The West! The Land of opportunities, is a place where anyone from a small 3rd world country in South East Asia dreams of going to pursue their careers. Moving anywhere abroad where I come from is a challenge not just because of family and friends but because of strict protocols. A challenge I thoroughly accepted as I began my journey to arrive in May of 2021. I guess I should start from the start:
With a background in programming & arts, I’ve been in the game industry my whole career starting from Arts, doing some scripting with Unity, helping out the community through talks and events with IGDA Philippines and enjoying a few game jams here and there. My career pretty much jumpstarted when one of our game jams we built up further was recognized by a known YouTube game critic with us being on the first episode of good games in steam greenlight. This grew to us creating a studio, getting a publisher and showcasing our games and potential throughout Asia. From that point I grew to love the people and was given tons of sponsorships/opportunities to travel in SEA for showcases and presentations. I have been supporting and still am an active member of the Philippine game industry albeit through online communications.
I was working in an Art outsourcing studio before my time in Gamecan. I enjoyed my time there as they got me in contact with Studios around the world from Blizzard, Naughty Dog and a lot more. I had gotten to work with them and seen how they developed their games (mid-production). At this point, I didn’t feel that outsourcing was enough. I wanted to be part of a full game development team from pre-production to release, this was what pushed me to look. I saw a post in a Discord server that this company was looking for a Project Manager, I had to do a little snooping. Their game, Overstep, was pretty good and the team? Well from what I saw before applying was a pretty small but dedicated team with tons of potential. I decided to give it a shot and sent my application. Marten, Gamecan’s CEO, had responded to me on Discord for a quick call and within a few days I had gotten accepted. I was pretty much ecstatic when I had found out. I had discussed this with my wife and family, all of whom were there to support me.
Relocating to anywhere from Philippines is a bit of a pain, there are multiple documents needed before exiting the country and the Covid situation did not help either. I had started my process and documentation requests on May of 2021 but was only able to successfully complete my documents by Early December of 2021. The people in Gamecan helped me a whole lot, not just in the process but their patience with all my requests are things I am forever grateful for.
1 flight that we had to skip due to the Covid situation and 33 hours later, we safely arrived in Estonia. Being far away from family is hard especially us from Asia who are people that usually live with their parents to take care of them when they grow old. In general, being away from people you’ve known your whole life is hard no matter what other people say. Excitement and some sadness, these feelings go hand in hand with each other for anyone relocating to another country but with how we spent our first night here with a surprise welcoming celebration, I guess you could say it felt like another family was built.
No matter who relocates here, knowing how hard it is to leave their home country. I usually always call back home during the evenings or early mornings to help my feeling of homesickness and I especially miss Filipino food.
For anyone who relocates the team makes sure that they are welcome, that they are family here. I am always up for adventures and these people have already gotten me to experience a lot within my first month in Estonia from Snowboarding, Aurora borealis, Ice skating in winter, Ice swimming, and even getting lost because ‘I thought it was a shortcut’ kind of thing. The team always helps you with things you may need to know like how to buy groceries (somehow different from where I came from), setting up bank accounts, etc. There are also a few team made activities like Spa Tuesdays, or just game nights which are all in all fun and great ways to relax.
If you are willing to and are given the chance to relocate, I’d say “Go for it”. Chances like these especially with people like Gamecan are like family. We all push to grow individually and collectively as part of Gamecan. It will be difficult at first but to grow you need to make that leap of faith and with people of different nationalities, I guess you would be able to experience the whole world in a single room. They’ll keep you busy with different experiences that would keep you growing both professionally and personally. As I see this team growing every day, I am looking forward to every single moment with everyone as we look towards the future together.
Me and my wife celebrating our 1st Marriage Anniversary in Estonia