Game telling story of Brunei history wins top nod
| Danial Norjidi |
THE winners of the College and University category of the recent THiNK BIG Ignite 2012 Business Plan Awards, ‘BruElit,’ are soaring high.
BruElit comprises of four teammates from Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB), who successfully walked away with first prize in the College and University category of the competition for their innovative game based on the history of Brunei’s oil and gas industry.
‘Cochrane and Marriot’s Discovery of Oil Adventure,’ explained BruElit members Ikmalina Hakimah binti Haji Md Yunos and Noraidah binti Awang Damit/Harun, is an educational game that is aimed at sharing the story of how FF Marriot and TG Cochrane first discovered oil in Brunei in 1826.
The application tells the story in an interactive manner, and is designed to immerse users through a series of mini-games and tasks placed in between each story sequence.
Explaining the story behind the creation of the game, Ikmalina said that BruElit became inspired when they realised that the story was one that was not commonly known by people in Brunei, and felt it was a story worth retelling.
They made use of flash-based software to create the game, which Noraidah highlighted was helped by feedback obtained from surveys filled out by their test market.
The resulting application has proven a success, winning the team a $4,000 cash prize and the first place trophy at the Ignite Awards.
Speaking on their journey to becoming the winners of the category, Ikmalina and Noraidah said, “It was a lot of work, and there was a lot of hardships along the way.”
“My grandfather passed away in the time leading up to the awards and one of our members had his laptop stolen,” Ikmalina told.
“It was a difficult time, but with the support of our family and friends, we managed to persevere and push on.”
Both Ikmalina and Noraidah expressed their gratitude not only to their lecturers, but the iCentre and Brunei Economic Development Board, who are co-organisers of the competition, both for the opportunity and for mentoring them and helping them prepare for Ignite.
When they made it into the last four teams in the final round of judging, both said that they were simply hoping to make it into the top three, and had no expectations of winning.
“It was really a surprise when they announced us as the winners. We were not expecting it. We could barely stand up when we found out we had won,” they said.
The future now looks bright for these innovative young budding entrepreneurs who have big plans for their winning application.
“With this game we are planning to work closely with the Ministry of Education and iCentre to have school children make use of the game, which is all about making learning fun and interactive,” they shared.
They plan to do this by putting the application on USB pendrives which contain the application, and BruElit will also be selling merchandise in the form of little figurines of their game’s main characters, Marriot and Cochrane.
They also intend to create more games in the same theme about Bruneian folklore, including stories such as Nakhoda Manis.
“We will be working from our room at the iCentre, and we have big plans for more educational games that will make learning fun, and aim at telling stories that come from Brunei’s history,” they explained.
BruElit will be forming a company called Itsy Byte, under which they hope to expand their game production.
“Once again, we would like to thank our lecturers at ITB, the iCentre and the BEDB for all their support and mentorship, and for helping us achieve this success,” they added.