My Best Level Up! Memories
I promptly burst into tears. (I’m so cheeeeeeesy!) The sound of Kitchie Nadal’s song playing as the slides’ background music made me feel really nostalgic. I don’t know if the universe is trying to tell me something because earlier that day, I had just re-read my rather gloomy blog entry about my resignation from Level Up. That was written around six years ago.
I may have made a lot of money doing web projects, but my heart had always belonged to the video game industry. The discipline is just really something. I know conservative people would never understand, thinking that maybe we were corrupting the minds of children, but you know…we were very vigilant when it comes to ethics and integrity. Any sign of imbalances within the workplace or our products, we took out with such laser-like precision.
Since we were aware that people could get really addicted to our games, especially Ragnarok, we took measures in making sure that they kept their work-school-play life balanced by coming up with Honors and Parental Unplugging programs. (Giving incentives to students that maintain high academic averages and giving parents the power to unplug/monitor their kids’ games if they become too addicted.)
Here’s a sample dialogue in our forums before:
Anonymous gamer: Is it fare for my mom to stop me from playing just because she thinks I’m not studying enough?
GM Phage: Dear, the reason why your mom wants you to study more is that she wants you to know the difference between “fair” and “fare”. It will make you a better gamer, trust me. 🙂
In our department, we were all multi-taskers. Even the entry-level playtesters knew how to look at budgets and schedules and they knew how to operate a Gantt chart. This is largely thanks to the people running the department. You know an organization is a good one if you look at the way its leaders make decisions. We valued research, development and can spot consequences from a mile away.
Here are a few of my best Level Up moments, captured on someone’s digital camera. (I forgot whose.) Hehe.
Dennis Abo and me at the Ragnarok Philippine Championships Cebu.
GMs at work. That’s me (GM Sora) on the extreme left, Marc Reyes (GM Silvermaine) at the center and Elly Hizon (GM Spirit) on the far right.
GMs from different teams:
GM Sora with GMs Spirit, Tristan, Phage
Back: Battlechaser, Benta Boy, Silvermaine, Verdandi…
I posted more Level Up 2005 photos on my Skysenshi’s Hermitage album. You just might recognize someone who worked for Level Up in 2005 over there.
Quote from my old Multiply entry about the photo album:
Many of the pictures here were back in 2005. I was with Level Up! from 2004-2005. It was one of the most memorable companies I’ve worked with. Taught me a lot about re-defining my leadership…’cause I had to start from the bottom of the chain again.
Many of the pics here are also taken from my stint in Cebu during the Ragnarok Philippine Championships 2005. That was waaaaaay fun! Unfortunately, you’ll notice something in our regular pics…all of the GMs, me included, have huge eyebags. I only got them when I worked for Level Up…