KDU students shortlisted at international game development competition

Edison and Joel proudly displaying their finalist certificate at IGF China held in Shanghai recently.

Edison and Joel proudly displaying their finalist certificate at IGF China held in Shanghai recently.

Four final year students from KDU University College’s Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) Programme were shortlisted as one of the finalists (Best in Student Games) for the Independent Games Festival (IGF) 2015 held in Shanghai, China.

The team of students from KDU is made up of Edison New, Joel Wong, Jack Ho and Lee Pei Ling. Accompanied by a teaching staff from KDU, Edison and Joel flew to Shanghai for the 7th IGF China Awards Ceremony, representing their team.

Their innovation, named ‘Bunny Rush’ is a simple game made available for Android devices.

The boys watching intently as the product of the combined effort of the whole team was being analysed and tested.

The boys watching intently as the product of the combined effort of the whole team was being analysed and tested.

“I came up with the original concept, in which I wanted to make a 3D bullet hell game in its simplest form,” said Joel, explaining the gameplay.

“You control the bunny by using your left finger/thumb anywhere the left side of the screen and drag from the first-touched point as the origin of the joystick. You can use your right finger/thumb to press the button on the right in which makes the bunny jump.”

To play the game: you’re a bunny trying to rush through the course eating vegetables (carrots and tomatoes) while avoiding bullets. Since it was designed to be a simple bullet hell game on mobile, bullets are shot on two floors – indicated by their colours: red (ground) and blue (air).

You start with three hearts and you can replenish them by eating enemies (bump the bunny into them). Each level has two switches in which the player must step on to unlock the door. There are three difficulty settings which would affect the amount of hearts to start with, enemy placements, bullet density, score given by things that give points, enemies needed to eat for health, and reward given on beating the last level.

The certificate signifying the students’ success.

The certificate signifying the students’ success.

The team totally did not expect to be shortlisted at all.

“To tell you the truth, we were in shock to be selected out of over 300 games from South East Asia. We’re still in shock, to be honest!” Edison said.

“Pei Ling did a really great job with the visuals, it is because of her skills and talent that we’re able to impress a lot of people,” said Edison.

“The whole experience over in Shanghai was simply amazing. The talks that were presented in the ceremony offers a unique understanding of how products could or couldn’t work in the gaming market, and a future stands in terms of what genre would work on which market. These are great insights into the industry we’re about to be a part of,” said Edison.

The team credits the education they received in and outside of the classrooms of KDU.

“All four of us as a team wholeheartedly credit our lecturers for their guidance and passion in teaching us everything they know. To say that the lessons have been interesting is an understatement, ask any one of us, none of us mind staying late after class just to continue learning and honing our skills. The best part is that our lecturers are just as dedicated as we are.”

The Bachelor of Game Development Programme is one of the programmes in KDU that produces highly sought after graduates.

With a team made up of pioneers of the Malaysian game scene, as well as its collaboration with the industry, students of the Game Development programme are ensured that they will receive the education, training and experience to hit the ground running upon graduation.

KDU is the only education institution in Malaysia to spearhead national initiative in Game Development under the government’s National Key Economic Area (NKEA) for education. The Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) programme is also endorsed by Codemasters Studios, with its curriculum and assessment methods bench-marked against industry standards.

The organiser of IGF, UBM Tech (producer of Gamasutra.com and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival back in year 1998 in order to encourage innovation in game development as well as an effort to offer recognition to the best independent game developers. The idea behind the festival was to create an event of prestige for independent game developers, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes to the award winners.

As of the last six years, IGF China has gathered a strong following of indie game developers and Universities from China mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Turkey and other countries and areas, receiving more than 1000 games from 32 countries.

To find out how you can hit the ground running with KDU, log on to www.kdu.edu.my or call 03-5565 0538 (KDU University College, Utropolis, Glenmarie) / 03-7953 6688 (KDU College, Damansara Jaya).

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