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In the previous two articles we talked about game development in Singapore from the high level perspective of the government and then from the trenches of three game development shops. Now we go one level further down, into the ranks of the hopefuls and the up-and-coming: the young and the antsy.

Dreams and Ambitions

Brian Young, a 15-year-old Singaporean, likes video games. He prefers console games, because he doesn't like the download and installation process required of PC and mobile games. He likes games with a good story and lots of in-game choices to make, like Max Payne and Halo and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and is more into single-player games than multi-player.

Brian considers himself an enthusiastic game player--though not as devoted as some of his friends, he quickly points out. His enthusiasm is such, though, that he wants to be a part of making games. And to that end, he convinced his mother to send him to stay with relatives in San Francisco this summer so he could attend a program at Stanford University which teaches beginning game development. He may insist that he only plays games "just for fun", but it seems to me like he is very serious about his dreams of game development.

When I asked Brian what types of games he wanted to make, he said he wanted to make games that stood out from the crowd. "A high quality game," he said, where "you make a lot of decisions" and where you have to think. A game that speaks about "controversial issues, like war and peace, and things that happen in the real world. But with enough fantasy that you are in completely different place."

One thought that kept going through my mind as we talked was that Brian sounded like many of the young people I've talked to here in the United States, half a world away from his home. Like Brian, they grew up playing games: PC games, console games, mobile games, et al. And, like him, they often catch the bug and dream about making games of their own. Games, it seem, and the urge to make them, know no borders.

Jaryl Sim, a 19-year-old Singaporean, is also a game enthusiast. Jaryl is currently pursuing a Diploma in Information Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic, and expects to begin specializing in Digital Entertainment in the next semester.

Jaryl caught the bug to make games young. "I've been quite an avid hobbyist developer myself for about 6 years already," he said. "Most of this time has been spent learning programming really." He adds, "I don't know where all this will bring me yet, but I do hope that making games becomes my career someday. Also, given the opportunity, I would like to join or found a startup here in Singapore."

Jaryl wants to make games for PC's. "Call me ambitious, but it's what my interest has been all along." He sees the potential in games for mobile devices, but says he's heard rumors that "earning money isn't all that easy on this platform." He is currently working on a real-time strategy (RTS) war game, hoping to have a game that "more accurately simulates the grandioseness of war movies."

Obstacle Course

  Dreams and Ambitions
  Obstacle Course

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The Series
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3