An animated ambition full of Depth

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

An animated ambition full of Depth

A mong the producers of millions of phone apps around the world is a young Cambodian, Yok Chivalry, 27, the creator of the popular game Asva.

Chivalry is an animator, art director and co-founder at Osja Game Studio. He says the biggest achievement for himself and his team is recognition in foreign countries such as South Korea, China and Brazil.

“Foreign countries recognise our accomplishments and value our graphic design,” Chivalry says. “They give us 4.5 out of 5 . . . and Asva ranked fifth at the DEMO ASEAN showcase.”

Asva achieved fame because of its excellent design and logical gameplay. Behind the success was much effort and teamwork, requiring team members to share the same goals. Their biggest hurdle was injecting the game with new concepts and design ideas.

“We have never produced this kind of game before, so we had to explore new things and spend a lot of time doing research,” Chivalry says, adding that a lack of human resources in 2D and 3D animation was the main challenge in creating Asva.

Chivalry and his team are also behind the games Santa Adventure and Good Man. If you check his Facebook page, you will see many examples of his 3D animation and video tutorials.

Chivalry enjoys the role of animator the most, because it can entertain and satisfy people.

Realising that he loves animation, Chivalry decided to grab the opportunity to explore the world of 3D gaming. He and his team took six months to complete Asva.

“When I was young, I watched cartoons on TV and VCD.” These cartoons interested Chivalry so much that he decided he wanted to become an animator.

After five years at school learning traditional and modern art, Chivalry realised that he possessed above-average skills in drawing and painting.

He wanted to get a bachelor’s degree in animation, but at that time there was no animation school in the country. “In 2004, I was told by a friend there was a company that worked in animation, so I applied and luckily passed. I was trained in how to make 3D animation for three months.”

Chivalry ​​ started working professionally in animation in 2009 and is now experienced in both 2D and 3D animation. He became involved as an art director on Asva the Monkey, the first Cambodian mobile puzzle game, in May 2012.

Globally, 3D is regularly used in game and film, but in Cambodia 3D film and animation are not widely produced.

Compared to neighbouring countries, animation made locally is still rare in Cambodia, he says. “I hope in 2015 when ASEAN fully integrates Cambodia’s 3D technology sector can move forward.”

The combination of his love for animation and his computer skills seem certain to ensure that Chivalry achieves his long-term goal of making a 3D animated film.​

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