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…
KenApril 7, 2011 at 5:22 am
so that's GM Tristan. Back when I played LU Games, when it was life, I know I've encountered his blog a couple of times. and that's the elusive GM Phage. HAHA far from what I expected considering everyone was like *drool* with matching ass kissing everywhere. :)) Sadly though, LU Customer Care, based on my experience, and that satisfying anymore :/ maybe you should go back… para lng may kapit ako if I play :))
skysenshiApril 7, 2011 at 5:28 am
Haha, Product Dev GMs were not allowed to communicate with players during that time. I was a product dev GM. We can't even tell people in the other departments what we did. Or if we are asked to explain publicly what we did, it was in general…no specifics. So walang kapit kapit.
That was how obsessed we were about integrity and stuff.
John Ray CabreraApril 7, 2011 at 10:00 am
those were the days. i only have a short stint of it since i have to juggle between rok and CS and my day job.
skysenshiApril 7, 2011 at 10:05 am
Yeah, being a gamer is fun…but once hard work sets in…
ladymyxApril 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm
visiting here 😀
skysenshiApril 8, 2011 at 1:26 am
Thanks for dropping by!
ladymyxApril 9, 2011 at 6:45 am
np 😀 can we exlink? 😀
btw, linked you in my blog already 😀
BS BentaboyNovember 15, 2012 at 8:22 am
OMG these are some of the best years of my professional career. It was the most fun too since we really didnt know what we were doing and we were all learning along as we did RPC and RWC.
skysenshiNovember 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm
So true! I guess I still believe that LU is still the best game company I have worked for (when it comes to processes). Siguro kasi it's because of my boss Jojo Angeles.