19-year-old creates virtual National Day Parade, will livestream it on Aug 9
Winston Ng, the creator of Vanda Bay, hopes to keep the celebration alive this year despite the postponement of the actual NDP.
This year’s National Day Parade may have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dampening the celebratory mood.
However, there are still numerous ways to commemorate Singapore’s 56th birthday – such as joining in a virtual NDP via your mobile phones.
Created by 18-year-old Winston Ng and staff at his company, Finute, the team of five spent up to 15 hours daily for a month and a half on the project. They worked on several aspects, such as conceptualising the entire parade, to various aspects such as coding and design and animation work.
The virtual NDP will be hosted on a mobile game app called Vanda Bay, developed by Winston and 17-year-old Zachary Lim. Vanda Bay is a life simulator that allows players to live a second life in a fictional area based on Marina Bay along with other players.
Winston and his team have recreated the Floating Platform area – where the virtual NDP will be held – in Vanda Bay.
The virtual NDP will last for between 45 minutes and one hour. Like the actual NDP of years past, there will be a parade segment, state flag flypast, mobile columns and fighter jets performance showcase.
There will also be a song segment, where viewers can sing along to NDP songs, including this year’s The Road Ahead performed by Sezairi Sezali, Shye-Anne Brown, Linying, and Shabir. A special animated music video, created by a member of the public who has played the games created by Winston, will be played.
The team will also pay a tribute to frontline workers in Singapore, before the event – which will include a virtual version of National Youth Council CEO David Chua as the Guest-of-Honour – culminates in virtual fireworks.
It’s the second year running that Winston has created a virtual NDP, after hosting one last year on a platform called Roblox.
“Last year, when Singapore was badly affected by COVID-19, I wanted to host an event to thank our frontline heroes and essential workers for their hard work and determination to get Singapore through the pandemic,” Winston explained.
“This year, we decided to build our own dedicated game platform to further last years’ mission to make our virtual NDP even better and grander for Singaporeans from all walks of life to enjoy from the tip of their fingers.”
In last year’s virtual NDP, over 60 users had joined in to be part of the virtual parade. Some role-played as members of the parade contingent, drove the mobile columns and flew the fighter jets for the aero display.
The Vanda Bay app will be made available on iOS and Playstore on Sunday (Aug 8).
The virtual NDP will be livestreamed at 3pm on National Day. It will also be available for viewing on the app until the end of the month.