Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A game dedicated to the ice cream uncles and aunties in Singapore

The idea for this game came to me while I was about to wrap up Satay Club game development. I was thinking about a game that could probably dive into the lives of such individuals and learn more about their trade.

I had big ideas for this game. Unfortunately all those ideas fell flat and didn't really make the game fun. I also had to scrap a lot of the art design because it didn't really capture the happy mood of it all.

Interestingly while I was at the road show to promote the SG50 games at Orchard Road I took a picture of an Ice Cream man. 

He was hard at work and quite a lot of people are queueing to buy from him.

I didn't manage to get his name or talked to him. Fortunately I came across this New Paper article which interviewed him and he talked about his business and a bit about his life. Very interesting.

Selling ice cream on the streets is tough business nowadays. It's a "sunset industry" and only those aged 40+ and above are able to apply for licence from the government authorities to start this business.

My hope in creating this game is for people to appreciate what it is like selling ice cream on the streets. Also this game is a personal project for me to reminisce about my care-free childhood. I'm sure buying ice cream from these sellers was part of your childhood too.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ice Cream Uncle Game too difficult? Here are some tips!

Ok seems like the layout of this game is quite different than the rest of the games like Kopi Tiam, Mooncake Shop and the rest. I think because of this, players find it quite difficult to get the full 3 cherries achievement or even pass the episode!

If you are one them, not to worry here are some tips:

1) Wait for ALL customers to appear before you serve them.
2) Make all the ice cream that is requested and keep them in the cold box. Once all orders are done, serve them to the customers.
3) Certain VIP like the SingaBoy will only order a particular type of ice cream. You can prepare these ice cream and keep them in the cold box before he appears.
4) Make sure you press the "restock" as soon as possible to save time.
5) Upgrade your "restock-able" items like chocolate syrup, paper cups and ice cream flavors.
6) Save enough coins to hire "Ah-boy" to help you restock immediately without waiting.

That's just some of the tips that I can reveal for now!

Good luck and enjoy the game!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Ice cream Uncle game is finally done. Phew.

And the game is done. What a long time it took to make this!
Android version will be out this week and iOS the following week.

This particular game has gone through so many iterations it's just crazy.
In the end I had to settle for a simple gameplay and cleaner graphics.

Monday, 7 September 2015

In a bit of a cone-undrum

Cone-undrum haha... yes I intentionally spelled it that way because I wanted to tie in with my ice cream game.

I'm just putting out my thoughts on this page with regards to the difficulty I'm facing right now when it comes to promoting a healthy life style in a game that promotes the selling of dairy ice cream.

Initially I wanted players to have the ability to make good healthy eating habits for the ice cream uncle. Players will have several food choices to pick from to recommend him to eat in order to gain back his energy after a hard day of work selling ice cream.

And then I realize he sells dairy ice cream. GREAT.

There's this conflict that just will not resolve in my mind. A game that's all about treats that are cute and sweet but actually very unhealthy and yet I'm trying introduce the idea of healthy eating. No, I can't do it. This just won't work.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Remembering Singapore's Golden Age of Film-making in Satay Club Game

In my game Satay club, I feature several films that were made in Singapore in the 1940s till the 60s.

It's worth noting that the Malay Film scene didn't really take off until 1948. that was when the film called Chempaka starring Kasma Booty was released. Kasma Booty was the main attraction of that film and the cinema halls were filled with eager viewers wanting to watch the beautiful bombshell on the silver screen. Long lines formed outside the theatres and people were clamoring for tickets. It broke every attendance record at the Alhambra Theatre's history at the time.

I have no doubt the satay men at Satay Club would have done a roaring business during that time. Imagine the huge number of people stopping by to eat satay or mee siam right after the show at the Alhambra Theatre.

This one film was a huge success for Shaw Brothers. A story about an Indonesian girl who refused to forsake her lover for a prince.  Quoting from the Singapore Free Press published on 12 May 1948:
"...the scenes were local, the language was Malay and shapely Kasma was a sensation."
And the copywriters for Shaw Brother's went on overdrive and wrote this in the Straits Times on 15 April 1948:
"...Comparable with any Hollywood Production!"

Maybe it was the marketing, maybe it was just the alluring beauty of Kasma Booty and her captivating eyes. But whatever it was, the then 16 years old Kasma Booty became an overnight sensation and marked the rise in Malay Films. People kept wanting more of that genre of films featuring native islanders clad in sarong with flowers in their hair singing and dancing under the tropical sun.

Kasma Booty in the 1948 film Chempaka

This film was her first time appearing on the silver screen. Kasma Booty was already married at age 14.

The photo I posted above is a screen capture of Kasma Booty in that film. This photo of her dancing reminded me of Silvana Mangano. If you don't know Silvana you should check out her dance in the 1951 film called Anna. Titillating!

Can you imagine how rowdy it was with all the hot blooded young men in the theatre wolf-whistling the moment when Kasma Booty appeared on screen?

"The house was packed... the audience was very audibly delighted with the beauty and charm of Kasma Booty.." 

Kasma Booty was 2 years younger than Silvana. Who knew about Italian cinema back then in this part of the world right? But almost everybody knows Hollywood films. So Kasma Booty was often regarded as the Elizabeth Taylor of Malaya back then. Elizabeth Taylor is the same age as Kasma Booty by the way.

Elizabeth Taylor

Fun fact: The comedian S. Shamsudin appeared in that film Chempaka as an extra. He was just beginning his acting career then.

There is another film(genre) that I casually mentioned in Satay Club Game. I will discuss more about that together with Zubir Said and Yusof Ishak in my next post.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Remembering Kallang Airport in Satay Club Game

I'm writing (typing?) this article because I came across Peter Lamm's post on Google+ where he posted a very nice photograph of Kallang Airport. That reminded me that I actually added that locale as part of my narrative in Satay Club Game.

I read with interest Peter's and other's comments on his photograph of Kallang Airport. He commented: "As SG50 ie. Merdeka draws near there is an over-weaning narrative in our national media that Singapore was just a lousy fishing village until the ruling party took power. On the contrary as I hope this photo partly illustrates, Singapore was already a well-established regional powerhouse in trade, commerce, finance, shipping and culture well before WWII."

I do agree and share his sentiment. I think history is open to all sorts of interpretations by all sorts of people. Old photographs, film footages, oral interviews that has been archived are all great resources for anyone who would want to study history in depth.

I have trawled through many film footages, old photographs and other paraphernalia related to old time Singapore and I have to say that it's hard to categorize Singapore simply as a swampy fishing village.

The Kallang Airport (aerodrome) that was built in 1937 shows that Singapore then was already a thriving city. The land it was built on was a swampy land that was reclaimed. The airport had to close in 1955 because it became too small to support the ever increasing number of people coming to Singapore by air. The Singapore International Airport at Paya Lebar replaced it.

So I am not surprised if anyone gave a big sigh whenever they keep reading or hearing the same old rhetoric that Singapore was a 3rd world swampy fishing village before independence. Get educated!