Manila Game Jam Gratitude

I was required to write this message as a post event report to the sponsors and organizers, but it turns out it was pretty good catharsis for me.  Ultimately I actually like sharing my thoughts and experiences with people, but it always feels so forced when people do it sometimes that I avoid it for fear of sounding too “gushy”.  But since this was a “requirement” I felt that it gave me the green light to be all touchy feely about the event, one that I’m still very proud of.  I did lose my Zune during the event though, so that sucks.  Anyway.

Dear IGDA members, industry partners, and sponsors,

I write this to you almost two weeks after the first annual Manila Game Jam, in which some of you participated, organized, and sponsored.  I still look back proudly on our collective achievement.   It started off as a silly little idea but mushroomed into a remarkably successful event with 32 participants making 10 games over the course of a weekend.  I hope you don’t mind that I paraphrase from my opening remarks during the closing ceremonies, which I had to cut off because I had  gotten a little choked up towards the middle of it.

Ten years ago, I knew of two companies that were active in the local game industry:  Anino Games and EPLDT contentdev.  Both companies would win awards and gain some measure of international fame in those early years, but most importantly the people that came from those companies formed the core of what is now the current game development industry.  People like Niel Dagondon (Anino Games), Gabby Dizon (Boomzap) and Paul Gadi (Gameloft Manila) and so many more are now our own industry stalwarts; the people who made the Philippine game industry what it is today.  The relationships and knowledge that were collected in those two companies is simply quite astonishing, and it is something that the Manila Game Jam has tried to replicate.

More than a competition, the Manila Game Jam is a venue for local game developers to come together and share ideas and knowledge with the binding mantra that this can only help improve our craft.  It is a venue for hobbyists and students to find out what it means to make a game, and for jaded industry veterans to remember what it was that made them fall in love with making games in the first place.  Most importantly, I believe it is a venue for these people of a shared passion to make lifelong relationships.

I see in these relationships the seeds of the Philippine game industry’s future.  I have no doubt that amongst the participants there will rise industry leaders and visionaries that will continue upon the foundations laid down by their predecessors, and build an industry that will be at par with the rest of the world.  I would therefore like to thank each any every one of you that contributed to this event; members, presenters, participants and sponsors, for helping to grow the Philippine game development industry.

Looking towards the future, I want the Manila Game Jam to be an annual event, so that we may continually stoke the creative fires of Filipino game developers.  I  hope that in the future we’ll be holding  game jams in other urban centers outside of Manila, like Cebu and Davao, or wherever game developers may be in the country.  My greatest hope is that one day one of these games will make it to the global stage, competing in international events like the IGF (Independent Games Festival) and proving not only to the world, but to ourselves as well, that we are more than a match for the best in the global game development industry.

With your help and continued support I am sure that we can make it happen.

Ryan Sumo
IGDA Manila chapter coordinator

Check out the games made during the game jam here!
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3 Responses to “Manila Game Jam Gratitude”

  1. Hey Ryan… sorry two paragraphs lang naiwan sa final draft. I’ll put a link here nalang if they want to “read the full message”. And thanks sa recognition 😉

  2. No problem Niel! I just hope the sponsors feel it was money well spent. 😀

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