Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Imagine Cup 2008 Important Dates!

There are at least 5 teams this year from the GD option that's going for the Imagine Cup 2008, so it looks like good news!

Just for posterity sake, here are the important dates for reference...

August 25, 2007 Registration Opens
September 1, 2007 Competition Begins
February 1, 2008Round 1 Closes
February 22, 2008 Round 2 Begins
May 2, 2008 Round 2 Closes
May 23, 2008 Worldwide Finalists and Top 20 Teams Announced
July 3-8, 2008 Finals in France

Monday, 17 September 2007

The 10th Annual Independent Games Festival!

Submissions are open for the historic 10th Annual Independent Games Festival, for which the awards will be handed out at the Game Developers Conference, February 18-22, 2008 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The main competition deadline is October 1st, and submissions for the student competition are due October 15th. A sister competition for PSP, DS, and mobile, IGF Mobile is also now open for submissions.Read about changes to the competition, new prizes - including startup advice from Game Attorney Tom Buscaglia - and much more at the official IGF website:

Monday, 3 September 2007

Off to Batam!... for work...?

Alrighty! I'll be off to Batam with one group of our FYP students on a "Top Secret" project for the next 3 days.

All the best for the SMIT team - Yi Heng, Desmond, Ikhwan, Darren and Timothy "Old Man" Tham. May you win top honours in the Code-a-thon! Remember to email me about your victory!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

0708S1 DIT/2A10 Outing at Settler's Cafe

Here's a little semester-break treat for the 2A10 folks who went to Settler's Cafe couple of weeks ago - the group photo as promised!


Friday, 24 August 2007

2007 SGCC 30-hour Code-a-thon

Looks like Darren got to posting this in the comments before I did, but here's the news anyway.

The Code-a-thon is coming again and it's MUCH bigger this year, with the chance of winning up to S$6,000 in cash prizes!

For Code-a-thon 2007 You are to programme a game tech demo (and bring your artist friends along) in XNA, over 30-hours. If you choose to do the code-a-thon at Suntec City (this year's venue), you are allowed to bring only your notebooks. If not, you can come to Suntec on the 4th Sep to register in the morning and proceed to code at your own venue (i.e. home) and then return on the 5th Sep for the competition submission (after taking your shower).

Go ahead and register online NOW

You'll need to form a group of 5 programmers/artists, so if you're interested, please let me know! Send me an email at with your member's details.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Is XNA the way to go (for developing games)?

This CoDe (Component Developer's) Magazine article gives the most unbiased and fair coverage of opinions of the future and use of XNA.

If you're wondering (like me) if XNA is the way to go for developing games, and if it really is a good investment (to learn and code in), do check it out!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

DirectX Tutorial

While looking around for (possibly) a new text for the DirectX related modules, I came across this wonderful site. This is by far, the most comprehensive, or at least more readable than Wendy Jones', site.

Next killer-app for the mobile platform

Most of you will be taking your Mobile Game Development module next semester. Here's an article that should inspire, or if not simply inform, you about making ground breaking mobile games.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

PSP for Educational Institutes

If this report on MCV bears any truth, the PSP's we see in the labs could be used in more constructive ways than they are currently. :)

So You Wanna Be a Computer Game Programmer?

The recent article, 'A Programmer Applicant’s Checklist' on Game is a good read and gives good hints on what companies are looking for in a Programming candidate.

Coding standards! :)

Thursday, 26 July 2007

POP News

Wow! Nearly 2 months since the last post!

Well, here's a treat for Prince of Persia fans. 2 treats actually.

First, there's the remake of the original Prince of Persia on Xbox Live Arcade. Yes, the old scroller is back, but with cutting edge graphics and cut scenes. If you've got an Xbox 360 at home, get on Xbox Live Arcade and download the trial - it's a full first level with a nice real-time intro cut scene with the Princess and the Vizier, Jaffar.

Next, for the budding game designers (yes, I can see more than a handful of you out there), check out the Gamasutra feature interview with Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Setting up an XBox 360 for XNA development

Some of you lucky folks got to get hands-on training today at the Microsoft day. I was told they left out the part where you get to try out your game on the 360, so no worries, here's a video that shows how to set up your machines for development, all in under 11 minutes.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

XNA Workshop - Friday, 15 June 2007

Microsoft is (finally) organising an XNA workshop here in Singapore - so those of you interested in getting your hands dirty and feet wet in programming for XBox360 Live, check out the following email.

Game developers can now see their visions come to light in a matter of minutes instead of months. The XNA Framework Hands-On Lab is your ticket to know more about game development using the XNA framework.

