There’s no denying that on a global level, the gaming industry in Malaysia has been building a substantial momentum as the country aims to become the preferred regional hub for games development by 2025. According to a report from Newzoo, there were 14 million gamers in Malaysia last year alone and they generated US$587 million in revenue for the gaming industry in 2017, the highest in the region despite having the sixth largest population in Southeast Asia. As a result, we are seeing an exponential growth in local talents leaping into the scene to jump-start their careers in the gaming industry. Hardcore Malaysian gamers may have been the driving force in the thriving industry, which includes programmers and game developers but now, we’re also seeing efforts being done through agencies such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in lighting and passing the torch early on to the younger generations with LevelUp@Schools.
Leveling Up with LevelUp@Schools
LevelUp@Schools is a program created to help grow and nurture future talents for the game industry. It is a workshop series that teaches game creation and development to school children. As a company that believes in leading the younger generation through the intervention of digital and high-tech innovations, we at Forest Interactive couldn’t be more eager to tag along for the ride. For two consecutive years in a row now, Forest Interactive has been working closely with MDEC in preparing the nation-wide agenda and a few months back, we finalized the program for this year where we supported it in three different states; Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, and Kuala Lumpur. Check out the highlights of our LevelUp@Schools here below. Together with the state-to-state agenda, we also devised a coding competition for the students during our LevelUp@Schools workshops where the lucky winners would win a Fun Trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Meet the winners of our Coding Competition!
It’s time now to announce which school won our coding competition and the winner goes to… *drum roll* MRSM Kuala Krai from Kelantan! Congratulations to Raja, Danish, and Hasrul! These three students were the winners and they have just visited us last week to claim their all-expense paid 2-days trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Accompanied by their teacher, Madam Shuhaida, they visited our HQ office in Kuala Lumpur where they meet with our team. The workplace visit was aimed to allow the students to gain insight into the world of work from our employees, get inspired by dynamic working environments and imagine themselves in the working world. The students also got the chance to have a sit down with Forest Interactive’s Chief Executive Officer, Johary Mustapha. Johary shared his experience with the kids on being involved in the gaming and mobile tech industry. “If you take the most difficult path, there will be a lot of challenges but you are not going to regret it because if you have the passion for something, keep trying and learning until you can accomplish it. Seek for others help and opinions, it will not make you less than who you are. Remember that” said Johary.
Their trip continued the next day with a visit to MDEC’s LevelUp Inc HQ in Bangsar where we also arranged for a special meet and greet session with Shah of Kaigan Games, the creator of the well-known game, Sara is missing. According to Shah “I would love to see these kids growing soon to be my competitors in gaming creation. That would be great!” He also advised the students on how to develop their skills and to gain more experience, “Never hesitate to be proud of your own products and always aim to be the best, it’s important to launch your games as you will receive feedback and comments, learn from it.”. After the meet and greet session, we took the students to The Rift in Mid Valley to give them yet another exposure on the gaming world, this time, in the form of Virtual Reality.
What LevelUp@Schools mean to the students
When we asked one of the students, Raja, what inspired him to join LevelUp@Schools, he claimed that he was excited to know and learn more about game development. He shared that he’s always been a comic enthusiast and that he wants to be a scriptwriter in the future, “Before this, I only enjoyed playing games as a hobby to fill up my time but through learning game development from LevelUp@Schools, I realized that I can practice developing my skills not only in creating my own games but also in being a scriptwriter as game creation also allows me to create characters and build stories”.
Hasrul, on the other hand, said that his inspiration came from playing the popular action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game series, Uncharted. He said “I have always like playing games and Unchartered is one my favorites and it made me wonder that amazing feeling playing games, would I feel the same if I created the game myself? And after joining LevelUp@Schools program, I’m glad to know that it is amazing to create my own game!” Last but not least, we also asked Danish how he feels about his participation, “It’s been a great experience to learn about game development and getting the chance to meet with the professionals in the industry makes it more fun.”
Overall, these three students are just some among many other students that have been involved in LevelUp@Schools. To date, MDEC’s LevelUp@schools programme has trained 73 teachers and brought 300 secondary school students one step closer to their dream of being game developers through the use of the Unity game engine. At Forest Interactive, we are glad that we got to be one of the main supporters of this initiative and we look forward to continuing our support in creating future innovators.