Above photo: MDEC representative Abdul Jalil Rahman briefing the Level Up at School participants before kickstarting the sessions at KDU/ Credit: KDU
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) recently entered into a collaboration with KDU’s (KDU University College) School of Computing and Creative Media (SCCM) to conduct the ‘Level Up at School’ programme to foster interest and develop skills in game development.
A series of game development oriented activities were organised by the MDeC at KDU University College, Utropolis, Glenmarie from 8th to 10th May 2017. KDU’s SCCM trainers and KDU’s state-of-the-art learning facilities and highly advanced lab, called AREA52 supported the MDEC representatives.
Over 11 selected schools were invited to participate in the programme, with students as well as teachers exploring game development. The goal of this initiative is to increase awareness and interest about the field among students at the secondary school level, in hopes that they consider a career path in Game Development. The idea is that Malaysians should contribute to the game industry not only as consumers, but also as content producers.
The participants engaged with the trainers in a highly interactive learning environment and they had the opportunity to create their very own games and explore their creativity. The sessions were divided into two, the first covering the development of art assets for game development, and the second being a beginner’s guide to game development.
Some of the software that were used during the sessions, such as Stencly, SFXR, Audacity, and JPixels, are easily and freely accessible, making them ideal for all learners to try out what they have learned in the workshop by themselves later.
Through the Level Up at School programme, students and teachers from schools all over the country will be trained, and they can then teach others in their schools how to make simple games.
All schools that participated in the workshop received instruction manuals to train others in their respective schools. Schools that participated in the programme will have to send out students’ self-developed games for showcase. The schools will have to recruit 10 teams comprised of 4 members in each team, for creating a game on any platform that contains at least the first level. The games have to be submitted by July 31, 2017. They will stand a chance to win awards based by selection by MDEC.
MDEC has been working to development the Creative Content and Technologies (CCT) sector in Malaysia, which includes animation, gaming and creative content. CCT recorded its highest growth in export sales during 2016, contributing RM1.17 billion (USD 276 million).
In November 2016, MDEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UOA Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (UOA Holdings) to set up a Game Hub in Bangsar South. UOA Holdings would provide the infrastructure, while MDEC will facilitate the search for local talents and provide programs to train and enhance their skills. In August 2017, MDEC signed a MOU with Media Prima Digital (MPD), re-affirming their partnership for the upcoming LEVEL UP KL 2017 event in November. Level Up KL is an initiative under MDEC to drive the growth of games industry in Malaysia and South-East Asia.