My second trip to Singapore felt like a huge party. There was a conference somewhere in the middle, but mostly it was a lot of friends and a lot of wine.
Wednesday: On my first day in Singapore, I flew in with Gabby and Caroline from Flipside Games. We had lunch with my two bosses from Boomzap, then went off our separate ways. I checked into the Albert Hotel (a nice quaint hotel near Sim Lim), then immediately did all my shopping in one go: HMV, Muji, and the Bugis Street Market. At night, I met up with musician friend Mayo, who took me to Clarke Quay and introduced me to wine (more than half a bottle with my name on it).
Thursday: I went to the first day of Games Convention Asia, and met my virtual officemates. “You’re real!” said Xuanming the intern; that was the prevalent feeling, finally seeing the faces of the names I’ve been chatting with for four months. The conference itself had good talks, though the day’s highlight were my boss’s talk on his 12 industry mistakes, and Peter Molyneux‘s discussion of Fable 2. (Let it be noted that I actually missed the first half-hour of Molyneux’s talk, partly because I thought it was starting at 5:30 instead of 5pm, and partly because I was upstairs at the expo floor playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.) At night, we went to the GCA party, where I had maybe three glasses of wine before going home.
Friday: My favorite talks on Friday were the two keynotes: Cevat Yerli discussing the Crytek engines and Joonmo Kwon talking about Nexon’s success in the online game industry. I also really enjoyed Jason dela Rocca‘s talk on talent (quality of life and all that – I can relate). The day’s highlight SHOULD have been Ragnar Tornquist‘s talk on content, but he didn’t show 😦 At night, there was another GCA party, where I had maybe three glasses of wine again, but that was only a warmup to the “Filipino dinner” – where all the ex-Anino and ex-ePLDT game developers in Singapore got together in Clarke Quay and drank to our heart’s content. I don’t remember how much I drank of the Oktoberfest beer, but it was a good amount.
Saturday: The ex-Anino reunion continues as I met them for lunch in Jurong East, then I toured Tony around Singapore because he’s never done the tourist bit. We saw the Merlion, Orchard Road, and Bugis. At night, the official Boomzap festivities began with a company dinner at No Signboard in the East Coast Seafood Center. I had been promised an amazing, life-changing experience called chili crab – and it didn’t disappoint! It wasn’t even that spicy, which was perfect for me. Then we walked over to Mana Mana and had more drinks.
Sunday: Boomzap had an all-afternoon meeting on our next game, over at our boss’s condo. Seeing everyone in person really solidifies how happy I am to be in this company. It’s not because everything’s peachy (hey, shit happens, anywhere) but because I actually _believe_ in what we’re doing, and what my bosses are doing. It’s inspiring and humbling to be working with these people, and I thank my lucky stars every day. At night, we headed down to the condo’s pool area to have a barbecue, where I proceeded to eat up all of the meat and drink up all of the red and white wine. I ended up dozing off at the upstairs couch (though they insist I “passed out”) while everyone else played on the Xbox 360. Good times.
Monday: I flew home, wondering if I should live in Singapore for a few months. Because I could, if I wanted to. And I do like the place – not to live there, but just to hang around for a bit. I like the MRT and the chicken rice and the barley and the wine. I wouldn’t mind a few months of that.