This session features key insights on how to develop 2D and 3D games using the XNA framework. Sign up for the Hands-On Lab now to get one hour of training on the XNA Framework. What's more, you will also walk away with the coursework and Visual Studio Express CD. Choose your suitable one hour slot anytime from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


RSVP to Andrea for the XNA Framework Lab. Send an email to : or Call 6550 8963

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

More foreign game companies set up base in Singapore

The Business Times today reported a dozen more companies to be setting up base in Singapore.

Check out the report reproduced at MFA Press Releases.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

How to write Game Concept and Proposal Documents

Q: Game development competitions, assignments, Final Year Projects - what do they have in common?

A: Requirement(s) to submit proper documentation.

Proper planning is crucial to success in any project, more so for creative projects such as game development projects, where a good mix of personalities including artists, programmers and designers are involved.

If you can't even put down to paper and articulate what you have in mind, how are you going to be able to implement and deliver a solid game product? Those angel investors you're looking for will need a lot more than "it's cool!" to be convinced.

Look over to Tim Ryan's article on The Anatomy of a Design Document, Part 1:Documentation Guidelines for the Game Concept and Proposal at Gamasutra. It's an older document, but still a goldie.

Note: You'll need a Gamasutra account to login and read. If you haven't got one yet, get one. It's an account you'll use for a long time (if you want to last in the GD business).

Sunday, 22 April 2007

What is the IGF?

Check out the prizes for this year's IGF (Independent Games Festival) at GDC 2007 site.

"Independent Games Festival was established in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

Just as the Sundance Film Festival benefits the independent film community, the IGF creates a similar event for independent game developers in addition to the student population of game developers. The competition culminates at the GDC where winners are announced and over $50,000 worth in prizes awarded."

The IGF's Student Showcase highlighted a total of ten games this year with each IGF Student Showcase Winner awarded US$500. In addition, a prize for best overall IGF Student Game was awarded as part of the IGF Awards, with the finalists comprising all of the Student Showcase winners. Best Student Game took an additional US$2,500.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

... and before Gears of War there was...

Those doing INGD (Introduction to 2D Game Development) might be interested in The Video Game Revolution. The site provides an interactive view of the history of video games.

I still don't know who says "@!#?@!" when he is hit by something though...

[Edit] 'twas Q*bert!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

101 Free Games to play

... and these are innovative, fun games that were made from scratch (mostly). The list includes N, Warning Forever, amongst many others.

Check out the article at Here be ideas and inspiration for your INGD, IGRA, FYP assignments/projects. :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Games Convention Asia 2007

"The GCA (Games Convention Asia) is the only Convention in Singapore and Asia-Pacific region for the entire interactive entertainment, infotainment, edutainment, hardware and technology. Besides showcasing the latest in computer games and hardware, it will also feature entertaining information, media education and dazzling events for the general public.
As the only exhibition in the region, the GCA will reflect the trends of the rapidly expanding Asian electronic games market. According to Price WaterhouseCoopers, its turnover in 2009 will be in the order of $23 billion. The online games sector in Asia alone currently has a volume of $6.3 billion-and by 2008 looks set to reach $7.5 billion."

The event is to take place at Suntec Centre this September 6-9, Thursday thru Sunday.

Friday, 13 April 2007

How to Prototype a Game under 7 days

I was looking through my old GD related links for a module I'm developing, and noticed this link.

It's an old(er) article from Gamasutra, about a challenge issued to students to create a prototype for a game under 7 days. Mind you this are playable games with well-thought out game design and no cut-corner programming.

Download the games from the Experimental Game Project. Tower of Goo gets me laughing and stressed out all at once.

Students who are doing FYP with me this semester - no pressure there hrmm? ;)

Thursday, 12 April 2007

XNA Tutorials

Here are some resources for those interested in Microsoft's DreamBuildPlay contest.

Remember: Redmond awaits!

Keep me updated on your progress, and send me any questions you have.

Toblo Postmortem

For those of you who've downloaded and played Toblo, here's the postmortem.

A postmortem's a report, usually a reflection on the history of development, what went right and wrong, so that other teams and the development team in particular, can learn from mistakes made.

If you're making a game (whether for a school project/assignment or commercially), postmortems are essential.

Remember the old saying - "he who does not learn from mistakes is doomed to repeat them forever!"

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Video game symphony PLAY! coming to Singapore

Games and arts are coming together again, this time in Singapore.

PLAY! will be performed at the Esplanade Concert Hall, June 15 to 16, 2007. Composer Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (Daytona, Virtua Fighter 2, Shenmue, Sega Rally Championship) will be performing as well.

SPH is a main sponsor. Go to their press release for more details.

Who says game consoles are for gaming only?

Another reason to convince my wife that I'm out saving the world everytime I play games. ;)

Sony is planning on utilising the ganoodles of computing power they've put on PS3s for Grid Computing applications. Maybe they can calculate where my cat lost her tinklebell last year...

