On 3rd April 2013, the PEMANDU NKEA Steering Committee approved the 2013 Game Development Awareness Initiatives. The idea was to reach out to all Malaysians and create awareness on the vast career and business opportunities globally as well as the process and development pipeline of games in order to break the myth that game development is only about playing games.

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One of the initiatives was Tabletop2013, a board game design competition open to Malaysian secondary school students aged 15 to 18. It is a two-day event where students will be given a theme to work with and using that theme, they would have to create a table-top game that’s fun and innovative. The students would have to think up the idea for the game that’s fun to play; then, decide what the board and pieces look like, figure out the rules and how to play and design a sample of the board and pieces. Finally, they would have to present it to a panel of judges who will then play-test their board games to evaluate re-playability, fun-factor, balance and ease-of-learning.

On the weekend of the 26th & 27th October 2013, 7 Secondary Schools (Kwang Hua Private School, SMK Bandar Utama Damansara 3, SMK (L) Methodist KL, SMJK Confucian, SMK Kepong, SMK Sinar Bintang and SMK Seafield) participated in this exciting event. Students were given the opportunity to explore and play-test a large collection of European board games (and some very famous house-hold games) for their reference.

The students were then given a common theme, “Malaysian Food” and were then allowed to “shop” for a variety of materials that would form the board, pieces and token for their games. KDU University College Game Design student volunteers were on hand to assist the participants in their task; by giving them game-play advice and play-testing their board games. On the end of the second day, the participants were given 20 minutes to present their idea and explain their rules and game-play mechanics to a panel of judges. The judges would then spend some time playing the game and evaluating it based on several game design criteria. The judges were Mr. Tan Chin Ike (Chairperson of MyGameDev2020), Mr. Johann Lim (Game Designer), Mr. Chong Shern Wei (Game Designer), Mr. Hilmy Abdul Rahim (Game Design Lecturer at KDU) and Mr. Richard Wong (Senior Game Coordinator at Meeples Board Game).

It was the Methodist Boys School (KL) who bagged the first prize with their crazily fun and interactive board game. SMK Kepong came in second place and SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) came in at third place.

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Million dollar smiles from students of SMK Bandar Utama Damansara 3. The event hasn’t even started yet.

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SMK Confucian discussing their strategy in the store with their teacher advisor.

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Doing some research with KDU University College’s board-game reference collection.

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Creative juices at work in making an artistic masterpiece.

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The judges wanted to give all the teams proper feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of all the games.

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SMK Kepong students explaining their game to the judges

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Students hard at work – brainstorming winning ideas.

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2nd Runner Up – SMK Bandar Utama Damansara 3! Congratulations!

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1st Runner Up – SMK Kepong! Congratulations! The judges loved the educational twist to the game.

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And the Winner is of course, the one and only SMK Methodist Boy’s School! Congratulations!

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SMK (L) Methodist KL – Winning board game idea – a game full of fun, foodilicious appeal and challenge (and brought out the competitive streak in the judges)

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We hope everyone had fun and would consider coming back again for next year’s TABLETOP 2014!

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