MATTHEW ONG

3 March

Those were the days when PA organised a “family-themed” board games design competition. It was a HUGE stepping stone to becoming a games designer. All the brainstorming, development, mechanics, prototyping and playtesting that I did ended up with Mess Ness Monster in the House:

Mess-ness Monster in the House 2Mess-ness Monster in the House 3

It is a cooperative game where the family works together to clean up a house full of Mess (does it remind you of your home?), Mess Monsters (does it remind you of anyone?), and the legendary Mess Ness Monster (Loch Ness Monster, get it?). A family working together to solve a family problem, so ideal for a family theme, right? It seems that it is somewhat taboo as people usually sweep problems under the carpet, and true enough, people didn’t like the game because they “had” to solve the problem. Oh well…What’s worse is that the winners were clones of existing board games! How could a game with little creativity be fun and win the competition? Anyway, because of this, the true gamers mentioned that they liked the mechanics, and could be marketed towards the European market, and now free from the family theme, I can create a similar game that can be for the Singaporean and the European market.

20 February

Just turned 24, and on a crossroad: the path to engineering or games design? As I think how I have spent the 24 years, indeed I have enjoyed studying engineering until NTU killed the enjoyment (Thanks NTU). Yet at the same time, since primary school, I have enjoyed, and am still enjoying games. People always say: “Do what you love most.” Yet at the same time, it is rare to hear of games designers simply because they don’t earn enough to survive in Singapore. Who am I kidding, I am going to stick with games design nonetheless, and for games designers wannabes out there who are afraid of the financial situation, the way people get engrossed with your games, IT IS WORTH IT.

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