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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 17 June 2007

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Funding and mentorship for Casual Games development

Source: www.mda.gov.sg

MDA invigorates Casual Games development with up to S$350,000 in funding

Key US casual game publishers to work with MDA to arm new development teams with the ability to develop A to AAA PC Casual Games for global markets.

The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) today announced the launch of INVIGORATE for Casual Games ¨C a scheme to provide funding and mentorship for up to 10 PC game development projects in the ¡®Casual Games¡¯ genre.
Game studios and independent developer teams are invited to submit their concept proposals from 16 June to 10 August 2007, and successful applicants will be eligible for up to S$35,000 in prototype development funding.
Each of the 10 project teams that receive funding under INVIGORATE will be expected to produce a playable PC demo by 25 January 2008.
This is the second instalment in the INVIGORATE initiative, the first of which was targeted at mobile game developers and announced in December last year.
INVIGORATE for Casual Games is designed to fuel the game industry in Singapore with 10 new and innovative casual game prototypes designed under the mentorship of directors and producers from major global publishers such as Big Fish Games, Encore and PlayFirst.
These international mentors will work with Singapore teams on their concepts alongside local mentors from Boomzap and Playware Studios in a masterclass environment, where teams will be put through a rigorous cycle of product planning, game design and production management training and guidance.
This aligns with MDA¡¯s effort to nurture the growth of the local media industry by supporting game developers in the production of quality content and their provision of specialised media services.
Stating MDA¡¯s commitment towards INVIGORATE, Mr Seto Lok Yin, Assistant CEO (Industry), MDA said: ¡°We are very enthusiastic about the growth of the Animation and Game industries today. It is encouraging to see more of our game companies being able to export their products to regions such as USA, Europe and North Asia. Increasingly, Singapore is recognised as an emerging player in the global game production value chain. Hence, we are delighted that leading international casual game companies like Big Fish Games, Encore and PlayFirst are collaborating with us as mentors in INVIGORATE. Through this initiative, Singapore game developers will learn to prototype and test new and innovative game concepts, guided by experts who have in-depth knowledge of what works and what doesn't in the international game markets.¡±
Interested applicants are welcome to submit their proposals by post to MDA. Submission details and selection criteria for the initiative can be found in Annex A and further details can be found on the MDA website, www.mda.gov.sg.
About Casual Games
Casual Games are quick, easy-to-understand games with engaging game designs. Gameplay tends to be short and simple, without the need for a lot of time or skill. Compared to sophisticated games, they also cost significantly less to develop and distribute.
Common features of casual games include:
  • Simple game-play ¨C for instance, puzzle games can be played simply using a onebutton mouse
  • Short game-time ¨C games can be played in short bursts ¨C i.e. during work breaks
  • The ability to quickly reach the final stage of the game, or continuous play with no need to save the game
¡®Casual Games¡¯ here refer to games played on the PC and are distinct from mobile games.
About INVIGORATE
The INVIGORATE initiative was launched by MDA in December 2006 with a mentorship programme for mobile game developers. INVIGORATE supports the development of content development for the games industry through a two-pronged approach; funding and mentorship.
More..... (Annex)

Source: www.mda.gov.sg News Release 15 Jun 2007

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