Kdu’s Jingle Mingle 2016 Where Game Developers, Talents, And Industrial Players Meet

 
Jingle Mingle, a networking avenue organised by the School of Computing and Creative Media, KDU University College, aimed to showcase students’ works and project to the industry guests and potential employers. The Pandora game developed by (from left) Jonathan Choo Tun Jiat (character artist), Tan Kian Sheng (environment artist) and Chong Zhi Heng (programmer), stood out in the show.
  
Adel Tazhidinova (from left), Nur Sabrina Syuhada Binti Nazri and Natalie Nawie Anak Omar – three girls from the Foundation Studies (Art and Technology) programme with their design work.  
In bridging the gap between students and industrial players, KDU’s School of Computing and Creative Media (SCCM) organised yet another Jingle Mingle which they hold annually in KDU’s main campus at Utropolis Glenmarie. The Jingle Mingle served as a platform for students to showcase their talents, creativity and passion to real industry guests, potential employers and other people from the games industry. The event which was held on 9th December 2016 cherishes the concept of mingling or networking among the gaming community as well as carrying the theme of Christmas since it was carried out during the festive season.

“This year, we’ve increased the number of games, improved the quality and showcased more outstanding games in the event,” commented Yee I-Van, Game Development Programme Leader, Creative Media Department of SCCM. “These games are fun and hold value to those that created them, from the perspective of the academic staff, we unanimously agree that the quality of the products on display make us proud!” continued Yee.

As this is part of SCCM’s continuous efforts to bring employment opportunities for the graduates, Jingle Mingle also served as a channel for game companies and studios to identify young minds and fresh talents for the booming industry out there. According to Global Games Market Report released in April 2016, it showed that gamers worldwide will generate a total of USD 99.6 billion in revenues in 2016, up 8.5% compared to 2015.

“We have always maintained a strong relationship with the game companies through networking. As such, we continued on this tradition to enable students to reach out to the real world upon graduation,” said Yee. With aims to produce graduates who are skilled in production processes and aware of what is needed to produce successful games, the academic team in SCCM are actively involved in the industry and are experts in their respective fields.

During the 5th Jingle Mingle, all games produced by students throughout the course of the entire year, be it a PC game, mobile game or varying genres were put to the show. There were 32 games in total. Each project team had a short 10 to 15 minutes presentation to pitch their games to the audience. Games that were showcased included Combat Infiltration Droid (C.I.D), the first-person co-op shooter game which had clinched the MSC-APICTA 2016’s Best of Tertiary Student Category – Creative Multimedia prize two months ago.  

With no doubt, C.I.D has attracted a lot of industry players who appreciate the talents behind the great works used to utilize Unreal Engine 4 in achieving high-quality effects. It was developed by Roger Ng Khang Shen, Haw Jing Hann, and Wahid Dawod Mohammed Hamid. The trio are 2016’s graduates in the Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) programme.

Other games demonstrated include The Marketplace, a game art showcase built by a single game artist, resembling a scene from a popular PS4 game, Uncharted 4. Catastrophe Armageddon, Pandora and few other games also drew a lot of attention from the participants.

At the scene of game-demonstration, Pandora was favoured by few industrial players who not only tried out this game but extended their compliments and suggestions to the three developers – Chong Zhi Heng (programmer), Jonathan Choo Tun Jiat (character artist) and Tan Kian Sheng (environment artist).

“We developed this game in 3 months, with many sleepless nights working hard in meeting the deadline. We delved into research and prototypes, and finally produced the final game using Unity Engine, 3Ds Max and Z-Brush. In this period, our lecturer tirelessly met up with us weekly, to check on our progress and make sure our project is alright. We truly appreciate all that he has done for us,” said Chong.

Talking about their expectation for the show, the trio expressed their hope of getting more feedback from the guests. Most importantly, they anticipated getting in touch with potential employers, and pave the way in making their dreams come true.

Apart from games presentations by the senior students, there was also a game art exhibition by the junior students. Nur Sabrina Syuhada Binti Nazri, Adel Tazhidinova and Natalie Nawie Anak Omar – three girls who are currently in the Foundation Studies (Art and Technology) programme, exhibited their group design work for the first semester. “The exhibition is the best proof that we could do something, we have been working hard for it and gained a sense of fulfilment throughout this process,” said Nur Sabrina Syuhada.

While the game stations set at the venue provided a time of leisure and entertainment, it also served as a hub for building rapport among the game talents and the invited guests. At the end of the show, a Christmas feast in buffet style was served which marked a memorable and fruitful finale.