Helping Kea gain a foothold
Friday, 28th August, 2009
News Straits Times
Sim and her partner Christopher Dickson had been working in a games development company in Taiwan, but decided that they wanted to develop their own programmes. The pair was lured to set up base in Malaysia because of the wide variety of grants and assistance provided, including the MSC Malaysia Pre-Seed Fund Grant that the company applied for and won.
The grant allowed the company to develop content from PetroSims, a revolutionary simulation training game for the oil and gas industry, which allows users to experience real training in a virtual platform.
"It's almost a first person shooter game like Counter Strike excluding guns but including fire extinguishers," explains Sim.
The course would be a first for Malaysia, and possibly one of only a few such training modules in the world for the oil and gas industry. In total, RM450, 000 was disbursed over four quarters for the development work which covers high end graphics, 3D game technologies and test scenarios.
"These training modules are mandatory for every person working in the oil and gas industry who will be working offshore, so there is a huge potential market for the product." confides Sim.
Currently, she adds, the local industry depends largely on expensive practical training and seminars abroad. The entry of PetroSims into the market will allow companies to make huge savings while opening up a world market to Kea Studios. Though the breakthrough project is relatively new, Sim believes professional simulation training modules have been viewed favourably in recent times, since the US Army commissioned simulation training solutions for their own internal training programmes.
"Already we've had positive enquiries from the likes of Shell, Murphy, American Petroleum Institute and Petronas," shares Sim.
She admits the attention was also partly due to the recognition that comes with being direct beneficiary of a government grant.
"MDeC wasn't just funding us but they were also lending us credibility." Sim summarizes.
The company predicts development to be completed in another two quarters, after which the product will be promoted in annual oil and gas exhibition which will be held in Malaysia for the first time.