The atmosphere was filled with excitement as game developers from around the Southeast Asia region waited for the results of the second Southeast Asia (SEA) Game Awards.
The presentation took place during the closing ceremony of Level Up KL 2018 with a total of 10 categories up for grabs.
Anticipation filled the air as the awards ceremony took on a very Academy Awards-vibe with the nominations read out before each category. Encouraging cheers erupted as the names of the three nominees were read out before falling silent as the results were announced.
Malaysian independent game studios also had their turn in the spotlight with Metronomik’s No Straight Roads winning the Grand Jury Award. Led by former Final Fantasy XV lead designer Wan Hazmer, the action rhythm game, slated to be released in 2019, had been nominated in several categories.
One of the big winners of the night was Singapore-based studio Joysteak Games which clinched the Best Audio Award and Rising Star Award for their game Songbird Symphony.
Another multi-award winner was Indonesia’s Toge Productions which took home the Best Visual Art Award for their pastel-coloured point and click adventure game, She and the Light Bearer. The Karawaci-based studio also took home the Best Storytelling Award for their game Cofee Talk, that focuses on listening to people’s problems and solving them with a warm cup of coffee.
Another Malaysian favourite was Magnus Games’ Re: Legend which took home the Best Game Design Award. Counted among Digital News Asia’s Digerati 50 for 2018, brother’s DC and Welson Gan took the stage with the team on their multi-platform game that is due to be released next year.
Meanwhile. the Audience Choice Award went to the math puzzle game Iteno by Why Creative. The studio’s president Lim Shan Fei said the selection came as a shock and it all still felt unreal to him.
“I think winning the award is a good thing for us and we feel even more encouraged to make our game great. We definitely won’t let our fans down,” he said.
The Best Innovation Award went to Malaysia-based Kaigan Games’ Simulacra: Pipe Dreams. The game builds upon the success of its genre-defining found phone game Simulacra in 2017.
Level Up KL 2018 also took time to acknowledge the next generation of game developers with its Best Student Game Award. Glenmarie Games from KDU University College ultimately took home the award with their impressive looking third-person survival shooter Terminus: Lockdown.