More information about the grants can be found at www.mda.gov.sg/schemes.