School of Informatics & IT
Solomon Tan used to play an imaginary game with his friends when he was in primary school, in which every action and reaction in the story was carefully written in a notebook. What made it more exciting was that the mechanics of the story always kept changing – you never knew what was going to happen next.
With only this very primitive ‘game design’ background to his name, Solomon decided to go through the Direct Polytechnic Application (DPA) exercise to get a place in TP’s Game Design & Development course. Needless to say, his passion shone through and he secured a place in the course. Eventually, when his O-level results were released, he had scored an outstanding 4 points! When asked why he saw the need to go through DPA when he was capable of such results, Solomon said without batting an eyelid, “Just in case.”
Solomon was diagnosed with mild dyslexia when he was in kindergarten. He eventually overcame his difficulties reading English and Chinese by playing educational computer games as suggested by his mother. For Solomon, computer games had proved to be a life-saver; they provided him with an outlet and were his coping mechanism. Hence, the natural draw he now has for creating computer games to benefit others. The elder child of his accountant father and mother who works in the customer service line, Solomon has a sister who is a year younger than him. Since he joined TP, Solomon has created a range of interesting computer games including Number Dash and Unplugged.
His first year in TP was challenging as it was the first time Solomon had formal lessons on programming and coding. Yet eventually, it became easier as he employed the same tactic he used at connecting words when reading. Passionate about this field of study, he began to read and learn beyond what was taught in class.
Outside of school work, Solomon was one of the group leaders for the Temasek Foundation Specialist in Community Action & Leadership Exchange programme in Vietnam. He and his peers hosted students from Vietnam when they visited TP to do a Cross-Disciplinary Subject and in the second phase, Solomon joined more than 20 other TP students to undertake a community project in Vietnam.
In his second year, he participated in the finals of WorldSkills Singapore and received the Bronze medal in the Web Design Trade. He also participated in a number of workshops and camps such as the Sunburst Youth Camp, a cultural exchange programme between Asian youth leaders. He also took on the role of vice-president of the Game Design & Development Student Interest Group and was selected to participate in the Pre-University Seminar. Solomon also took part in the TP Hackathon and emerged second runner-up. His team proposed a food delivery app for students which would enable them to order food from the campus canteens and have the food delivered by other students who would earn a fee for the delivery service.
In his final year, Solomon self-secured an internship as a game programmer at Daylight Studios Pte Ltd, a local game company. During an earlier interview for a subject on entrepreneurship with Mr Alwyn Lee, the CEO of Daylight Studios, Solomon had requested to sit for a programmer’s test which was designed for university graduates. He passed the test and successfully secured his internship at the company. Solomon had chosen Daylight Studios because it offered him the chance to experience the multiple roles involved in game development. Apart from fixing bugs in the game “Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?!” Solomon also came up with a logo design feature that gives players more ways to express themselves in the game. He added a cloud-saving feature to the mobile port of the game – a first for the company – and was tasked with making some of the foundational tools for a new Spy Management edition of the game series.
In his final year, Solomon also participated in a study trip to Kitakyushu College in Japan. He graduates with an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.97.
Describing himself as quiet, determined and enthusiastic, Solomon places his family as one of his first priorities in life and looks up to his mother to teach him good values. He enjoys animation and special effects and says he wants to keep telling stories through games. Looking back at his years in TP, he says, “I learnt much more than I thought I would. Every time I think I’ve learnt all I need to know, something will happen, and I realise there’s a thousand different things I haven’t learnt yet.”
Solomon has been accepted into DigiPen Singapore to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design.