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Last week saw the launch of five SG50 games, one of which was developed by Swag Soft. We made a game called Building the Lion, a board game which allows players to build their own version of Singapore complete with iconic buildings, HDB flats and restaurants selling local delights.

This was an initiative by the Singapore government, spearheaded by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). The idea was to commission the development of a few mobile games to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday as a gift to all Singaporeans.

A year ago, the MDA called for local game developers to submit mobile game ideas that would be both entertaining and educational, revolving around a Singapore theme. Over forty game developers submitted their proposals for consideration and only ten were selected to build their game prototypes. Out of these ten, only four were eventually commissioned for the full development of their games. One other game – Satay Club, was self-funded.

It was an amazing journey, and Swag Soft enjoyed the experience every moment rendered. We remember how we brainstormed many ideas before we settled for a board game concept. We recall how we presented our idea to the judging panel and waited anxiously for the results. And who can forget the triumphant rush we felt when we learnt that Building the Lion had been confirmed as one of the official SG50 titles?

There are many parties Swag Soft would like to voice our appreciation to.

We would like to thank Singapore for being the reason that SG50 exists, and the MDA for giving local game developers a truly unique and precious opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation for Singapore through something we love doing.

We would like to thank the five judges involved in the games selection process – David Ng, CEO of Gumi Asia, Oo Gin Lee, Straits Times Digital Life Editor, Albert Lim, Member of the Games Solutions Centre’s Management Committee and Mr Joachim Ng, Director of Industry Operations at the Media Development Authority. Their jobs were by no means easy.

We would like to thank all the MDA officers – Joachim, Adrian, Richard, Don, Priscilla and those whose names I apologize for not being able to recall – for supporting the tedious logistics and paperwork involved in overseeing the development and marketing of the SG50 games.

We would like to thank all the other game developers who submitted their game concepts, giving us an opportunity to compete our idea against theirs and for pushing ourselves to perform at our best.

We would like to pay our tribute to the other four SG50 game developers who made really amazing games. Kancheong Kopitiam Saga by Mojocat is a collection of competitive mini games that are delightfully local and hilarious. Rickshaw Rush by Mojo Forest lets you play as a rickshaw rider who dashes around town ferrying local celebrities and politicians as customers. My Singapore City by Ixora Studios allows you to buy and build iconic Singapore buildings through a puzzle game. Satay Club by Nizam Zahari brings you on a nostalgic trip back to the past as a satay seller.

We would like to thank all our Swag Soft family members – past and present – for working so hard on our game. Chee Yong for his great leadership. Ming Hui for his project management and game design contribution. Edi for her creative direction. Robin, Chalit and Wanni for their programming wizardry. Nigel and Sandy for their wicked art. All of them for putting up with my sh*t. And myself for thinking up the concept and for whipping everybody 😛

Last but not least, I would like to make a special mention of a very good friend – Ethan Cai. He used to work at the MDA as an Industry Operations Officer, and was largely instrumental for pushing initiatives for the game industry and for the SG50 games project. During his service, he worked tirelessly to establish efficient communication between MDA and the game development community so that MDA could better understand the needs of the latter. He went beyond his call of duty to provide guidance to new companies who needed it. My good friends at Mojo Forest would attest to this. As industry practitioners who worked closely with Ethan and benefited through his selflessness, we have nothing but praise for him.

Thank you all, who had helped make the SG50 Games Project so meaningful.

Swag Soft is a trusted and reliable game developer based in Singapore. We have helped companies such as Toyota, BMW, Caltex, Philips Morris, government bodies and many other SMEs build their mobile apps and games. Please drop us an email at contact@swagsoft.com.sg to find out how we can help you with your project.