FCI wins Best Narrative Award at 48-hour (Online) Cultural Heritage XR Jam 2023

Front row, from left: Pang, Liew, Ng, Acmen Loo and Leong
Second row, from left: FCI Dean Dr David Tneh Cheng Eng, Ts Ang, Chen, Ong, Lim, Quek, FCI Deputy Dean for Research and Development and Postgraduate Programmes Dr Cynthia Lau Pui-Shan and FCI Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Assoc Prof Thinavan Periyayya

Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) shone in the spotlight once more as the FCI students won the Best Narrative Award and two consolation prizes at the 48-hour (Online) Cultural Heritage XR Jam (48HXRJAM) 2023. The game jam was organised by the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA) via Zoom and Discord from 4 to 6 September 2023. The prize-giving ceremony was held at RekaScape, Cyberjaya on 8 September 2023.

The 48HXRJAM attracted 25 teams of creative minds from various universities and colleges who had an interest in developing games with extended reality (XR) technology. It presented creative ideas for nurturing talents in the field of XR development, and enhancing public awareness of Malaysian culture and heritage.

Winning the Best Narrative Award was Team 15, which consisted of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Game Design students Ng Thong Kuan, Pang Wen Yang, Liew Sien Yong, Acmen Loo Wen Ting, and Leong Hao Fung. They walked away with a cash prize of RM500 and certificates.

Team 12 and Team 13 won the consolation prizes. Each team walked away with a cash prize of RM100 and certificates. Team 12 consisted of Game Design students Chen Li Wei, Ong Yong Kang, and FCI Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Ts Ang Kok Yew. Meanwhile, Team 13 consisted of Game Design students Lim Xin-Yi, Quek Yu Qi, Chow Ye Bin, and Loh Xiao Xuan.

“We are grateful to join this competition because it gave us a good opportunity to display our talent and experience. We would also like to thank Ts Ang Kok Yew for offering encouragement to us throughout the competition,” enthused the three teams.

The young game designers also shared their thoughts about their game ideas, saying, “We had a chance at winning because we had a better understanding of the cultures we included in the competition. Most people have little idea of these cultures except the lion dance. Therefore, this makes our idea unique.”

They also shared the motivation behind their participation, saying, “We joined this competition because the purpose was meaningful. It allowed us to share these unique cultures with more people, though they may be from different ethnicities and religions.”

From left: Chen, Ts Ang and Ong displaying their certificate

Loh (left) and Lim displaying their certificate

“Inheritance” by Team 15

The concepts behind the VR controls of the narrative-driven “Inheritance”

The game designed by Team 15 is titled “Inheritance”. It is a VR story-based learning game with a simulator element, which revolves around cultures such as lion dance and tiger dance. “Inheritance” follows the story of Li Shan, a girl who has a burning passion for lion dance. Li Shan is constantly engaged in arguments with her father due to her father’s personal predilection towards tiger dance and also his worries for Li Shan’s well-being in the male-dominant community of lion dance. As a result, Li Shan leaves home and trains harder under the wing of her sifu. Both Li Shan and her father would bond progressively throughout the story as wished by Li Shan’s mother. Not only that, the players would also be able to immerse themselves in the climax of the story in which Li Shan would face off against her father in a creative competition of lion dance and tiger dance to grant the last wish of her cancer-stricken mother. The competition is viewed as the turning point of the story, as the game offers two endings which are dependent on the scores that the players achieved in the competition.

“Po Te Hi” by Team 12

The simple contrast of light and dark aptly brings out the spookiness of the abandoned theatre in “Po Te Hi

“Po Te Hi” (布袋戏), designed by Team 12, is an AR puzzle-solving horror game revolving around Po Te Hi. Set on a gloomy night of the Hungry Ghost Festival, the game follows a group of young people who find themselves trapped by a ghostly phenomenon. The players would find themselves seeking clues by taking photos with a newfound camera; finding materials for puppets; and preventing interference from evil spirits in an abandoned theatre. To escape from the theatre, the players are tasked with performing a Po Te Hi show while interacting with the spooky environment and clues prepared by the developers.

“Ritual of Passage” by Team 13

The concept arts included in “Ritual of Passage” accentuate the element of ancient fable

Team 13 designed “Ritual of Passage”, a VR game focused on the Wangkang Festival in Malacca, Malaysia. The story follows a boy named Su Jie, who is chosen as the rightful heir by the deity Ong Yah to carry on the ancient tradition. The players would find themselves embarking on a sea voyage to meet Ong Yah at a temple. At the temple, the players are tasked with completing objectives given by Ong Yah as a path to learn the forms required for the various rituals included in the Wangkang Festival. As a result, the players would be able to understand in detail about the Wangkang Festival by experiencing the festival virtually.

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