Article on Gamasutra: Sony To Expand Commercial Use Of PS3

Sponsors for alvin to save the world are now being accepted.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Locked Blog

This blog has been locked and only invited viewers can access this blog.

If you're reading this, of course it means you're in, but if your friend wants in as well, have them send me an email at alvintang at sp dot edu dot sg.

IGDA Beer Meeting Wednesday, 18 April 2007

From Robin Tan's post in IGDA Singapore Forum. Closest MRT is Clarke Quay (NEL).

Just to inform you we have an upcoming informal beer meeting session at our usual favorite hunt, yes, you guessed it, Brewerkz! Do come along if you can, catch up with old friends and make new ones in the community. Just check for table booking under "IGDA" if you can't find us.

Date: 18th April 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: Brewerkz (Clark Quay MRT)


Thursday, 5 April 2007

AGDS Videos Posted

Videos of some speakers have been posted on google video. Much thanks to AGDS 2006 co-organiser, Allan "Odin" Simonsen.

Links are from the Singapore IGDA forums.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

IGDA Singapore Student's Chapter Meeting May 12th 2007

Student's gathering at NUS. Be there if you're a student or recent graduate in Singapore!

Date: 12th of May (Sat)

Place: NUS seminar room 1, block S16, level 3

Time: 2pm-5pm. (tentative)

More info on IGDA Forums.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

DreamBuildPlay by Microsoft

Microsoft is conducting an Game Development competition, DreamBuildPlay, with a closing date of 2 July 2007.

I attended Microsoft's events at GDC and got to see the games the 4 teams built in 4 days. Quite impressive - simple but still fun.

Take a look at the following article, and follow the link to and let me know if you'd like to join. I strongly encourage you to sign up for this.

I also attended MS's hands-on session for XNA Game Dev. As you might know, XNA uses C#, so if you're comfortable with Java, you should be able to start building real quick.

You can sign up for this as individuals or as a team effort. As the closing date is in July (closer than we feel), I suggest kick starting development ASAP. Think of an original game concept and start working on it for the Windows platform. If you do decide to port over to XBox 360 (which is quite simple), we can test it out using a Creator's Club license (which you don't have to get yet).

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Independent Game Festival at GDC 2007

The Independent Game Festival (IGF) is an annual event held in conjunction with the GDC. I had the wonderful opportunity and honor to attend GDC 2007, and got a real eye-opener at the student projects on display.

One of the outstanding ones was Toblo, which was awarded Best Student Game at 2007 IGF. This was a simple game where player(s) threw blocks at each other, with the aim of capturing your opponents flags. Simple but sweet.

Incidently, the team lead, Steve Chiavelli, was the only one I managed to take a photo with before the IGF event on Wednesday (7 Mar, 2007).

Steve (all round nice guy), proposed to his sweetheart that night during the awards ceremony, and naturally, she accepted.

Go to the IGF website for videos of the night's proceedings. Look for the Best Student Game award video. Viewing the video just for the proposal is cool enough. :)

Go to digipen's site to download and play Toblo.

I enjoyed it. You just might.

Intel Game Demo Contest

Intel is holding its Intel Game Demo Contest.

There are 2 main categories:
1. Best Threaded Game - "show off the computational power of a multi-core processor"
2. Best Game on the Go - "show advances in laptop gaming. Think fun. Think fast. Think features."

Contest is now on til July 1st, 2007.

Selection is from July 1st to Aug 1st 2007. This means entries must be in by July 1st.

As usual, let me know if you are interested to join - drop me an email or give me a ring.

Go to their website for more info.

MOTODEV Game Developer Challenge

Motorola and I-play are holding the MOTODEV Game Developer Challenge. There's a Grand Prize package of an I-play game publishing deal, tons (ok maybe more than a few) of Motorola mobile phones, and more.

If you've taken MGEP or MGDE (depending on when I've taught you), you are probably eligible already. Dig out that cool game you made for Assignment x and polish it up for submission! You CAN of course whip up something entirely new and dazzle the judges. :)

Submissions are due 10 August, 2007. If you're interested, let me know by sending me an email or calling my office number.

Visit the above links for more details.

Monday, 5 March 2007

What is the Mighty SMIT?

"Mr Alvin - when is that competition held again? When's the deadline? Where do I submit my entry?"

"How do I find out more about ? How did you get to know about it?"

Events like game development competitions, IGDA Singapore chapter meetings, student meetings, interactive game competitions, come to my knowledge, and I send an email out to certain students and colleagues.

Sometimes the email hits and action gets taken - someone joins a competition upon much encouragement.

This blog aims to consolidate and inform to the best of my knowledge, Game Development related events in the Singapore region, and all related events. This includes all international events that are open to Singapore students/participants as well.