DLSU-D’s Green Ant Studios lone PH team in Singapore Retro Inspired Game Jam 2017

In the recently concluded Retro Inspired Game Jam 2017, Green Ant Studios, a developer team comprised of Information Technology students Gabriel Anciano, Joshua Bryan Burgos, Stephen John Raymundo, and Computer Science student Leonor Thel Gomez were ‘hand-picked’ to represent DLSU-D and the Philippines as the only Filipino team in the competition at James Cook University Singapore held from November 9 to 12.

The four-day event was held as part of the James Cook University Singapore’s initiative to “preserve the history of games” where Green Ant Studios competed against 27 teams from nine universities all over Singapore.

“We told ourselves that we are just going to do our very best to make not only the University proud but also the country we represent,” Green Ant Studios Team Leader Gabriel Anciano shared.

Retro Inspired Game Jam 2017 kick-started with a Game Design Master Class where participants pitched their game ideas and discussed improvements with guest speaker Jeff Minter, founder of Llamasoft, Inc.

The competition was followed by a 24-hour Game Jam where the participating teams competed to conceptualize, design, and code an 8-bit retro-inspired game with Game Jam 2017’s theme “Sheep vs The World”.

On the last day of the event, team NOMAD from the Nanyang Polytechnic was awarded as winner of the 24-hour Game Jam.


In line with the Game Jam 2017’s theme, Green Ant Studios came up with a game having a sheep as the main character. “We decided immediately that the main character for the game is a sheep, then we decided it to be some kind of Mario-kind of style of game,” Anciano explained.

The game is a 2D Retro Platformer called “Toopah”, synonymous to the Filipino term “tupa”, which literally translates to sheep.

During the game-making event, among the challenges the team encountered in creating the game was the 24-hour time limit. “While we were brainstorming, we were also coding and designing at the same time because we needed to be fast due to the 24-hour time limit,” Anciano furthered.

Despite the time constraint, the team was able to finish the game within the deadline. The team’s game Toopah is now available for download through Google Playstore.

On whether the team will join in the next year’s event, Anciano said that if given the chance, they would be willing to participate in the event again.

Meanwhile, Anciano shared some insights to those who wish to join the competition the following year. “Find the right people, practice a lot with your team, stay focused, and always be humble,” he said.