Over our nearly 1.5 years of nonstop travel, we had the pleasure of meeting with many game developers across the Asia Pacific, visiting an indie studio in Chiang Mai, Thailand and even giving a presentation in New Zealand last year.
There were long stretches of time during our travels where game developers felt somewhat sparse – our first 3 months in Korea (over an hour outside Seoul), followed by nearly 3 months in Phuket, Thailand (a place frequented by tourists, moreso than game developers).
Kuala Lumpur’s GameDev Scene
That all changed when we came to Malaysia!
Kuala Lumpur has a booming game development scene – even larger than we expected! – with regular meetups, events, game jams and visits to international conferences (from the sounds of it, GDC, the Middle East and Bangkok).
Before coming to Kota Kinabalu, I didn’t expect the island of Borneo – the third largest island in the world – to also have such an active game development community!
Kota Kinabalu’s GameDev Scene
Started just over a year ago, Kota Kinabalu’s group of game developers meets regularly, hosting game jams and even opening the co-working space daily for people to work and collaborate.
The space includes a wide variety of communities, including groups and events for 3D printing, robotics, Raspberry Pis, gaming, film, etc. Check out their website at www.KinabaluCoders.org.
Come Speak to GameDevs on the Island of Borneo!
Our Visit to GameDev KK
During our 1+ month stay in KK (the commonly used abbreviation for Kota Kinabalu), we had the pleasure of attending weekly GameDev KK meetups!
…Meeting Local GameDevs
…Presenting Our Experiences as IndieDevs
We discussed some of the challenges we experienced our past year+ creating various prototypes (& our decision to scope down and ship!).
…Participating in Our 1st Game Jam!
We even participated in an impromptu game jam! Everyone presented their ideas for a simple game, and we formed small groups to make a game in about an hour! (Prototype: “Flappy Bunny”)
…Presenting an “Intro to Unity3D Workshop”
We wanted to share some of our knowledge with newcomers to Unity3D.
For many people who attended the workshop, it was their first experience with a game engine! Participants ranged in age from mid-high school to young adult.
We made an ambitious little platformer, with side to side movement and jump (including tracing down to detect ground, as well as increasing gravity at the apex of the player’s jump).
I also prepared Side Missions for groups to tackle and extend their projects. Participants could choose between:
- Moving the camera with the player
- Making a trigger
- Changing the color of the player on jump
- Making a button
It was awesome to see people take to Unity so quickly and experiment with movement and player bounciness! 🙂free Asset Packs from Losev Valera.)
Keep Your Eye on Malaysia’s Game Development Scene!
In many ways, KK’s enthusiastic group of game developers reminded us of our Game Design education in Stockholm, Sweden – with so many people eager to learn, helping each other and collaborating to bring games to life.
We are going to miss this awesome group of game developers! Although we’re excited to explore Bali in the next leg of our travels, it feels like we’re leaving Borneo too soon.
It’s been inspiring getting to know KK’s GameDev group during our time here, and we can’t wait to see the games they make next!
A small sampling of Malaysian developers and games:
- WindRider Studio’s playable horror demo, with cultural elements from SE Asia: Shattered: Fade;Recall
- Pixel Mystique’s shoot-’em-up mobile game, Ninjet: Twitter, Google Play store
- Kinabalu Coder group: Twitter
Let us know who we missed so we can add other groups, studios and games from Malaysia here! (There are plenty more studios and games from Malaysia. These are just a few of the ones I learned about while in Malaysia.) @GoldenMooseCo or Facebook.